1998 E320 (USA) $2500 - Worth it? - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 02:42 AM Thread Starter
pod
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Cool 1998 E320 (USA) $2500 - Worth it?

Hi guys,

Looks like the best place to ask this question, which gets asked a lot about all the MB vehicles here. So, if it's in the wrong place, sorry!

A friend/co-worker of mine is selling her 1998 E320. The dealer offered her $2500 for trade-in and she doesn't have time to go through the hassle of selling on her own. So I have the option of matching that $2500.

Anyways. The stats.

1998 E320 USA. Silver, gray leather interior.

170K miles

3.2 L V6 (not I6)

Climate control fully functional, aftermarket Pioneer stereo.

No body damage aside from a minor scratch on the gas tank door. The headlamp lenses are a bit "yellow". The trim/molding up top is showing some age.

Right rear window motor is burnt out.

Transmission was recently replaced. Another co-worker owns a shop and we gave it a quick once over and the transmission is smooth.

Car has had one owner (my co-worker) who basically took good care of it. Kept up on oil changes, and everything, and she isn't the sort to stomp on the gas and peel out when driving.

Car was/is driven in the Las Vegas and Southern California area.

Now, I'm on a budget car-wise and I don't want to fall into a money-pit. I'm not a automotive expert, but my aforementioned other co-worker with the shop is, so I have "an expert" to run it through the paces with me. His initial glance was very positive and he's encouraging a "buy". I'm being more cautious despite the initial "oh my, it's a Benz in great shape".

Of course before I do, I plan on extensive test-drives and the usual. I've done some reading and I'd just need to know what you guys in the community recommend looking for? I read of some issues with the harmonic balancer on this forum, and like I pointed out earlier, the transmission was replaced, so it kind of has that going for it too. And I'm not opposed to replacing the window motor. My expert friend is on hand to help with that.

My goal is to purchase it, and get another 50-70 K out of it.

Suggestions, recommendations?
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 02:42 AM Thread Starter
pod
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Cool

I'll try to get photos. This just hit me today.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 10:02 AM
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>>Car has had one owner (my co-worker) who basically took good care of it. Kept up on oil changes, and everything, and she isn't the sort to stomp on the gas and peel out when driving.

Buy it.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 04:47 PM
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Check the W210 forum (found under the sedans section below) sticky threads. One will tell you all of the problem areas.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-01-2011, 05:49 PM
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If you are the type that wants everything to work and you're going to take it in to a dealer or shop for all repairs and maintenance, pass by pretty much all older Mercedes.

I would buy it, though. The rear window is probably the regulator, but who knows? As MM says, check the "common issues" thread in the stickies.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-04-2011, 09:54 PM
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Sounds good to me! What other kind of car can you get for that kind of money? An old Buick Century? Which would you rather drive! Once you start driving a Benz, you're done. Nothing else comes close.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-10-2011, 10:56 PM Thread Starter
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Looks like I'm finally taking the plunge on this one. I was traveling for three months and the owner had to take some time to buy a replacement vehicle.

Same thing pretty much, but I got a chance to test drive it a bit more thoroughly today with my mechanically-inclined co-worker.

Runs smooth, cold AC, and looks to be a winner. I'll be around for some obvious questions when I formally take possession of it.

Right away, it's a cosmetic thing, but can I replace hazy headlamp lenses for a decent price on this model?
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-10-2011, 11:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pod View Post
. . . can I replace hazy headlamp lenses for a decent price on this model?
http://www.amazon.com/3M-Headlight-Lens-Restoration-System/dp/B001AIZ5HY a well-regarded product.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-10-2011, 11:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pod View Post
Looks like I'm finally taking the plunge on this one. I was traveling for three months and the owner had to take some time to buy a replacement vehicle.

Same thing pretty much, but I got a chance to test drive it a bit more thoroughly today with my mechanically-inclined co-worker.

Runs smooth, cold AC, and looks to be a winner. I'll be around for some obvious questions when I formally take possession of it.

Right away, it's a cosmetic thing, but can I replace hazy headlamp lenses for a decent price on this model?
Please come join us in the W210 forum instead of this general one, lots of good stuff there, including a couple of DIYs for this issue. In answer to your specific question, though, no, you can't.

But for $20 you can go to Autozone, Pep Boys, O'Reilly/Checker/Kragen and pick up that 3M kit. The 98 is nice because it's pre-facelift, so you can very easily remove the headlights (how to in the 210 stickies) and polish them on the bench, makes it easier to do a much nicer job and you don't have to tape anything off, etc.

Good luck.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 05-11-2011, 06:35 AM
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Sounds like a great deal!! i would definately buy this car if i was looking for one. $2500 is not much for a car like this. But as the old saying goes "there's nothing more expensive than a cheap Mercedes". I would be planning on doing maintance/repairs myself. This means becoming familiar with the car. Go to the W210 forum and start learning my friend.
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