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

Newbie needs sticky advise

 
Old 07-09-2019, 12:56 AM
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Thinking E350
Newbie needs sticky advise

Looking at new rides. 2015-2016. Considering Lexus IS 350, GS 350, Infiniti Q70. Just got the latest Consumer Reports. The MB E350 2015 and 2016 are rated better than both the Lexus and Infiniti. I work on my own cars, but I never would've believed a MB would be rated better than the jap cars for reliability. I always though the MB was so far ahead on the cusp of technology, they weren't reliable past a two year lease. Drive train, body integrity, fine. But all the bells and whistles, the flash, would break.

I was hoping the forum would have a Sticky addressing the common issues to look for.

Did I miss it?

BTW, I realized on this forum the 2015 and 2016 are the W212 and W213, but Consumer Reports ranks them the same. It's driving me crazy.

Thanks,

Alan

Last edited by acelottski; 07-09-2019 at 12:58 AM.
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Old 07-09-2019, 01:33 AM
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2008 E350 4Matic, 2011 E350 4matic
The W213 in the US started in the 2017 model year. So 2015-2016 is still W212. The early 2010-2013 models had their share of problems and some even lasted til 2014-2015. But mostly minor. Like faded wood trim which was supposedly fixed after the first couple years but some still report fading, but they're in really sunny climates. Only covered under factory warranty, not covered under extended or CPO warranty. Not super major comes to mind, but if you can swing it, try for a 2016 so you're more likely to get a shot at Apple Carplay/Android Auto.
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Old 07-09-2019, 08:11 AM
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The fact that you work on your own cars, makes the 212 that much more appealing. Personally, even though Iíve had a couple of annoying issues with mine, theyíre annoyances more than anything else (like lose trunk lid spoiler, bent rims, lousy brake pads). But at the end of the day, when I get in it and pull out of the garage, thereís just nothing else like it. That feeling of driving a thick-gauge steel German road machine just canít be matched by most, and certainly not by anything from Japan. Not knocking Japan, their offerings are quite stellar too, as we all know. But when you drive a Benz, you know itís a Benz.

The 212 doesnít pretend to be something that itís not. Yes it has tech in it, but itís not in your face like everything else is now a days. Itís there, quietly working in the back ground and needing little input from you.

Think of it like this - in my opinion of course - the 212 is like that subtle leather-band gentlemanís high-end watch. Looks good and feels right with a tux or a pair of jeans and your favorite football teamís sweatshirt. Itís got serious class appeal over the latest tech-coolness gadget appeal. The 212 has that sense of heritage that reminds me of the older years when ďSELĒ was in the name.

Now the new 213 series...Iím not so sure about yet.

Ive had 0% electronic issues with mine. Only issue was a dead aux battery in the trunk for the auto hold feature at stop lights. $65 and 20 minutes of my time, fixed. And a bad speaker in the rear, fixed as well.
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Old 07-09-2019, 11:28 AM
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2016 E350 Sport... 2001 C320 Avant Garde...
Originally Posted by acelottski View Post
Looking at new rides. 2015-2016. Considering Lexus IS 350, GS 350, Infiniti Q70. Just got the latest Consumer Reports. The MB E350 2015 and 2016 are rated better than both the Lexus and Infiniti. I work on my own cars, but I never would've believed a MB would be rated better than the jap cars for reliability. I always though the MB was so far ahead on the cusp of technology, they weren't reliable past a two year lease. Drive train, body integrity, fine. But all the bells and whistles, the flash, would break.

I was hoping the forum would have a Sticky addressing the common issues to look for.

Did I miss it?
Every forum at MBWorld has a sticky threat at the top listing known service bulletins from MB.

Will you buy a W212 with every item mentioned in that thread? No, you won't. My 2016 has served nearly 4-years now (come October), without any fault whatsoever. YMMV

Is the Consumer Reports comparison article somewhere online? Link, please?
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Old 07-10-2019, 10:51 AM
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I don't have a thread, but I have the 2019 Consumer Reports Auto Issue. That's where I saw the ratings.

Thanks and I'll look for the service bulletin sticky.

I appreciate your time and feedback. I'm going to go look at one today.
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Old 07-10-2019, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by cetialpha5 View Post
Not super major comes to mind, but if you can swing it, try for a 2016 so you're more likely to get a shot at Apple Carplay/Android Auto.
FWIW, wireless CarPlay/Android Auto is now a fairly easy mod (plug-and-play) for our W212s with Command 4.5/4.7. I installed the JoyeAuto unit in my 2014 and will be posting a DIY when I get a chance.

It's funny, my wife is out driving the E350 while I have "her" GL because she likes the CarPlay so much. (Yes, I've ordered a 2nd unit for the GL.)

Last edited by cadetdrivr; 07-10-2019 at 12:21 PM.
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Old 07-10-2019, 02:31 PM
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W212 E550 4M P2
I bought my 2012 W212 in ~2015 and it's been very good to me (knock on wood). At the time of my purchase, the W212 was highly regarded by CR, JD Power, USA Today (who knew they were into ratings?), etc. I only follow CR these days and the W212 still rates highly. See post #32: https://mbworld.org/forums/c-class-w...0-coupe-2.html

For what it's worth (and since you didn't pay for my non-expert opinion this may not worth much!), it appears to me that Infiniti is losing / has lost its reliability touch. It used to be right up there behind Lexus and Acura. Infiniti has fallen behind.

However, I'd bet my proverbial lunch on impressive reliability results of nearly every Lexus model with the exceptions being their newly released forced induction models (more of a knock on it being new tech for them and less on forced induction overall).
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Old 07-10-2019, 03:00 PM
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Consumer Reports Auto Issue will report cars of those years still under warranty, what not necessarily have to apply when you buy used car with some years and mileage on it.
When 99% of owners appreciate new technology, some people still prefer dial phones over androids so you will find negative response.
Beware that in last years, MB (and others) made SCN coding on replacement modules, what makes DIY repairs so much harder to do.
Still I love my 2014 diesel and not plan to replace it sooner till proven self-driven model will come on the market.
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Old 07-10-2019, 03:24 PM
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I agree. I was surprised the Infiniti Q70 got such poor ratings, while the Q50 was ranked higher, despite having the same drive train.

The Lexus is a big temptation and reliable, but for the money they want for an IS or GS, I can step up to an E350.
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Old 07-10-2019, 03:35 PM
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If you spend a lot of time on the highway at speed you will find the E class to be a great driver's car. It sucks up the miles with no drama as that is what these cars were designed for. They just fly down the highway.
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Old 07-10-2019, 03:39 PM
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Just made the 7 hour trip to Florida last week. Rear wheel drive and a good road car are requirements. I appreciate the insight.
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Old 07-11-2019, 12:28 AM
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My personal record in MB is 1800 miles in single trip (2 time zones) and 2300 miles in 2 days (leaving Chicago with big hangover). You don't do things like that in just any car.
But I am biased as I buy cheap MB for few % of their original price, what for years made the brand the cheapest to drive ever.
Lately new technology backfired a bit on me, but still even the 60 mpg car makes only 40 under my foot, I am saving tons of money on fuel alone.
Infiniti always brings my attention with the body design, but never had a will to drive one. Too few dealers who can supply parts or service.
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Old 07-11-2019, 05:09 AM
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'76 Triumph TR6, '14 W212 Sport, '09 Audi S5 4.2
We bought our '14 in '17 as an off-lease, CPO. Still under ELW but unless someone else is footing the bill, I do all my own work, too. We have racked up a stupid amount of miles on the car due to the fact that my wife works 2.5 hours from home - just broke 90K, did almost 40K the first year we had it. She's been working from home more and more.

I wouldn't say it's been trouble-free, but it has been pretty good so far. What frightens me is what's waiting to break until the week after that ELW runs out.

We had to get the engine rebuilt at 50K. Factory defect, engines built with incorrectly machined pistons at the wrist pin bores. I dunno, not really sure that counts as unreliable.

Both seats (MB Tex) did split, one replaced under CPO the other I had a local shop fix for like $50.

Had it in multiple times for the COMAND locking up, restarting, freezing. Ended up replacing the entire COMAND unit and that's been good.

Replaced HPFP and water pump also under ELW, I had a ticking noise under the hood.

They also put in a new alternator and differential seals "while we're in there" when they had the engine out for rebuild.

Steering wheel wouldn't move down. No word of lie, the service workorder stated "steering wheel motor locked up. Hit with hammer. Working." Needless to say that's still an occasional problem.

TONS AND TONS of bent wheels. By now I've probably bought or repaired over a dozen. I'm basically budgeting $200/mo for wheels on this thing. Also, due to the weight and the low-profile/UHP tires, I don't think I've gotten more than 20-25000 miles out of a set of tires. I've stopped buying the expensive Pirellis and Michelins and now it gets cheap Chinese knockoffs.

I've had good luck with brakes, this weekend I'm doing my 2nd brake job (don't know if any were done prior to me getting it) and replacing the original factory rotors for the first time. Also my 2nd brake fluid flush / bleed.

My wood isn't too bad, a little faded, but not worth $1800 to fix. I actually built a veneer press in my basement for building dashboards for my old British cars, one day I might try my hand at a custom wood veneer.

A ,lot of this stuff honestly, I probably wouldn't have bothered fixing if MB wasn't footing the bill for it.

I find service to be very expensive. This little V6 holds A LOT of MB-spec full synthetic oil. With as many miles as we put on it those 10,000-mile services come up fast and just the oil change is about $100. And jeez, $60 for wiper blades?!?!? And by the way, I am doing all the service myself. Luckily MB did the plugs at 50K while the engine was getting rebuilt (and of course fresh oil, coolant, etc) but otherwise that's all me.

That's all I can think of for now. Just going off memory.
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Old 07-11-2019, 09:56 AM
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My 2012 E350 was also a off-lease CPO. ELW expired at the end of March. In the nearly five years of ownership I have replaced the battery and a set of tires.

Personally, I would not buy a Lexus, Infinity, or Acura. I cannot see the point of buying a Toyota, Nissan, or Honda for even more money. I am also not impressed with the looks. The E class is not an expensive version of something else.

I love the looks of my W212, and may or may not get used to the W213 look. The W213 has interior issues that I do not like. For example, the wide centre console which leaves no room for my right knee, and the windshield angle that is different where my head is in the way every time I want to use the visor.

Since you work on cars, I would get one with a full service history and ignore CR. I still enjoy my car every time I drive it, and that is why I will keep it!
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Old 07-11-2019, 09:07 PM
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So I looked at it today. Super clean, good looking car. Light interior, which you need here in South Carolina.

Here's the link to the dealer's website. They've been around forever and I have other friends that bought from them, so I'm comfortable with their reputation and business practices.

Please look at the Car Fax maintenance notes. I'm thinking some of the reprogramming are updates, but I'm concerned about the radio being replaced, and more so, the transmission mounts being replaced with only 48k miles. Because of the transmission mounts being replaced, I'm thinking of asking them to put it on a lift to check for other damage.

What do you think? I'm going to drive it tomorrow.

https://philipsautos.com/2016-Merced...7/Details.aspx
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Old 07-11-2019, 09:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Darel View Post
We bought our '14 in '17 as an off-lease, CPO. Still under ELW but unless someone else is footing the bill, I do all my own work, too. We have racked up a stupid amount of miles on the car due to the fact that my wife works 2.5 hours from home - just broke 90K, did almost 40K the first year we had it. She's been working from home more and more.

I wouldn't say it's been trouble-free, but it has been pretty good so far. What frightens me is what's waiting to break until the week after that ELW runs out.

We had to get the engine rebuilt at 50K. Factory defect, engines built with incorrectly machined pistons at the wrist pin bores. I dunno, not really sure that counts as unreliable.

Both seats (MB Tex) did split, one replaced under CPO the other I had a local shop fix for like $50.

Had it in multiple times for the COMAND locking up, restarting, freezing. Ended up replacing the entire COMAND unit and that's been good.

Replaced HPFP and water pump also under ELW, I had a ticking noise under the hood.

They also put in a new alternator and differential seals "while we're in there" when they had the engine out for rebuild.

Steering wheel wouldn't move down. No word of lie, the service workorder stated "steering wheel motor locked up. Hit with hammer. Working." Needless to say that's still an occasional problem.

TONS AND TONS of bent wheels. By now I've probably bought or repaired over a dozen. I'm basically budgeting $200/mo for wheels on this thing. Also, due to the weight and the low-profile/UHP tires, I don't think I've gotten more than 20-25000 miles out of a set of tires. I've stopped buying the expensive Pirellis and Michelins and now it gets cheap Chinese knockoffs.

I've had good luck with brakes, this weekend I'm doing my 2nd brake job (don't know if any were done prior to me getting it) and replacing the original factory rotors for the first time. Also my 2nd brake fluid flush / bleed.

My wood isn't too bad, a little faded, but not worth $1800 to fix. I actually built a veneer press in my basement for building dashboards for my old British cars, one day I might try my hand at a custom wood veneer.

A ,lot of this stuff honestly, I probably wouldn't have bothered fixing if MB wasn't footing the bill for it.

I find service to be very expensive. This little V6 holds A LOT of MB-spec full synthetic oil. With as many miles as we put on it those 10,000-mile services come up fast and just the oil change is about $100. And jeez, $60 for wiper blades?!?!? And by the way, I am doing all the service myself. Luckily MB did the plugs at 50K while the engine was getting rebuilt (and of course fresh oil, coolant, etc) but otherwise that's all me.

That's all I can think of for now. Just going off memory.

Wait, what? Engine rebuilt for fault pistons? I have a 2014 as well and it too has the ticking noise that I figured was normal? Would like to know more if you have any info?
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Old 07-11-2019, 09:20 PM
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Well it looks like your basic E350, no pano, no lighting package, no driver assistance, no parktronic, etc, but at least it has keyless go. It's pretty common for the motor mounts/transmission mounts to go on MB's. I'd be more concerned about the motor mounts as they're much more difficult than the transmission mount. The transmission mount is just a 20 minute job, the motor mounts can take hours as you have to remove stuff lots of stuff like alternator, exhaust etc to get at the mount.
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Old 07-11-2019, 09:25 PM
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Was just looking at the maintenance sticky; is it time for spark plugs and transmission fluid change at 48k? I was thinking of working that and a couple oil changes into the deal. They knew about the felt filter and the amount of synthetic to put in it. Said it cost $150 per oil change.

Will the motor mounts be visible from underneath?

And what the heck? Don't most vehicles do 100k+ without trans and motor mount problems?
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Old 07-11-2019, 09:33 PM
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I agree. I drove the Infiniti Q50. Loved the performance, but it rode harsher than I liked. Plus the rear seating space was a little tight.

I appreciate the link. I'll read it now.
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Old 07-11-2019, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by acelottski View Post
Was just looking at the maintenance sticky; is it time for spark plugs and transmission fluid change at 48k? I was thinking of working that and a couple oil changes into the deal. They knew about the felt filter and the amount of synthetic to put in it. Said it cost $150 per oil change.

Will the motor mounts be visible from underneath?

And what the heck? Don't most vehicles do 100k+ without trans and motor mount problems?
I had to do mine on my W211 at 60k. They're liquid filled motor mounts. Depends how bumpy the ride is. Most vehicles don't use liquid filled motor mounts although many of them are starting to. Spark plugs are at 60k. Transmission I think is 70k, but you'd have to look at the booklet.

As I mentioned before, I'm not too crazy about it because it basically has no options, it's basically a base model car.
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Old 07-11-2019, 09:35 PM
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Meant to add, I considered the next Infiniti up, the Q70, but even though it shared the same drivetrain as the Q50, Consumer Reports torched it.
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Old 07-11-2019, 09:35 PM
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It's usually hard to tell if the motor mount is crushed or not, you usually tell when it's removed and you can see the old is lower than the new one. It can be diagnosed though, usually you get more vibrations.
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Old 07-11-2019, 09:42 PM
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Believe it or not, I like that it's lower optioned. To me, less to go wrong. I think I would enjoy the light package, but happy I don't have to worry about air suspension, S series?, and the like.

I'm moving to a newer car because I'm tired of the next thing going wrong on my current vehicles. Plus I'm 55 and I'm ready to take the step up. Always thought a Benz was for the pretentious that had money, but didn't know how to drive. But this car turns me on. And I have to admit, the ego stroke doesn't hurt. I just want to be sure my emotions aren't overriding my common sense. And it's in the budget I set.

Last edited by acelottski; 07-11-2019 at 09:52 PM.
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Old 07-11-2019, 09:46 PM
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Hey, at least it's a Sport? Will that mean a tighter ride, or is it just trim and appearance?
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Old 07-11-2019, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by acelottski View Post
Believe it or not, I like that it's lower optioned. To me, less to go wrong. I think I would enjoy the light package, but happy I don't have to worry about air suspension, S series?, and the like.

I'm moving to a newer car because I'm tired of the next thing going wrong on my current vehicles. Plus I'm 55 and I'm ready to take the step up. Always thought a Benz was for the pretentious that had money, but didn't know how to drive. But this car turns me on. And I have to admit, the ego stroke doesn't hurt. I just want to be sure my emotions aren't overriding my common sense. And it's in the budget I set.
Air suspension wasn't really an option on the E350. The other options like parktronic, pano roof etc are somewhat more reliable. I have those options on mine and they still work fine. The issues you run into like the motor mounts affect all of them. It's one thing that I'm somewhat annoyed at, they're supposed to be luxury cars, but most people buy them without any luxury options. You can get things like the driver's assistance package on a Toyota now.

Sport option was pretty common, mostly meant that the suspension was lowered about an inch over the luxury suspension. Technically I think it makes it worse as there's lots of threads on here about people getting bent 17/18/19 inch rims. Two of my 17 inch rims got bent, but didn't get any tire blowouts yet. Had two tire blowouts on my W211 with 18 inch rims. Had one cracked and 4 bent rims on the 18 inch so far. Roads here are terrible.
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