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  #1  
Old 10-10-2006, 10:24 AM
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What's a 'fair' price? 1996 E300 2 owner, 110K

I'm in the market for another car, and having a hard time finding a diesel at what I think is a fair price.

I've spotted a MY96, 2 owner car, that I'm going to look at this afternoon. He's asking 14K. I think it's high, but..... I'm wondering what other people think. I think the condition is good, I'll know this afternoon. NADA, Edmonds, and KBB certainly think the car is worth less.

Just wondering what your experiences are. I know you can't tell the value without the condition, but this price has so much fluff in it, I almost ought to just go get a gasser (that are a dime a dozen) and forget about a diesel.

Just looking for a real car, at a real price, nothing more.

Something tells me, that all I really need is to just spend more time looking.

jnc
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Old 10-10-2006, 10:27 AM
mrhills0146
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For $14K it better be in dang near showroom condition with records down to tire rotations and oil changes.

Prices for Diesels right now are just ridiculous. It's a fad. I would not buy a Diesel MB right now - the demand is so high that prices are just laughable. Either wait it out or buy yourself a nice gasser.
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Old 10-10-2006, 11:59 AM
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I have seen many around the 10-11K range and they were in excellent to good condition. Too HIGH in my honest opionion.
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Old 10-10-2006, 12:53 PM
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$14K is what I paid for mine last year on Ebay. Looking back, I know I paid a little too much. Unless the spring perches are rust-free, the car is leak-free and has extensive maintenance records, I'd say about $12K is more appropriate. Unless you insist on having a diesel, a gasoline version will provide you with a better value given the premiums that people are willing to pay these days for the relatively rare diesels.
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Old 10-10-2006, 02:52 PM
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$10-$12k - they're actually worth the same as the 1995 b/c the first year 210 isn't as desirable as the last year w124.
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Old 10-10-2006, 03:46 PM
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I also agree the diesels are overpriced right now. Best time to buy a diesel is in the coldest months of winter, when they have a harder time starting (can be a simple reason) and diesel fuel is highest in cost.

So, what are the 1996 era gassers going for?

Ken300D
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  #7  
Old 10-10-2006, 04:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnc19610 View Post
I've spotted a MY96, 2 owner car, that I'm going to look at this afternoon. He's asking 14K. I think it's high, but..... I'm wondering what other people think. I think the condition is good, I'll know this afternoon. NADA, Edmonds, and KBB certainly think the car is worth less.
It may not be worth that much, but if you don't pay nearly that, you probably won't end up owning the car. Your choice.
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Old 10-11-2006, 12:36 AM
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I think that is a little high, but also love the quote I learned here "There is nothing more expensive than a cheap Mercedes". I guess it comes down to finding the best car for the money you can. Don't pay too much, don't go cheap. Easier to say, than to do. Good luck finding a great car!
Paul

98 E300
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Old 10-11-2006, 07:04 AM
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Just a bit of advice...if you're thinking about spending nearly that much on the N/A W210, hold out for the turbo (98-99 MY) and spend a grand or two more. First, you get so much more performance at no extra cost for fuel and second you will always recoup the premium on resale. The turbos will always be in greater demand than the N/A model. I bought my '98 in 01/05 with 115K on it and could probably sell it today for what I paid for it including the $3,000 worth of work I have done to bring it up to my standards. Drive both models at least before you decide on which you prefer, but if you do I suspect you will be sold on the turbo.
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Old 10-11-2006, 10:19 AM
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A '96 may have the "advantage" of the older 722.4 transmission. Other than that, I agree that the turbo is more desirable.
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Old 10-11-2006, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Matt L View Post
A '96 may have the "advantage" of the older 722.4 transmission. Other than that, I agree that the turbo is more desirable.
What is the advantage of the 722.4 over the 722.6?
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  #12  
Old 10-11-2006, 12:53 PM
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The older transmission is vacuum-operated and it appears to give less trouble than the newer one based on what I've read. However it's only a 4-speed, unlike the newer one.

I've test driven a number of turbo and non-turbo W210's and one impression I took home with me is that the turbocharged engines had knocking noises and smoked while the non-turbos didn't have either of these problems. I realize this was a small sample size and conclusions shouldn't be drawn, but could it be that the stresses of the turbo will shorten the life of the engine? And if not the engine, what about driveline components like flex discs or axle shafts?
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Old 10-11-2006, 02:59 PM
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That's funny. My 210 didn't used to smoke till I had the thing chipped then now it does on WOT.
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  #14  
Old 10-11-2006, 03:16 PM
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I get very little smoke from my '98 (all diesels smoke a little...if you don't believe me look in your rear view mirror at night with more than 1/2 throttle down). No unusual knocking either. The transmission in mine has been no trouble at all (knock wood) and it's homing in on 140K miles. I changed the fluid and filter after I bought it at 115K and it shifted smoother than it did before and has continued to operate flawlessly since.

The engine consumed 1/2 quart of oil in 8000 miles from its last change and the oil analysis was glowing with how little wear metals and other contaminants were present. Mine has started below 0F without even a single rev of hesitation without resorting to using the block heater. So I don't think the turbo engines are any problem at all. Like anything though you have to be lucky and buy one that's been reasonably well cared for.

When I first bought it I was getting mid-high 20s MPG but for the last year it has steadily been 30 or so on every tank and pure highway can see 34. Not another full sized sedan can touch that. I think I needed to blow the crap out of the exhaust to get the mileage up...the first time I got it above 4K RPM there was a HUGE black cloud behind me...thought I had done some serious damage...now I can redline it and it barely blows any smoke
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Last edited by nhdoc; 10-11-2006 at 03:27 PM.
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  #15  
Old 10-11-2006, 04:14 PM
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I agree that the turbo may not really be the problem. I think it's the previous owner(s). Turbodiesels definitely should be on a synthetic oil because of the extra heat, but many people probably use regular dino oil and that's why some turbodiesels are having problems.

As far as turbodiesels smoking more than non-turbos, I have to point out that I've noticed it even with my own cars. All the turbodiesels I've had smoked more than all the non-turbos I've had, at least with headlights in my rear-view mirror (which is a great way to tell). Even the TDI can lay a nice cloud when the turbo kicks in, whereas my '96 has no smoke even with headlights behind me and the 240D usually has none either. I think this has to do with the difficulty of tuning a turbodiesel to the point where it leaves no smoke behind and it still has enough fuel being injected to take advantage of all the pressurized air. The injection on a non-turbo is probably easier to control from an emissions perspective.
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Last edited by DieselAddict; 10-11-2006 at 04:20 PM.
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