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  #1  
Old 12-18-2002, 10:03 AM
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2000 S500 problems?

I am in the negotiation of buying this car and was wondering if there are significant problems with the first model year cars. Has MB done free updates on these cars to take care of problems like BMW does? Are 2001 models substantially better? Thanks
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  #2  
Old 12-18-2002, 10:22 AM
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Re: 2000 S500 problems?

Quote:
Originally posted by Crankin
Has MB done free updates on these cars to take care of problems like BMW does?
Hahahahahahaha...

This board has a few "dual owners" and you don't want to get into a discussion of BMW backing their product better than MB. BMW has developed quite a recent reputation for leaving owners of late-model cars high and dry.

That said, Mercedes is going in the same direction. The new W220 S-Class has it's share of teething problems, but nothing like the previous W140 cars. People I've spoken to have talked about minor electrical glitches mostly, with mechanical systems being bulletproof. With such an expensive car, and the potential for expensive down the road repairs, the cheapest insurance is to buy one from a dealer and buy the extended warranty. On a late-model S-Class, the warranty is a low percentage of he purchase price.

And yes, Mercedes generally is pretty good about performing updates, but the dealer will have to be servicing the car, as they don't mail out such information.
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  #3  
Old 12-18-2002, 12:15 PM
Randall Grubbs
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I have a Starmarked 2000 S500 (Nov 1999 build date) that I bought in March 2002 with 20K miles. I now have 38K miles on it. It has had no problems except that the early cars had weak A/C systems that were upgraded in the later builds. The car is relatively loaded with the comfort seats with the cooling fans and rear A/C with its own evaporator. Even with all this, here in Dallas the car would not cool enough in the Summer. Without me even complaining, the dealer upgraded the system to the newer specs and it works fantastically. I think the original evaporator was too small. Other than this, I have had no problems other than a vanity light that was replaced. Free oil changes, although they are too far spaced apart in my mind. Was told not to change the tranny fluid which makes me nervous. Starmark is good to 100K miles so I don't really worry about anything right now. The engine is fantastic and I love to drive the car.

Randy
'94 E500
'00 S500
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  #4  
Old 12-18-2002, 01:48 PM
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2000 S500

Oh well, they won't sell this car to me for less than $53,800 because it has 35k miles and Starmark warranty. The inservice date is 8-99, so this sounds like an early build.
Is the warranty worth much on this car, and how about this price?
Thanks
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  #5  
Old 12-18-2002, 01:51 PM
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What is considered a late build date for the 2000?

Thanks for the information. What would be a late build date?
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  #6  
Old 12-18-2002, 02:51 PM
Randall Grubbs
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I'm not sure of the s/n cutoff, but if you're worried about the build date with respect to the A/C, look at the A/C controls on the center consol. The later A/C has a button that says "ACoff" with a LED light on it, the original system had a different button that said "EC" for economy I guess. When they upgraded my system, it included changing out this button too.

I paid 64K for mine with 20K on it but it has a bunch of options. It is also in near-new shape, new tires, etc. I saw a bunch of cars here in Dallas fresh off lease with no options including no CD changer. I guess many people wanted to get into the car as cheaply as possible. I am also very picky about paint and interior damage. Most cars except silver had paint damage, some extensive, that many people would accept but not me. I do know prices have come down a lot but I'm not sure of the current market.

I also looked at an '01 that was identical to the one I bought but no rear A/C and it had the automatic trunk (not available in '00). The car was essentially the same though with the same miles and they wanted about 8K more and it wasn't at a dealer (no Starmark). Same car as I bought so not worth the extra money. They've changed very little until the '03 upgrade.

I wanted a Starmarked car to get peace of mind. Its still under the original warranty to 50K miles so that might be enough, just depends on your aversion to risk.

Randy
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Old 12-18-2002, 03:41 PM
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In our market there seems to be an unusual number of S430's for sale right now. An S-Class, especially a late-model one, is a rare thing in these parts as it is, and seeing a half dozen for sale at once is kinda freaky.

As a result, prices are down quite a bit. I saw a 2001 S430LWB for sale for about $60K. Keep in mind that that's a $105,000 car here. 55% of list at two years? Yikes!

If you have the same thing, you might get a steal on an S430...
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  #8  
Old 12-19-2002, 06:34 AM
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some of my problems:

1) failed HID lights. Had to replace the whole thing. Forgot which side
2) failed 2 front suspension. Dealer said the pump won't pump the thing up and thus its a frontal replace! $$$
3) total lost of the cluster. Can only replace
4) keyless-go not working
5) steering rod noise turns out to be steering rod wear. $$$ too.


in general, good car but nothing compared to W140. BTW, I rarely drive the W220, I drive the 140 much more often.
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  #9  
Old 12-19-2002, 09:22 AM
it leaks, its german
 
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The early run of 220's had a pinched evap liquid line. Acted like a second expansion valve. I believe the break was 9/00 production. Once the evap is updated the ACC is great. Other than occasion cluster issues and that lovely drain for the cowl, pretty solid cars. (keep that cowl drain clean, I replaced a body harness for one that filled the floor with water, not cheap, not easy)


That and AIRmatic pumps that lock up are pretty much it.


Joe

btw, nothing on a 220 is cheap.
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  #10  
Old 12-19-2002, 10:53 AM
Randall Grubbs
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Joe,

Where is the cowl drain - I assume it gets clogged with leaves? Not a problem I'd like to have!

Thanks,

Randy
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  #11  
Old 12-19-2002, 02:28 PM
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Pinched evap liquid line

Is it possible that this problem has been corrected by a "campaign"(update) by MB? Also, is it possible to get a list of campaigns that would apply to my car? If its Starmarked, can I assume all campaigns have been done? Thanks
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  #12  
Old 12-19-2002, 05:38 PM
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Re: Pinched evap liquid line

Quote:
Originally posted by Crankin
Is it possible that this problem has been corrected by a "campaign"(update) by MB? Also, is it possible to get a list of campaigns that would apply to my car? If its Starmarked, can I assume all campaigns have been done? Thanks
Assume nothing. Visit the dealer to find out. Warranty inspections are notoriously lax...
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