W124 series E class, advice for a newbie

shoee

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Hi

I'm thinking of buying a w124 series E class estate as a family car, for low mileages ie 8k a yr or so.

Have been told that W124s are indestructable with good MBFSH and are the last of the really well made cars. Would very much appreciate some advice from you experts:

What should I look out for on them ?

What is "high mileage" for a E200 or E220 ?

What are the servicing costs like ?

Are the Autos reliable ?

Any ideas on actual fuel consumtion for the above ?

Have seen lots in the £4-6k range with 70-140k miles, 93-96 models - does extra 2 yrs older matter if you are getting say 25k less miles ?

Many thanks

Peter
 

andy_k

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If you want a list of what to "look out for" drop me a pm with your email addy - i recently wrote a check list for a friend who is also looking.

but to answer your questions briefly.

high mileage? no such thing correctly looked after they will go on forever - hoardes of German taxi drivers can't be wrong :) Our 1989 W124 has done 214,000 miles and there is a W124 estate being used by our local cab firm with 530,000 miles on it!!!

Servicing costs - dealers = expensive but there are plenty of independents offering a cheaper alternative. Worth noting is that the dealers will give discount on both labour and parts to drivers of "older" cars.

Are the automatics reliable - yes they are - the W124 box seems to have a minimum life expectancy of 150,000 miles.

fuel consumption will obviously vary on how you drive - expect anything from 25 mpg for lead footed town driving to 35 mpg at motorway speeds.

I wouldn't worry about 20k miles here or there as long as the car has a full service history.

So, what to look out for

Back axle.....

1, the rear hydraulic suspension needs checking over - the accumulator spheres have a "life" of 100,000 miles and can be a pain to replace

http://mbclub.co.uk/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=3256

2, check the rear suspension linkages for any play - Mercedes have issued an upgraded replacement part for the top arm as the earlier bushes were weak

3, check the diff for any free play and for leaks - drive shaft ones are easy and cheap to replace the prop shaft seal isn't and requires specialist tools


Front axle and steering.

1, check for free play in the steering - up to 2" free play at the wheel is classed as "within spec" - obviously less is best

2, steering damper - expect them to last 65k miles - if it's leaking it needs replacing

3, check the brakes work properly with no juddering (warped disks is ot uncommon) and that the abs works properly - check the light on the dash is working properly - it comes on with the ignition key and goes off with all the other warning lights. Front brake squeal or whining is not uncommon as disks start to wear

Electrics

1, make sure everything works, sunroofs are prone to abuse and can fail - fixing them is not a DIY job

2, central locking, comfort locking and auto closing make sure everything works as it should

Interior

Make sure all the seats fold as they should (the back ones can stick if left unused for a long time)


Hope that helps - as I said, drop me a line for a more comprehensive list of checks.

If you have any doubts, get the car inspected or take someone along with you, try asking here for anyone local to you to come along with you.

Andy
 

Glideman

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Hi Peter

I've just got a 1994 E220 estate with 120,000 mls & it drives like new. As above don't worry too much about miles just look at how it's been cared for. Also check the exhaust system as mine was rattling when I bought the car but being an ex-mechanic I thought it would be an easy repair, till I got to the deales & they wanted £800 for a new catalytic converter, ended up welding the old heat shield on as that was the part which was rattling.

Good luck with the hunting, hope you find the car thats right for you :cool:
 

Kinky

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I'll support everything that has been said above.

K
 
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shoee

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re: replies

Thanks for your help guys - very helpfull. Mine of information.

If you were buying the car from a trader with full MBFSH, would you get it AA/RAC checked as well ?

Sounds like some of the things pointed out above are more complicated than for someone non mechanicaly minded like me.
 

Ian B Walker

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my 124 estate has 178K on the clock, goes for ever. I will second what Andy_k has to say about them, liked mine so much bought a w124 saloon with 199K on the clock. Get one, I doubt if you will be dissapointed.
 

Kinky

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If it helps ....

I bought my 93 L plate sight unseen with sketchy history and 122k on the clock - and no AA/RAC check. Part of the reason for jumping at it was the fact that it was the reputedly strong 124 series.

And this site was a big deciding factor in going for it (thanks guys).

And I've not looked back at all ...

Now, 6 months down the road, and 8,000 miles later absolutely no regrets whatsoever.

The Estate brigade seem to be growing in size !

K.

P.S. - Have I ever mentioned that Purslows KICK BUTT :rock:
 
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shoee

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Nearly there at last..

Thanks everyone who has posted with hints and help, especially Andy_K - you are a star :)

Hopefully this has avoided most if not all the pitfalls.

Looked at several cars, lots of "fsh" which happened to have a 50k or 2 yr hole in it - waste of time, despite grilling the salesman on the phone about it. Also lots of very beaten up bodywork.

Finally found one in, E220 auto Estate 1993L with FSH with all receipts to match, owned by father then daughter, 129,000 miles, dark blue, leather a/c etc. Sunroof slow at the end of the return travel, being fixed, wheel covers could do with replacing. Otherwise very nice.

recently had the Cat replaced Glideman - same sort of money as you were quoted ie a short grand.

Can't wait to pick it up, hope on thursday

:bannana:
 
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Kinky

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and the best colour you could choose (basically anything but Silver) :D

Look forward to the pics.

Nice one.

K
 

Kinky

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Well, we all know that Blue is the best MB colour to have.

As for Silver - I must confess it does look really smart ....

... in the dark.

:D

Only joking guys. Honest. And just to prove it - I've got a silver kettle at home.

K
 
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shoee

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Picked it up last night, didn't breakdown on the way back, feels very nice and solid. Engine steering etc all very sweet.

Nice cruise back, forgotten about the one arm elbow on window hand on steering and indicator style of motoring...

Petrol cap lock makes funny squeeking when the central locking closes, guess that is in need of some grease.

Did cars Merc's of that age (1993L)have immobilisers fitted as standard ? This one has an after market alarm.

Very happy, will post a pic soon



:bannana:
 

Motard

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My 92 250TD has an immobiliser activated by a key on the side of the transmission tunnel which also locks it into reverse. Sod of a thing to find in the dark, don't know if it was a Merc option or aftermarket.

Bob
 

Dieselman

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Shoee

One job you should do is check for rust. there seems to be only one place on the 124, the front wing above the bumper.
It rusts because the liner rubs through the paint on the inside and the additional protection is missing just there.

Nice choice of car, I like 124s.
 
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shoee

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Dieselman

Thanks for that, will have a good look for it.

My wife drove it for the first time yesterday, she thought the accelerator was a bit heavy and found the pause as you put your foot down pre power arriving a bit off putting. Think battleship was the overall adjective

Women eh ?
 

Motard

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My better half thinks the hand/foot brake is seriously stupid so she won't drive the car. It is a manual so I have to agree with her.

Bob
 

Motard

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No, that the brake is stupid! She does drive my other car lol.

Bob
 
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shoee

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Re: "Hand brake"

Yes , it is a bit stupid.

The set up ( push down to apply brake, fiddle with something else to release ) looked vaguely familiar, and hadn't been able to place it until I walked past my mum and dads tractor mower yesterday....:rolleyes::D
 

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