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Lifespan of 1999 Mercedes-Benz E-Class

I just bought a one-owner 1999 E300 diesel with 360000 miles and comprehensive service records (for $2300). How much additional car life can I expect?

Pretty much zero miles are left as it sits. With enough money you can get an unlimited amount of extra miles assuming you can still get parts for this nearly 20 year old vehicle. This is a question without a finite answer, sorry.


No Benz experience but I’m guessing parts are still readily available for your car. And will be for many more years. As long as parts remain available, there nothing fundamental limiting how many more miles you can get out of it. The showstopper, when it comes, will likely be from among

  • computer module fails and replacements aren’t available
  • rust compromises structural integrity & threatens safety
  • transmission failure is too expensive to consider a repair
  • so many niggles in brakes/cooling/electrical systems that its just become too burdensome to continue

To avoid the first problem, suggest to keep the battery in good condition, never get a jump start, or use this car to jump start another car. For the second, keep the parts of the car that tend to rust as free from salt and road debris as you can, by spraying the areas off with a strong spray of water. Wheel wells and rocker panels, etc. For the other surfaces, keep them clean and waxed twice a year. For the third, have the transmission checked and serviced as needed every 30,000 miles. For the fourth, find a good mechanic and tell them you want to keep this vehicle on the road, and are willing to bring it in frequently for routine maintenance.

With that many miles I would strongly suspect the car needs some repairs now (suspension, steering, etc,etc) and that at some point in the possibly near future it will need something major.
Law of averages…

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As long as the car is safe to drive(tires, brakes, steering, suspension) drive it until something happens and then make a decision. For $2300, you bought a throwaway car. A transmission repair on some cars cost more than $2300.
I might buy a car like this just to have the fun of owning a Mercedes diesel.

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Do you have a good independent MB mechanic? One familiar with diesels? They can do a lot to keep it on the road. You’ll want to stay on top of maintenance to keep small problems small.