Mercedes-Benz Forum banner

1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
1989 560SEL
Joined
·
2,110 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi all,

i usually hang out on the w126 and w124 forums, but need your input. my parents were in a pretty bad accident about 2 weeks ago that totaled their '01 toyota camry (taxi ran a red light and t-boned them) and now they're looking for a replacement car.

they're eying an '01 CLK430 and an '01 E430 that a local dealership is selling -- i used to have a 400E that my dad drove a few times and fell in love with, and i think they want a V8 benz now...

so now for the age-old question: how's the CLK430 from a reliability and overall ownership perspective? how maintenance-intensive is the V8 in this car? any weak spots i should know about? would this be a reasonable choice for my parents (in their late 50s/early 60s), even though they're not the DIY type? thanks!
 

·
Registered
2002 CLK 430
Joined
·
304 Posts
Been golden for me with the exception of the dead pixels issue.

I had a fuel system pressurization problem that I solved by getting rear ended at 60 mph.

1 story does not make a trend, but I think overall they're pretty solid cars with somewhat fragile electrical systems.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
36 Posts
I love mine...its a bit slow of the line but for them comeing from a camry it will be like a rocket ship..its very smooth and pulls nicely.. its very driver friendly and has a great turning radius. i say go for it!
 

·
Registered
CLK320
Joined
·
945 Posts
To be honest I would almost agree with sfclk, but since I have owned both a 2001 CLK320 and a 2000 E430 I would say for your parents go with the E430. 2001 is pretty reliable but if they can find an 2002 go with that, and try and find one with as many stock options as possible. Since you said they aren't the DIY type of people, unless you are going to add to the car you want to have one that has want you want.

I might be over kill, but you might want to tell them to look for an 2002 E55 since the pricing for all the older body style E-Class cars are coming down. Good luck.
 

·
Registered
2002 CLK430
Joined
·
1,681 Posts
I think the greatest influence on dependability will be the prior owner(s). A car with records may be a very good buy.

The normal wear items to watch for at this stage will include both motor mounts, the trans mount (especially if the motor mounts are ignored), the $15 brake light switch, flex discs, and possibly the differential side seals.

Things that may break are the catalytic converters, pixels in the temperature / clock, and the power seat motors.

The cats can be the most expensive item. They need to be replaced when the ceramic cores separate from the metal shells. You can tell they're bad when they rattle just off idle. Dealers will warranty them if the car is under 8 years and 80,000 miles. However a 2001 model year car is 8 years old. In that case, aftermarket alternatives may be the better option. The power seat motors are $130 (full retail on parts) and about 30 minutes of your time. If the dealer does it, plan on a couple of hours labor + parts.

The spark plugs should have been changed two years ago. The transmission fluid should have been changed as well. If not, I’d deduct that from the sales price.

I'd ask the owner to supply a VMI (vehicle master inquiry). A dealer can supply one for free.

Lastly, you may want to consider joining the Mercedes Benz Club of America. The parts and service discounts are more than enough to cover the yearly membership.

For me, the CLK430 has been a very good vehicle.
 

·
Registered
1989 560SEL
Joined
·
2,110 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
thanks guys -- all very good advice. to be honest, i think the E would be a better fit for them than the CLK, but it's good to know that either would be a decent choice dependability-wise. i'm in my early 30s and would probably pick the CLK over the E, but for my parents a sedan might be more appropriate... then again, i'm cruising around in a 560SEL, so clearly i'm into boxy :)
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top