1996 Mercedes-Benz E300 Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 1996 Mercedes-Benz E300 as reported by actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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Known Problems

Due to wear, high usage vehicles can experience ignition lock and tumbler failures. The ignition lock cylinder will generally require replacement to correct this concern.

Instrument cluster displays tend to fail, especially the clock and gear indicators. Our technicians tell us the instrument cluster will require replacement to correct this issue.

The evaporator temperature sensor can fail, causing the AC compressor not to cycle. If the AC compressor does not turn on, the AC system will not blow cold air. If the compressor is stuck on, the air will be very cold at first, before warming up.

A malfunctioning HVAC blower motor regulator can cause the blower motor to operate below the requested speed or not at all. Updated regulators are available; the blower motor and cover need to be replaced at the same time to upgrade the system.

Oil leaks can develop around the oil filter housing.

Leaks may develop from the differential cover and/or seals on high mileage or older vehicles. Our technicians recommend a complete reseal of the differential unit if these leaks are addressed.

A vibration felt through the center floor of the vehicle can be caused by cracked and/or shredded driveshaft flex discs, resulting in excessive driveshaft movement. If not repaired, damage to the driveshaft center support bearing, transmission, or differential can occur.

The lower control arm bushings can wear and crack, resulting excessive movement at the control arm pivot point, leading to irregular and premature tire wear. Worn Ball joints can also cause similar tire wear symptoms. I some cases it may be necessary to replace the lower control arm, including bushings & ball joint to correct this concern.

As brake fluid becomes dirty over time, it can cause a failure of the anti-lock brake system (ABS) modulator assembly. Our technicians recommend a complete brake system flush every two years to help prevent this issue.

The brakes may begin to squeak at about the 50 percent wear point. This is due to the size and material used for the brake pads and rotors.  The brake rotor surfaces become uneven, causing a lip to form at the outer edge. This will generally require replacement of the rotors when the pads are worn (pad life varies depending on driving style and terrain).

A squeak from the steering column is often related to a rubber boot in the column or a seal in the power steering rack.

The switch for the vanity mirror light above the sun visor fail; there is an updated switch for some models. On the remaining models, due to a redesign, the mirror "cassette" will need replacement.

The sunroof may not work correctly due to failed components as a result of age and wear. Repairing a sunroof can be labor intensive and very costly.

Brake lamp housings can melt, resulting in a loss of contact for the brake light bulb holder. If this happens, the brake light will not work. Replacement of the damaged lamp housing should correct this problem.

High mileage vehicles may develop a leak from one or more of the transmission oil seals.