1993 Mercedes-Benz W124 E220 2.2

Summary:

Mercede's best value economy / performance / reliability

Faults:

A few days after I bought the car, I had to change the AC evaporator; a leaking problem. It was available at $200 from the dealer. I changed it myself. This problem is common on those models, specially for the ´93 to ´95 models. This is an expensive and delicate job, since the dashboard has to be fully dismantled.

Routine maintenance:

Full tune-up (spark plugs, filters, injectors cleaned) for $100.

Auto transmission fluid and differential changed (around $60 for parts and fluid).

New genuine MB engine coolant ($40).

Front lower suspension ball joints ($50 for parts at the dealer, very reasonable).

"New" used light switch ($40).

Now sunroof is starting to giving me trouble (common on those models).

Another well known problem on every MB model from 93 to 95 is the engine harness. MB made the wire insulator from some crappy rubber that deteriorates, leaving the wire exposed and producing all kind of problems (ECU, coils, etc.). Mine was probably changed by the previous owner.

Finally, four cylinder engines from ´93 had a weak head gasket, and had to be changed around 100K kms. Again, mine was probably changed by the previous owner.

Mechanical and engine parts are very easy to get, because the engine was used on C-Class models and even on the newer E Class. Usual wear & tear parts are cheap, but electrical and body genuine parts can be very expensive, but they usually don't break.

General Comments:

This car was well maintained by the previous owner, but he had not made any servicing for the last 30K kms, at least. That's why the full tune-up and fluids.

This car is a very good compromise between economy, power and reliability. The new fuel injection system (Bosch Motronic vs. the previous KE Jetronic) makes it more powerful and gives it more torque, and the engine need less maintenance than the previous models (230E from 85 to 92). And of course, more economical... Around 10kms per liter in city/highway use, and around 12kms per liter on highway.. not bad for the size of this car.

I owned previously a 1990 300E, and I can say this car feels less heavy, specially in the front end, and the performance is more than adequate.

The interior looks like new after 16 years, and the wood trim on all door panels and dashboard gives a nice sense of luxury. Every time you get into the car, you can´t believe is that old.

And of course, the unique sense of safety. From the "thump" sound when you close the doors, the superb handling, non-fading brakes, airbag... makes it a very good choice for family rides.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th February, 2010

2nd Aug 2010, 05:45

Hi gentlemen,

I am from India and last year I bought a Mercedes W124 Model E220 (petrol) which is built like a "Battle Tank". Parts are available in India with a MB dealer but are too expensive. Driving this car is a pleasure and the distance covered until today is 141,000 kms. Do you have any idea when the spark plugs have to be replaced? My mail id is "skumars47@yahoo.com"

I feel the pick up is reduced and I do not know the reason. Is it normal after 141,000 kms? As per tech spec sheet, the power is 140 BHP/ 200Nm torque, I feel it is reduced. Can you suggest what can be done?

1990 Mercedes-Benz W124 300E 3.0

Summary:

Best Mercedes ever built

Faults:

Engine requires 5 seconds to start. Problem not fixed.

Broken sunroof rails at 125K, easy to fix, but hard to find used parts and very expensive at the dealer.

Over voltage protection relay changed recently, $US40.

New radiator changed recently, $100.

General Comments:

I bought this car when gas prices start to rise two years ago.

The car seemed well maintained; interior was almost flawless and engine running smooth. Despite the low gas mileage, this is a fantastic car from any angle: beautiful timeless design, built like a tank, very easy to work on for a do-it-yourself-er, reliable, and parts, no matter how small or insignificant, are available through the dealer, usually at affordable prices.

The car came with almost all comfort and security items available (ABS, airbag, sunroof, leather seats, electric seats with memory, A/C, etc.,), and is a wonderful day to day driving car, even for today standards.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th June, 2008

4th Nov 2008, 17:49

I also had the over voltage protection relay replaced. it was causing the car to cut out at low revs,on corners. here in Australia the cost was US$400!

3rd May 2009, 13:33

Simple fix for your bad slow starting. The m103 series engine has a seventh injector, which enriches the fuel, which isn't always necessary and causes bad cold starting. Disconnect this and she will start first time.

29th Jan 2010, 16:22

Update:

The 5 seconds starting problem turn out to be one of the 2 fuel pumps. How could I missed that? This car has 2 fuel (small) pumps, only one was working when I purchased the car. So I changed both fuel pumps along with the fuel filter, and voila! The car starts right away.