1990 Mercedes-Benz 190 D 2.5 diesel from UK and Ireland

Summary:

Future bulletproof icon of Mercedes engineering at its best

Faults:

Suspension wear and tear - shocks, springs, bushes.

Front wing replaced as corroded.

Leaking rear window, needed replacing (seal).

ABS sensors on the way out.

Some of the exhaust rotted, replaced.

Engine mounts replaced.

Minor engine parts, pulley damper, gearbox cooling pipe, radiator replaced.

General Comments:

This is an auto. I wanted a manual, but a RHD manual 2.5D is incredibly rare.

This engine (and even auto box) will go well past 500,000 miles. They are not indestructible, and do need regular maintenance, but you are rewarded with solid engineering and simplicity.

Easily as comfortable as modern cars, and handles very well. Put winter tyres on and snow/ice is no problem. Most RWD owners fail to do this.

The pinnacle of Mercedes engineering in build quality, while keeping electronics minimal.

Many reports of these 190s having engine problems in the US and Canada is down to poor quality fuel and poor quality repairs. European fuel quality is different, especially diesel fuel.

While SVO (veg oil) can be used in these diesel engines, they do need extra filtration, extra heat exchangers, different injectors, and dino-diesel to flush for the end of day run, except much further south where temperatures stay above 15C overnight. The fuel pump will cope fine. Some fuel line O-ring seals may need replacing with SVO, and SVO will clean out dino-diesel sludge, so best replace the fuel filter and tank filter (hard to get to) after first two tanks of SVO.

These cars can corrode. Early treatment/repairs is essential to stop the rot taking hold. Any 190 forum will tell you where the common rot points are, but these cars are easily the best built. The G-Wagen of the same era also.

I have two colleagues in Germany who have sent photos of their odometers, one at 333,333km and the other at 555,555km.

Body work and gearbox issues can seem to make continued use of the car uneconomic. However, even a recon auto box for £1,500 will still be a better bet than another second hand car for £1,500.

All cars are potential money-pits. At least the 190 responds to cash input, and is a better investment than almost any other car, short of vintage classics.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th February, 2013

1990 Mercedes-Benz 190 D 2.0 diesel, OM601 from Norway

Summary:

Slow and cheap means of transport

Faults:

Blinker relay broke at 196 000 km.

Odometer (km-counter) "half-broke" at 197 000 km and only works now and then.

Throttle/kickdown linkage is worn, which makes the transmission shift up too early, and the kickdown switch does not always work.

The trunk takes in a lot of water.

General Comments:

Appealing looks.

Very slow, even though it's a reasonably light car (1150kg) and has, at least on paper, an acceptable 75hp. This car should have a manual gearbox with at least 5 gears. The 4 speeds of the automatic are too far spread to make use of the narrow powerband of the engine.

The engine feels "overloaded" at highway speeds (100+ kph), the water temp and oil pressure gauges must be watched constantly.

Its cheap to run, around 5.5L/100km.

It handles well, although the rear end can swing out pretty abruptly in wet/slippery conditions.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 30th November, 2009

27th Dec 2009, 09:06

Glow plugs not working at 202000km, and it's -20 degrees C outside. It's a pain.

14th May 2013, 08:44

It's recommended to use a engine-block heater at -12C and more. This is not typical for just this engine, but for most diesel engines.

1990 Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.6 from North America

Summary:

The car is great small daily driver

Faults:

The first day I had the car the throttle cable came loose. It was the original plastic holder that broke.

Also on the first day I had the car, I tried to use the emergency flashers and the switch broke.

The switches in the upper part of the dash have stopped working. The rear light, power antenna, and the rear defrost switch.

The radio antenna does not work due to the fact the switch is broken. Once I was washing the car the antenna went up randomly, and went back down after it fully extended.

My A/C has major problems. I had to replace the fan speed switch. The temperature changes frequently in the center vents ranging from 60 degrees to 100 degrees. The outer vents are underpowered and only blow hot air. I will have to take it to a shop to find the problem. I have herd the problem could be a vacuum leak.

The oil drain plug was stripped out and had to take it to a truck mechanic to get it off.

The windshield sprayer hasn't worked since I got the car. Water seeps out of the spouts and it seems to be underpowered.

The transmission has been replaced at 113048 miles.

The driver side passenger window has stopped working.

General Comments:

The car is a great daily driver for a 19 year old car. I bought the car from the original owner and she took it to the dealership for all maintenance. The side insert jack had not been used for the entire life of the car, and it had all of the original tools and the first aid kit.

It has a smooth suspension and handles great at high speeds. I have got the car to 135 miles per hour, which for the car being 19 years old is great.

The original owner had all of the paperwork, which I have now. Paperwork is important for any type of car at this age.

The interior is showing its age. The headliner is coming unglued at the corners and around the sunroof switch. Overall the interior is holding firm for it being 19 years old.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th July, 2009