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i dont have anywhere to work on my car, so thats the only reason it goes to the mechanic.

i dont approve of shade tree mechanic-ing on the street.
Fixing cars 'in the street' or the 'dirt' as we used to call it, is definitely the pits. I refuse to as well, but then I'm not 20 something anymore.:rolleyes: These cars deserve better-at least some sort of organized 'place' where they can be worked on. I struggled after $8k of tools & equipment vanished from my garage-specialty tools I'd been collecting for over 30 yrs and from when I restored cars for fun & measly profit. So now thanks to some low-life, I'm buying tools as I go-again, the pits. Oh well...:thumbsup:

Kevin
 

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Fixing cars 'in the street' or the 'dirt' as we used to call it, is definitely the pits. I refuse to as well, but then I'm not 20 something anymore.:rolleyes: These cars deserve better-at least some sort of organized 'place' where they can be worked on. I struggled after $8k of tools & equipment vanished from my garage-specialty tools I'd been collecting for over 30 yrs and from when I restored cars for fun & measly profit. So now thanks to some low-life, I'm buying tools as I go-again, the pits. Oh well...:thumbsup:

Kevin
Whenever possible I work on mine at work, I can drive my car right into the factory to work on it during off hours (I have a key). But sometimes I find myself laying in the mud in the backyard working on it. Like a couple days ago, luckily it was only a voltage regulator on the alternator and was a quick repair. It's been below freezing all week.
 

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Whenever possible I work on mine at work, I can drive my car right into the factory to work on it during off hours (I have a key). But sometimes I find myself laying in the mud in the backyard working on it. Like a couple days ago, luckily it was only a voltage regulator on the alternator and was a quick repair. It's been below freezing all week.
LOL...yeah, you said your were skinny. Screw that noise.:D

Kevin
 

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Purchased my 94 wagon with 35k miles on it in Feb 02 (almost 8 years) for about $22k with wore out mazda 626 trade in. I got the 3 yr starmark warranty which covered the head gasket, replaced speakers, differential seal leak, one rear wheel bearing, radiator, wiper motor, blower motor. Previous owner replaced engine wiring harness, outside temp gauge, front door check, steering shock.

Out of starmark, I have replaced A/C with vac pods ($1000), v-regulator ($35), frot suspension ($1000). 8 years of oil changes with mobil 1 (2 per year - about $500), wires, plugs and coil packs ($200)

Local shop replaced: rear wheel bearing ($550), water pump ($550), 60k service ($800)


That's a little more than $4000 and I will bump it to $5000 for the other services I can't remember. 90k miles later that tallies up to:

$0.06 per mile on maintenance and repairs
$0.30 per mile including purchase price

Not bad I would say. I still have the tranny and rear suspension (minus hyd struts) to do, but it looks like I can handle that for another $2800 or so if I have to sub it out.
 

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$12,000 for three years of use??? Are you trying to scare people away from these cars? Man, I have a 92 ford that I don't think I've spent $12,000 in 17 years and it still looks brand new.

So far on my 300D I've spent $1000 dollars total, that includes buying the car for $500, getting a tag and title for $300 :)mad:), and $200 for a new headgasket, exhaust manifold gasket and head bolts.
 

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I spent US$2500 since I bought it two years ago. $1400 on headgasket, $800 on wiring harness, $200 on engine mount, oil, tranny filter, etc. Looks like it won't need anything major in the next 20k miles. May be new brake rotors and drive belt but they are not expensive at all.
 

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This is all great feedback because it illustrates that once you get over the hump in these cars and find the "sweet spot", you'll get many, many trouble free miles, once again-like a second childhood. I find this true in any decently made car or truck-US made trucks for me, hit a "sweet spot" at about 70K and go onto about 150K without any trouble.

I've got brakes and suspension yet and I'm probably at a grand with all my own work and probably looking at another grand in parts, easy. This over roughly 20K. It runs great though...just have this list in my head of things to do still. I'm hoping it's OK for the winter, if it fails me, I can switch cars....would be a pity though, to abandon the 4matic. We have a huge snow storm heading our way as I write this.

With a W124 when you hit its "sweet spot"...well, it is a Mercedes after all.....:bowdown::bowdown::thumbsup:

Kevin
 

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I just totalled up all my repair receipts and thought it might be helpful for those considering purchasing an older benz. Since I purchased the TE in Feb of 2004 I have paid my indy $11,741 for various repairs. Most were done early in the process as I purchased the car for $3200 without records but after having done a PPI which allowed me to knock $3000 off the asking price. Major repairs include head gasket ($1200), trans rebuild ($1600) , fuel pumps, new pushbutton unit, water pump. We have put 35,000 miles on the car during this time. About 40 cents per mile driven. I have no regrets about the purchase but had I to do it over again I probably would have looked for a newer TE with about 150,000 miles instead of the 209k it had when we bought it.
Alex, thanks for starting this thread and trusting our community enough to share honestly how much money you've spent on your car. It's generated great conversation!

People seem to fall into two camps: First, there are those who like to work on their car directly, and are very proud of their ability to do so. They enjoy the money they save by doing the repairs themselves, and sometimes have a hard time understanding those enthusiasts in the community who don't have the time, resources, or inclination to fix their cars themselves.

Second, we have folks who love their car but choose to take it to the mechanic when something goes wrong. They end up spending more money per miles driven, but enjoy their cars all the same.

I'm glad there's space for both types of old-MB owners in our community; I think we can all agree that there isn't a single "appropriate" way to own an old Benz! In fact, we all seem to agree that whatever our personal costs, it's worth it :)
 

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Cost of ownership update

Hello, all.

My previous post in this thread was in July 2007. Now, I've got over 146,000 miles on the car and still no huge expenses. Remember, I bought the car from its original owner with 39,000 miles on it.

Counting oil changes, plugs, filters, trans fluid changes, wheel bearing repack, tires, battery, radiator, fuel recovery valve, wiring fix and a few other things I can't remember, my cost per mile for maintenance and repairs is around 3 cents.

Yes, I've done a few minor repairs myself. That makes this the second lowest cost per mile vehicle I've ever owned, and I've owned over two dozen cars and trucks in the last 41 years. Even if this Benz bites me on the butt with a big ticket repair, it still won't be far behind the first place vehicle in the lineup; a 1961 Olds F-85, which I drove for about 22,000 miles and spent $600 in the 1980s. That was in Colorado, when I needed a beater for bad weather. Of course, you can't compare a ratty Olds with a decent Benz in any other respect.

Cheers,

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #30
Nothing like resurrecting a thread from 2007. No major expenses since I posted this. It seems I have fixed most major systems. I'm in the proverbial sweet spot I guess. My concerns about another head gasket replacement were incorrect. Minor oil seep from VCG.
 

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:eek: Wow, can't believe what I'm reading on cost's for parts and repairs

I've owned BMWs, VW, Jeeps, Mercs, motorcycles, etc... and do my own repairs and search the net and local shops for the best prices on parts and I haven't spent anything close to what some of these people have :confused:

Though I suppose it is understandable that some just don't have the time, resources, or knowledge to do that, so they end up paying out of pocket to people that do it for a living.
But man... do they pay.
 

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i think with the right driver and the right parts you shouldnt have to do more then 500 dollars worth of work... in a year... per car.

if your putting more then that down for repairs... find a new car... and dealers rob you and so do independents! thats what i've learned even for my S class and any other car i change brakes, air filters, oil, spark plugs, rad fluid, etc... at my own house. not because i am cheap or i love getting dirty... i just dont trust to many people with the car. because when i do it I DO IT RIGHT.

the harness and head gasket was replaced with the previous owner... trans = original and 108, ooo miles on the odometer.
$500 is a reasonable amount of money to expect each year in parts alone. As you've said...unless you can do the work yourself, the average person is going to have a hard time affording the upkeep on a car that was $40k new.

That's popped up in the Land Cruiser forum a few times. People go out and buy a ~'95-97 Land Cruiser because they can be had for ~$7k now. They don't grasp that they're doing the maintenance for a $50k vehicle...not a $7k one.
 

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I've spent about $3900 in the last year playing catch up (about $5k including wheels, amg kit and suspension mods) That is no labor since I did it myself. I don't even want to think how much that would be at a local shop...

I am almost caught up now. Shouldn't spend much at all now. Rest is non-priority....Broken sunroof guides...window switch buttons...center console wood.
 

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$500 is a reasonable amount of money to expect each year in parts alone. As you've said...unless you can do the work yourself, the average person is going to have a hard time affording the upkeep on a car that was $40k new..
I don't know if it is my extreme luck, but I drove several MB over the years for just pennies.
The best to date is our original ML320, that in 12 years accumulated about $200 in needed parts what included MAF, spark plugs and transmission mount. STILL ALL ORIGINAL BATTERIES. It is driven by our oldest son now, who lives over 1 hr away, but he still keeps coming home for the repairs ;)
I restored the W124 with $75 in sensor and seals cost not counting brake pads and R12. Hope it will serve my youngest son for long years.
Our family 208,000 miles, W210 in 5 years cost me few hundreds bucks, mainly on new radiator when old cracked likely because PO drove over high curb at one time. So even the worse expense in the family averages about $150 a year in parts while the best one about $10.
 

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Yea, I know what you mean
I just picked up this BMW 740iL
and the only thing wrong with it
was the passenger seat motors had the cables to the regulators pop out
so the upper seat was twisting.

Some places are charging $500 per seat to fix

Took me about an hour to remove the seat fix the cables and re-align
also fixed the head rest cables while I was in there


 

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Discussion Starter #37
Bimmerman. Time for you to buy another benz.
 

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I don't know if it is my extreme luck, but I drove several MB over the years for just pennies.
The best to date is our original ML320, that in 12 years accumulated about $200 in needed parts what included MAF, spark plugs and transmission mount. STILL ALL ORIGINAL BATTERIES. It is driven by our oldest son now, who lives over 1 hr away, but he still keeps coming home for the repairs ;)
I restored the W124 with $75 in sensor and seals cost not counting brake pads and R12. Hope it will serve my youngest son for long years.
Our family 208,000 miles, W210 in 5 years cost me few hundreds bucks, mainly on new radiator when old cracked likely because PO drove over high curb at one time. So even the worse expense in the family averages about $150 a year in parts while the best one about $10.
It sounds like you've either been really lucky, or my vehicle has just been overly problematic. My parents passed off their '95 E300D to me when they upgraded to an '10 E350. The A/C system in the E300D has been crap since day one. The compressor, condenser, etc. have been replaced multiple times. He averaged somewhere around $600/year keeping it going.

Since I got it in May...I've replaced the alternator ($140), battery (~$160), front coil spring (~$200 with labor as I have no garage at the moment:rolleyes:), and the A/C is dead yet again. It looks like I'm on track to keep up with that. I don't mind fixing mechanical issues. It's electrical gremlins that test my patience.
 

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Bimmerman. Time for you to buy another benz.
:D
Already trying to talk someone into trading a W202 AMG for it
but my sister and bro n law really appreciate the extra leg room
compared to her E class
 

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It sounds like you've either been really lucky, or my vehicle has just been overly problematic. My parents passed off their '95 E300D to me when they upgraded to an '10 E350. The A/C system in the E300D has been crap since day one. The compressor, condenser, etc. have been replaced multiple times. He averaged somewhere around $600/year keeping it going.

Since I got it in May...I've replaced the alternator ($140), battery (~$160), front coil spring (~$200 with labor as I have no garage at the moment:rolleyes:), and the A/C is dead yet again. It looks like I'm on track to keep up with that. I don't mind fixing mechanical issues. It's electrical gremlins that test my patience.
That reminds me the story with the my first W123. The previous owner bought about 15 years old car from a dealer for $3000. Having book of receipts I tracked that in following year+ the only MB shop in Baton Rouge cut him for about $3500 including $2500 for multiple AC repairs and the AC DIDN'T work when I bought the wagon for $2400.
I converted the AC to R134 and even it was slowly loosing the pressure, with cheap stuff it cost me around $40 to stay cool. Spend few dollars on leaky seals, about $40 to make a hose for rear suspension, got replacement odometer from junk yard and sold the wagon 3 years later for $3000.
BTW forgot about roof rack bars and when I found them in the garage few months later, put them on ebay and got another $150.
 
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