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1999 ML 430
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Discussion Starter #1
The value of my 1999 ML430 is about $9,000. I have a possible costly repair coming up that could be $2,000 or more. My question is, what would be the max you guys would spend on a repair at this point before letting the car go for something else? Car is paid off BTW.
 

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ml500 w163 2002
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The value of my 1999 ML430 is about $9,000. I have a possible costly repair coming up that could be $2,000 or more. My question is, what would be the max you guys would spend on a repair at this point before letting the car go for something else? Car is paid off BTW.
why equate the repair to the value of the car? You should compare it to whether the car can continue to operate for a resonable amount of time before anything else major can go bad without pouring more money into it. Cars are not investments and you cannot factor an ROI or gain for the money you put into it.

It's not like you have a $9k car and put $2k and it's suddenly worth 11k or more. In fact if your car is worth 9k and you blow the engine, suddenly the car is only worth $1k because it doesn't run, even if you can pick up a used engine and install for $5k. That's just how the economics of cars work, at some point when the supply and demand curve is no longer applicable since it is a niche market, prices just fluxuate all over the map. I heard recently due to this gas price market, SUV resale values have tanked like the real estate market. I've seen some ML's for sale in the last 12 months, drop from $30k asking price to $18k. Point in mind is that there's no reason to equate how much is worth putting into a car other than whether you can get your money's worth use from the car, not whether you'd get your money back in the money you put into the car, because most cases, you will never get it back anyway.

Back to your concern, try thinking of how far the $2k will take you before you need to put more money. If you think you have 3-4 years left after the $2k repair that will only be around $500 worth of repairs broken up into the next 3 year period. That would still be better than purchasing a new car for $50k, and losing at least a 10% depreciation each year, for about $4-5k for 3 years or $15k after 3 years.
 

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1999 MTrash 430, its a joke
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Ruey is right. Just look at it as $2k to keep it running correctly. You wont really be able to buy a comparable vehicle for $2000. What repairs are you doing? Is it basic wear and tear items(ie. brakes, service)?
 

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1999 ML 430
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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I wasn't looking at it like an investment, more like a calculated risk. When will something else major go wrong? So, do I want to pay $2,000+ on a $9,000 car and hope that nothing else major goes wrong in the next year or two? Seems a little iffy to me with the 1999 ML track record.

I will have to have one or both of 2 things replaced. A new conductor plate or the ECU could be fried due to having fluid in it. If the problem turns out to be the conductor plate, it might be worth doing. If the ECU is shot...

About a year ago, the Tranny was acting funny. Got it serviced and then found out there was fluid in the AT Adapter plug. Go that changed and the car ran fine for about 6-7 months. Then the problem returned. Checked the new Adapter plug and it was fine, no fluid inside. So from research it looks like it is probably the conductor plate or that fluid has wicked inside the ECU from the previous leak.

Truck has 96.5K on the clock BTW.
 

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2002 ML 500, 1994 Ford Explorer donated to Doctors without Borders
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I see your point as well, but I think that with the price of SUVs in general falling through the roof, it may be better to take a more personal perspective.

Meaning, your truck is worth more to you than its market value. If you had to replace it at market cost, it would be very difficult. You wouldn't feel the same way, buying a cheap ML from someone else, knowing what you know now. Knowing how you have cared for your ML is worth a certain amount of confidence that you just can't have in someone else's car.

The bottom line is that if you sell it, it is only worth the market value, but if you keep it and bring it up to par, it's worth a lot more (to you). It's a fantastic vehicle, with the exception of all of the sensors that tend to fail randomly. You'd be hard pressed to find a vehicle with the same mechanical quality/comforts.
 

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2014 RX 350 F Sport, 2007 Scion tC, 2000 ML 430 Money Pit Finally Gone! Oh Happy Day!
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I wasn't looking at it like an investment, more like a calculated risk. When will something else major go wrong? So, do I want to pay $2,000+ on a $9,000 car and hope that nothing else major goes wrong in the next year or two? Seems a little iffy to me with the 1999 ML track record.

I will have to have one or both of 2 things replaced. A new conductor plate or the ECU could be fried due to having fluid in it. If the problem turns out to be the conductor plate, it might be worth doing. If the ECU is shot...

About a year ago, the Tranny was acting funny. Got it serviced and then found out there was fluid in the AT Adapter plug. Go that changed and the car ran fine for about 6-7 months. Then the problem returned. Checked the new Adapter plug and it was fine, no fluid inside. So from research it looks like it is probably the conductor plate or that fluid has wicked inside the ECU from the previous leak.

Truck has 96.5K on the clock BTW.

It would be cheaper to keep her. My 2 cents. :thumbsup:
 

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1999 ML 430
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Discussion Starter #8
Very true Bogie, well said. But my job requires a lot of daily driving and with what gas costs today....

I might be looking at a 2006 Jetta TDI. My fahter has one and it's a great little car. 45 miles to the gallon :) No ML for sure, but I wouldn't have to worry about LARGE repair bills in the near future and the cost for fuel for work would be way down.

Hopefully the repair bill will be managable.
 

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2000 ML430 SOLD, 2007 BMW 328i Coupe, 2014 BMW i3, 2019 Honda Odyssey
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Considering how much car payments would be on just about anything else- including used vehicles, it would take much more than $2000 before you'd be anywhere near the annual cost of payments. Unless you now dislike the truck and want to sell, there's really no economic justification to sell it.
 

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2013 C250
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It's probably not worth $9K in this market anyway.
 

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'99 ML 320 and '07 Nissan Murano
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I would keep it.
I kept my ML320...
Have no payments, just insurance.
To others point, you will not get what you want for it in this market.
BTW, i am driving '07 Murano, shit box compared to ML.
And gas milege is sub par...
So good luck :)
Andrey G
 

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E320/E250 Bluetec Ford F350 6.7l
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The topic show variety of options/opinions already.
I had very similar dilemma when our lovely 7-years old ML320 got totaled. The car was exceptionally clean and reliable, but after paying about $14k for the value they wanted over 5 grands for the wreck buy back. I went for it. Turned out that with some elbow grease I was able to straighten up front brush guard, replace rear bumper reinforcement for pennies and glue/patch bumper covers. Thanks to guys upgrading to high discharge I was able to buy OEM headlight on ebay very cheap as well.
So our son enjoys very reliable ML320 for slightly above 5 grands. The dents on the hatch and hood evidently don't bother him.
 

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2002 ML 500, 1994 Ford Explorer donated to Doctors without Borders
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...and, I think it says a lot that Andrey compares his '07 Murano to his '99 ML. You would have to spend a lot of $$$$$ to buy that feeling back after getting rid of your ML. You can do it, but it's not going to be cheap!

Oh, and umm... WHAT'S UP Boston!!!
 

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2001 ML320 w/ AMG Sport Package
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Last month I sold my 98 ML320 for $7400 :eek:. I know it's a pain when you sell it - especially when you also looking at all the maintence paperwork that you've done on your car and calculate the amount in total, it just kill your mood away. I was thinking to get another type of vehicle but eventually I still stick with a ML. I guess I am addicted...
 

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1999 ML 430
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Discussion Starter #15
I was just stating what the KBB value was for the truck in good condition. I don't think I will get that if I sell it.

I'm willing to spend a couple grand on the truck as long as nothing else major goes wrong is the next 24 months. It is in the shop right now so we'll see what it is...
 

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500SE AMG, E350 4matic, GL 450
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I was just stating what the KBB value was for the truck in good condition. I don't think I will get that if I sell it.

I'm willing to spend a couple grand on the truck as long as nothing else major goes wrong is the next 24 months. It is in the shop right now so we'll see what it is...
It seem like kbb is always lower that what vehicles sell for. Take a look at the NADA.
 

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2002 ML500 Silver
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Calculate a yearly car payment...once the ML repairs average half of that, then consider moving on.

I have 187,000 on my ML and just had to replace a ball joint and tires...860 bucks total. Those are regular wear items and it was easy to justify the cost.
If weird things are breaking, that sucks but the cost to fix will never equal the commitment to a 5 year monthly payment.
 
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