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  #1  
Old 07-24-2003, 02:42 AM
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1994 C280

Hi,

I know this maybe has been a topic for a while now on and off, but I'm in the market for a Used Mercedes Benz and I found a dealer willing to sell me his loaded 1994 Mercedes Benz C280 for a reasonable price. I was just wondering:

1) Is this car reliable after 130k miles?

2) What are the average repair costs for the 1994 C280 sedan overall?

3) Are there a lot of problems for this model and year?

I've done my research and such on this car and I've been hearing on and off problems with the transmission and other minor stuff as well and is this car worth it?

I've also done my carfax/autocheck on the Mercedes Benz C280 which I am looking at and it shows nothing but a clear report. I know carfax/autocheck does not get all the info for the car but gives you a good idea of what a cars been through.

The dealer is asking $6000 for the car.

Any help on this subject would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 07-24-2003, 06:01 AM
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MB Loves you too!!

Hey Jenny,
Welcome to the mother of all MB sites!

A 130k C280 for 6K is a respectable deal. When you say "dealer" do you mean 'Used Car Lot'? Or person to person sell?

If its person to person, have a friend drive the MB alone to give you his or her input.

If its a 'Used Car Lot' ........ Blahhh,,, fagetabout it.

RECORDS!! At 130K there should be some major maintenance done, I believe every 100k = Timing chain, (I would check for head gasket leaks) ,,,,,,,,, Transmissions are not minor stuff, unless your uncles aunts sisters brother can repair it. If there is something wrong with the trans, then 6k reflects that. The weird thing about MB's is... the newer the MB, the cheaper the parts. Let me rephrase that.. the newer the MB other than the "S" Class the cheaper the parts.
Take a look at the link, it might help.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=33727&item=2424804860

I don't know where your located, but in Los Angeles, a C280 @ $6000.00 is hard to come by, with a clean record.

Post more detail on the transmission "minor problem(s)"
Can you get it for $5500??? Try asking, or maybe even $5800.
Keep us posted,
Stevo
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  #3  
Old 07-24-2003, 07:56 AM
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This model would have the 722.4 transmission, that's a pretty bullet-proof tranny, i wouldn't give it a second thought, except to get the fluid and filter changed if the history is unknown.
Timing chain at 100K on a 104? No way in heck. Maybe in another 150K.
Look for head gasket leaks, including the front cylinder head cover (not the valve cover, although these can leak too, I mean the cover on the FRONT of the head). The signs of a leaking head gasket usually is an oil leak on the passengers side of the motor back by the rear corner. Head gasket replacement usually will set you back almost $2K if done in a shop.
Other potential for problems would be a bad wiring harness on the engine, you can do a "search" on "104 harness" here and get lots of info, although it seems most 104 harness problems occurred on 104 engines in 124 E Class cars for some odd reason. The harness replacement I would say runs in the $500-$1000 range.
If the service history is unknown, I'd plan on doing basically ALL maintenance work on the car, including coolant and brake fluid flushes and all filters. Oh, check for a leaking differential too, they like to leak on the left and right side seals and the input pinion too.

Gilly
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  #4  
Old 07-24-2003, 08:28 AM
it leaks, its german
 
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Overall those things are pretty bulletproof as long as some form of maintence has been done.


wiring harness's
head gasket and front cover oil leaks
diff leaks
occasional central locking and vacum element issues
blue label ignition coils
bypass tube on the radiator leaks
egr tubes plug
vacum gang valves crack and leak


Thats pretty much it for common problems. Timing chains on 104's last and last.




Joe
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  #5  
Old 07-24-2003, 08:40 AM
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I forgot about the EGR system issues, that one would be near the top of the list for suspected things that may be wrong. Joe, do you clean or replace the tube? I've done both, if it were mine I'd replace, just for piece of mind, plus aren't the new tubes an improved design to prevent reoccurance?

Gilly
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  #6  
Old 07-24-2003, 09:58 AM
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Gilly, Joe,

WOW, I didn't know the timing chain on these cars can last sooo long!? Cool, one less issue. But, is the car worth purchasing? (IF the transmission is working properly)
Jenny, expect to always spend about a $1000 on any car you buy used for regular maintenance.
Stevo
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  #7  
Old 07-24-2003, 02:44 PM
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I've got a 1994 C280, which I bought about 3 and a half years ago. When I bought it, it had about 55K miles on it, and it now has almost 80K miles. Aside from regular maintenance, the car has been fabulous. The only thing I would add to check for is that you have the updated OVP (overload voltage protector relay) in your car. If this item fails you will find that in certain conditions, your car does not want to start. Its a cheap replacement, I think the dealer charged me about $125 Canadian parts and labour, but it was 2 years ago that I did it.

The best advice I can give you is this: if you buy the car, do some research (on this site) to find a local mechanic that specializes in MB in order to avoid the prices you'll see from a dealer on any type of service.

Good luck,

Jonathan
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  #8  
Old 07-24-2003, 05:43 PM
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Thanks a lot


How much does it usually cost to bring a mechanic which specializes in Mercedes Benz to check out the car?
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  #9  
Old 07-24-2003, 06:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by JennyLovesMB
How much does it usually cost to bring a mechanic which specializes in Mercedes Benz to check out the car?
Insteading of bringing a mechanic, you would drive the car to a dealer or an independent mechanic that specializes in Mercedes. This is very important. If you decide to use an independent, do not bring it to a regular garage that works on any car.

A PPI (pre-purchase inspection) could cost as little as $100 to as much as $300.

It might sound like a lot of money, but you absolutely must do this. It will be the best money you have ever spent. If this car has problems, it will save you from buying it and spend thousands to do the repair and maintenance on it.
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  #10  
Old 07-24-2003, 07:49 PM
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I just spoke to the dealer, and He told me that he doesn't do PPI's but he said "You're more than welcome to bring a mechanic on the lot", are there any other options close to PPI's that is done as well? If not, I'm just going to try to bring a Mercedes Benz Mechanic with me to help in inspecting the car.

Thanks for all the help so far, I'm clueless when it comes to cars.
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  #11  
Old 07-24-2003, 08:30 PM
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I agree. Something is wrong. He is giving you the run-around. Do not buy this car unless he lets you take the car to a shop of your choice for an inspection.

It is standard practice to be able to take the car for a PPI to the mechanic of your choice. No regular mechanic will go to that dealer to look at the car for you.
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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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  #12  
Old 07-24-2003, 08:42 PM
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I managed to get a picture of the engine and I had a friend of mine upload it. I'm not sure what you can tell from it but it is a lot better than having me describe it



Thanks a bunch
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  #13  
Old 07-24-2003, 08:54 PM
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There is not much that can be understood from looking at a picture of the outside of the engine, other than to confirm that, yes, it is an M104 engine.
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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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  #14  
Old 07-24-2003, 09:06 PM
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After having spent almost 4 years in the car business, albeit with a Japanese manufacturer, I can tell you with complete certainty to walk away if they wont let you take the car to an independent mechanic for a pre-purchase inspection. Where there's smoke, there's fire. No dealer in their right mind is going to turn down the chance to sell you the car by denying a PPI unless there is something they don't want you to find.

Just my .02

Jonathan
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  #15  
Old 07-24-2003, 10:27 PM
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I know this is a Mercedes Forum but how reliable would a 1992 Lexus ES300 with about 117k miles on it and a 1995 Mercedes Benz C280 with 75k miles on it be compared to the 1994 C280 with the 140k miles on it.

Would the:

1) 1992 ES300 be a better buy since it has less miles on it and the parts maybe "cheaper" compared to the Mercedes. It also costs $6000 (Not the same dealer as the 1994 C280 one i was previously talking about)

2) 1995 C280 be a better buy since it has less miles but costs about $2000 more because it is about $8000 (Not the same dealer as the 1994 one C280 one i was previously talking about)

Thanks
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