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Old 08-11-2002, 07:43 PM
Car Killer
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 178
The second benz I looked at was a 83 300D I found thru these forums, bought it and have had nothing but driving pleasure ever since. not a single problem. 40,000 miles so far out of a $2000 car that runs like a dream.

There is always a gem out there somewhere. just keep looking.
2003 Jetta Wagon TDI 145,000MI
1999.5 Jetta TDI 287,000MI
2001 Suzuki SV650S 26,000MI
2008 Yamaha Vino 125 11,000MI
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Old 08-11-2002, 08:37 PM
BENZ-LGB's Avatar
Strong, silent type
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Southern California
Posts: 1,663
I bought my last two Benzes...

....through ads in the AutoTrader. Both cars lived, and continue to live, up to my expectations....As with any old car, however, there are always hidden issues. The only real "protection" a buyer has is whatever information he/she has about the car that he intends to buy. Forewarned is forearmed. The more you know about the particular model you are looking to buy, the easier it is to avoid problems.

Also, it helps to have a trusted mechanic. And you should budget about 20% of the final price for unexpected problems.

Before I bought the 300TE I asked here about issues/problems with that particular model. The information that I gleaned from this site helped me avoid a couple of gussied-up beauties with hidden probelms...The information also helped me to negotiate a better price....

Seek and ye shall find....
Current Benzes

1989 300TE "Alice"
1990 300CE "Sam Spade"
1991 300CE "Beowulf" RIP (06.1991 - 10.10.2007)
1998 E320 "Orson"
2002 C320 Wagon "Molly Fox"

Res non semper sunt quae esse videntur

My Gallery

Not in this weather!
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Old 08-11-2002, 10:32 PM
J.HIDALGO's Avatar
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Jax, FL
Posts: 1,785
Talking Ron, do you feel better after venting?

'86 300E
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Old 08-12-2002, 05:14 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Hollywood Hills, CA
Posts: 891
1990 Bottechia road bike (finest hand-crafted Italian flyer)

hey i race on a 1991 casati road racer...
ultegra groupo....
~there is no spoon~

1984 300CD Turbo Diesel (soon to be "powered by VEGGIE") - dolphin silver

1999 e430 Sport blk/blk, my sexy ***** ;-)

(my other girls)
1992 300CE 24V 3.0L (w124) (R.I.P. "she was killed 7/12/03 by some ricer kids speeding in a honda accord")
1990 Acura Integra RS (w/94' engine)
1966 Cadillac Sedan de Ville (Hardtop)
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Old 08-13-2002, 10:48 PM
Posts: n/a
Don't feel bad. Last week I sat next to a guy on the plane back from Las Vegas. He had flown to a dealership after conversing with them for a week on a used Ford Excursion. It was "supposed" to be fully loaded including 4-wheel drive. He was planning on driving it home (12-hour drive) and packing it up for a family camping trip. The dealer picked him up from the airport and drove him to the dealership for a test drive. After a couple miles, he got out and looked under the car. Hmmm, no transfer case! It was a 2-wheel drive. The ol' bait-n-switch. Boy, was he pissed! He made sure they paid for his ticket -- BOTH ways. He was so discouraged he told me he was going to buy brand new. Long story, but don't fel bad, your dream car will happen if you have the patience.

Good Luck!

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Old 08-14-2002, 10:20 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 709
Did you consider looking at a car at an MB dealer?...depending on what the criteria is at the dealer...I have seen some only keep cars that were 2-3 years old...and others that would have 8-10 year old cars that were maintained by them all their life....but for the most part anycar you see there is most like a dealer maintained car and a one owner.....which are the two biggies when I am searching for a new auto

1992 300SD 145K
Columbus Ohio
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What a WASTE of time - Just need to vent-1992-300sd.jpg  
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Old 08-14-2002, 10:26 AM
jsmith's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: At Sea
Posts: 1,729
i'm sure Ron's looked - there's a large dealership chain out where he is - Rally. my brother's gotten like 8 cars from them...
1993 300e-2.8
- gone now <sigh>
"Do not adjust your mind, it's reality that's malfunctioning"
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Old 08-14-2002, 11:23 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Severna Park, MD AND Davidson, NC (School)
Posts: 94
Ron, I'm sorry to hear about that crap. I looked for a good while (2-3 months) at E320s -- private owners, dealerships, etc.

Eventually one came into the dealership that was in great shape -- with 96,000 miles. My dad and I initially balked at the mileage, until we took it for a drive and looked around.

MB paint holds up unbelievably well if properly cared for, and now the car is at 113,000 miles. People can't believe it has so many miles on it. Keep looking, and don't settle for an Accord. Your peach will come your way. Just have a little patience, if you have the luxury of time, and don't give up. I agree with the people who said that a quick peak through the pics of benzes on this forum will yield evidence of how a merc can hold its appearance and vitality if properly treated.

Good luck finding a car, and keep peeking into the dealership, a good used benz will attract a lot of interest from people looking to get into a mercedes at an affordable price. From what I was given to understand from the dealer (and it admittedly was probably at least partially motivated by salesmanship), used benzes in good shape usually have a very quick turnaround time on dealers lots. Maybe a word with them to give you a call if what you are looking for hits the lot will pay off.

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Old 12-04-2002, 10:25 PM
Bruce B's Avatar
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: east of Atlanta, north of Macon Ga
Posts: 185
Cool Real "Lucky" I Guess

I read some of the horror stories about the "excellent condition" Benz's and find myself lucky. I bought my '91 300SE, 182,000 miles, last week from a close friend, I know what you are thinking....sucker born every day. I know that this car has been well taken care of both inside and out and has never been wrecked. She had bought herself an E320 last year and just kept this one around as a spare car, not to mention she didn't want to "give it away" to a dealer. I'm not exaggerating when I say that inside and out are in excellent condition, one small scuff on the drivers seat and two small dings on the body. Keep looking, you'll find a good one out there.
1991 300SE (my ride, 279,000 miles, looks almost new
1954 Cadillac (21 yo son's car, he bought when age 15)
1972 SeaBird 19 ft runabout (old but solid, slant six, Volvo sterndrive perfect condition, undergoing complete overhaul and refit)
1998 Toyota Rav4 (my sons daily driver when he is in the Continental US, PROUDLY serving in US Navy)
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Old 12-04-2002, 10:50 PM
blackmercedes's Avatar
Just a guy
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: St. Albert, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,492
Yeah, this is all familiar. Good used MB's are rare, as many people stretch like crazy to buy one, and then don't spend a bloody dime on repairs or service.

That's why I have a "waiting list" anytime I sell one of my MB's. Word gets out about guys like me that are keep their cars in true top shape.

When I buy used, I usually buy from an MB dealer. They're still sharks, but they don't keep junk on their lots. Otherwise, it's just about always from someone I already know.

I've bought one MB from a stranger in a private sale, and it was easily the worst MB I owned, as it had led a pretty hard life. That said, the car was a bargain, I racked up a whack of miles in just a few months and sold the car for more than I paid for it.

Start working the "network" to find a good used Benz private sale, or resign yourself to the dealer's lots... (all IMHO)
John Shellenberg
1998 C230 "Black Betty" 240K

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Old 12-04-2002, 11:09 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 48
I have to say that I'm one of the few Ebay success stories. Found my 95 C220 on Ebay after it failed to hit the reserve. 58,000 miles, with a cracked rear bumper cover (no metal or frame damage whatsoever-- Got it replaced, looks sweet now.)
Had it checked out by a mechanic, closed the deal for under $9,400. It had just had the 60,000 service done by a dealer, with a new battery and a couple of other things for the princely sum of $1,250. Drove it on a roundtrip cross country road trip (MB's are wonderful highway cars), and now, with 74,000 on the clock, I'm looking forward to the next 74,000 with this car.

Have been a bit of a maintenance freak, synthetic oil and OEM filter every 2,500, air filters every 6,000, P/S filter and fluid, Tranny fluid, cabin filter once each.

So, I got lucky with the first MB I ever looked at or drove, but keep at it, it's worth it. And to think that I almost bought a used Camry instead....
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Old 12-05-2002, 01:38 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 352
You know Ron, those problems that you mentioned except for the lights aren't that big of a deal but the real sign to stay away is the mismatched tires. About 2 weeks ago, I wanted to add another 300E to my stable and I went to look at the car. 4 different tires that were completely bare. I said okay, it shouldnt cost more than $400 for a new set but then I asked the owner about what service has been done to the car and she replied by saying "it hasn't given me any problems for the past 5 years." That was the sign for me to run away.

Dealer cars only advantage is the warranty at a markup of like 7k. Not worth it and I don't trust sales people. The entire process of starmark is a joke to me except for the warranty. Go to MB's site, 80% of the items to check are trivial such as cleaning the cassette deck. All the cars that I have ever purchased, I never saw before hand and I only knew mileage and color. Most MBs are rock solid and can take alot of abuse but sometimes there some quarks that can really empty your wallet. 95 C280 has a wiring harness problem and a head gasket leak, why bother even looking at this car. A expansion tank covered in that white crust means someone opened the cap while hot. It happens all the time.
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Old 12-05-2002, 03:50 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 280
Smile Beat the Liars!

Hi guys! I have fixed my aerial which popped out 2 months ago, fixed my sunroof which was reported to cost A$1200 but cost me only A$20 for the grease up/down(works like new now), fixed my standard radio by changing the worn out faceplate with a new one(nobody can tell its the original), changed the failed water pump, serp. belt, tensioner, fuel pump and filter(was tricked into changing these 2 as nothing was wrong with them), changed the 2 front bushes(reckon I was tricked again), changed a new battery, resprayed and straightened the front bonnet and bumper, changed the pressure cap for the radiator overflow bottle and now getting the vacuum leaks fixed, vacuum pump noise fixed, rearheadrest restored and working and will be looking at the noisy exhaust, timing and the dodgy speedo and replacing the damaged lefthand RV mirror set. The rear boot lock may also need replacement due to previous damage although it still works.

No wonder the previous owner wanted to get rid of this car. Basically thats the way it is. If its a prestige 2nd hand car, onus is on the buyer to find out just how many faults there are which must be fixed, how many which you should fix, but can live with, and how many which you can totally ignore being minor. The accumulation over time of repairs required will cause a heart attack if you look at the expense of fixing them all. So do watch out and don't be bitten by your love for this car. I reckon this quest of mine to get rid of all the dirty linen is coming to a happy ending. Totoal cost so far is A$5000 and maybe another A$2,500 to go. Bless me!
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