1998 Mercedes-Benz E-Class E300TD Turbodiesel 4dr Sedan
After five long years of owning my 98 E300 TD, I am left with a completely destroyed car due to poor engineering on MBZ.
Turns out MBZ designed the transmission cooler INSIDE the radiator. The tranny cooler contains oil and the radiator contains water. Think about it. Yup! The two mixed last weekend and water went into the transmission, completely destroying the transmission, torque converter and engine electronics leaving me with a $7k bill for a car worth only $9k.
Last summer, it was $4k to replace the diesel injectors.
The summer before that, $2400 to replace the A/C unit and belts.
The car only has 104k miles on it. It is now scrap metal. Unreal.
The interior is really nice. The fit and finish is extraordinary. When you close the doors, it feels safe. The handling is really nice and the efficiency of the turbo diesel engine is a huge plus in times of high fuel prices.
The automobile was obviously meant to last a long time so they did put a lot of effort into window seals, interior trim pieces and more. Lots of those finishing touches really makes for a nice ride that, if taken care of, will last a long time.
Well, what can I say? After $10k + of maintenance costs over 5 years time only to be stabbed in the heart with a terrible $7k failure due to poor engineering...It's disappointing. The car makes for a really good first impression because the fit and finish is so nice! But be WARNED! Like the Audi and BMW, the E300 is very costly to keep maintained.
I'm a BIG believer in maintaining an auto with the thought that the more you keep it maintained, the longer it will last. I still think that is true but ... at some point you have to draw the line at how much you throw at a car before the "worth it" scale tips. The E300 did not age well for me.