Bought 1988 300SEL-- your opinion please!
My 1985 280 SE has about 250k miles and the suspension is getting pretty rough and has some body rust and paint peel-off. Besides, it's a gray market car. I was searching for a similar car but is a US-model so its' easy to find parts and mechanic shops.
I came across a pretty good deal this week. I bought a local 1988 300 SEL with 134k miles. It has excellent body and very decent interior. There is no rust. The paint is almost like new. There is only one crack in the leather interior. According the original sticker, it's pearl grey exterior and blue interior. The car has three prior owners. It comes with the maintenance records since new. Most of maintenance was done in MB dealer.
Here are lists of thing I notice:
-- There are some oil droplets in the garage floor (about two quarter size with overnight parking). The leak comes from the front pretty obvious. It may come from other too. I searched this forum. It sounds like I need to reseal the time chain cover if I want to get rid of the leaks.
-- The transmission fluid is little brown darkish instead of pink. I don't have a record of the fluid and filter change. Itís definitely due for that.
-- The transmission doesn't shift as smooth as it should from 2nd gear to 3rd. When I drive to 20 miles, the engine reaches about 2500 RPM and I can feel the hesitation and then it shift to 3rd gear. I hope the filter and fluid change will make it better.
-- The left outside mirror comes off. The previous owner ran it over his mail box. The new mirror is about $300. I guess I can just tape it up for now.
-- I usually need to crank 2 or 3 seconds to start the engine. And there is little bit of noisy. I haven't figured out where it comes from yet. I don't know if a tune-up can help.
-- The power antenna doesn't go down.
These are all the problems I find so far. I have the records until 2001. I don't have a whole lot of records for last two years. The previous owner will dig out more and mail to me. I browsed through the records, the prior owner(s) have replaced water pump, alternator, O2 sensor, ball joint, strut, bearing, spark plugs (several times), fuel filter, belt, blower motor, brake pads and et al. The tires are a year new. In the next several weeks, I will probably have oil/filter change, transmission fluid and filer change, brake fluid change, new spark plugs, maybe new distributor cap and rotor and wire set, and new fuel filter. Anything else you like to recommend?
BTW, I pay $3,500 and I am in Columbus OH. What do you think about the deal? Your opinions and suggestion are welcome.