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  #1  
Old 12-16-2002, 09:43 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Dallas
Posts: 330
Opinions of value - 98 S500

There is a nice looking S500 with 66,000 mi. for sale here at a dealer. Asking $28,000. I looked through some posts and don't see any common theme of problems. What do you think about this car from a reliablilty and value standpoint?

If I decide to buy, I will of course have it checked out by a indy first. Don't know if there is any warranty yet. Just saw it on the dealers closed lot yesterday.

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 12-16-2002, 02:33 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Southern California, U.S.A.
Posts: 8,508
The general consensus is that 1998 and later W140's are "safe" to buy as all the bugs and quality issues were worked out by then.

I don't know if the evaporator problem was ever completely fixed, but at least by 1998 the failure rate was much lower.

If the price was right and the condition was good, and the car had a proper maintenance history, I wouldn't be afraid to buy it.
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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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  #3  
Old 12-16-2002, 02:37 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Southern California, U.S.A.
Posts: 8,508
I just ran a quick search on autotrader.com to check on all the 1998 S500's for sale in the entire country.

There are 38 1998 S500's listed for sale, and the average asking price is $38,300.

Kelley blue book price comes up at $40,070.

This looks like a helluva deal.
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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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  #4  
Old 12-17-2002, 12:20 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Dallas
Posts: 330
Apparently there was a misprint in the Sunday classifieds. What was printed as $28,995 should have been instead $38,995. Not exactly a helluva deal anymore.
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  #5  
Old 12-17-2002, 06:23 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 24
$28K for '98 S-500 w/ 65K miles is right price, not $38K

I recently bought a like new '97 S-500 for $30,500 with 55K miles. Your $28K price was a good final price for a '98 with 65K miles. Dealer list prices are usually $7-10K more than the actual value of the car, and you would have to be in a really big hurry or a bit thick to buy from a dealer at those prices. Here is a link to some extensive posts on this subject, including links to where you should check for W-140s. Stick to '97-'99 just over 50K miles if you can. Autotrader.com is good, but I suggest you will learn more and more quickly on E-bay.

Prices at the Eastern US Auction in Pennsylvania are slightly less than on the West Coast at the moment. Most used W-140s are coming off their lease period now, and that is the car you will probably want to buy as they have all the maintenance done religiously to protect the end of lease value. Maybe you will find a one-owner non-leased, non-auction car, but I found that all of them that I saw were not taken care of nearly as well as the previously leased cars.

Good luck!
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David Foley
'97 S-500

Last edited by Foleydb; 10-31-2004 at 09:28 AM.
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  #6  
Old 12-17-2002, 06:28 PM
PaulC
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I just get a warm and fuzzy feeling when I read posts like the one just above. Please provide me with a list of ethnic groups sorted by their dedication to car maintenance.
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