The Cost of Delayed Maintenance - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 51 (permalink) Old 08-28-2007, 05:25 PM Thread Starter
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The Cost of Delayed Maintenance

I looked at a 500E this past weekend that had a bit of damage to the left front but is easily fixable. After going over the car, looking at the advertisement, and looking through the receipts I got a really good snapshot of what delayed maintenance and "customer declined" adds up to over a period of time.

This 1993 500E with 200K miles needed the following to get "in shape" for a 200K car. [I have added shop cost ballpark prices to the items]

Steering Gear Box [diagnosed in 2005] $500
Power Steering Box [diagnosed in 2005] $800
Engine Oil Leak [diagnosed in 2005 - still leaking] $300-2500 depending on if the leak is simple like a lower oil pan gasket or something bigger that requires pulling the motor.
UpShift delay all gears [diagnosed 4/2007] tranny rebuild $2500
Code for Ignition Module [6/2007] $2000 if module needs replaced
Wiring harness needs replaced $500
Spark Plug Wires look to be original [plugs/wires/rotors/caps/etc] $700
Bodywork $800
Paint $500-3000 - depending on fade and ability to match

So someone is looking at $8,600 minimum and $13,300 in work to bring the car up to basic AVERAGE standard, no leaks, no slips with good paint. Now add the cost of the car which is going to be around $5500-6000.

Delayed maintenance and lack of attention has put this car in an untenable buying position.

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post #2 of 51 (permalink) Old 08-28-2007, 05:37 PM
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Than it looks like somebody was driving the car with most of those symptoms for 2 years without putting a dime in it?
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post #3 of 51 (permalink) Old 08-28-2007, 05:37 PM
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Prime example of the truth in the subject line, except that you left out the "high" (as in "high cost of delayed maintenance".

(Of course I also thought this was a rejoinder thread to the one in OT about tooth decay in the UK...)

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 51 (permalink) Old 08-28-2007, 05:40 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Kajtek1
Than it looks like somebody was driving the car with most of those symptoms for 2 years without putting a dime in it?
No, they actually did other maintenance during that time, just not some of the meaty stuff. Completely redid the suspension and brakes as examples.

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post #5 of 51 (permalink) Old 08-28-2007, 06:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcbear
I looked at a 500E this past weekend that had a bit of damage to the left front but is easily fixable. After going over the car, looking at the advertisement, and looking through the receipts I got a really good snapshot of what delayed maintenance and "customer declined" adds up to over a period of time.

This 1993 500E with 200K miles needed the following to get "in shape" for a 200K car. [I have added shop cost ballpark prices to the items]

Steering Gear Box [diagnosed in 2005] $500
Power Steering Box [diagnosed in 2005] $800
Engine Oil Leak [diagnosed in 2005 - still leaking] $300-2500 depending on if the leak is simple like a lower oil pan gasket or something bigger that requires pulling the motor.
UpShift delay all gears [diagnosed 4/2007] tranny rebuild $2500
Code for Ignition Module [6/2007] $2000 if module needs replaced
Wiring harness needs replaced $500
Spark Plug Wires look to be original [plugs/wires/rotors/caps/etc] $700
Bodywork $800
Paint $500-3000 - depending on fade and ability to match

So someone is looking at $8,600 minimum and $13,300 in work to bring the car up to basic AVERAGE standard, no leaks, no slips with good paint. Now add the cost of the car which is going to be around $5500-6000.

Delayed maintenance and lack of attention has put this car in an untenable buying position.
So how much do you think an "outstanding" 1993 500E with 200K miles would sell for?
Edmunds has it listed as $6,713 for "outstanding" condition with 200K miles, so why would someone do the above maintenance, he can maybe unload it to someone that does not have your knowledge.
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post #6 of 51 (permalink) Old 08-28-2007, 08:12 PM
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^^Hence, buyer beware...

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post #7 of 51 (permalink) Old 08-28-2007, 09:03 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by bgoin
So how much do you think an "outstanding" 1993 500E with 200K miles would sell for?
Edmunds has it listed as $6,713 for "outstanding" condition with 200K miles, so why would someone do the above maintenance, he can maybe unload it to someone that does not have your knowledge.
Edmunds or KBB numbers for a 500E are not relevant as the pool of cars is just too small to provide an accurate analysis of market value.

A 200K car without issues - any issues - is anywhere from $8-12K depending on region, color and just how "outstanding" is judged at 200,000 miles. As these cars get older, they are getting more rare but also more miles on them. We are seeing sub 100K cars in the $20-30K range in very good condition.

Restored condition cars, where all is done to bring the car to drive/restored are bringing good dollars, even with the miles as the body is solid and there are only a few, easy to address problem areas on the car.

As an example my Bornite car is worth more due to rarity of color than 199 [which had nearly 50% of all 500Es in the US]. On the other hand, folks like the 199 Black Pearl so it is easier to sell.

To answer your question better, the owner should be doing the maintenance as it comes up, because now that it is crunch time, he is in a situation where he SHOULD disclose known problems to any buyer. Oft times, on internet sales as example he is required to do so or the buyer can back out of the sell. He has put himself in a position to either do some of the work or take a hard hit on the sell price of the car.

Frankly, I don't know how I would try and price this car if I were trying to buy/sell it. Someone is going to get screwed on this deal, no matter what decisions are made.

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post #8 of 51 (permalink) Old 08-28-2007, 10:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcbear
No, they actually did other maintenance during that time, just not some of the meaty stuff. Completely redid the suspension and brakes as examples.
So they did what they had to keep the car running.
But they didn't put $10,000 into $6,000 car.
Smart people.
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post #9 of 51 (permalink) Old 08-28-2007, 11:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcbear
Edmunds or KBB numbers for a 500E are not relevant as the pool of cars is just too small to provide an accurate analysis of market value.

A 200K car without issues - any issues - is anywhere from $8-12K depending on region, color and just how "outstanding" is judged at 200,000 miles. As these cars get older, they are getting more rare but also more miles on them. We are seeing sub 100K cars in the $20-30K range in very good condition.

Restored condition cars, where all is done to bring the car to drive/restored are bringing good dollars, even with the miles as the body is solid and there are only a few, easy to address problem areas on the car.

As an example my Bornite car is worth more due to rarity of color than 199 [which had nearly 50% of all 500Es in the US]. On the other hand, folks like the 199 Black Pearl so it is easier to sell.

To answer your question better, the owner should be doing the maintenance as it comes up, because now that it is crunch time, he is in a situation where he SHOULD disclose known problems to any buyer. Oft times, on internet sales as example he is required to do so or the buyer can back out of the sell. He has put himself in a position to either do some of the work or take a hard hit on the sell price of the car.

Frankly, I don't know how I would try and price this car if I were trying to buy/sell it. Someone is going to get screwed on this deal, no matter what decisions are made.
Autotrader has four for sell now:
1992 $24,900 43k miles - private party
1993 $22,500 103k miles - dealer
1992 $19,995 105k miles - dealer
1992 $18,700 104k miles - private party

ebay has three 500E for sell all in the 100k range only one has a bid for $12,778 the other two have no bids the prices are $5,000 for one and $17,500 for the other.

For a 500E with 200K miles the price would be around what Edmunds states, I would think. Edmunds uses the term "outstanding" as meaning "Exceptional mechanical, exterior and interior condition; requires no reconditioning."

However Autoweek reported the other week that a 1974 Ford Pinto sold at auction for $24,000? And it was a good deal?
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post #10 of 51 (permalink) Old 08-29-2007, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Kajtek1
So they did what they had to keep the car running.
But they didn't put $10,000 into $6,000 car.
Smart people.
Not exactly smart because now they have a car that has a negative value, is going to require lying to sell or "sticking it" to the next guy. And part of the $10K is in body work where they should have gotten a check from either insurance or private party and put into the car to keep its value.

Had they done work along they would now have a car with at least Par+ value, now they don't.

There are some Mercedes that you buy, run with "as needed" maintenance and run them until they die. A car that only had 1504 brought into the country, built by Mercedes/Porsche and expecting to sell at some point is NOT one of them. Two different types of cars and two philosophies.

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