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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
As I have posted before, I want to move up from my entry level 190e 2.6 and I have been searching and searching for the right one. I think I have found it.
It's a 1995 S600 Black/Gray, tinted windows, with 113k on the odometer. Two owners. The first owner Tennessee/ Florida drove it 55,000 miles during his 7 year 3 month ownership. The second owner has driven it about 58,000 miles in his six years of ownership. The seller, a private party, is asking $11,900. I offered him $10,850 which he will take after I do a full inspection. The offer, however, is dependent and negotiable on his offering the owner's manual, all original papers, all service records which show the evaporator and wiring harness issues have been addressed. The CarFax shows a clean title.
My question is: is my offer high or low or somewhere in between? Any advice/experience is appreciated.
 

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The car would have to be in really good condition and not need the A/C serviced or the wiring harness replaced, to be worth your offer. Even with perfect records, expect to pay your fair share of repair bills as time goes by. The V12 isn't the cheapest engine to work on and it isn't the most reliable. The car also likes gasoline, and lots of it!
 

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You more than likely will be dissapointed with the reliability and maintenance costs of the V12, especially a 1995, one of the years with bad wiring harness problems. IMO stay far away, unless you like paying lots of $ for repairs.
 

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the biggest things you want to check is if the wire harness was replaced, and also if its had the MAJOR service done (plugs belts etc). See if the transmission was serviced as well. If all functions work then your offer is fair but as the above said, the 600 isnt cheap to fix and since its a 95 you better have a reserve of cash to spend on her...but when you step on the gas you may think it was all worth it...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all of your commentaries; I am getting "cold feet" now and will back out of this.
They are fabulous cars but very complicated and not the kind of car one would want to drive a couple of blocks to the store to get a loaf of bread. I will stay with my 190e 2.6.
Thanks again to all/
 

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Look for an S500 W140 or a late W126 S class. A 300/420/560 W126 will be much more reliable and less costly to maintain. A W140 S500 isn't going to be the cheapest car to maintain but it will be a lot less then an S600.
 

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As I have posted before, I want to move up from my entry level 190e 2.6 and I have been searching and searching for the right one. I think I have found it.
It's a 1995 S600 Black/Gray, tinted windows, with 113k on the odometer. Two owners. The first owner Tennessee/ Florida drove it 55,000 miles during his 7 year 3 month ownership. The second owner has driven it about 58,000 miles in his six years of ownership. The seller, a private party, is asking $11,900. I offered him $10,850 which he will take after I do a full inspection. The offer, however, is dependent and negotiable on his offering the owner's manual, all original papers, all service records which show the evaporator and wiring harness issues have been addressed. The CarFax shows a clean title.
My question is: is my offer high or low or somewhere in between? Any advice/experience is appreciated.
A full inspection on a 600 is a long job.. To be honest.. If you lift the center cover on the top of the engine and look at the wireing.. if it has no cracks ,dont wory, If you drive it on a test drive.. turn off the radio and the heating and just listen..you should hear nothing.. drive it like that round some corners.. and over a few bumps.. if you are satisfied dont worry.. check the trans, park on a gradient.. stop the car.. use the footbrake .. start the engine and put it in gear.. you should feel noththing .. the same going from drive to reverse.. Check the fluid levels.. on the flat.. after you have run it to temp..
I like to unscrew the oil filler cap.. look to see if any fumes or smoke .. also smell the inside of the filler cap.. if it smells burnt .. consider your position..I would only say that..IF you have done these things.. plus the "normal" checks and there is no little voice saying "what about...." then buy.. And there are SOME people who tell you it will be expensive to maintain.. I have not found that to be true.. If you are at all mechanicaly minded... then you can do most of it yourself.. Where else are you going to get 390 horses under your right foot???
 

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Personally, I would only go for a 98/99 one-owner S 600 with less than 50,000 miles and inmaculate condition (with all proper dealer records).

Besides that, I would avoid the 600 and look for an S 500.

The 500 is incredibly more reliable than the 600, cheaper to fix and mantain and will provide you with almost the same driving pleasure.
 

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Personally, I would only go for a 98/99 one-owner S 600 with less than 50,000 miles and inmaculate condition (with all proper dealer records).

Besides that, I would avoid the 600 and look for an S 500.

The 500 is incredibly more reliable than the 600, cheaper to fix and mantain and will provide you with almost the same driving pleasure.
That why they look so small in the rear view...
 

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That why they look so small in the rear view...
Well, it was widely proven by a ton of articles and tests done by European magazines than, depending on the situation, the S 500 can be equally faster or even faster than the S 600.

The S 600 has an incredible weight disadvantage compared to the S 500, making it extremely noise heavy. This makes the 600 less nimble and agile on montaineous and ondulating roads.

The only place where the 600 really overshadows the 500 is on open highways and well above 100 m.p.h. That is why the 600 really shines on autobahns and autostradas. I doubt that on most US Interstates you can make a case of the 600 leaving a 500 on the dust.
 

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Well, it was widely proven by a ton of articles and tests done by European magazines than, depending on the situation, the S 500 can be equally faster or even faster than the S 600.

The S 600 has an incredible weight disadvantage compared to the S 500, making it extremely noise heavy. This makes the 600 less nimble and agile on montaineous and ondulating roads.

The only place where the 600 really overshadows the 500 is on open highways and well above 100 m.p.h. That is why the 600 really shines on autobahns and autostradas. I doubt that on most US Interstates you can make a case of the 600 leaving a 500 on the dust.
spoken from a person with a 500. I have BOTH and NO WAY in hell is the 500 faster in ANY area then the 600. The 600 is mercedes flagship car PERIOD. I will race ANY 500 w140 in ANY area top speed, from dead stop, wherever and smoke the car like its standing still and as far as being quiet, the 600 wins that hands down. I love my 500 dont get me wrong but you are dealing with "ultimate" status when you ride in the 600. Both cars are equal in maintenance. They both have the little problems but BOTH motors are smooth and run like sowing machines. I havent spent anymore money on my 600 then I have on my 500 (not even gas). I suggest before someone with a only 500 makes an assumption about how bad the 600 is to maintain, maybe they should BUY a 600 and drive it for a year and then do the comparison like I have. I am not reading articles I am LIVING it so i think I have a better opinion on this matter....

500 = great car..........600 = wow is this really a car? (enough said)
 

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spoken from a person with a 500. I have BOTH and NO WAY in hell is the 500 faster in ANY area then the 600. The 600 is mercedes flagship car PERIOD. I will race ANY 500 w140 in ANY area top speed, from dead stop, wherever and smoke the car like its standing still and as far as being quiet, the 600 wins that hands down. I love my 500 dont get me wrong but you are dealing with "ultimate" status when you ride in the 600. Both cars are equal in maintenance. They both have the little problems but BOTH motors are smooth and run like sowing machines. I havent spent anymore money on my 600 then I have on my 500 (not even gas). I suggest before someone with a only 500 makes an assumption about how bad the 600 is to maintain, maybe they should BUY a 600 and drive it for a year and then do the comparison like I have. I am not reading articles I am LIVING it so i think I have a better opinion on this matter....

500 = great car..........600 = wow is this really a car? (enough said)
There is some truth to that the only cost that should be larger on the 600 in terms of maintence (with the exception of parts that are duplicated in the V12) is the man hours of having to work round such a massive engine block. Many of the parts are even the same between the cars.
 

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There is some truth to that the only cost that should be larger on the 600 in terms of maintence (with the exception of parts that are duplicated in the V12) is the man hours of having to work round such a massive engine block. Many of the parts are even the same between the cars.
While there is some truth to this, unfortunately many of the parts that fail are specific to the 600 . Not many aftermarket parts are available for these specific engines, and the price of these parts are usually more expensive due to this.
I have found that the major problem is that not many people know how to work on the V12 cars, which is even more frustrating and expensive.
 

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With the 600 you do have to "pay to play"....but the rewards of driving the ultimate W140 are well worth it. The 500 is a taxi cab by comparison.
 

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I remember a thread here about putting V12 badges on a 500.. What badge do you put on a 600

Colour me GONE!.. Eat my Dust!.. or BYEEEE...
Or my favorite..

I don't do BRUMMMM BRUMMM I only do WHOOOSHHH
 

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about how bad the 600 is to maintain, maybe they should BUY a 600 and drive it for a year and then do the comparison like I have. I am not reading articles I am LIVING it so i think I have a better opinion on this matter....

500 = great car..........600 = wow is this really a car? (enough said)
Well, as you said: here is some LIVING PROOF on how the 600 can destroy your bank savings over the 500:

A good friend of mine owns an S 600 L. Same year as mine.

We both take excellent care of our cars and we both take them to the local dealer for maintenance and repair.

His regular maintenance bills are ALWAYS 30 to 40% higher than mine, doing EXACTLY the same things to both cars.

But the REAL FUNNY story comes from a certain hose from the heater system near the firewall that failed suddenly.

We BOTH had the exact same failure within three months.

MY BILL (S 500 L):

US$34.75 for the hose
US$90.00 for labor.


HIS BILL (S 600 L):

US$34.75 for the hose
US$1,375.00 for labor.

THE DIFFERENCE? Well, the M119 on my car has enough space to perform the replacement of the hose without major complications, just a few hoses to be pushed aside.

On the other hand, the V-12 needed MAJOR accesory and parts removal to get to the hose. The dealer even offered him a 20% discount after he complained on the bill showing my invoice for the exact same job.

The shop manager even commented on how this is a constant issue with maintenance and repair on 600s. The engine is just fitted too tight. And here in the tropics, where heat and humidity is a relevant issue too, he commented on how the V12 tends to overheat due to restricted air circulation. This overheating tends to play havoc with many engine components much faster than on 500s, 420s and 320s.

I could go on on how, due to the terrible road conditions in our country, my friend changes front shocks and front suspension components twice as faster than I do on his 600 (again, due to excessive engine weight). But, as you said, I will just leave the mathematical proof from both our bills doing exactly the SAME JOB speak for itself!
 

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Yeah that massive engine really is a PITA to work round. Have you suggested to your friend to get a cool harness or even modifying the fan switch to run them all the time?
 

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IMO 1996 + up S500

You'll get everything you need. If you require more just pick up the chip for the 5 litre from e-bay to de-limit her.

I belive that all 140's are great buys, only the speed & pocketbook varies.

Oh, I've been driving my 600 for 2 years EVERYDAY in all kinds of weather but this is the last year for snow. I'll start looking for a S500 or other for daily use. It has cost me only regular service intervals to date & I drive her with a concience. I drove big rigs for 11 years but now recruit drivers for the company admin. Its a joy to drive in & out of work with a 140

Being one of the few guys here who has contact with the original owner he says that my 600 spent the better part of 1993-94 in the MB tech garage to work out all it's "early demons" and was given a 500sel loaner.

He kept it for 15 yrs, all MB service. He replaced it with a new 2007, S600 and says its not built (solid) like the W140. Considering the time he spent with my "old car" and his net worth being over 75 million says alot.
 
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