Five Ways to Get More Service Life from Your Mercedes Benz 300SDL
With the tough headwinds the U.S. economy is continuously battling against, more and more American motorheads are now keeping their cars even those that are past 150,000 or 200,000 miles. If you are among these people and you still want to get more miles out of your aging Mercedes Benz 300SDL, you have to take extra time off your life and spend it in keeping your Benz looking good, running great, and lasting longer than you expect. That sounds like a serious job considering how old your car is and how hard its driving life has been. To help you get more service life from your MB 300SDL, here are some tips you should keep in mind:
- Preserve the engine's youthfulness.
While cleaning the components under the hood requires much elbow grease, it should be done often to keep the engine looking good and working well. Remember also that there's no other maintenance routine that can top regular oil and filter changes in ensuring the engine's health, so make sure your engine oil level is always above minimum. If during your check you notice that the fluid left in the reservoir is no longer clean, replace it with a fresh and clean fluid; make sure to use only the type and grade recommended in the manual. It's also wise to regularly check the timing belt and accessory drive belt for cracks and other forms of damage.
- Keep your cooling system healthy.
Given your 300SDL's mileage, it just shows that its cooling system has already lived a hard life carrying out the coolant that keeps the engine at the right temperature. So, it is just right that you maintain the good health of all the cooling system components. Feed them with the right amount of clean coolant and regularly check all the hoses for signs of leaks. Check the radiator as well and follow the radiator flush schedule recommended in your manual.
- Schedule a regular brake time.
The brakes deserve a chunk of your time too as they are the ones that make sure you can stop whenever you need to. Since your Benz is already a couple of decades old, you may need to bleed the brakes. Check the brake fluid; if it now looks dark black and is contaminated with rust and bits of rubber, then you should provide your ride with a complete brake overhaul. After the overhaul, take extra effort to keep your brake system efficient by replacing the brake fluid every two years and changing the brake pads and rotors at the right intervals or once they have reached their minimum thickness.
- Give it new life inside and out.
As an old adage goes "a clean car runs better," so it is always a good idea to keep your 300SDL clean inside and out and even underneath. Give it a regular wash and protect its finish with the right type of wax or protectant. Maintain the cleanliness of the interior, too. Vacuum the upholstery regularly and spray disinfectant on the inlet of your a/c system. Keep it smelling fresh with a good air freshener.
- Have it periodically checked by a pro.
As much as you want to cut down on your maintenance budget, do not DIY everything in your aging car unless you are well-versed with all the automotive systems. Even if you are, you may not have the right tools needed for the complicated tasks. So if possible, have your ride checked by a pro at least once a year and let a qualified mechanic do the tasks that are too complicated for you to handle.
Mercedes Benz 300SDL: Diesel Models Under the W126 Series of the S-Class
Mercedes Benz is best known for its top-quality engineering and styling, even among its earlier models. Under its S-Class, the W126 series produced flagship models that were more aerodynamic, more powerful, and more fuel-efficient than their predecessors. The W126 series was unveiled in 1979. Models under this lineup were available in straight-6, V8, and turbo diesel sedan ranges. When it replaced the W116, it sported a new design style, which would be used on future Mercedes Benz models. Aside from having a new design, this line of S-Class Mercedes Benz also featured a number of safety innovations. This series came in several variants: the SE (standard wheelbase), SEL (long wheelbase), SEC (coupe), and diesel models (SD/SDL). The Mercedes Benz 300SLD was introduced under this series. The W126 had a 12-year stint, from 1979 through 1991. It was the longest-running S-Class generation since the mid-50s’ flagship models. Due to its high sales volume, the series became the most famous S-Class.
1970s: The W126 was conceived
In 1973, Mercedes Benz had set new plans for the S-Class generation, which would supersede the W116. Under the Project W126, the new S-Class series would have to be enhanced in terms of ride quality, vehicle handling, and fuel efficiency. A newer and better S-Class was designed to be the among the top-selling luxury sedans in the world. In response to the oil crisis of the 1970s, the German automaker focused on improving fuel efficiency, even for V8-powered S-Class vehicles. Lighter materials were used for the W126 design. This range was made to have a sleeker auto body than earlier models. Aside from reduced overall drag, the new series also increased its maximum speed. It took six years to develop the W126 until it was finally launched at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt in 1979. Initially, the W126 series released seven sedan models with standard (SE and SD) and long wheelbase (SEL and SDL): 280 SE/SEL, 380 SE/SEL, 500 SE/SEL, and 300 SD.
W126 models had been revised and redesigned several years after the Energy Program of Mercedes Benz was launched. In 1985, the modified series models were re-launched at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt. These models featured improved aesthetics and upgraded engine variations.
1986: The Mercedes Benz 300SDL replaced the 300SD
The 300SD under the W126 series was eventually replaced by the 300SDL in 1986. The 5-cylinder engine used in previous models was no longer used in the second-generation W126 models. Instead, a new inline six-cylinder engine, which could produce up to 148hp, was used. Models for 1986 and 1987, under California specification, used a diesel particulate filter as diesel cars. Later on, however, the switch was made to a standard diesel oxidization catalyst. The Mercedes Benz 300SDL, which was launched in 1986, lasted only till 1987. It was released in the North American market with about 13,380 units built.