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Discussion Starter #1
Looking for my first W140. Have always loved them and have found a well maintained 500SEL with 90k miles. I've read pages of posts on various issues like HVAC and wiring etc. Is there a compelling reason to stay away from the earlier W140 versus say a 95-97 S500? I've got a good local mechanic and plan on very regular maintenance etc. But I don't want something that despite quality maintenance I'm afraid to drive on longer road trips over reliability issues.

Or as an alternative question, are there any number of things that "always" go wrong and if repaired and replaced should lead to a more worry free experience. From my perspective, the cars seem like a great value. I'd have no problem budgeting 3-5k to take a well maintained car and really sort through any issues. Thanks.
 

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1999 S600 Sedan, 1999 S600 w/ 4-pl seating, 1995 S600 Coupe, 2-1992 600SEL's, 2002 ML55, 1998 SL600
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2,425 Posts
People seem to think that the earlier W140's are more of a maintenance issue than the later ones and that may be true on the wiring harnesses and sound system. But the wiring harness is a one-time fix, the stereo can be replaced, and other issues can all be taken care of.

Take any car you are considering to the dealer for an evaluation. You don't have to do anything there, but they are, by far, the best equipped to answer your questions, and handle repairs than anyone. Bonus: You'll get a list of what the car needs that you can discuss/possibly have done by your indie mechanic.

Good luck and welcome with your first post to the Forum!!
 

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93 SL500, 95 SL320, 96 S320, 98 S500, 2002 E320 4Matic Wagon & A little 91 5.0 FORD Mustang
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These cars are labor of love, they require more up-keep. More parts per every cubic foot of space. All years have issues. What are the issues you are willing to tolerate. The wiring is one time fix.

Know what you want in a W140. What I wanted was a W140 great on gas-I'm a cheap skate, so that means a S320 with a over drive transmission.

If you can do your own repairs, you'll save a ton. The how to's on this site, and the posts are very good. One thing about these cars. Is they are well documented.

Welcome to the form here.

Martin
 

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The words "I've got a good mechanic" are fatal to your cause. At this point in their lives these are DIY cars, and very good ones, but they just aren't economically viable otherwise. I too say look for something else.
 

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1993 400 SEL
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Keep in mind that the costly repairs like AC and wiring harness are one time fixes only. After those items, the car is very low maintenance.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks again for the input. I'm not looking for a daily driver, it's just that I've like the style and quality of theses cars for years. I've got the local MB dealer and an indie German car guy that loves the 140. I'm not afraid to tackle some things and I like mechanical work, but I think I know when to say when. As for economics, I'd rather have the w140 for 10k, put 10-20k in to make it perfect over a few years versus lose 10k a year or more in depreciation on a w221.
 

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1999 S500 (W140)
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The words "I've got a good mechanic" are fatal to your cause. At this point in their lives these are DIY cars, and very good ones, but they just aren't economically viable otherwise. I too say look for something else.


what the hell kind of useless comment is this? so basically your saying if your not interested in doing your own car repairs you cannot drive a w140??,,

I happen to have a very good and reasonably priced mechanic and I find some of the repairs to my w140 are cheaper than repairs to my 2002 pontiac.
 

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1999 S500 (W140)
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Thanks again for the input. I'm not looking for a daily driver, it's just that I've like the style and quality of theses cars for years. I've got the local MB dealer and an indie German car guy that loves the 140. I'm not afraid to tackle some things and I like mechanical work, but I think I know when to say when. As for economics, I'd rather have the w140 for 10k, put 10-20k in to make it perfect over a few years versus lose 10k a year or more in depreciation on a w221.


and that to me sounds like a wonderful plan. good advice would be to make sure you find a honest and good mechanic if something comes up that you cant do yourself.

w140s are great cars. dont let anyone scare you out of getting one.

Ive owned mine for 3 years,, and its been great, and I too take it to a mechanic to do some of the repairs. and I havent had any problems yet.

goood luck...
 

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1999 S600 & 1999 S500
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900 Posts
Part of the pleasure of owning a MB is being catered to by the dealer. I too would rather spend a few hundred bucks a month (Amortized over a year) on my W140 than buy anything new except maybe the new S class. I figure I will give it until the next body change before I even consider it.

My 1996 Bonneville that I bought used at two years old, and kept for about 125K miles went thru two transmissions, one engine, AC compressor and AC evaporator. At that rate, I can spend $15K before I spend more on my 99 Grand Edition than I did on the Bonneville. The Bonneville was at most a $28K car new and the Grand Edition was $90K. Which is the better investment and which has more class? MB always has and always will be quiet quality!

So buy the W140 as close to 1999 as possible, keep a reserve for repairs and enjoy it! Just like a woman, if you ignore your MB, she will make your life difficult!
 

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08 ml320 cdi,slk 230,01 boxster S,04 carrera911, 99 S320,67 GT350mustang,02G500L,96 s600 w140
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get the car. after 10 years im sure ull look for this like what im doing now looking for a w123 300d to restore
 

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W140 Moderator
"CHRIS" Merc 92 600SEL / Sold > 93 600SE / 93 S500 / 89 560SEL / 413CDI / B180-CDI /A170-CDI
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Same her ,mine is an early one (June 93 S500) own'd just abouut for 4 Years with Zero problems only because she was verry well maintained by the previous Doctor owner and now by me ,trying to brake it but without succsess,lol, only kidding .
The way she is going i will not Sell or swap or look for any other Car at the Moment ,i could buy a W220 or even a W221 but no Thanks ,this one has Grown on me .
Nobody can even go near it or touch it ,isnt that good .lol.
Just make sure the Model W140 you Purchase is in Exellent Condition ,Well Maintained by the Previous Owner ,it may cost you more but it will reward you later .
Ciao :thumbsup:
 

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1999 S500 (W140)
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Same her ,mine is an early one (June 93 S500) own'd just abouut for 4 Years with Zero problems only because she was verry well maintained by the previous Doctor owner and now by me ,trying to brake it but without succsess,lol, only kidding .
The way she is going i will not Sell or swap or look for any other Car at the Moment ,i could buy a W220 or even a W221 but no Thanks ,this one has Grown on me .
Nobody can even go near it or touch it ,isnt that good .lol.
Just make sure the Model W140 you Purchase is in Exellent Condition ,Well Maintained by the Previous Owner ,it may cost you more but it will reward you later .
Ciao :thumbsup:

Good advice, Finding one that has been well maintained and cared for is key.:thumbsup:
 
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