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560 SEL, SEC Koenig
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107 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everybody, I have a friend who is wanting to buy an E420 sedan and knows nothing of MB's. I myself have little knowledge of the W210 E class. I'm a W126 and W201 person, 560 SEC/SEL and a 190E 2.6.
I sent him the link to join the group, but I said I would ask a few questions.
This may be posted on the site somewhere, maybe one of you fine people can direct me there.
What should he be looking for and looking out for in a 1997 E420 sedan?
What kind of price for 160,000 kms?, Canada.
What needs/should be/should have been done on this car with the kilometers?
Thanks in advance, Iain Gunn, Mount forest, Ontario
 

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1997 E420
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300 Posts
Rust is the biggest concern. Carefully check the trunk lid, the fenderwells, the bottom of the doors... And insist on getting the wheels off and look at the spring perches (where the springs meet the body). That spot is very prone to rust and a failure can be catastrophic. Many of these cars have already had the perches fixed.

They are also prone to A/C regulator failure, which starts as a whistling noise in the fan and eventually becomes a near-total failure of the blower. The "official" fix is expensive, but a good DIYer can cobble a solution with instructions from this forum for much less.

The catalytic convertors are also often problematic. The car will make a sound like marbles in an ashtry when it is at idle, especially when cold. OEM cats are $1K each. There are other solutions that can be had for <$500/side.

The taillight assemblies can overheat and melt a plastic spacer, which makes the bulb continuously come loose. The proper fix is to replace the entire assembly. So look for any "lamp defective" messages on the dash, and make sur eall the lights function properly.

Most of the E420's are heavily contented, as they were only available in 1997 and were the top of the line. Look for ESP, as it makes the car much more manageable in bad weather. It will have an ESP switch by the shifter. A non-ESP car will have an ASR switch there.

If I were looking for a 100K miles car in the US in excellent condition, I would expect to pay around $US10K. In my area imported cars are generally very cheap, however.

I'm listing potential problems, so it sounds like I'm down on the car, but I'm not. I couldn't agree more with the previous poster. It is an incredible car. I drive mine with joy every day. I have taken a number of long road trips at high speeds through South Dakota, Texas and elsewhere. I wouldn't trade it for anything.
 
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