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  #1  
Old 07-21-2011, 12:13 AM
JamesDean's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: NE Ohio
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Looking at a w220 soon

A friend of mine is looking at a 2002 S500, not much detail in the ad but if anyone has any comments/thoughts/know of issues/sees any red flags/etc etc

The price seems low to me...

http://cleveland.craigslist.org/cto/2453765279.html

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  #2  
Old 07-21-2011, 08:03 AM
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A 2003 car was far superior!
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  #3  
Old 07-24-2011, 12:23 AM
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The AirMatic isn't looking terribly Matic. Run.
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  #4  
Old 07-25-2011, 05:29 PM
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Location: Milford, CT
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Buy a good one, don't shop bottom of the barrel.

Also the newer cars are far better, I would look for an 04-06.

In 2006 they offered the SWB S350 which seems like a nice combo.
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  #5  
Old 07-25-2011, 10:48 PM
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This is a model in which you really would like to see a full service history. A friend of mine leased a 2006 S550 4Matic which almost always had an electrical fault during it's three-year, 18,000-mile history. The Airmatic crapped out at least once, and the instrument cluster went dark and needed to be replaced. This would not have been pretty outside of warranty.
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  #6  
Old 07-26-2011, 12:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulC View Post
This is a model in which you really would like to see a full service history. A friend of mine leased a 2006 S550 4Matic which almost always had an electrical fault during it's three-year, 18,000-mile history. The Airmatic crapped out at least once, and the instrument cluster went dark and needed to be replaced. This would not have been pretty outside of warranty.
Is it any wonder Lexus stole so many former MB customers in the last 10 years?
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  #7  
Old 07-26-2011, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulC View Post
....and the instrument cluster went dark and needed to be replaced. This would not have been pretty outside of warranty.

MB extended the warranty on the 215/220 instument clusters to ten years/unlimited mileage several years ago.
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  #8  
Old 07-26-2011, 03:33 PM
Sam
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: North Georgia
Posts: 86
I have put 138,000 miles on my early(Oct 1999) W220 S430. It has been mine since day one and I still love it. There were a few teething issues in the beginning....Airmatic pump burned up twice due to constant running caused by a faulty relay. The instrument cluster went dark once very early on and once again recently. All issues were covered under warranty.

Out of warranty; I decided to replace all Airmatic shocks with Arnott units at 100k just for future reliability. The (Continental) airbags used by Arnott are seriously butch compared to the stock Krups bags. Hope they last a LONG time. The secondary airpump failed...again due to a faulty relay causing it to run continuously. So, all relays were replaced with Hella units which are "supposed to be superior." We'll see.

I did a parts search for the above items as if you were going to pay out of your pocket right now. Parts alone would be $7,599. Figure roughly double that if you pay labor at a dealer. I'm into mine for about $2,500 as I did the shocks myself but I don't recommend that to the faint of heart. Warranty covered all the early stuff. I think that's exceedingly cheap for such a car but if I had to eat all the cost absorbed by MB USA; I may have a different opinion.

Would I buy an early W220 without exacting service records........at a price that leads me to think there are current issues with the car........on Craigslist,Ebay or any other online medium? Never , ever, ever.

Would I buy mine back if I had the whole thing to do over? Yes. And, I'd never buy a Lexus. I am MB biased but I have a friend who sells at a nearby Lexus dealer. Those poor souls are no different than us. You have a very, very complex car....you have issues. No way around it. I'd rather have issues with my Benz than have the same issues with a polished up toyota.

By all accounts, the "facelifted" W220's from 03 up were fully vetted from a cost engineering standpoint as MBDOC states. I've done all I think I need to do to get mine to this level and I'm going to drive it 'till it refuses to accept service to keep it roadworthy. I am fairly sure my Wife will physically kill it before it fails mechanically, though. Thus stated has been the fate of every car we have owned since marriage.

I kindly suggest looking for a different one.

Sorry to ramble. Bored at work again.
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  #9  
Old 07-26-2011, 03:49 PM
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Did they sell the W220 in the US with conventional steel springs and shocks? Seem like an S350 with a standard suspension would be the right choice.
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  #10  
Old 07-26-2011, 05:02 PM
Sam
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: North Georgia
Posts: 86
No W220's here without either Airmatic or active hydraulic suspension that I'm aware of. There are some really scary looking aftermarket kits available, though. I'd really like to sample a 220 with the standard, factory steel springs and regular old shocks that was available elsewhere just to see what its like.

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'76 280 Time Capsule
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'91 190E Seeing how far it will go. 366k
'04 American Eagle Motorcoach
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