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This may be my 1st and last MB

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E-Class (W212) 2010 - 2016: E 350, E 550

This may be my 1st and last MB

 
Old 12-22-2014, 03:54 PM
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2010 E350 Sedan, 2010 Prius II
This may be my 1st and last MB

Bought a 2010 E350 sport/prem 1 with 45k miles 4 months ago. Had the car checked out w/a mechanic and he gave it the green light. I've driven it 900 miles.

During that 4 month period, I've had to -

1. Get a transmission service due to a new leak
2. Replace the command control knob. I could slide it up and down but it was stripped when rotating. It worked when I bought it.
3. There is an intermittent grinding noise in the console where the sunroof and light controls are. Dealer said it is a fan in there to keep the enclosure cool. It's very annoying.
4. The driver side heated seat turns off after 5 seconds. It too was working when I bought the car.

I have no experience with MB beyond 4 months but I figure that a car that originally listed for 60k with only 45k miles on it, should not be having this many failures or these kinds of problems. I really love this car but don't want to spend more time and money on future problems. I'm 95% going to put it up for sale in the next few weeks depending on the cost to fix the heated seat.

My 2010 Prius with 90,000 miles has never given me one problem. Not one and all I've done is change the oil and tires. The first scheduled maintenance is just coming due now.
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Old 12-22-2014, 04:38 PM
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These cars are pretty bulletproof, but some people swear by extended warranties due to the cost of some repairs. Beyond the control knob known issue, I am unaware of anyone experiencing those other problems.

Unfortunately, the more a car costs, the higher the maintenance costs associated with it. It just goes with the territory. I have enjoyed the simplicity of Honda,Toyota, Acura, etc myself, but have had great and reliable Mercedes cars as well.

Was this an auction car by chance? I just hope you did not get passed a flood car that may continue to experience electrical gremlins like the seat heater issue or worse.
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Old 12-22-2014, 06:21 PM
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2014 E350 also restored: 1969 Camaro convertible SS 1957 Chevy Belair 2dr hardtop
I also have a feeling you bought a flood car. Have someone check it out and to look for water marks and water damage. If it is a flood car you have recourse to go back to where you bought it since they did not disclose it. Good luck.
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Old 12-22-2014, 06:28 PM
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Originally Posted by extremetm View Post
Bought a 2010 E350 sport/prem 1 with 45k miles 4 months ago. Had the car checked out w/a mechanic and he gave it the green light. I've driven it 900 miles.

During that 4 month period, I've had to -

1. Get a transmission service due to a new leak
2. Replace the command control knob. I could slide it up and down but it was stripped when rotating. It worked when I bought it.
3. There is an intermittent grinding noise in the console where the sunroof and light controls are. Dealer said it is a fan in there to keep the enclosure cool. It's very annoying.
4. The driver side heated seat turns off after 5 seconds. It too was working when I bought the car.

I have no experience with MB beyond 4 months but I figure that a car that originally listed for 60k with only 45k miles on it, should not be having this many failures or these kinds of problems. I really love this car but don't want to spend more time and money on future problems. I'm 95% going to put it up for sale in the next few weeks depending on the cost to fix the heated seat.

My 2010 Prius with 90,000 miles has never given me one problem. Not one and all I've done is change the oil and tires. The first scheduled maintenance is just coming due now.
Sorry to hear but you bought a 5 year old German car.

I could tell you horror stories about my last BMW that make your Mercedes issues look like minor service.

Take your own advice and sell it as you will never be happy.
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Old 12-22-2014, 06:33 PM
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2010 E350 Sedan, 2010 Prius II
I bought it from a reputable and very large Audi dealer for $23,300. The autocheck and carfax were clean and the MB dealer said it was a good car. I suppose a flood could have occurred and not reported but unlikely. I may take it back to the dealer and ask them to check for flood damage specifically.

It's a beauty and a dream to drive but I don't want a money pit either.

Last edited by extremetm; 12-22-2014 at 06:46 PM.
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Old 12-22-2014, 07:38 PM
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2010 E350, Sold 1998 C230
Originally Posted by extremetm View Post
I bought it from a reputable and very large Audi dealer for $23,300. The autocheck and carfax were clean and the MB dealer said it was a good car. I suppose a flood could have occurred and not reported but unlikely. I may take it back to the dealer and ask them to check for flood damage specifically.

It's a beauty and a dream to drive but I don't want a money pit either.
You can drive a toyota into the ground and it will still run all day long, not so much a Benz, let alone one of the newest versions.

If it is any consolation, you got a very good price on it if it was in clean shape with no damage or undue wear. I've also got a 2010 E350 and I love driving mine but I keep my fingers crossed that nothing breaks that I can't fix. I cut my teeth on a 16 year old c230, and while it was a good car, it needed tlc on a more routine basis than my old tundra.

Consumers reports actually gave the 2010-14 E class a good rating, so take it for what it is worth.
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Old 12-22-2014, 07:52 PM
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sorry about your experience, but the way I look at it is if I'm going to save A LOT of money by buying used, it would be prudent to save a little less and protect myself with a warranty.

I would recommend so in the future, parts and labor are expensive! Hope it works out
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Old 12-22-2014, 07:57 PM
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'10 W212 4matic P2-Distronic / '14 Cayenne / '04 X5 3.0 / '13 Altima
Originally Posted by extremetm View Post
I bought it from a reputable and very large Audi dealer for $23,300. The autocheck and carfax were clean and the MB dealer said it was a good car. I suppose a flood could have occurred and not reported but unlikely. I may take it back to the dealer and ask them to check for flood damage specifically.

It's a beauty and a dream to drive but I don't want a money pit either.
You got the car at a wholesale price, a car with those miles is going for 22000 - - 23000 at auction... If you want to spin it into a positive you paid about 2 grand or so less than retail so you are coming out even if you've put less than 2 grand into it
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Old 12-22-2014, 09:55 PM
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IMHO, besides the tranny. Not bad for a five year old car.
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Old 12-23-2014, 09:03 AM
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2008 E320 Bluetec (until 11/14), 2001 SLK 320, 2004 Volvo V70, 1972 MGB, 2013 E350
You could have bought a CPO car with at least a full 12 month warranty and lower mileage for about 25-26k from a Mercedes dealer.
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Old 12-23-2014, 10:01 AM
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2010 E350 Luxury Sedan
It's a European, specifically German, car which is also five years old and has 45,000 miles on it.
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Old 12-23-2014, 10:06 AM
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bone stock E55 AMG
plus it's 1st year model which is known to have issues...
fix it and u won't have issues for quite some time...
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Old 12-23-2014, 03:09 PM
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Good luck to the OP. I hope all your issues are resolved.
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Old 12-24-2014, 12:18 AM
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You can consider leasing MB after you get rid of this one. I did a similar mistake buying E430 long time ago. After 10 years the car looked much better than same age Toyota, however repair became really costly and I didn't fix some problems I could live with, like not working AC/ or dead pixels. Anyway I do not regret much about that experience, and I can admit that now MB are much more reliable, because I have almost zero problem in first 3 years ownership of current models
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Old 12-24-2014, 01:02 AM
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2008 S65 AMG
Mercedes as a toy car

I will throw in my two-cents about the experience with Mercedes.

Time when Mercedes was a reliable car is long gone and well in the past. I have two other (unbreakable) cars and I consider Mercedes (2003 CL600) to be my expensive toy car. When something breaks, car is in "limp mode" by design. That's the basic psychology behind design and marketing. If you want to drive a Mercedes, buy a new one and drive it for 3 years, then throw it away and get a brand new one again. That's the "program" Mercedes wants everybody on. Essentially, when your first set of tires wears out, throw the car away.

Lexus/Toyota, Acura/Honda are designed with a totally different philosophy in mind. There are only a few things that can stop these cars in their tracks: dead starter, empty tank of gas , dead battery. If anything else fails, car will keep running, maybe with some warning lights but it will keep going until you get to a safe place where you can fix it. There is no "limp mode" in Japanese car design. It is a total opposite compared to German car design in terms of drivability (and reliability). Also consider that German cars are typically 8-10 years old when they reach 60-70k miles and usually done at that point (time for an overhaul). Here in the US, that mileage is just the beginning for most drivers.

I have been stuck with a Mercedes "flashing" its limp mode more times than I care to admit. Fortunately, most times I was able to shut it off, count until 10, start the car again and keep driving. The sheer complexity of Mercedes design, a zillion of sensors and "moving parts" make it a Point of Failure Paradise after a certain point / mileage. My feel is that anything beyond 3-years old in the Mercedes world is a huge gamble which will require time, patience, money, more patience and lots of reading or Workshop Manuals.

I have read more from Workshop manuals in the past 3 years than in the past 14 before I owned a Mercedes.

Owning a Mercedes is - I will say it again - not only a function of money but also of time and patience. Really good mechanics are few and far in between and knowing a lot about the car and its dependencies and points of failure is a must.

The older the car is, the more abuse it has taken and the less serviced it will be. Basic service and maintenance is not enough for Mercedes. Electronic components, hydraulics and wearable mechanic "switches" and "springs" will wear on their own schedule and there is no technical guidance as to what to replace and when. Wait until it fails and hope you won't find yourself in a snowstorm when it does.

This experience with Mercedes makes it really - really - hard to think about getting another one. I am looking at several other cars as my "next ones" and most likely I will opt for another Acura (NSX, please or possibly Nissan GT-R.

Long time ago, Mercedes was the non-plus-ultra of technical car design and reliability (in the sense that you could keep it going forever - in theory). Those times are long gone. Even debugging a Mercedes has become very problematic. Without forums like this one it would be very difficult to "keep calm" and direct patience and mechanics in the right direction. Paying a lot of money for repairs does not mean that issues will be fixed because of complexity and dependencies.

Bottom line is, if you want a reliable Mercedes, get a brand new one and sell it before warranty expires. Or get one of those "boring" unbreakable cars from Toyota, Acura or Nissan (or Ford - if you don't mind the Shelby). For the record, I have driven Acuras for 600,000 miles+ without any significant issues, never got stuck, never had to read a technical manual, repairs were straightforward and without endless debugging. My expectation and definition of bulletproof goes beyond the idea of "warranty" of any sort.

Cost of repairs is a side show - I want to be clear about that. What is an issue is when a car cannot be driven or when it drives you nuts and you are not enjoying it.

If you want a Mercedes toy, then start reading the Workshop manual and start replacing the sensors and give it a "da*m good trashing" ))) as shown in this instructional video.


Last edited by CL600CK60V12; 12-24-2014 at 01:31 AM. Reason: md
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Old 12-24-2014, 05:27 AM
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2014 E63S, 2014 Acura MDX, 2008 Infiniti G35x
Sell it... I agree with above comment, you'll never be happy

Buy a honda
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Old 12-24-2014, 08:40 AM
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2008 E320 Bluetec (until 11/14), 2001 SLK 320, 2004 Volvo V70, 1972 MGB, 2013 E350
The most reliable car I have owned in the last 50 years was a 1976 Toyota SR5 wagon. It was indestructible. The least reliable was a 2000 Audi A6 2.7T. Do I want to drive either one of them? No, a Mercedes is about the way the car makes you feel. For years, I just looked at cars an appliance, except for my 72 MGB, until I bought new 99 C280. It changed my view of how a car should drive and what it should feel like. Cars will break, all things mechanical and electrical will break, but I am not going back to a 76 Toyota.
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Old 12-24-2014, 08:52 AM
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2008 S65 AMG
Feel

Yes, Mercedes is a lot about how it makes you feel - and about getting a new one frequently - plus exhilaration with driving experience and sheer joy there were no "white" or "red" messages at startup ))))

I totally agree with car not being just an "appliance". However, car should never - ever - leave you stuck and in a potentially dangerous situation because some sensor is misbehaving or the car "thinks" it is misbehaving.

If we go back to the "feel", I'd never step into a Mercedes again but I do like the V12 pull and the crazy idea that, yes, I can and will keep this Toy and the Beast going.

In the above situation, I'd try to talk to the dealer first. It seems unreasonable that car has such problems only 4 months after purchase, particularly a 2010 model. If Toy/Appliance ratio tends to tilt towards Appliance, selling a car is really the only smart option left.

Toy option is never smart but it can be fun. When my CL complains about something, I get it fixed and keep driving. I am not afraid of the Beast and I know that it can be fixed and I focus on the V12 toy factor.

Last edited by CL600CK60V12; 12-24-2014 at 09:34 AM. Reason: md
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Old 12-24-2014, 10:58 AM
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^ actually as you said a few posts back you should take it back to the Audi dealer you bought from and ask for help. It never hurts to see if they will help correct these issues at their cost. Good luck!
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Old 12-24-2014, 03:53 PM
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2015 E400 Coupe, and 2011 E350 Sedan
NEVER buy a non-CPO German automobile - ever.
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Old 12-24-2014, 06:04 PM
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Originally Posted by CL600CK60V12 View Post
If you want a Mercedes toy, then start reading the Workshop manual and start replacing the sensors and give it a "da*m good trashing" ))) as shown in this instructional video.

Basil Attacks His Car - Fawlty Towers - BBC - YouTube
Love your 'instructional video' !!! We have the entire series on DVDs. Priceless British comedy !!!!
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Old 12-25-2014, 01:12 AM
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I owned two German-made cars in the past 15 years. First one was a BMW and now the CL. BMW, though it was fun to drive on a dry road, it was turning into a scary drive as soon as the rain started. This was before the x-drive or whatever they call it. Once I sold it, I never looked at BMW again.

Overall, I like the CL but the more I learn about the car and Mercedes "thinking" that went into it, it became clear to me that I have actually purchased a very fast and stylish beach transportation.

What I absolutely dislike about Mercedes is the notion that you can take it to service, pay a lot of money for "repairs" and still end up with a car that is not drivable and which still has issues which repairs were supposed to fix. Even with codes, scanners, manuals, most technicians seem to operate in the automaton mode, focused on replacing the part without even thinking about dependencies.

This thinking makes me very uncomfortable - and very unlikely to spend my money on a new vehicle at Mercedes. In that price range, one can choose among a number or fun cars to drive - and with better service. I want to drive and enjoy the car. If it costs $$$$, so be it but I do not want to have to think "how many miles before car breaks down completely".

Being stuck on the road is not part of my idea of what a car ownership should be. That just plain sucks. Replacing the car once when first set of tires needs to be replaced does not send a message "I want to do this again and again" (in terms of car ownership).

A lot of design decisions that went into the CL are just plain horrible and I don't even mean the ABC. What is much - MUCH - worse than the ABC is the entire ESP, the stupid "limp mode" design thinking, the million-point-of-failure design. ABC is simple - in relative terms. ESP is plain horrendous and seems to have been designed to keep Mercedes technicians busy. A true couple and a GT should be able to drive even without an ESP or with ESP completely disengaged. Based on what I read in other threads, these issues are not limited to one model or particular year but seem to be "part of the design."

Fortunately, I have two other very reliable cars and both are fun to drive, so the CL will remain a "project" and an ongoing battle - with fun drives in between.

Last edited by CL600CK60V12; 12-25-2014 at 01:51 AM.
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Old 12-25-2014, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by CL600CK60V12 View Post
I will throw in my two-cents about the experience with Mercedes.

Time when Mercedes was a reliable car is long gone and well in the past. I have two other (unbreakable) cars and I consider Mercedes (2003 CL600) to be my expensive toy car. When something breaks, car is in "limp mode" by design. That's the basic psychology behind design and marketing. If you want to drive a Mercedes, buy a new one and drive it for 3 years, then throw it away and get a brand new one again. That's the "program" Mercedes wants everybody on. Essentially, when your first set of tires wears out, throw the car away.

Also consider that German cars are typically 8-10 years old when they reach 60-70k miles and usually done at that point (time for an overhaul). Here in the US, that mileage is just the beginning for most drivers.

My feel is that anything beyond 3-years old in the Mercedes world is a huge gamble which will require time, patience, money, more patience and lots of reading or Workshop Manuals.

I have read more from Workshop manuals in the past 3 years than in the past 14 before I owned a Mercedes.

Owning a Mercedes is - I will say it again - not only a function of money but also of time and patience. Really good mechanics are few and far in between and knowing a lot about the car and its dependencies and points of failure is a must.

The older the car is, the more abuse it has taken and the less serviced it will be. Basic service and maintenance is not enough for Mercedes. Electronic components, hydraulics and wearable mechanic "switches" and "springs" will wear on their own schedule and there is no technical guidance as to what to replace and when. Wait until it fails and hope you won't find yourself in a snowstorm when it does.

Long time ago, Mercedes was the non-plus-ultra of technical car design and reliability (in the sense that you could keep it going forever - in theory). Those times are long gone. Even debugging a Mercedes has become very problematic. Without forums like this one it would be very difficult to "keep calm" and direct patience and mechanics in the right direction. Paying a lot of money for repairs does not mean that issues will be fixed because of complexity and dependencies.

Bottom line is, if you want a reliable Mercedes, get a brand new one and sell it before warranty expires.


If you want a Mercedes toy, then start reading the Workshop manual and start replacing the sensors and give it a "da*m good trashing" ]
Summarized a bit, I agree with some, but for sure don't agree with these cars as being a throw a way or done at 80K.


What I've noticed is that it seems most of the folks on this forum are deathly afraid of what might happen when something breaks on one of these w212 cars if they don't have some sort of full warranty coverage to back them up. Coming from the w202 community, nobody had any sort of warranty and the general consensus was that if something breaks or you need to have maintenance done, you would be much better off if you did it yourself or took it to a good indy mechanic. I've been doing most of my own maintenance on all my vehicles for the last 40 years, and while I'm no pro, I can do a good amount of the common stuff like spark plug changes, brakes, belts, hoses and even charge up A/C systems.

To say that MB is building a car that can only last 50K miles before you need to toss it is pretty ridiculous, especially since they cost well over 50 grand. That doesn't make much sense as a business model especially since they have to compete with every other manufacturer making cars close to that price range. From what I have seen of MB cars (neighbor has a 2003 clk320), they are actually designed to facilitate routine maintenance. Somebody should have explained this to Ford when they designed their trucks so that removing the back sets of plugs involved laying across the engine after you removed half of it that interfered. That is just one example, but from working on Benz's for the last couple of years and working on a Volvo for about 12 years, I can tell you that Euro cars actually have more thought put into them regarding how this thing will need to be fixed than American cars for sure and maybe some of the Japanese cars as well.

For sure, the quality of all cars has gone up in the last ten years and much more so in the last 20-30. The 80's and 90's American cars were mostly the pits. The Japanese led the change, we followed. The Europeans also had their fair share of clunkers. Anybody have a Saab? Even brands like Acura had problems. Wife had a 2003 that had one of their infamous bad 5 speed trans-axles go at about 63K. Thankfully Acura picked up the bill on that one, would have been about 3500. We ended up dumping it after that for a 2006 since they had gotten past those problems and it has been mostly trouble free. Though I have had to replace the blue-tooth unit as well as send out the nav DVD player to be fixed. Don't know what those two would have cost, but I would guess 3-400 on the bluetooth and probably 500+ on the Nav DVD. I think it cost me about 100 for the bluetooth and 250 for the Nav rebuild. My Toyota has had a long standing issue with draining it's battery if left sitting. Never been able to find out where the issue is. It can kill a battery in a year. Now it sits with a plug in battery maintainer and I don't worry about it or replace batteries. It has also had a bad sensor for TPMS and the winshield washer for years, I just don't pay much attention, it still starts and drives fine.

I priced out extended maintenance plans on this 2010 E. Looked to be about 1200 bucks a year. Ouch. If nothing breaks then you just pissed away 1200 for some peace of mind, just for a year. Then you start over. I decided to hold on to my money and if anything breaks, I'll fix it myself or take it to a local shop that specializes in MB. If I spend less than 1200, I'm ahead. I'm hoping it's a lot less. I'm keeping my fingers crossed, I could be wrong, but I hope not. I could have bought a new Honda or Mazda 6 for what I spent on this car, but neither of those drove like this E class or had all the nice equipment in it. This is a quality built car, complicated for sure, but still well designed and well made. I'll keep up with all the routine maintenance including the oil changes, filters and belts as well as flushing brakes, etc.

So I would tell the OP if he is still listening is that if you are uncomfortable with doing your own work or feel that only a dealer can be trusted with your baby and in the same breath don't want to spend the money, then by all means sell it and get your Honda, Nissan, Subaru etc. Everything breaks, everything needs to be fixed at some point. It's just that MB will charge you out the @$$ for any new parts or labor compared to other more common makes. And I don't think these new E's are any more or less complicated or problematic than a comparable Acura or Ford. They just charge less for parts and labor.

Last edited by aquinob; 12-25-2014 at 08:12 AM.
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Old 12-25-2014, 10:47 AM
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AQUINOB: "Even brands like Acura had problems. Wife had a 2003 that had one of their infamous bad 5 speed trans-axles go at about 63K. Thankfully Acura picked up the bill.
MB cars are actually designed to facilitate routine maintenance.
And I don't think these new E's are any more or less complicated or problematic than a comparable Acura or Ford. They just charge less for parts and labor."

Acura picked up the bill at 63,000 miles for trans-axel! Once warranty is up, MB will not pick up anything unless there is a recall or TSB on it and even then very limited.

MB's have very complicated maintenance procedures. The cabin filter is a prime example. Read the threads here about how to do it. Very complicated compared to other manufacturers. MB's require far more transmission, brake, etc. other services as well.

Can't speak for Fords, but Asian cars have far fewer problems. And it does cost far less to repair if something happens. Labor costs are also far more expensive than American and Asian makes. Partly due to greater length of time to perform a service.

I still like my E350, but it is what it is.
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Old 12-25-2014, 11:13 AM
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If you think MB parts are priced sky high, look at other brands. My wife's old Golf had sky high priced parts and labor rates to match. We also spent lots of money on Toyota repairs when we were younger and needed something "reliable". One poster mentioned MB "limp mode" being a horrible design. That's not unique to MB. I've experienced that in at least one of my many past BMW's where they employ a similar design. Then there's the well known BMW high pressure fuel pump reliability issues, M3 connecting rod bearing problems and others. Every car (make/model) has its warts. I don't find MB particularly different compared to some other brands.
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