The Mercedes W114/W115 is a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive four-door saloon made between 1968 and 1976. The W114 model uses a more powerful 6-cylinder engine and is marked with the 230, 240, and 280 model designations. The W115 on the other hand relies on smaller 4-cylinder engines and is marked with 200, 220, and 223 model designations.
Both the W114 and the W115 are known for their stellar reliability and many Mercedes enthusiasts deem these as some of the most dependable Mercedes models out there. Sure, they are 50-60 years old now and such an old car is never going to be as dependable as something from the modern era, but if you take proper care of it, they are indestructible.
The most common W114/W115 problems are associated with rust as rust is the greatest enemy a classic Mercedes can have. The heater blower is known to fail, and so does the automatic transmission. Both of these are also known to leak oil, so be sure to check for any leaks. Finally, the interior trim has likely seen better days so be sure to check all around the car for signs of deterioration.
All in all, the W114/W115 Mercedes can be a decent investment if you manage to find one in adequate condition. These are becoming more and more popular with aftermarket companies as well because they somewhat bridge the gap between classic Mercedes Euro looks and old-school US muscle cars.
Mercedes W114/W115 rust problems
It’s almost impossible to find an old Mercedes that does not experience at least some form of corrosion. Sure, if you find a W114/W115 that has been properly babied indoors, these are likely mint. However, the reality is that most of these have been used as regular cars over the years which means that they do suffer from rust forming.
Be sure to check all the common rust spots such as around the headlights, on the hood and the trunk lid, underneath the car, inner and outer door jams, the floor, the fenders, and the jack points. Check for water leaks all around the car because these typically lead to more rust.
Mercedes W114/W115 heater blower issues
The W114 and the W115 come with A/C which is indeed a really good thing, but the heater blower is a known gripe with both of these as it is not all that easy to reach. The heater is buried deep within the dashboard which means that if it fails, you will have to pay a lot of money to get it fixed. A Mercedes specialist states that this job could take up to 20 hours in some instances.
The vacuum leaks are also buried deep within the dashboard and are also difficult to reach. Repairs such as these affect the car’s value quite a bit, and some people are even willing to not fix the blower at all. Either way, pay close attention to these issues if you are in the market for one of these.
Mercedes W114/W115 transmission issues
The W114/W115 transmission is an old-school 4-speed automatic that sometimes starts in 1st gear but can also often start in 2nd gear. The problem here is when the system is not calibrated properly and the car does not know when to start in which gear. Issues such as these can effectively ruin the way the car drives and thus affect the car’s value.
It’s no secret that these automatic transmissions are old, jittery, and relatively lazy. Also, be sure to check if the car knows when to shift and if the entire system is as smooth as it should be.
Mercedes W114/W115 oil leaks
These two are known to come with fairly reliable engines that are able to accumulate hundreds of thousands of miles on the clock without needing major overhauls. Be that as it may, the engine will only be able to do that if the oil consumption is on point.
Therefore, be sure to check the car’s oil and coolant levels and go through the entire system to see if there are any leaks. Repairing these could also be an expensive job which also means that it affects the car’s value quite a bit.
Mercedes W114/W115 interior trim issues
Old Mercedes cars are known to be indestructible mechanically, but they are not known to come with particularly long-lasting trim materials. As such, both the W114 and the W115 trim materials are known to deteriorate and wear out significantly.
This means that you need to go through the entire interior and check underneath everything to see how bad the deterioration is.
Should I buy a Mercedes W114?
If you are in the market for a classic Mercedes sedan, the W114 is actually a great choice. W114 values are strong, but not overly so, at least for decent examples. Moreover, these Mercedes models are likely to be more popular in the future which means that keeping one in decent condition should earn you some return eventually.
However, you need to keep in mind that cars such as these can not be used as all the other modern-day cars because these are simply from a different era. They are easy to work on, but typically require work that needs to be done more often.
Is the Mercedes W114 safe?
The W114 is as safe as a 50-60-year-old car can be which means that it is not nearly as safe as modern cars are, but it should not fall apart. This means that cars such as these are at a great disadvantage if crashed with cars from the 80s and 90s, and especially if crashed with post-2000s cars.
Understandably, the W114 does not come with any advanced software safety features because those did not exist at the time. All in all, the W114 is acceptable, but it is not a car you want to spend too much time in.
Is the Mercedes W114 an investment?
Buying cars solely for investment purposes is a game only the rich are able to play which means that buying an old Mercedes does not automatically mean you will earn money. First of all, the W114 is not expensive to begin with which means that insignificant value increases are not enough to even cover maintenance costs.
Secondly, only cars in pristine condition can be considered investment-worthy, but these cars are not driven. All in all, a decent W114 could earn you a small return after a long time, but buying one as a sole investment is not really the way to go. A medium-risk investment fund is likely going to earn you more money and you don’t need to maintain it.