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Old 08-09-2002, 01:10 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Stony Brook, NY
Posts: 160
What a WASTE of time - Just need to vent

I just need to vent. I drove to see the C280 on my lunch hour. I drove up and in the 4 minutes I looked at it, here's waht I found: Driver's headrest didn't work, lifted it by hand and it came out; passenger side door lock came off in my hand as did the knob to adjust the outside mirrors; pass rear wheel had a chunk missing out of it; 3 of the 4 tires didn't match.

Time to start it up. Turned key on NO LIGHTS lit up on the dash. NOT ONE! Popped the hood and there was the expansion tank encrusted in mineral deposit!

All this abuse to this poor MB in only 7 years and 81,000 miles! A shame pure and simple. I asked the guy not to waste my time. I asked if all the little things were functional. I have had so much time wasted. If you ask questions and people lie to you, do they really think that once you get there, see they lied, that you are going to buy the car?

Ahhhh! I tell you, it's really almost enough to convince me that my wife is right and I should call it a day and just get an Accord. I could find one in one day. I have now looked at 7 cars and 4 of them were so bad I knew they lied by just driving up to the car.
Ron Brooks
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Old 08-09-2002, 01:48 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Central Oregon
Posts: 91
Don't blame the equipment!!!

It's the sellers who are the joke.
The highways are full of beat accords/camrys FSBO that are overpriced POS.

If MB is what you want, there are creampuffs out there. Lots of them are evident in the "Let's post pics of our MB" thread of this website.

P.S. Blaming the equipment has never improved my golf game either, yet I continue to do it as well.

LOL, Michael
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Old 08-09-2002, 02:21 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Soggy Seattle
Posts: 30
I can sympathize. It's gotten to the point where about the only things I ask on the phone are mileage and if it has any major dents. Some people lie (one guy with a 280C even lied about the mileage!) but I think many are just not "car people". I've seen numerous cars I think the seller honestly considered to be in excellent condition that had major problems or were suffering from neglect.

It might be easier to find a good Accord, only because there are so many more out there. I ended up buying my rather beat up 300TE simply because I got tired of looking. In six months I only found 3 or 4 in the area. So I bought one cheap and am slowly getting it into shape.

If you can afford to be patient, the right one will come along.

1988 300TE
1991 Miata
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Old 08-09-2002, 02:31 PM
Posts: n/a
Just wait for your one Ron. Don't swing the bat until you are ready. Believe it or not, when I went to look at sd's and sdl's some were in far far worse shape than mine but amazingly the damn things were still running!

For example, one guy had advertised an 84 sd in "good" shape. When I get there to look at it, every and I mean every button was broken or missing in the interior including the instrument cluster (minus the indicators behind the clear plastic). The seats, radio didn't work. The seats were either flattened or springs were lop-sided and loose. I was practically sitting on the floor. The diesel engine started right up though. The hood shook, the whole car shook, and was very noisey with very little power. I couldn't believe the car was still mobile with all the mistreatment!
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Old 08-09-2002, 02:34 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Stony Brook, NY
Posts: 160
I keep hoping. I just got a call from a friend who knows a woman selling her 89 300E. It has 112k on it and she's the second owner. He said he knows the car has been properly maintained from what she's told him. She is negotiable on the price and said to see it and let her know. It's right on the way home so I'll kow by 4:30pm EST. I keep getting all giddy each time I get ready to see one. A key fact showing the bug still has its hold on me!

And I in no way blame these poor MBs for being neglected. The owners are the only ones to blame. It's just sad to see such fine pieces of machinery in poor condition because they were neglected.
Ron Brooks
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Old 08-09-2002, 03:03 PM
BENZ-LGB's Avatar
Strong, silent type
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Southern California
Posts: 1,663
After reading....

...all of these stories I am ready to start SPCOM....

Society to Prevent Cruelty to Old Mercedes



People for the Ethical Treament of Old Benzes
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 08-09-2002, 03:04 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: South Eastern, MA
Posts: 1,743
Trust me don't give up Ron.

I did an extensive search fore 3 months before I finally found the "right" car. I looked at over 13 cars and none met my requirements. You may want to broaden your search to a larger part of the country, you might be surprised what you find. Take a look at Autotrader, thats how I found mine!

Good Luck and again don't give up, you won't be satisfied with an Accord, I know I had one!

02 C32 AMG

92 500E
84 190E 2.3 5 Spd
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Old 08-09-2002, 03:36 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Hollywood Hills, CA
Posts: 891
tsk tsk ... bad benzie owner bad benzie owner....

it's been my experience and i have been told by bmw service managers and benz managers...that benz owners normally do take better care of their cars, moreso than any other car on the market....

audi's second....

i got a nice one...and it was the first benz i looked at and drove...(out of 7) total....(3 were bmw's - the first ones i looked hell no...i'll never Be Mistaken With buying that car...)

so keep searching you'll find a beauty....promise....
~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 08-09-2002, 03:49 PM
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Old Lyme, Connecticut
Posts: 3,596
I have to agree with the advice that good cars are out there, you just need patience. I spent months looking for the 1988 300E we now have, as I was looking for a car with a manual transmission and knew they were pretty rare. I finally found one and had to go to Salt Lake City to pick it up and then drive it home (from Connecticut). Got lots of photos of it, did a CarFax (thanks to a generous site member's offer) and then called the owner and negotiated price.

Turned out to be a car with under 95,000 miles that was rust free, and mechanically near perfect with a like new interior. The owner reported the trip odometer did not work and the passenger side front door window did not work. As it turned out the trip odometer did not work because he was resetting it with the wrong button, and yes, the window needs a new motor. In 12,000 miles since picking it up, it has had a 4 oil changes and uses no appreciable oil in the 4,000 mile intervals (Mobil 1 0W-40, and now Mobil Delvac 1 as I have found a good source for that stuff in bulk buys and I use it in my Diesels).

So, be persistent and stick to your goal of finding a great car that has been cared for and is in great condition at the right price. Good luck, Jim

1986 Euro 190E 2.3-16 (291,000 miles),
1998 E300D TurboDiesel, 231,000 miles -purchased with 45,000,
1988 300E 5-speed 252,000 miles,
1983 240D 4-speed, purchased w/136,000, now with 222,000 miles.
2009 ML320CDI Bluetec, 89,000 miles

1971 220D (250,000 miles plus, sold to father-in-law),
1975 240D (245,000 miles - died of body rot),
1991 350SD (176,560 miles, weakest Benz I have owned),
1999 C230 Sport (45,400 miles),
1982 240D (321,000 miles, put to sleep)
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Old 08-09-2002, 04:27 PM
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Southern California, U.S.A.
Posts: 8,508
I have bought all of my cars used, except one, and in every case when I went out looking at cars, nearly all of the used cars I looked at were in bad shape.

It's absolutely pathetic how poorly people keep up their cars.

It was extremely frustrating, espcially considering the fact that the owners of these cars list them as "excellent condition", "good condition", or even "like new", when at best they were fair to poor.

After looking at more than 10 cars, I was pleading with these people on the phone to be honest with me about the car's condition so as to not waste my time.
Paul S.

2001 E430, Bourdeaux Red, Oyster interior.
79,200 miles.

1973 280SE 4.5, 170,000 miles. 568 Signal Red, Black MB Tex. "The Red Baron".
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Old 08-09-2002, 04:28 PM
haasman's Avatar
Registered User
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 3,097
this reminds me of our quest for our first Benz. I looked in the papers and looked. Nothing. Then a '77 280SE showed up. It was listed as "excellent".

I called the seller. "yep it is perfect, excellent". Wow I thought. I packed my one-year old daughter and wife in the car and drove one hour and forty-five minutes.

I saw a car that should be it but I knew it couldn't be the one cause the right-rear door was crushed in.

I found the owner and asked him about the door. His reponse "Well it is kind of perfect for the year and mileage". I would of locked him in his own trunck if my wife hadn't pulled me away. Almost four hours for what?

'03 E320 Wagon-Sold
'95 E320 Wagon-Went to Ex
'93 190E 2.6-Wrecked
'91 300E-Went to Ex
'65 911 Coupe (#302580)
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Old 08-09-2002, 05:09 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Hollywood Hills, CA
Posts: 891
good point...liars suck!!!

i went through a wholesaler of mbz's and every single one of his benzies were beautifully kept...some were beat up but they were priced accordingly....
for example he had a 89 300E that was good on int/ext but mileage was unknown...he did inspect the gaskets to show they were recently changed, and he drove and could tell that it was running pretty solid (used to be a mbz mechanic of 7 years) so when he picks from auctions he knows what to look for....

and he was selling it for like 4,500.00

so maybe private sellers are not the way to go?

i went through the wholesaler guy and he let me take my now owned coupe over night...while my car stayed at his lot, to have my mechanic check it, and my mechanic said it was an amazing car for what it was being offered for, and i quote "you can search for the next 5 years and not find this car in such good condition for the same price"...and so far it's true...all the auctioned ones and the ones i've seen don't measure up....

ok how's that for 2 cents....sorry
just 2 cents more....

~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 08-09-2002, 06:32 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 18,353
I drove an hour and a half to look at an early 80's 300TD. When I got there it wasn't a wagon at all but a 300d turbo. I explained the problem to the seller and he said that he knew that it should have just read 300d and that other people had come expecting it to be a wagon also but he hadn't bothered telling me on the phone that it was a sedan. What an idiot.
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Old 08-09-2002, 07:04 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 80
Smile Looking for a used Benz

Ron, I'm not in the US, but have experienced the same frustrations as you have in my quest to find a suitable used Benz. Most of those in the yards are advertised as "perfect or top condition", but when you see them, the most obvious are in the E class 1986 to 1991, the woodgrain console area around the auto shift knob is all scratched, worn out, etc, the driver's seat has worn out badly, the driver's side floor carpet also worn out, rust in the rear door window corners, windscreen wiper housing changing colour to almost white, outside door handles also weathered to light grey, oily engine bay area, stone chip damage all over the front, lots of small things gone wrong but not repaired due to the high cost of shop repairs. Do look out for those which cost heaps to fix like the sunroof, and of course the engine, tranny and drivetrain and suspension. I found my C180 Euro 1994 in a yard. He was the greatest liar you can find in this area. I missed many faults as I didn't get an expert to check it out first. I am now spending a few $$$ to fix them one by one when I have the $$$. However, this is a very good example of internally cared for Benz at such a low price. The engine etc is very good, but the bonnet has a few golf ball dents on it! All will be fixed in about 6 months from now. I still love it, my first cheap Merc!!!
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Old 08-09-2002, 07:08 PM
420benz's Avatar
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 961
I think my story beats all.Saw this 89 420 on E bay with 165,000 mi. for 6,000.00 made an offer and got this car for 5,500. I live in georgia this car was in texas.Dealer said car was in excelent cond.I baught this car SIGHT ON SEEN. 4,000.00 later i have a very good car. Since i am retired i was looking for a project and found one.P.S If it wasent for this forum and all of you guys i would not have taken on this project.I am happy i did. THANKS.
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