To Buy or Not: 95 C220, 14,000 Miles - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-26-2007, 09:39 PM Thread Starter
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To Buy or Not: 95 C220, 14,000 Miles

The classic tale, 'she just drove it to the store'. Grandmother of a friend died (RIP), and she has (had) a cherry (garaged, perfect condition) 1995 C220 with 14,000 (yes 14k not 140k) on it. Their son, an older very nice gentlemen, who does not want to list or trade in because of the overwhelming tasks of settling the estate. Their first offer is $6,000. Sounds great but I'm concerned, after reading problems about wiring harnesses, MAS, electrical and various other issues, that this model/year is a potential money pit. My wife is driving the '88 190E 2.3 with 140k miles that is so solid my mechanic wants to buy it. The idea: I swap the 190E with the C220 as an upgrade for wifey.

Question: Would you go? Should the '95 C220 be feared?

Fear of the unknown...
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-26-2007, 11:39 PM
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The C should be great!! I sure miss my '94 C220; it had very similiar repair needs as my '87 300E: reasonable & predictable. My concern would be the very low miles & whether or not the car has been driven enough. Am sure some mechanics will chime in with their good comments; an inspection would be well worth the money. BTW: when my '94 got killed with 94k on it 3 months ago (good condition), the insurance company readily settled with me for $8400.

'87 300E: sold after 11years @ 230k & still on the road somewhere in rural Tennessee.

'94 C220 with 93k totalled 10/06 by hit & run broadsiding monster truck: not a scratch or bruise for me

Last edited by johnamoss; 02-26-2007 at 11:41 PM.
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-27-2007, 08:07 PM
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John is on the right track.

Get an inspection by a good indie, if you're a long-time benz pilot you have to know at least one.

My concerns would be exactly his: not driven enough, particularly so if they were short trips spaced out. This is a 12-year-old car, so that's not much more than 1,000 miles per year or less than 100 miles a month. If it was only driven three times a month for 33 miles per trip that would be fine, but if it was driven 20 times a month for five miles per, yikes.

At the same time, so long as oil changes were done regularly, there should be no hard parts damaged by this, leaving of course the concern of the seals and gaskets, which tend to dry out even when used over a 12-year period, much less when left parked much of the time. Having to tear off all exterior parts of the engine to re-seal and re-gasket it would not be cheap, but it also would be lots less than a rebuild. Of course you also have to consider the other seals and gaskets, such as those for the transmission, differential, wheel seals, fuel system, brakes, etc.

A good drive (50-100 miles at moderate speeds, but only drive it about 20 before stopping to check and see if anything looks really bad that quickly) should reveal any significant leaks, and after that drive, the indy's inspection may be more revealing -- assuming there is anything really ugly to find.

Post back and let us know the shake-out.

Take care and enjoy the ride,
Greg

Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy; its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery. (Winston Churchill)
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-27-2007, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
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Greg, John,

Thanks for the feedback. The car is up in Pleasanton CA. so I'll have to find a reputable mechanic up there to give it a spin and check for leaks. The upfront $$ for the check will be well worth it.

John, happy to hear you came out in one piece, wouldn't mind having an ejetion seat.

Many thanks.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-28-2007, 02:38 AM
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Please do let us know the outcomes: if you buy as well as 6-9 months later; your scenario is rather unique.

'87 300E: sold after 11years @ 230k & still on the road somewhere in rural Tennessee.

'94 C220 with 93k totalled 10/06 by hit & run broadsiding monster truck: not a scratch or bruise for me
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-28-2007, 02:34 PM
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Bought a 1978 Celica in 1996 that was stored for several years in a garage while the owner was in the military. In addition to the seals, hoses and gaskets, which started leaking the next day, the tires (original tires) delaminated on a highway. They were all dry rotted to the point that the tread came off like a truck retread. There was also water in the exhaust system from someone starting it for a few minutes every month. RUST! Everything was an easy fix on this car and worth the trouble.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-28-2007, 09:39 PM Thread Starter
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Tire delam on the highway, I'd never have thought about that one. Wisdom lurks in these forums.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-28-2007, 10:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elvisvf51

The car is up in Pleasanton CA. so I'll have to find a reputable mechanic up there to give it a spin and check for leaks. The upfront $$ for the check will be well worth it.
(Welcome to the forum)

Great advice above, I'd add that if the price is really attractive, you could probably drive it for a year and not put anything into it, and flip it without losing anything. The public in general LOVES a car with low mileage, regardless of anything else wrong with it.

Good Mercedes mechanics up there are thin on the ground. However, a friend on Mercedesshop bought a used '92600SEL and had a good experience with this shop (it's in Antioch)
Independent Mercedes Service Center

It's a relatively new shop, evidently opened by a couple of factory trained mechanics who used to work for Mercedes Benz dealer in San Francisco.
There is a review of the shop in the Mercedesshop "good shops" section.
Independent mercedes service center Antioch, CA ( review) - ShopForum

Also, AVOID the Mercedes dealers inPleasanton and Walnut Creek, I have not heard good things about them.

I like those C class sedans, say what you will about the lack of quality these days
(especially from 2000-2006), they are nifty, nimble and good looking, and VERY VERY safe cars.

-Jim

Jim
<--- superschnelle 300 hp 10:1 ECE euro HV, Hochverdichtung = high compression (11/2011) ... Wie im Freien Fall. Nur horizontal.


"I swear to god, it's like I live in a trailer of common sense, and stare out the window at a tornado of stupidity." >'='<
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 02-28-2007, 10:29 PM
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I would keep the 190 over the C. But that's just my honest and humble opinion. It's less of a complicated car, so less to go wrong and fix so that'd make it more reliable. Plus I'd assume the 190 would be cheaper (??) to maintain and repair than the newer C.
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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 03-01-2007, 01:19 PM
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I'd keep the 190E, and buy the C220.

Mercedes Benz - Das beste oder nichts!
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