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  #1  
Old 09-28-2007, 11:31 AM
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Advice: Neon DEAD | E300 Lives

I'm caught in a slight dilemna. For the past year I've been driving a beater '95 Neon 5 speed to take me to work and back while the E300 rested in the garage and was taken out on trips or various occasions. I really really got used to this arrangement and would like to keep a 2 vehicle arrangment still.

The issue: the Neon I thkn has had complete water pump failure. There is a bad noise that is intermittent with teh engine running and you can hear it coming from the belt area. Also, there is a decent amount of water leaking from the cooling system to accompany this noise. The radiator has been slightly leaking and I also suspect the water pump for some time now, say 4-5 months. I've been topping it off with water and had no issues until last night. The engine is still good, but the car needs new struts, rear brakes and probably water pump assembly. I have the engine mount (which need replacing and a new radiator) Problem is I don't want to mess with it. It's too much work into an old POS.

So, I have been pondering. Since I am really seeking a smaller car that gets decent MPG's and should be fairly reliable (or at least easy to work on if need be) and have been toying with the idea of seeking a 2000 C230 Kompressor. My prior "other" had a '96 C220 that I found off of AutoTrader that I loved. Tight handling suspension, for my purpose(s) anyway. Peppy 2.2 I-4 AND it has a solid timing chain (no worry with replacing belts). And I figure they are very similar to the w210 chassis, so I would be sticking with something I know I will like. I like to drive stick, since the E300 is an auto, but if I had the C230 I would let that slide.....

Not seeking to spend a fortune, approx. $10k... I've thought about the diesel VW's but I think they are slightly over-priced in the retail market AND it has a timing belt, which I don't want to fuss with. I was also thinking a BMW 3-series in stick may be a fun daily driver, but then again, how much less reliable are they than the MB's? I know

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  #2  
Old 09-28-2007, 01:29 PM
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Thats what I use the Jetta for now. Its a good system, well until next year when I plan on replacing the Jetta with an SL500.

What about a Lexus ES? Those things never break.
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  #3  
Old 09-28-2007, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Hatterasguy View Post
Thats what I use the Jetta for now. Its a good system, well until next year when I plan on replacing the Jetta with an SL500.

What about a Lexus ES? Those things never break.
If that were the case I'd rather just get a Camry. I called my agent and the premium for a '00 C230 or '03 Camry would be the same. I'm kinda leaning toward the spirit of the three-pointed star.
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Old 09-28-2007, 03:01 PM
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Yeah the MB is a better car, go for it!
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  #5  
Old 09-29-2007, 02:34 AM
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If it was me, I'd spend less on a nice little C220 or something, throw it in the garage for the spare, and enjoy driving the E300 for a while.

However, you said you wanted to keep it arranged as is... the only thing I'd tell you about the C230 2000 you were talking about... they're terrific cars. I've ridden in and driven my boss's a few times at work. The only thing... they're small. No idea how tall you are... but I'm 6'3 or so and I could barely function in the 230 for the time I was in it. Could have made it a little better except I didn't want to mess with his seats and stuff too much... but it just feels cramped to me. Get in, drive it... if you fit in one just fine and it feels good then I (think) they're solid little cars.

My $0.02 - if it was me, I'd go for another Benz if I could afford one that I liked at the time.
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  #6  
Old 09-29-2007, 02:51 AM
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It's up in the air at this point.... I think I'm gonna hold off on buying a replacement until at least I get rid of the Neon, either sell it whole or part it out. I'm 6'4" and my ex had a '96 C220 and I loved it. Indeed it was a little cramped, but not bad once you set all the seat settings to the rear most positions...
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Old 09-29-2007, 01:38 PM
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How about a nice E400?
I agree the Japanese cars are not really made for those of us who are over 6'-0. I'm 6'-3 and I am just barely fit in my Civic. It goes the same in my wife's Acura. They just don't have the legroom the Mercedes do.
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  #8  
Old 09-29-2007, 01:53 PM
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A possible solution is to maybe donate away the Neon to a charity auction for the tax deduction and get the write off so long as the car can still move under its own power and the idea of that works for you.

I wouldn't think there is a hot used car market or parts demand for them.

If you are thinking about replacing the car with another beater, how about this?

If you are not far away from a LARGE airport, (Charleston, Atlanta?) see if you can get in on a closely guarded secret (and it is HARD) and find out when the next Auto Auction is held for cars that were abandoned at the airport in long term parking lots.

The good thing about them is that in all cases they ran when parked, unlike other municipal car auction vehicles.

In San Francisco every two or three months they have a sweep and pick up a number of cars. Titles are cleared, and they are sold for unpaid parking fees, and most of the cars are VERY good ones. Most of them are grabbed by City Employees, and these auctions are NOT publicized. It is very hard to find out about them.

Sometimes they get REALLY good cars, like a Mercedes Benz or a Rolls Royce, because the owner had to get out of the country really fast
That actually happens.

I actually saw where those cars are stored prior to auction at the San Francisco airport. They were hidden in plain sight. You could drive past them 100 times and never know what they were. It was amazing.
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  #9  
Old 09-29-2007, 01:59 PM
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We talked about it some more and I think we've come to a determination to look for an E-Class w210 wagon. I've always liked the wagons and love the look of the w210. Plus a wagon would add diversity to our stable. I have the E300, she currently has an '03 Corolla and a wagon would top it off.... I'll keep my eyes peeled for a nice one and pay off some bills in the interim. Too bad the E300 will have to take the role of DD again, she so loved sleeping all week and coming out on the weekends Not to mention I'm 6'4" and she's just under 6' (significant other that is)
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Old 09-29-2007, 08:02 PM
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Where is INeon when we need him......
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Old 09-29-2007, 08:19 PM
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Quote:
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Where is INeon when we need him......
The Neon is a wonderfull car, fix it best in the world!
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  #12  
Old 09-30-2007, 02:06 AM
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I think I've had a change of heart. I'm gonna try to fix her up. I just gave up on her so fast.
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Old 09-30-2007, 02:08 AM
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He got pissed when people started calling his Neon a shiyetbox/tin can after he was insulting W123s
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  #14  
Old 09-30-2007, 02:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post

If you are not far away from a LARGE airport, (Charleston, Atlanta?) see if you can get in on a closely guarded secret (and it is HARD) and find out when the next Auto Auction is held for cars that were abandoned at the airport in long term parking lots.
I like the way you think!

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