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79 300SEL
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Discussion Starter #1
hello,

new to the forum. been reading lot's of great stuff here. really awesome forum.
i've finally decided to get an MB. never owned one, I don't exactly have the kind of money for these awesome cars brand new but I have seen some decent used ones. a used MB is better any day then a new cheapo USA car so this is my reason. also have heard and read so many great things about these cars.

the main car I'm considering is a 2009 C230 4matic
42,000 kilometers retunred to dealer off lease

what am I looking for specifically on this car to know it's okay to buy used ?
any list of obvious things to look for ? (i apologize I'm not very familiar with MB).
should i specifically look for a model made in Germany (and avoid South Africa models) ?

Any info is greatly appreciated.

thank you.
 

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2008 C230 4MATIC; 2008 ML320 CDI 4MATIC
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819 Posts
Hi and welcome to the forum.
W204 is a good choice IMO. They are quite reliable, but did have some recalls (power steering comes to mind).
I would suggest that you get your hands on a carfax and the full car service history (MB dealer should be able to print one for you). Make sure the car wasn't in any accidents, didn't have any claims against it, had all the service done on time, etc. Try to get it with extended or at least star-certified warranty. 2009 W204 with 40K+ km on it should still have another year of manufacturer's warranty left, so that should be helpful.
Check all the electrical gadgets in the car and make sure they work. Push all the buttons. Everything should work and feel smooth without any weird noises, creaks, squeaks, etc - and that includes the inside and outside of the car and both mechanical and electrical components. I have a 2008 C230 and the issues I had so far are as follows:
- power steering pump failed and replaced under warranty
- the fake chrome trim on the cup holders in the middle console flaked and broke in a few places - replaced under warranty
- driver's seat MB-tex cracked and replaced under warranty

Other than that it has been a solid car for my wife and I for over 3.5 years now. Choose wisely and enjoy the ride.
 

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79 300SEL
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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply and info.
I'm going tonight so I'll do all those checks you mentioned.
Also look over engine for oil leaks and this and that (check all fluid clean etc).

Thanks again for the info. Hope it works out.
 

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79 300SEL
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Discussion Starter #4
Well, I went to go see it tonight.
Not sure about this particular one. So it was priced tiny bit lower then the others at this local Chrysler dealer (selling used off lease etc).
But when we took the car out it was not yet cleaned, everything was covered in cat hair, the car showed that it's been used (some buttons don't click perfectly like new, scratches in the trunk panels inside, overall not very clean at all and a funky cat/dog smell). Exterior was okay, but had some hood chips that concerned me, scrape on the driver mirror, and a bunch of rim rash on the right front rim, and strangely the left front rim had a different tire from the rest. Under the hood looked clean. I ckecked the VIN and this one is made in Germany according to the 11th digit. I was trying to find the engine serial number to verify if this was in the range for the balance shaft gear defect but could not find it (the salesman said will get service to find it and email me tomorrow). On the caxfax shows 4 or 5 vehicle transfers so not sure how many owners but I'm gonna spend the $20 and get the actual ministry used car history today but otherwise carfax says no claims or leins.
It's a 2009 C230 with exactly 50,000 kilometers and they're asking $23,000 for it. I know this price can move for sure, the sales guys was embarassed about the whole experience with the dirty car etc. I know I can push the price, but thinking now would only consider this for a smoking deal otherwise will have to wait and find something cleaner. But what is fare based on the condition of this car? only thing going for it that I like is that it's got 50,000km which is fairly low mileage, and it's black which I like.
If I offer something crazy low like $15,000 would that be insulting?
 

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2013 C250
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What engine is the '09 C230? Is it a small V6?
 

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79 300SEL
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Discussion Starter #6
yes, small V6 with 4matic (awd).
W204 M272 E25 2.5 V6

it's definitely a nice ride. just gotta make sure not the defective balance shaft gear issue generation engine.
 

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2011 C300 4matic, palladium, HFS, MM&HK, 18"AMGs
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80 Posts
$15000 would be a stretch... But there is definitely some room for negotiation there! Perhaps take it to an independent MB tech for a pre-purchase inspection to get a better look at some of the internals (brakes, under the car, etc.). Shouldn't cost more than $100 or so for the inspection and could give you even more leverage on price if they find more things. Good luck!
 

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79 300SEL
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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Thanks again for the reply. Yeah I figured would be quite low but you never know. Of course someone who treats the inside of thier car like that who know what's happened mechanically. I work on the negotiations. I checked blackbook value for good/average condition is $21,000 so naturally I wouldn't consider buying for more then $20K. Considering the rashed rim, scratched mirror, half dozen hood chips, the dirty/scratched up interior I would consider it below average. I think an offer to start negotiation at $17,000 would not be rediculous. With 13% taxes still going to have a couple extra thousand on top of the price.

I'll have to ask about taking the car to MB dealer for inspection. Do you think worth spending the $100? If I don't buy it that's already $120 into the car. lol.

Once last question, can anyone help find out the serial number? More imprortantly if this engine is one of the class action serial numbers with the defective balance shaft gear failure? The numbers I found under the hood are the following and I need to know which is the serial number.

204430 300309 2008613
A204 430 11 30
03-7747-6301-4
PN 204830920

Thanks agian
 

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2009 C300 Sport 6 Speed; 2008 E350 4MATIC Sport
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I would go about this differently. I would start with an MB dealer and look at CPO used cars on their lot which will give you a better sense of the value of cars in good condition, and you never know what you might find or how motivated a dealer might be. Look for an 09, as there were quality updates made after the launch year. Lastly, don't worry about the assembly plant, but if you were to look, the South Africa plant has a higher quality score than does Germany.
 

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79 300SEL
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Discussion Starter #11
I would go about this differently. I would start with an MB dealer and look at CPO used cars on their lot which will give you a better sense of the value of cars in good condition, and you never know what you might find or how motivated a dealer might be. Look for an 09, as there were quality updates made after the launch year. Lastly, don't worry about the assembly plant, but if you were to look, the South Africa plant has a higher quality score than does Germany.
I know, it's not the ideal for getting a super clean - well maintained car.
But at the same time if I can get it for $20K or less with all taxes and fee's in would be a great in-expensive way to get started in a luxury car (I'm not a rich guy, coming from a Chvy S10 here ... lol).

Anyone able to help figure out the serial number situation if this is one of the bad engines ?

Thanks again everyone.
 

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2015 ML250 BTC
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yes, small V6 with 4matic (awd).
W204 M272 E25 2.5 V6

it's definitely a nice ride. just gotta make sure not the defective balance shaft gear issue generation engine.
defective balance shaft? That's a pre-2002 "C class issue...

I've driven the 250s -- with paddles? Personally... I like the 300s and I noticed with the new and improved "6" the 300 is still the engine used for the AWD Cs so that is good aftersell to me -- we have the '08 but not AWD.
 

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79 300SEL
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Discussion Starter #13
Bit of an update (and thanks for eveyone with replies and info :)).

Decided to take advice, some helpful suggestions on this forum, some friends I've talked to etc. I decided to go with local Mercedes Benz dealership for cetified pre-owned 2009 C230. The guy at the dealership is a really great guy and happens to be a friend of a friend which makes things even better for buying with confidence. I put a deposit on the car and will be finalizing things in the next couple of days. With taxes on the road it's going to run me $29,000 which is a little more then I originally wanted to spend but the car is very clean and low milage 48,000 kilometers. Also has sport package and premuim package and it's the 4matic.

Question: How can I find out for sure this engine serial number and whether it's in the bad range for being one of the engines with the balance shaft sprocket failure issue? I don't want to finalize the deal and later find out this engine could have major failure because the gear breaks appart inside the engine causing all that damage.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Blaarrgg. Okay so slight change. The original car for what ever reason has zero mark up so won't go for the price quoted to me. My friend did however find a nicer one, that has the metalic-black paintjob which is really nice and also a little less kilometers at 46,000km (vs 48). Only thing is they want $31,000 for it with the star certified warranty. Is this a good deal?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Just an update.

:) I bought my MB yesterday!!! :)

Thanks to everyone who gave feedback and advice.
I did go the dealer route to get certified pre-owned Mercedes.
I bought a 2009 White C230 4matic sports/premuim. Turns out the guy at the dealer was a friend of a good-friend and REALLY helped me out. We found the model with quite low use and very close to flawless (only 37,000 km's). He also threw in a painted gloss spoiler, floor mats, touch up paint (hope to never have to use it) and really helped get a fair price ($5000 off dealer asking price which is very good for a pre-owned vehicle). It comes with 1 year full warranty and 2 years Star-Certified.

I absolutely LOVE this car! All I want to do is drive ........ :thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Gonna install the spoiler hopefully this weekend.
Getting tinted windows next week hopefully.

What else can I do? Thought about aftermarket rims but I honestly like the multi-spoke OEM rims more then much of what's out there (and affordable) anyway.

Are there any ECU mods/flash that's good to get on the 09+ C230?
 

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Little late in the game on this one, but reading your posts you made a wise decision avoiding the other car. This is just me, but seeing a 3 year old MB with one tire different than the other would scream to me that the car has been owned by a cheap person who couldn't afford to change 2 tires, and thus can't afford the MB dealer maintenance you'd want the car to have if you're going to buy used. That plus the cat hair, mirror scrapes, and cosmetic issues would stop me from buying it.

I've got the 2008 C300, which is the launch year for the W204. The car has been good with only a few little hiccups. I've been in a small accident with mine as well, and it was still drivable afterwards, but the other car was not :D - serves them right for making an illegal left turn! My car smashed the fender, bumper, bent the rim, and messed up the alignment on a Toyota Matrix - my MB? Drove home hands off down the highway! lol
 

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Gonna install the spoiler hopefully this weekend.
Getting tinted windows next week hopefully.

What else can I do? Thought about aftermarket rims but I honestly like the multi-spoke OEM rims more then much of what's out there (and affordable) anyway.

Are there any ECU mods/flash that's good to get on the 09+ C230?
unless you want to void your warranty, i'd stay away from the ECU mods
 

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79 300SEL
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Discussion Starter #20
Little late in the game on this one, but reading your posts you made a wise decision avoiding the other car. This is just me, but seeing a 3 year old MB with one tire different than the other would scream to me that the car has been owned by a cheap person who couldn't afford to change 2 tires, and thus can't afford the MB dealer maintenance you'd want the car to have if you're going to buy used. That plus the cat hair, mirror scrapes, and cosmetic issues would stop me from buying it.

Yeah it's good to step back and wieght it all out, especially when you want somethingso bad that your blinded. I'm much happier now and the car is solid and tight all around. I can't bring myself to drive anything else ! :)

I've got the 2008 C300, which is the launch year for the W204. The car has been good with only a few little hiccups. I've been in a small accident with mine as well, and it was still drivable afterwards, but the other car was not :D - serves them right for making an illegal left turn! My car smashed the fender, bumper, bent the rim, and messed up the alignment on a Toyota Matrix - my MB? Drove home hands off down the highway! lol
Wow, that's amazing! I heard these cars were very safe and this shows the difference between quality made German engineered automobiles compared to cheap-Japanese of recent years (wans'nt always the case though with some really decent 90:s Jap cars).

Yeah decided not going to mod the car a whole lot. Have been doing nothing but driving the last couple of days and this car needs nothing. It is just perfect, a work of Art. I may install the spoiler since I already have it, and the tint just becuase will look amazing on the white car, but other then that probably keep her just like this for a couple of years until I feel the need to spice it up a little.

:thumbsup:
 
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