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Old 05-17-2001, 02:18 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: PA
Posts: 5,440
Try to beat this:

I bought a '79 300SD 3 years and 32,000 miles ago for $1200. I actually bought it for a parts car but it ran so good, I started driving it.
Since I do all my own repairs and maintenance, there are no labor charges. Tires and battery were not replaced since they were almost new.
Total parts cost about $130. Three oil and filter changes: $120 since I use Castrol Syntec 5W50.
Since the body has a lot of rust, I don't plan to use it for more than 3 years if it lasts that long and then it will really be a parts car. I already have its replacement.
However, during the time I have had it, I made $250 on a slight accident by fixing it myself and removed parts I value at $200.
So the total cost, not including fuel, for 3 years and 32,000 miles was repairs: $130, maintenance: $120. But if you subtract the $450 for the parts and the accident it has cost me about $1000 including the purchase price.
So I have an S class Mercedes for less than the cost of a Volkswagen.


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Old 05-17-2001, 02:48 AM
Lebenz's Avatar
backwoods member
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: In the fog
Posts: 2,862

Just as an aside, in September of ’79 I was transporting a then 6 year old 25” color TV on the back of a pickup truck. The TV was a floor standing model with a wood cabinet. I pulled away from a stop sign and the TV slid backwards and off the back of the truck, landed on it’s side and did not explode. I went back to get it (didn’t want to leave it on the road), took it to my folks house (where it was destined for storage). When I got there, I plugged it and……drum roll please…it still worked! The cabinet was broken in 2 places. I ended up using it for almost 5 years before the CRT faded.

The TV was a hand me down from my folks. Never since have I gotten such a deal!

My ML is under warranty but even so I’ve put a little over $2,000 worth of accessories and 3 non warranty covered oil/filter changes, in the first year. Oh, yes, plus I bought an extended warranty, for the discounted price of $1,600. The car will have a MB warranty for a total of 100K miles.

My 400E, new to me in January has had new wheels & tires, a few minor fixes and I’m just starting to accessorize it. I’d guess about $1,600 since then, and I have a 60K mile checkup for it in the next month or so. Plus I'm debating putting on either a set of 500E sway bars or the RENNtech counter parts.

My 21 year old 928 had all of its water and related hoses plus a front end seal replaced, plus a couple of injectors, and a few odds and ends. I’d guess about $2,200 or so this year.

My 528e had a new muffler and a tune up this year….about $1,200..

My 2 week old bike blew a rear tire…$4.00 for a new inner tube

What price passion!?

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Old 05-17-2001, 10:58 AM
G-Benz's Avatar
Razorback Soccer Dad
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Dallas/Fort-Worth
Posts: 5,711
Boy, now I'm feeling like I've got bad luck! I've had every vehicle I own blow up several things...and it's not even summer yet! Just lost the radiator on my 300E last night, after I just spent $750 getting a water pump replaced last month. So far this year, repairs for all of the vehicles have totaled $5000! I hope this is not a trend, or I'll have to start getting rid of these cars!!
2009 ML350 (106K) - Family vehicle
2001 CLK430 Cabriolet (80K) - Wife's car
2005 BMW 645CI (138K) - My daily driver
2016 Mustang (32K) - Daughter's car
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Old 05-17-2001, 11:56 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 223
I imagine after a year of heavy repairs the spending curve will flatten out for you because u have so many new parts
1996 E320
2000 C230 Kompressor
1988 190e 2.3 - 225K miles, owned for 7 years. I cannot say enough good things about this car. Very well built, even at 225 it ran like new.
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Old 05-18-2001, 03:03 AM
steve hutson
Posts: n/a
Haven't totalled the invoices yet, but the thing that strikes me from the prior responses is the random nature of parts failures. This has been my experience too. Odd occurrances such as three flex discs failing on the 95E300 over 130000 miles while one failure for the same part on the 87300TDT over 179000. Water pumps seem to fail frquently
on these cars, which would indicate to me a manufacturing problem. Imagine if your water pump was made to last like MB-Tex! It would be interesting to see what the true cost per mile driven is taking everything into account (including
residual value) and compare it to other brands.
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Old 05-20-2001, 02:31 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 326
David and others,
The wife's 93 300E has 98k and my 89 has 146k. I did put a new battery in my wife's car last year and the last major problem it had was the infamous faulty engine harness that has plagued the 104 engines. MB took care of that (Thanks MB!). Prior to that the head gasket was replaced due to pouring oil out of the front of the engine. Once again MB took care of that too.
The last major problem that I had with the 89 was I replaced the valve stem seals and hydraulic elements 2-3 years ago.

Like PE Haiges I do ALL of my own maintenence. The only time I pay labor is if I don't have the equipment to do myself (alignments, tire mounting, etc).
I have two really good cars. That's why I want to keep them.
Scott Diener
89 300E
93 300E
92 Volvo 740 Wagon aka "Mutt mover"
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Old 05-20-2001, 04:37 PM
ML Dude's Avatar
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Southern California
Posts: 373
I don't keep all expense records, just the ones with warranty value...

I've had the ML less than a year and it only has a few thousand miles on it. So far $50 on my own schedule maintenance oil changes 1500mi and 3000mi. I expect it to be about $100/yr until the MB warranty expires.
I'm going to add Waag brush/taillight guards and chrome the 430 wheels. Tracy, any regrets on the extended warranty?

The 300D was a family purchase and had some neglect issues so I've spent about $3500 getting it accessorized to my standards.

I'll have to get a picture of these babies loaded up to show you all when they're done.
Ed "Don't Benz's just feel better..."

Current wives...
2000 ML430 Skyview "The Mel"
2000 CLK430 Cab "The Cab"
85 300D Turbo "The Diesel"

Past wives...
92 300E
85 190E

"One should as a rule respect public opinion in so far as is necessary to
avoid starvation and to keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond
this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny, and is likely to
interfere with happiness in all kinds of ways."
Bertrand Russell
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Old 05-21-2001, 01:02 PM
Lebenz's Avatar
backwoods member
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: In the fog
Posts: 2,862

Thanks for asking! I’ve never had a warranty that I regretted. While my ML has a mere 13.5K miles in a little over a year, I hope to have and enjoy it until it has well over 100K miles. Having talked with the mechanics at my local dealership, I’m well aware of a number of so called pattern failures down the road. In short, replacing components is the only way to fight components with a relatively short service life.

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Old 05-21-2001, 03:28 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Plano, TX
Posts: 2,562
In answering the question of cost per mile, the most
significant factor is generally depreciation. Obviously,
this is more true for newer cars (more depreciation, less
maintenance) than for older cars (reverse the previous).

Here's my own experience. My first MB I purchased an
'84 300D in 1993. Though in reasonably good condition,
it was no cream puff. Drove it daily until late 1999, when
it was sold because I switched to a more utilitarian
station wagon. I averaged just under $1000/year in maintenance/
repair on the 300D. I did the majority of the work
myself, and insisted on keeping it in top shape. It ran
and drove much better when sold than when purchased.

As for cost. Paid $7500, had no trouble selling it for
$5000. Got six+ years of transportation for $7500.
That's $2500 in depreciation and $5000 in maintenance/
repair. Least expensive car I've ever owned, and it's
a Benz!
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Old 05-21-2001, 06:52 PM
Posts: n/a
Let's just say that my mechanic *really* looks forward to those 30k intervals...

Really, this car is no more expensive than any of the american or japanese cars I've owned. It may be less so. Here's how I figure it: aside from scheduled oil/fluid/filter/belt changes (and one brake job and one new battery), my daily commuter has cost me *nothing* over the 90k miles on the clock. Let's see, my Mazda ran about $600/year once out of warranty and the Exploder no less than $2k/year on part failures (can you say lemon?!), so I feel pretty lucky.

But that 90k service ran almost $4k. Here's what I got (most of it preventative and early-replacement for parts that still had 10-15% wear remaining but as I hate visiting tech every month just 'had it done'): replaced suspension (incl bushings), steering dampener, motor/tranny mounts, all hoses and belts, timing cover re-seal and chain rail guides, some kind of belt tnsioner, brakes, H2O pump (prevent.), P/S pump (buzzing), heater PVC valve, one lagging window motor replaced, about five bulbs replaced (dash, hi-beam, random etc), O2 sensor, alignment, steam clean, wheel bearings re-torqued, thermostat upgrade, flex discs and the "standard" fluids/filters/body/interior/tune-up 90k service.

Wish I had the tools and the knowledge to do most of this myself as I paid slightly more in labor than parts to have it done. But that works out to about $500 per year, outside of regular oil changes. And the car rides, handles and runs better than new.

That's worth it, IMO.

[Edited by makakio on 05-21-2001 at 06:12 PM]

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