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Old 10-25-2002, 08:53 PM
Posts: n/a
The price is high - MBZ Starmarked cars run about 20% higher than those found elsewhere. Will you get the premium back when you go to sell it - probably not. Since you're paying a premium, you should get a next-to-perfect car. This is nit-picking, but if I had to do it again, here's everything I would check:

Scrutinize the body for body work/paint. Look down the sides of the car for any waves or dings. There should be none; it should be perfectly smooth. The paint should be in very good condition - make sure the clear coat isn't wearing thin (roof, hood & trunk). Check the wheels - is the clear coat coming off?

Check the chrome pieces on the bumpers the grey paint below on the side panels. If the car has been in accident, this grey paint tends to flake off easily. Look for areas on the car where the clear coat is bumpy like an orange peel - this shows that the car has been painted. Look at spaces between the body panels - does anything look crooked?

Carfax is a good start, but don't count on it to tell you the whole story. My E420 showed one accident; it had been in two.

Check the headlights for rock chips, and lights for cracks or broken plastic.

Goto the service department and have them run the VIN, being Starmarked all its repairs should be in their database. See what's been done, maintenance, etc. See if mileage at the repair times compares with current mileage shown.

Let the engine run at idle for 15/20 minutes - see how the temperature looks. See if the engine is mis-firing at all. Turn the steering wheel from lock-to-lock, listen for thunks. Check the tail pipe for any greasy residue or oil. Rev the engine and feel for mis-fires as tech goes up and comes down.

Tires should be very close to new. Check every single button - does it do what it should? Be sure to turn the AC on and off. Turn on every gizmo - check the electrical load. Test the stereo and make sure all the speakers are working.

Drive car through parking lots & over speed bumps - listen for odd thunks. Go through a residential areas doing lots of turns. Drive on the highway, check the cruise control, shift from drive into 3rd, etc. Check for passing power.

For the flaws you pointed out, have them replace the wiper, fix the headrest, replace the missing molding piece(s). If the wood is cracked on the center console, those can be hard to find. From the dealer it is very expensive. It's an easy fix provided you can find one with the holes cut out as you need.

With 62k miles, have them do the 60k service if it has not already been done. Brakes might be just around the corner - at least the pads. Have them replace the battery. Have them perform a state inspection.

I know people think I'm probably being too picky; but nothing worse than driving off the lot with a new-used car and then having to go to dealer/repair shop to get things put right.

A '94 E320 is about $14k, '95 E320 is about $15k. Lots of variables (condition, mileage, etc.). Some options were -

Rear Sunshade
Heated Seats - highly suggest - those seats get cold in the winter!
CD Changer
Built in cell-phone (worthless now)

On car of this age, 1 year 12k warranty is around $1200; 2 years 24k is about $2400. They vary depending on how much is covered (mechanical, electrical, brakes, suspension, etc).

Good luck.
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