. Car is located in Dallas Texas. I will deliver within 200 miles for FREE. I can deliver to anywhere else in the country if you cover my expenses and return ticket in advance - I am confident the vehicle will make the trip without incident.
Note: Please no threadjacking - if you have a question or take issue with any part of my description, please PM me directly and I will do my best to answer all of your questions.
This 300E runs great, it is solid, and most importantly it is reliable
. I am only selling because I just got a smoking deal on a new E320 which I just couldn't pass up, and my wife says between all my cars and her minivan, one has to go. I have taken very good care of it as I had planned to keep it forever. It was my daily driver for the first 30,000 miles of my ownership, then became an occasional-use vehicle. Since it was driven so heavily, I have worked out all the bugs and can say there aren't any problems with the common big-expense items (evaporator, head gasket, transmission, main seals). It would make a great daily driver as-is, and with just a little work can be near mechanically perfect. The carfax is clean, and aside from some refinishing to the bottom bumper lip, it has never had paintwork and it has never been hit. No Katrina flood damage here either. Carfax is clean.
Oil was changed every 3,000 to 5,000 miles depending on use. I will be posting my vehicle maintenance log which outlines every problem I have had as well as every repair that has been performed - I only deleted the store/location and price colums for the sake of privacy. I have receipts for almost all the major repairs. Also included are mileage checks from every gas station visit, including the octane of gas used. I keep very detailed logs for ALL my vehicles, and you would be very hard pressed to find a used car with more comprehensive records.
: The engine is in excellent condition and it idles very nicely for its age and accelerates smoothly. One engine mount was replaced within the last couple of years. The plugs do not get oil fouled, and there is no blue smoke in the exhaust. I recently inspected the valve stem seals and guide play, and performed a compression check, and everything is in great condition. The cam lobes are still shiny with no scoring, and there is no ticking from excessive valve train wear. This engine uses a timing chain which does not have a replacement interval, so you don't have to worry about it. Oil pressure is perfect both cold and hot.
: This car has NEVER failed an emissions test on me, in fact the emissions test results rival those of some new cars, indicating that this car is healthy - nothing marginal here! I will gladly provide the gas emissions readings from the last test if you just ask. I run the car without the smog pump and just reinstall it each time it is inspected. If you will need it installed for inspection in your municipality, just let me know and I will reinstall it at the time of sale; it takes only 20 minutes and 2 bolts to put it back on.
: Spark plugs have a few miles on them but still work fine. Cap, rotor, and wires are recent.
: The previous owner had the fuel pump(s) replaced, though not noted in my log because he couldn't find the receipt. EHA and duty cycle have been adjusted properly. I have never had a fuel-related problem.
: The car does not run hot. The water pump has been replaced within the last couple of years, and a heater hose was recently replaced; otherwise the other hoses have been checked and don't appear to need replacement. The heater core does not leak. The radiator has been replaced with the updated design which uses metal inserts in the necks. Both the belt-driven and auxiliary fans work fine, and the fan bearing bracket was recently replaced.
: The transmission shifts very nicely and does not slip one single bit. You will be able to drive a long time without having to worry about it. I personally rebuilt the valve body after it got jammed. This involved removing, disassembling, and cleaning. All parts were inspected prior to reassembly, and nothing was found to be worn - the jamming was caused by a buildup of fluid residue, probably from infrequent fluid changes by the previous owner or possibly an additive he used. Everything is clean and works properly now. While it was apart I inspected the other visible parts of the transmission, and everything else including friction materials were fine. Also, there were no chunks or sludge in the pan. A new filter and Mobil 1 synthetic ATF were used to refill, and there are no leaks whatsoever. One of the flex disks was replaced at the Mercedes dealer by the previous owner at some point, though I don't know if it was the front or rear (have to look at the receipt again). Either way, both were recently inspected and are fine.
: The front pads were replaced at some point, but I don't think I ever did the rears (and I don't see mention of it in my log). Braking is smooth and even, and there is no grinding or wobbling from warped rotors. I flushed the fluid at one point as well. The emergency brake works fine and is used each time the car is parked.
STEERING AND SUSPENSION
: The suspension is taut and sporty, and the vehicle corners and handles very nicely. There is no pulling or wandering; the vehicle was recently aligned by the professionals at Dallas Brake and Alignment (since I don't have a laser alignment rack) and it tracks very straight. The tires are wearing evenly, indicating that everything is in good condition. For your information, my last set of tires wore evenly all the way around as well. The front shocks are fine, and the rear shocks were replaced by the previous owner.
: Tires were replaced last year with Kumho 758s. They have about 8,000 miles on them and have been rotated once. Please note these are not "brand new tires" like some sellers like to put on the car to hide uneven wear (an indicator of expensive suspension problems). My tires are wearing EVENLY. I typically get about 30,000 to 40,000 miles out of the tires on my cars, so you have a long way to go before you have to worry about new ones.
: The exhaust is fine, no leaks anywhere and no holes. This is not a "rust belt" car.
PAINT & EXTERIOR
: I am picky about paint, so I will tell you ALL the flaws. First of all, remember this car is 16 years old, so the paint is not perfect. It still has a nice gloss to it, but you can expect the typical marks from road debris, some bird droppings, and minor parking lot dings. There is a scrape as well as several very small chips near the driver side rear wheel arch and some scratches on the rear passenger side door from the previous owner parking close to a tractor and a bicycle in his garage. There is also a very small dent in the front driver side fender. In addition, the lower lip of the front bumper has been refinished due to a recent incident with a curb. All of these defects may be difficult to see, but they are in the pictures and I just want to mention them so you have a very accurate idea of the condition. Please understand that they are not glaringly obvious, and I still get lots of compliments from friends and coworkers due to the overall shine of the paint. As with all my vehicles, I wax the car exclusively with $2,000 Zymol Vintage. The car has spent most of its life here in Texas, so THERE IS NO RUST. The front fog lenses are a little yellowed and pitted from road debris - they are replaceable if it bugs you enough. The headlamp wipers and washers work great; I replaced the blades about a year ago along with both washer pumps.
: For its age, the interior is in very good condition. There are no cracks in the dash and the leather is still fairly soft and pliable because it is regularly cleaned and conditioned with Meguiar's leather products. There are zero holes in the leather, and only the most minimal wear on the driver's seat. When I first purchased the car, I removed all seats and professionally steam cleaned the carpet, treating and removing stains and cleaning parts that are otherwise very difficult to reach. I also Scotchgarded the carpet while I was at it. The interior is 99% squeak and rattle free which can be a rarity for these cars. Actually, my new E320 is not as quiet as this one.
: I have installed a very nice high-power aftermarket AM/FM/CD/mp3 stereo which also has an auxiliary input which I use with my iPod. No, it didn't cost me $2,000, but in my opinion it sounds very nice, with crisp highs and fairly deep lows (good bass). If you know anything about the 300E, these cars can be difficult to wire properly, and I will point out that this is not a hack installation job. I did everything properly, bypassing the onboard amplifiers and running new wire to bypass the center console fader. The speakers are the original matched set and sound very very nice.
: I have the A/C charged at the beginning of each season, and it blows an ice cold 37 degrees from the vents. I just set the automatic climate control and it keeps the interior at the perfect temperature year-round. The evaporator DOES NOT LEAK. In case you're not aware, the 300E is prone to an evaporator failure which costs upwards of $3,000 to repair. Many sellers like to just "top off" the A/C system to hide this issue, and then maybe a couple weeks after you drive it home - guess what? The A/C stops working and then the mechanic tells you your evaporator needs repair. You won't get any such surprises with this car. Everything works just as it should.