why do mercedes diesel last forever?

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I have a 1979 240d, with 200,000 miles, odometer broken.
Everbody keeps saying they last forever. Why?
How should I drive the car to make it last?
It is a daily driver, approximately 35 miles each way.
I find that if I push it, the transmission shifts good, the acceleration is acceptable.
If I go lightly, the transmission shifts into high gear at 35 miles per hour, and it is very sluggish.
But, I wonder if really giving it the gas (diesel), will harm the car?
Jerry
BTW, this is my first diesel.
I bought it in an impound auction, have no records, no history at all.
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I would do these two things:
1. 100% full synthetic oil.
2. Let it warm up before you drive. It's hardest on the engine @ when it's cold.
no gas....

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Darrell,
I agree about synthetic oil especially in cold climates. It significantly improves cold start.
I disagree about letting a diesel warm up before driving. Diesels require load to warm up. When they are idling, they do not produce much heat. The best thing to do is to start the car, and drive off slowly. You should not rev a cold diesel. Also, idling a benz diesel for more than a few minutes is also not a good thing. This allows the carbon to build up over time.
Once it is warmed up to its proper running temp, drive it like you stole it!
anil bharucha 1985 300D Turbo 205,xxx miles

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This is sound general advice, as it applies to petrol engines also.
Basically by driving off (gently) you warm all of the moving parts up, not just those in the engine.
DAS --
--
NB: To reply directly replace "nospam" with "schmetterling"
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I totally disagree!
If the engine always has been and still is running on mineral it should stay that way. Start using synthetic now and your engine will be leaking oil as never before!
Even if you live in a cold climate, stay with what the engine is used to.
-- Thomas
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thomas kaarud wrote:

I totally agree with Thomas!
Juergen - 20 years W123
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i had a 1985 190D, had done 250,000 miles. the engine was still sweet as a nut when i sold it 50,000 miles later. no leaks anywhere on the motor. i changed the oil every 3,000 miles. not using synthetic, as that is plain overkill and a waste of money on that type of engine. the best gas mileage you will get from a diesel will be by using part-throttle, so go easy. although having said that, i used to get very high mileage even at full throttle on a long motorway run.
as to why these engine are so good, one word: overengineering.
or is that two words?

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Re: why do mercedes diesel last forever?
as to why these engine are so good, one word: overengineering. or is that two words?
i think its 2 words.
don't know about the over over enginering part but its one big hunk of cast iron. you try to kill one and it smiles at you saying MORE PLEASE!
have had 3 of them <still out there> my daily driver now is a 82 300SD with 250,000 + on the clock.
tranny slips a little but what the hell
case
the case, minus a few cans!
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will last a very long time compared to gas becasue diesel is, after all, a very light oil. Powers and lubes the engine at the same time.
cheers
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Re: why do mercedes diesel last forever?
as to why these engine are so good, one word: overengineering. or is that two words?
i think its 2 words.
don't know about the over over enginering part but its one big hunk of cast iron. you try to kill one and it smiles at you saying MORE PLEASE!
have had 3 of them <still out there> my daily driver now is a 82 300SD with 250,000 + on the clock.
tranny slips a little but what the hell
case
the case, minus a few cans!
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atwifa@'fsmail'.net says...

In German, one word :)
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It is a little under powered, but benefits from a lead foot after the engine is warmed up. Regular valve adjustments and 5,000 mile oil changes will keep the engine going for a long time while the rest of the car's systems can deteriorate. If you have just bought it there is a list of things to do, most of which can be done at home.
Change all the fuses and clean the contacts, replace with the glass versions and apply conductive grease to the ends.
Check the fuel filters, there are two if I remember, and always carry a spare line filter. The line filters are cheap and clog before the main one, often rapidly and can shut the car down in seconds.
Try to keep the tank full if parking for weeks and add an anti algae treatment especially in the autumn.
With no records, I would change the brake fluid immediately and probably the transmission too, changing the transmission filter. Changing the fluid may also erase some of the shift problem if you have any. The throttle has a kick down facility that is achieved by flooring the accelerator
Check for transmission line leaks where they go from the transmission to the radiator, the metal clips sometimes wear through lines and only drip while under pressure.
I have a 76 300D with 400,000 miles and it still does over eighty.
JJ
Say not the Struggle nougat Availeth wrote:

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I just drove my 88 190D from san diego to phoenix and back. It got 32mpg!!! It has 227K miles on it now. Don't put synthetic in your old diesel. It will just start everything leaking. Two rules with a diesel 1. Change the oil frequently. 2. Never overheat the motor.

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Hmmm, either you were doing 90mph the whole way, or maybe you should take a look at the rings. My 84 with 170k gets 45mpg on the highway at 70mph.
Rose
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On 31 Oct 2003 10:30:02 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Rose Faex) wrote:

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there was a 2.2l? my 190D 2.0 used to get up to 70 miloes to the (imperial) gallon. 50 in more normal usage

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wrote:

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Its a diesel so its a 2.5L (5 cylinder)

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On Fri, 31 Oct 2003 22:11:25 -0800, "Kevin in San Diego"

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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (sdp1s) wrote in message
[...]

601 engine - 2.2L, no turbo, slow as molasses in January.
Rose
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