Opinions on a 350 purchase - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 07:06 PM Thread Starter
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Opinions on a 350 purchase

All,

Currently have a 2005 ML350 with just short of 190,000 miles on the clock. I purchased it with 29,000 on it and have done all the work on it these last 10 years. After 14 years of East Coast weather it is starting to show its age.

Iam contemplating purchasing a 2004 with 30,000 miles on it. Its an ex southern car and looks to be in great shape. I drove it and everything is tight and looks good. The owner will allow me to get a ppi...

I noticed the cross bar right under the trans was wet with oil, and was able to get it up on a lift. It looks to me like its leaking from what I would call the "bell housing". Please see attached pics...looks wet near the rubber covers. I know mine is wet there as well, but never really drips oil on the ground...and after all its got almost 200,000 miles on it so it never bothered me. My concern is that its the rear main seal....any thoughts?

My other concern is the price..its a private sale and the owner wants $8,500 for it and is firm on that price. Which I believe is pretty high. My idea was to buy it, sell mine for around $3,000 and get another 10 years out of $5,500 investment. However, NADA, KBB, Edmunds all put the value at close to $5,000. My concern on this is, if I buy it for $8,500 and drive down the street and get hit...my insurance will probably give me 5K.

Thoughts?

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 08:00 PM
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If I recall, a rear main seal is about $20-25 (up here anyways) (cheap)

but it's 11-12 hours to re & re.

Are you planning to do this this yourself ?

Also, I concur, with your reasoning, price is high imho.
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 08:09 PM
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Wet spot at bottom of bell housing is typical. All my cars have it. I just strap high absorption feminine napkin in that area and replace it as needed every few oil changes.

Price is indeed a little high but you are getting rust free vehicle you are familiar with. You can always insure it for a set value.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 08:15 PM
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Thatís a very high price even at our standards here. Sometimes low mileage cars are worse than high mileage. Iíd rather a well serviced high mileage car myself. It must sit around a lot.
We have a 74 mustang with 16000 miles on it and Iíd be scared to drive it 50 miles without an issue. My dad bought it new in 74.


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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-10-2019, 08:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Witek_M View Post
Wet spot at bottom of bell housing is typical. All my cars have it. I just strap high absorption feminine napkin in that area and replace it as needed every few oil changes.



Price is indeed a little high but you are getting rust free vehicle you are familiar with. You can always insure it for a set value.


I did this on my old dodge that I couldnít stop the leak. Hahaha

Unscrew it and empty it when half full.


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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 12:39 AM
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Your logic is mostly OK, but I would want to first see what else I could get for around $8500. Myself I would want something a bit newer design than a W163 at this point.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 04:15 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Hirnbeiss View Post
Your logic is mostly OK, but I would want to first see what else I could get for around $8500. Myself I would want something a bit newer design than a W163 at this point.
Yea, I hear that....I would prefer a 2010 - 2011 ML350, but cant find a low mileage one. My job is a little shaky right now, so I was thinking of doing this till I could get something else...

I also hear the concerns on something with real low miles...how do you put on 1,500 miles a year?
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 11:28 AM
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Question How to tell a w163 Frog from a Prince....

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeRJGR View Post
Yea, I hear that....I would prefer a 2010 - 2011 ML350, but cant find a low mileage one. My job is a little shaky right now, so I was thinking of doing this till I could get something else...

I also hear the concerns on something with real low miles...how do you put on 1,500 miles a year?
Joe:

Are you concerned with odometer fraud or just curious ?

I try to ask probing questions but in a non-intrusive way. Most people want to tell their story.

Is this person selling it believable / transparent or guarded ?

Perhaps they have several cars and nobody warmed to the 'truck like' ride of an ML, that could be a reason for low miles.

Our ML500 was sold to us under what did look like suspicious circumstances but it all turned out OK, truck was 100% legit & so was seller, but it was hard to tell !

Took me 3 visits to discern that what seemed 'too good to be True', was really so & a legit deal too.

I try to follow the advice on used car buying: "Buy the person selling it, not just the car."

If I get bad vibes or have suspicions, I walk away.

I also pull an Autocheck doc on every car. Before seeing it.

Flaky sellers will balk at giving a VIN and that's another dead giveaway.

On your ML under consideration, if you feel it's all legit, tell them Straight-up what's discucssed here:

"Yes, miles are very low, but that's not always for the best.
Cars that sit around never driven CAN have more problems than those that are driven regularly"
(they probably don't know that).

That tactic turns their perceived positive into a Negative, which is in your favor, negotiation wise.

Point out that it's a decade & half old, and then if it's super clean, split the difference between 5k and their 8.5k - I'd describe that as a win-win for both of you.

The strategy is more do-able if they look like they don't need the money that bad. Sellers 'on the margin' need every last $$ and tend to bargain that way.

Sorry for the book length reply, hope some of this is helpful.

David in East Texas
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-11-2019, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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He sold it....going to go back to my search for a low mileage 164 2010 or 2011...
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-12-2019, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by JoeRJGR View Post
He sold it....going to go back to my search for a low mileage 164 2010 or 2011...
I think that's a better approach - I love my W163, but get a 164 or newer. They all drive better and technologically far better.
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