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Old 25-11-2016, 10:43 AM   #1
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1998 W210 E430 - what to look out for?

Hello all. Newbie here.

Potentially looking at an E430 tomorrow. Was wondering what I need to be looking out for. Never owned a Mercedes or a V8 before.

Rust seems to be the big thing. Anything else I need to consider?

Thanks for your help.
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Old 25-11-2016, 10:47 AM   #2
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Rust, slipping transmission, rust, rust, rust
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Old 25-11-2016, 10:50 AM   #3
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Thanks.

Car is being advertised as rust free. Looks good from the pics, but will need to check when I see it in person.

What is the best way to test the transmission? Just drive it and make sure it changes up and down ok?
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Old 25-11-2016, 11:02 AM   #4
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The only way it can be rust free is if it's an import or someone bought a lot of rattle cans from Halfords. Either way, the salt on the roads over the next few months will mean towing it to the scappy in March. I say towing because the gearbox will have given up the inclination by then.
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Old 25-11-2016, 11:05 AM   #5
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Check it has 8 cylinders and no glow plugs.
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Old 25-11-2016, 11:07 AM   #6
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. Thanks.

It was apparently owned by someone from Mercedes before the current buyer bought it in Jan. He said he has never known such a car to be so clear of rust.

I guess only a visit can confirm. Trouble is, it'll take me nearly 3 hours to get to it tomorrow.

Gearbox and everything was apparently serviced by the previous owner. Used to do all of his own work, apparently.

Car is currently on 140,000 miles.

It's up for just over £1000 and I won't be doing a lot of miles in it as I won't need it for work.

May not be a great purchase then.
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Old 25-11-2016, 11:08 AM   #7
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Quote:
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Check it has 8 cylinders and no glow plugs.
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Old 25-11-2016, 05:32 PM   #8
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what to look for:

# petrol gauge dropping fast!
can you afford to fill it up, V8 is thirsty and fun to drive.

# petrol gauge dropping fast if you have ECC engaged on start ups every time you start car from dead cold!
Turn ignition and block EC everytime before start from dead cold, you will save a lot of petrol blocking the EC for the first 3 min of drive.

# RUSTTTTTT!
open all 4 doors.
fold all rubber strips ontop of all 4 doors and look around from end to end for hidden rust on door frames.

# Electronic gremlins.

we wanna see exterior pics and interior pics if you buy it.

good luck on your inspection and possible purchase.
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Last edited by kowalski; 25-11-2016 at 05:34 PM.
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Old 25-11-2016, 06:13 PM   #9
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98 should be the pre facelift cars so as others have said check rust on the sills where the jack pads are and around the wheel arches and the commonly known issue is the spring perch.

Engines are very strong and for a v8, they actually get pretty good fuel mileage (I get 20-25mpg (US) from my E55 all the time) and can do 200+k miles without major work.

Control arm bushings fail and when they do, it may feel like the wheel is out of balance at certain speeds. If you hear a rattle from the front end, that's the anti roll bar bushings. Early rear light clusters have a habit of suffering circuit failures causing connection problems with the brake light.
Fan clutch can go bad and window regulators.

722.6 transmission can have problems due to lack of fluid changes and electrical problems that can usually be fixed by changing the conductor plate. If the car goes into limp mode and the ASR / ABS lights turn on, it's usually the brake switch.

Plugs require a special wrench to change, it has 16 plugs and can be expensive.

Those are the common problems that i've seen in my 12+ years of owning several V8 powered W210's. On the positive side, these are very reliable cars that are actually pretty easy to work on. Enjoy.
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Old 25-11-2016, 10:52 PM   #10
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Thanks all for useful advice.

Yes, I can afford the fuel. I will only be using the car at weekends and the odd evening. Nothing too heavy as I don't need to drive to work.

I'll look at all the pointers given above.

Link to the ad is below. This should tell you all you need to know about the vehicle. Viewing it tomorrow morning, so an early start for me as it's nearly 3 hours drive to get to it.

Thanks again all.

1998 MERCEDES E430 ELEGANCE, EXCELLENT RUST-FREE CONDITION | eBay

Last edited by funkyrobot; 25-11-2016 at 10:54 PM.
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Old 25-11-2016, 11:31 PM   #11
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The W210 front suspension crossmember under the engine rusts and the only way to inspect/protect it is to remove the undertrays and apply waxoyl, the front undertray forms a water trap where it meets the next tray, fitted spacers resolve this...
Before you drive the car tomorrow definitely check the member condition...many pass the MOT as under the cover and not visible for inspection, however they are prone to collapse due to the water ingress and subsequent rot...had mine replaced FOC by MB on my old W210 (2001MY) as it was bad and a known safety critical issue...if you open the bonnet and look down front of engine at the bottom you will see the structure...many were changed by MB so check for a receipt.

Also, no MOT advisories on a 18 year old car
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Old 25-11-2016, 11:34 PM   #12
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Pedant alert:
He says he bought it from a Mercedes Production Manager.
That means someone in charge of a factory line. None of them in the UK.
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Old 25-11-2016, 11:38 PM   #13
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That looks a very well looked after car and a bargain. With a bit of luck it'll give you many months (maybe years?) of pleasurable driving, without any major expense.
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Old 26-11-2016, 12:02 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSB SL AMG View Post
The W210 front suspension crossmember under the engine rusts and the only way to inspect/protect it is to remove the undertrays and apply waxoyl, the front undertray forms a water trap where it meets the next tray, fitted spacers resolve this...
Before you drive the car tomorrow definitely check the member condition...many pass the MOT as under the cover and not visible for inspection, however they are prone to collapse due to the water ingress and subsequent rot...had mine replaced FOC by MB on my old W210 (2001MY) as it was bad and a known safety critical issue...if you open the bonnet and look down front of engine at the bottom you will see the structure...many were changed by MB so check for a receipt.

Also, no MOT advisories on a 18 year old car
Would have been a VOSA recall, if it was safety-critical.
Had to repair one of mine. Annoying and it was bad detail design - it shouldn't have happened.
Essentially it was a flat 'closing plate' over the drop forged cross member, so of little structural value; it held on the under-tray captive nuts.
(As noted by DM years ago, fwiw)
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Old 26-11-2016, 01:19 AM   #15
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Also pull the oil cap and check sludge. The M113 engines are prone to sludge build up if oil is not changed often. I usually do mine every 5000 miles with synthetic oil. It's cheap insurance. I bought an E55 at auction last year and this is what the oil filter looked like.



When changing the oil, buy the fleece filters which are better designed for longer oil change intervals.
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