Date registered: Feb 2008
Vehicle: 2004 W220 (S430) ; 2001 R129 (SL500) Sport
Location: Alabama Gulf Coast--formerly Charlottesville, VA
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I'm not a diesel guy, so the particulars of what Kajtek1 and Musikmann said are off my knowledge plate--but my "B.S.-o-meter" is running in the red. Either the seller doesn't know much or he's counting on you not knowing much. If it's the first, just make sure he isn't saying something that isn't so out of ignorance. If it's the second, look for deeper problems than he is saying there are.
As a matter of due diligence, I"m sure you are going to get a CarFax and a complete mechanical inspection by a competent Mercedes mechanic. What you know about cars will get you through the superficial stuff, but pay someone to check the mechanical condition. It's just prudent, and it may help you not buy a white elephant.
"Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you."--John Steinbeck