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  #16  
Old 08-03-2012, 05:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy5848 View Post
I looked into this cost-per-mile thing awhile ago and concluded that there are many different classes of expenses that one must consider as being part of maintenance (or not):

Depreciation (if you were a business you'd do this calculation)
Regularly scheduled routine maintenance -- oil changes, etc. (but are you conservative, doing changes relatively often and with expensive synthetic oil or are you cheap, stretching out the intervals and using the cheapest oil you can find at the discount store? This can make a difference in $/mile.)
Long-term maintenance (tires, brakes, etc.) Same comment applies here.
Repairs that the PO should have done but didn't -- motor mounts, shocks, rear suspension bushings, etc. Should these go on your tab?
Repairs that could be ignored (oil leaks, radio, climate control, broken tabs on 3rd brake light enclosure, etc.)
"Real" repairs, things that can't be ignored any longer -- burned-out glow plugs (well, maybe one), alternator/regulator failure, starter motor failure, etc.
Appearance items -- paint, trim, cracked/broken rubber and plastic items, torn seats, stained carpet, cracked dash, car washes, detailing.
Improvement items -- stiffer sway bars from an E500 you found at the DIY wrecking yard, better stereo and/or speakers, larger wheels/tires.
Legal requirements -- insurance, registration, taxes, etc.

All of these items are intensely personal (to include or not) and I argue that one could add more or eliminate some of them and still claim one is deriving an honest cost-per-mile number. What it comes down to is that my number is not your number -- so it really doesn't matter.

If you really love your Mercedes and want it to look and perform as good as possible you'll do what it needs and hang the cost. Perhaps you minimize the expense by buying used and/or online new parts when possible and doing the work yourself but you still do anything you can to make the car look good. OTOH, if you're like a friend of mine 20 years ago, you can buy a Honda and do nothing to it at all, just to see how long it would last (he got to at least 50,000 miles with zero spent on maintenance).

Jeremy
Brakes, tires, belts, etc don't count (in my calculation) Because all cars consume these items at roughly the same rate. My $.10/mi goal is just a barometer to compare one car to another and to compare different purchasing strategies.

A new car is almost certain to cost more. A carefully chosen $1500 POS stands a good chance of delivering 15,000 trouble free miles.

I've owned 35 cars and this strategy has served me pretty well.

I'm still trying to decide if there is a year/model MB that will meets the criteria.

Of course, a car as nice as the 95 E300 is worth a little more to me.
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  #17  
Old 08-03-2012, 10:04 PM
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Location: Western Kentucky
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Personally my decision to purchase a W124 was a bit more emotional. I wanted a car that would keep my family safe that was no expense spared when engineered.

.10 a mile sounds a lot like my old Honda Civic. 200k, and barely anything ever except a used transmission for 500.00. However, it was seriously like driving a refrigerator.

Some folks, including myself, buy these for their intangibles. I never understood what "motoring" meant until i got behind the wheel of this 95 E300d. Coming from a really rare BMW 540iT sport package (until slammed by meth head trucker), it was a real change.

I'd just say if price or cost per mile is the preeminent factor, I'd buy a used Honda, etc, etc. Of course, you wont feel that tiny bit of pride knowing you fixed this or that whilst motoring down the road amongst the smooth diesel clatter of your old W124, a design that was truly ahead of its time.

Jeremy was dead on. Hang the cost, enjoy your decision.

Last edited by Evagee; 08-03-2012 at 10:12 PM. Reason: mispelling
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  #18  
Old 08-03-2012, 10:04 PM
engatwork's Avatar
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here you go

E300

Actually ~150k miles is low mileage for these cars. Get the one in the best condition you can find.
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  #19  
Old 08-03-2012, 10:39 PM
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Under 150K miles = good

Quote:
Originally Posted by engatwork View Post
E300

Actually ~150k miles is low mileage for these cars. Get the one in the best condition you can find.
Looks nice, especially the leather sunroof. Seriously, the mileage is low. Definitely worth a close look.

Jeremy
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"Buster" in the '95

Our all-biodiesel family
1995 E300D (W124) . .239,000 miles My car
1996 E300D (W210) . .313,000 miles Wife's car
Santa Rosa population 170,685 (2012)
Total. . . . . . . . . . . . 722,685
"Oh lord won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz."
-- Janis Joplin, October 1, 1970
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  #20  
Old 08-04-2012, 06:16 AM
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Location: Barrington, RI
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Well put!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evagee View Post
Personally my decision to purchase a W124 was a bit more emotional. I wanted a car that would keep my family safe that was no expense spared when engineered.

.10 a mile sounds a lot like my old Honda Civic. 200k, and barely anything ever except a used transmission for 500.00. However, it was seriously like driving a refrigerator.

Some folks, including myself, buy these for their intangibles. I never understood what "motoring" meant until i got behind the wheel of this 95 E300d. Coming from a really rare BMW 540iT sport package (until slammed by meth head trucker), it was a real change.

I'd just say if price or cost per mile is the preeminent factor, I'd buy a used Honda, etc, etc. Of course, you wont feel that tiny bit of pride knowing you fixed this or that whilst motoring down the road amongst the smooth diesel clatter of your old W124, a design that was truly ahead of its time.

Jeremy was dead on. Hang the cost, enjoy your decision.
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06 E320 CDI "Benson", Platinum Blue, 171k mi, DD
91 300D "Otis", Smoke Silver, 124k mi, other DD
98 E300 "Murray", Silver, 124k mi, Stage 2 Rocketchip chip tuned, son's DD

Twelve other MB's owned and sold
2002 Honda Odyssey 230k mi (want to name it "Homer," wife won't let me)
1961 Very Tolerant Wife
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  #21  
Old 08-04-2012, 08:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy5848 View Post

If you really love your Mercedes and want it to look and perform as good as possible you'll do what it needs and hang the cost. Perhaps you minimize the expense by buying used and/or online new parts when possible and doing the work yourself but you still do anything you can to make the car look good. OTOH, if you're like a friend of mine 20 years ago, you can buy a Honda and do nothing to it at all, just to see how long it would last (he got to at least 50,000 miles with zero spent on maintenance).

Jeremy
"hang the cost" is not really an option and I don't believe it's necessary. For some of these cars there is a point in it's life where it was cheap to keep. If you bought it new and sold it when the warranty ran out then you paid a premium for those miles but you got to enjoy a really great car.

Gregorios Sachinidis is at 2.8 million miles in his 240D. Do you think he's spent more than $280K ? He could have bought a lot of Crown Vics for that (probably not a practical Greek Taxi)

These cars are well designed and well built. THey go for 300,000 miles easily and the average 95 E300 is at 93% depreciation.

So how is my target cost per mile out of line? Maybe not a 95 E300, maybe something older and simpler with more parts available?

I could buy any number of E300's on CL right now for around $4K and drive it 20,000 miles (about nine months for me) and sell it for $2500

Of course, you can't own a car with a soul when you do that.

I've searched on "1995 E300" on all the MB forums and read most of what people are posting. I don't see a lot of sudden, catastrophic parts failure (none actually) And i don't find the parts to be much more expensive than parts for my newer Honda.

I know a lot of people just get into a particular car because they like the car but I figure there must be someone on this forum who approaches the cost the same way I do.

And just to be clear, my formula is; price of the car, divided by miles driven, minus the current value of the car- not counting consumables.

Thanks for indulging me

dave
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  #22  
Old 08-04-2012, 12:20 PM
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Location: Sonoma Wine Country
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In that case, your cost/mile calculation could very well work out to the number you want. If you can find a nice E300 with fewer than 200,000 miles, one that has been well taken care of by one or two owners, you may very well be able to keep it for several years and sell it for most of what you paid, especially if you do a little work to it in the meantime.

After I get my E300 fixed up I expect to have very few expenses. My "newer" (1996) E300 has had almost no expenses this year -- one glow plug. The previous expense was an oil change last December. So it is possible. The challenge is to find the right car and if time is of the essence, records of past service are your best friend.

Jeremy
__________________

"Buster" in the '95

Our all-biodiesel family
1995 E300D (W124) . .239,000 miles My car
1996 E300D (W210) . .313,000 miles Wife's car
Santa Rosa population 170,685 (2012)
Total. . . . . . . . . . . . 722,685
"Oh lord won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz."
-- Janis Joplin, October 1, 1970
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