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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking for my first Mercedes, I've found a pretty unique car on sale. It's a GLK that's almost a "barn find," because it's a 2013 model with less than 13,000 miles of use! The seller says it was owned by a now-92-year-old man who didn't drive much. I've always wanted one of these cars, but 8-10 years later, most have over 80k on the clock.

Looking over the carfax, I see it was dealer-serviced every two years. The longest mileage between servicings was 5,000 miles. I've always heard you should change oil annually matter how little you drive, but in this case, that didn't happen. Is this a problem, considering the quality of oil used at an MB dealer.?
 

W163 and General M Gremlin
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.... I've always heard you should change oil annually matter how little you drive, but in this case, that didn't happen. Is this a problem, considering the quality of oil used at an MB dealer.?
No true.
Who fed you this myth? The Dealer or similar?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
No better sources than Craigslist, the private party seller- and the Carfax, which I've seen. I'll check it out in person in a few days. Or if you mean the annual oil change myth, that's what I get from multiple sources.
 

W163 and General M Gremlin
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The rule of thumb is:
For all fluids, in a vehicle that you decide to purchase, never take the word of ANY seller of recent fluid changes. Unless they have document proof/receipts to provide you; their words mean nothing.
If no proof, then any vehicle purchased requires a proper fluid change.
 
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The reason for having regular oil changes on calendar time is because, if you don't drive the miles, there's a good chance your trips are short. (If you drove five 200 mile trips in a year it would be different from 200 five mile trips). Short trips don't allow time for the oil to get hot enough to boil off the combustion byproducts. These byproducts accumulate in the oil and produce acids and other harmful compounds. The point of changing the oil at least annually is to purge those compounds.

An oil analysis could help by telling you if there are abnormal wear materials or acids in the oil. I don't think I'd consider paying any more than the value of a similar car with normal mileage. Things like brakes and seals are still the same age regardless of mileage. In some respects, a well maintained high mileage car is a better bet than a low mileage example.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I talked to a local MB shop that reminded me of the importance of regular driving to keep the rubber driveline seals lubricated. That's a greater concern than oil acidification, said the service advisor. So I'm getting skeptical about my barn find.

Another car I'm looking at has 30,000 miles since 2015, but the carfax shows it went the first 15,000miles, three years, before its first documented oil change. Does that one sound like a better bet, or worse?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, five weeks after I found this car listed, I purchased it. On my 70th birthday, as it worked out! It took weeks to negotiate the price and obtain a pre-purchase inspection at the most convenient MB dealer, which was halfway between Denver and Cheyenne. The seller was that famous little (about 4'5") old (just turned 92) lady who walked most places and only drive to the store on Sundays. She would walk the four blocks to the gym every day. She drove 50 miles solo to meet me. Inspiring!

The dealer shop that serviced the car all its nine years pronounced it in "absolutely fabulous shape," and recommended no work at this time. Great, because I paid top of the market, $28,000. (Afterward, I found out that Wyoming has the highest average price for used vehicles in the US, by several grand.) Within the next week, I expect to watch it turn over 13,000 miles.
 

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Sounds like a good deal. She probably drove it far enough to warm it up every time. I don't pay much attention to the time I put on my oil. I don't change it yearly in my 450SL because I don't drive it often but when I do I take it for a cruise.
 
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