Sunday, February 22, 2015

Puchasing tips with Kent Bergsma - 1984 to 1993 W201 190E and 190D

Have you ever heard of Kent Bergsma? He's a Mercedes DIY-expert and he has repaired an uncountable amount of Mercedes-Benz classics, oldtimers and youngtimers. I've always loved to watch his very informative videos even if they were produced to encourage the purchase of other more detailed videos or equipment that he built on his own. The following video is dedicated to the W201 and how to find the right one. There are much more videos of Kent Bergsma and I've watched almost all of them. I will present you a number of good ones here on my blog.

CLICK HERE to enjoy the first video about the W201.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Loose gear knob, a simple rubber ring with strong impact

Since 2010 I noticed that the gear knob of the automatic transmission became more and more loose. It was difficult to distinguish between the position "D" and "N", means it looked like as if the knob was on position "N" but the transmission indeed was in position "D". Moving the knob felt like moving something unstable in a mixture of every possibilities. Very confusing.
Talking to some friends and reading in some forums led me to a very small rubber ring under the car that is in almost every case the reason for this described malfunction.

We drove the car on a ramp to check the bars and connections of the automatic transmission under the car.

The problem is mostly a small rubber ring between the shift bar coming from the shift knob and the bar to the transmission. After years of heat, cold and mechanic impact the rubber becomes more and more hard and crumbly. It breaks. As the two bars are connected with a nut and the rubber rings around it, the bars don't disconnect, even if the rubber ring falls off completely. The effect is that you have a very soft and unstable feeling while shifting the shift knob. It is possible that you can hear a metallic sound while moving the shift knob. And here is the responsible part:

On the left side you can see the broken rubber part. On the right side is the new one. Kind of different, isn't it?

On the following picture you can see the new installed rubber ring. We used some grease to get it into its position. This is the most difficult part because the ring sits quite tight.

It's kind of a puzzle repair and small hands have a clear advantage here because you don't have much space in the tunnel under the car. But the effect is wonderful. The gear knob is tight again and it feels as if the car was brand new. The exchanged piece itself is a cent-article and the effect is disproportionately great!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The W201 and the Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaften

The DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaften, German Touring Car Championship) made the W201 very popular. 1992 was the year of Mercedes: The AMG-Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.5-16 Evo 2 won the championship 16 times. Watch the video below to get an impression of the ghost of 1992!

YouTube-videoDTM Jahresfilm 1992 in 16:9 (Trailer DVD 822)

The magic three letters “DTM” once stood for “Deutsche Tourenwagen-Meisterschaft” (German Touring Car Championship). Today, they are the trademark of the most popular international touring car racing series. Its history began in the 1984 season with cars that were close to the production versions and culminated in a worldwide series for high-tech touring cars in 1996. After a three-season break the DTM, in 2000, celebrated its successful comeback with a trendsetting concept – fascinating technology at reasonable costs. Today, the series is regarded as the “pinnacle” of touring car racing and one of Europe’s leading sports events. (, February 15th 2015)

Friday, February 13, 2015

Additional note to the exchange of the thermostat switch

A few days ago I reported about the exchange of the 100°C-thermostat switch. Well, another reason for a non-functioning fan might be the fan itself. So you should check the ventilator by following these steps:

Pull off the connector of the thermostat switch as shown on the following picture.

This is the cable between the thermostat switch and the fan. If you disconnect it the electric circuit is open and the fan doesn't get electricity. Take a short cable and make a short circuit by plugging the two ends in the two openings of the connector.

If you start the engine now the fan should start immediately ventilating fast and relative to the engine speed. If this is the case you have proven that the fan is working fine and that a malfunction is probably caused by the thermostat switch.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Sanding and recoating the small wooden plank around the shift knob

In January 2013 I was so crazy and did a very difficult DIY job. Sanding and recoating the small wooden plank around the shift knob. I collected all available data from the internet and I started looking for the right products. Altogether it is a job with a great outcome. But take you time! Doing it too fast leads to air pockets or chipping. Click on the video below to watch this DIY in a time lapse.

Sanding and recoating the small wooden plank - WATCH THE VIDEO HERE

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Video about the exchange of the thermostat cover

CLICK HERE to watch the video about the exchange of the thermostat cover. The covers made of aluminum are more stable than the plastic ones. The plastic covery break and the sudden loss of cooling water can cause severe damage to the engine. The next days I will provide you with some more details and photos of the exchange. The video is a more artistic one.

broken thermostat cover

Friday, February 6, 2015

Bruno Sacco - talking about his work life at Mercedes-Benz

Bruno Sacco,
picture taken from

Bruno Sacco was born November 12, 1933 in Udine. The designer was one of the most important designers working for Mercedes-Benz. He was responsible for the design of many classics that we call our own and that we still find timeless (W126, W201 and others). "Gutes Design erkennt man durch das Fehlen von Schnickschnack!", that means "You can recognize good design by the lack of knickknacks!" That describes just perfectly his work. In the following video Bruno Sacco is talking about his work life at Mercedes-Benz where he worked from 1975 until 1999 (, 02. February 2015).

Mercedes legendärer Designer Bruno Sacco, CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO, it's subtitled

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Bruno Sacco - mail from the master himself

In the past years I met people who presented with proud their W126-classics with an original signature of Bruno Sacco in the engine compartment. For those who don't know him: Sacco, born 12. November 1933,  is an Italian automobile designer who served as the head of styling at German car giant Daimler-Benz between 1975 and 1999. He is acknowledged as one of the greatest designers in automotive history (, 02. February 2015). The following picture was taken in May 2012 during a s-class-meeting in Bremen/Germany and you can see Sacco's signature on the frame.

Everybody was like "Wow!" and we envied the owner. Well, one day in 2014 (my W126 was sold and I got a good W201), it came to me that although Bruno Sacco doesn't work anymore, he probably would answer me if I would write him a letter. I did so in June 2014.

I tried to find out his address in Böblingen/Germany and I found a Mr. Sacco who worked there under the company name "Sacco Design Consultant Bruno". I wrote him a letter and tried to explain him, how much I admire his work, just like a teenage fan, o.k., with a bit more objectivity. It took him a while and I had already forgotten my letter. But he signed my printed data sheet of my W201 and sent it back to me with the words "With best regards, Bruno Sacco, 22. July 2014" Wow, thanks a lot, Bruno Sacco! The document has found its place in a nice frame and is hanging in my hobby room.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Exchange of the thermostat switch (100°C-switch) - W201

Some of you might have experienced difficulties with the M102.910, the engine of the W201, 190 E, 1.8, concerning high temperature. Imagine the situation: you are waiting in a congestion, there is only stop and go traffic, it is summer and the engine gets hot. Usually the cooling system of the engine can face those situations if every component of the system works fine. Normally, the temperature rises slowly from something above 80°C to 100°C. As soon as the temperature has reached the 100°C mark, the cooling ventilator should start working faster. Stepping on the gas a bit should lead to a sound of a high-ventilating ventilator. The ventilator gets his "command" from a temperature sensor in the engine. The problem is that sometimes this sensor doesn't work anymore and the ventilator doesn't start working as it is supposed to do. The following movie shows you how it should work. It is another self made video that I made last year.

2014-02-21 Tausch des Thermoschalters oder 100-Grad-Schalters, CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO

You see that at about 100°C the ventilator starts running accordingly to the engine speed (rpm). As soon as a normal temperature is reached again the ventilator is disengaged. All this is done by a very simple thermostat switch, or 100°C-switch.

It's very easy to get to the switch. I unplugged the ignition cables from the distributor to get some space. Unplug the cable of the thermostat switch. Release the pressure by opening the cooling water reservoir. Unscrew the thermostat switch with an end wrench and replace it by a new one. Do the same work in reverse order.

This is the old thermostat switch. The new for my engine has the OEM 006 545 9124. I bought a switch from Metzger (thread length M 14x1,5) for only 12 Euros. Now, my engine is cooling down again how it is supposed to do. This is definetely worth the work time.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

W126 promotion video I

In the 80's and 90's Mercedes-Benz produced lots of promotion videos. Those describing the souvereignty of the s-class and others describing the innovative safety features of Mercedes-Benz. But also fans of the W126 tried to express their thoughts and fascination concerning the W126, and they started to produce promotion videos themselves. One of these is the following one. This fan took scenes from a movie that was about the attack on the German banker Herrhausen.

Mercedes-Benz W126 500SEL Promo Video, CLICK HERE
The following picture is a real one. It shows that the assassins were "successfull". Mr. Herrhausen didn't survive this attack, despite the fact that the W126 was armoured.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Fuel consumption of the W201,190 E, 1.8

Talking about gasoline prices is one thing. Checking the fuel consumption of our car is another. My previous W126, 300 SE was sometimes very volatile. There were bad times, especially during the winter with frost and snow, when it liked to take up to 20 liters per 100km, sometimes even more when I only drove short distances. On the motorway during the summer it took only 9 liters per 100km. The average mix consumption was about 10-11 liters.

Now that I own a W201 the consumption has reduced of course. The engine is more than one liter smaller, it has less horsepower and is a bit lighter. But the consumption is not that much less. The average mix consumption is around 9,6 liters but I have to admit that the distances are not very long. Almost every day I drive 11km in one direction and 11km back in the afternoon. On the motorway you can see consumptions of around 7,5 to 8 liters.

So, yes, the W201 with the M102-engine is a bit less thirsty than its big brother, the W126 with the M103-engine.

by Alvimann,

It's nice to compare a bit and to check the fuel consumption, but for me it's just an indicator for the well-being of the engine. Extreme and permanent curve peaks are often an indication for a malfunction and should get further attention.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Gasoline prices in Germany

Today, I'd like to talk a bit about the gasoline prices in Germany. Since the surplus on the oil market the prices have fallen significantly. Since I own cars (and this is from 2010 onwards) I've liked to write down every fueling process at the fuel station (date, location, price per liter, liters in total). Over the years I've got quite interesting data.

In the following data sheet you can see the price per liter in Euros (left axis and the time axis at the bottom). For this car (a W201) I started the data collection in January 2014 when I bought the W201. You can realize that in October 2014 the prize for one liter (1 = 3,785411784 liter) gasoline began to fall. In October it was still something about 1,50 Euro per liter (= 5,68 Euros/6,41 USD for one gallon).

Now the prices haven fallen to 1,20 Euro per liter (1,35 USD) or 5,12 USD for one gallon. Still quite a lot of money, isn't it. In comparison to the U.S.A. we can find out that one gallon of gasoline costs only 2,044 USD. So in Germany actually we are still paying 2,5 times more than in the U.S.A. Wow, that's a lot, isn't it (data taken from, 01. February 2015).