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Old 02-12-2002, 04:55 PM
Posts: n/a
Your Best advice

O.K.-you guys have saved me many times now i need your very best advice-and this is gonna be a judgement call...
I have a VERY well-maintained 1991 300 E 4matic with 215,000 miles-I recently replaced the tensioner and serpentine belt-only to have the air compressor seize up on the highway 3 weeks later-doing about $1600 worth of damage-new compressor, a couple of new pulleys and new belt....
Well now i have a 4matic problem-seems i may need a new differential-She sucked thru the last 1/2 quart of hydrolic fluid-now it COULD be a leak, but I filled the resevoir up with the $40 a quart liquid gold MB hydrolic fluid-and the 4matic light stays on...This is about a $2300 fix-the re-build diff is about $1600...I have been out looking at replacement cars-but I have looked at 3 already-all with under 100,000 miles-and they don't run as well, or seem as nice as my car (not to mention-how do i sell my car with this problem?-I was told I could get $2500 wholesale..) Am i just stupidly emotionally attached to my car???? A friend of mine (good friend) is loaning me $10,000 interest free to buy another car-but ONLY for buying another car NOT for fixing this one...what to do-what to do......
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Old 02-12-2002, 05:16 PM
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Gainesville FL
Posts: 6,844
Since I fix cars for a living, I am probably biased. My general advice is that the car needs to be fixed to be disposed of.

We get no 4-matics in Florida so I don't know their worth, but I would assume that even with the mileage, the car is worth much more than the wholesale value plus the repair cost. I would think double that amount maybe more.

Once the car is repaired you have to make the decision whether to buy mileage.
Steve Brotherton
Continental Imports
Gainesville FL
Bosch Master, ASE Master, L1
33 years MB technician
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Old 02-12-2002, 05:36 PM
Posts: n/a
215,000 miles? No major problems til now? First air cond. then 4 matic then???????? The car owes you nothing - fix it and sell it - with the money you get for it and the loan of $10,000 - you can get a nice low mileage one. Just my 2 cents
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Old 02-12-2002, 05:37 PM
blackmercedes's Avatar
Just a guy
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: St. Albert, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,492
At 215K-miles, you've done pretty good with a 4-matic. We have lots of them in Canada, and they're troublesome cars.

Selling it broken means taking next to nothing for it, but you'll have to seriously weigh what the value would be fixed. If you can't at least get back your repair cost plus 20%, then wholesale the car out.

At the mileage you're at, I'd start to expect some other potential repairs will be coming soon. Stuff like guides/seals, flex discs, suspension bushings, etc.

With the $3K that you'll spend o the repair, plus the $10K from your friend, and $3K for the car (worst case) you've got $16,000 to buy something with lots more life in it.

It's my experience that cars with 400,000 kilometers (240K-miles or so) really start to require costly repairs.

If you can handle the debt easily, I would serious check out ditching the car and buying "newer."
John Shellenberg
1998 C230 "Black Betty" 240K
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Old 02-12-2002, 09:22 PM
Mr. BILL's Avatar
Ghoulardi Rules!
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 576
I looked at Kelly BB and your car w/215K miles wholesales for about $6000, repaired. Based on your figures, you will net about $2000-$3000 wether you fix it or not. If you like the car, $3-$4K is less than $10K+ for another used car. Since you are not new to Mercedes, you know a 8-10 year old car WILL require repairs of about $1K-$2K per year to keep it running.

You will have those same repair cost PLUS a car payment, to a friend no less. If your payment is $300-$350 a month, you'll be spending $5K-$7K per year to drive. By the time you pay off the note to your friend, you will more than likely be facing the same situation.

Valve guides are not that expensive and a tranny would be the next biggie that might rear it's head. That's a total of about $3K, pretty cheap driving. no one knowsmore than me what happens when the car bug bites.

My two cents is, if you really LOVE the car, fix it and keep it, because only a Benz freak will understand paying more than a grand for a car with over 200K on it. If you'r ready to go into debt, with a friend as your lender, go for it.

Good luck,


91 300E 120K
90 300SE 275K (sold)
92 BMW 525iM 120K
90 BMW 525iA 175K
85 300D 175K (sold)
84 300SD 245K (sold)
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