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Questions about 190s

190E (W201) 1982-1993: 190E 2.3, 190E 2.6, 190E 2.3-16, 190E 2.5-16, 190 D 2.2, 190 D 2.5, 190 D 2.5 TURBO, 190E 2.5-16 Evolution I, 190E 2.5-16 Evolution II

Questions about 190s

Old 04-11-2003, 12:55 AM
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86 Volvo 240 sedan
Questions about 190s

Hey guys. I'm considering buying a 190e, but I don't know what to look for. I know about the 190e 2.6, 2.3, and 2.3-16v.

Are there alot of common problems with these cars? I think a 2.3-16 would be ideal, but are there alot more problems with that model than the others?

Any reliability information would be great to know. Thanks!

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Old 04-11-2003, 08:44 AM
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2005 CL65 AMG
I can't think of any glaring reliability problems with the 190E but the A/C system is a weak point on most late 90's MBs


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Old 04-11-2003, 04:08 PM
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'85 190E 2.3-16 '99 C280 '11 GLK350
Actually the W201 chassis cars didn't suffer many unique problems. Most MB's of that vintage had less than adequate climate controls, valve seals that harden, and all of them from that era suffer from cruise control failures. About the only think I can think of that's unique to the W201 16 valve is that parts that are unique to that model (engine, suspension, interior)are much more expensive than the standard models.

Although smaller, the W201 was built like a tank but with one of the best suspension designs of that period. Originally, auto experts were worried that the "baby benz" wouldn't be a true Mercedes, but instead they were surprised by the build quality and engineering that went into the car. Design shortcomings might be the rear seat space and trunk access due to the high sill.
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Old 04-15-2003, 05:50 PM
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2008 SLK-280
My old 190E 2.6's transmission went out at 174,000 miles. That's the only problem it ever had. Still wish I had it. I have a 92 2.3 that isn't as reliable. It's only got 105,000 miles on it, too.
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Old 04-25-2003, 02:33 PM
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'03 BMW 330i ZHP / '06 Volvo V70R
Bought my 1990 190E in May 2000 with 108,000 miles. It has 167,000 miles now and has given me VERY little problems. I did however, pay top dollar for the car because it had an excellent history (no accidents, dealer serviced, etc). Paid 10,400 for it. A car like that at the time could have been had for 9K, but the extra money has been recovered in its reliability.

In all this time, I myself changed the oil every 3500 miles, two complete brake jobs, spark plugs, new power antenan mast (cheap), and replaced a window switch (cheap).

My mechanic changed the shocks all around, replaced the belt once, and replaced an alternator.

So basically, except for the alternator nothing has broken, just stuff wearing out. It has been incredible. Transmission is getting a bit jumpy on cold starts, and engien is eating a lot of oil (I think it's the valve stem seals). I will try to do this myself once I get my new car (no way in hell I am selling my 190E). My springs are starting to make some weird noises too. It's getting old but still doing great!

Only regret is not looking harder to find a manual transmission car. But that is ok, since I pick up my new BMW 330i in Germany in a couple of weeks.
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Old 05-21-2003, 01:08 PM
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2 other things to check

Some of the 2.6's develop head gasket leaks, which can be expensive to repair.

Some auto's have trouble with the flex disc.

Other than those, just routine stuff. These cars are great!
Like any used car, be sure to check records and have your mechanic go over the car, if possible.
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