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  #1  
Old 05-27-2003, 03:34 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Indiana
Posts: 206
W210 - E420, what to know before I buy.

I'm looking at a 97 E420 which the seller is asing 12K for. Sounds like a great price, what things should I look for before purchasing it? Are there normal faults to look for on the 420?

Thanks,
Brad
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1986 190E 186K (For Sale)
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1996 C280 Sport 208K
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2002 CLK430 Sport 45K
(Brilliant Silver, Gray Leather , Birdseye Maple)
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  #2  
Old 05-27-2003, 04:16 PM
EMB145Driver
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Glad to hear that you're looking at a '97. I just bought a '97 E420 last week and so far I am blown away by the car. It is such a fantastic ride. I drove it from Dallas to L.A. in one shot. 1450 miles and I AVERAGED 88 mph! This car is killer. Check out this thread.

My First Benz ('97 E420)!!!

As far as things to look for, here are a few things I picked up in my 6 months of looking.

1. Transmission fluid change; 1997 was the first year of the five speed. The transmission is 'sealed' and supposedly does not need servicing, but they are known to puke at around 100,000mi if not serviced. From what I gathered, 60K intervals seem standard. Look for this in the records.

2. The Driver's seats have a tendency to rattle. My doesn't. The fix is apparently costly because it requires replacement of the front seat rails.

3. Cracks in the dash are very common, especially around the defroster outlets and pass. SRS. Mine has a few that are unnoticeable.

4. Lower control arm bushings; if the car has anything but stock wheels these are known to crack and need replacement at least every 40-60k. Even with stock wheels, they go out frequently. The symptoms, I guess, are pulling to one side (that's what mine was doing).

5. Power Steering hose leakage; some owners have reported leaks probably owing to the fact that the V-8 produces a lot of heat.

6. Marker lights and brake lights need frequent replacement.

7. The M119 engine that this car has is apparently known for having bad 'oil crossover tubes.' These tubes have a weak point in them which can blow out and prevent oil from reaching the lifters. Listen for noisy lifters and/or tapping sounds from the top end. From what I understand it is a relatively easy fix involving removal of the valve cover. I will find out shortly because my E420 has this exact problem.

How many miles does this car have on it? I paid $17,500 for mine and it has 58,500k miles on it. Good luck! You are looking at a fantastic car!!
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  #3  
Old 05-27-2003, 05:49 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Indiana
Posts: 206
The car has 109K on it. Seems like a fair price
__________________
1986 190E 186K (For Sale)
(Maroon, Tan leather)
1996 C280 Sport 208K
(Brilliant Silver, Black Leather)
2002 CLK430 Sport 45K
(Brilliant Silver, Gray Leather , Birdseye Maple)
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 05-27-2003, 05:58 PM
EMB145Driver
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I just looked at trade-in value, excellent condition in Pittsburgh at $11,750 so yeah, that does sound like a good deal. According to the blue-book we're getting a similar deal. I'd jump on it but tell him you're going to take it to a dealership to get checked out. I wouldn't be the first to tell you that the $200 inspection could save you TONS of money later on. From what I've read on this forum these beasts can really get expensive if they haven't been maintained. What records is he providing?
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