Date registered: May 2016
Vehicle: 2000 S430
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Quoted: 39 Post(s)
In my case, it was an inheritance, a gleaming white 2000 S430, which my Dad purchased brand-new. He bought it because he liked the styling, the car's full size (he preferred full-sized cars for safety and comfort), and its many amenities. I'd rather not have the car just yet, for obvious reasons...
...but since I do....
I need to learn how to properly care for this car, to his standards, but on my budget. Only way to do that is hands-on. That means a project car was in order.
Therefore, some months ago, I bought a silver 2000 S500 which has needed plenty of TLC, and that was the point of the purchase. This car has been quite a lesson, and a good one; thanks to that car and this forum, I have learned a lot in the last several months getting this car back into ship-shape. Among things learned are as follows.
1.) W220's are surprisingly easy to work on for the DIY'er. I'd heard horror stories about German cars in this regard. Not so much with these, and that's a good thing.
2.) For 2-ton-plus luxo-cruisers, they feel surprisingly light on their feet, and they even handle reasonably well. Cruising at speed in a W220 is pure joy.
3.) Parts aren't exactly cheap for these cars, but they are readily available and won't necessarily break the bank (even OEM). For what the car is, it's really not too bad.
4.) The V8's and that 5-speed transmission can take a surprising amount of abuse and neglect and still run well. That's definitely impressive. Of course, the proper maintenance should always be done!
5.) Having a STAR Diagnostics system is MANDATORY for owners of these cars who, like me, aren't filthy rich and can't afford to go to the stealership every time. Just include that in your mind as far as purchase price goes.
I would buy and have bought another one (or two), and I'd recommend them to others, provided the maintenance has been done on them.
2000 S430 (Dad's car)
2003 S430 (just 'cause I like it)
2003 S600 twin turbo w/ coilover conversion (the sports car)
2000 S500 (my first W220 project car, gone to an excellent home)