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Discussion Starter #1
I've been shopping around for an S500 and I've foudn one that seems to fit the bill, and as usual there is a catch. The service history.

Cars looking like it might make a good deal to me for several reasons, low (40K) miles, immaculate interior and exterior, good test drive the today and no issues whatsoever that I could pick up on. Looked underneath and inside, checked brake wear and tread wear etc. etc. she's looking good.

And now for the catch... This dealer doesn't have the vehicles service history (I'll call the local Benz dealer tomorrow to see what records they can find for the car tomorrow morning as well, they were closed by the time I got home from looking at it). However, if a dealership service history can't be found and there is no paper service history with the car how much do you think I shoul dbe looking for in terms of knocking the price down.

The guy already wants 25,000, I'm thinking more like 17-18K (on account of lack of service history and the fact that the car is worth 20,000 if everything is perfectly in order in the first place.
 

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W215-CL500, W208-CLK320, W140-300SE
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Maybe you should look elsewhere for a car with a service history. By your own admission the car looks like a good deal.

Or have you considered that maybe the owner serviced the car himself?

You want a near 25% discount because of a lack of service history...lol...but that makes you look no better in his eyes, than he does in yours, if it is money you are hoping to save.

I'm just sayin'...
 

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W221 & Audio Moderator
2013 S550
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Of course, without the model year and your location we would have no way to make a decent guess about value, with or without the service history. I know you have asked a narrower question - you gave us your evaluation of the car and the asking price - but perhaps more is needed for the best answer.

The service history would of course offer reasonable assurance that high-cost replacements have already been performed; but without it, I would assume that my front airmatic struts would have to be replaced within the reasonably near future; that can be done for $900 + labor if you use Arnott remanufactured, $1800 + labor for Arnott new, and $3200 plus labor for MB OE (Bilsteins). The Arnott struts have better airbag components and seals than OE. Replacement of an Airmatic pump is around $300 for the part, if you shop.

Of course, there are other components and systems that could fail, but I'd be most concerned about the airmatic system. I'd hedge the bet, and without the service history, I'd knock my offer down from the asking price by the worst case.

The car could have ABC rather than airmatic. That is more expensive to service (an hydraulic vice a pneumatic suspension), but doesn't seem to fail as often.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I did run a KBB, value of 20,900 in excellent condition.

The "guy" I'm referring to is a dealership salesman, so I don't care if he is offended by me not wanting to go over BB by a few grand, I'd meet him at BB or slightly ($1,000 max) higher IF the vehicle had a complete service history, I'll run the Carfax to see if there's a record.
 
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