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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

First, I'd like to say that I'm impressed with the quality of feedback that I've seen here, very comprehensive and candid stuff that has taught me a lot in a short time. Accordingly, I'd appreciate your opinions.

Yesterday, I looked at a '99 E320 that might be worth a buy, please let me know what you think. Details:

-Very clean -- immaculate under the hood (almost too immaculate, denies steam cleaning), interior very clean, stuff seems to work.
-Already has replaced three window motors and the catalytic converter
-Alignment seems alright
-Low mileage (42k mi.)
-No rust (as far as I can tell)
-Doesn't seem to burn oil
-Engine pulls nicely

Possible downsides:

-In reviewing the books and records, I didn't see that the owner has been doing coolant changes. (Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to look at the coolant to check for oil/ head gasket problems, although the motor sounds good.) Are the cooling systems reasonably robust?
-Mostly used for short-hop driving, wonder whether the wear might be greater than the odometer/ mileage would indicate
-He hasn't changed out the harmonic balancer. Should this be done as a matter of preventative maintenance, and how frequently should it be done to avoid problems?
-Ride is a bit floaty (I don't know these cars, so I can't tell whether this is normal or if it needs struts)
-I observed the owner drive it a bit, and I noticed that he goes from reverse to drive without a complete stop. (This forum leads me to believe that transmission problems are not unusual with this car.) I heard a minor clunk on one freeway-speed downshift (transmission kickdown, not shifted by hand).

Bottom line: This person is asking for what seems to be a high price ($20k range), above Blue Book. I doubt that I'd find a cleaner one, although I do wonder whether looks are deceptive in this case. (For example, the records indicate that more work had been done than the seller had originally indicated.) I'm surely not going to pay that price, but I'm wondering whether this car is worth a second look.

Thanks in advance for your input.
 

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I can safely say that whatever car you decide to get you wont go wrong bec. you seem to know a bit when doing a comprehensive check. Some points: 1. Floaty Ride- Yes, the 210 has a very soft ride. Just make sure to check the shocks for any oil leaks and dont forget to do a "bounce test" on each of the shocks. 2. Harmonic Balancer, They often fail at around 50-60k. I believe that there is a recall going on for that. If the car is not covered id change it ASAP. 3. Coolant/Blown Head Problem- You are absolutely right, one of the indicators of a Blown Head gasket is a rough running engine. BTW, all the later MB V6s had some NORMAL Whitish OilCondensation under the Oil Cap- THIS IS NOT A POSITIVE Blown Head Problem for this engine. Rule out other symptoms of a Blown Head like Rough running engine, Smoking, Intermmitent Over Heating, etc..etc...If you can negotiate for a lower price i guess you have yourself a good buy....either way MAKE SURE TO TEST DRIVE IT FOR AN EXTENDED TIME- FREEWAY, STOP AND GO, ETC. TO RULE OUT ANY MAJOR ENGINE, TRANNY PROBLEMS.....Good Luck!
 

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Thanks for that.

Re: the harmonic balancer, it looks as if NHTSA completed its investigation of the problem and closed the file. Its ruling: the problem is one of progressive failure (exactly how one is supposed to know that the problem is progressing, it didn't specify), plus the failure isn't a safety problem, therefore: not NHTSA's problem, case closed! No TSB on file with NHTSA, either, so is anyone sure about this recall?

As far as pricing goes, how accurate do you all feel that Kelly and Edmunds are? In real world terms, do their quotes match up with actual street prices? I'm seeing a huge variation in asking prices, not really sure what to believe.

Also, what about maintenance and use of the tranny? As I mentioned before, the owner seems to be in the habit of shifting into drive while the car is reversing, which isn't good for any A/T. Plus, the fluid hasn't been changed, which I realize is not on the schedule but sounds to me as if it should be. I'm wondering if this thing is going to likely leave me with a $4k repair bill by the time I'm done with it, even with the nice paint job and clean interior...

Thanks again.
 

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if all chks car only worth 19.5 usd at most!

w/that noise in tranny i would stay away from it. drive it again & again to see if it happens often.

i wouldnt worry about rad fluid too much.

as far as i know harmonic balancers never need replacing. unless we are talking about two different things.



http://xrl.us/price
 

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I bought a 2002 E320 4Matic this morning with 9000 miles on it. My wife has "very nicely" told me to sell my her 1997 E320 so that she can take over the 2002:)

I was going to put it up for sale and since this thread is from someone looking for one, I thought of mentioning it here.
Its a 1997 E320 with 58,000 miles. Azure Blue, tinted and is in a very good shape. Let me know if anyone is interested.

Email: [email protected] and make me an offer

Thanks

Paul
 

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Well, I purchased a 2000 E320 for $18K last October with higher mileage (72K) that was very very clean.

I think your price should be closer to the $18K-$19K range.

The Edmunds forum for pricing is in "Smart Shopper" and called "Real World Values..." I recommend it. Without that work up very reluctantly from KBB Trade-In values ( not Private Party and never Retail)

FYI - my numbers, with shipping were $600 under Trade In

Good Luck

BTW - The car changes quite a bit in 2000 and has a better Consumer Reports expected repair matrix - if that helps.
 

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Earlier this year I sold my 01 E320 4M and replaced it with a new 05. The 01 E320 brought 29000 and I had people standing in line for it!! It had only 25000 miles on it.
 

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Low mileage on a 4-Matic! I can see why they were standing in line.

Very nice.

My unit was a plain vanilla E320 with 72K miles -- and very clean. Last Oct Trade In was $19.2K and Private Party was up over $23.

Since GLS is considering a unit a year older, but with lower mileage -- I'm betting that the numbers are in the hunt.

I stand by KBB TradeIn as a starting point, and use Edmunds Smart Shopper/Trade In Values forum when time permits as a very good read on the pulse of America's checkbooks when it comes to used iron....
 

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For what its worth - I bought my 99 E320 4Matic 12 months ago for $21,000 with 27,800 miles. Very nice condition. Within 2 weeks the rear passenger door regulator failed and the window fell down inside the door - $300. A month later the check engine light came on and it took a new Mass Air module to fix it - $600. Two months later, the fuel tank sensor went bad - $500. It has run trouble free until last week when the rear passenger brake caliper failed and wore out a pad and took the rotor with it - new pads, calipers and rotors - $840. Although some things have gone wrong, the only ones that annoy me are the window regulator and the caliper. The window reg. is a known defect and MB is very arrogant to not at least have the decency to modify the design such that the replacement part will not fail. The brake issue is annoying because they only put a sensor on one pad of the four. Since the side with the sensor was fine there was no indication of a problem. A car with this much technology should have another $3 sensor. The rest of the problems could happen on any car - they just cost more to fix on a MB. Have a good mechanic check out the car and buy it if you like it. The car is a pleasure to drive and still turns heads with its classic lines.
 

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GLS:
Sounds like a very nice auto to me - -pricing is close with KBB private party right at $20k - -and EVERYTHING is more in So CA isn't it ?
You certainly have done your homework - - I'd suggest having a mechanic check it out and if all's well- pull the trigger.
And don't forget to post pictures !

Regards-
 

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CQRT - 5/24/2005 9:08 PM

GLS:
Sounds like a very nice auto to me - -pricing is close with KBB private party right at $20k - -and EVERYTHING is more in So CA isn't it ?
You certainly have done your homework - - I'd suggest having a mechanic check it out and if all's well- pull the trigger.
And don't forget to post pictures !

Regards-
Well, our real estate is certainly overpriced isn't it! That may change quite a bit as interest rates inch up.

To the point, I've found that autos, particularly Mercedes tend to be a little less expensive and there is quite a bit of selection due to the great quantity
 

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I bought a 2002 4Matic with 8900 miles on it. It happened like, my brother-in-law was looking to buy an S class and I was just helping him with it. I found him a good S class alright but ended up buying myself this 4Matic. Its under warranty and with 8900 miles on it, this thing is practically brand new.
Now I have to sell the 97 E320 with 59K miles on it and also my brother-in-law's 2002 CLK 320 with 42K miles, Xenons and all the other good stuff.

If anyone wants anything specific, let me know. I went to the MBCC auction with a dealer friend of mine and they have about 20 off lease E320s with very low miles and I got the best of them all.

Take care

Paul
 
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