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post #11 of 107 (permalink) Old 11-27-2007, 07:55 AM
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Hey skylaw, that was a pretty good write up,


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post #12 of 107 (permalink) Old 11-27-2007, 08:01 AM
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Excellent write up, Skylaw. Thanks!
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post #13 of 107 (permalink) Old 11-27-2007, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by gerkebi View Post
Hey Bear, great minds think alike...I was just looking at a pristine '01 S500 with just 23,000 miles on it I think I can get in the high 20's. Like you I came here to see what the issues are.

That having been said, I am absolutely loving my '86 420SEL. Took the whole family up to the Detroit airport for our Thanksgiving getaway to FL and the damn thing is a limosine. Great for carting the in-laws around, the back seat is amazing. No issues so far.

Good luck with your search!
if you love your 420, you will be absolutely blown away by W220 ride comfort, power, handling and experience.
i use to love my S320 (W140 i believe) but once i got W220 it was a difference.
i still look forward driving it every day , even after 7 months now.
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post #14 of 107 (permalink) Old 11-27-2007, 07:41 PM
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Originally Posted by die s-klasse View Post
if you love your 420, you will be absolutely blown away by W220 ride comfort, power, handling and experience.
i use to love my S320 (W140 i believe) but once i got W220 it was a difference.
i still look forward driving it every day , even after 7 months now.
Sure, you love it, until it has to go in the shop every week and starts costing big bucks! Then you jump back into trusty timeless 420SEL and keep on going. I've driven many W220 (pre/post face lift) and I still have say that I like the W126's the best. W140 was close. The W221 I drove was impressive, but not timeless and not as reliable as the W126.
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post #15 of 107 (permalink) Old 11-27-2007, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
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SKYLAW:

Perfect. That is what I was looking for. I have the VMI on the car, all recalls are closed. Minimal work done, everything "normal" for 77K with two window lifts being the only flag I see. The car was driven back and forth from the farm in Kentucky to the house in Boca so it was serviced at one of the to owned dealers at every event.

I have a small shop that does restoration and performance on 500Es and 126 models so I have access to a MB Master Tech when necessary. He retired in 98 which is why he is not familiar with this model.

This weekend they threw the keys to the car to me to drive and decide [since I had said I would not be moving above 1995 era cars] and I had a chance to switch between a 560SEC AMG, 90 560SEL with 125000 and new suspension and the W220 and I found the 220 to stack up VERY well with the 560SEL. They are different in many ways but you can feel the heritage. I would still be in my 126 but building it back up to where I would be happy with it is just not cost effective, even at shop cost. While the 126 is a VERY good car, they do get old and things do fail.

As for extended warranty, it looks like about $2K for 20K miles. After pricing out parts for the majors that have a likelihood of failure in 20K at wholesale costs, it seems like a likely wash IF there is a failure. I am going to look into 3rd Party tomorrow but so far have not looked at that route. It depends on the subsystems covered.

Thanks again for the excellent writeup. Gives me plenty to digest as I make a decision before tomorrow evening.

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post #16 of 107 (permalink) Old 11-27-2007, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by gerkebi View Post
Hey Bear, great minds think alike...I was just looking at a pristine '01 S500 with just 23,000 miles on it I think I can get in the high 20's. Like you I came here to see what the issues are.

That having been said, I am absolutely loving my '86 420SEL. Took the whole family up to the Detroit airport for our Thanksgiving getaway to FL and the damn thing is a limosine. Great for carting the in-laws around, the back seat is amazing. No issues so far.

Good luck with your search!
In-laws are the main reason for me shopping for this car. My wife's parents are in their 70s and both over 6' tall. Her sister and bro-in-law are both 6'+ so there is a need for height. I tried a 2004 XJR which drove GREAT but there was not enough head/leg room in the back.

The clock is ticking on this car, one of those dealer accounting things that he does every November for his FY so when he offered me the car at $17 I really have to take a hard look. Part of the reason is I do so much biz with them on the parts/referral/refurbishment side and part was due to circumstance of the past week with so much family that came in for mom's stuff.

It is very clean with a clean history and just normal road dirty underneath. We will see tomorrow. A third peak under the hood at the struts should do it.

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post #17 of 107 (permalink) Old 11-28-2007, 07:24 AM
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Thank you so much for this information! I just won the bid on a 2000 S500 AMG from my husband's credit union---its my "dream car' and I have waited patiently for the right and affordable opportunity to buy. However its an "iffy" buying situation with 107,000 miles and no history on the car---its a repo and the price is right at 18K. It looks pristine, absolutely clean but we are playing it safe and having a mercedes mechanic check it out first before we sign. I'm grateful for your posting mcbear so I know what to ask him to check now and what to look out for in the future. Is there anything in particular about the AMG package that I should be wary of? The guy at the credit union said it says "AMG" but he didn't think it "performed" like an AMG, How should an AMG perform, what should I be expecting? I am an older "new" Mom who plans to drive it 120 miles a day 3 days a week in to Houston for work and am looking for a safe, reliable vehicle with a lot of comfort and mercedes style----I have been a student half my life and have always driven cheap used asian cars that I could afford on a student budget!! We have not test driven the car yet---the credit union has crazy insurance stipulations, we can drive in the car with one of their guys and the mechanic can come along... Any furthur advice you can give would be most helpful. Thank you much! P.S. It does not come with an owner's manual, where is the best place to pick up one affordably if we sign the deal?
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post #18 of 107 (permalink) Old 11-28-2007, 12:31 PM
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Thanks, Skylaw, for the excellent tutorial.
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post #19 of 107 (permalink) Old 11-28-2007, 12:48 PM
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Wacky Scientist, you may have an oddball there. If I recall correctly, the first from-the-factory AMG S-class was the S55 AMG, which appeared in Model Year 2001. None of the factory AMG cars keeps the non-AMG nomenclature (e.g., S500). I'm concerned that the car you're discussing may have some aftermarket AMG content, or may just be misrepresented.

Meanwhile, your mission statement will be well suited by any solid S500. They're very high-performance cars that are also comfortable and quiet, absolutely in a different universe from your earlier cars.

I drove an early S55 AMG and found it to be a "tuner car", dramatic but lumpy compared to the S500. More recent AMG cars are better integrated.
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post #20 of 107 (permalink) Old 11-28-2007, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wacky scientist View Post
Thank you so much for this information! I just won the bid on a 2000 S500 AMG from my husband's credit union---its my "dream car' and I have waited patiently for the right and affordable opportunity to buy. However its an "iffy" buying situation with 107,000 miles and no history on the car---its a repo and the price is right at 18K. It looks pristine, absolutely clean but we are playing it safe and having a mercedes mechanic check it out first before we sign. I'm grateful for your posting mcbear so I know what to ask him to check now and what to look out for in the future. Is there anything in particular about the AMG package that I should be wary of? The guy at the credit union said it says "AMG" but he didn't think it "performed" like an AMG, How should an AMG perform, what should I be expecting? I am an older "new" Mom who plans to drive it 120 miles a day 3 days a week in to Houston for work and am looking for a safe, reliable vehicle with a lot of comfort and mercedes style----I have been a student half my life and have always driven cheap used asian cars that I could afford on a student budget!! We have not test driven the car yet---the credit union has crazy insurance stipulations, we can drive in the car with one of their guys and the mechanic can come along... Any furthur advice you can give would be most helpful. Thank you much! P.S. It does not come with an owner's manual, where is the best place to pick up one affordably if we sign the deal?
Wacky scientist,

I answered in response to the e-mail you sent, but post the reply here so that others might see the response, and offer their views as well. Plus, I added some items I didn't think of this morning.

First, the car is not a true "AMG." The W220 (S-Class) AMG for the '00 model year was designated the "S55." It had a 5.4 liter turbocharged engine. See Mercedes-Benz W220 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia for a quick rundown. Reading the charts, only cars with the "L" designation (long wheel base) were sold in the U.S. No S350s were sold in the U.S. until 2004.

Note: The preceding is based on what I read in the Wikipedia article. Kong9999 kindly corrects this with the following: "Some small corrections to your tutorial. Per MBUSA.com, the S55 AMG first appeared in MY 2001, and did not originally come with a turbocharger. That arrived in MY 2003, bringing another 140 bhp." Thanks, Kong!

The car you are looking at probably has an AMG body kit. It looks sportier, but the car probably has a smaller engine. One thing to watch for is whether it is a rebadged S430. If you're paying for an S500, be sure you're getting one. They have a 5.0 liter non-turbocharged engine (the S430 has a 4.3 liter non-turbo engine). The AMG trim may have been an original option on the car, or it may be aftermarket. Some vendors sell the actual AMG body kit, brakes and wheels; other sell knockoffs of the kits. However, without the engine modifications and other changes, it is not an S55 AMG.

For reliability, you're probably better off without the S55's turbocharged engine.

Advice on where to find manuals is at post #15 at Airmatic On Or Off? - MBWorld.org Forums. If the '00 Owner's manual is no longer available online, you will be given an address or phone number at Mercedes where you can order a set. Note the free download for the COMAND manual on Paul Dick's website.

Some additional considerations: You will not be able to get a warranty with over 100K miles on the car. You should consider keeping a cash reserve for repairs.

Tele-Aid for you car will be analog; some '00 models cannot be updated with the digital replacement. Tele-Aid is a subscription service similar to GM's OnStar - you could call for assistance, and if you had an accident resulting in airbag deployment, Tele-Aid service would be notified of the deployment and your GPS location. Nice if you were knocked out. However, all analog cell service will be discontinued in the U.S. very shortly - perhaps within weeks. If you cannot upgrade to the digital Tele-Aid, you will lose that feature. Keep an authorized dealer's number handy in your cell phone in case you run into trouble.

You will like the COMAND better if the car was made after November 1999. It will have a "D" navigation system, for which you can still get updated CDs. See D-Nav? - MBWorld.org Forums to see a good check (but it requires at least one nav CD be available). The date of the car's manufacture is on a sticker on the driver side door sill.

Also, the CD slot in the COMAND is for the nav CD only- not music CDs. Music CDs go in the 6-disc changer in the trunk. I tell you this because you don't have an owner's manual; it's the first mistake many folks make.

Do a very careful Carfax review on the car, and be sure the dealer pulls its maintenance history (an authorized dealer can do this). As a repo, it may not have been maintained well. The records will tell.

Pay attention to what the mechanic tells you. Someone who gave the car an AMG appearance may also have driven it hard. That inevitably causes premature wear. If he gives it a strong OK, then you're probably in good shape.

If it's thumbs down, look at a good pre-owned E-Class or C-Class. For the same money you can get a newer one with lower mileage than the '00 S500; and they do not have the Airmatic system concerns. Or, you might want to consider this car - 2000 S500 4Sale: Htd/Ac Front & Rear Seats, Parktronic, Starmrk Warr $20k or b/o - MBWorld.org Forums.

Warren

2013 S550

Formerly:
2010 S550
2005 S500 4-Matic
2000 S500
1978 450SL

Last edited by Skylaw; 11-29-2007 at 04:05 AM.
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