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  #1  
Old 08-22-2014, 01:18 PM
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1997 c230 21K Miles

Came across a c230 with low low miles for 5K. I've had 2 w124 300es that served me well and currently an 87 300TD wagon for the Kids. I get a kick, or a PITA depending on how it goes, working on the wagon and have learned a lot with the diesel folks here.

Anyway, this low mileage 230 has caught my attention and wanted to get some input from the kind folks here. This particular car had hail damage which the dealer said was fixed/repainted, new hood and tires. There was mention of some new vac lines installed. The photos show a really nice clean car, glossed up engine bay and seemingly good condition interior.

What I have learned is that MY97 shouldn't have the wiring harness or head gasket issue(s), gets decent mileage, has a fair amount of room in the engine bay to work on things...so far hopeful. Aside from some AC issues, I have not seen much in the way of glaring-don't bother with this model-negatives. Perhaps I haven't read enough so input and experiences would be appreciated.

Link to photos: http://www.englandmotorcoach.com/largephotos.aspx?id=4652775

Treetops

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  #2  
Old 08-22-2014, 05:39 PM
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Hmmmm

Somewhere between a car that has been driven too many miles and a car that has been driven so few is obviously what you're looking at. What's the history on the p. o. and why so few miles. 21,000 miles in 17 years? Did you pull a Carfax? DJ.
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  #3  
Old 08-22-2014, 06:10 PM
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Having brought back a 161 K mile 97 C280 that was sitting a few years:

The AC compressors are weak, mine didn't blow up it just didn't move enough pressure, an updated replacement Nippondenso is ~ $ 275. Both compressors have variable displacement and the control valve might have been bad on mine. For the cost of the uprated compressor, I wasn't going to piece meal things together.

If this car was driven in salt at all, expect the AC condenser to be corroded / leaking especially behind the aux rad fans ( if it has them )

Headliners fall down, they are supposedly removable through the passenger door while the door is left on. I'd suspect is is less of a struggle if the front seats are removed.

Have a close look for rust, with such low miles, driving a car once a winter on a wet salty road then never washing under car / driving in a heavy non salt rain is just as bad as driving through the entire winter.

It may need lower ball joints due to boot cracking / water intrusion.

With 21K miles I'd expect the car to have worn original tires matching the full sized spare ( Continental I think ) or very new tires on it currently.

The wood veneer around the radio / HVAC controls peels off and needs reglued.

97 is the last year for an actual key not the sometimes loses it's mind and quits working EIS electronic key fob.

The cabin air filter probably needs changed, under right side dash, easy to change.

I'd change all of the coolant hoses and the driver side plastic heater hose bulkhead to prevent future breakdowns, they are priced right when bought at the dealer and not worth chasing aftermarket.

These cars are built to a price ( 30 K ) and are not a R 129 SL ( 80K + ) , however they are good driving cars. ( Think German Toyota Corolla ) Car fax is OK for mileage history, but don't hold it all holy as some CF junkies do. Buy the car for what it _is_ not what some internet site says it is.

My SL was tagged in CF for having "moderate rear damage". At some point it got a rear bumper cover and after my purchase I pushed out a maybe 1/2" deep dent in the spare tire well. The steel bumper and tail light panel were original and untouched. I'd hardly consider the damage moderate but a CF junky would scream the car was "totaled".
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  #4  
Old 08-22-2014, 06:19 PM
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Yeah, I did do that after I posted, not carfax tho, and lo an behold odometer came back as being 72K in 2002!! (also a salvage title, but thats somewhat understandable with hail damge instead of a crash) So anybody's guess as to what miles it actually has.

Anyway, I was more interested in understanding what would need to be replaced if it were for real. I was thinking alot of rubber components. Given that its probably somewhere north of 150-200K+ miles Im not so eager about it.

Lesson learned-when too good to be true it probably is. If anybody happens to be interested I can post the full listing otherwise I guess case closed

Treetops
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  #5  
Old 08-22-2014, 06:49 PM
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Should post screenshots of the CarFax on the ad in the comments section. I'm sure he would like that. What a moron.
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  #6  
Old 08-22-2014, 09:07 PM
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Thank you 97 SL320, I guess our posts got crossed on the wires so to speak. What you wrote was exactly what I was hoping for...a good idea of what to look for and to expect. That is what I so admire about this forum and its dedicated Mercedes enthusiasts. Its too bad the ODO is so off. I was under the mistaken assumption on could not mess with these anymore. (maybe the 6th digit doesn't work??) Ah well, ce-la-vie.

Jake, I like your idea, but not my style. The dealer mentioned they are new, which I think is either the old routine of "rename the company because of a bad reputation or they really are grade A morons for not dbl checking thier own pruchase...not likely. I do think it worth while to send an email with the info I purchased from InstaVIN to DE consumer affairs or where ever one reports this sort of thing in Delaware.

Treetops

Last edited by treetops; 08-22-2014 at 09:22 PM.
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  #7  
Old 08-22-2014, 09:21 PM
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Nice "Detective" Work

Great job treetops of figuring out that this was not a diamond in the rough......
few are.....especially when it comes to MB's. I'm guessing you used another service like Auto Check or something similar instead of Carfax. , another tip of the hat to you. Carfax may not be perfect, but contrary to 97 SL320's comments, the internet is power and these services provide a good starting place to do your detective work and form an opinion.

BTW, did y'all know that with a Carfax subscription you can look up an unlimited number of vehicles with only the license plate number, no VIN needed. Using a VIN you're limited to 5 inquiries. Now I realize having a license plate isn't always available especially if you're buying from a dealer, etc.. And no I don't work for Carfax, but I think their service is worthwhile. Using it will help you not buy "junk" so you won't go "screaming" to your Pelican brethren wondering what happened. My 2 centavos!
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  #8  
Old 08-23-2014, 09:26 AM
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I'd still have a look at the car, it the car is good enough on it's own merits I'd offer sub $ 2 K while handing the dealer a mileage print out.

I'd also have a very close look for other crash damage given that incorrect mileage makes the hail story suspect.
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  #9  
Old 08-23-2014, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by treetops View Post
Thank you 97 SL320, I guess our posts got crossed on the wires so to speak. What you wrote was exactly what I was hoping for...a good idea of what to look for and to expect. That is what I so admire about this forum and its dedicated Mercedes enthusiasts. Its too bad the ODO is so off. I was under the mistaken assumption on could not mess with these anymore. (maybe the 6th digit doesn't work??) Ah well, ce-la-vie.

Jake, I like your idea, but not my style. The dealer mentioned they are new, which I think is either the old routine of "rename the company because of a bad reputation or they really are grade A morons for not dbl checking thier own pruchase...not likely. I do think it worth while to send an email with the info I purchased from InstaVIN to DE consumer affairs or where ever one reports this sort of thing in Delaware.

Treetops
Better Business Bureau would be ideal.

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