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My Tutu's 1974 Mercedes Benz

My grandmother (we call her Tutu), who just turned 94 this past November, is willing to give me her 1974 Mercedes Benz. The problem is, no one has driven the car in over 10 years! I would like to know what you think I should do in order to find out if it is in any kind of working condition. I’m afraid to even turn the engine over with all the old gasoline in there. Plus, I’m sure the battery is dead by now. What advise can you give me?

You need a mechanic to do some prep work on it: Remove gasoline from gas tank; change fuel filter; change motor oil and filter, and other fluids; squirt marvel mystery oil, liberally, into each cylinder and let sit a few days; then, turn the engine over by hand a dozen times, or, more. Yes, change the battery. Test run; then, test drive.

Is this car gasoline or diesel powered?

Either way, it will cost money to get this car on the road again. In addition to what hellokit said, I think you will need a complete brake system overhaul and new tires, belts, and hoses.

When this old engine starts running again many of the dried-out seals and gaskets will start to leak, and will have to be replaced.

Parts, service, and repair on Mercedes Benz vehicles is expensive. This may seem like a free car, but it won’t be.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t take the car if you like it and/or want it. Just don’t expect to throw a battery in it and drive it home.

I agree with the previous posts that this car may need a substantial amount of work to get it back to safe, drivable condition. However, if you’re mechanically inclined yourself, there’s no better 1970’s-era car to do that with than a Mercedes. True, parts and service at a dealer or independent MB shop will be pricey, but aftermarket parts are plentiful and reasonably priced (just try to avoid the Chinese stuff), free advice is readily available, and these cars are exceptionally easy to work on. (It should be no surprise that worldwide, a greater percentage of these cars are still on the road than any other car ever made.) Join the discussion group at; you’ll be amazed how much other “classic” Mercedes owners are willing to help with your repair needs.

Having said that, you should get an idea of what the car’s worth before sinking money into it. That will be determined largely by: (a) the mileage (assuming the odometer can be trusted), (b) the condition of the paint and interior, and © the condition of the transmission and front end components. If your grandmother is the original owner and the car has been garage kept and regularly serviced, you may have yourself a sweet deal.

I’m curious. What model Benz is it, Karen?

I agree with all the others. You will spend significant money getting this car running, and potentially a lot more keeping it running. 1974 was near the low point for cars because of the poor pollution controls, Mercedes included. Let us know what model it is, that’ll help you get better comments.

I would let another “collector” “enjoy” this car. Have them drag it out of the garage and onto a flatbed. You could by a new one for what it will cost you to get this “classic” running and safe to drive…

Which series Benz is this fine motor car?

It’s not that big a deal. You will have to spend some money to get it back on the road, and more to make it truly road worthy. Look closely at everything to be sure there is no rat or mouse damage under the hood. Making it run will require fresh fuel, ESPECIALLY if it’s a diesel. (The tag line says gasoline, but anyone could have added that.) Diesel will get a fungus in it over that length of time. That fungus will foul injecters faster than anything else known to Benz Mechanics. A fresh battery is a must. Squirt about a teaspoon of oil, not necessarily marvel mystry oil, into each cylinder. It’s probably not stuck, but try turning it over by hand using a big socket on the front pulley bolt. Turn it over at least two complete revolutions to expell any excess oil that you just added to the cylinders. That way, if you added too much, you won’t hydrolock the enging when you frist try to crank it. The tires are at least ten years old, and unless they were kept in a darkend garage away from UV light, they are probably marginal at best. If you do the initial work yourself, you’ll spend less than $100. If you hire it done, expect to spend $400 to $500. Worth it? Sure. I’d do it in a heartbeat.

Thank you for the POSITIVE feedback~ I’ll have to check on the Benz series.

Why do you want positive feedback, rather than realistic feedback? We aren’t being critical. These old MBs can be extraordinarily expensive to get running and keep running. $500 only would apply if absolutely nothing was wrong.