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Advice needed - C320 CDI

Discussion in 'General Mercedes-Benz Related Discussion' started by hoopyfrood, Apr 3, 2014.

  1. hoopyfrood

    hoopyfrood New Member

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    Joined:
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    Location:
    Norfolk
    Your Mercedes:
    W210 E300 CDi 1998
    Evening guys and gals,

    Apologies if this is in the wrong place but I need a few pointers please on a car I'm looking at purchasing....namely a C320 CDi on an 05 plate at 135k miles...

    I'm in need of a motor that's going to be bullet proof, last a lot of miles and keep me entertained, all with a reasonable fuel bill and this motor has just floated across my radar.

    Originally (and tomorrow) I was/am looking 530d and they offer me a few advantages, namely I've owned 4 before an kinda know what I'm looking for....I can't though say the same here so questions....

    1) I can dial into the OBD on a 530 and it tells me things regarding servicing and the DPF, can't seem to do that on the C320 so...How long does the DPF last? Est cost?

    2) To keep costs down I plan on doing a lot of service and basic works myself, I have basic knowledge and experience but is the servicing straightforward or unadvisable for something with good mechanical knowledge.

    3) Reliability? It's been pretty well kept till now by independent garages and at 135k I suspect it's now wanted for much. I had an old E-class which was utter dire. Have they improved much?

    4) What do I need to be looking for with this particular model? Anything specific?

    5) Diagnostic tools? What does anyone recommend and how much?

    I know I'm asking a lot but I want to be doubly sure on this car, the warranty on offer isn't up to much (£500 max insurance claim) and I would like to avoid any "interesting surprises" after I've bought it...

    Any help greatly appreciated.
     
  2. SortedE320

    SortedE320 Senior Member

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    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2013
    Location:
    On the road to Oban, Scotland
    Your Mercedes:
    2008 W211 E320CDI SPORT 7-G WAGON & 1998 R170
    Just had a rear wiper motor die on mine, which shouldn't really happen at 6-years-old; but other than it has been very reliable in terms of turn the key and GTF.

    I went for the E320 Sport as it offers the best blend of luxury and performance and is the driver's car of the range, IMHO. Think they call it AMG trim now and another 000 to the price.

    The car needs to be slammed and rolling on 18" rims -- or I'd rather just have a Skoda and be done with it, driving that is...

    Happy hunting and pay close attention to all to the wear consumables and listen carefully for grumbling wheel bearings and the like. Professional inspection prior to purchase would offer some peace and mind and potential come back.

    SE320.
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2014
  3. MBDevotee

    MBDevotee Active Senior Members

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    Joined:
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    Location:
    Yeovil
    Your Mercedes:
    53 270CDI CLK Avantguard + ML500 with LPG
    Modern diesels are actually less reliable than petrols.

    Ultra high stress's, high loads, High pressure common rails, swirl flap ingestion, DPF's etc etc.....

    I had a W208 CLK 320 petrol before my current W209 270CDi diesel.

    In the 4 years and many miles I owned the petrol I spent on 2 tyres (not reliability) and one seat motor.

    On the CLK diesel in the 2 yrs I've had it I've spent:-

    Black death - all 5 injectors now replaced @ £250 per time inc labour
    New High Pressure fuel pump (leaking badly) £250
    Water pump £150

    I average 41mpg in the diesel (@ 1.37 per litre that means it costs me approx 15.1 p per litre in fuel)

    I averaged 27mpg in the petrol running on LPG (0.70 per litre so that one used to cost me 11.7 p per mile)


    So... in 2 years doing 12k pa - the Diesel has cost me £5374 in fuel and maintainence (normal servicing excluded)

    The old petrol car cost me £2908 in fuel and repairs - and the servicing was cheaper as well......

    Now... given all of that, do you really need or even want a modern diesel?

    They are just too complex and unreliable now - my tale is far from uncommon, and If you are going to do moderate to low miles I'd go petrol. If you're going to do a high mileage I'd buy a petrol and convert to LPG if I were you.

    As to the 320CDi - I don't think it's any worse than any of the other highly tuned diesels reliability wise - but it is unlikely to be as reliable as a good petrol one - and whatever your budget is, you'll get a newer lower mileage one in petrol than you will diesel.
     
  4. MBDevotee

    MBDevotee Active Senior Members

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    Your Mercedes:
    53 270CDI CLK Avantguard + ML500 with LPG
    Sorry - meant pence per mile not pence per litre - at 15p per litre I wouldn't give a t055!!!
     
  5. AGordCL

    AGordCL Active Senior Members

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    Location:
    West Sussex, UK
    Your Mercedes:
    1999 SLK200 (hers)
    I couldn't agree more with this, my girlfriends parents run diesels (fathers work give them cheaper diesel) they've had BMW, Volvo, Ford and Jeep (Merc 2.7 engine) diesels and all of which have given problems, mostly through injectors.

    They might supposedly give you better economy, but in my experience when it comes to reliability you'll end up spending more repairing them.

    You have to do very high miles (taxi's) and mostly motorways to start seeing the benefits of diesels.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2014
  6. M80

    M80 Senior Member

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    Joined:
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    Location:
    Derbyshire
    Your Mercedes:
    Viano 639, 651 5sp Auto.
    I bought the same car same mileage Jan 2011. Now at 168K miles and I reckon to keep it another 6 years or so.
    It had full history and since I've serviced myself about 16k miles between each, apart from a transmission fluid change out done at an Indy. This is reckoned to be required every 37k miles but I intend to do again after around 60k miles.

    Living in Derbyshire my mpg will be far worse than yours. I easily get 43mpg (OBC) on a good run but local short up/ down hill runs return closer on 30mpg. Last years avg over 11.5k miles was an actual (not OBC) above 34mpg. Previous years have been closer to 37mpg but I now do regular 3 mile runs to the sailing club steep up (cold) - then coast down.

    Since purchase beside consumables I've replaced,
    glow plugs,
    glow plug controller,
    inlet port shut off motor,
    crankshaft sensor,
    lambda sensor,
    rear wiper motor.
    The auto box speed plate, I think, has caused the car to not go up into 6th and 7th a couple of times, could be a temperature sensor failure instead. It sorts itself so I've ignored it.

    Something you will be familiar with with BM's is the rusting brake pipes. I'm intending to wire wool then paint mine with bitumen when it gets a bit warmer.

    The aux belt is a bitch to change on these. Maybe on the E class it's easier if there is more space allowed.

    The inlet port shut off motor failure is common on the V6 but should be preventable by making sure no oil passes the turbo spigot seal. New improved seals are available for this, I add a bead of silicon to mine also.

    MB have revised the glow plug control module a couple of times, I guess to improve reliability. Your C320 may already have new one.

    Mine isn't with a DPF, I wouldn't have bought it if it was. They were fitted as an option around that period so I should check. If it has one forget the MPG figures I quoted.

    I read the fault codes with a bluetooth EML327
    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/eml-327-E...iagnostic_Tools_Equipment&hash=item232d09578d
    and downloaded Torgue (free) onto my smart phone to use it.

    It'll have 17" wheels to accommodate the larger front calipers and they give better brakes than I've found on other 203's. Trouble is the trade off is a harsher ride. I've fitted EBC red pads to give sharper braking and at times they can produce some resonating type vibes.

    Out of choice I fitted an all singing after market head unit,
    AM/ FM/ GPS/ Bluetooth/ DVD/ Digi TV/ reverse cam..... for £250.

    I use it to tow and it has the power and torque to do that all day.
    Generally the way I use it it isn't molly cobbled, it's more of a high spec van and does what I need very well.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2014
  7. bennyboy

    bennyboy Senior Member

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    Location:
    watford
    Your Mercedes:
    1988 w126 300se, 1998 mgf vvc 2002 santa fe, juke company car fe
    with regard to L.P.G V Diesel, the mechanic i use says the same, when diesels get old or leggy they are much more expensive to fix. A company local to me charges £1150 all in for a 6 cylinder, and £1400 for a v8 conversion, so on a 6 cylinder you would need to spend around £4000 on fuel to pay for the conversion ,then after that around a real 30- 35% saving. My 2.4 santa fe is on lpg, and it also makes the engine quieter.So if you do more than 10,000 miles a year its well worth it
     
  8. MBDevotee

    MBDevotee Active Senior Members

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    Your Mercedes:
    53 270CDI CLK Avantguard + ML500 with LPG
    +1

    Although I struggle to see why you need to spend £4000 before payback?

    If the conversion costs £1400 and the converted car is worth £500 - £800 more when you sell (not unrealistic) - and the net cost is £600-800.

    If you consider fuel is 50% of the cost but you lose 10% of the economy means that you should save around 35-40% - so in reality after £2000 of fuel (around a year for most) you're starting to be ahead.
     
  9. bennyboy

    bennyboy Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    1988 w126 300se, 1998 mgf vvc 2002 santa fe, juke company car fe
    Lots of used car buyers very suspicious of LPG, not sure how much it adds to the cars value
     
  10. OP
    hoopyfrood

    hoopyfrood New Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    W210 E300 CDi 1998
    I hadn't even considered it before it was mentioned here and I've added it the "possible" list though I remain sceptical about it at the moment...I am researching further.

    Power delivery is about the same but I've been quoted a drop of around 10%-25% in MPG, losses greater for motorway cruising compared to town; and I do lots on the A11, A14, A1, M25 etc

    The gov't has apparently announced they'll not be apply duty to LPG for another 10 years ... :rolleyes:

    Not fussed about residual values, I'm on a tight budget so the car is going to die in my possession, hopefully in years to come. Hence no real redeemable resale value to be worried about.

    By biggest issue is cost, £1,300 for the conversion which I'll need to find above the cost if the car in the first place. Also because I'm looking at spending around £4k for the car then unless I come across an absolute minter being sold by a little old lady who doesn't know the value of her car then I'm going to be hard pressed to get something decent enough to convert...
     
  11. turbopete

    turbopete Senior Member

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    Location:
    Spennymoor
    Your Mercedes:
    2010 '60' Ford Mondeo 2.0TDCi Zetec (sorry)
    isnt much of this now coming to the petrol cars now too, with smaller engines and turbo's fitted adding to the stress of the engine, higher fuel pressures needed to properly atomise the fuel under boost conditions, etc? im not convinced one is better than the other now.
     
  12. MBDevotee

    MBDevotee Active Senior Members

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    Your Mercedes:
    53 270CDI CLK Avantguard + ML500 with LPG
    It is true the newer petrols are being put under much higher loads, however OP is looking at £4k cars so that won't apply.

    Also OP don't forget, that your £4k will buy you a newer / lower miles C320I petrol than diesel.

    Also, don't think you HAVE to LPG it - seriously, if you don't do more than 12k per year, just buy the petrol car and be done with it - the difference in fuel won't be THAT much over the years, and it will be balanced by the savings in parts.

    If you are going to do 15k plus then convert it - it will pay dividends - I'm on my 6th LPG car now - every single one reliable.

    Oh gawd, what have I said......
     

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