Mercedes-Benz Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
2009 C300 4-matic Sport
Joined
·
50 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Considering to purchase an 05 S430 4matic with 65k miles. Any recommendations on what to check for as far as maintenace items, etc before I purchase this vehicle. I did notice that the rear tires were both worn on the inside so maybe an alignment issue.
Took the car for a test drive today and it drove great - just worried that there may be some maintenance items or problems that have been overlooked. Thanks for any advice you can give me.
 

·
W221 & Audio Moderator
2013 S550
Joined
·
10,979 Posts
Welcome to our part of BenzWorld.

See the W220 S-Class Encyclopedia sticky at the top of this forum; it has quality and buying advice toward the bottom of the document.

I have an '05 S500 4Matic, and love it. The S430 and S500 4Matics are both great cars, but look over the links.
 

·
Registered
2009 C300 4-matic Sport
Joined
·
50 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
How much is it offered for?
The price is $19,900. I thought I could get them to put some new tires on it. I was reading through the notes here and see some problems like the air struts, etc. Are there any obvious things to look for ?
 

·
Registered
2009 C300 4-matic Sport
Joined
·
50 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Went to get the car today and met with the salesman to confirm my trade and he also agreed to put new tires on the vehicle. When we went to the other showroom the car was gone - someone bought it in the morning !!!
 

·
Registered
2012 S550 Bi-Turbo 4Matic
Joined
·
303 Posts
Skylaw.

kind of stupid question about 4Matic, but since you have one....

Is the 4Matic on ALL the time, or it's controlled by the computer?

Is the same setup as on an Audi A8? i know you had Audi's too.

Are those quattro on all the time?

If the answer to the above question is yes, wouldn't that put a higher strain on transmission, tires, since all 4 wheels are engaged all the time, even if it's August and there are 100 degrees outside?

Thank you for your time
 

·
W221 & Audio Moderator
2013 S550
Joined
·
10,979 Posts
Not stupid questions at all, mugur.

1. 4Matic is engaged all the time. It is a mechanical system depending on inner and outer CV joints on the axles and planetary gears within the drive train. In addition, you have benefit of the remainder of the computer-controlled stability systems that are on all W220s, but which sense and control wheel slip and thus work in concert with the 4Matic mechanical system despite there being no direct connection.

2. It functions esentially the same as the Audi system, which is also engaged full time. There may be slight differences between the Quattro drive and 4Matic in terms of the percentage of power shifted from rear to front - it would depend on small revisions in both systems from time to time, but they are very similar. I owned and drove the Audi 5000S, A4 and A6 Quattros extensively, studied those systems, and can say 4Matic works the same as those in terms of its mechanicals (except the Audi uses a CV joint in its propeller shaft, and MB does not). I have only driven the A8 on some brief test drives (when considering purchase), and it seemed to handle the same as my A6. I have not done any detailed study of the A8's drive system. I suspect it is identical to the A6's system.

3. A full-time 4 wheel drive system does indeed place additional strain on the transmission. That is one reason why MB kept the 5-speed tranny on 4Matics, rather than the 7-speed when it was introduced. The 5 speed is a more robust transmission. There is also a small fuel mileage penalty with a 4Matic (but I still get just under 27 mpg on long trips, usually traveling at 70 to 80mph).

However, the 4Matic, as with the Audi Quattro drive, provides a marvelous command of the road under all conditions, even dry pavement. It is something you must feel, rather than rely on verbal descriptions. Even on dry pavement, the feel is very noticeable. When the road is wet or icy, it is FAR superior to RWD or FWD. Whether the loss of traction is front or back, left or right, does not matter. The system responds right away. We don't get much snow or ice in Florida, but we get torrential downpours frequently, with heavy water accumulation at different depths - unevenly distributed. For that reason, I traded my '00 RWD S500 for an '05 4Matic at first opportunity, despite knowing I was moving to Florida in less than a year. On my first trip to Florida after purchasing the 4matic, I was caught on the Interstate in a tropical storm - the remnants of a hurricane - and knew immediately I had made the right choice. I have never regretted it.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
2012 S550 Bi-Turbo 4Matic
Joined
·
303 Posts
Thank you Skylaw for the detailed explanation and sharing your personal experience.

Since we are talking about quattros, Audi A8 was a contender for me when shopping for a new car, even though the S class was always my dream car.

I have lurked for months on the A8 forums reading about repairs,malfunctions and cost and what year to avoid and narrowed it down to 2003 A8 , but could not find an affordable one.

Now, i have the opportunity to buy an A8 for almost the same amount i paid for my S class , but i think i'll cry myself to sleep if i sell the benz.

You, coming from the Audi family, how come you did not go for the A8 and instead switched to Mercedes S?
 

·
W221 & Audio Moderator
2013 S550
Joined
·
10,979 Posts
I test drove an '03 A8L; despite 20 years' experience in Audis (with awful maintenance problems with the 5000S series, fair results with the A4, and superb results with the A6), I found I liked the interior appointments of the S500 better, especially the color nav display (the A8 had monochrome at the time); I liked the styling just a bit better; and the price was right.

I also found that the length of the A8L created too large a blind spot for me to be comfortable; I could not adjust the outside mirrors to cover it as well as I could either in my previous Audis or the S500.

I do not have anything bad to say about the A8. I am convinced that if I had bought one, I would have been very happy with it. The differences that favored the S-Class are relatively minor - but after 20 years of Audi, I was ready to try something a little different - and I loved seeing that silver hood star above the road.
 

·
Registered
2012 S550 Bi-Turbo 4Matic
Joined
·
303 Posts
Haha..yes the star floating above the road is mesmerizing...

I sat today in a 2004 A8 and the seating position is inferior to the S , not too much head room.

Also, what else i have noticed:
-the pillars are thicker
-the windows (belt line) is a little bit higher
-rear window is smaller
-dashboard not as elegant as S

All the above are just my observations, and would not make my driving experience more pleasurable.

On the good side, the car looks very beefy from outside, and i can really tell the German engineering quality.

Now, my next car would be an SUV.

And since a drove the GL, GLK and ML and i was less than impressed with them, i'll look into an Audi Q5 , Range Rover or just a plain Honda Pilot.

We already have an SUV in our family and i have to admit i miss the ease of entry/ exit, seating position and view of the road.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top