E class advice

merc convert

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Hi I was looking at upgrading to a 2002/03 220/270 E class.
After reading several online reviews I am not sure if it is such a good car! Most reviews advise of dodgy electrics and auto gearbox.
Several reports from owners of failures and many Mercedes recalls.

Can owners confirm these issues are as bad as it reads or is it just poor journalism and sour grapes from a minority of owners.

Also interested in actual mpg's please.

Thanks Phil.
 

telletubby

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1998 W140 S320 blue
I'd stick with what you've got or buy a W124. Or even a W210 if you can find a pampered rust free one. A retired friend has a 2003 E class bought for him new by his son. In principle it's a great car but his initial enthusiasm was short lived. He's had hoardes of problems with it most recently a gearbox that had no oil in it. No apologies, exchanges or even partial refunds from MB at any stage. Other problems include dash electronics, brakes and huge tyre wear (4000 miles) on the rear because the rear steering geometry was out ( of course MB said it was the tyres, Michelin said it was the car, and then everyone said it was the owner's fault for not checking the tracking - he'd of course had it regularly serviced).
He's sick to death of the car and would cheerfully drive it over a cliff.
 

The Pan Man

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2008 E 500 A/G Classic colour combination.
Can't aggree with any of that telly

CAN'T AGGREE WITH ANY OF THAT TELLY, 53 Plate 270 CDi Just done 95,000 miles only faults have been, Pressure sensor in passengar seat and the rear cat caused by a £0.50 piece of plastic.

You only ever hear about problems with vehicles regardless of the manufacturer
 

jberks

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Jaguar XF 3.0 S, LR Freelander 2, Fiat 500 & Fiat Panda
2002/3 weren't the best to be honest. Most are just fine but my Dad has a 2002 and he's had a lot more problems that I have with my 2004 model.
There were electronic issue but to be fair, if they haven't cropped up by now, they probably won't. As with most things, the later the model the less the issues. Dicky modules flattening batteries etc can be an issue but them techs have more experience so fixes are probably a bit simpler these days too.
Bodywork can be a concern. Mid 2003 -> are galvanised and have nano paint. Earlier ones, inc my Dads have developed occasional rust issues. Rear wheelarches mainly so check them, though surprisingly his boot lid corroded - odd because its aluminium. All fixed by MB but they demanded a contribution this time (which he's contesting).

Gearbox issues on them have 3 main causes.
1) The dreded Valeo radiator issue. Some have a gearbox cooler made by Valeo. these had a fault that caused coolant to leak into the gearbox. The coolant wrecked the torque converter and in extreme cases the whole box. Some however had a Behr one and no such issue. Worth checking any car you look at.
2) Oil changes. MB have swapped and changed their views on this but I'd say, gearbox oil changes every 50k to be safe.
3) Gearbox electrical plug seal. There is a seal that fails and the gearbox then pumps transmission fluid up the wires and into the ECU. Easy fix and normally done during the oil change.

So, ideally but a post June 04 build or even better an 05/06 - they're way better, but thats not to say earlier ones, if you buy with your eyes open and get one with proper history and a Behr radiator, couldn't give you years of great service.
I've had mine for 3 1/2 years now, done 78k so far, travel 600+ miles a week at the moment and wouldn't want to do it in anything else.
 
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merc convert

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Thanks jberks very informative, I am now so unsure I dont know if I can take the plunge at the moment.
 

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