Mercedes Cost a Fortune in Repairs? - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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#1 (permalink) Old 08-10-2010, 03:43 PM
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Mercedes Cost a Fortune in Repairs?

I am considering buying a 1989 190e with 90,000 miles for $3,000. It ran well when I test drove it. I was told by my mechanic not to buy it because it will cost me a fortune in repairs. He says they break down a lot and the parts are a fortune, it will cost way more to maintain and repair than a standard car.. I thought it might be a good idea to buy it because I although repairs cost more, it will break down less. I read the Mercedes built in the after 1992 were poorly built.

I called the local Mercedes dealership and was told an oil change for the 190e is $125!

Is it true that old Mercedes break down a lot and will cost a fortune in repairs, more than an ordinary car?
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#2 (permalink) Old 08-10-2010, 04:32 PM
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I'm sure your expenses will be quite high with the team you've identified.

Any 20 year old car will have needed repairs. Used parts, online shopping and a good mechanic can help keep things under control. Doing some of it yourself would help even more--oil changes are simple.

The car you are considering is a W201 model and the W201 190 Class Discussion Forum has a wealth of information. Consider using the Benzworld.org Search tool before asking a question; after 20 years, there are few new questions.

As with any car, a good pre-purchase inspection by a knowledgeable mechanic is essential and almost always a bargain.

Good luck.

Last edited by 300E91; 08-10-2010 at 04:38 PM.
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#3 (permalink) Old 08-10-2010, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by 300E91 View Post
Consider using the Benzworld.org Search tool
I did not much find much in the search in comparing MB ownerships cost to other cars. However, I did find the below quote that says the cheap Hondas and Toyotas are more reliable than an MB. I always thought the high cost of a Mercedes was justified by it better engineering and reliability. In other words, high cost of car to tradeoff for lots of repairs. My mechanic says I was wrong. Is he right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MB-SV View Post
MB's are not especially reliable by any standards, and certainly not up to the standards of Honda and Toyota.
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#4 (permalink) Old 08-10-2010, 06:19 PM
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Mercedes parts are cheap http://www.benzworld.org/forums/gene...lot-parts.html
Bought 1987 E300DT couple months ago with 280k on it. Spend $20 on orings, $40 on sensor, some time to replace them and clear the mess mechanics did to vacuum system and the car, even with couple of glitches is ready for another 20 years of service.
BTW my ski buddy still admire how my Mercedes with over 200k rides way better than his 4 years old Honda. At least in my car we don't have to yell to each other.
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#5 (permalink) Old 08-10-2010, 06:44 PM
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Below is a list of the most expensive cars to maintain, from here: Best And Worst Cars to Maintain | Frugal Mechanic

If the list is correct, then my mechanic is right to say that a Mercedes is for rich suckers like doctors, charge them a lot to buy, then charge a lot every time it frequently breaks down.

I guess I bought into the superior German engineering myth too. I always believed the high cost for reliability myth too. 3 of the top 5 cars on the worst to maintain list is an indication the cars are a disaster.

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#6 (permalink) Old 08-10-2010, 07:21 PM
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You want to buy a car for $3000.00 what do you expect that it is in perfect condition ,that is why the previous owner is selling it he was bored with no repairs?
A Mercedes is a great car if it is well maintained and that is hard to find in the price class you are looking
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#7 (permalink) Old 08-10-2010, 08:07 PM
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You want to buy a car for $3000.00 what do you expect that it is in perfect condition ,that is why the previous owner is selling it he was bored with no repairs?
A Mercedes is a great car if it is well maintained and that is hard to find in the price class you are looking
I would like to compare a $3000 Mercedes to a $3000 any other car, or a MB with 90,000 miles against any other 90,000 mile car. For the initial price of a MB it should far outshine anything else in reliability at the same age.
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#8 (permalink) Old 08-10-2010, 08:22 PM
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love is money

are you in love with the car? can you afford to double your investment within the first year? If yes to both, than you might be ok.

if you are looking for a reliable used car, one of the best bets out there is a $5000 -$6000 Buick LeSabre, one owner. They are always owned by old folks who have nothing better to do than make sure that car is seen for every scheduled oil change and maintenance check.

MB parts are expensive when compared to high-performance parts for my husband's hot rod. Mechanics are too.

North Texas ~ 1978 450SL
compromise & a multi-car garage makes a marriage work
I've met men on the internet & lived to tell about it ~ GTG @ Rowdies
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#9 (permalink) Old 08-10-2010, 10:33 PM
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Try to get a Cadillac repaired in Germany. It'll be worse.

Price has no correlation to quality. And price is irrational, having nothing to do with intrinsic value, but rather who can get as much money for something as possible. Even "supply and demand" doesn't explain it. One store will sell bottled tap water for a dollar that you can get for a fraction of a penny so tiny you can hardly see it with the naked eye.

In Italy, you'll take a rickety rackety rusted old train to the remote Amalfi, but if you call a taxi, chances are you'll get a late model E or R. And, trust me, over there, benz's are the standard cars, and it's no big deal to work on them.

Come to America, and Europe's Crown Victoria becomes a status symbol. And while European makes get more cushy suspension, Detroit is making suspensions stiffer, even though our roads are full of pot holes.

Or, go to China, where people worship the Buick. Or, go to Siberia, where you wouldn't dare drive through frozen tundra with no one in sight for 200 miles unless you have a Toyota.

For you, in the most practical sense, yes. If you're going to have that $3000 beast in good shape, you'll spend $3000 in repairs your first year alone. Or, you can save your money and just drive it into the ground. Benzes only last forever if you keep replacing all the parts that go bad. It's really up to you. Some people just like Benzes, and some people like old Triumphs, Cameros, or whatever.

Best advice I could give you if you need to buy a star: learn to do DIY. There's nothing special about these cars, and you CAN learn how to fix them.

Beware of stealers
(and shill posters who work for stealers)
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#10 (permalink) Old 08-11-2010, 04:28 AM
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Broken Benz

My standard lecture follows:
Judging reliability and repairability of any automobile based on internet repair forums is an exercise in futility. Few people post to just say how great thier cars are. Most post whenever they have a problem they cannot diagnose or repair themselves and are seeking help. The forum is great for that but I'll bet that for every desperate poster there are many, many more just enjoying the ride.

Parts for Benz are available reasonably from many other sources than the dealer. The cars (except for late models) are fairly easy to DIY and you will find plenty of skilled independent mechanics. If you go to the dealer, you may get skilled labor and correct parts but you will pay an unnecessary premium.

I say go ahead and buy the Benz AFTER A PROFESSIONAL PREPURCHASE INSPECTION. If you are still nervous about it, perhaps the Yugo cabrio on your list is best for you.
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