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  #1  
Old 12-21-2006, 12:09 AM
cdplayer's Avatar
Just my Jeep and my S500
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Sacramento, Calif.
Posts: 581
S500 Home at last!!

Well guys I promised back in October I would keep you posted as to my nightmare with my recent purchase of a 2001 S500.
After almost two months to the day in the shop,and $11,912 later I brought her home. Insurance covered only $1700 of this. Very happy to get to drive it for the second time.
To recap, I bought the car after shopping for several months. Back then, I did not do my homework for reliability of this model/year beyond a Carfax report. Nor had I known of this forum. Good things do happen in the most troubling times.
This is my fourth Mercedes and the most complex. But I had confidence because it was a Mercedes and "Built like no other". Plus I bought an expensive extended warrenty(Interstate) that covered ( according to the brochure) everything with no deductable. Yah right. Hind sight is 20/20 ya know?

The dealer in Valleo stayed open so I could make the late night drive from Sacramento.
The car is beautiful. Took it for a test drive. Paid cash for the car and drove it 53 miles home.
Two days later the car's suspension collapsed while parked in the garage.
Things went down hill from there. The dealer said I could bring the car back. As we all know with this problem, you cannot drive the car.
No one in Sacto was willing to tow the car the distance, nor was I wanting to pay the fees quoted if they did. The dealer did not offer to come get the car. My persistant phone calls subsequently were not returned. Then the owner of the dealership was never available. So I had the car towed two blocks from my home to a mechanic I had used on my W126. That cost $115!!!

Here's what was found. Of course the crack in the one strut caused the pump to burn out.
Insurance covered only one strut because of the total failure. I paid for the other strut to have a balance.
And I had to pay for all the other problems as we began eliminating one error code after another.
The crappy insurance company (Interstate) denied all other claims stating these problems (failures) were pre-existing.
New pump,fuse,relay and updated sensors that if a strut failure happened again would prevent the car from collapsing.

Check engine light came on. (Emmission control problem) Transmission,A/C,rear axle , and wheel sensors are all part of this system.
Installed new air injection pump.
Had all fluids changed, all filters.
Car would start intermittently. Then would die. But only sometimes.
Mechanic drove the car 178 miles over the two month time he had it.
This is how he was able to experience these intermittent problems.
Ignition switch and transmission control module replaced.
All codes except B1016 cleared. He was using Mercedes own scanner but Mercedes doesn't even have this code on their web site.
The code was found on another web site for independant Mercedes shops
indicating a signal loss from the ETC (electronic transmission control) to the EIS (ignition switch). The EIS needs to know the ETC is in park for the starter to engage. Even after the ETC and EIS were changed the "no crank" problem was present but not as much.
After much testing with the wiring diagrams it was discovered that relay K
in the K40/7 panel was intermittently sticking and not letting the signal go to the instrument cluster.
At the cluster,the light that says what gear you are in was not lighting up when the "no crank" problem occurred. This relay switched on the light but also interferred with the start signal.
This problem was posted on Mercedes web site that is Global. No one responded with a fix. Many suggestions, but suggestions that already had been done.
Performed B service. Reset FSS counter.
Transmission service which included adding four magnets to the pan.
Performed service campaign that replaced the alternator and voltage regulator with updated version.
Fixed right Xenon headlight's intermittent lightup by first trying new bulb.
But then traced the problem to the ignitor. They found a source from Porsche in Germany that provided just the ignitor. So I did not have to buy the $1500 light assembly. Only cost $407.
The final problem was the Navigation system. Sometimes it would not display. But radio was audible. A home made navigation disc was stuck in the unit as well.
Once the rebuilt Nav system was installed the 6 disc player in the trunk also came alive. It did not work previously. Did not recognize the magazine.
I have since bought a MB disc set.
So now she drives like a dream. Hopefully for a while so I can regroup.
I understand MBUSA was aware of many of these issues with the model years 2001-2005.
A VMI report for this car shows problems began at 10,000 miles.
I plan to draft a letter and ask they share the cost.
May not get any satisfaction other than venting my frustrations at this point. But I need to take next steps. Something.
Happy Holidays

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  #2  
Old 12-21-2006, 04:55 AM
Gigtime's Avatar
Space for Rent
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Wimberley, TX
Posts: 151
Wow, what a nightmare! Glad you got it home. Not sure how much you paid for the car but I'd be tempted to sell it and find a better car.

Good thing you've got your trusty 80's model SEC.

Bill
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  #3  
Old 12-21-2006, 05:13 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 65
wow unbelievable if you want to sell the car make sure its fixed and the other people can use it for a long time coz i dont think its good to give the car and just transfer the problem to other people "bad karmam and i dont think you want that" im sorry for your misshaps. just buy a 500e
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  #4  
Old 12-21-2006, 10:52 AM
Benz300's Avatar
Benz Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: new jersey, usa
Posts: 804
I knew the new S class had issues but to this extent... wow !
are the 2003 face lifted models part of this saga as well ? When did MB realize these issues and created a fix for this if at all ? or should we just simply stay away from the w220 if it's not under factory warranty ?
thanks.
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  #5  
Old 12-21-2006, 10:54 AM
Parrot of Doom's Avatar
1997 W210 E300TD 243,000
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Manchester, UK
Posts: 983
TJ

Don't people in the US have legal protection against this kind of thing? In the UK, if you buy a car privately, then as long as its as described in the advert its 'buyer beware'

however

If you buy from a trader/dealer, the car must be fit for purpose. In the above scenario, the trader would be virtually obliged to take the car back, and offer a full refund.



Sorry to hear about all the problems, these are expensive cars but they should never be that expensive tbh!
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  #6  
Old 12-21-2006, 12:13 PM
Hatterasguy's Avatar
Zero
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Milford, CT
Posts: 19,307
Wow that sucks. What kind of dealer had the car? If it was a MB dealer I would have forced them to buy it back under the lemon law. Lawyer time.

Sounds like the car had a few pre existing issues that the dealer glossed over. Similer thing happend when my friend bought the S320. Owner reset a CE light prior to our test drive, and the light came on later.


I'm thinking have any potential MB purchase scanned by the SDS system is a good idea!
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  #7  
Old 12-21-2006, 01:24 PM
Jim B.'s Avatar
Who's flying this thing ?
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: N. California./ N. Nevada
Posts: 3,611
Unfortunately, it was bought as a USED car, and California has no meaningful lemon law for those that he could use.

That's simply HORRIBLE what happened. But frankly I'm not surprised. Some of the Mercedes dealers in Northern California are terrible, I have experienced some of it myself.

Add to this that many people believe Mercedes quality from 2000-2005 was at the lowest level ever, it looks like this car was one of the bad ones.

This sort of thing is what kills repeat buyers. When word gets out it wonj't do any good for conquest sales either.

I'm really sorry about this. I'd bail on the car, it soujnhds like it has been cursed by every diety from Allah to Zeus. (not you Zeus/ Chris the mod)
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1991 560 SEC AMG, 199k <---- 300 hp 10:1 ECE euro HV ...

1995 E 420, 170k "The Red Plum" (sold)

2015 BMW 535i xdrive awd Stage 1 DINAN, 6k, <----364 hp

1967 Mercury Cougar, 49k

2013 Jaguar XF, 20k <----340 hp Supercharged, All Wheel Drive (sold)
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  #8  
Old 12-21-2006, 10:08 PM
cdplayer's Avatar
Just my Jeep and my S500
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Sacramento, Calif.
Posts: 581
cdplayer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gigtime View Post
Wow, what a nightmare! Glad you got it home. Not sure how much you paid for the car but I'd be tempted to sell it and find a better car.

Good thing you've got your trusty 80's model SEC.

Bill
Thanks guys. The reason I posted my experience to such an extent was to inform anyone looking to buy such a model, to beware. Yes, as a repeat buyer, I would have to say no.
The older models such as my SEC are far less complicated and cheaper to maintain. Simply from the standpoint of a DIY individual.

But I really liked the S500 for it's style. And I blew my finances to get it.
I only paid $24,900 for the car. So with the repairs the car falls right into the ball park value for it's equipment and visually excellant condition. I am cool with that.
It's just that my knowledge base for research was not to the extent it is now.
So perhaps my post will help those, who like me, were uninformed beyond Carfax. Remember,in dire need of information regarding these models, I found this forum. Cool.
I know better now. I will keep the car since it's problems have been fixed.
I cannot afford to do otherwise. Sure there may be more but keep in mind my crappy extended warrenty company (Interstate) cannot claim the issues are pre-existing anymore.
And I still have three years to go or 20,000 miles before it expires.

I cannot stress enough for those shopping around, get a Carfax, and a VMI report to help fill the service gaps. Buy only a vehicle that has service receipts to back up the dealers claim. I had a hand full. But the VMI report filled in the first five years of the cars life for which I had no receipts.
I feel, but cannot prove, my dealer may have swapped suspension pumps just so I could get the car off the lot. Be it as it may, time will tell. Happy holidays
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Last edited by cdplayer; 12-22-2006 at 11:46 PM.
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  #9  
Old 12-21-2006, 10:48 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 106
>>VMI report filled in the first five years <<

What do you mean by a VMI report? Thanks.
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  #10  
Old 12-21-2006, 11:04 PM
cdplayer's Avatar
Just my Jeep and my S500
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Sacramento, Calif.
Posts: 581
cdplayer

Quote:
Originally Posted by xvvvz View Post
>>VMI report filled in the first five years <<

What do you mean by a VMI report? Thanks.
VMI (Vehicle Master Inquiry) report is a detailed listing of all repairs done to a Mercedes by a Mercedes dealer or repair shop.
Using your cars VIN number,a Mercedes dealer can provide you with information on your cars service history if the service was done by a Mercedes shop. Carfax does not have this information!!
The S500 I bought from a rinky dink independant dealer did not have any service records or receipts covering the first 5 years of it's road life.
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  #11  
Old 12-21-2006, 11:33 PM
Moderator
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Southern California, U.S.A.
Posts: 8,538
The VMI only covers repairs done by a dealer covered under warranty or done under recall.

Routine maintenance paid for by a previous owner of the car will not be on the VMI.
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  #12  
Old 12-22-2006, 12:08 AM
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: Northern Va.
Posts: 3,386
I'm sticking to my W126's and below. I know I'll be keeping my W111! (NO computers)
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Currently 1965 220Sb, 2002 FORD Crown Vic Police Interceptor

Had 1965 220SEb, 1967 230S, 280SE 4.5, 300SE (W126), 420SEL

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  #13  
Old 12-22-2006, 12:28 AM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Southeast
Posts: 1,727
I've said it before, and I'll say it again

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, stuff like this is just inexcuseable from MB. If they made a car, that was even one of their top-of-the-line cars, and it sucked, they should fix the problems, at no cost. I mean, c'mon. Figure it out. What did that car cost new? $60,000? And you would have fared better with a Ford Escort for $12,000? Just for their REPUTATION, if nothing else, MB should have offered to fix those problems, if they were known common problems. Now, I know they can't fix everyone's problems, but the common ones, due to stupid engineering, they should. They created it, they should fix it.

Just my warped point of view.

jeff 1991 300d
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  #14  
Old 12-22-2006, 05:48 AM
Jim B.'s Avatar
Who's flying this thing ?
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: N. California./ N. Nevada
Posts: 3,611
Quote:
Originally Posted by jbach36 View Post
They created it, they should fix it.

Just my warped point of view.

jeff 1991 300d
Not warped at all.

THEIR point of view (OTDYOYOMF)**** is warped.

















****Out The Door You're On Your Own Mother F****r :fork_off:
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1991 560 SEC AMG, 199k <---- 300 hp 10:1 ECE euro HV ...

1995 E 420, 170k "The Red Plum" (sold)

2015 BMW 535i xdrive awd Stage 1 DINAN, 6k, <----364 hp

1967 Mercury Cougar, 49k

2013 Jaguar XF, 20k <----340 hp Supercharged, All Wheel Drive (sold)
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  #15  
Old 12-22-2006, 05:57 AM
Jim B.'s Avatar
Who's flying this thing ?
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: N. California./ N. Nevada
Posts: 3,611
CD Player,

Have you checked out he Mercedes gtg thread on the Diesel Discussion forum, it's next month, leaving Sacramento for a tour of West Marin leaving from the Marin Civic Center. Big Sacramento and Bay area contingent. Over 20 cars so far. Possible caravan to Marin and a detailing party also.

There will likely be a few gas cars invited too. Either your new one or the SEC.

ust thought you might to take a look at the thread, see what you think, (if you missed it)

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1991 560 SEC AMG, 199k <---- 300 hp 10:1 ECE euro HV ...

1995 E 420, 170k "The Red Plum" (sold)

2015 BMW 535i xdrive awd Stage 1 DINAN, 6k, <----364 hp

1967 Mercury Cougar, 49k

2013 Jaguar XF, 20k <----340 hp Supercharged, All Wheel Drive (sold)
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