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Old 09-27-2002, 07:05 AM
Posts: n/a
Is an 89 560 sel a good deal?

I'll be looking at a 1989 560SEL tomorrow that has 156k miles on it. The asking price is $7,900. The car looks very niice and the dealer said " it was owned for the last nine years by a mercedes mechanic".

What should I look for when looing over the car?
Are there any real problem areas?
Is 156K high mileage or do they go much higher.
What Kind of repair costs can I expect?
What MPG can I expect, I'm assuming hight test.
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Old 09-27-2002, 03:59 PM
Posts: n/a
That's a bit much, then again I haven't seen the car. I'd start dealing a few grand less.

#1 Maintenance records! They are a must. Stamped books?

With that kind of mileage the upper guide rails/timing chain should have been replaced.

If rear shocks have not been replaced, they will need it. Harsh ride is a sign (it was in my case) and you can try bouncing the rear end. The shocks are expensive, roughly $400/ea.

The rear accumulators will probably need att'n if they aren't relatively new. Not too expensive and is a DIY job. Signs of old accums are also a harsh ride, mine's getting to this point.

A/C function properly? If not, it can cost you upwards of a grand to repair. Evaporator etc.

All the rubber bushings will prob need att'n as well if haven't been replaced. Check for uneven tire wear, front end squeaks etc.

The bottom end is indestructible, top end may need a valve work or at the least, valve guide seals. Watch for smoke at start-up or under load.

If it's been well taken care of, you could easily double the mileage w/o spending an inordinate amount of cash. But like I said, records, records, and more records!

I think my 560SEL gets mid-teens city and a few mpg higher on the hwy. It's been a while since I checked. Best off running hi test, IE 91-94 octane.

Best of luck and try using the search function -- this forum has tons of info and I've merely touched on the main issues. Hopefully some other guys will reply!
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Old 09-27-2002, 05:04 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Princeton, NJ
Posts: 44
My 2 cents -

I just got a 88 - 560 SEL - $5000 have since put in about 1500 in tires, valve gasket, front brakes, air and new OVP.

These cars look great and drive great too!

Trick is - what lies beneath. Am not a techie by a long shot - have it looked over by a trustworthy mechanic - that is your best bet.

Look for oil, smoke, the rear end should NOT sag and the fluid container (under the hood, to your right, behind the headlight) should be half full. A/C, electricals - rear seat reclines? Seats - springs etc, meaning they shouldn't be sagging when you sit on them. Timing guides, suspension should NOT be clunky and noisy.

Could land up costing you big bucks to repair, it is a nice car - my advice - have it looked over and don't be in a rush. If all these items are in top order, then 5+ may make sense.

Goodluck either way, you will love the car, you will hate the nagging repairs if they come about, but, that is true for any USED car.

This site is great, when you do get the advice, it is unbeatable, sometimes you don't. Search threads.
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Old 09-30-2002, 07:50 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2000
Posts: 638
89 560 SEL Best Ever by Benz

One of the biggest mistakes I have made to date is selling my 89 560 SEL 2 years ago. It had just 102 K , looked cherry, was tight everywhere.

The 89 560 SEL was without a doubt the best car MBZ has ever made in my opinion.

Did not have the ultimate relaibility of a Toyota product, but it did have 10 years of development and refinement throughout.

Have a good MBZ mechanic check it out all over. Pay him well to look hard. You will more than make up his cost in the price negotiations.
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