When did Mercedes stop making cars that people could work on without a garage?

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Besides JLR's ongoing reliability issues they a have in the pursuit of net zero, manged to completely screw up parts supplies.

You couldn't make it up

Report: 10,000 Jaguar Land Rover cars stuck waiting for parts | Autocar


Back on topic.
My 2009 C180K is now 14 years old and I have done all maintenance on a DIY basis for the last 8 years. I've had one engine light and code in that time and it was one of those that resets itself after a number of clear engine starts. Nothing has gone wrong needing repair. If it hadn't been for this forum I wouldn't have had the knowledge to be worried about the things that are supposed to go wrong such as steering lock motor, door pulls, rear light wiring burning out and the infamous rear subframe rust. To be fair the awareness may have helped me avoid the failures.

I previously ran a 190e for 21 years and to be honest that was a less reliable with failures such as cold start fuel injection, water pump, heater valve, 2 thermostats, rear electric window wiring breakage and worst of all serious structural rust. That experience would suggest to me the the optimum era is a little later than the 190e. I liked the The last of the 124's which had a newer engine and electronic fuel injection.
To be fair to Jaaaaag, my chums (young grad trainees) tell me that the supply chain nightmare is all “Land Rover,” rather than Jag.

(Does anyone buy Jaaaag any more?)

It would be churlish to suggest that British customers are being disadvantaged because the most important, and profitable, Land Rover customers are all in Asia.

So I won’t do that.
 
From the article:

'The problems originated at the firm’s newest parts facility, Mercia Park.

“Mercia is a bottleneck and we have a backlog of orders,” Woolliscroft told the summit. “We have a backlog in inbound. As of today, we have 80 lorries waiting to unload. We have a backlog in packing, as those parts are unboxed and packed into the warehouse.” '

So, either it's a localised problem that demonstrates how JLR suck at logistics, or it's a national problem that shows how the UK lost its manufacturing ingenuity and we should just let the Chinese make the parts for us and handle the logistics.

Both are depressing.
 
I find my '03 W209 CLK is suitably "analogue" enough that I can tackle most jobs. And a combination of owners forums, YouTube and a friendly local specialist means I'm not overly concerned about the car's complexity. Much later and I don't think that would be the case with Mercedes. But I don't think you can make a general statement about a particular decade or year when everything got complicated. I had an '03 E39 and that was a nightmare. Sensors for sensors and extremely frustrating. So much so that when I finally got it running without dash lights I sold it. I've also owned many Saabs and they're incredibly simple cars right up until they went bust. Easy to diagnose and fix I'd imagine because they never had any money and were basically making the same cars for decades.
 
I find my '03 W209 CLK is suitably "analogue" enough that I can tackle most jobs. And a combination of owners forums, YouTube and a friendly local specialist means I'm not overly concerned about the car's complexity. Much later and I don't think that would be the case with Mercedes. But I don't think you can make a general statement about a particular decade or year when everything got complicated. I had an '03 E39 and that was a nightmare. Sensors for sensors and extremely frustrating. So much so that when I finally got it running without dash lights I sold it. I've also owned many Saabs and they're incredibly simple cars right up until they went bust. Easy to diagnose and fix I'd imagine because they never had any money and were basically making the same cars for decades.
Such a shame that SAAB didnmt survive. It would be a perfect brand for a Chinese car manufacturer to snap up.
 
I think I’ve owned about fifty or so cars and probably owned/driven at least twenty Mercedes, from the 1980s, 90s, 00s, 10s up to present models.

Newer cars are more reliable, period.

Yes there’s examples of certain models with known issues but like-for-like newer cars break down less, are more fuel efficient, safer, more comfortable etc.

I think the OP is probably overly worried and over thinking a lot. I mean there’s literally tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of MBs out there with six figure mileages and often ten/twenty years older or more that are used daily without any real thought or worry.

Back to the original question - you can work on most MBs yourself, if you’re competent. I’ve only had servicing really done on most of mine for the sake of resale value and sometimes lack of time, but have always done the majority of repair work and mechanical stuff.

Older cars often needed far more involved work. I mean 1980s MBs had temperamental fuel injection systems that were often difficult for the average home mechanic to diagnose and repair. Modern cars with electronic injection and solid state ignition systems are far easier to work on and much more reliable.

You can buy a diagnostic tool, in the same way as years ago you’d have had other random tools like exhaust gas analysers or timing lights etc.

If you can state your requirements - eg size, intended use, budget, expected mileage etc maybe one of us could recommend a few examples? :)
 
I think I’ve owned about fifty or so cars and probably owned/driven at least twenty Mercedes, from the 1980s, 90s, 00s, 10s up to present models.
You've not kept your cars for that long if you've had that many. That works out at a change of car every 12 months or so over 50 years. You have to keep a car for a good few years and do some high mileage to get a feel for reliability.

Thanks for the detailed reply anyway. Appreciated.

If you can state your requirements - eg size, intended use, budget, expected mileage etc maybe one of us could recommend a few examples? :)

Something with the basic dash and overall size of the 190E (Saloon) but with:

A turbo diesel engine >150 bhp.
Electronic injection and timing.
6 speed box for motorway cruising.
ABS, Power steering & brakes (standard now on most cars).
Air Conditioning (standard now on most cars).
>>>High mileage potential.<<<

Things I would not want:
A built in computerized dash or infortainment system. A 1 DIN radio will do.
In built in telephone or sat nav.
Self driving or lane assist.
Laser \ LED headlights. Halogen bulbs are easier to replace, faster to replace and cheaper.
Parking sensors and cameras.
Tyre pressure monitors.
Car parts that are coded to a computer. I want to be able to fit my own parts.

So long as the car is less than 10 years old and has no more than 50-60k on the clock I'll look at it. I run them to about 200-250k then scrap, as they're almost worthless by then.
I do mainly motorway miles.

Thanks.
 
So long as the car is less than 10 years old and has no more than 50-60k on the clock I'll look at it.
I think you’ll struggle to find a Mercedes less than 10 years old, the size of the 190e and which doesn’t need parts “coding”. Age and size would suggest an A-Class. Size and not needing parts coding suggests a 190e.
 
You've not kept your cars for that long if you've had that many. That works out at a change of car every 12 months or so over 50 years. You have to keep a car for a good few years and do some high mileage to get a feel for reliability.

Thanks for the detailed reply anyway. Appreciated.



Something with the basic dash and overall size of the 190E (Saloon) but with:

A turbo diesel engine >150 bhp.
Electronic injection and timing.
6 speed box for motorway cruising.
ABS, Power steering & brakes (standard now on most cars).
Air Conditioning (standard now on most cars).
>>>High mileage potential.<<<

Things I would not want:
A built in computerized dash or infortainment system. A 1 DIN radio will do.
In built in telephone or sat nav.
Self driving or lane assist.
Laser \ LED headlights. Halogen bulbs are easier to replace, faster to replace and cheaper.
Parking sensors and cameras.
Tyre pressure monitors.
Car parts that are coded to a computer. I want to be able to fit my own parts.

So long as the car is less than 10 years old and has no more than 50-60k on the clock I'll look at it. I run them to about 200-250k then scrap, as they're almost worthless by then.
I do mainly motorway miles.

Thanks.
You’re assuming that I’ve kept all cars for an equal amount of time, and only owned one at a time, neither of which is the case 😅

I’ve owned/driven quite a variety of cars, some old, some new, some low mileage and some quite high (200k+) many of which I carried out quite extensive work on.

Some I didn’t keep for very long but I’ve owned several for around 5-10 years or so.

I’ve never had a major failure or major fault on any of my Mercedes cars that I can recall. Never an engine or gearbox failure.

Buy yourself a diagnostic tool if you’re going to be looking at cars less than ten years old. You’ll need one for sure, regardless of whether or not that it’s a Mercedes that you end up with.

You’ll either have to go much older or accept that newer cars generally go against some of your preferences.

Modern electronics are not to be feared in the way it seems you might be :)
 
I think you’ll struggle to find a Mercedes less than 10 years old, the size of the 190e and which doesn’t need parts “coding”. Age and size would suggest an A-Class. Size and not needing parts coding suggests a 190e.
A shame. Looks like Mercedes is not for me then, at lease as a daily driver.
 
A shame. Looks like Mercedes is not for me then, at lease as a daily driver.
I can’t remember the last time I had to have a new part coded, I’m not sure it happens very often, but if it will play on your mind then best not risk it. I can’t believe other manufacturers will be any different though.
 
You've not kept your cars for that long if you've had that many. That works out at a change of car every 12 months or so over 50 years. You have to keep a car for a good few years and do some high mileage to get a feel for reliability.

Thanks for the detailed reply anyway. Appreciated.



Something with the basic dash and overall size of the 190E (Saloon) but with:

A turbo diesel engine >150 bhp.
Electronic injection and timing.
6 speed box for motorway cruising.
ABS, Power steering & brakes (standard now on most cars).
Air Conditioning (standard now on most cars).
>>>High mileage potential.<<<

Things I would not want:
A built in computerized dash or infortainment system. A 1 DIN radio will do.
In built in telephone or sat nav.
Self driving or lane assist.
Laser \ LED headlights. Halogen bulbs are easier to replace, faster to replace and cheaper.
Parking sensors and cameras.
Tyre pressure monitors.
Car parts that are coded to a computer. I want to be able to fit my own parts.

So long as the car is less than 10 years old and has no more than 50-60k on the clock I'll look at it. I run them to about 200-250k then scrap, as they're almost worthless by then.
I do mainly motorway miles.

Thanks.
Less than 10 years old without coding etc? Not happening regardless of the car brand. All cars were at least canbus well before that....my 2009 ALFA looks analogue enough....but I still need ALFAobd or MES to do anything serious.
 
Less than 10 years old without coding etc? Not happening regardless of the car brand. All cars were at least canbus well before that....my 2009 ALFA looks analogue enough....but I still need ALFAobd or MES to do anything serious.
Wiki reckons that the first production vehicle to use a CAN Bus wiring system was the MB W140 S Class in 1991
 
The only way around the emissions regs and computers/dealer lock in... is to buy a historic 40 year old plus vehicle.
 
OP . sounds like the perfect Merceds Benz for you is a 2006 C55 AMG . Understressed bombproof SOHC 24V 16 plug 5.4 V8 , the last of the Legendary N/A incarnation of the M113. The very same engine that MB plonked a supercharger on top of for gaining almost another 100bhp with no ill effect.

No ABC , EBC , soft close doors, etc ,dials that have pointers that move around when you rev and drive . 722.6 transmission that is a legend in it's own lunchtime that is utilised in everything from V12 Mercedes supercars to buses and trucks and can be (almost) fully serviced cheaply from below on your driveway ,so no need to remove the transmission .

Mine has 151K miles on it (owned it for over 6 years now) , this summer it stood on my drive for over 50 days with no battery conditioner attatched while I was away on business and started up first turn of the key when asked to do so. .

Tyres , brakes (Brembo) and all consumables are readily available and cheap to buy , a few months ago I replaced the rear shocks and springs on my driveway for 'pennies' . This very day the car is at my trusted mechanic having the front struts, springs, bump stops , tower bearings etc replaced , again , about £400 worth (Koni performance shocks and genuine AMG springs) .

Oil and filter changes are a doddle , cheap too if you get your genuine MB oil and filter from Mb Newcastle Ebay shop . £100 spent on a second hand MB iCarSoft scan tool is all you will ever need to get by.

AFAIK only one ever safety recall . The sunroof . I have yet to bother getting it checked , out of the 750 000 MB's recalled worldwide I think only one sunroof flew off a car . At 151K miles and 17 years mine looks like it's well stuck in place for a while yet.

Problems ? ...problem . Rust , on a car that cost more than £50K 17 years ago MB should be ashamed of themseves , the rust on the wheel arches is non structual and can be fixed but should not happen on a 'premium ' car. But I digress.

So , What are you waiting for ?

Happy shopping

PS . Do not go on about 15 -25 mpg and £58/ month car tax.

If thats a problem buy a Kia Nero EV. ;)
 
You are spot on👍
I recently had my Saab MOT’d it had been sailing through this test for years no problem as I had maintained it very well and it was mint.
The garage put an advisory on it…. subframe corrosion etc. When challenged he admitted that there was nothing wrong with it, he said he felt he had to put something down. Worst thing the government ever did was give more power to the MOT fraternity.
I understand we have to keep cars tip top and indeed, some people would drive death traps putting all at risk however, some of us like to keep clean records on the MOT agenda and putting anything down devalued said vehicles.
I would not have any problem driving a car that was pre sensor this or pre sensor that and totally reliant on having it computer checked at the dealer for a ridiculous fee. And then to tell you you need x at £0000s when in all reality it might be repairable.
 
The garage put an advisory on it…. subframe corrosion etc. When challenged he admitted that there was nothing wrong with it, he said he felt he had to put something down. Worst thing the government ever did was give more power to the MOT fraternity.
What did the DVSA Intelligence Unit say following their investigation?
 
Does it matter?......mine had a bit of surface rust.....they mentioned it few years back.....but have not mentioned it since!....I can't imagine it's got better! Mot history means nothing....ive seen some right donkeys work near perfect MOT histories....they only test certain elements of the car....the rest could be in terrible condition. My wife's 56 plate A Class has a perfect MOT history....and my ALFA nearly so. But all that shows is that, being a ex MOT tester I know what they look for and put those things right before the test. If I was not ex trade, just put the car through the test and then paid to have it fixed it would have a bad MOT history.....they would still be the exact same two cars!
 
For three years in a row my car had an advisory for rear exhaust heat shield corroded to Xs, three years ago it fell off, no more advisories since? Wtf.
 
About 30-35 years ago
 

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