I have just picked up a 20 YO Mercedes and I would like to work on it myself. Where is the best place to go the get a manual that I can use to fix the many small (and some big) and tricky things that are popping up all the time. Mercedes wants $2,900 for a complete factory tech manual.
Yeah, I bought the official 2-CD WIS (Werkstattinformationsystem) on eBay. When I had difficulty installing the software, I emailed the seller who actually telephoned me and walked me through the installation and we quickly got it working. It was a good deal.
I don’t know which model you have, but the Haynes manuals are usually OK for simple stuff. The CD version (mostly bootlegs on ebay) seem to be of inconsistent quality. Some folks have trouble opening the files and some folks say the graphics are poor quality. If you are planning on doing serious work, buy the FSM from the dealer, otherwise the ebay stuff is cheap.
Another option is to take out an ALLDATA subscription at 25 dollars a year with a 15 dollar annual renewal. It’s not as good as the factory manuals but considerably more detailed than the Haynes and near totally worthless Chiltons.
If you’re not getting deeply involved then a Haynes manual should work for most of the light duty stuff.
You can also subscribe to the benz electronic parts catalog (EPC) for free (they used to charge about $20 per year):
Statecinfo is a great resource. It costs $20 per day or $2500 per year. The best thing, in my opinion, is to get 24 hours, have a full supply of paper and a new printer cartridge, and print off as much info as you think you’ll need. Then you can simply store it in a three ring binder.
I think a better option is to buy the factory CD for your specific chassis from MBUSA for around $50. Again, you can print off job numbers and take the info right out into your garage not caring if they get greasy. The factory CD has a wealth of information that pertains specifically to your car model and year.
The Haynes type manuals are fine for some basic maintenance work, but the factory CD has the same info made specifically for your car.
Cheap knock-off copies of these CD’s are bootlegged on E-Bay, but I tend to respect copyright protection.
Sometimes you can find the factory CD’s on E-Bay, but the condition is unknown.
The factory Maintenance Manuals are also quite useful.These manuals cover model years instead of chassis configurations. I find it useful to have both because at times (for reasons known only to them) Mercedes puts some info only in the Maintenance Manuals. It’s nice to have both references.
A 20 year old Mercedes is easy to work on, and you can save a ton of money doing a lot of the light work yourself. But it is foolish to try and do much without the manuals.
Thanks for the reply, I just ordered a MB repair manual on CD for $47, I hope it is what I need.
Thanks. T have a 300E, 1989. In the past I have used the Haynes manual but find them to be less detailed then I would have liked. I hope the MB CD direct from MB will be better.
Thanks, I might try ALLDATA if the MB CD in not enough detail.
might say that you get 191 years of AllData for the price of the manual from Mercedes. An accountant would change that to more years given that payments will be made rather than up-front.
Another advantage of AllData is that you get TSBs. I am sure that the ?88 Mercedes is collecting them at an astounding rate ;-}