Why are you surprised at the $600 cost of a wiring harness for a 600SEL?
That's exactly why these cars depreciate so badly - their repair and
service costs are very high and remain so long after their high status
is long gone. Car's have no senior discount.
If the electric fans operate, the wiring harness, which you will need to
replace, has nothing to do with the engine's overheating. That's
assuming it really is overheating - that the temperature gauge is
You don't say when the engine overheats. If in slow traffic, the
radiator and fans are suspect but if it runs hot at speed the radiator
is the culprit.
To ensure the radiator is shedding all the heat you should be sure its
core is clean so the air can pass through it. If the radiator is
doubtful you cal have it rebuilt.
If the radiator is OK, the fans run, there are no air locks in the
cooling system and the gauge is reporting the engine's temperature
correctly then you must consider the possibility of a busted head
gasket. If that's the case, $600 will be the down payment for the repair
One note of caution on www.resedaradiator.com: I used them sometime back
for a rebuild of my Porsche 928 radiator, and they screwed me. Paid for
both plastic tanks replaced, and they only did one. And, they didn't pack
the radiator correctly resulting in the waterneck on the new side being
cracked during shipment back. Anyway, as a result, my core was trashed, and
they told me I was out of luck. Good thing I paid on credit card and could
get the charges removed. With the UPS $100 standard insurance coverage, I
was able to by another good core and get it rebuilt locally. Anyway, the
morale of the story is that if you want to risk having your car laid up for
months, use Reseda.
Thanks Tom for this valuable information, I will do some further
investigation today based on that info.
Thanks also for the Reseda pointer, although I most certainly won't use it,
since I don't live in the US (I am in France). By the way, if any member of
the group knows a good mechanic in the Paris area, I would be grateful.
Regarding the maintenance costs, I was mentally prepared to it, so it was
not that much of a surprise. However, I don't want to pay for extra $$$/time
if the local MB dealer does not FIND the problem. I had this experience with
my instrument cluster (which I now know is a common fault on these models).
The dealer simply offered to replace it, without being able to certify some
small electrical quirks came from it. So I naturally asked "what if" it was
not the cluster, the guy then mentioned 3 or 4 other parts, amounting to
several thousand $$$ - still without warranty it would fix things. Coming
from what I regarded as a trusted and reputable company producing some of
the finest cars around, this try and guess approach seems utterly
nonprofessional to me...
However, I found some MB mechanics pretty friendly, so I took the DIY
approach, since they are willing to answer (most) of my questions, at the
same time I bought parts :)
I am also considering to buy old W140 with 4.2L engine from Germany.
Otherwise are you satisfied with the car?
Especially the Mercedes quality is it what they advertice?
In same category is also BMW 700 series!
Jukka from Finland
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