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  #1  
Old 02-06-2003, 06:04 PM
blackmercedes's Avatar
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Location: St. Albert, Alberta, Canada
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Should 190E stay or should 190E go?

Well, our 1990 190E 2.6 needs a little work. Not bad considering the car has quite a few miles on 'er now. The odo reads 240,000 and was replaced showing 122,000 (I though it was 102,000 until today when I checked the decal in the manual a little closer) so she's got 362,000 km's on her (225,000 miles).

She needs new shocks/struts and the springs look a little saggy too. The steering damper is shot. The ABS sensors in the front are shot. The SRS computer is gone. Replacement summer tires are also needed in a few months. She's running hot, with the temp near 100C all the time, and I haven't figured it out yet, but I think it's a fan clutch. One of the headlamp washers is on the fritz.

On the plus side, the engine is tight and strong, and the tranny seems good too. Neither have had any kind of work beyond routine maintenace. It's got fresh brakes and new rear axles. The AC blows cold and the PBU works well. It drives well, and is overall a really good car considering it's age and mileage.

We had a look at a 2000 Mazda Millenia S today with 90,000 kilometers (55K-miles). Nice car. The Miller Cycle engine is really neat, and the car is pretty quick. Fuel economy seems as good or better than the 190E despite the Mazda being much larger. It's a handsome car, but no MB. The 17" alloys are nice, but there are no snow tires with the car, so we'd be buying some. It also needs the 100K service, which is about $1000.

I have a buyer for the 190E for $4500. We can get the Mazda for $13,000. That leaves $8500 difference, which means no financing, so no car payment. We need to spend a couple grand on the Mazda (service and tires), but I figure we need to put $2-3K into the 190E to ensure it lives for a few more years, so that's a bit of a wash.

The Mazda has a tranferable factory warranty with 70K and three years of bumper to bumper left, which is a strong factor.

Dare we sell a Mercedes to buy a Mazda? (That sounds bad...)

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  #2  
Old 02-06-2003, 06:13 PM
engatwork's Avatar
busy
 
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Location: Soperton, Ga. USA
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John - I think I would have to put the $ into the 190 if you have been satisfied with it since you got it. Heck it just sounds like it needs it's 1/4 million mile service.

I don't want to burst your bubble but take a look at the Mazda and a Ford Taurus side by side.
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  #3  
Old 02-06-2003, 08:04 PM
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$8500 invested into your 190E would make a damn nice 190E!

Imagine if you spent $8500 on your 190E and then compare that with the Mazda.

Regards,

Don
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  #4  
Old 02-06-2003, 08:13 PM
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Location: Carlsbad, CA USA
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I believe it's always less expensive (in monetary terms) to keep an existing car running than to purchase a new or newer one. On the other hand, less expensive monetarily isn't always the best choice. Old cars tend to require more frequent repairs and the "headache" associated with those repairs has to be considered in the valuation of the car.

The 190E is at a point where repairs will start to cascade. New struts/shocks may reveal the need for new bushings, tie-rods, ball joints, etc. The engine may be sound, but the alternator, water pump, a/c compressor may fail. None of these things, individually are too terrible to fix but if you have to replace half of them in the next two years while trying to depend on this car as a daily driver you're going to be annoyed.

The real question is, "does the 190E still meet your automotive needs?" If it does and you are otherwise happy owning it, then spend the money on maintenance and continue to drive it. If it doesn't meet your needs and you have a buyer, sell it and move on.
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  #5  
Old 02-07-2003, 03:40 PM
mbz380se
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What kind of newer Mercedes can you buy for $13K Canadian?

Would that pick up a '94 C220 with some kilometers on it?

The Mazda is a reasonably attractive car, but why not look at a '94 or so Lexus ES 300? As you know, it's just a gussied up Camry (and those are fairly reliable, except the late 90s ones with the engine sludging issue)....

I'd research the Millenia's reliability (that Miller Cycle V6; is it durable) before jumping on one.

-Sam
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  #6  
Old 02-07-2003, 04:56 PM
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yal yal is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by 123c
If it was me, I would put the money into the 190E, and try to get another 100,000-150,000 miles out of it.
Same here.
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  #7  
Old 02-07-2003, 05:51 PM
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Just picked the 190E up from the shop. The list of work is loooong. Not surprising, since she's got lots of hard, really hard miles on the clock

She needs:

engine mounts
various suspension bushings, front end components
SRS computer (kinda optional, as I don't care about the bag firing, but the ETR's would be nice)
alternator is shot, brush set done before, but looks like a new one is going to have to go in this time
rear wheel bearings
both front abs sensors
fan/clutch
the headlamp wiper needs repairing (wouldn't really care, but when the windscreen is washed, the headlamp washer runs the reservoir dry)
flex plate
final drive seals
cam seal
tranny shifts nice, but is getting slow going into reverse. Hhhmmm.

The bill to cover the work I want done is closing in on $4,000. Could rocket to $6-7K with the SRS computer and a tranny redo if required.

Here's my problem. The car is worth $4000-$5500. $5500 is the top, absolute top price for this car with this mileage. I can get $4-4500 in it's current condition. Now, I'm not angry about the list, as this car has seen little care, five owners, and has not lead an easy life. A lesser marque would have been yard-bait long before now. Also, we've put so many klicks on without putting any work into it. I knew it would catch up, but what the hey...

If I put $4000 into the car, I have a car worth $5000. On the other hand, maybe I take the $4500 offer I have for it, the $4000 "repair" budget, and buy a newer car with a value of $8-9K. I spend $9000, but have an asset close to that value, instead of $5K tops?

We're cooling on the Mazda. The service costs are very high, and parts costs are enough to make a Mercedes owner weak-kneed. We drove it, and it's a very nice handling car. Very unlike most Japanese cars. It's not an understeering pig by any means. The guy that tuned the ES300 suspension should drive one. The interior is decent, and room is not in short supply, but there is just something "missing."

Also, since it's "just" a Mazda, you have to pay the high service costs that the Millenia commands, but get 323 service. No loaners, no frills. Yuck.

I think we might strike while the iron is hot (the price is good) and sell the 190E. Maybe. We've got some time to think. The person that wants the car lives outside the city, and just wants a "beater" to run down to the post office and back every morning. He wouldn't need to do too much to get years out of the car. We use the car on busy freeways and with "precious cargo" on board. I wouldn't leave it the way it is now. Anyway, our buyer is on holiday until the 28th of Feb, so it leaves us pondering.

I wonder if any R129 SL's are out there for $10-15K yet?
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  #8  
Old 02-07-2003, 06:05 PM
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Good question. I know 97-98 A4 1.8T's have been fetching $15-18K. Might be worth a look...

Update. Made me curious, you did. Just made a quick call to my friend at the Audi/VW dealer. He's got a 1999 A4 2.8 with tiptronic with 100K (60K-miles) he'd let out at $14-15K. (No FWD cars imported to Canada, so yes it's quattro)

Jeez Louise. That was a $50K car new. A 1999 C280 is a $35,000 car. Makes me glad I didn't buy an Audi new...
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Last edited by blackmercedes; 02-07-2003 at 06:16 PM.
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  #9  
Old 02-07-2003, 06:29 PM
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If you already have an offer for the 190E for $4,500, I would take it and upgrade to a $9,000 W124. Good car, Good Service, Good Resale.

Regards,

Don
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  #10  
Old 02-07-2003, 07:04 PM
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John,
Don't you still have the 626? There's nothing special about a 190E 2.6 auto...if you can get $4000 for it, sell it! You'll still have a backup car until you can find another.
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  #11  
Old 02-07-2003, 07:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Glen
John,
Don't you still have the 626? There's nothing special about a 190E 2.6 auto...if you can get $4000 for it, sell it! You'll still have a backup car until you can find another.
Of course we have the 626! Heck, I doubt that car will ever will ever be sold, since I am beginning to wonder if it will ever wear out. It's at 250K, and runs/drives like the day we bought it. Everything works, and it's barely had any repairs. I use it all the time for fetching reno supplies, as it has a folding back seat and holds an amazing amount of stuff.

At 133K we put new struts on the front.
At 175K we put a cheapo alternator in it, and 13 months later (the warranty was 12 months, of course) we put a Mazda rebuilt in it. Good to go since...
At 200K we put a used MAS in it, as the Mazda new part is $1300. The dealer charged us $60 for the labour and gave us the used part for free.
Also at 200K we put rear struts in.
At 210K we put a radiator in it. Plastic rads... (new rad $220 installed)

Other than that it's been fluids, filter, tires and brakes.
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  #12  
Old 02-09-2003, 04:25 PM
mbz380se
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Quote:
How nice of an Audi A4 would your budget buy?
Before you go that route, surf over to www.audiworld.com (used to be a4.org) and look at the repair and maintenance issues with the 1.8 T and V-6 A4s.

The good thing is, the quattro system is pretty durable.

What is bad? 1.8T turbochargers, V-6 head gaskets, auto tranny life, electrical problems, etc.

If you could find one in Canada, your budget would buy a nice 1988-1991 BMW 325iX 5-speed. I can't say enough good things about those cars. Engine, tranny, and driveline are VERY durable. Plus, the AWD system is pretty damn good.

-Sam
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  #13  
Old 02-09-2003, 04:32 PM
MedMech
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John first and foremost TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN DETAILS ON ANOTHER CAR LATER.
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  #14  
Old 02-09-2003, 10:59 PM
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SOLD! sort of

The history on this car in our family is that I bought it with >100K as the third owner to replace my aging 190E 2.3. That was some years back.

I owned it for a few weeks when my Dad had a heart attack. He had a Ford Thunderbird SC that was giving him some serious trouble. He came to the city to get repair estimates. $10K repairs required.

I had loaned him the 2.6 to drive while he was here. He was getting VERY stressed over the T-Bird, and I was getting conerned about him having another MI. He talked about how much he liked the 2.6, so I knocked a few bucks off my recent purchase price, and sold it to him.

He owned it for years, and cared for it very well. But, three PO's had taken their toll, and as the mileage rolled over 300K, he knew that things would start to go wrong. He bought "Ruby", his current 1998 C230.

My mom was a non-driver for some time, and he wanted to get her back driving. He kept the 'ol 190E for this task, as it's a pretty easy car to handle. She loved it, and adopted it. Soon after, her cancer came back, and in less than a year, she was gone.

I bought the 190E back from him to keep it in the family and to replace the E300 until Helen could find something else.

The sound in his voice when I told him I was selling it! OMG.

Well, he's coming to visit on the 28th, and I'm giving the 'ol gal back. Heck, this is a bad habit of mine (his 1973 300SEL was a Christmas gift from me and Mom).

His list will consist of
1998 C230
1990 190E 2.6
1979 450SL
1973 300SEL

All for ONE driver...

Well, Helen will be able to find something she likes (I hope!) and we've got the 626 to tide us over. Even if he just parks the 190E and uses as a reminder, that's good enough for me.
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  #15  
Old 02-09-2003, 11:03 PM
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Well, I can't argue with that! It's nice to hear of a decision from the heart and not the wallet.

Regards,

Don

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