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  #16  
Old 10-02-2013, 08:22 PM
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It is good that you can do a 2 or 3 year loan. Since you are able to do that and don't drive much, consider buying a off lease car / rental that is 2 or 3 years old. That way someone else has taken the depreciation hit and still have a car that is relatively new.

" " For the recommendations, not much detail. Just says "Rear lower outer control arm bushings have broken boots. Estimate $390." And "The rear differential has a slight leak and should be resealed. Estimate $600." " "

I would have some grease pumped into the bushings every oil change / time the car has to go up on a lift. If the rear diff leak leaves less than a quarter sized spot over night I'd leave it go and check the level every oil change. The diff might be damp on on the outside but never drip on the ground. See, you just saved $ 1,000

Deferred maintenance is when the repair that is let go will cause more expense because other systems will be damaged. ( like a torn axle boot letting dirt in and damaging the joint. ) Planned maint is when a system has a "problem" but that problem isn't fatal to operation or the problem might not get worse over time.

Generic used car lots give the car a general once over for fluids and things hanging off then make the sale. A certified "preowned" from a new car dealer has a much more rigors inspection, this is partly because there is more $ in the sale and the dealers rep on the line.

If you can learn how to fix minor stuff like light bulbs and broken widgets you can save $. Some community colleges have "Auto Maint 101" , take this for some basics.

I have been in / around the auto repair business since I was 12 so my suggestions are not random.

As others have said, post any future problems here and we will try to help.

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  #17  
Old 10-02-2013, 08:24 PM
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Location: Portland, OR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by junqueyardjim View Post
Well, a guy can certainly get "exasperated" over continually repair a car. In this case I think you have a great car, but I have not seen it, much less checked it out. Certainly used cars have problems. All of them do, that is why they are on the market. I think you were a bit shoddy about prepurchase inspection, but that is past and lets go on from here. First of all, if you are going to sacrifice what a lot of people on this forum think is a great car, then why not try to make a deal here on the forum. We have a cars for sale listing column and if you want out fast and easy, list your "want out" price and it will probably be gone and that will give you additional cash for your Toyota. But if the car is really as nice as you say, and I think you are right, why not make a request for or from forum members in your area to help analyze the problems. Depending on where you live, there probably is good help close at hand to help you evaluate the problems you have and what might be expected ahead. They might refer you to a local shop that specializes in Mercedes for a lot less then the dealer. Largely the people on this forum avoid the dealer as much as possible. Parts, genuine Mercedes parts can be bought here on the forum for a fraction of what the dealer charges. Therefore we know that parts and labor at the right places are not exorbitant. Put out a call for help, tell us about where you are located, and I wil bet you will get good assistance.

Thanks Jim! I am in Portland, OR. Used to live in Noblesville though, small world. I'm feeling a little better about the car now. I'm also really stubborn so for now I've shelved the idea of eating the loss. Of course this may change if more problems develop! It's definitely a nice looking car which is part of what drew me in. Maybe if I put a few thousand bucks in over the next year or two it can go another 20K miles, who knows? Just frustrating, I trusted the dealer which was not a good move.
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  #18  
Old 10-02-2013, 09:04 PM
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I see my post is 2 min before yours, so look up for mine.
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  #19  
Old 10-27-2013, 11:29 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Portland, OR
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Still hanging in there guys. Winter in Portland will be interesting with this car. Got too much in it to turn back now (5K purchase, total of 2K in repairs and new tires). Hopefully there won't be much more than the 1K in "semi-urgent" repairs during the next year. Should only put a total of about 1000 miles per month on average, maybe a little less.
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  #20  
Old 11-29-2013, 06:07 PM
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Update- transmission major, major slipping. Appears I bought a lemon. Hoping to get $500 or more on a trade-in after paying 5000 and putting over $2000 in repairs in already. Win some, lose some.
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  #21  
Old 11-29-2013, 06:15 PM
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Thats a real bummer. Just curious; Where did you spend the 2k on?

Don't feel too bad, my brother just junked his Audi that he spent about 8k fixing. He got $300. It happens to everybody. It takes guts to admit it.
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  #22  
Old 11-29-2013, 06:16 PM
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Has the trans been checked? I've had customers say the trans is " slipping " when there was some other problem.

A truly slipping trans will have a spike in RPM on heavy throttle without a down shift.
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  #23  
Old 12-08-2013, 04:26 PM
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Location: Portland, OR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lorainfurniture View Post
Thats a real bummer. Just curious; Where did you spend the 2k on?

Don't feel too bad, my brother just junked his Audi that he spent about 8k fixing. He got $300. It happens to everybody. It takes guts to admit it.
The 2K was for a whole range of repairs (EGR valve, flex disks, brake pads, etc) as well as a new set of tires which it turns out were a little too extravagant. Bought those at the beginning when it seemed the car would last a few years. Should have gotten a cheaper set.

Yes, it's tough to walk away. I don't have a problem admitting I did something dumb it's just that I kept sinking money in when I should have given up so it's now become something that will affect the finances for quite a while. Ah well, it happens.
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  #24  
Old 12-08-2013, 04:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 97 SL320 View Post
Has the trans been checked? I've had customers say the trans is " slipping " when there was some other problem.

A truly slipping trans will have a spike in RPM on heavy throttle without a down shift.
That is exactly, I mean exactly, what is happening. You described it to a tee. I'm prepared to spend a little more money for a diagnostic at a new place which several friends have recommended. Want to see if they think the car has any value at all. Not sure what value that would be with it needing a new transmission but if I could get $500 or with any luck $1000 I'd be really happy.
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  #25  
Old 12-09-2013, 06:51 PM
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Location: Portland, OR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 97 SL320 View Post
Has the trans been checked? I've had customers say the trans is " slipping " when there was some other problem.

A truly slipping trans will have a spike in RPM on heavy throttle without a down shift.
Any opinion on how much it would cost for a new transmission for a 1998 E320 including installation? I've heard it's roughly a $3500 job though I've seen quotes higher than that. If I thought I could get another 2 or 3 years out of the car I'd put another 4 or 5 grand in it I think. But man it'd be a breaker to put that in and then it dies anyway.

Another interesting thing is that the transmission slipping has coincided with cold, wet weather. It seemed to do fine in warmer, drier weather. Of course it's going to rain here until March now.


I think my plan right now is to go to the Mercedes place near me that I trust, tell them I'm prepared to do the other minor repairs they noted as long as there isn't something huge that would kill the car, and see if I can make it through the winter. My guess is I couldn't get more than $500 for the car right now since the buyer would need to put in a new transmission. Oh well- thanks for your help!

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