1999 E55 AMG - purchase advice - Mercedes-Benz Forum
 
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#1 (permalink) Old 11-26-2010, 07:15 AM
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1999 E55 AMG - purchase advice

I'm thinking about purchasing a '99 E55 AMG. I've never owned a Benz before, but came across this one through a friend looking to sell. I've read though most of this forum, so I'm somewhat familiar with some of the repair issues. This E55 has 43,000 miles, had two owners. Owner is asking for $17k (Kelley BB).

I haven't conducted a PPI or Carfax, yet. Both interior (black) and exterior (black) are like new.

For those that own '99 E55 (or similar), I'd like to know what your thoughts on using it as a daily driver. (I'll be driving it in the DC area.) What are some of your pet peeves with this car?

Given that it only has 43k, which I think is pretty low mileage, what maintenance issues could I be facing within the next 10-20k miles?

Thanks in advance.

Last edited by dcfirstbenz; 11-26-2010 at 07:29 AM.
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#2 (permalink) Old 11-26-2010, 08:44 AM
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The '99 W210 E55 is a great daily driver, the only small thing to be sensitive to is the fact of the factory lower sport suspension (spped bumps, steep driveays) and be careful with parking near curbs to avoid "wheel rash" to your sport wheels.

The only "real" maintenance costs short term are:

1) a tranny service (the original MB spec was "sealed for life" which was later changed) and actually you are right on the mielage target for a tranny pan pull and partial fluid change (note use the original correct MB spec fluid). This service costs about $350 at a MB indie. They will also check the tranny connector plu, a $20 part, and replace it if required with a better designed updated part.

2) The E55 uses a staggered tire confirguration, wider rears, and the performance tires wear quickly as compared to a standard sedan. Replacement tires run from $800-$1200 depending on brand/series. 15K - 20K miles is normal range of wear for this sport sedan. So the condition of the rubber on the car now becomes a item you should check.

3)The battery may or may not become a short term issue, depdning whether its a original battery or a replacement.

4) To keep your climate control system operating optimumly, I would recommend a AC evac/fill, which any competant AC shop can do and does not require a MB specialist, for like $80

A '99 E55 with this mileage is a rarer car, and yes that low mileage does earn a premium for the selling price, and yes this would be a great car to own.

However, edmunds.com (under the "appraise your car" feature) is a much more accurate 3rd party realistic estimate of the value of the car, rather than KBB which for a dealer tool sets selling prices higher than what is realistic, and KBB then sets trade in value lower than realistic value too - again, primarily a dealer tool.

If the car is showroom fresh, best possible condition - then private party value will come out around $11.5K, and dealer retail about $13.5K - $17K is quite pricey.

Overall, do a google for a Car and Driver test report on best used sport sedans under $25K, where they called a 1999 E55 "close to bomb proof".

If you want a reliable performance sedan, that will make a reliable daily driver, you do have the line on a very good car.

If you could wrap the deal at a more realistic price using more accurate edmunds.com value (even if you paid your friend edmunds dealer retail) especially since you plan to use the car as a daily driver rather than a weekend car, then you could become a very very happy owner.

Keep the faith !
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#3 (permalink) Old 11-26-2010, 08:41 PM
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I've owned my E55 for about a month and a half now and I really
love this car.
few issues for me, so far:
-driver's seat bracket loose and sometimes makes a irritating knock
(temporarily tightened frame bolts and lube the crap out of it)
-at 90-120km I have a slight vibration (probably one of my wheels need
balancing?)
-my steering wheel makes a rubbing sound when I turn the wheel
from left to right....(common problem & an easy fix with a special
lube by MB, I was told)

Other than that, this car ROCKS......


My E55 is a 1999 / 129,000km
(mine's the silver one and my buddy's is the 2000)
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Spiros aka "1BADAMG".....

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#4 (permalink) Old 11-27-2010, 03:45 AM
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Dont forget the front brakes, although im not sure if they would need changing at this mileage, but w210 e55's have special front brakes (Read: Expensive)) i.e the rotors are double faced (?) and run around $250 a piece depending on where you source them from.

They generally last around 80-100k miles depending on how hard the car was driven and whether the pads weren't worn down to the rotors...

look at this thread for a little more info...

http://www.benzworld.org/forums/w210...-w210-e55.html

Your best bet is to get a PPI done and see what issue's come up after that.

Ive had my 1998 (euro) e55 for a around 5 months now and I use it as a daily driver as well and.....'im lovin it'

2012 VW Jetta 2.oh slow....Daily driver

1998 W210 E55 Euro spec....weekend ride.

1996 w202 C280 white....US-spec - Sold!

1991 Euro W124 230E white 5spd - Sold!
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#5 (permalink) Old 11-27-2010, 06:23 AM
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Re: 1995 E55

Thanks much so far for the advice and your personal experiences with your E55.

Pending the PPI, I'm going to see if the seller is willing negotiate. I agree that $17k is pretty high. That said, after doing some preliminary web research, it seems like most sellers (dealers and private) more or less seem to follow KBB, at least in my area. (But I wonder if there is internet price distortion going on.)

(I hope I can soon post that I have an E55.)
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#6 (permalink) Old 11-27-2010, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by foreverBenz View Post
Dont forget the front brakes, although im not sure if they would need changing at this mileage, but w210 e55's have special front brakes (Read: Expensive)) i.e the rotors are double faced (?) and run around $250 a piece depending on where you source them from.
Disk brakes are all double sided. What makes them special is that the 210 E55 brakes are a two piece design - floating hat.
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#7 (permalink) Old 11-27-2010, 11:13 AM
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On "asking price" versus "actual selling price" - in today's market sellers are advertising high/KBB (and NEVER buy based on KBB) - and edmunds is a straight 3rd party service that uses data on acutal selling prices.

I have never gone wrong using edmunds as a guide, and no buyer I know uses KBB.

You can make a very stright forward and equitable offer using edmunds as a impartial 3rd party quide. The dela would be especially generous, if you are willing to pay "dealer" edmunds retail for the low mileage E55, or you can hold you offer at private party value.

That makes the 3rd party service, edmunds, be the guide to the offer.

I have never gone wrong on using edmunds as the guide, and having a PPI at my expense before the deal is finalized.
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#8 (permalink) Old 11-28-2010, 03:51 AM
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Thanks for the clarification supercharged SEC.

2012 VW Jetta 2.oh slow....Daily driver

1998 W210 E55 Euro spec....weekend ride.

1996 w202 C280 white....US-spec - Sold!

1991 Euro W124 230E white 5spd - Sold!
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