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Old 02-18-2001, 07:19 PM
Johnson Chan
Posts: n/a
I am thinking about buying a S600 4 door sedan, from 92-99. I like this style with the big body and options. I was wondering if anyone here can tell me the problem areas of this car from the range I specified. Are there any service recalls, problem areas, relibility issues, years to avoid and things of that nature. Any advice is appreciated.

For the owners of S600's, how do you like it?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 02-18-2001, 07:43 PM
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JCE JCE is offline
Down to the Wear Bars
Join Date: May 1999
Location: So Kalifornia
Posts: 2,189
If you have already checked the "cars" tab for the write up on the W140 and W220 S class cars, you are ready to do a search for previous threads, using search terms like "W140 reliability" "S class problems", etc. There has been quite a bit on this in the last 2 years. If I recall, the discussions included info about avoiding the '92 model because of major problems, and model improvements that were made in the 140 until the 220 was introduced. I have the impression that the last of the 140s was the best, but not as good as the 220s, but I could be wrong. Good luck on your purchase choice!

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Old 02-19-2001, 12:48 AM
akry's Avatar
W140 Maniac
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Burnaby, BC, Canada
Posts: 960
Here are some posts I have made. They may not be 100% accurate, but hopefully it would be a help to you.

Help! 1994 600SEL or S600

W126 VS. W140 (420 sel, S420)

Andy Kuo
1992 Mercedes-Benz 400SE

2002 Acura TL Type S
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Old 02-19-2001, 11:02 AM
Aaron's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 1,935
600 V-12

Avoid the '92 and '93 W140 at all costs. They had tons of bugs in them when they were new and some still suffer with electrical problems, etc...

The 600 is a very expensive car to own and maintain. Ignition leads alone are about $1,200 and the intake must be removed to access them. The V-12 is a durable engine although it does tend to leak oil. Resealing timing covers on one of those engines is about a $4,000 job. Some random control modules are way more expensive than on lower models, even the S500. The 600 (and 500) also have the hydraulic suspension in the rear. When the bottom bushings on the struts dry out, they cause a rubbing sound which gets annyoing and the only fix is to do control arms and new struts, which is also a very expensive proposition. Don't let me scare you here, I love the 600, and came damn close to buying one but unless you can afford to maintain it properly, you won't have a very pleasant ownership experience. By the way, an oil change requires removing the left side air box to access the filter housing and the sump holds 10.7 quarts. Figure on about $85 for an oil change, unless you do it yourself. Also don't forget to factor in the cost of fuel and insurance on these cars. It's mighty high. So if you have the funds to keep one up, I say to go for it. You will love having almost 400 horsepower on tap and being able to dust most any other production car from a standing start.
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Old 02-19-2001, 08:36 PM
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backwoods member
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: In the fog
Posts: 2,862
Caveat emptor

IMO don’t do it unless you have a good budget for maintenance or the car has a Starmark warranty. And extend the warranty as far out as MB will let you. If used only once for a significant part, it will pay for itself many, many, many times over. And definitely research the S class on this board. Fine car. Only downside is the expense of maintenance. Also, if the car is Starmarked, you won't have to have it inspected.....

Otherwise, PARDY!!!!!

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Old 02-20-2001, 04:54 AM
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Let's not get carried away with the depreciation cycle on that 600SEL. Check out the pricing report on a 93 750il BMW....original retail around 90k, it now will RETAIL in PERFECT condition for around 18 grand. What other 1993 car can still retail for close to 50 grand? Not too many. Compared to most cars, the S-class benz has held up against depreciation VERY well. Consider my friend who bought a Yukon Denali last year for 32k with 7k miles on it. That same model is going for 26 this year and I've seen 1999 Escalades going for 30k, with their original sticker prices being over 40k. Please do not bash my beloved 140!!

1993 BMW 7 Series 750iL Sedan 4D

Engine: V12 5.0 Liter
Trans: Automatic
Drive: Rear Wheel Drive
Mileage: 90,000

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Retail Value $18,880
Suggested retail represents the price a dealership might ask for this make and model vehicle. This represents a fully reconditioned vehicle in excellent condition with a clean title history. This retail price is not a trade-in or private-party value, but rather assumes that a dealer has absorbed the cost of making the vehicle ready for sale, reconditioning, advertising, sales commissions, arranging for financing and insurance and standing behind the vehicle for any mechanical or safety problems. Many late model vehicles at this price have passed an inspection program or carry a warranty. Actual dealer selling price may vary from this price.

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Old 02-20-2001, 04:55 AM
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noticed that your dollar values were canadian. Still, I think my point is valid. a 1993 600SEL in good condition will still sell in the mid 30's here in the states.
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Old 02-20-2001, 08:23 AM
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W140 Maniac
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Burnaby, BC, Canada
Posts: 960
I agree with Chris. W140s have hold their value very well compare to BMW, Lexus, or most of the luxury cars. However, a badly maintained V12 MB would be a owner's worst nightmare. Well serviced example will make you pay premiums for it.....

P.S. Chris, send me the new pics for your S500 Coupe.. Gonna update your pics on my page..

Andy Kuo
1992 Mercedes-Benz 400SE

2002 Acura TL Type S
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Old 02-20-2001, 03:28 PM
Posts: n/a
A bad engine problem is the only thing that makes a 600 SEL a more expensive proposition than a same-year 320-500 SEL. A 600 is basically an optioned-out W140 with a more powerful (and expensive) engine. I pray every night that the engine never lets go!

There is some "doubling" of expenditures because it has two air filters, two distributors, etc. As Steve Brotherton explains, you have to conceptualize two M104 (I believe) engines being bolted together. It appears you can extrapolate issues and approaches from the M104 to the 12 cyl.

There are so few around that most technicians have never worked on one. Therefore, it's helpful to find a technician who (a) is technically knowledgeable and (b) trustworthy. I am fortunate to be close enough (160 miles) to have Continental Imports/Steve help me with my 1992.

As for power, I have at least twice, maybe three times, "caught rubber" on the 1st to 2nd gear automatic shift while simply pulling into traffic with my foot into the accelerator (I wasn't trying to do anything but get up to speed as quickly as possible).

90 mph is, if I recall, 2500 rpm, so the engine really doesn't work very hard at speed. But the car is totally smooth, quiet, and rock-steady at that speed.

As for the Mercedes-BMW debate, a couple years back one of the car mags, either Car & Driver or Road & Track, did a feature on "affordable," i.e., used, 12-cylinders. It compared the XJS, the 850, and the 600 SL (not exactly apples to apples). The conclusion was that the Mercedes was/should be the most affordable in the way of upkeep as well as having the least depreciation.

Good luck and go for it!

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Old 02-20-2001, 09:18 PM
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W140 Maniac
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Burnaby, BC, Canada
Posts: 960

Actually DOHC V12 is in fact 2 M104 "merged" together. In-line-six design is know for its smoothness nature, and V12 makes V8 feels like Small-Blocks on old muscle cars(vibration, noise...etc). And with seperate ignition for both banks, the V12 would even run on one bank of cylinders in an unthink-able event.

If you are looking for a W140 cruiser, S320 is more than enough. V8 models give the best compromise of performance and mileage. V12 redefines ultra luxury sedans...

Andy Kuo
1992 Mercedes-Benz 400SE

2002 Acura TL Type S
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Old 02-20-2001, 10:24 PM
Posts: n/a
I am with Akry I was in the market for a 600 but my local MB dealer service manager scared me off. The S320 flys and is incredbely smooth. I am actually in the prcess of finding one. I am also looking for another TE if anybody has a line on one. Johnson I know what your saying I WANT A 600 but unless you have lots of extra cash laying around I would stick with the 6's and 8's, the same thing goes for BMW 12's they have major issues. If you do decide to get a 600 You The Man!
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Old 02-20-2001, 10:57 PM
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It seems the 600 should be renamed maserati. I had a couple and they were total nightmares fun to cruise in but a widow maker for sure. Don't flame ms I would own a 600 in a second but for a small margin in performance above a 500 I could not justify it.
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