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New member, please forgive if redundant topic. Looking into newer diesel MB model in the 98-00 vintage. I understand 98 model is utilizes turbo engine vs. 97 norm. aspir. version. Purchasing for longevity (I drive typically 20k+ m/year). Drove my fair share of Domestic brands, none hold up for me past 130k+ m w/o major, costly problems. I've always heard diesels were great mileage (both total m and mpg), but usually only hear about older models (pre-90).

What can you tell me re: newer diesel models? Long life expected as on older models ?Will I be happier? What is typical maintenance like, and how often? Willing to make initial investment if I can get longevity.

Sorry if these are seemingly stupid questions, but not sure if I want to make brand and fuel change-over to diesel (from gasoline-only owned vehilcles). Thanks for thoughts/comments from similar folks who made the "jump".
 

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Mike, welcome!

I am hoping to make the same purchase, and have done some cursory research as well. You are correct in the post-97 diesels being turbos. I cannot speak for there longevity, as five years is not really a long time. I do however have experience with mercedes diesels and thus far, longevity and reliability are not issues for such a car (208,000 on my '87 and 130,000 on my '93). The non-turbo diesels are supposed to be peppy, but the turbo is a must for me. I have been trying to dig up dirt on these models, but with little luck. I have found a couple questions of vibration for the w210 body that seem to be motor mount related, but at mileage that mount should be replaced at anyway.

I am looking forward to getting the newer styling, leather interior, and bose sound system. I also fully expect the cars to be as reliable as previous experience. The only thing holding me back at the moment is lack of available cash for the car (don't believe in financing).

If you find any problems with this model, please post them.

-Neil
 

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Hi Mike,

I bought a Starmark Certified 1999 E300TD with 49,000 miles and am very happy with it.

On the repair invoice it mentioned that the motor mounts had been replaced along with the serpentine belt tensioner.

I also have the Mercedes WIS (Factory Shop Manual) for it and have looked the engine over thoroughly "on paper" as well as in person.

Compared to other diesels such as VW, the Mercedes uses a timing chain rather than a belt to run the camshaft and injection pump. This doesn't require replacement like the belts which go for around 80,000 miles.

The engine oil cooler, transmission cooler, and turbo intercooler are all very well-sized and I think offer "overcapacity" well into the conservative range. Power from the motor (174hp) comes on strong at low revs and pulls like no tomorrow. I don't notice any "lag".

Engine oil change intervals are monitored by the FSS (Flexible Service System) which measures oil quality by its electrical capacitance. Depending on driving style, it varies the replacement interval from 7,500-11,000 miles. As a DIY task, the oil change seems simple enough. Automatic transmission fluid is considered "Lifetime Filled" but provision is made for replacement as well.

Overall, a tremendously solid-feeling vehicle. Definitely the finest sedan I've ever owned. I would highly recommend it.
 

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Hi: As you have found only 96-00 E models available in diesel. The 98 I think has some nice improvements such as 5 speed transmission along with more power with very little or no decrease in fuel mileage. There are some other subtle changes with the remote locking and some others that you can probably access via the MB-USA website in the model overview area. The 99 added head curtain air bags, a small cargo net and a different radio format. I would suggest either a 98 or 99 depending on condition, mileage, and equipment. There was supposed to be a E diesel last year (03) but it was pulled with supposedly an 04 diesel to come. Have to wait and see. Models with the flexible service system have been given an extra warranty (I would have to find my letter in the car) covering the engine for I think 150K for any damage due to oil sludge which occurred in some cases when non synthetic oil was used for the extended oil change interval. I think he wording is vague enough that any damage that could be lubricant related could possibly be covered. I love my 98 and it is the first car that I have owned that I like more the longer I own it.

Good Luck, Bob
 

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Man, that IS good news! My wife and I would love the five speed, and the side curtains are important to me due to the way my father was killed. Were the five-sppeds that common (I assume we are talking US spec), and were they continued in '99?

Yes, I have read about the 04 diesel, and they do sound swweet, but I would have a problem meeting the $64,000 sticker as well as the fact that they will not be available in California. Used Mer-b diesels will have to hold me over for now.
-Neil
 

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DOH! I was thinking of a manual transmission! I guess they still aren't importing those...
 

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I bought a 98 E300 TD in June. At the time it had 262000 miles. I changed the oil a week after I got it home with Mobile 1 which the previous owner used from day one. It has 272000 miles on it today and the dip stick hasn't moved a noticable amount. (Getting ready to chang it again.) It has the 5 speed automatic and the car flat out hauls ass! I love this thing. Just took a trip from Dallas to Houston on I45, if you havn't run this race track yet it really moves, and you're not the only one. Averaged between 90-100MPH most of the way when it was safe and pulled up the pump.....30MPG. Love it, love it, love it.
 
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