For vacation purposes, I bought a 1988 Mercedes 230 TE about four weeks
ago (mileage 220kkm). My original plan was to use it to pull my caravan
all around Spain and back, and then sell it. However, after 8000km of
driving the car, I have become addicted to driving around in my own taxi
From a cosmetics point of view, the car looks like new. It did develop
quite some quirks however during the trip:
- The thermostat is broken (This happened on the road, I short-circuited
it so the engine cooling would still work).
- The front-left brake does not work (it squeaks constantly, even when I
do not brake, and the car does not brake very well).
- The ASD light is on constantly, and if the car needs to deliver full
power for a prolonged period then the RS light will start to go on and off.
- The engine only runs smooth when asking a lot of power (i.e. almost
full throttle)... When I try to accelerate only slowly, the engine
mutters (I suspect this is ignition timing?).
Are these problems something to worry about? Can I fix them without
major investments (except for some weekends time)? Or should I sell the
car anyway and forget about it.
Thanks for your tips!
They're pretty good cars and with 220000 km yours is still a baby... ;)
Mmm, not good, you should fix this.
RS light is not a problem I guess. People here told me it's a bad
contact in the belt buckle. Doesn't sound serious. In my case the
problem went away all by itself.
Believe it or not, the ASD light on mine started giving problems too.
I'll have mine checked out at the garage soon. Anyway, it's orange so
not serious and it seems to me that the only problem is that the ASD
doesn't work anymore. No problem, most of these MB's don't even have ASD
I think these cars can be pretty good if you maintain them. My garage
specializes in them and they have a stock of 2nd hand parts which may
come in handy even if you choose to DIY. Maybe you should let them have
a look at it.
Our three weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency...
and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope....
Yes, I'd say it's worth keeping. The problems you describe seem minor.
But do take it to a reputable MB mechanic to do an inspection if you are
The thermostat should be an easy fix, and the brakes are a wear&tear
item, just needs maintenance.
Although the ABS light is not on, I'd check if the engine mutter and the
ASD light are not just due to the overvoltage relay getting old. If not
check the ASD sensor connections and the ASD relay as well.
In my opinion too, if the fuel filter is original, it's definitely time
to change it out.
Some other bits that may require attention over the next 100K km:
Fuses - change them out, especially if you see white stuff.
Serpentine belt + tensioner
Air conditioning *may* leak
Fuel pump relay and fuel pump
drive shaft rubber coupling
engine mounts and other rubber bushings on the suspension
Radiator (check neck for cracks!)
Head Gasket (check the compression)
Check timing chain too.
If yours is the self-leveling suspension, and is still OK, I'd inspect
the springs, so that they don't wear prematurely, especially if there
were many rough roads.
I would flush the hydraulics too. AT, PS, brakes and Suspension.
Seems like a long list, but relatively minor problems, and none
Other than that, enjoy your car!
'91 200E 320K km
BTW, wonder if you know just how indestructible it is, the links were
posted here a few days ago:
This sounds like a car that's been neglected for the last few years.
Fix it and keep it.
Thermostat is about US $20
LF Brake: Could be a bad (plugged) brake hose and / or stuck LF caliper
By poor braking do you mean too much foot pedal effort (brake booster)
or that the car doesn't slow as expected? If the latter fix the left
front and see how it is with 33% more braking effect before doing
Engine: do a tune up, add injector cleaner to the fuel
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