Second opinions on Merc 300TD Purchase

Looking into buying a Mercedes 300TD Wagon, found a good looking option but want advice on if it’s a decent deal for what I’d be getting.
I’m looking to use it as a daily driver, and to go on trips to the mountains.
Live in California, but don’t have too much budget aside from what I can put into the original purchase (won’t be able to make too many big fixes after purchase) Is this a wise decision and what should I be looking out for, the seller listed work he’s done to the car as well as things he thinks it needs next, he’s a Mercedes Mechanic so I believe he knows what he’s talking about… in any case thanks yall:

Work it still could use.

A/C compressor dead
Heater valve seeping, may be able to get by with insert replacement for now although must be MB insert. MTC is not good.
Front shocks are a bit soft
Climate control actuator leaking, don’t know which one.
Possible climate control module, not expensive.
Would like to rebuild injectors, smoother running
Motor mount shocks and mounts

FYI, I recently compared the headlight to a 2010 Mercedes ML350, the ones on the wagon were brighter.

elow I’ve listed what I’ve done in the last 2 years. Most of it in the last year.

New brake master cylinder
New brake booster
Replaced front brake pads and rotors
Repacked front wheel bearings
New front lower ball joints
Replaced rear brake pads and rotors
New rear sway bar links
New rear differential mount
Serviced rear differential
New rear hydraulic accumulators
New engine mounts
New oil cooler hoses
Replacement oil cooler
New belts
New thermostat
New alternator
Thoroughly cleaned injectors and injection pump
New fuel tank screen
Adjusted valves every 9 months
Fuel filters replacement every 9 months
Transmission serviced
Oil changed regularly with full synthetic (Amsoil)
New coolant expansion tank and cap
Flushed suspension fluid and new filter
New battery (Interstate)
New windshield seal, Genuine Mercedes
New rear window and seal, Genuine Mercedes
New blower motor
All door vacuum actuators new
New ignition switch and steering lock
New Glow Plugs
New Glow Plug Relay
All 4 tires have over 50% remaining
CD player with Bluetooth and HD radio
Upgraded headlights (ECE spec)

What year?

Turbocharged or naturally aspirated?

How much are they asking?

I’m pretty familiar with those cars, and the handling is terrible. I would advise against such a car as a daily driver

If it’s a 123 chassis (round body style with 14" rims and chrome bumpers), it doesn’t even have airbags or abs. As I said, not a car I’d consider for everyday use

The climate control actuator leaking is EXTREMELY common. What you want to do is convert your hvac system to a more modern version. I’ll try to give you details and a website when you give ME more details

When you replace the ac compressor, make sure to convert to R134a, if it hasn’t been done already.

These cars have reached the point where they don’t sell for low prices anymore. But a high price has to be justified with great condition. I have no idea where you’re located, but rust was certainly an issue on these cars

This is a recipe for financial disaster: ollllld MB that needs work, no money to do it. Why do you want it? Hard to imagine a more polluting vehicle.


If you’re not prepared to spend around a grand a year in repairs every year ( in addition to typical maintenance), then you probably shouldn’t buy this car. If it was going to be a weekend/hobby car, and you have a reliable daily driver, then yeah, it would be a reasonable idea. But if this is going to be your only vehicle, it would be madness to think that a 30-40 year old Benz would be a viable choice as a daily driver. And yes I know the W123’s have a reputation for being overbuilt and the diesel variants could probably survive a nuclear exchange. But it’s still a 30-40 year European car with the associated repair costs when something does go wrong.


asking 6000
located in California,

That price is pretty much what I thought you’d say, for what it’s worth

Has the car been located in California (hopefully southern California) its entire life?

If it spent years in an area with lots of road salt . . . beware

likely no road salt, but can check if/when I see it in person

Low budget - no large reserve fund for repairs ( used luxury brands have high repair costs ) Wise decision , No.

A 300 YD wagon was never meant for camping in the first place.

No old car will be a good daily driver, and a Benz will be expensive in addition to being unreliable. The 300TD is a bad idea. Look at something from the early 2000s if you can spend $6000. What are your requirements? Don’t name cars, but tell us what you want to do with it.

Best thing I see in the deal is the seller/mechanic seems honest. Personally I would never buy a car that needed work, any kind of work, unless I planned on doing a complete restoration. One fix leads to another fix. Why not spend the 6 grand with a reputable dealer who will give you a 30 day warranty? Good luck.

That list just by itself would make me look for something else. Even at bargain prices it could be 4 or 5 thousand dollars.

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This is a very bad idea. If your total budget is a little over $6,000, you should be looking at a used Korean car or something similar.

Agree! This is at best a hobby car for someone with deep pockets. Buy a good used Hyundai, Mazda or Kia with low miles in stead.

I agree that this should be a hobby car or a weekend car, not a daily driver.

This generation of Benzes has now acquired some kind of “cult” status among certain people. But I don’t see too many being used as daily drivers.

The car is rather low on power by today’s standards. It will maintain speed just fine, once you reach your set speed. But getting there . . . :frowning_face:

Even though this car has independent suspension and disc brakes all around, the braking and handling leave a lot to be desired, by today’s standards. I seem to remember wet weather handling was especially poor.

I sure hope the engine’s healthy. There is a misconception that these diesel engines never wear out. That is untrue.

I’m glad to see that a lot of attention has been paid to the suspension, as that can be quite expensive to get back up to par. But I see no mention of the steering system at all? is a good online supplier of parts. You can buy cheap or oem quality, your choice. For european cars, I’d choose them over rockauto

Are you a fan of these particular cars, or are you just getting into it

I mention that, because some people are absolutely shocked, when they love the looks, but the handling and braking is inferior

I believe in the old axiom:
“If you want to make a small fortune, start with a large fortune and buy a used Mercedes”.


Don’t buy a Mercedes if the warranty is over. Take a look at this video

You hear that all the time. However, there are exceptions to the rule. My mother’s 2003 CLK 430 has been trouble-free for the past 5 years. When she got it there was some weirdness with the transmission refusing to downshift, but once that was fixed ( it took 2 different mechanics to diagnose it properly), I do the routine maintenance on it for her, as it’s much cheaper, and on this car, very easy to do (oil filter is on top of the engine, drain plug is near the front of the oil pan, etc.)

Good think YOU do the oil changes, as opposed to those chain lube places

Remember a few month ago, we were talking about that poor owner who discovered the lube “mechanic” used a sawzall to cut a gaping hole in the plastic splash pan . . . :fearful:

As far as splash pans go, the one on your mom’s CLK430 is one of the easier ones to remove. The only problems I’ve ever had is that, over time, the speed nuts (or whatever they’re called) wear out, and the screws no longer tighten properly. But those nuts are very cheap and easy to replace.

Is the oil filter fabric? My son in law had a 2005 C-Class Kompressor Benz and he didn’t like the fabric filter. He did his own filters and fluids and found it a PITA.

The fabric filters would keep these cars out of the quick lube shops, IMO.

It’s has paper media on a stick arrangement. Inferior to the traditional spin on filter in every way. You remove the plastic/aluminum cover ( it’s on the top of the engine and is very easy to get to), then pull out the plastic stick that has the filter media attached to it along with three rubber o-rings that get progressively smaller from top to bottom, these can be somewhat difficult to remove after being exposes to oil hot for 10k miles. You remove the old media and O-rings and replace them with the new media, making sure it’s firmly seated on the plastic stick , replace the o-rings and place entire assembly back in the engine and then hand tighten the cover.