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  #1  
Old 06-24-2003, 08:57 PM
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Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
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Contemplating C280 with problems for wife, how much discount?

Found a beautiful black 1998 C280 Sport with 50K miles for $15k. It has no warranty and has some problems. The digital clock has missing segments and the main odometer has segments that change without ever becoming numbers. The integrated MB phone handset was disconnected and the dash interface won't function. One of the fans has a bad bearing and the check engine light is on. The engine is strong (with a shiny coating of STUFF) and the idle is very smooth. What kind of consideration can I expect for these faults. I can't find replacement part costs for this stuff. Any ideas? I want to trade the Honda on it,
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  #2  
Old 06-24-2003, 09:32 PM
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Sounds like this car may be a rebuild perhaps picked up at an insurance auction. In other words I would not buy it. I have a C280 with almost 180,000 miles on it and I have never had to return to the dealer. As you may already know, MB's require very little maintenace. Most damage I believe is caused by dealers who really don,t do good work. To date I have only changed oil(5000miles) and put new tires on the car. Right now the car is flawless. Not unlike when it it was new.
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  #3  
Old 06-25-2003, 12:34 AM
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Got the CarFax on it and it was a lease the first two years, then owned two years and is now at the third dealer since second owner. All the Total Loss andOther Accident Indicators are negative, no salvage, no rebuild, no airbag, no theft. I know what repaint looks like and where the bolts should show no disturbance and this looks clean from that end, too. But, with no warranty and dash electrics and a few dings, $15k is still high.
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  #4  
Old 06-25-2003, 01:40 AM
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Gregga

You could take to a dealer and pay for an "inspection for purchase" ... typically an hour worth of labor or about two with a compression leakdown test.

Use this to convince the seller of your pricing premise.

Have you looked at www.kbb.com I did and it seems (depending on zip code) that $15k isn't too far off.

Keep us posted,

Haasman
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  #5  
Old 06-25-2003, 11:25 AM
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I looked at kbb, nada and edmunds and they're all about the same. I just need some dealing point to figure what the cost might be to repair the malfunctioning dash. I can do it myself but can't find any reference to the problem. car-part.com has only one instrument cluster listed in the USA and it says to call for a price.
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  #6  
Old 06-25-2003, 01:42 PM
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I wouldn't buy the car either. Some people have spent thousands getting rid of check engine lights. Lease vehicles are suspect and some indy's don't recommend leased vehicles for purchase.
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  #7  
Old 06-25-2003, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Peter Fearing
As you may already know, MB's require very little maintenace.
In what sense? What you pay for factory recommended service over the warranty period of any new MB will buy a nice older MB.

gregga,

I wouldn't think of what you believe are a few things that need attention as an opportunity for a quick fix but rather as the harbinger of what's to come. Surely you don't believe your list to be the extent of the problems with this car.

If the odometer doesn't read properly, how do you know it has only 50K miles? Isn't there some remaining warranty on a 98 with 50K miles?

Does it have a local history? It would probably have been dealer maintained while the warranty was in effect. See if you can contact a dealer for its history. You might not get much response unless you can prove you own the car. Maybe you or someone you know is on good terms with someone at an MB dealership. Can you run the VIN by the DMV?

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  #8  
Old 06-25-2003, 02:15 PM
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RUN away. Don't walk. The 1998-2000 W202 C-Class was a good selling car, and there is no shortage of good examples. If the required repairs were inexpensive, the seller would have had them done prior to selling the car. Something smells REALLY bad here. Even if you get the car for $10K, I would be willing to bet real money that you'll end up more than $15K out fo pocket before it's sorted out.

All IMHO, of course...
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  #9  
Old 06-25-2003, 02:22 PM
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You've convinced me. The combination of being at two dealers in Ohio and being sold to a dealer in Iowa at auction is a real red flag. We're running. I guess the saying still holds: "If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is."
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