Last post on Jun 12, 2013 at 7:38 AM
You are in the Classic Cars
What is this discussion about?
Mercedes-Benz 300-Class, Engine, Fuel System, Diesel, Coupe, Sedan
#2269 of 2332 Mercedes 300d trubodiesel as first car
Aug 05, 2010 (8:36 am)
I was thinking about getting a 300d as a first car, 200-250k on it and I can only afford it to be around $2000. I was considering it because of style, long life and mpg. Is this a REALLY bad idea or a decent one? How easy are these cars to work on? What is the actual mpg? How fast can they go? I just want to know a little more about this type of car. Thanks
#2270 of 2332 Re: Mercedes 300d trubodiesel as first car [straxcla]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
Aug 05, 2010 (8:57 am)
My Two Cents:
I really don't think a high miles cheapo 300D is a good idea, no. I'd much rather see you get into a Turbo Diesel that has been very well cared for, and spend the extra $$$ to find such a car---because you'll be spending plenty of money trying to keep a high miles 300D that you paid $2000 for---it'll be a beater at that price and it's not a cheap car to fix.
If you find a nice 300D, however, you must expect the non-turbo cars to be very...and I mean VERY....slow. Getting onto a freeway will be a white knuckle experience and climbing hills is a right-lane affair.
Despite the outrageous claims you see on the Internet, I've driven enough of these cars for enough miles to state with some authority that around 20-24 MPG is the real world, with some occasional dips + or - a few MPG.
I guess it all depends on your expectations. How high are they? If you want a fun hobby car, and you have extra money to spend and a bicycle for those days it won't run---then great, go for it and learn things that you might apply someday toward a newer and nicer diesel. This could be your "learner".
But if you think a $2000 Benz diesel is going to "run forever", get "35 MPG", and "never needs repair", you're in for a bit of a letdown.
True I did buy a clean 300D for $1500----but I put many hours and an additional $1500 (plus my own labor for "free") to make it a save, reliable everyday car.
Areas to watch out for:
1. Non-functioning AC/heat
2. Non-functioning power windows (they break the regulators inside the door).
3. Oil leaks
4. Oil burning (hard to spot because of diesel smoke)
5. Hard to Start --- if your diesel doesn't start RIGHT UP when cold, there's something wrong with it.
6. Sagging rear suspension, rear wheels at weird angle--this is a worn hydro-pneumatic compensator
7. Hard shifting transmission -- -normal, live with it.
8. Car won't shut off---- vacuum leaks
9. Extremely loud, clattery engine that won't quiet down when warmed up---engine is worn out probably
10. Rust -- look in rocker panels, rear trunk area where spare tire sits.
#2271 of 2332 MB 300DT first car
Aug 07, 2010 (2:24 pm)
You give me the impression that you like to tackle challenges. As Mr. Shiftright said, each and every area mentioned should be carefully considered as you begin your quest. However, for me, I purchased my first Benz that I could afford for $600.00 cash from an ad in one of the magazines you get at a corner gas/food mart.I had been dreaming of a Benz for a long time, when I moved to a rather affluent area of Houston, where every other car you saw in a driveway, parking lot or driving up the road was a Benz, my spouse said 'go for it' when I showed her the advertisement. I called the lot, they said it was still available, I said I'll be there by 2pm to pick it up. No, it was not the sl or coupe of my dreams, but a 4-dr sedan(230). It had six cylinders with single overhead cam, 2-2barrel carbs,standard shift 4 on the floor plus reverse, no a/c, no p/w, no s/r, painted hub caps. cloth seats. The idea of me owning a Benz blinded me of all the things the car did not have, I could not supress my appetite to drive that car home. So I shelled out $600.00 plus TT&L and giddily drove it a hot 20 miles home. It was also missing a muffler so it was also quiet loud with acceleration, but the car was so solid and pulled so positively, that I felt probably as good as any new owner of a Benz, be it new or used. It proved to be an educaional process and I did spend somemoney on it but the experience has left me with that thought the Benz commercials always end with" A MERCEDES BENZ WILL ALWAYS BE A MERCEDES BENZ.' So carry on with your quest and enjoy and treasure the experience.
#2272 of 2332 Re: MB 300DT first car [benzsilver]
Aug 07, 2010 (5:19 pm)
Do you have a W110 230 or a W114 230?
My story is similar to yours. When I was young, I had a little (literally) money and wanted my own car rather than driving spare family cars since my first car got hit. I had liked MB since I was a little kid, but never found one in my price range that was really roadworthy. Then one day I saw this sky blue fintail in a parking lot with a for sale sign in the window. I had seen the car around town for several years, always remembering the color and its sound condition. I called the owner and took it for a drive...and that was it, I had to have it. $1600 leaked out my wallet, and I was the proud teenaged old owner of a strange old car that needed some TLC, but was fully roadworthy. Fast forward through the years, through college and more, and I kept it as my everyday car. It needed some engine work a few years after I bought it, but I compared the price of doing the work to what kind of car I could get for the repair money...and had it fixed (piston ring broke, and the engine was generally tired). About a year after I was out of school, I had a good enough job where I could afford a newer MB...but I kept the old car. And I still have it, and it is still as nice to drive as ever. I haven't owned another marque since...once you've driven one for so many years, you get used to the feel. Like that British ad said..."A Used Mercedes is Still a Mercedes". There's still no brand of car I like more.
Aug 08, 2010 (2:41 am)
Mine was a 1975. I do not specifically recall the number type. It was definitely a fixerupper,but after having it painted, new mb-tex seat covers , and new michelin radials, along with a muffler, the wife of one of my business partners said it was as nice and rode as comfotably as a friend's Rolls Royce. At that, I knew I would always own a Mercedes Benz.
#2274 of 2332 Re: answer to fintail [benzsilver]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
Aug 08, 2010 (7:33 am)
Until the Germans got ahold of them, it wasn't hard to be more reliable than a Rolls Royce.
Probably they wouldn't have been so complimentary had you fixed up a 300D, since they are quire comfortable but rather noisy and slow. A UPS truck comes to mind rather than a Rolls. But even the old diesels have that "rock steady" feel on the road that we've come to appreciate in a Benz and, once squared away or restored, a very credible level of reliability.
#2275 of 2332 Re: answer to fintail [benzsilver]
Aug 08, 2010 (7:59 am)
You've got a W114 then, also called a "squareline" or a "strich acht". What color is it?
I have to believe there was some kind of strategy back in the day to make the cars age well, so even used cars would lure people into the brand.
Aug 08, 2010 (9:48 am)
the color is ,I call it butterscotch, about the color of those Weler hard candies that you cannot stop eating with only one piece. My mechanic shop owner had a '72 4 dr also. He tried to bargain for the european headlight assemblies. no, no, no I said, those headlightss are a part of the package and the add to the appeal and character of the Benz.
#2277 of 2332 Re: to fintail... [benzsilver]
Aug 08, 2010 (6:18 pm)
Those lights are pretty rare...you are wise to keep them. On those cars, it makes them look better...only on W111/108 cars do the US spec lights look decent.
#2278 of 2332 Interesting episode...
Aug 23, 2010 (10:36 am)
Driving north out of Yakima Sunday morning just after crossing the Harold Redmond bridge I noticed a car about 100 yards behind me appear to EXPLODE, big cloud of white smoke, steam(??). Driver seemed to take no notice as the car continued to follow us for miles, 70 MPH, trailing a cloud of smoke/steam all the way.
I first suspected it to be oil or steam but with it seemingly driving well I decided it could not be and therefore must be a "blown" diesel engine. As we started down the final cut, incline into Ellensburg, the smoke/steam stopped and the car accelerated downhill and passed us.
I was then able to ID it as a fairly new Mercedes-Benz Turbo-Diesel 4 door sedan..
Once it passed us our car windshield got quickly coated with a fine mist of.....smelled like kerosense....??
The last we saw the car she took the turn to eastbound I90.
Wonder how far she got...?