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Old 06-27-2014, 07:36 AM   #1
Fe Man OP
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Quick! Opinions on 2001 Mercedes E430

Got a new job, need a new road car.
Mom's hairdresser is selling her 2001 E430 with 140K miles, $3500.

I had a 2000 E300 Diesel that I inherited from my dad. It was a great car until a tree fell on it.

Who can shed some light on this model?
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Old 06-27-2014, 08:02 AM   #2
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No specific insight on that yar / model...

...but the $$$ mentioned seems to be very little for what has historically been an over-engineered tank!






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Old 06-27-2014, 08:04 AM   #3
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Kinda what I'm thinking.
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Old 06-27-2014, 08:04 AM   #4
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yeah, that sounds like a no-brainer.
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Old 06-27-2014, 08:53 AM   #5
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Approved - try to buy it for $2900
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Old 06-27-2014, 09:06 AM   #6
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My 16 Y.O. son has a 97 E320 he picked up same(ish) miles.

Check for front lower control arm rust.

Make sure if shifts good.

Make sure A/C works good (really spendy repair!)

Other than that most wear items are available at Autozone/Amozon for a lot less than most people think.
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Old 06-27-2014, 09:46 AM   #7
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Rock solid car, steady at 100mph with zero wind noise, solid brakes, etc.
Some dents and dings.

Maybe.
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Old 06-27-2014, 10:09 AM   #8
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Even a cheap, 20k new car would cost more than 3500 in payments in the first year, and depreciate by more than 3500, while being nowhere near as nice to drive.

I'd get it checked by a reputable indy mechanic that specializes in Mercs, and if it checks out, it's hard to see how you'd go wrong.

My 1998 BMW 528i has the same mileage as this merc you're looking at, and is the same class of car. Whenever I drive much never cars, I can never rationalize buying one, as they don't drive better enough to justify paying 30k+
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Old 06-27-2014, 10:15 AM   #9
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OP check out benzworld.org there's a forum over there with lots of Tech of that Chassis and there should be some FAQs and what not that would let you know if there's any trouble spots with that particular car to look out for. here's the specific forum for that chassis http://www.benzworld.org/forums/w210-e-class/

Quote:
Originally Posted by aceluck View Post
My 1998 BMW 528i has the same mileage as this merc you're looking at, and is the same class of car. Whenever I drive much never cars, I can never rationalize buying one, as they don't drive better enough to justify paying 30k+
I travel a lot of work and often have rental cars, recently I was in a Sonata with ~600 miles on it and I drove it about 1200 over the course of a week, my $4500 200K mile G35 rode better (infinite more power) and was much quieter in the cabin.

That Merc should return similar satisfaction for even less money. I love E class Mercs and being an ATL area car you shouldn't have much to worry about, as long as she did the services required you should be good to go. I had an old 280 E and up until the Bosch Fuel Distributor went it was a perfect car.
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Old 06-27-2014, 10:17 AM   #10
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How come I never run into deals like this?
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Old 06-28-2014, 01:20 PM   #11
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Run away. The MB's of that era had way too much in the way of new electronics just to show they could. We had a new C230K that was an absolute nightmare, over $15K in warranty work during the 3 years we owned it. The MB quality surveys were horrible and they dropped waay down on the list. One example of the many problems we had was the display would blank out when we made a right hand turn or went over 60. The display showed speed, revs etc.
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Old 06-28-2014, 02:00 PM   #12
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I see mostly the 320 version but the engine is similar in layout but a V-6. The rubber breather hoses on top of the engine get really hard over time and crack and, the valve cover gaskets leak oil after about 60k miles. To reseal the valve covers on a V-6 I charge about $800. That would be if it needs the breather hoses, spark plug wires and plugs. At the mileage when it starts to leak enough for oil to run onto the exhaust manifolds the breather hoses will break when they come off and it's likely that the plug wires won't come off in one piece. It has two plugs per cylinder so 16 wires and 16 plugs. The valve covers don't use gaskets, just sealant. If you enjoy mechanical work, the breather hoses are easy, the plugs not too bad but a tight fit toward the rear.

Occasionally an ignition coil fails. You may need a driver's power seat switch or window switch assembly at some point and a window regulator isn't unheard of. Check the service history and change the transmission fluid and filter if it hasn't been done within 40k miles. There is a big plastic connector on the right front of the trans by the pan that can/will leak at some point. The housing is replaceable and the part might be $20. The transmission speed sensor fails on these cars but the fix isn't too bad, replace the conductor plate.

And finally the front lower control arm bushings wear out at about 80k miles but that's wear not failure. The drive shaft has two rubber donuts, one at the trans and one at the diff. They act as u-joints and shock absorbers. Those are 80-100k items.

Everything I've listed will not strand you. The conductor plate will slow you down. There's a lot of that vintage E class in S.F. where my shop is and the items I listed are the problems we see on those cars but not especially frequently. Mostly we do brakes, suspension bushings, transmission services and drive shaft flex couplers.
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Old 06-28-2014, 04:07 PM   #13
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I used to work at a Mercedes dealer at that time and have to agree with Anorak and 68deluxe. We had lots and lots of issues with the W210 cars - easily the worst model we had in the workshop, new or old.
Front end, steering and suspension parts, electrical gremlins, 722.6 trannies, climate control modules, coils, fuel pumps (+filters with integrated flow valves), oil leakage (head gasket!) and water pumps on the M104 engines, belt tensioners, injectors and pump parts on the diesels etc etc.
Luckily they also rusted insanely fast in our climate, so they all gone now (no kidding!)...

Of the engines, the 430 and the smallest (non US) M111 four cylinder are probably most robust. But the 430 is considered quite thirsty for its performance.
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Old 06-28-2014, 06:29 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander B View Post
I used to work at a Mercedes dealer at that time and have to agree with Anorak and 68deluxe.

I may be mistaken but 68deluxe and Anorak seem to have different opinions.

The woman that owns the car seems to have taken very good care of the mechanical matters; the body is a little dinged. It's a southern car, second owner, off lease purchase by RBM Atlanta.

For $3500 I figured I'd drive it until something huge and tragic happens then stick an LS6 with matching trans in it and act a fool. I've lost more than $3500 on a hand of blackjack (though my current pay grade doesn't support such behavior).

I really can't see not being able to get the money back out of the car if need be. Monday morning I'm gonna take it to my local member of the Hitler Youth and let him check it out.
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Old 06-28-2014, 06:58 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fe Man View Post
I may be mistaken but 68deluxe and Anorak seem to have different opinions.

The woman that owns the car seems to have taken very good care of the mechanical matters; the body is a little dinged. It's a southern car, second owner, off lease purchase by RBM Atlanta.

For $3500 I figured I'd drive it until something huge and tragic happens then stick an LS6 with matching trans in it and act a fool. I've lost more than $3500 on a hand of blackjack (though my current pay grade doesn't support such behavior).

I really can't see not being able to get the money back out of the car if need be. Monday morning I'm gonna take it to my local member of the Hitler Youth and let him check it out.
From what I've seen I think it's a good car. The only issue you will have to fix immediately if it occurs is the transmission conductor plate. I'd charge about $650 and you get a fluid and filter change in the process.
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