Buying Advice Mercedes-Benz E-Class (w210) 1995- 2002 Common Issues Engines Inspection

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Hello everyone,

We are back with another car buyers review. And a big welcome to all the new subscribers to this channel.
Today time we will take a look at the Mercedes E-class, bassically the first E-class from Mercedes.

This particular car is the W210 and this car was built between 1995 and 2002.
This car replaced the legendary mercedes W124. The built quality and refinement, durability of the engine made the W124 an icon. Many Taxi’s where W124’s back in the day here in Europe.


This sedan is the most comfortable in its class. Direct rivals for the E-class are the BMW 5-series and Audi A6, and maybe even the Jaguar XJ. One of its design features are its 4 round headlight units.
The design work on the car started in the late 80’s by Steven Mattin and Bruno Sacco.

Development and new generation of engines

Development on the W210 started in 1988. It would take another 7 years until the car was unveiled to the public. It was also the first time that the straight six cylinder engine was replaced by the V6 engines in the E-class. Although it still features 2 inline engines, the 4 and 6 cylinders. New where the V6 and v8 Engines.

Also the older diesel engines where replaced by CDI engines in this generation.
Back in the days the CDI, or Common Rail Diesel Injection was a new concept that made diesels even more economical while offering more performance.


Another feature that was ahead of its time was the 5 speed automatic transmission that offered semi manual control of the gearbox. The W210 was also the first E-class that was equipped with xenon headlights.  In this video we will discuss the reliability of the car, its engine and especially its body work.
Mercedes cars from the late nineties to early 2000’s suffered terrible from rust.


Mercedes started cutting costs in the late 90’s and this resultated in them using paint on a watery base.
The effects where so bad that cars that where only a few years old already showded signs of Corrosion on the body panels. Later on Mercedes changed the quality of the paint again since the problems where begining to affect their reputation. Cars that where kept inside and drove around in better climates where not effected as hard as cars that had to deal with wet climate and cold winters.

Enginewisethese cars where indestructible, but everything around the engine started to deteriorate in quite a short while. If you used tectyl for the chassis in the winter, this could functional as a protection layer to combat corrosion. In 1997 Mercedes added a AMG to the line up of the E-class. The E50 AMG was launched in 1997, later on the E60 and E55 where added to the lineup. Power ranged between 354 HP until 405 HP.

The formula of a big sedan with lots of power was succesful. The recipe was origally taken from BMW since they already had their M5 and later on M3 models. It brought some of the racing technology to the streets. AMG took a strong Mercedes engine and made them better, most of the time by changing half the parts of the original engines. AMG also changed the suspension, brakes and the bodywork on the car.

Now to the big question, is this car reliable ?

There are various things you should check or be aware of when buying this generation E-class.
First off all it is already quite an old car so there can be potentially a lot that need replacement due to age.

I will list some of the reliability concerns.

Harmonic Balancer

Some M112 and M113 engines used in W210 models were equipped with a harmonic balancer pulley which, due to a supplier quality problem, may fail and cause engine damage.
If the rubber insert of the harmonic balancer pulley delaminates, the pulley may grind through the timing chain cover and oil pan, causing several thousand dollars of damage.
Mercedes-Benz USA issued Service Campaign #2005-020003[18] which included inspection of the part and replacement if necessary at no cost.

Blower Motor Regulator

If this part fails, the climate control fan will not operate faster than approximately 50% power. Mercedes updated the regulator to improve its reliability, but the redesigned regulator requires the installation of a new blower motor—about $1,000 in parts.
The old-style regulator, which is compatible with the existing blower motor, is no longer manufactured. The blower motor regulator may be replaced with the much less expensive W140 S-class blower regulator,
provided that the E-class wiring harness is re-attached to the S-class regulator.

Front Sway Bar Drop Links

While not a serious concern, most E-classes end up with a sub 35 mph (56 km/h) clicking or rattling sound from the front end. This is usually due to worn out front-end sway-bar drop links. These can easily be replaced by anybody with minor knowledge of vehicle DIY, for no more than around £20.

Front Spring Perches

Some owners have reported rust problems on the front spring perches – the top perches, which hold the tops of the springs for the front suspension. The perches are spot welded to the chassis, and factory coated in a weatherproof mastic to stop their rusting, however in some rare occurrences, water gets behind the mastic causing the perches to rust and eventually to fail – leading to collapse of the suspension. The car remains controllable. This is a problem that Mercedes USA have acknowledged. The problem is not identifiable without first removing the mastic to check.

Body corrosion

Most model year versions of the W210 displayed body rust, notably on European-sold cars. Rust would sometimes appear spontaneously on panels such as doors and roofs on cars less than a year old. In response to this problem, the manufacturer would normally change or repair the affected panels under warranty. Mercedes-Benz has been criticized in the European press for not officially acknowledging this problem. This was due to problems introducing water-based paint technology.

Window regulators

The power window regulator, essentially the mechanism that transfers power from the electric motor to the window, has a few plastic parts that can fail after several years causing the power window to stop operating. DIY replacement of a window regulator can be done in about 1–2 hours at a cost of somewhere between $60 and $120 for the part.

Cylinder Head Gasket

The cylinder head gasket on the M104 is known to fail, causing an oil leak at the rear of the cylinder head.

Differential Bushing

The rear IRS differential bushing wears rapidly during high performance driving and cornering.

Diesel injection distributor pump

The OM604 engines (E200D and E220D) were equipped with an electronically controlled injection pump from Lucas. The seals of the Lucas injection pumps become brittle over time and leak. The electromechanics have also been know to fail. Since the replacement of the entire injection pump is very expensive, a repair kit is offered in which the affected seals are replaced. Failed Lucas pumps are also commonly replaced with Bosch pumps from W124.

Thanks for reading or watching this car buyers review, hopefully it was useful for you.

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