1982 Mercedes Benz 300SD Turbo Diesel

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Just wondering if someone can give me some advice on a 1982 Mercedes Benz 300SD Turbo Diesel. The car has 201K miles and appears to be running fine. The only thing I noticed with this car is it does not
respond as quickly when I step on the accelerator pedal compared to a gasoline powered car. Since I have not driven a diesel car before, is this normal or is there something wrong with this car? The owner, an older widow, is getting rid of it since her husband passed away and is asking $3,000.00 I thought for the money and since it is still a Mercedes, it may be worth it. Just letting everyone know that the only thing I know about cars in terms of maintenance is changing the oil, spark plugs, wipers, and light bulbs. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
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Sounds about normal. Diesel engines don't really have the same "pep" as gas-powered cars.

Obviously, you should check the value on Kelly Blue Book and Edmunds.com, as well as take it into a reputable Mercedes shop for an inspection to ensure that everything's working all right.

Not really that sure. The only work I've done on my new-to-me 1992 turbodiesel was get the coolant changed. In a few thousand miles, I'll need to get the oil changed too.
Speaking of maintenance, are there any major service intervals around 200k miles for a 1992 300D turbodiesel? The previous owners of my vehicle kept it regularly serviced, but I'm just wondering if anything should be coming up soon. It's at about 199,700 right now, just recently had an oil change, ATF change, coolant change, has new tires and brakes, etc.
Cheers!
--
Pete Stephenson
HeyPete.com
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Thanks Pete!
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Pete Stephenson wrote:

anybody in a 320 gas wanna play?
Charlie B, C320CDI 224HP, 510Nm Standard spec
Diesel engines didn't really have the same "pep" as gas-powered cars I can agree with.
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You've come to the right place.
Diesels are essentially constant speed engines - yes, they accelerate, but that's not their forte, so diesels of this age seem like slugs compared to gas engines (the new, 2007 MY, CDI diesels are much better).
A diesel is a compression engine and depends on its compression to ignite the fuel (as opposed to a gas engine that uses a spark). So, a diesel engine's health is judged by its compression, which can be tested.
I'd urge you to call a few independent M-B shops and find their cost of a "prepurchase inspection" and if it includes a compression test. That's what you want, then you'll know whether this engine has a lot of miles left in it - or not, in which case you should pass on the car.
If you buy an older four or five cylinder M-B diesel you should know its maintenance schedule:
Engine oil change and filter every 5K miles, not complicated, a DIY job. Engine valve adjustment every 15K miles, preferably in the fall, a DIY job with instructions. Engine air and fuel filters (2) every 30K miles, a DIY job. Transmission fluid & filter at 30K miles can be DIY if you can work cleanly, or shop job. Change coolant every two years, DIY. Replace brake fluid every two years.
Many owners DIY because the cars are simple and understandable.
Parts are available on-line and through M-B dealers at higher cost.
These are very good cars, simple, solid and reliable, provided you don't skimp on parts' quality.
Ask the seller if she has the car's maintenance records which will tell you if the maintenance schedule was observed or not and which shops did the work. The more information you get the greater your confidence will be in the car.
Come back anytime with questions.
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Thanks for the information and all the maintenance advise. I did ask her about the maintenance record and she said that they did not take it to a Mercedes Benz dealer but whenever they feel there is a problem they take it to a Firestone shop. She showed me the most recent receipts but most of them are just for oil changes, tires and batteries. I did not see any receipt for work done on the engine or transmission. Do you think this is a bad sign or is the car just too reliable that the owners never have a problem with it. I will follow your advice and have a compression test done on the engine. Thanks again.
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I'd say an independent M-B inspection is needed given the chain store maintenance, IMHO.
Smells like having the minimum done and as cheaply as possible.
But then some cars get zero maintenance!
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I called a car technician who is a good friend of my cousin and works at an Audi dealership and has a lot of experienced working on Mercedes, inclding my cousin's. The car techinician himself prefers Mercedes' with less than 150K to have a comfort level. While he is confident the the engine and transmission on this 1982 SD Turbo Diesel have a lot of life left, he mentioned that the other parts of the car may be on its way out. He mentioned about seals getting worn out and can be costly to replace in terms of labor. Not sure exactly what he was talking about as I know very little about cars. NADA's price range for the 1982 SD Turbo Diesel is from $4,400 to $8,650. KBB does not even go down to 1982, but the 1985 lists for $3,750. The owner is asking $3,000. I am really interested in the car for the following reasons: 1) I need a "reliable" car that I can drive to work 25 miles round-trip everyday, non-city driving 2) I only want to spend $3,000 initially but expect to plunk some money for periodic maintenance and rhopefully occassional repair 3) chance to help this old widow get rid of this car. 4) Though this is more of a pipe dream, I would purchase a repair manual based on a complete tear down of this car, if one exists, and maybe learn how to work on this old car as it is probably less complicated than the newer cars these days with a ton of electronic equipment and usually needs a lot of specialized tools. Obviously, I will be the one responsible if this purchase turns into a costly mistake. Assuming the engine and transmission is fine and from what I can tell the ride is fine plus the 4 reasons I stated above, what is your take on me purchasing this car? I am basically trying to solicit as many advice and opinion from others, knowing that ultimately, I will be the one responsible. Thanks in advance.
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com says...

(Snip)
Well, you don't have reliable maintenance records on it so you don't really know what has been done in the way of major overhauls over the years. If the engine and transmission pass muster (compreession, oli leaks, colling system leaks) there may well be a lot of other things that still work OK but are on their last legs. Brake system for one. Does it need new pads and disk and cylinders all around? Suspension for another. By now the shocks surely should be replaced as well as all the bushings. Then there is the power steering box, a $2,000 item. How are the glow plugs, the air conditioner? And so it goes.
But from your description, I would buy the car. Sounds a lot better then mine and mine is great.
1981 300SD "Der Klunker" ex-Pimpmobile.
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Sounds good, go for it, but keep another 3000 ready for major service. If you don't need it that's fine.
Marty
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This car will be a good choice IF, but only IF, you're serious about these goals (excluding the widow).
These are NOT economy cars but the cost can be managed IF the owner can DIY ALL of the maintenance and most, not all, the repairs. You say that's the goal. Then buy the car. Offer her $2,500 cash subject to a professional prepurchase inspection. Point out that the car has done 200K miles and that's a lot and that you're real, standing there with cash in hand. Take it or leave it - remember, this car isn't the ONLY 300SD on the market but its the ONLY one that SHE wants to sell. She'll take the $2,500 when its put that way, if only to be rid of the project.
Look on ebay for a paper manual for this model. There are also $100 CD-ROMs that appear to be scans of the paper manual but lack an index and so create a lot of frustration. There may be a chassis manual as well as an engine manual. Unless you plan to overhaul the engine I'd forget it for the moment and try for a chassis manual.
More later.
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Old cars' value is determined by condition - Blue, black red etc. Book values are just fantasy numbers, IMHO. If you want to get a real feeling for the "market" shop ebay and the value of this car will soon emerge.
Finally, if you buy it, there will be times when you're a proud owner who's thinking of upgrading to a newer M-B. Then there will be times when you say (to yourself) "oh why didn't I buy that Honda - Toyota etc.? What an idiot I was to buy this old bomb." It happens, it's the M-B "love - hate" syndrome. So keep some cash in reserve to cover the inevitable old car surprises.
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I will keep in mind that there will be inevitable expenses along the way. Thanks for all the insight you have provided so freely.
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And when the car is in stable condition you'll never look back. Except for foolish people who take old cars to the dealer to be fixed, I've yet to meet someone who has an old benz (or two or three) and thinks they're expensive to maintain.
cp
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thinks
Well, that's right. Once we got Der Klunker stabilized, which took a lot of money over a couple of years, it has been only two trips annually to the non-dealer but MB-specialized garage for routine spring and fall maintenance. It is now being a very economical car and a joy to drive. Got 28 mpg yesterday from New York to Philadelphia and back.
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Yeh, had the same experience. Next time I'll be sure to check everything out. Mechanically it was great but there still were things to be done.

Great cars!
cp
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TG is totally right on here. It's all about condition. Book values are only meaningful if you are already an expert on vehicle condition...
Marty
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As the others have said, independent inspection is a must. $3000 seems a little high. (Unless it's cherry, of course.) Sounds like a possible great deal. Hope it works out for you.
Collin KC8TKA
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But it!
Ours is a 1981 300SD. Wew got snookered at $1,500 and spent a fortune on it, inluding new tranny, replaced engine, new suspension, etc. But we have had it for six years now and it is one hell of a car.
Get it checked out. Spend a bit on bringing it upo to spec. You will have a great car for the next ten years. And oh, don't forget the fuel mileage -- 223 city, 28 highway. It is also the best handling car I have ever driven.
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Thanks for the advice.
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