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Old 23rd December 2023, 09:14   #316
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Re: Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz - W221 S350 initial ownership review

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Originally Posted by megazoid View Post
My control module blew seeing the control arm cost. I am sure I shall faint standing next to this car. Whatever the case, regal machine and a very thorough approach to maintenance and upkeep.
To be fair there are four items to be replaced, any German car is likely to have the dealer prices in a similar range.

IMHO, there are four ways to get a German car repaired:

Level-1: Just send it to the dealer and let them deal with it. Costs around 1.7L.

Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz - W221 S350 initial ownership review-dealerprices.png

Level-2: Find genuine parts from a portal like FCP Euro. Price of around 80K, less if you can bring them in person avoiding shipping and duties. With some effort, you can find other portals selling genuine parts at a great discount.

Level-3. Find used or made-in-??? parts for a bargain. Should be much cheaper but results may vary depending on the job type. Can be a good choice for trim pieces (vs structural and electrical items).

Level-4. Get into project mode. You can just buy the ball joints alone and reuse the control arms metal frame. Basically repair the parts instead of replacing. Can work out very cheap. Usually child parts are not readily available and you need do a fair bit of research.

Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz - W221 S350 initial ownership review-balljoints.png

You have to balance the savings with the time and effort you are going to spend and the potential risk of requiring multiple attempts to resolve the issue.

I'm clearly not the target customer for this car but back in 2012, my curiosity got the better of me so I pulled the trigger. With age, you lose the ability to be spontaneous :-) so it's better to do stupid things early in life or you may never get to do them.

Last edited by androdev : 23rd December 2023 at 09:18.
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Old 12th January 2024, 08:12   #317
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Re: Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz - W221 S350 initial ownership review

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Originally Posted by androdev View Post
To be fair there are four items to be replaced, any German car is likely to have the dealer prices in a similar range.
...

You have to balance the savings with the time and effort you are going to spend and the potential risk of requiring multiple attempts to resolve the issue.
Hi androgen, following up on an old post to check and confirm if you finally got this done in the official service centre.

A friend of a friend is facing similar issues with his E350 CDI, and exploring options of importing from FCP(Link to part) or getting it done at Sundaram.
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Old 12th January 2024, 19:51   #318
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Re: Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz - W221 S350 initial ownership review

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Originally Posted by iceman. View Post
Hi androgen, following up on an old post to check and confirm if you finally got this done in the official service centre.

A friend of a friend is facing similar issues with his E350 CDI, and exploring options of importing from FCP(Link to part) or getting it done at Sundaram.
Yes, got this done at Sundaram and happy with the service, but can only judge the quality of the repair if the suspension stays good for a few years. You can always take the car to Sundaram for proper diagnosis and then take a call about where to get it fixed after the diagnosis is done.

Typical Mercedes suspension control arm installation instructions read like this:

Quote:
Torque specifications:
  • Self-locking nut, track control arm to stub axle: Stage 1: Nm 50, Stage 2: į 60.
  • Self-locking nut, radius rod to steering knuckle: Stage 1: Nm 50, Stage 2: į 60.
  • Self-locking nut, upper wishbone follower joint to steering knuckle: Stage 1: Nm 20, Stage 2: į 90.
  • Self-locking bolt, front axle rpm sensor to steering knuckle: Nm 25
  • Self-locking nut, tie rod to steering knuckle: Stage 1: Nm 50, Stage 2: į 60
  • Bolt brake cover plate to steering knuckle / wheel carrier: M6 Nm 10

When you are done with repair, put the wheels on and carefully lower the vehicle back down with the weight of the car resting on the suspension. THEN, tighten the airmatic fittings and turn the car on. The vehicle should return back to its normal height. Only tighten the lower control arm bolt to the vehicle fitting with the vehicle weight fully on the wheels (or lower the car onto car ramps), as this will prevent the rubber from being torqued and tearing in the lower control arm.

NOTE: all must be torqued under load at the correct ride height (ie the vehicle on the ground). Since most don't have a four post lift, you'll need to take careful measurements, then support each corner accordingly before fully tightening.
I'm not an expert but I suspect not many people are knowledgeable and equipped to do these jobs and any deviation may cause premature suspension problems - which is what I suspect has happened in my case though I can't say for sure.
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Old 14th January 2024, 16:56   #319
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Re: Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz - W221 S350 initial ownership review

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Originally Posted by androdev View Post
Yes, got this done at Sundaram and happy with the service, but can only judge the quality of the repair if the suspension stays good for a few years.

... Clipped post
Thanks Androdev, based on your advice, my friend just dropped his car at Sundaram Hoodi service. As you said, its a very complicated part and there is no point risking the fitting of a core mechanical component for saving a few thousand bucks. If it causes issues with the suspension at 100kph, the outcome will not be worth the money saved.

Thanks for the advice, appreciate your detailed response.
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Old 14th April 2024, 11:45   #320
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Re: Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz - W221 S350 initial ownership review

12th anniversary update:

Got an ABS error while on a recent trip, but decided to complete the trip with ABS disabled. I was being careful and the trip was uneventful except for a speed breaker that I failed to notice in time. I managed to stop but I could make out the missing ABS and a little "sliding" of the locked up wheels. The speed was low so it wasn't a major problem.

Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz - W221 S350 initial ownership review-abstrip.jpeg

Few months back during the suspension repair, one of the front ABS sensors was replaced. The service advisor told me this could be the other front sensor and if it happens to be the same ABS sensor that was replaced, it would be covered under warranty. I was too lazy to send the car for a check up. I thought it would be a good time to replace all remaining three ABS sensors given the age of the car and ordered the same from Pelican parts that offered the best price (compared to FCPEuro portal which is my go-to portal):

Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz - W221 S350 initial ownership review-order.png
Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz - W221 S350 initial ownership review-pkg.jpeg

Sent the car for ABS replacement and folks at Sundaram took care of it for around Rs 5K service bill.
Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz - W221 S350 initial ownership review-absparts.jpeg
Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz - W221 S350 initial ownership review-carinws.jpeg

Insurance premium is Rs 22K (own damage is just 12K, IDV of 23L) - the joy of owing an old car! I don't have any city commute these days, so the car doesn't see much city usage except for some late night ice cream trips which has become a weekly-once affair these days.
Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz - W221 S350 initial ownership review-ic.jpeg

The car has some serious appetite
Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz - W221 S350 initial ownership review-bp.jpg

The car is built for the highways. Fuel efficiency used to be between 8.5 to 9.5 L/100KM but these days ethanol blending and increased traffic really hurt the FE. Frequent braking and accelerating kills the FE of such a heavy car. Too many speed breakers on national highways these days!
Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz - W221 S350 initial ownership review-trip2.png
Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz - W221 S350 initial ownership review-trips.png

I have asked my son to strike a pose to recreate a photo that was taken 11 years ago

Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz - W221 S350 initial ownership review-thenandnow.png
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Old 14th April 2024, 23:59   #321
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Re: Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz - W221 S350 initial ownership review

Congratulations,
you have bought a gem. Be ready to shell out a lot of money on repairs and maintenance but it's going to be worth it if done properly. Personally have a W221 S320. I think this is the best generation of the Modern S Class.
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Old 15th April 2024, 15:10   #322
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Re: Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz - W221 S350 initial ownership review

The AC condenser looks pretty dirty. You can consider getting it washed with pressure washer to remove the dirt and dust. Will improve the AC cooling considerably!

After these many years you will be surprised by the amount of dirt accumulated in the condenser fins
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Old 15th April 2024, 16:11   #323
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Re: Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz - W221 S350 initial ownership review

I have a W221 S500 (same model year) and I love it.

Quick question - how is the fridge working in your car? I find that ours cools very little (if at all.
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Old 16th April 2024, 09:22   #324
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Re: Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz - W221 S350 initial ownership review

Hello Sir, there is a general perception amongst Indians that German cars are challenging to maintain and are a costly affair. However, people like you and GTO and members of this community prove otherwise. Maintainence, timely and preventive, can help a long way.
Congratulations on owning and utilising a gem of a vehicle. It’s a wonderful relationship that you are sharing with your car in a place where most people just use it for depreciation and short time joy rides.
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Old 16th April 2024, 09:43   #325
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Re: Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz - W221 S350 initial ownership review

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Originally Posted by sagarpadaki View Post
The AC condenser looks pretty dirty. You can consider getting it washed with pressure washer to remove the dirt and dust. Will improve the AC cooling considerably!

After these many years you will be surprised by the amount of dirt accumulated in the condenser fins
Thatís a good tip, thank you. AC performance hasnít gone down though. Do you think the post service car wash involves wasting these radiators? I will mention this during next service visit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JunkyardHunter View Post
I have a W221 S500 (same model year) and I love it.

Quick question - how is the fridge working in your car? I find that ours cools very little (if at all.
Lucky you! S500 would suit this car so much better - a little more power is the only thing I wish my car had. 350 petrol is just about okay on the highways given the weight.

Fridge works great but we use it only for kids stuff (chocolates, cut fruits and juice, etc ) and we find it adequate.
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Old 16th April 2024, 09:54   #326
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Re: Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz - W221 S350 initial ownership review

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Thatís a good tip, thank you. AC performance hasnít gone down though. Do you think the post service car wash involves wasting these radiators? I will mention this during next service visit.
I do not think they would wash it during routine service. Because that needs the front grill to be removed. I noticed the dirty fins because you posted the pic with the front grill removed

For proper cleaning, I suggest you get the front bumper and the grill removed and then get the condenser washed. Because the bottom half of the condenser will be covered by the bumper.

Before summer this year, I removed the front bumper of my car and cleaned the condenser with pressure washer. I had never done this in the decade+ of ownership. The amount of black dirt that came out was shocking. After this cleaning, the AC cooling improved. The amount of time taken for the cabin to cool down decreased.

A word of caution - Ensure you notify the service center to use a wide spray of the pressure washer from atleast a few feet away from the condenser. The high-pressure water may damage the unit if washed from close proximity. I am sure they will know about this. But better to be safe.
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Old 16th April 2024, 18:19   #327
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Re: Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz - W221 S350 initial ownership review

Amusing how a 12-year old car still boasts of features that are futuristic, or contemporary at the least except the below
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Originally Posted by androdev View Post
DVD (6 discs)/SD-card (16GB tested to work), etc. below with a lid to cover
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Old 20th April 2024, 14:17   #328
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Re: Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz - W221 S350 initial ownership review

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Originally Posted by androdev View Post
Thatís a good tip, thank you. AC performance hasnít gone down though. Do you think the postservice car wash involves wasting these radiators? I will mention this during next service visit.
Yes, the washing guys will do it in a jiffy if asked to do so. Ask them to use compressed air to blow out the dust first followed by rinsing it down with water. The water pressure needs to be on the lower side to avoid the bending of the fins and the radiator fan motor should also be taken care of.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sagarpadaki View Post
I do not think they would wash it during routine service. Because that needs the front grill to be removed. I noticed the dirty fins because you posted the pic with the front grill removed
Sir, they haven't removed the front grill. The front grill is attached to the bonnet in this car and will go up with the bonnet when it is raised. The radiator/ condenser can be easily cleaned in this car without the need to remove the bumper. Needless to say, the removal of the front bumper will give better access to the cleaning guys. But they should be able to access a good part of it without the removal of the bumper too.

Last edited by Kashish : 20th April 2024 at 14:22.
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