newbie here from Chicago dreaming of a 560 SEL! - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 2 (permalink) Old 08-29-2008, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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Date registered: Aug 2008
Location: chicago
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newbie here from Chicago dreaming of a 560 SEL!

hello to everyone out here in Benz World!

my name is Bob and im a college student in Chicago. i am a car nut, which is tough to be when youre a college student...because youre broke! ive grown up around big, classic, american cars...heck, i learned to drive on my Dad's 1976 Caddy Coupe DeVille, but i have always been fond of Mercedes-Benz as well. i dont know why i am so enamored with them as no one in my family has ever owned one, but i do come from a strong german bloodline(lol), and i have a deep respect for quality engineering, which is what Mercedes-Benz are all about.

so i come to this forum asking for your help. i am absolutely in love with the 560 SEL's and i plan on buying one once time and money allows. so i figured in the mean time i would join what seems to be an excellent online community and learn as much as i can about these particular Benz's. any information on this model Benz would be extremely helpful, such as:

is there a superior year to consider buying over the others?
what are the most common problems that come up with the 560 SEL's?
what should i look for when looking at buying one (problem areas, options, etc.)?
what are maintenance costs like? (when not experienced with MB's all you tend to hear from other people is that they are expensive to maintain.)

and of course, anything else that you experts think i should know/be made aware of with these cars, please feel free to share. im here to be enlightened!

thank you all so much for your time! i look forward to talking with you members and learning a lot!

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post #2 of 2 (permalink) Old 09-13-2008, 06:36 AM
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Date registered: Apr 2008
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Hi Bob.

1991 was the last year they made the 560SEL. The flagship 560SEL was made from 1986 to 1991. I grew up admiring this car. My opinion is that you really want to stay away from the 1986 to 1988 models. Most of the major enhancements came in 1989 and continued through 1991. You might be in luck to find a nice model for a good price since these are consider gas guzzlers now. We have several clients that own this model but I dont think they will sell anytime soon. (Our family runs an Independent Mercedes Repair Shop in the Chicago area, near o'hare airport in Schiller Park, IL).

If you buy one, you want to make sure that the car was owned by someone that took care of the care. New this was a $85k car in 1990. Adjust for inflation and yes that is a lot more then the S550 today costs. The biggest problem these cars have is that the plastic guides for the timing chain break and cause the valves to get bent. Obviously, this can be avoided by being proavtive and replacing the guides and the chain tensioner around 100k or every 7-10 years. I would find out if this repair was done, because it can cost several hundered dollars to repair.

Bottom line. If you want this car, try to find a model in very good condition as it will save you more money in the long run.

If you want to send me your contact info to and I will put you on our car watch list. If you find one, I recommend bringing it by our shop for us to take a look...nobody in the Chicagoland area knows this car better then we do.

Good luck and let me know if you have any questions.


Michael Burdi

Independent Mercedes-Benz Repair - Servicing Chicagoland Since 1991
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