Mercedes Diesel with 250K+ miles - good buy?

Is it safe to buy a Mercedes E300 Turbo Diesel with over 250K miles on it? From pictures it’s in good shape, and I know that some diesel engines can last a long time, but that’s a lot of miles.

Anyone have any thoughts about how much life would be left in a Mercedes engine with that many miles? This is a 1998 car.

If you think $2,000 to $3000 in unforseen repairs per year is acceptable then you’ll be fine.

Any car past 8yrs/150,000 miles irregardless of brand is risky and not a safe bet. The major problem with MB is repairs are very expensive.

There are lots of myths regarding diesel reliability. I read some facts about a guy with a older MB with 2,000,000 miles. Guess how many engine rebuilds? Eight, about one every 250k miles. So no, I don’t think you’ll get a lot of trouble free miles out of the one you’re looking at.

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If it’s cheap enough it may be a good buy and I would easily wager good money that a competent tech could look this car over (as with any 250k miles car) and come up with a laundry list of needed repairs.

You’re concentrating on the engine longevity but you should keep in mind the transmission, rear axle, suspension, and who knows what else may be due for something.
It’s impossible to tell from pictures if a car is in good shape or not.

You ask if it is a good buy but don’t give the price? It was a good car, but is it a good car now? Much depends on who owned it and how well it was cared for by the previous owner(s). If you need repairs, who will do the work? Are you going to fix it yourself? Do you have a good mechanic who knows how to repair an MB diesel? This is not a car that just anyone can work on.

I’d say you are likely going to spend a lot of money on this car over the next 5 years. If you are looking for a dependable, long lived car, that is relatively cheap to repair; this ain’t it.

It looks good because Mercedes cars have good bodies!

I have personally ridden in a company Mercedes overseas which had 900,000 km on it, or 562,000 miles and the original engine ran perfectly. However, this car, a 1985 model, had been babied by the oil company’s personnel, since the import duty on this car was 140%! Skilled labor costs were about $3 per hour.

However, buying a car like this with such high mileage in the US, where the original drver leased it and did not bother with maintenance, and the next owner may have skimped because it is so expensive, would turn this into a complete crapshoot with respect to reliability.

However the upkeep will be expensive, even if the car is perfect (not likely), and I would increase the previous poster’s estimate to $3500+ per year to keep it running . If that’s OK with you, go ahead.

The wife of a used Jaguar owner told me once tht her husband’s hobby was better than drinking and chasing loose women!

A properly maintained diesel motor can last well over 350k. Unlike gas engines, diesel requires little in the way of maintenance other than filter and oil changes. Using proper filters and proper oil will give you all the engine life you ever wanted or expected. Mostly when people say that upkeep of a diesel motor is expensive is because they are paying someone else to maintain it for them and that mechanic you’ve chosen charges excessive because you as the owner believe that you are expected to pay high maintenance to keep it running. And your mechanic is laughing all the way to the bank. Changing oils and filters on a Mercedes diesel is about the easiest thing to do. I would never own any gas engine.

It will live on until you run out of money entirely. That should take no more than two years tops. :smile:


Your statement “From the pictures. . .” suggests to me that the car is on Craigslist or EBay. Don’t buy the car sight unseen. Don’t buy the car without having it inspected. On further thought don’t buy the car.

2010 post…deal’s done, I expect.


On the right hand side of the screen shows this thread started in 2010. As texases said deals done.

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The horse mummified over the last six years. It’s time to beat it again!

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I feel proud. I actually recognized the title as an old thread.

(What’s to be proud?)

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the first thing I would do is track down the maintenance records. Maintenance / oil change is the life blood of the engine. If the oils & filters for both engine & transmission have been changed on a regular basis, there’s a good chance that your motor & Tranny will last their expected life of 350k miles or more. The year of the vehicle means little, the maintenance of the vehicle means everything.

The beating continues…


What the heck are you doing . . . ?! :confused:

The guy you responded to wasn’t even the guy asking about buying that old Benz

And this is an old discussion from 2010, btw :grinning:

No problem Mongo Fix (Blazing Saddles)

Heh heh heh. I put 480K on my Olds diesel. I have the hood ornament mounted and on my desk as a reminder. I’m afraid to go dig the file out with all the maintenance and repair history in it. I’m just getting over it like a bad marriage, so I prefer to never think of it again.

Filters and oil changes? Oh how I wish. True MB uses a better injector pump than the Stanadyne used on the Olds, but geeze they were still $500 and I can’t remember how many I went through. Glow plugs, relays, injectors, cracked fuel lines, a $300 starter, head gaskets and $10 head bolts, vacuum pump, and on and on. Not to mention fuel conditioner all the time in the winter to avoid gelling, and pulling the tank to clean the junk out. No more diesels for me. I just can’t afford that kind of reliability and economy.

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Opinions will vary. The true beating of the dead horse is the constant response to an old posting, as if it were a horrid thing.

The old postings are a true vault of useful car information. This posting is as interesting to non-member readers as it was when it was first posted.

It is not uncommon for a forum to have many times more readers than active posters. This would probably be true more on a help type board such as this one.

I have a very low traffic forum for men who have survived some of the common life disasters facing men today. It does not hide the fact it is not a place to complain about what cards life dealt you, but to help you regain a positive life again.

In a given month, I get less than one new posting, except what I write myself. Yet, when I look down the board, I get postings that have had maybe 170 views.

And, if a registered member can read a posting that member should be able to comment on it.

It would be interesting to know how many views this board gets on old postings, though my curiosity is not reason to make work for the staff.

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