1987 Mercedes-Benz S-Class 300SDL 3.0 I6 turbo diesel from North America
A/C Compressor re-build, R134 conversion at 146000
New tie-rods, center link, serpentine belt at 144000
New fuel supply return lines at 148200
Trap oxidizer removed at 148200 (manufacturer recall)
Extremely well-built vehicle - quality, durability and longevity that is unmatched.
Turbo charger is a must on M-B diesels and eliminates any disadvantage of owning a diesel.
Proper maintenance by a knowledgeable and competent Benz mechanic will ensure years of reliability.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 26th September, 2004
This is a follow-up to my review. This car has been in my family since my grandfather purchased it new in 1987. It was given to me earlier this year. The car has been meticulously maintained and virtually ALL of the miles driven on it have been highway miles. However, it has probably only been driven about 5,000 miles in the last eight years. When I got the car earlier this year, I had about $2000 worth of normal maintenance performed (including an A/C rebuild) as you can read about.
One very interesting note on this car is that until recently, the turbo charger never really seemed to work well, if at all. There was no real turbo boost at low speeds (when it is needed). I did some research and found that there was a recall on the trap oxidizer back in 1997 that had never been performed on this car. The recall was basically to remove the trap oxidizer and replace it with a bypass valve. I called the local dealer and found that the recall was still valid and they did it free of charge. After this was done, the increase in the turbo boost was unbelievable. The car has so much more power in first and second gear. What I am assuming happened was that the trap oxidizer was clogged and never allowed air into the turbo.
These are truly amazing cars. The mechanic at the local Benz referred to these cars as the 'Last of the Good Ones.' The handling on these cars is unmatched on anything I have ever driven, especially for such a large and heavy vehicle. I have been told that I could drive in excess of 300,000 miles on this car with only routine maintenance.
One thing I will note with diesel is to be careful where you buy it. Poor quality diesel that has been sitting in a tank for a long time can cause problems in the fuel system and clog up your fuel filters. The best place to buy diesel (not necessarily the cheapest) will be a truck stops since the diesel fuel is replenished often.
If you have a problem where the vehicle cannot hold high speeds on the highway, you may have a bad tank of fuel. Another problem may be the fuel filter that is in the tank itself. There are 3 fuel filters on the car and this is the one that is often overlooked when a fuel problem occurs.
I love this car and will keep it in my family forever.