1976 Mercedes-Benz W115 300D


A great car, but expensive to repair


Major rust problem.

Rear bumper fell off (on one side.)

Heating/air-conditioning control unit had to be replaced. -- a thousand bucks!!

Burned a fair amount of oil.

Muffler system had to be replaced. -- a thousand bucks!!

Rubber fuel line sprung a leak.

General Comments:

Had rust coming out all over on the body shortly after I bought it -- thankfully, it has a body built like a tank...

Overall ran not too bad, but was terrible at starting in the winter. In spite of using the glow plugs, I still had to fire up the hibachi under the engine on numerous occasions.

Took a while to get used to the slow acceleration...

All parts were very expensive. IE: The price one has to pay for sitting on luxurious chairs in the fancy dealership's waiting room...

The rear bumper, made out of cast aluminum, was terrible. Any salt on the highway eats this aluminum, thus one side of the bumper fell off. bolted it back on by riveting a power saw bar to the inside of the bumper.

A lovely vehicle to drive, and very comfortable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th February, 2004

31st Dec 2004, 15:18

Try to get the European bumpers. They are made of chromed steel and looks much nicer. I don't know if they are easy to find in the USA though...

14th Jun 2005, 10:26

But aren't American 300D Mercedes bumpers like 10 times the size as European bumpers and much safer.

4th Oct 2005, 16:58

Yes, European Mercedes don't really have bumpers.

1st Nov 2005, 21:50

I own a 76 300D, and you got absolutely raped on the repair prices. A muffler shouldn't cost more than $300, and pipes can be fabricated for less than a hundred bucks...

Don't know about the heat/AC stuff, but you should have gotten one from a junkyard...

Also don't go to a dealership to get parts, go to http://www.autohausaz.com/

Good luck, and don't be afraid to get your hands dirty, they're so simple... They lose their "holiness" by the time you've taken the valve cover off, and you're sitting on the fender cover trying to get the darn injector pump out.


22nd Jan 2006, 15:10

I just went to "Parts Plus" in Mineola TX and priced a compressor for the A/C (1976 300D) and it was 167.00.

19th May 2007, 07:15

What is fair price to pay for a 1976 300d in excellent physical condition, but the motor was taken out and sitting in the trunk? The motor did work, but not well.

2nd Mar 2009, 18:22

I completely agree - they're wonderful cars and I was lucky enough to get one at 16 as my first car. Unfortunately I hydroplaned into a Tahoe and left it needing a great deal of body work and a new radiator - the latter is nearly impossible to find, and I'm trying to fix it up now for my father, who has never quite forgiven me for destroying it.

1976 Mercedes-Benz W115 240D diesel


One of the best all-round cars I have driven


Water pump replaced in 1987.

A steering link rusted away in 1989. Cost $10 to repair.

Glow plugs replaced twice in the last 10 years.

General Comments:

It drives like a tank and don't think about getting one if you need a getaway car. It is slow but steady, and I would think nothing of getting into this 27 year-old car right now and driving a thousand miles.

It's main problem is that in cold weather it requires several Hail Mary's to get it started, but once it is running nothing will stop it.

Mercedes corrected the cold-starting problem in later models, and modern Mercedes diesels start in seconds.

You can pick up a decent 240D for $1000 to $2000. Don't be afraid if the miles seem high - these engines will do 2 or 3 times the miles other cars can do. Just make sure you have a battery recharger on board because in cold weather your battery will need to be 100 percent.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th December, 2003

13th Jan 2004, 21:41

Cold-weather starting in older Mercedes and other diesels is much improved by using 0-W30 weight synthetic oil in the engine (e.g., Amsoil), fitting an electric block heater and/or coolant heater (ideally both!) and using a fuel conditioner. Even without plugging in, my old 240D started down to -15 C, and plugged in, down to around -30. Below that was touch and go... Now it is retired and lives in Vancouver, where it is pushing 350K km.