1985 Mercedes-Benz W123 300TD 3.0 turbo diesel from North America


For a 15 year old car, it has done quite well. But here is a list anyhow of major problems.

The hydroneumatic pump that lifts the tail end of the car upon added weight had to be replaced.

The master brake cylinder froze on the highway locking the brakes.

The A-frame on the left rear wheel snapped right along the weld line causing the wheel to tilt into the wheel well rendering the car undriveable (very unusual occurence).

Many things in the engine have been replaced - hoses, lines, oil compressor, a new AC system with the new type of freon retrofitted ($900), etc. She is now going on 210,000 miles on the original engine with outstanding acceleration and smooth transmission.

I just recently had to replace both of the rear window regulators. One got so bent after 15 years of lifting the heavy glass that when I lowered the window, it shattered.

General Comments:

Please e-mail me - estarr@starmail.com

Peyton, my 300TD, has been an outstanding car. Some noteworthy things about this particular car of mine. It is certified as the 'last of the line' W123 wagon to be produced and shipped to the USA. It is a beautiful original black with tan vinyl interior, sunroof, 3 rear headrests, 3rd seat with shoulder belts. Cosmetically, the car is in excellent shape, almost immaculate. The wheels have been repainted to the original astral silver based alloy paint

Things I would like to do to the car:

Replace the rear struts that hold the tailgate up when opened. It stays up most of the time, but sometimes falls on your back - unpleasant surprise.

Replace some springs in the drivers seat which leans slightly down to the left. The rear seats are floppy and sink down. They too could use springs and padding.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd October, 2000

13th Jun 2001, 11:02

Seat spring/platform rebuild kit available from Autohaus for less than $100 in San Antonio... and got rear door hydraulic cylinders after-market for about $35 each from Imparts in St. Louis.

26th Nov 2003, 13:39

How costly is the hydraulic pump for the rear suspension? I got one same as yours and it sag at the rear too.

1985 Mercedes-Benz W123 300TD 3-litre turbodiesel from Finland




There hasn't been anything serious. One must remember that this isn't a new car.

Water pump was replaced around 420 000 kilometers and the battery was replaced around 435 000 kilometers. The pump of power steering was serviced around 400 000 kilometers because of a weird noise.

General Comments:

This is one heck of a car. It's roomy, quiet and comfortable. Turbodiesel has lots of torque, so despite its automatic transmission this car's performance in every-day driving is very nice.

And it's beautiful.

All turbocharged engine drivers should remember that after driving at high speed or pulling a trailer it's very important to let the engine run on idle for couple of minutes.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th July, 2000

1985 Mercedes-Benz W123 280TE 2.8 petrol from UK and Ireland


The drivers window is currently having an electrical problem where there is power to put the window up but not to put the window down. If I Keep my finger pressed on the down button and then at the same time lower the rear drivers side window, occasionally the drivers window will lower, therefore I suspect some kind of earthing problem.

Apart from that the car has had a clean sheet.

General Comments:

Very reliable, practical, and the build quality is exceptional. I feel very safe driving with my young daughter in the car.

The car is now twelve years old and is still going strong even with 190,000 miles on the clock! It still looks great, especially with all the chrome and it has all the extras in the book from Leather interior to heated seats.

I cannot recommend it enough and at £3500 I think it's an absolute bargain.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th October, 1997

5th Feb 2004, 22:07

I believe that the problem with the window could possibly be a dirty connection in the fuse box. I have a 280TE myself and most of my electrical problems are a result in dirty connections in the fuse box. is your 280TE an autobahn car? I'm trying to figure out if there is a 3.8 liter engine for this vehicle. I'm not sure if I got a 3.8 of 2.8. I haven't looked hard, but interests me.

2nd Apr 2004, 12:27

Forgive me if I have misunderstood what you say, but how is the 1985 car only 12 years old?

I have a 1985 280TE which I am thinking of selling which has been in family ownership throughout, but someone seemed to think £1,000 was too much to ask. Views welcome.

11th May 2004, 14:09

I think you were out of school when they did the maths lessons. The original comment was posted in 1997 and the car built in 1985. 1997-1985=12. If it is still around as I write this in 2004, it would be 2004-1985=19. Does this help explain the difference?