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  #46  
Old 05-10-2004, 07:10 PM
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Actually, I was talking about my Dad's 300D, which I hope to fix up and put a turbo motor in.

The cost of maintaining an old car is less, but is it worth it?

Absolutely. Good mechanics don't exist on every streetcourner, and adding the complexity of a Mercedes diesel to the mix really cuts the list down, but I know at least one guy who knows how to fix anything pre-computer (and a fair amount of newer stuff if it doesn't get into electronics too much) and will do it for what would probably work out to sometime like $20/hr. Finding a guy like that and making sure you get a car he knows fairly well will almost always be the cheapest way short of doing it all yourself. Also, after the Mercedes, we had a '77 Ford van that we put about 120K on over about 5 years with just regular maintainence and a few smaller repairs here and there (I'd guess an average of $250 in repairs per year; about $400 if you factor in the engine rebuild that was done while it was in the family before we got it). Then an '87 Honda, 130K, around $200/yr (mostly consumables). An '89 Aerostar... Never mind that one. An '88 Volvo, which cost us about $700 before we traded it in; that one just had a lot of things that were accumulating on it. Then came our current van, which we've had 5 years, 68K, and has cost something like $300/yr. It's only recently that I've really taken over maintainence and repairs for the most part, but even before when my Dad had everything done through a local mechanic I doubt we've averaged over $500/yr on anything we've kept.
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Once and future king:
'64 Ford Fairlane w/approx 238,000 - looks rough, but amazingly reliable if you know how to look after it; I will soon begin work to totally restore and modernize it.
Family vehicles that I lay some claim to:
'78 300D w/approx 350,000 original, '62 Ford F100 4x4, '90 Ford E150 w/171,000 original
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  #47  
Old 05-10-2004, 07:52 PM
Benster Tom
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Thumbs up Is it worth it?

I found a '84 300 SD about a month ago for $4200.00. It was in absolute great condition. I drove it, checked it all out. When I returned to the used car dealer. He showed me the records that a lady had been keeping on the car since 1994. The maintanence records totaled $15,000.00. I was amazed at these records. When you looked under the hood it looked new. I almost bought this car, but decided not to, because I like my 300 SDL. I've had the 300 SDL for about 2 years now. I like fixing it up. Yeah it's costly, but I like knowing that I'm doing it. I'm also doing it at a reputable MB shop here in Austin. I'm keeping a paper trail on this car as well. It may come in handy one day. I paid $7,100.00 on this car and i've put about $2,000.00 in it so far.
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  #48  
Old 05-10-2004, 09:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by MT_Merc


I know at least one guy who knows how to fix anything pre-computer (and a fair amount of newer stuff if it doesn't get into electronics too much) and will do it for what would probably work out to sometime like $20/hr.

Discussion Over.

Anbody who can find a good honest mechanic that will work for $20. per hour has themselves a gold mine. We don't need to talk any more about it. The economics clearly favor the used vehicle.

However, in the land of $60.-$75. mechanics (and I'm not talking stealership here), the economics definitely favor the leased vehicle for people who are not capable of doing their own maintenance and repair.

Where does this man work?
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  #49  
Old 05-10-2004, 11:21 PM
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Quote:
Anbody who can find a good honest mechanic that will work for $20. per hour
That is not reality...and if so where can I find it?

Quote:
However, in the land of $60.-$75. mechanics (and I'm not talking stealership here), the economics definitely favor the leased vehicle for people who are not capable of doing their own maintenance and repair
so I guess in the real world of rates at $100-120 an hour we all know where the better deal is...right?

I think our society has become a throwaway society....use an item for a useful life...then throw it out and buy another one because fixing the item does't make sense economically...you are many times better off replacing


Warren
1992 300SD 177K
Columbus Ohio
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  #50  
Old 05-11-2004, 12:06 AM
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Quote:


I think our society has become a throwaway society....use an item for a useful life...then throw it out and buy another one because fixing the item does't make sense economically...you are many times better off replacing


Oh so true Warren. Just look at the economics of fixing just about any electronic gadget or kitchen appliance. Do you spend $200. on parts and labor for some moron to try and fix it? Or do you go the easy route and spend $450. for a new one with a warranty? Now, if you can fix it yourself, you can extend the life of some of this equipment quite a bit. Items such as dryers and dishwashers are so simple that they can effectively be made to last forever.
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  #51  
Old 05-11-2004, 12:33 AM
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If we are to discuss economics then we need to address oppurtunity costs. That is the cost of doing something in favor of something else with your time or capital.
This is where we should decide to hire a mechanic or do the work ourselves. If my time is worth $30 per hour and the local Indy is $65 per hour, then I should do my own work on my car. (assuming I know what is wrong and how to fix it) However if my neighbor is "worth" $85 per hour than he should not do any of his own work on his car because his time is more valuable than the Indy's time.
In convoluted Econ. speak, my neighbor has "saved" $20 for every hour he hires his $65 per hour mechanic......

There is another econ. approach to purchases and that deals with "value". There maybe an element of value or satisfaction associated with doing the work yourself which makes it more beneficial to do the work yourself regardless of income....
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  #52  
Old 05-11-2004, 02:31 AM
Benster Tom
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My MB Indy Workshop here charges $70.00 an hour. I'm glad to pay him. He and his people are very reputable here in the Austin-Central Texas area. He and his staff do great work and get the job done right. They go above and beyond what it takes to take care of your needs. I've never taken my car to the MB Dealer here because of the high prices they charge. I'd do alot of work myself if I had the time. My work schedule somewhat limits me to what I can do.
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  #53  
Old 05-11-2004, 08:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by MT_Merc
Good mechanics don't exist on every streetcourner, and adding the complexity of a Mercedes diesel to the mix really cuts the list down, but I know at least one guy who knows how to fix anything pre-computer (and a fair amount of newer stuff if it doesn't get into electronics too much) and will do it for what would probably work out to sometime like $20/hr.
Well................Maybe.

I have a friend that runs a great shop and has a thriving auto repair business. But, when it comes to diesels and the other common issues with MB cars, he does not do so well. He even owns a 420 SEL, but had real trouble resolving vacuum issues and all the other fun stuff that goes with these older cars. I learned the hard way that spending $70 - $100 per hour to have someone efficiently diagnose and fix a problem is a LOT CHEAPER than spending $30-$40 per hour and doing it 3 times. Not to mention the cost of parts that are thrown at problems. Also, the economics of my time. His shop was about 40 minutes away. I had to call in favors for rides or borrow cars because he was "working me in" and that took longer.

I have an SDL that has 233K miles. Yes I am putting money into it. I had it painted and have new wheels on it. Put in a good stereo and am planning to have an interior seat repaired. I have steadily been getting small stuff fixed. So in a year, I have probably put $3500 into the car. I still have the seat repair and a control arm to replace. That is probably another $750 to $1000.

But I do not view this car as disposable. Before getting the car painted, I drove it for 6 months and was chatting with my mechanic buddy (from above) and he pointed to a newer BMW and my car and asked me which one I would rather drive. I told him that I would love to take the BMW around the block, but I would much rather "drive" my SDL. "Then go get it painted" was his response. In reality, there are very few cars I would rather own and that I take as much pride in owning. Before this I had done the leasing game and thrown that money out the window for years. $6-700 per month and worry about dings and going over on mileage, etc. It got old and I ended up with nothing. I figure that I can spend up to $6000 per year in maintenance and still be ahead.
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  #54  
Old 05-11-2004, 05:35 PM
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Whith that in mind...

"Its a labor of love with these cars as they will probabaly not return any monetary value upon resale (like that will ever happen anyways).
But as we all know, they give so much more than words can say. MB diesels are the best."

We all drive these cars for a reason.
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1995 E420
1992 BMW 525i
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1993 Volvo 244 sold
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  #55  
Old 05-11-2004, 08:09 PM
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tstarr

Thanks for the info on the Packard.
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