Is Mercedes W210 Reliable? (Important Facts)

Mercedes is known for its luxury vehicles that are not only premium to own, but are quite reliable as well. W210 can be regarded as a model that started the transition of Mercedes towards modernity. It can also be regarded as the last of the kind of truly reliable cars that had no fancy electronics or sensors.

The Mercedes W210 followed in the footsteps of its predecessors and stood the test of time. W210 was totally redesigned with some modern accents and a better; lightweight body frame. It also pioneered different new features and technology in the Mercedes lineup, and still stands strong if maintained properly. Let’s have a look at the Mercedes W210, its reliability and long-term endurance, the option of sturdy engines, and its overall maintenance.

Is Mercedes W210 Reliable?

W210 is considered to be one of the most reliable cars to roll out on the Mercedes assembly line. It had different engine options and configurations, along with manual and automatic transmissions. Mercedes also launched some new features with this particular model. If maintained regularly, the Mercedes W210 would keep you going for limitless miles and years before requiring any major redo.

W210 also had one of the most dependable engines, especially the diesel ones that did not break down quite often. You would still find W210 with over 200,000 miles and going strong.

The Mercedes W210 has proved itself to be very reliable if maintained properly over the years, and some people are still running their cars with more than half a million miles on the odometer and over 2 decades of service.

Mercedes W210 is a perfect choice for those who want a highly reliable car with a classic + modern mix and match.

Also read: Is Mercedes W124 Reliable? (Important Facts)

What are the Most Common Problems with the Mercedes W210?

Despite its rock-solid build quality and durability, the Mercedes W210 suffers from a few potent problems over the years, particularly with mechanical and electrical parts. Some common problems include automatic transmission faults, steering wheel issues, intercooler problems, fragile suspension, and electronic issues.

The main cause of these problems is the negligence in maintenance and rough usage of the car.

1- Automatic Transmission Faults

If the auto gears are used roughly and transmission oil is not replaced regularly, the transmission system can become problematic in a W210. The most common signs are jerky shifts, overheating of the system, and oil leakage. This problem usually occurs after the car has driven well over 200,000 miles.

2- Steering Wheel Issues

Another common issue with W210, and these occur mostly due to usage on rough terrains and improper maintenance. The common signs include jerky steering wheel while turning, knocking out of steering rods, and fluid leakage. This issue appears after 150,000 miles and is a complex job to repair.

3- Intercooler problems

The pipes in the intercooler assembly are fragile and prone to cracks and fractures. This becomes problematic as the combustion process is disturbed, and the car burns too much fuel. The owners must keep an eye on these parts and get them replaced promptly once a problem is diagnosed, which usually occurs after 150,000 miles.

4- Fragile Suspension

The wishbone in the suspension system of a W210 is known to be fragile and prone to separation. Owners have reported broken wishbone on their cars, which is reportedly a very expensive fix, that occurs usually after 200,000 miles.

5- Electronic Issues

The most common electronic components to suffer from frequent problems include defective display, rear folding headrests, and front headlamps. These issues appear after 150,000 miles. Mostly, a faulty fuse or wiring is the culprit, but a major malfunction requires complete replacement of the part.

Also read: 3 Best Mercedes for Amazing Drifting

Cost of Fixing the Common Problems with the Mercedes W210

1Automatic transmission faults$600-1,200
2Steering wheel issues$400-600
3Intercooler problems$500
4Fragile suspension$500-800
5Electronic issues$250-600

Which Mercedes W210 Years are the Best and Worst?

W210 was in the market for a few years, while some of the models were robust and popular among the buyers, some suffered from manufacturing faults and did not do well in long-term reliability.

Best Mercedes W210 Model Years

  1. 2000
  2. 2001

Worst Mercedes W210 Model Years

  1. 1996
  2. 1997
  3. 1998
  4. 1999

Which Mercedes W210 Engines are the Most and Least Reliable?

Mercedes W210 came with both gasoline and diesel engines with different displacement and cylinder configurations. W210 has some really durable engines that could easily last 400k miles without breaking, while some are not so dependable. The best engine in the W210 is OM642, while the least reliable engines are M112 and OM604.

Most Reliable Mercedes W210 Engines

  1. OM642

This 3.0l V8 engine is regarded as the best ever engine in the Mercedes W210, thanks to its long terms reliability and solid performance over the years. The diesel powerhouse is one of the most desirable engines in the market right now.

Least Reliable Mercedes W210 Engines

  1. M112

This particular engine was equipped with a harmonic balancer and due to quality issues, it had frequent failures, and its rubber parts interfered with the timing belt causing extensive damage.

  1. OM604

The electronic injection pump on these engines was prone to failure and led to hefty repair costs.

Is Mercedes W210 Safe?

Despite launching on the eve of the previous century, the W210 was generously equipped with safety features and optional extras. Additionally, it had a stiff and lightweight chassis that had multiple crumple zones, offering dependable protection to the occupants in case of an impact.

The safety features & equipment in the Mercedes W210 include;

  1. ABS with electronic braking and brake distribution.
  2. A rigid chassis design with multiple crumple zones.
  3. Electronic traction control.
  4. 3-point pre-tensioner seat belts with weight adjustment.
  5. Driver and passenger airbags, with side curtain airbags as well.

Also read: 6 Mercedes-Benz Models to Avoid (with Years)

How Much Does Mercedes W210 Cost to Maintain?

These are some of the maintenance costs of a Mercedes W210;

  1. Oil change: $180
  2. Filters (air, oil, and fuel): $250
  3. Brake oil: $220
  4. Cost of a tire: $250
  5. Gear oil: $280
  6. Labor charges: $300-450

Total: $1,580

Yearly maintenance cost: average $1,580

Yearly Fuel Cost: average $2,000

Insurance Cost: $900

What is a Good Mileage for the Mercedes W210?

250,000 miles can be considered a good mileage for a Mercedes W210. W210 has some great engines and other mechanical components, and if maintained properly with faulty parts replaced on time, it can easily last more than 500,000 miles. So, if you can find a W210 with a single owner throughout and proper maintenance history, it can be an ideal purchase for you.

What Parts Should You Replace and After How Many Miles?

For optimal performance and enhanced lifespan of the powertrain and body frame, it is important that the maintenance schedule is followed and some parts, along with the lubricants are changed at regular intervals in a W210. These include engine oil and filter, spark plugs, timing belt, brake pads, and a few others.

1Lubricants3,000 miles
2Air, oil, and fuel filter3,000 miles (15,000 for fuel filter)
3Brake pads15,000 miles
4Tires25,000 miles
5Spark plugs and battery60,000 miles
6Timing belt60,000 miles

Are Mercedes W210 Parts Widely Available?

W210 was launched internationally in multiple markets and thanks to the large network of Mercedes dealerships, parts availability is not a problem. W210 was produced in large numbers, and there are different third-party manufacturers that produce quality aftermarket parts. Parts availability should not be a problem with so many options onboard.

Mercedes has a strong network of dealers and in case you do not have a backup in your vicinity, you can source the parts from the factory.

How to Buy a Reliable Mercedes W210?

To get a reliable Mercedes W210 in pristine condition, keep the following points in mind while buying a used car;

  1. Get a third-party inspection team to check the car thoroughly and give a detailed account of the condition.
  2. Check the maintenance and ownership history, and also get the CARFAX report.
  3. Try to look for a car with less mileage and a corrosion-free body.
  4. Make sure all the faulty components have been replaced/repaired.
  5. Take a test drive yourself and get an opinion from an automotive expert as well, before you buy the car.
  6. There are dedicated online forums for Mercedes-Benz vehicles, it is wise to check those for a good car.

Mercedes W210 – Pros & Cons


  1. A very well-built car with high durability.
  2. Very reliable powertrains and frames.
  3. Very good safety features and technology.
  4. Not so expensive to purchase and insurance is also affordable.


  1. The parts and repairs of W210 could be expensive.
  2. The labor charges and services costs are higher.
  3. These are not so cheap to run and are known gas-guzzlers.
  4. Being an older car, most of the used market is flooded with cars having high mileage.