Date registered: May 2016
Vehicle: 2000 S430, 2003 S430, 2003 S600 TT, and 2005 E320 CDI
Mentioned: 169 Post(s)
Quoted: 955 Post(s)
Here's the other thing about the vast majority of the cars that I've seen on Craigslist like this.
The sellers are generally selling them because their cars failed inspection or are about to. They take it to a shop and see the (generally rather large) estimate. Then they check into what the car's worth and decide it's cheaper to just dump the car onto someone else. That's fine with me; that's exactly how I got most of my vehicles, and all of my W220's. But my offer will reflect that.
Here's an example. To do a proper overhaul of a front suspension, which pretty much every car needs ever 15 or so years, is about $3,000 in just the parts for a W220 if you buy the parts yourself. . At least, if you use good (i. e. OEM) parts like Lemfoerder, TRW, and Bilstein/Arnott. At an independent shop, parts + labour will be between $8,000 and $9,000. At the dealership, you're looking at $15,000. No, I'm not exaggerating. So, I keep all of this in mind when I'm looking at a car for potential purchase.
Always remember: people don't typically sell cars if they're still enjoying them, i. e. there ain't nuthin' wrong with 'em. This is the typical case; there are exceptions, like one forum member I spoke with last night that, like me, takes care of his stuff but just has too many cars now. :-) But he's not typical. The vast majority of folks don't want to spend the money to fix a "low-value" car.
Another guy in my neighborhood that owned a C300, he traded in his car at the used car lot and got an Audi. That transmission wouldn't shift past fourth gear. He also confided in me that it had metal in the bottom of the transmission pan--never a good sign. He dumped the car for $4,000, and now that Stealership will sell it to some "sucker" for high dollar.
That's why it's so important to thoroughly check out any car. Caveat Emptor, indeed.
2000 S430 (Dad's car, used for special occasions)
2000 S500 (wife's DD: my first W220 project car)
2003 S600 ("sex on wheels"--second w220 project car)
2003 S430 (one of two current DD's--third W220 project car)
2005 E320 CDI (the other current DD--first W211 project car)