Thread: to do or not?
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Old 07-20-2007, 01:43 AM
Jeremy5848's Avatar
Jeremy5848 Jeremy5848 is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Sonoma Wine Country
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Gee, I was just in Portland....

Any service history? At 300,000 miles there are a lot of expensive things that could soon require repair (like the engine and transmission) especially if the later owners skimped as the beast got older. What shape is the body and interior in? A trashed body and interior will also tell you a lot about the mechanical condition.

Although M-Bs are well made of good parts and can be taken apart and repaired and put back together, they still require maintenance. If you don't care if you have air conditioning (for example) there are things that can be ignored. Other things like the vacuum hoses can be important, because vacuum is what operates the door locks and shuts off the engine. There are a lot of things that don't show (like the suspension) that can be very expensive to repair.

An old Mercedes can be a delight if you get a good one and if you can do at least some of the work yourself. If you have to pay (through the nose) to have someone do the work for you, you are better off spending more up front to get a better (and/or newer) Benz that won't need as much work -- you hope!

If the current owner doesn't have a book full of service receipts showing that the maintenance has been kept up with, you would be buying a pig in a poke. In such a case and if you want to take a chance, try to buy the car for absolutely the lowest possible price, like $500 or $1000. Then drive the car into the ground and get another when it finally dies. You could be lucky and get several years out of it.

Jeremy
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Our all-Diesel family
1996 E300D (W210) . .338,000 miles Wife's car
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