Mercedes-Benz Forum banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have never owned a MB and have found the above with 185K on it. It appears in very good shape and is the original owner with all records. It is very inexpensive and I would like to buy it for my 18 y/o son. The only obvious problems are a sun roof that does not open and less than perfect tires. Is this a reliable car and is it a car that could see another 100k without major work. I understand this car is built like a tank....that is good. It will probably drive 250 miles twice a month while he is in college. Also, will be used to run errands.

Thanks

Roy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
I would like to buy it for my 18 y/o son. The only obvious problems are a sun roof that does not open and less than perfect tires.
In my idea, the tires will not be the problem for your son at all. He's still teenager and I think he will replace them with 18" wheels ... :cool:

Anyway, your son is so lucky to own an S-Class at the age of only 18 :thumbsup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply. I just want reliability and safety. A new set of tires is not a big deal. Is 185k miles a lot for this straight line 6?
 

·
SuperModerator
Joined
·
13,279 Posts
Nope not a lot at all if maintenance has been good. Safety could be considered best in the world. And its a beautiful engine very silky smooth. Yes he's very lucky if he gets this, lol!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,401 Posts
I have the same motor in 2 cars. My wagon has 255k miles on it. I would suggest you have the car inspected by a competent mechanic. If you update your profile with your location perhaps we can suggest someone. The sunroof will be expensive to fix. Best not to. The engine in that car is famous for head gasket leaks. That repair could set you back $2k if you decide while you're in there to do the timing chain and valves, which you should. The 300se is a great, safe, slow car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thanks, the owner has all the repair and maintainenece records. I am in the Houston Texas area. The car has always been serviced at a MB center.

Roy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
just got off the phone with the owner. The head , timing chain etc have been replaced. Hopefully I will post a photo this afternoon
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
447 Posts
just got off the phone with the owner. The head , timing chain etc have been replaced. Hopefully I will post a photo this afternoon

That's good that this has been replaced.It will save you some money.
They are good cars , but like everything else , a 20 year old car will have things crop up here and there, so have some funds on standby.How much is the car going for ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
925 Posts
I am thinking if your son really wants a W126.

When i was in college and I bought my first W126 all of my friends said if i am crazy or what, they all said i should get an accord/integra/corolla instead of daddy's car........
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,401 Posts
just got off the phone with the owner. The head , timing chain etc have been replaced. Hopefully I will post a photo this afternoon
That's great news. Hopefully the transmission has been well maintained. That is something that could be rebuilt if it begins to fail. Mine cost about $1200 if i recall.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,446 Posts
The transmission is definately a big one, but based on the fact that the owner has had the head work and the timing chain taken care of (although timing chain failures of this engine are rare, if they happen at all) it's probably also been mantained. I'd think at 255K miles it's probably already been overhauled once.

I have an 88 300SE and it's a spectacular car. I'd say it's poor in the snow though, if the car is going to be driven at all in snow, depending on where your son is going to college, since you said it needs tires anyway, get a good set of snow tires on all four corners.

Definately a reliable car. I don't drive mine in the winter, but for the remaining months out of the year, I pile 1200 miles or more on the odometer each week. Regular oil changes (make sure you use the correct oil!- not the 10w30 that some quick change place is going to dump in!) Transmission services.. other than that they seem to swallow motor mounts frequently. The motor mounts are a simple DIY, probably takes an hour the first time, so long as the bolts don't get stuck.

Bounce the front end up and down on each corner, and listen for creaking. Also drive the car up to maybe 40 or 30, and apply the brakes lightly and hard, and come to a stop from 15-20 firmly and listen for clunking noises. This will indicate the condition of the strut rod mounts, which can be a pain to change, and will cost a little to get fixed. VERY common problem. DIY is tough without access to a lift.

Every car has its failure points, but I own 3 vintage MBs, and they cost far less to maintain than any other car I've owned. The parts are very reasonably priced, and a competent mechanic who knows how to do the repairs will not overprice the repair.

Definately a safe, reliable tank. Very decent on gas if it's running well and reasonbly driven, too

Aaron
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,401 Posts
The transmission is definately a big one, but based on the fact that the owner has had the head work and the timing chain taken care of (although timing chain failures of this engine are rare, if they happen at all) it's probably also been mantained. I'd think at 255K miles it's probably already been overhauled once.

Note drbloom's car has 185k. Mine has 255.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Depending on your location you may want to check out my '90 300SE. Unfortunately I am forced to sell her...cash crunch don't you know. While not the original owner I do have service records since new. I spent 3 years looking up & down the east coast for a clean one of these and found this one under my nose in Chapel Hill, NC. Originally physician owned in Lynchburg, VA then a MB certified pre-owned car (also in Lynchburg), then me. See my posting in the For Sale forum.

A mechanic at Goose Creek Imports (indie shop in Charlotte) advised me, "...the inline 6 Mercedes uses in the 300SE is one of their most reliable engines ever, and should run a good 300,000 miles w/ regular maintenance." In the 3.5 years I've owned mine my maintenance costs have been ~$1500.

We all remember our first cars fondly, but if your son is fortunate enough to get one of these he will years from now brag that it was the best car he has ever owned.

jsten
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Went to look at the caryesterday. minor paint issues. Poor maintainenece of some of the leather....raw grain exposed some splits. Other areas pristine. Varnish on wood peeling...oter areas pristine. Dash excellent shape. Carpet excellent. Poor tires. Front fog light covers looked like cracked windshield hundres of small fractures. Drove very well pulled to right. Maintenence records good. Showed head gasket replaced. Valves and timing not done at same time. Spoke to father and apparently the engine had overheated when the radiator had broken. Thus the heads worked on....not replaced and new gasket. Fresh oil leaking from right side....may ne valve cover...still after having the head gasket replace 4 years ago I would not have expected this. Oil collected in gaurd underneath engine. Did not buy the car. Still, it was only 1900.00 US

Roy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
W126 hunting

Went to look at the caryesterday. minor paint issues. Poor maintainenece of some of the leather....raw grain exposed some splits. Other areas pristine. Varnish on wood peeling...oter areas pristine. Dash excellent shape. Carpet excellent. Poor tires. Front fog light covers looked like cracked windshield hundres of small fractures. Drove very well pulled to right. Maintenence records good. Showed head gasket replaced. Valves and timing not done at same time. Spoke to father and apparently the engine had overheated when the radiator had broken. Thus the heads worked on....not replaced and new gasket. Fresh oil leaking from right side....may ne valve cover...still after having the head gasket replace 4 years ago I would not have expected this. Oil collected in gaurd underneath engine. Did not buy the car. Still, it was only 1900.00 US

Roy
"if you pay peanuts you get monkeys"
These cars are getting a little long in the tooth. There are a lot of "dogs with fleas" masquerading as excellent condition. If kept up with maintenance is not terrible. If deferred it gets ugly.

As mentioned elsewhere on this site well maintained cars are worth extra. For ~$5,000 US you should be able to find a clean solid model that with minimum expenditure can get your son to and from school and give him a "spiffy" ride to the library, liquor store and fraternity house.

jsten
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,401 Posts
Your instincts were good. Although the valve cover gasket leak is very common and not much of concern. The overheating would have been enough to send me packing. Keep looking. Don't discount a 1988-95 w124 300E/E320 sedan. Also very safe and there are lots of them around compared to 6 cylinder w126s.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
25 Posts
In my idea, the tires will not be the problem for your son at all. He's still teenager and I think he will replace them with 18" wheels ... :cool:

Anyway, your son is so lucky to own an S-Class at the age of only 18 :thumbsup:
I agree, tires will be a relatively cheap "problem" to solve and I personally don't use the sunroof much anyway due to the wind noise. Another plus to consider, last check of mine 19 MPG isn't bad for a big, safe, reliable car :thumbsup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,103 Posts
when talking about old, high-mileage mercedes, people always refer to the engine as if that were the only wear-and-tear item to consider.

the inline-6 was a sturdy engine, and if it got good maintenance then it'll have plenty of life left at 185k miles. but check the body for rust, the front end and steering for wear, and the climate control unit for heat/cooling. there's more to a car then just the engine, and nothing is immune to the ravages of time.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top