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Posted: 3/6/2006 7:51:45 AM EDT
My Dad bought a car over the weekend. It's a 1985 Mercedes-Benz 500SEL. It runs on regular gas (not diesel), it's a V8, there is no external dammage and the interior only has a few minor flaws. The car has 140,000 miles on it and my Dad paid $2,700 for it.

When he told me how many miles it had my jaw dropped. I couldn't believe he bought a car with 140,000 miles. I wouldn't have even considered buying a car with 140,000 miles on it. His arguement is that these cars can go for 300,000 miles and more if they are properly maintained. My arguement is that he doesn't know who owned this car before him and how well they maintained it.

What do y'all think?
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 7:53:25 AM EDT
For that price, why not. Benz makes a pretty solid vehicle.
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 7:54:39 AM EDT
mmmm.....Don't really know, but, that seems to be an awful lot for an '85
with that many miles.

I probably wouldn't buy ANY vehicle with that many miles on it.....

'cept maybe a Honda. mine's over 200K now and, still humming.

I think he could've gotten the guy lower, but, then, he might be able to sell
parts for more than he paid, too.
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 7:54:48 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/6/2006 7:55:58 AM EDT by skid2964]
Jeep Cherokees are the same way ... heck, at 140k they are just getting broke in good! I got 330k out of my last one and it was running perfectly when I traded it in! (Regular Cherokee, not the Grand)...
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 7:56:22 AM EDT
It depends upon who made it, how well it has been maintained, and how much it costs.
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 7:59:00 AM EDT


1985 380SE, bought it 10 years or so ago. 240,000 miles, will drive it until it can't be fixed anymore.
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 8:16:42 AM EDT
I would check Consumer's Report and see about the reliability and repair history, odds are it will be pretty good. Back then the Mercedes were pretty good, but today they are totally different story.
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 8:18:37 AM EDT
Sounds good to me.

140k wouldnt scare me a bit. Repair parts cost, maybe a little. But with what he paid, he can afford it. I always plan for a minimum of $1000/year in repair and parts costs, for any used, paid for, out of warranty vehicle.
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 8:19:15 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Dale007:
i30.photobucket.com/albums/c310/dalereed/DSC02137.jpg

1985 380SE, bought it 10 years or so ago. 240,000 miles, will drive it until it can't be fixed anymore.



What are all those identical boxes?
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 8:23:59 AM EDT
It's a good price for a Benz with that many miles. Depending where it is maintenance-wise it may cost $2000-$5000 in the first year or two he owns it, but that will get it over the hump to head on to 300,000 miles, so it’s a very good deal.

If the U.S. automakers built cars with the quality of the Merc, they would not be in trouble today. I bet the 20 year old interior looks better than one week old Buick.
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 8:24:16 AM EDT

Originally Posted By FALARAK:

Originally Posted By Dale007:
i30.photobucket.com/albums/c310/dalereed/DSC02137.jpg

1985 380SE, bought it 10 years or so ago. 240,000 miles, will drive it until it can't be fixed anymore.



What are all those identical boxes?



MREs
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 8:26:24 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Goonboss:
that seems to be an awful lot for an '85
with that many miles.

I probably wouldn't buy ANY vehicle with that many miles on it.....


+1 I would buy one that old either.
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 8:58:18 AM EDT
my product that I manufacture
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 9:52:36 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/6/2006 10:12:05 AM EDT by motown_steve]
OK, I just got back from taking my stepmother to pick the car up and I drove it home for her.

It accellerates kinda slow which is fine for a car with 140,000 miles. The interior is in worse shape than I expected, but not too bad. I'm not the kind of person who really doesn't care too much about the interior. For me if a car runs good, isn't rusted out and doesn't look like it's been in a crash derby then I have no problems with it.

It ran fine, and the ride was fairly smooth (again given the car's age and mileage). The one thing that I noticed was at one stop light it jolted when I accellerated to start moving again. It only did it once the whole way home, but when my old Lincoln started doing that the transmission died a few months later. But as someone said for $2,700 it's hard to go wrong. If he gets a year out of it then the car only cost him about $200/month. If the trans goes then everything changes obviously.
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 9:56:23 AM EDT
I almost bought an 85 500SEL for my first car. Everything in the car was ingerman...everything. Has really nice leather and the wood was in perfect condition. Needed a new paintjob and it would have been good to go... Had the V8 from germany...the car was still set up for the autobahn :) It was fast as lighting. Unfortunately for me, the owner rolled it before I could give him the cash.
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 10:25:28 AM EDT
Be advised, parts are EXPENSIVE and sometimes hard to locate for older MB autos. There are some people who import hard to find parts just be prepared to fork out $. Otherwise a very nice car for the money..
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 11:03:29 AM EDT
The '87 Volvo 240 wagon I currently drive had 173k miles at time of purchase. The odometer/tripometer broke back in August at 221,644...two oil changes ago. It's probably got close to 227k miles on it now. I fully expect to hit 300,000 miles in this car.
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 11:18:57 AM EDT
He did fine. Mercedes-Benz builds some of the best taxi cabs in the world.

It should easily last 3-5 years with minimal repairs.
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 11:56:13 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/6/2006 11:57:00 AM EDT by byron2112]
I agree,if the car was maintained as Dale's(BTW good lookin car Dale) car appears to have been,he did fine.

I have a buddy that's into these older Mercedes,and he claims the drivetrain's are pretty bullet proof and longlasting when kept right.
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 2:50:12 PM EDT

I'd have to do an oil analysis and cylinder leakdown test first, and have a competent mechanic look it over for signs of proper maintenance and current condition.

But, yeah, if it has a rep for 300,000 miles, I wouldn't mind buying it at 140,000.

Jim
Link Posted: 3/6/2006 3:22:27 PM EDT
Its been my experience that the 126 chassis is an excellent choice. It lasts forever, unless they are neglected, and even so will last far longer than you would believe.
The "lurch" you mention would make me immediately suspect a failing flex joint on the driveshaft. Instead of a universal joint, imagine a rubber disc taking its place. The rear suspension is independent so that the driveshaft doesn't require a u-joint and the rubber helps absorb driveline vibration. They get old and the bolts begin to enlarge the holes in the rubber and it creates play. Simple, cheap repair.
Check and if needed, replace the timing chain. Do a major service. Have an experienced tech check it out, and that car ought to last well beyond 300K. We run 15w40 Rotella in them at the dealer, and they still look like new inside well beyond 100K.
A mercedes requires a competent and skilled MERCEDES technician. Joe Blow at jiffy lube will cause you problems. You don't take Nicole Kidman to McDonald's and you don't take a benz to an unqualified mokanik. It gets real expensive fixing someone else's mistakes. Mercedes have some rather unique systems and ways of doing things that those who don't know will quickly make worse.
Parts are readily available. Mercedes says it can get any part, for any car ever made by them. Go to the dealer, we still stock many parts for these, and should be able to get anything and everything for it. It will not be cheap, but one expects this from a mercedes also.
I work on Mercedes for a living, I drive one every day as my personal vehicle. Having been brought up on the GM and ford and other brands, worked at an independent and worked on everything under the sun, nothing compares. They are the finest in the land IMHO.
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