Thinking of buying a Benz, any advice? - Page 2 - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #11 of 57 (permalink) Old 01-25-2008, 11:48 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the candor..

Really, I appreciate everyone's replies and unvarnished opinions about the pitfalls and realities of MB. If you make an adverse comment on the Saab forum you are flamed as an idiot--many subscribers over there think the brand is flawless and any faults are owner related. A lot of BS.

No hurry here, time is on my side. Not being a DIYer I would opt to lease or get a warranty. It seems the dilemma is to settle for Japanese relibility at the expense of bland styling, or look to Europe for flair and pray it holds together. Too bad somebody can't provide both.

Thanks
Mike
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post #12 of 57 (permalink) Old 01-26-2008, 06:46 AM
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Nice info commercial above.

But Mercedes quality problems often show up on cars that are carefully maintained per manufacturers guidelines.

And Mercedes Benz is not the only car company to specify high compression engines, high performance brakes, etc. High performance componentry today does not justify inconsistent quality and durability.

Again, the factory warrantied / CPO / certified used Mercedes can give you 100,000 miles of low risk pleasurable motoring. All the major manufacturers now have good certified/warranty programs to support a strong used car business. Of course certified used cars sell for a premium.
To your first comment, im not taking about quality issues, i'm talking about reliability. Understand that a if a car is taken care of to the note, it is going to last and perform a hell of a lot longer than one that isn't.

To your second comment, I know they are not the only company these days to offer high performance parts, but high performance and durability should never be said in the same sentence. An example of this today is the rotors Mercedes installs on there vehicles that are purposely made softer to offer better stopping performance, likewise they wear out faster. Is that a quality
issue, I think not.
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post #13 of 57 (permalink) Old 01-26-2008, 07:31 AM
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Heck, I guess I really don't know what I want. I have always loved the Mercedes styling though. Nothing beats the 3 pointed star against the road viewed from the drivers seat at night. You are right about the antenna costing $500--confirmed by my 300E-owning neignbor who said, Don't walk away from Mercedes idea, but run." She said, "I can afford to buy one, I jus't can't afford to own one." That sums it up. I guess I may have to drive a boring Acura and use the Saab Convertible for warm weekends I guess I could get a used Civic to drive to work and older Benz as a toy. Who knows.
I didn't mean to scare you away. The antenna would only cost $500 (estimate, it may be more) if you bought it at the dealer and had them put it in. You can buy the antenna new for $250 from a non dealer source and put it in yourself. Better yet, you can get a used antenna on ebay for $100 and do it yourself. The point is the Mercedes can be affordable, if you go about it the right way. If you run into a problem, all you have to do is get on the forum and someone will tell you how to fix it.

We just bought our 8th Mecrcedes and still have 3 so, it can be done. I have only ever been to the dealer once on these 8 cars and that was only because I didn't know better until they got me that one time. Actually, we have had very few problems with any of these cars.

Take the plunge and enjoy driving like never before!


Last edited by asodergren; 01-26-2008 at 07:35 AM.
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post #14 of 57 (permalink) Old 01-26-2008, 09:21 AM
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If the three-pointed star on the hood is your reason for getting one, save yourself a lot of trouble and buy something else. Meanwhile, despite what you have just read, careful maintenance is fairly irrelevant to the electrical issues you'll experience with a late-model Mercedes. Finally, even a factory warranty, which I also recommend, does not spare you the hassle factor of having to take your car to the dealer all the time. How much is your time worth?

Buy one only if you fall in love with it and can't bear to drive anything else.
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post #15 of 57 (permalink) Old 01-26-2008, 11:37 AM
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Mercedes used to be a byword for reliability.
Now, its a byword for unreliability,

People look at french cars and say "They're built like mercedes" ie, things are gonna fall off before you even drive it home.

I can't vouch for the reliability of a new merc, but then again, how can i, i havent owned one.

But what i do know is, the year is 2008, and i see people driving 1970s E-classes and S-classes.

I have a hard time imagining people driving the W221 in the year 2050.
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post #16 of 57 (permalink) Old 01-26-2008, 01:18 PM
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Really, I appreciate everyone's replies and unvarnished opinions about the pitfalls and realities of MB. If you make an adverse comment on the Saab forum you are flamed as an idiot--many subscribers over there think the brand is flawless and any faults are owner related. A lot of BS.

No hurry here, time is on my side. Not being a DIYer I would opt to lease or get a warranty. It seems the dilemma is to settle for Japanese relibility at the expense of bland styling, or look to Europe for flair and pray it holds together. Too bad somebody can't provide both.

Thanks
Mike
These cars are not for you. If can't DIY or won't, then they will cost you big bucks. I've done an antenna replacement on my car for $45. Why? Because I did the installation and wiring myself and purchased the parts as cheap as possible.
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post #17 of 57 (permalink) Old 01-26-2008, 01:20 PM
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I have a hard time imagining people driving the W221 in the year 2050.
I can't see it either. The cars are nowhere near what they used to be. I think these newer cars will have trouble pushing 200,000 miles, let alone 20 or 30 years.
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post #18 of 57 (permalink) Old 01-26-2008, 01:37 PM
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To your first comment, im not taking about quality issues, i'm talking about reliability. Understand that a if a car is taken care of to the note, it is going to last and perform a hell of a lot longer than one that isn't.

To your second comment, I know they are not the only company these days to offer high performance parts, but high performance and durability should never be said in the same sentence. An example of this today is the rotors Mercedes installs on there vehicles that are purposely made softer to offer better stopping performance, likewise they wear out faster. Is that a quality
issue, I think not.
Reliability issues or "quality" issues, who cares, if they leave you with a dead car on the side of the road waiting for a flat bed or tow truck, it's not good.

The rotors on Mercedes are not softer, the brake pads are. I've seen better brakes and longer lasting brake pads on Porsche products that I have owned. Who said the excessive brake dust and short pad life was a quality issue?

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post #19 of 57 (permalink) Old 01-26-2008, 03:48 PM
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Reliability issues or "quality" issues, who cares, if they leave you with a dead car on the side of the road waiting for a flat bed or tow truck, it's not good.

The rotors on Mercedes are not softer, the brake pads are. I've seen better brakes and longer lasting brake pads on Porsche products that I have owned. Who said the excessive brake dust and short pad life was a quality issue?
Agreed, if a car leaves one stranded it is not a good thing. However in most occastions maintaince is directly related to reliability. The point I am simply trying to make is that the basic construction of a Mercedes is of such that it is designed to be maintained. Electronic issues aside they are a solid performance and in some cases economy vehicle that offers a good balance between sport and drivablity. Mercedes may not be what it used to be, but be comforted in the fact they are one hell of a world above vehicles offered by Lexus and BMW.

Just so you understand for future use, Mercedes today uses harder pads, and softer rotors. An example of this would be the previous model year C class which has a issue with rotors being worn out within the first 30000 miles because of hard pads and soft rotors. For the record, you said that performance products should have no effect on durability, however you may not believe this but it does. Take Ferrari for example.
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post #20 of 57 (permalink) Old 01-26-2008, 04:57 PM
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Just so you understand for future use, Mercedes today uses harder pads, and softer rotors. An example of this would be the previous model year C class which has a issue with rotors being worn out within the first 30000 miles because of hard pads and soft rotors. For the record, you said that performance products should have no effect on durability, however you may not believe this but it does. Take Ferrari for example.
Who knows how soft the rotors or pads are, it's academic. My last-gen C240 rotors lasted 85K miles. But owners of late model Benz's all experience short pad life and excessive brake dust. Sure, braking performance is good, but no better than other cars in same class.

Yes Ferrari is a good example of a unreliable "exotic", but not MB's non-exotic competition. High performance does not have to equal poor durability as shown by Nissan/Infinity and to a lesser extent Porsche. Mercedes has had recent history of poor reliability and durability with middle of the road "luxury" cars, and these cars are certainly not pushing the performance envelope.

But we don't want to discourage the potential used car (MB) buyer. With some precautions clearly noted above, a used/factory-warrantied MB can be a decent buy. Almost no mass-produced cars are good investments, but with careful selection, a used MB can be a very satisfying car.

S.


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