W210 advice on ownership & reliability

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W210 advice on ownership & reliability

Postby jas-300-sel » Fri 17 Mar, 2017 12:37 pm

So guys I'm looking for advice please. My daily driver is a one owner W126 300SEL that I want to keep in pristine condition with low km. When my 126 goes in the shed so to speak for special occasions I'm considering a W210 as my daily driver.
The W126 is a fairly simple car that all in all is reasonable to own & run, is the W210 the same? I have an excellent mechanic who is fairly affordable.

I'm happy to spend good money for a very good car as I believe that like my 126 you get what you pay for, so assume that any models reccomeded will be the best available with full service history etc.

The shopping list is as follows but I'd consider other variants based on reccomendations.

W210 E320 or E430 Wagon is prefered but sedan may do?
A W210 E55 would be sublime but are there pitfalls to this high performance model?

I had also considered a W220 S class but I'm seriously concerned about repair costs to the many and varied electronic systems in this model, if you own a W220 and can advise me that they're not a money pit please feel free to sells me the dream :)

I'd love your thoughts and opinions on a 210 model that will be as good to own as my 126.

Thanks for your time & input.

Jason
'89 300 SEL
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Re: W210 advice on ownership & reliability

Postby Ivanerrol » Fri 17 Mar, 2017 1:23 pm

The W210 is one of those now un-loved models, however this works in your favor because there are quite a few good cars out there with low K's and cheap price.
There are the M104 models up to 1996/7 - oil leaks and older treansmission.

post '97 up to 2000 update features V6 engines and 722.6 electronic 5 speed tranny.
post 2000 W210's came with the tiptronic and more modern body style.

Things to look out for.
All engines must use good quality synthetic oil. The engines were made to stricter tolerances for emission purposes. Check under the oil cap - if you see coffee walk away.
The transmissions need their fluid and filters changed every 80,000K's. Additionally the oil separation plug should be changed. - If a transmission has any sort of niggles - walk away.
Small oil leaks from the oil cooler assembly and oil inspection port at the front of the engine leak onto the harmonic balancer. If the balancer fails it's a $$$$ job to fix
Rust doesn't seem to much of an issue in Australia - it is overseas particularly in snowy countries. I saw a W210 last week with serious rust forming around the moon roof.
Window winders have a habit of failing - not a difficult DIY job.
Keep an eye on your wheel balancing and alignment.

IMHO If you buy a car with 15 inch wheels, get some 16 inch alloys

The engine oil change is 8 litres of high quality synthetic oil

The paint work is water based. Pre '97 cars are enamel. You will find the paintwork on your W126 far superior to a W210

4 years ago I paid $7K for my latest W210 with 120K's on the clock. I now have just over 160K's on the clock but would be lucky to sell it privately for more than $4K

There are some rubbish W210's out there but also so retirees cars with not many K's and not much money.
Just choose carefully and get a PPI.

You maybe disappointed in the quality of your W126 compared to a W210.
I bought a brand new W210 in 2001, I took my mother for a ride in it and she noted the ambient difference between my older cars and it.

For running around town I prefer my W202.
W202 - C200
W210 - E240
Departed
W202 - C180 - On consignment to nephew
W126 - 380SE , 380SE (Ex SA Import), 560SEL
W124 - 300e, 260e (ex Japan)
W111 220s (Indonesia) 4 speed manual column shift
W123 230
W116 450SEL
W140 420SEL
W210 E240
W209 CLK 240
W201 190e 2.6 (ex U.K.)
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Re: W210 advice on ownership & reliability

Postby Giles » Fri 17 Mar, 2017 4:17 pm

G'day Jason,
I'll second ivanerrol on most of his points about the W210.
I would like to add that I owned a E430 Avantegard for 10 years (has been wifes car, soon to be mine as I'm selling my Territory Turbo) we've just ordered a new Mazda CX-9. It killed the Euro offerings for bang for buck.
The W210 may not be built the same a W126 but the car has been fairly faithful. They are as cheap as chips now and a good one is well under $10K-. I did briefly have an E55 but for day to day use I actually preferred the E430 for comfort. The E55 brake replacement prices will scare you if you didn't already know.
My E430 has 230,000 kms on it and the drive line is fine. Over the period I've owned it I've had to replace the harmonic balancer, known issue, the AC compressor (sourced from the US for less than half local price) and recently the radiator. All in all I still enjoy the car but the paintwork needs refreshing. When inspecting W210's look for rust in the doors and as mentioned around the sunroof.

Newer passenger side door on hand to replace rusty ones and in the paint shop soon.

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1981 500SLC (Colour Black) Keeper car 'Lola' walks like woman, talks like a man
1999 E430 Avantgarde Royal Indigo (Colour 339) Mums Taxi 'Claudia'
1975 280CE Signal Red (Colour 568H) Project 'Ginger'
1980 C107 Classic White (resto project) 'Marilyn'
2009 Ford Territory SY11 Turbo Ghia 250KW+ Family Wagon/MB Rescue Vehicle
1978 C107 350SLC Red 'Scarlett' the parts car. Quite frankly my dear, I don't give a damn.
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Re: W210 advice on ownership & reliability

Postby Ivanerrol » Fri 17 Mar, 2017 5:54 pm

Giles wrote: The E55 brake replacement prices will scare you if you didn't already know.


I forgot this issue.
Anything :
E36
E55
AMG

Consumable prices are mouth watering.

A mate waited weeks for front disc rotors for his E36 and they were something like $600.00 aftermarket. :dontknow:
W202 - C200
W210 - E240
Departed
W202 - C180 - On consignment to nephew
W126 - 380SE , 380SE (Ex SA Import), 560SEL
W124 - 300e, 260e (ex Japan)
W111 220s (Indonesia) 4 speed manual column shift
W123 230
W116 450SEL
W140 420SEL
W210 E240
W209 CLK 240
W201 190e 2.6 (ex U.K.)
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Re: W210 advice on ownership & reliability

Postby jas-300-sel » Fri 17 Mar, 2017 8:04 pm

Awesome advice guys, thanks so much. It's worth noting that I recently drove a 2006 W211 E200k and whilst was a nice car it certainly lacked the ambience and quality of my W126. In fact I'll go as far to say that my previous car that was a 2006 VW Passat V6 4-Motion was much nicer than the 211 but the VW was eye wateringly expensive to own, hence my decision to buy a really good classic car. The balance is very hard to find.

I'll keep thinking as I'm by no means in a hurry to buy something, maybe I just need to be a one trick pony with Mercs and stick to my 126 and buy a used a Camry as my daily. I'm kind of joking but kind of serious, I just know it would probably crush my soul for the majority of the time and mildly amuse me for the rest of the time.

Cheers fellas

Jas
'89 300 SEL
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Re: W210 advice on ownership & reliability

Postby TheMadRacoon » Fri 17 Mar, 2017 8:30 pm

Or you could buy another W126 to rack up the miles in.
Emad,
TheMadRacoon
1975 350SLC Silver / Blue (2012, 284,900 km - present)
1988 190E Dark Blue / Cream (2006, 190,000 km - 2007, ~ 200,000 km)
1974 280E Olive Green / Bone (1993, 316,700 km - 2004, ~490,000 km and still A1)
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Re: W210 advice on ownership & reliability

Postby jas-300-sel » Fri 17 Mar, 2017 9:50 pm

:laughing6: :laughing6: :laughing6: well I'd at least have to get an SEC and if I'm going to an SEC it may as well be a 560 SEC with values going up and all that. I wonder if I could find a nice low km Astral Silver 560 SEC to match my SEL :laughing5:
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Re: W210 advice on ownership & reliability

Postby chrishbbq » Wed 29 Mar, 2017 11:02 am

Just my two cents - I have 1998 W210 E280 (not the engines/spec you seem to be after though) but it has not missed a beat, with no expenses out of the blue. Purchased at 200k and now have about 220k on it.

Only point I have is the interior doesn't seem to hold up as well as previous series - rattles from the sunroof and general trim rattle, but apart from that it's a tank. I know people don't like them and don't consider them a true Mercedes-Benz for whatever reason, but mine has been lovely to drive and run. :king:
1998 W210 E280 Elegance in Smoke Silver~
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