bdonkersgoed - 4/8/2004 12:19 AM
Does anyone know how reliable these cars are? Could you buy one with, say, 250000kms and not expect to do many costly repairs?
i love these cars but i'm not shy about saying that you cannot *expect* an old, used car of any brand to be 100% reliable. you're buying something that is out of warranty (and most used-car warranties are crap) and has been getting used and worn down for years and years by its previous owner(s). in the w124's case, the youngest car you could buy would be over 9 years old.
these cars are a lot of fun and very satisfying to drive, but be prepared for the unexpected, and accept that with ownership of a used mercedes (or, again, *any* used car) comes the possibility of unforseen repair bills that could run into the thousands of dollars if you're unlucky. if you truly want peace of mind and security against big repair bills, i'm afraid the only way to go is to buy a new car...
i'm not trying to discourage you, just to keep things realistic. and you can cerainly do a few things yourself to minimize the likelihod of an unpleasant experience:
for starters, be patient and buy a car that has been nicely maintained, hasn't been abused, and doesn't cost an arm and a leg (if you pay less for the car up front, later repair bills will be more palatable).
also, visit websites like kbb.com and edmunds.com and carpoint.com to learn more about mercedes and reliability ratings so you can make a more informed choice and prevent a dishonest seller from scamming you (you can also post ?s here, of course[:)]).
lastly, consider running a history check on the car's identification # before you commit yourself (in the US, there are services like carfax.com and consumerguide.com; not sure about canada, but there must be something similar). again, this will reduce the likelihood of being scammed into buying a car with an undisclosed salvage/accident/theft/fleet/etc history.