Looking for info on Mercedes diesel engines...

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"If I /were/ satisfied with my Honda, I wouldn't be considering a Mercedes. There are numerous reasons (which I've listed previously) that lead me to want to sell the Honda and buy this Mercedes. The fact that
the Mercedes is a solid, reliable, and robust vehicle is among those reasons. "

year old MB with 200K miles on it any day. Don't get me wrong. I have a 1980 300SD with 115,000 miles on it. It's been a great car. But there is no question that the typical two year old Honda is a more reliable car than my car or the one you're looking at. As I pointed out before, there are various things that just start to go on these cars over time. For example, I went to Europe for 2 weeks and left the car parked at JFK. It was super hot weather much of that time and when I returned the dashboard clock which had worked perfectly till then was kaput. I think it's likely the heat got to it. Now in my case, I work on cars myself and I can pull the dash cluster, find one on ebay, and replace it, so it won't cost too much. But how prepared are you to do that? Or will you just leave it not working and be satisfied. Or will you take it to a shop where it could cost quite a bit to have it done?
As someone else pointed out, the AC leak, is a good example. It could be a simple fill valve leaking. Or it could be the compressor. Or even worse, it could be a leak in the evaporator buried in the dash. The guy told you it needs recharging, but that could mean once every 3 years or 3 times a year. The point is, all kinds of little things can start to go with a 13 year old 200K car that can make it annoying, even if the major components like the engine, drive train, etc. are still in fine shape.
I'm not saying don't buy the car. I'm just saying if you're coming from a 2 year old Honda, you may be in for a big disappointment, depending on what your expectations are.
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Yes. I am great Merc fan but I don't think I would recomend trading in a two-year old Honda for an old Merc either, even taking into account the drawbacks of the Honda. If I really wanted to be shot of my Honda I would look at something newer. In the US you don't have the option of an A-class, but what about a C-class. Or another brand?
Or talk to Bill Ditmire if you are anywhere near New Jersey: http://www.ditmire.com/LftNav_sales.html
DAS
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The newer vehicles are out of my price range. I'm limited by the amount of money the Honda would fetch.

I don't know much about the dozens of different classes and models of cars on the market today. I was looking for an affordable diesel, preferably made by Mercedes (they make excellent engines), for less than $10,000. This particular vehicle happens to fit my requirements nicely.
In addition to logical reasons such as finances, reliability, etc., there's also the abstract concept of physical appeal: The 300D looks /stunning/, at least to me. It's a very classy-looking car, and has substance to it. Far more than any modern car (even modern Mercedes) like a Honda or Toyota. This has some appeal to me.
That said, I try to place most of my decision-making votes on the "logical reasons" instead of the "Oooh, Shiny!" factor.
Even if there's some parts that have to be repaired or replaced in the first year or two, I consider myself to be ahead of the game -- the Honda, while being mechanically reliable, has been very expensive to keep in good repair due to repeated body damage (only one minor fender-bender was my fault), scratched paint/finish, and sensitivity to road conditions like rocks and other small debris. I would much rather have a vehicle that I could replace many parts myself, rather than having the car taken into a professional paint-shop to paint it well (something which I lack the knowledge, skill, and equipment to do).

Sounds like the place to go if I were there. Alas, I'm in California, on the opposite side of the country.
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If it's something relatively simple, like changing out a clock, not a problem. I need to replace the right power mirror assembly on my Honda -- after a low-speed impact a few months ago, a critical part broke and fell off. Now the whole module needs to be changed.
For something exceedingly minor (i.e. a minor lightbulb burnt out, and has no real status associated with it), I could live with it. No big deal.
For major things, I'd definitely take it to an expert. I'll eat humble pie and know when something's out of my league.

Good point. Something I'd ask the mechanic about -- perhaps he could look for a leak, or what? Maybe the owner hasn't recharged the AC in several years and it simply is time for it? I'll find out soon.

Completely understood. I am expecting a comfortable, reasonably powerful car with a backseat and trunk (which I currently don't have). The car must run on diesel. If I can get 50k-100k out of the car before it goes kaput, I'll be satisfied. That's 2-4 years of driving for me. I'm looking for a vehicle with a strong and rugged body and frame. There's a zillion little paint chips on the Honda from the most infintesimal of impacts. Having to repaint my vehicle every 4-5 years is absurd. The Mercedes paint has survived 13 years, and still looks better than my 2-year-old Honda.
I want a vehicle that I can do some tinkering with under the hood without fear of violating a warranty. If the car needs new injectors, then I'll go to the auto parts store, buy the right ones, and put them in myself. New fuel filter? Same thing. With the Honda, there's too many electronics and components packed into an extremely small engine compartment. With the Mercedes, there's well-defined parts in a large compartment with easy access. I should be able to handle most of the minor work.
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I think for about $5000 you should be able to find a very, very nice 300D with MUCH less then 250K miles.
I am driving a 1986 190e for over a year now, which set me back about $2700. In addition I needed tires ($400), serpentine belt tensioner ($75 from boneyard), and various regular maintenance stuffs ($400?).
The car feels very solid on the road and has performed flawlessly for me. I have no regrets about buying it, or paying quite a bit IMO for an older vehicle. It had 107K miles on it at the time of purchase, and has about 120K now.
My car still has some minor issues (left rear power window, spotty AC, door panel warpage etc.).
These are not issues to me for the most part, although if I find time I do hope to rectify some of them...
Don't rush into a car. Look for vehicles that are being sold by private owners. Find an owner who you like and get the idea they understand and care about service.
Good Luck, marty
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You're back! Where you been??
cp
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Hi cp,
cp wrote:

on a longer holiday trip (and it really is _not_ true I was arrested by police for still driving a W123 and refusing to buy a newer car... ;-)))) ) plus also _so_ busy with so many other things.
Kind regards
Juergen (but indeed time of driving W123 is coming to an end after 22 years - do I have to move to the newsgroup alt.auto.volkswagen then? ;-) )
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:-))) believable, the polizei could have mistaken you for Ukrainian smugglers :-)

noooooo!!
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cp wrote:

Oh no, definitely not - those folks drive newer cars... ;-)

That's good - as there is no such group... ;-)
Juergen
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Well, at least the ones just starting out 8-)

alright, when there's a group, you get one!
cp
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Had enough of Benzes?
DAS
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Does anyone here have any idea how much ongoing service and maintenance of a Mercedes is?
Specifically a 1992 300D turbodiesel with 198k miles, as mentioned earlier in the thread.
Assume no catastrophic engine/transmission damage is present and the vehicle has had proper service at the designated intervals. I'm looking for information about ongoing service, such as oil changes, filter changes, etc. in an attempt to budget myself to have an adequate amount of money available for maintenance for at least the next year.
Can some of the work be done at home without too much trouble or mess? I don't mind turning wrenches if it'll save me a few hundred bucks, as long as it's not something too major.
Cheers!
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Dori A Schmetterling wrote:

No, but I need a more practical private car for in-town driving, a station wagon which also blends better into any situation and social environment than e.g. an MB E-class wagon of the late W210 or even W211 series.
So maybe I will change the W123 sedan for a - yuck! - Volkswagen...
Juergen
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I don't quite get that as Mercs are very common. Aah, not exclusive anough?
Try an Alfa 156 or 159 estate for looks. I think they are calling them Sportwagon now http://www.alfaromeo.com/cgi-bin/pbrand.dll/ALFAROMEO_COM/models/models.jsp
They depreciate so quickly (in Britain, at least) I am sure you can pick up a two-year-old one for a song...
DAS
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Dori A Schmetterling wrote:

No, the other way round: Too expensive (looking) for certain areas of the city, too much vandalism and theft. A thing (note: I said _thing_ and not _car_... ;-)) ) like a VW Golf blends in much better there.

Alfa is not my cup of tea...
Juergen
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Ever driven one?
Had a 147 JTD (1.9 l turbodiesel) for two weeks while on holiday in Italy recently. I had had one last year, so I asked for it again.
Mind you, I am not sure I would like to own one, what with its still slightly iffy reputation for reliability.
In my eyes the 147 is the prettiest in its class, and the larger estate is one of the most attractive in its segment.
DAS
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