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Old 8th December 2023, 11:50   #1
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My Adventure in buying a Used 1998 Mercedes W210 E250 Diesel | EDIT: Restoration completed

Hey fellow car enthusiasts!

I am sharing my recent used car buying experience with all of you.

After months of scouring online listings, visiting dealerships, and test driving more cars than I can count, I finally stumbled upon what seemed like the perfect used car for me—a sleek 1998 Mercedes Benz E250 Diesel (W210) and a price that didn't break the bank. The excitement was real!

First off, the initial meeting with the seller was smooth. We arranged to meet in his house, and the car looked even better in person than in the photos. The car had some issues like power steering pump leak, sound from suspension etc. But the engine and gearbox in awesome condition. Literally no smoke at even full throttle. I was sold!

Some history
I started my quest for a new set of wheels with one brand in mind – the iconic Mercedes-Benz W124 E250. I had this dream of cruising in a classic boxy Benz, imagining the smooth rides and the envy-inducing stares. But asking price of good condition W124s are too high.

In a sudden twist of fate, I found myself torn between W124 and W210. After a test drive, I made the leap and went for the W210. It felt like the right choice given the ride quality, 1/4 price of W124 etc.

After some back-and-forth with the owner, we finally settled on a price. But here's the kicker – the owner threw in a brand-new battery (15K) and a year of insurance coverage (10K) as part of the deal.

I know that this Benz is labelled as the worst E class in the history. But for me, this is an awesome deal given the ride quality, fuel efficiency (13-14 kmpl) and bullet proof engine (same W124 engine). Only issue I am facing is the low ground clearance.

In the quiet town where I reside, nestled between green hills and winding streets, my car emerges as a rare and distinctive presence amidst the commonplace vehicles that navigate our familiar roads. Currently W210s are very rare. Most of them are either scrapped or in very bad condition. But I have the feeling that if I maintain the car with genuine spares and right mechanic, this will be more reliable than latest Mercs.

Mileage
Car has clocked 175,000 kms but engine has good compression. These engines are known to clock 5,00,000 kms without any issues. Engine still starts in half crank.

Interiors
Car still have the original leather upholstery without any cracks. Only need some detailing. Planning to get new covers for speaker as it is cracked. The rear seat is very comfortable for long distance travel. The boot is large as well.

Air conditioning
Air conditioning is cooling adequately.

Gearshift & clutch
Clutch is soft and gearshift is smooth. There is some vibration in the gear lever. I ordered gear lever bushes to rectify this.

Overall NVH levels
Not very quiet like new generation cars. Diesel clatter is audible in the cabin but I like the clatter of old school engine

Fuel efficiency
Fuel efficiency is 12 in city and 16-17 in highway. These figures are on sedate driving.

Steering
Steering feel is good. The steering wheel has some wear. Planning to replace it in near future.

Braking
Braking is not very effective. I bought new brake pads but need to replace the brake rotor as it is not smooth.

Drive
As expected from a naturally aspired non turbo diesel, acceleration is just adequate only. But when car gains momentum, it's fun. This engine is a real workhorse and can run on vegetable oil too (saw some videos in YouTube ). I replaced all the O rings in the fuel line.

Things I like:
- Good road presence
- Magic carpet ride
- Engine's character (even though it's underpowered, loves the sound and feel)
- Timeless design

Things I don't like
- Low ground clearance
- Spare parts availability

Intended usage
Planning to use this car as my daily commute which is around 20 kms

Final verdict:
IMO, W210 is an understated car which is a real value for money. This is the right time to buy given the current market prices. Properly maintained and running examples are very few. So, the value will definitely go up in future. The facelift CDI models have good power and ground clearance but I feel it's easy to maintain this old school NA diesel. The parts availability is ok in India. If you have any friends/relatives in UK/Europe, parts are dirt cheap to buy. Almost all parts are available. I prefer brands like Lemforder/Febi as it is cheap and have good quality. For reference , the 4 piece tail lamps (Depo brand) costs INR 4,500. The car can be maintained in normal workshops.

Works planned:

• New headlights (Friend arranged brand new Hella from Germany)
• Tail lamps (Friend arranged from Dubai)
• Engine and gearbox mounts (Lemforder brand)
• Changing all fluids
• Power steering overhaul
• New brake pads and hand brake shoes
• Diesel filters
• Air filter
• New fog lamps (Friend arranged brand new OE from Germany)
• OE 15-inch rims (Currently in 17-inch S500 alloys)
• New tires (Yokohama S drive)
• Full suspension rebuild
• New ABS sensors
• Minor touch ups
• New Hood emblem, rear emblem etc
• New signal lights


Parts already arrived and will update the progress.

Front view
Name:  Benz2.png
Views: 899
Size:  648.7 KB

In Flat bed
My Adventure in buying a Used 1998 Mercedes W210 E250 Diesel | EDIT: Restoration completed-benz3.jpeg

Side view
My Adventure in buying a Used 1998 Mercedes W210 E250 Diesel | EDIT: Restoration completed-benz1.jpeg

OE Fog lamps
My Adventure in buying a Used 1998 Mercedes W210 E250 Diesel | EDIT: Restoration completed-fog-lamps.jpeg

Signal light
My Adventure in buying a Used 1998 Mercedes W210 E250 Diesel | EDIT: Restoration completed-signal-light.jpeg

New Yokohama in 15 inch alloys
My Adventure in buying a Used 1998 Mercedes W210 E250 Diesel | EDIT: Restoration completed-tyre.jpeg

Fuel filter
My Adventure in buying a Used 1998 Mercedes W210 E250 Diesel | EDIT: Restoration completed-fuel-filter.jpeg

Brand new Hella head lamps
My Adventure in buying a Used 1998 Mercedes W210 E250 Diesel | EDIT: Restoration completed-headlight.jpeg

Oil filter
My Adventure in buying a Used 1998 Mercedes W210 E250 Diesel | EDIT: Restoration completed-oil-filter.jpeg

Diesel (Got turbo diesel as it is common overseas)
My Adventure in buying a Used 1998 Mercedes W210 E250 Diesel | EDIT: Restoration completed-diesel.jpeg

E250 badge
My Adventure in buying a Used 1998 Mercedes W210 E250 Diesel | EDIT: Restoration completed-e250-badge.jpeg

Shaft Rubber
My Adventure in buying a Used 1998 Mercedes W210 E250 Diesel | EDIT: Restoration completed-shaft-rubber.jpeg

Wheel bearing
My Adventure in buying a Used 1998 Mercedes W210 E250 Diesel | EDIT: Restoration completed-wheel-bearing.jpeg

Shocks
My Adventure in buying a Used 1998 Mercedes W210 E250 Diesel | EDIT: Restoration completed-shocks.jpeg

Last edited by Vmax1200 : 9th December 2023 at 17:10. Reason: Added more details
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Old 10th December 2023, 19:28   #2
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re: My Adventure in buying a Used 1998 Mercedes W210 E250 Diesel | EDIT: Restoration completed

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!

Going to our homepage this coming week
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Old 11th December 2023, 10:26   #3
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re: My Adventure in buying a Used 1998 Mercedes W210 E250 Diesel | EDIT: Restoration completed

Lovely thread @Vmax1200. Looking forward for next updates.

Last edited by libranof1987 : 11th December 2023 at 10:58. Reason: Kindly do not quote the entire post. Thanks!
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Old 11th December 2023, 11:16   #4
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re: My Adventure in buying a Used 1998 Mercedes W210 E250 Diesel | EDIT: Restoration completed

Not a fan of the looks, but in this colour its a stunner! Please, get it ceramic coated and/or PPF coated. The shine will make it stand out even more!
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Old 11th December 2023, 12:43   #5
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re: My Adventure in buying a Used 1998 Mercedes W210 E250 Diesel | EDIT: Restoration completed

Great Thread! Eagerly awaiting further updates.

IMHO, the S500 alloys look superb, definitely better than the stock alloys while improving the stance as well. Just trying to understand the reason why you are changing it back to stock.
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Old 11th December 2023, 16:18   #6
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re: My Adventure in buying a Used 1998 Mercedes W210 E250 Diesel | EDIT: Restoration completed

Dude! That looks lovely! Yes I always had the preference for the facelift due to the better interior and updates overall but this one you have in hand looks great! Where are you giving it for the work? I see you are in Kochi from your profile?
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Old 11th December 2023, 16:32   #7
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re: My Adventure in buying a Used 1998 Mercedes W210 E250 Diesel | EDIT: Restoration completed

Kudos for embarking on such an adventure. These cars are not for everyone, but they do provide a very special ride.

Having that very long bonnet in front of you, with the three pointed star will give you inmense pleasure as your cruise along.

You did not mentioned it, but do run a full OBD scan with a MB specific codes. These are pretty complex cars, the earlier you catch anything, the better.

On a car of this age, you might want to consider replacing all the fuel hoses, when not metal. Not quite sure on this type, but often the metal lines will be connected to the fuel tank by means of a hose. Same around some of the filters. Irrespective, it is a good idea to inspect all the fuel lines along their full length for rust/dents.

Looking forward to your updates.

Jeroen
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Old 11th December 2023, 17:04   #8
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re: My Adventure in buying a Used 1998 Mercedes W210 E250 Diesel | EDIT: Restoration completed

Amazing. Interior pics please? Where are you getting the work done in Cochin?

Even though the folks on the internet may disagree with me, this is one of the most beautiful of the E-classes. The side-view is breathtaking. Around 2016, I had visited Germany for a month and I was surprised to see several well-maintained W210s on the road. I was under the impression that this is an unpopular model.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vmax1200 View Post
The car can be maintained in normal workshops.
From my experience owning the W124, the workshops do not show enough enthusiasm to fix stuff on old machines and they do lots of trial and error at the expense of your money. So please expect this when you come across when you take the car to a workshop to fix any problems.

Last edited by DudeWithaFiat : 11th December 2023 at 17:07.
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Old 11th December 2023, 17:18   #9
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re: My Adventure in buying a Used 1998 Mercedes W210 E250 Diesel | EDIT: Restoration completed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanjay Halikar View Post
Great Thread! Eagerly awaiting further updates.

IMHO, the S500 alloys look superb, definitely better than the stock alloys while improving the stance as well. Just trying to understand the reason why you are changing it back to stock.
I like the stock look and these 17 inch tires are hitting the fender. I flat exchanged these alloys with stock ones. I know that it was a good deal for other guy
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Old 11th December 2023, 17:39   #10
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re: My Adventure in buying a Used 1998 Mercedes W210 E250 Diesel | EDIT: Restoration completed

Quote:
Originally Posted by rosh_aveo1.4 View Post
Dude! That looks lovely! Yes I always had the preference for the facelift due to the better interior and updates overall but this one you have in hand looks great! Where are you giving it for the work? I see you are in Kochi from your profile?
Thanks. I am maintaining it in a normal workshop in Kothamangalam where I give my W123 also.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
Kudos for embarking on such an adventure. These cars are not for everyone, but they do provide a very special ride.

Having that very long bonnet in front of you, with the three pointed star will give you inmense pleasure as your cruise along.

You did not mentioned it, but do run a full OBD scan with a MB specific codes. These are pretty complex cars, the earlier you catch anything, the better.

On a car of this age, you might want to consider replacing all the fuel hoses, when not metal. Not quite sure on this type, but often the metal lines will be connected to the fuel tank by means of a hose. Same around some of the filters. Irrespective, it is a good idea to inspect all the fuel lines along their full length for rust/dents.

Looking forward to your updates.

Jeroen
Already did the scanning. My mechanic didn't had the pin connector (facelift has normal connector). Then I sourced from a friend. The codes are for ABS, brake wear, traction control etc. Already bought most sensors.

All the O rings in the fuel line is replaced along with plastic parts. Fixed new fuel filters too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DudeWithaFiat View Post
Amazing. Interior pics please? Where are you getting the work done in Cochin?

Even though the folks on the internet may disagree with me, this is one of the most beautiful of the E-classes. The side-view is breathtaking. Around 2016, I had visited Germany for a month and I was surprised to see several well-maintained W210s on the road. I was under the impression that this is an unpopular model.



From my experience owning the W124, the workshops do not show enough enthusiasm to fix stuff on old machines and they do lots of trial and error at the expense of your money. So please expect this when you come across when you take the car to a workshop to fix any problems.
Will post the interior pictures. I am maintaining the car in an ordinary workshop in Kothamangalam. My mechanic is an auto enthusiast and loves to work on unique cars
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Old 11th December 2023, 23:20   #11
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re: My Adventure in buying a Used 1998 Mercedes W210 E250 Diesel | EDIT: Restoration completed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vmax1200 View Post

Already did the scanning. My mechanic didn't had the pin connector (facelift has normal connector). Then I sourced from a friend. The codes are for ABS, brake wear, traction control etc. Already bought most sensors.
Why did you buy most sensors? A sensor code rarely means anything wrong with the sensor.

Jeroen
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Old 13th December 2023, 12:09   #12
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re: My Adventure in buying a Used 1998 Mercedes W210 E250 Diesel | EDIT: Restoration completed

Great Thread Bijo, I think you are soon going to start a new trend for w210's.
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Old 13th December 2023, 15:15   #13
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re: My Adventure in buying a Used 1998 Mercedes W210 E250 Diesel | EDIT: Restoration completed

A lovely car in a gorgeous colour!
Well done and wishing you many happy miles!
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Old 28th December 2023, 16:46   #14
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re: My Adventure in buying a Used 1998 Mercedes W210 E250 Diesel | EDIT: Restoration completed

Work update:

Suspension and power steering overhaul completed. One front shock was not even moving. Wondering how the car managed provide to awesome ride quality with these shocks. Power steering overhaul costed INR 7,500 rupees.

Both engine and gear mounts were in pathetic condition. Replaced with new Lemforder mounts.

Now planning to paint both bumpers and replace head lights and tail lamps.

Fresh Mobil 1 engine oil. I think old oil was there for ages.
My Adventure in buying a Used 1998 Mercedes W210 E250 Diesel | EDIT: Restoration completed-engine-oil.jpeg

New Lemforder steering bushes
My Adventure in buying a Used 1998 Mercedes W210 E250 Diesel | EDIT: Restoration completed-new-steering-bushes.jpeg

Old steering bushes
My Adventure in buying a Used 1998 Mercedes W210 E250 Diesel | EDIT: Restoration completed-old-steering-bushes.jpeg

Old Engine and gearbox mounts
My Adventure in buying a Used 1998 Mercedes W210 E250 Diesel | EDIT: Restoration completed-old-engine-gearbox-mounts.jpeg

Old lower arm end
My Adventure in buying a Used 1998 Mercedes W210 E250 Diesel | EDIT: Restoration completed-old-lower-arm-end.jpeg

Old suspension parts
My Adventure in buying a Used 1998 Mercedes W210 E250 Diesel | EDIT: Restoration completed-old-suspension-parts.jpeg

Wheel Alignment
My Adventure in buying a Used 1998 Mercedes W210 E250 Diesel | EDIT: Restoration completed-wheel-alignment.jpeg
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Old 4th January 2024, 11:04   #15
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re: My Adventure in buying a Used 1998 Mercedes W210 E250 Diesel | EDIT: Restoration completed

Update More parts arrived.

Brand new front and rear brake rotors
My Adventure in buying a Used 1998 Mercedes W210 E250 Diesel | EDIT: Restoration completed-brand-new-front-rear-brake-rotors.jpeg

New Emblem
My Adventure in buying a Used 1998 Mercedes W210 E250 Diesel | EDIT: Restoration completed-new-emblem.jpeg

Thermostat
My Adventure in buying a Used 1998 Mercedes W210 E250 Diesel | EDIT: Restoration completed-thermostat.jpeg

V belt
My Adventure in buying a Used 1998 Mercedes W210 E250 Diesel | EDIT: Restoration completed-v-belt.jpeg
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