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1999 ML320
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59 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Guys, I am on a long term work assignment in Europe and I am thinking of buying a used small Benz (probably A series diesel)...

Looking at some of the ads online here...I have a suspicion that some of these odometers might be rolled back...

I am a longtime Benz owner back home...Canada...and have had some great help on this forum...

I am now in Serbia but most of the A-cars seem to be brought in from Germany and then resold here by dealers etc...

I have checked the archives here about rolling back odometers and am wondering if there is something like a carfax service here in Europe that I can use...

Regards,

Gordon.
 

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1998 S210 E320 black/mushroom, 1984 R107 500SL #3904 black/black
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58 Posts
Guys, I am on a long term work assignment in Europe and I am thinking of buying a used small Benz (probably A series diesel)...

Looking at some of the ads online here...I have a suspicion that some of these odometers might be rolled back...

I am a longtime Benz owner back home...Canada...and have had some great help on this forum...

I am now in Serbia but most of the A-cars seem to be brought in from Germany and then resold here by dealers etc...

I have checked the archives here about rolling back odometers and am wondering if there is something like a carfax service here in Europe that I can use...

Regards,

Gordon.
What are the indications of odometer rollback that you are seeing?

Are the asking prices for similar vehicles more expensive in Germany when compared to Serbia?

Just curious.
 

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1999 ML320
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59 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
What are the indications of odometer rollback that you are seeing?

Are the asking prices for similar vehicles more expensive in Germany when compared to Serbia?

Just curious.
The interiors show more wear than is appropriate for the low mileage...a few key places are the driver's seat left side bolster which always wears out first...also the steering wheel...

I've owned my '99 ML320 since new and have put 340,000 km on it and the interior isn't as worn as some of these cars that supposedly have 100,000 km...

As for the prices...I think they are cheaper in Germany...a lot of the used car dealers bring them in from Germany...and then you have to pay taxes and duties...so obviously they are getting the car cheaper there than they sell it for here in Serbia...once they've added in those taxes, etc...

I think overall the MB prices are lower than in North America...funny thing is that a bigger Benz like an E class costs not much more than a comparable year or mileage A class which is a tiny car...there is practically no price difference between a C and an E...in fact the C could be commanding even a bit higher price...

I think that has to do with registration and insurance which are based on how big the engine is and how much hp...and whether it's diesel...or propane which seems to get a tax break...

I have seen a few E class examples that look very good for the money...and probably I will go for that...key is to find one with original owner...service book etc...

Regards,

Gordon.
 

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They drive less. Whole Europe could fit in one your provinces. I would rather buy a 5 year old car from Europe than from Canada.
 

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1998 S210 E320 black/mushroom, 1984 R107 500SL #3904 black/black
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Gordon . . . . I think the Serbs are copying what the used car dealers in North America have been doing for years: Buy marginal cars at a low cost, move them out of state (country), trim the mileage reading and sell them for a tidy profit.

You have figured out that is in your best interest to purchase your vehicle from a private owner who can provide you with a documented service history. And yes, it's a longer and more difficult process.

I would suggest that you continue to pursue the Euro/Serbian version of CarFax. It appears that they need one!

Good luck with your quest and please let us know what happens.
 

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E320/E250 Bluetec Ford F350 6.7l
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Isn't Serbia a land of Gypsies?
Personally I don't care much about the miles on used car.
50,000 miles on car used by school mom will have higher impact on car condition than 150,000 miles put by company CEO using the car for business.
The best indication about car condition is compression test, or at least acceleration test.
 

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1999 ML320
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59 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Gordon . . . . I think the Serbs are copying what the used car dealers in North America have been doing for years: Buy marginal cars at a low cost, move them out of state (country), trim the mileage reading and sell them for a tidy profit.

You have figured out that is in your best interest to purchase your vehicle from a private owner who can provide you with a documented service history. And yes, it's a longer and more difficult process.

I would suggest that you continue to pursue the Euro/Serbian version of CarFax. It appears that they need one!

Good luck with your quest and please let us know what happens.
Yes, I get the same vibe from the used car dealers here as in Canada...amazing how they are all the same...

That's why I have been buying only new cars for the last 20 years...in Canada one of the favorite tricks is to buy two totaled cars of the same make and model and cut them in half...then weld up the good half of one to the good half of the other...

I've heard of cases where one of these frankencars actually falls apart after a little bump...

One thing I have read here on the forums here is that you can only roll back the odometer clock on a Benz using the Star computer that only authorized Benz dealers have...

But apparently that is only for the reading in the instrument cluster...apparently the true mileage of the car that is stored in the computer cannot be changed...so my game plan is to take any prospective purchase to a local Benz dealer and have them hook up the Star computer and tell me what they find...

Anyway I have found a couple of decent single owner cars here that I will be looking at...I'm not going to buy anything from a used car lot...and I would certainly not do that in Canada either...

Regards,

Gordon.
 

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1999 ML320
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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Isn't Serbia a land of Gypsies?

That sounds quite insulting...The respectful name is Roma people...not Gypsies...

I have nothing but respect for the Serbian people...the Roma minority here are not discriminated against as they are in a lot of other countries...

I'm a flight test engineer on assignment at the Batajnica Air Base here and I am very impressed with the professionalism of Serb pilots and engineers...and the capabilities of their indigenous aircraft...we just delivered 20 Serb-built and designed military training aircraft to the Iraqi Air Force...with orders for many more...

I also grew up believing that if you don't have anything nice to say...better to not say anything at all...

Regards,

Gordon.
 

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E320/E250 Bluetec Ford F350 6.7l
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If the name is taken by you as insult, that means you have bad opinion related to it.
I don't buy all the political correctness with the names. Especially that last year in the middle of nowhere in Oregon, about 180 miles to closest city I run into Gypsies horse wagon, with horses eating the grass on the highway shoulder and big sign "Visitors welcome".
I bought curved mirror for my Mercedes from Romanian ebay seller last year and had my thought at the time, but mirror arrived just fine.
I grow up in Europe and sadly have to admit that honesty level almost in all countries is pretty low. When you enter main downtown street in Amsterdam the first huge banner you see says "beware of pickpockets"
Germany are one of few exceptions, but they do have lot of minorities in the country.
So bottom line - buying a used vehicle is always going to come with a risk.
Good luck.
 

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2001 E55 AMG
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Just so you know it is possible to alter the mileage in the cluster AND the ECU, so even when put on star at the dealers they cannot tell.
 

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1999 ML320
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Discussion Starter #11
Just so you know it is possible to alter the mileage in the cluster AND the ECU, so even when put on star at the dealers they cannot tell.
Are you sure about this...?...it contradicts the info in some earlier threads here on the forum...

I hope someone with direct experience of this issue can clarify the fine points...

Regards,

Gordon.
 

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2001 E55 AMG
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3,294 Posts
Are you sure about this...?...it contradicts the info in some earlier threads here on the forum...

I hope someone with direct experience of this issue can clarify the fine points...

Regards,

Gordon.
Yes I'm sure, for a price.......£3oo and it's undetectable.
 

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1998 Pano SL500; 1993 SL500; 2005 ML270cdi
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8,840 Posts
The polite parlance is 'Dashboard engineering', otherwise known as a 'Haircut'.

Upholstery and pedal wear is a good indicator, also look inside door jambs for service stickers!
I once looked at an ML270 here in Spain. It was offered stating 'Low Kms' and the odometer read 75000Kms.
However the engine bay looked a little tired and unprofessionally cleaned.
Just generally looking around the car I noticed a small service sticker on the driver door which when open which read, 195000Kms. next service due at 205000Kms.

Needless to say, I walked away.
 
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