Bought a 97 E420, have some questions

My parents recently purchased a 1997 E420 with 230,000 miles. The body is in perfect shape, the interior is clean and the car drives smooth and strong but there are a couple problems:
1. The headlights (halogen) are dull, faded and yellowed. I tried plastic polish on them using a buffer and they're about 50% better, but ideally they should be replaced. Can the plastic lens part be purchased or does the whole assembly get replaced? I'd prefer the European E-Code headlights if they need to be replaced.
2. The climate control doesn't work. The display works and indicates that things are working, but no interior fan. Not sure if the compressor is kicking on or not. Is this a common problem?
3. The cruise control stalk is broken, well, limp is more like it. Does not function at all. Common? Expensive to replace?
4. The warning triangle (ASR) light never illuminates in the speedometer. Not when starting the car, nor does the ASR button turn it on. Would this be a fuse/relay issue or could it just be a bulb burnt out?
Also, what weight oil is recommended? I tried looking in the manual and it refers me to the dealership. Based on the service records everything from 20w-50 to 10w-30 was used in the car (California's Bay Area.) Is synthetic required/recommended?
I'm familiar with European cars... VWs and Audis in particular so none of the stuff wrong with the MB seems too major :)
-Alden
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WOW... that's alot of driving...

Face it... at 230,000 miles... headlight needs to be replaced... You probably can buy the lenses at the dealer but will cost you just as much as an aftermarket headlight for your car... euro code...
Importvision carries DEPO headlights... co-owned by Hella and made in Taiwan. They are very decent quality.. not as high as Bosch or Hella.. but for the price... it is worth it. $338 for a pair of headlights for your parents car and update the look to the projector look style of latest E class.
http://www.importvision.com/index.php?display=show_part.php&PartMake=Mercedes&select_PartType=Headlights

Climate control... is your EC red light always on regardless of any other pushing butrons? If so, would be easy fix... a sensor is bad... most likely evaporator temperature sensor. Otherwise, I would have the A/C system checked for leaking and maybe top off the freon... R134a... You really need to do step by step diagnosis.

It is most likely to be your stalk that is bad... not too bad of a repair bill.

I would say, probably the bulb is burnt out. or been taken out to hide the underlying problem... you need to do diagnostic... Have the dealer handle this... as it is a safety item.

MB always use synthetic Mobil 1 synthetic... 0W40... I suggest you do the same and follow that flex service to tell you when to change it again. There is a reason why the car lasted so long without a major problem.
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MB does not use Mobile 1 synthetic. I had mine changed to Mobile 1 and the engine started leaking oil. Then the dealership ran out of Mobile 1 after I paid several hundred dollars to fix the leaks. And they put in regular oil without telling me. So I finaly gave up. Of course that is Heavy Carl in Greenville, SC.
mcbrue under the bridge in the trailer down by the river
96 S420
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Having lived in Greenville I had to get used to a lot of things being different.... ;->
The dealership I use proudly displays Mobile1 and uses it for oil changes on my '99 E320. My '95 E320, however, gets conventional. Perhaps your '96 S was designed for conventional as well.

I
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Mobil 1 in my 82 300sd with 260.000 miles should leave an oil slick every where but not a drop in the driveway.
now that fuel filter is a different story little sucker drips no matter what i do.
Mobil 1 in D2 fuel?
help with my baby fuel filter please <not the plastic one>
casey
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<< MB does not use Mobile 1 synthetic. I had mine changed to Mobile 1 and the engine started leaking oil. Then the dealership ran out of Mobile 1 after I paid several hundred dollars to fix the leaks. And they put in regular oil without telling me. >><BR><BR>
I am dissatisfied with the MB dealerships in the DC area. One of them is a bit better, esp. after I had a long chat with the owners.
I buy Synthetic oil and give it to them: 0W30 in winter and 5W30 or 5W50 in summer. Never has a problem. BTW, they deduct for oil and the synth is less than half the cost outside!
Regards, Jay Bala.
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