1983 Mercedes-Benz W123 240 D 2.4 diesel from North America


A very reliable, easy to maintain car


At 195,000 miles I had some minor body work done along with a paint job.

At 230,000 miles, the right-rear axle boot dry rotted causing the universal joint to go bad.

At 245,000 miles the glow plugs were replaced.

General Comments:

I am very proud to own such a great car. It corners and handles like a sports car, but has a strong, stable frame which is perfectly balanced.

To some, the engine may be underpowered, to me I like to think of it as, "managable power."

Changing the oil and other services on the car are a breeze. I love the way the oil filter is right on top so I don't even have to get on my back to change it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th October, 2003

24th May 2005, 00:28

My 83' 240D only has 150k, but I am still waiting for the first thing to go wrong with it. I must admit that I change the oil regularly, and do basic preventative maintenance, but I have to say that these things are simply unbeatable. Unless you are talking about a race, in which case you can clock them with a sundial, but they have to be, the most reliable car ever made.

1983 Mercedes-Benz W123 from North America


An economical and refined automobile


Original speakers were dry rotted.

Drivers seat has broken spring on outboard side.

A/C wasn't charged.

Windshield wipers dry rotted.

Radio antennae doesn't fully retract or extend.

Really dirty inside and paint oxidized where the car sat in the sun for two years without a nice drive or maintenance.

Transmission shifted hard.

General Comments:

I was offered this car for 350.00 dollars U.S. 3 weeks ago. It had a new battery and started so I bought it. After a week and half of cleaning and buffing the oxidation out of the paint, removing the interior and cleaning with lots of soap and water she was presentable, the interior looks almost new, the paint still has blemishes and some scratches. I also removed the wood trim stripped the old varnish off and varnished with Min-wax.

I replaced the headliner, glued 1/2 inch pink insulation to the roof and on the firewall.

Greased the seat rails while the seats were out.

The car still has the original first aid kit which is fully stocked!

Adjusted the transmission per Haynes manual and now the car shifts smoothly.

Replaced dry rotted speakers with new speakers of roughly the same size.

Bought an R134 fitting for the low side of the A/C and recharged with R134 and 2 oz of oil, nice cold air when above idle, warm air at idle.

Took off Sunday for test drive, drove 1054 miles from San Antonio Texas to a Mercedes Benz plant somewhere in Alabama. Drove at 80 miles per hr with A/C blowing. I got 25 miles per gallon, cruise gave out at about 800 miles. Spent two hours at Mercedes plant. Drove to Pensacola Florida and picked up I 10 west to head home. A/C off sunroof open and averaging between 80 and 90 miles per hour. Added 1 quart of oil in Lafayette La, ate dinner at friends house and headed out 2 hours later. Fuel mileage greatly improved with A/C off, nearing 30 miles per gallon. Drove over 300 miles before stopping for fuel, needle was on R, but still had nearly 7 gals of fuel left! Arrived back home at 6 a.m. Car performed phenomenal, I brought enough money for a tow truck, but never needed it.

Car needs tires rotated and balanced.

Kudos to the trunk space, carried a few tools and huge red cooler for drinks and a full size tire hidden underneath the carpet, my other car barely holds an amplifier in the trunk.

I am 37 years old and hooked on this W123. It's my first and most likely last car I'll buy. Unless I pass it on to my boy in 10 years.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th June, 2003

16th Jul 2004, 07:35

A familiar story, where someone buys an old W123 that's been neglected and looks a bit sad. They tidy it up and very quickly fall in love with it!

It's great that you can buy a 20+ years old car (most cars that age went to the scrapyard years ago!) and get good service from it, and, most importantly, ENJOY it!

I speak as one who runs a 1982 300TD turbo (LHD) in the UK, and I also love it more than any of our other cars.

When you leave your car to your son, bear in mind that he may even get to leave it to HIS son!

29th Apr 2008, 01:41

Hi I recently bought a 1983 240D. And it leaks a little tiny bit of oil. Is that bad? also how will I know that it needs or already has the valves adjusted? what about the vaccum and other stuff etc. im really worried about my car its my 1st car im 17 years old. it runs really great. Also when I drive it sometimes it takes a while to shift when I get towards 40mph. My dad said everything is OK. should I take his word? please help.

16th Apr 2014, 04:53

Most Mercedes engines are fairly tight and don't leak much oil. The leak could be from a fitting.

Don't worry about the vacuum locks etc not working. Most don't. A good manual or the net will tell you how to fix it, although the job is a bit tiresome.

Enjoy the car. You have bought one of the finest mass produced cars ever made.