Used Mercedes W124 Most Common Problems

Mercedes has always been associated with what is luxurious, expensive and reliable. From the beginning of its existence, this German brand has been striving for excellence and finally achieved it with the launch of the W124 limousine.

This extraordinary car won the hearts of many drivers both in its heyday and many years after its premiere. It is a car that connects generations, because it is driven by both those who remember its debut and those who were born when it entered production.

Used Mercedes W124 model history

Mercedes W124 made its debut in 1985 as the successor of the famous “barrel” marked with the symbol W123. Two years later, a version with the new 4Matic all-wheel drive appeared in the offer, which made its debut in this model.

In 1989, the car underwent a facelift, and then characteristic thick moldings appeared on the doors and the front and rear wheel arches.

In 1990, as a result of cooperation with Porsche, a sports version of the W124 was created, marked with the symbol 500E (later renamed E500), which was to compete with the BMW M5 E34. Three years later the car underwent a second facelift and its name was changed to the E-Class.

The production of the first E-class was completed in 1995 and it was replaced with the “eyepiece” model, ie the W210 model.

It is also worth mentioning that as a result of the high duty on goods imported to Poland, Mercedes W124s were assembled in our country for some time.

Used Mercedes W124 engines


  • R4 2.0 (98- 122 hp)
  • R4 2.2 (150 hp)
  • R4 2.3 (128- 136 hp)
  • R6 2.6 (156- 166 hp)
  • R6 2.8 (193 hp)
  • R6 3.0 (180- 188 hp)
  • R6 3.2 (220 hp)
  • V8 4.2 (279 bhp)
  • V8 5.0 (320 hp)


  • R4 2.0 (72-75 hp)
  • R5 2.5 (90- 113 hp)
  • R5 2.5T (122- 126 hp)
  • R6 3.0 (109- 136 hp)
  • R6 3.0 T (143- 147 hp)

As you can see, the variety of drive units is so great that almost everyone will find something for their wallet.

Which engine is worth recommending and most reliable? In fact, when it comes to failure-free operation, everyone. However, if we are counting on relatively efficient dynamics, we advise you to take an interest in engines with a power above 120 horsepower.

When it comes to gasoline engines, it is worth looking for a 2.5-liter R5 unit, and when it comes to diesel engines, a 2.5-liter variant with a turbocharger provides decent dynamics.

What is the most common failure in the W124 engine? In gasoline engines problems may arise with the mechanical injection, especially with the centrifugal governor of the injection pump.

Its damage is manifested by jerks when starting off. Unfortunately, the cost of repairing it can be up to several thousand zlotys – it is one of the most expensive faults in this model in repair. In diesel engines, on the other hand, turbochargers sometimes fail.

Used Mercedes W124 technical data

The Mercedes W124 has either a rear-wheel drive or an electronically attached 4Matic I generation all-wheel drive, which was developed in cooperation with the Austrian company Steyr-Daimler-Puch. Since 1992, this drive was based on a central differential with a hydraulically controlled multi-plate clutch.

This Mercedes model was offered with two transmissions, a 4- or 5-speed automatic or a 5-speed manual. The suspension of both the front and rear is independent. Mercedes W124 was available in 4 body versions: sedan, station wagon, coupe and convertible.

Used Mercedes W124 typical faults

According to popular opinion, the Mercedes W124 is a car that is almost perfect in terms of failure rate , many examples of this car with a diesel engine were able to drive about 1,000,000 km without major breakdowns.

Unfortunately, the age is doing its job and despite the above-average durability, in many copies we can meet various types of ailments.

The weakest point of the first W124 models is corrosion , which appears on the wheel arches, around the decorative strips and the antenna, and on the tailgate – the fault is on the side of the non-galvanized body.

Another drawback is leaks from the gearbox, valve cover and rear axle. Sometimes it also happens that the differential begins to roar loudly.

In models with higher mileage, the propeller shaft support is also damaged. When it comes to the suspension, it is worth regularly checking the wishbone pins, which sometimes like to fall out. T

here are also problems with the central lock, for which a special pump is to blame, or its leakage. Among the minor drawbacks, it is also worth mentioning the rubbing side panels of the door and the resisting mechanism for moving the driver’s seat.

Used Mercedes W124 in our opinion

Mercedes W124 is a proposal for people who appreciate high travel comfort, good performance, high-quality interior finish, reliability and simple, classic German styling.

The biggest advantage of this model, apart from those mentioned above, is the extremely easy availability of spare parts at very low prices.

We can buy the cheapest Mercedes W124 for about $ 680 , but it’s better to add a few thousand more and buy something really well-kept. For real sports enthusiasts, we recommend the 500 E version, which we can buy for about $ 7,900.

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