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Old 11-07-2012, 12:42 AM   #26
Ferzerp
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That's not really a strawman, but you are correct in that it's a fallacious argument.

Barring any sort of formalized study, you're just sharing personal anecdotes with us.

Without any sort of study of statistical data, we cannot even begin to address your claim (it's not like things such as initial quality ratings have any bearing on decade old cars). However, we can very easily compare the cost of similar repairs if we really wanted to. I don't think you'll find the results to your liking though, especially in something like a Mercedes that has 0 part sharing with a lower cost vehicle (like in the case of Lexus to Toyota for example)
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Old 11-07-2012, 01:29 AM   #27
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With the frequency that people on AT like to use the phrase 'straw man,' I would think that someone would know what it is.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/straw%20man

Me: 'Old luxury cars are costly to maintain.'

Him: 'Aha! But my Mercedes has aluminum control arms.'

Me: '...?'

Also, feel free to make up your own definition of 'higher quality.' As Ferzerp mentioned, 'initial quality' means nothing...a Hyundai having a couple extra squeaks and rattles when new doesn't exactly equal extra repair costs down the road.

Not to mention your luxury cars, especially German ones, tend to rank low on those studies, anyway, due to the idiotic fart-sniffers who purchase them with hopes of making their neighbor feel inferior, only to return to the dealer five times within the first year to complain about stupid shit.
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Old 11-07-2012, 11:01 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by phucheneh View Post
What is 'state certified'? We don't have such a thing in my state.

And FWIW, I have no desire to run off a new guy who is a fellow greasemonkey...and I'm not calling you stupid for driving/liking an older Merc or anything.

It's just that your assertations about a German luxury car being 'higher quality' with regards to reliability has just never proven to be true. Like what you want; but avoid the fanboyism.
In some states ASE's are not required and the state has their own testing and certification process, like here in Michigan.

As for my assertions that German Luxury cars are better and higher quality than their American counterparts, well, it's true. German cars are engineered to be precision machines. The tolerances allowed on a German car are considerably tighter than on American cars. What would be considered worn out on a German car, is still acceptable on an American car.


And of course you can't make a blanket statement saying that ALL German cars are better than ALL American cars. But, on average, they're a lot more reliable, have fewer problems than American cars do.
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We were talking about reliability and repair costs. Saying that one economy car has stamped steel control arms that are prone to rusting (not even mentioning the fact that that's bullshit, anyhow) and your Mercedes has aluminum control arms, therefore you win the debate, is the definition of 'straw man.' You're arguing against a retarded, nonsensical position that you made up.
I've been working on cars for a long time, and I don't know of any Taurus rusty lower control arm issues. Now the rest of the car rusting away, I've seen that all the time.
Now there are other vehicles with big time rust issues, like the Windstar. On that vehicle, not only does the rear axle fail due to poor manufacturing, the engine cradle rusts out and becomes detached from the unibody.
Or the rocker panels that rust out on all of the Montana's. See it wouldn't be an issue if it wasn't structural, but unfortunately it is.
Or how about the recall for millions of Ford vehicles that would spontaneously catch fire whether the car was running or not.
There's countless of other examples.

It's not fanboyism, but rather experience from working on so many vehicles over the years.
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Old 11-07-2012, 11:42 PM   #29
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I don't know how you can sit in a benz vs a corrolla and not be able to tell the difference in overall quality.

Still, my mechanic always laughed at me when I mentioned buying a 2000's volvo/benz/bmw. Everything just costs more for them. If you only have enough money to buy a 10 year old lux with 150k miles, you probably don't have the money to handle the expenses.

Hell without an aftermarket warranty, my 2004 mini would have cost me over 2k in repairs since i bought it with 40k miles earlier this year.
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:08 AM   #30
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I don't know how you can sit in a benz vs a corrolla and not be able to tell the difference in overall quality.

Still, my mechanic always laughed at me when I mentioned buying a 2000's volvo/benz/bmw. Everything just costs more for them. If you only have enough money to buy a 10 year old lux with 150k miles, you probably don't have the money to handle the expenses.

Hell without an aftermarket warranty, my 2004 mini would have cost me over 2k in repairs since i bought it with 40k miles earlier this year.
Well the good thing is, I can fix my own cars. Whether I need to drop the trans or pull the engine, I have the tools and the know how to get it done. So repairs only cost me parts and time.
Regardless, I'm not sure why this conversation is even taking place. If you think that a Camry even comes close to the quality of an E class 80k Benz, you're seriously fucked in the head.
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Old 11-08-2012, 01:29 AM   #31
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Well the good thing is, I can fix my own cars. Whether I need to drop the trans or pull the engine, I have the tools and the know how to get it done. So repairs only cost me parts and time.
Regardless, I'm not sure why this conversation is even taking place. If you think that a Camry even comes close to the quality of an E class 80k Benz, you're seriously fucked in the head.
No one ever argued about how nice the car felt inside. I also don't recall any talk of high mileage Mercedes being great cars...so long as you can perform any and all repairs yourself underneath your shade tree with Autozone parts.

Please, PLEASE go back to school and learn to read. You give my profession a bad name.

HUURRRR I DUN NEED NO CRITYCALL THINKIN' SKILLS OR ENGLISH BOOKLERNINS' I JUST FIX THE CARS WITH THIS HERE HAMMER HUURR DUUURR.
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Old 11-08-2012, 02:54 AM   #32
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No one ever argued about how nice the car felt inside. I also don't recall any talk of high mileage Mercedes being great cars...so long as you can perform any and all repairs yourself underneath your shade tree with Autozone parts.

Please, PLEASE go back to school and learn to read. You give my profession a bad name.

HUURRRR I DUN NEED NO CRITYCALL THINKIN' SKILLS OR ENGLISH BOOKLERNINS' I JUST FIX THE CARS WITH THIS HERE HAMMER HUURR DUUURR.
First off, I wasn't responding to you.

Secondly, I've done this type of work for a LOOONG time, and surely, I'd never use that cheap Chinese bullshit from Autozone.

Being all smug and arrogant isn't doing you any favors. YOU are the only one giving mechanics a bad name. I'm a professional and I aim to keep it that way. I never get come backs because I do it right the first time.

So perhaps YOU should get some reading comprehension under your belt and then respond to me.
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:10 AM   #33
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Fact: people who buy 10+ year old luxury cars probably shouldn't be buying luxury cars.

Yes, there are exceptions, but it's not the norm. When someone says something like 'I have 10k to buy a car' and starts looking at older BMW and Merc vehicles, rather than newer domestic or Japanese vehicles, it's typically the start of a beautiful disaster.

I don't even recommend buying older Japanese luxury cars. They break, too. More amenities = more stuff to break. Technology that was cutting edge ten years ago = a lot more likely to break than the same tech that has made it into newer, cheaper cars.

Not to mention the complete misconception that luxury cars are usually owned by people with money. Tons of people buy new cars that they can't afford to maintain...do you want to then buy it after they've put 100k on it?

A 10 year old luxury car is the only way to get a RWD car that handles well and looks good for under $10,000. That's why I just bought a 1996 328is
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:11 AM   #34
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I don't know how you can sit in a benz vs a corrolla and not be able to tell the difference in overall quality.

Still, my mechanic always laughed at me when I mentioned buying a 2000's volvo/benz/bmw. Everything just costs more for them. If you only have enough money to buy a 10 year old lux with 150k miles, you probably don't have the money to handle the expenses.

Hell without an aftermarket warranty, my 2004 mini would have cost me over 2k in repairs since i bought it with 40k miles earlier this year.
Your Mini is a FWD economy car... I'm surprised how many enthusiasts convince themselves to live with a car that isn't fun (yes I know the Mini is supposed to be "fun"), just so they can save a little money on maintenance costs (which would have been much less than their payments anyway).
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Old 11-08-2012, 08:29 AM   #35
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Your Mini is a FWD economy car... I'm surprised how many enthusiasts convince themselves to live with a car that isn't fun (yes I know the Mini is supposed to be "fun"), just so they can save a little money on maintenance costs (which would have been much less than their payments anyway).
Youve obviously never driven a cooper S
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:02 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by phucheneh View Post
No one ever argued about how nice the car felt inside. I also don't recall any talk of high mileage Mercedes being great cars...so long as you can perform any and all repairs yourself underneath your shade tree with Autozone parts.

Please, PLEASE go back to school and learn to read. You give my profession a bad name.

HUURRRR I DUN NEED NO CRITYCALL THINKIN' SKILLS OR ENGLISH BOOKLERNINS' I JUST FIX THE CARS WITH THIS HERE HAMMER HUURR DUUURR.
Are you suggesting that the engineering stops at the interior?

I'm sorry, but while I can certainly see repair costs being higher on such vehicles, I can also see the attention to detail being much higher on something like a BMW/Mercedes. They don't make something as shitty as a Cavalier.

I'll suffice it to say that I've seen enough Cavaliers in my day to know that they build those things with one point in mind, bottom cost. When they're pushing 200k-300k out every year, they're trying to get them out as quickly as possible.

You seem to be a knowledgeable enough guy, but do you really need to make snide, condescending remarks to someone that challenges your view?

I just don't see how one could argue build quality of something like a Cavalier vs a Cadillac CTS. I've been in both, and I have felt a huge difference in ride quality, and just build quality altogether. If one were to argue the difference of a Cadillac to an M3, it'd probably be difficult for anyone to prove a solid enough point. But an econo-box to a luxury vehicle? When you're building cars for a $90k price point, chances are, there is going to be a lot more engineering behind it. And engineering focused on quality, not quantity.
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:11 AM   #37
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Your Mini is a FWD economy car... I'm surprised how many enthusiasts convince themselves to live with a car that isn't fun (yes I know the Mini is supposed to be "fun"), just so they can save a little money on maintenance costs (which would have been much less than their payments anyway).
lol
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:26 AM   #38
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Build quality and sophistication of engineering doesn't translate into reliability or repair costs. You can have a creaky, noisy cheap car with buttons falling off the dash that will go forever with just an oil change. Then you can drive a lovely luxury cruiser that runs and feels like a dream but you have to sink lots of money into parts and components. Good luck finding a cheap window motor and regulator for a 95 BMW for the same price as a window motor for 2009 Yaris.
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:42 AM   #39
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Build quality and sophistication of engineering doesn't translate into reliability or repair costs. You can have a creaky, noisy cheap car with buttons falling off the dash that will go forever with just an oil change. Then you can drive a lovely luxury cruiser that runs and feels like a dream but you have to sink lots of money into parts and components. Good luck finding a cheap window motor and regulator for a 95 BMW for the same price as a window motor for 2009 Yaris.
That's not really the question, at least not from what I was reading.

No one really debates that a window motor/regulator is going to be considerably more expensive for a BMW anything.

The only point I was trying to make it that it is quite likely that you are going to see a different type of engineer in each case. One is trying to build something that lasts, the other is trying to build something that will last long enough. Parts will still fail. There is no debating that, and parts will be considerably more expensive (in most cases) for a vehicle that is less prevalent, but the point remains that you're likely to find better quality parts in a more costly vehicle. There may be some area where they skimp on quality, but there is a greater likelihood that you'll find more of that in an econobox because they are trying to make them as cheap as possible.

IE - If a plastic gear for the window regulator is $0.50, and an aluminum one $1.50, they're going to go with the plastic one so they can crank out 300,000 units with four regulators for $600,000 instead of aluminum ones that would cost $1,800,000.

Flip that to a luxury box, and they can just add the cost of the better gear to the vehicle.

It's a bad example, but the gist is that econoboxes are designed to be cheap so that people can buy them. Even comparing a Cavalier to an Impala is going to give you a stark difference in quality.
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:52 AM   #40
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Youve obviously never driven a cooper S
It's still FWD though. OK Minis are cool in an Italian Job kind of way but what about all the lame economy cars you buy because the semi-luxury ones are too expensive to maintain?
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:55 AM   #41
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That's not really the question, at least not from what I was reading.

No one really debates that a window motor/regulator is going to be considerably more expensive for a BMW anything.

The only point I was trying to make it that it is quite likely that you are going to see a different type of engineer in each case. One is trying to build something that lasts, the other is trying to build something that will last long enough. Parts will still fail. There is no debating that, and parts will be considerably more expensive (in most cases) for a vehicle that is less prevalent, but the point remains that you're likely to find better quality parts in a more costly vehicle. There may be some area where they skimp on quality, but there is a greater likelihood that you'll find more of that in an econobox because they are trying to make them as cheap as possible.

IE - If a plastic gear for the window regulator is $0.50, and an aluminum one $1.50, they're going to go with the plastic one so they can crank out 300,000 units with four regulators for $600,000 instead of aluminum ones that would cost $1,800,000.

Flip that to a luxury box, and they can just add the cost of the better gear to the vehicle.

It's a bad example, but the gist is that econoboxes are designed to be cheap so that people can buy them. Even comparing a Cavalier to an Impala is going to give you a stark difference in quality.
The cheap parts can lead to extremely expensive fixes. In the WJ Grand Cherokee there is an air conditioning blend door that is notorious for failing and the repair costs $1000 at the dealer. The part that fails is a tiny plastic hinge. If they had made it out of metal for 10 cents more l it would never ever fail.

BTW one thing I've noticed on my E36 is how it's designed to be worked on. Even the taillight bulbs are extremely easy to change... just twist the holder and it pops out. On every other car I've owned you need to mess with multiple screwds, harnesses, etc. I spent some time searching for the oil filter down in the depths of the engine bay and I figured "Wow they must have really hidden it". Then I realized the cannister was right on top with a nice hex head on the lid to make it easy to remove.
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:14 AM   #42
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The cheap parts can lead to extremely expensive fixes. In the WJ Grand Cherokee there is an air conditioning blend door that is notorious for failing and the repair costs $1000 at the dealer. The part that fails is a tiny plastic hinge. If they had made it out of metal for 10 cents more l it would never ever fail.

BTW one thing I've noticed on my E36 is how it's designed to be worked on. Even the taillight bulbs are extremely easy to change... just twist the holder and it pops out. On every other car I've owned you need to mess with multiple screwds, harnesses, etc. I spent some time searching for the oil filter down in the depths of the engine bay and I figured "Wow they must have really hidden it". Then I realized the cannister was right on top with a nice hex head on the lid to make it easy to remove.
Yeah, I've fixed that issue on the WJ, so I know exactly what you're talking about. I spent some time researching and found one that was all metal, and installed from the glovebox. Once installed, it worked just as expected.

But that's the point. It is far less likely that Mercedes or BMW is going to look at that and say, hmmm, this plastic piece should be good enough.

Granted, repairs are still going to be expensive if it fails despite not building for quantity. And it does happen. But the point is that econoboxes are built to be cheap, luxury vehicles aren't.

Repairs will surely be more expensive on a less common vehicle, but they are likely to be built better from the start.
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:20 AM   #43
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The cheap parts can lead to extremely expensive fixes. In the WJ Grand Cherokee there is an air conditioning blend door that is notorious for failing and the repair costs $1000 at the dealer. The part that fails is a tiny plastic hinge. If they had made it out of metal for 10 cents more l it would never ever fail.

BTW one thing I've noticed on my E36 is how it's designed to be worked on. Even the taillight bulbs are extremely easy to change... just twist the holder and it pops out. On every other car I've owned you need to mess with multiple screwds, harnesses, etc. I spent some time searching for the oil filter down in the depths of the engine bay and I figured "Wow they must have really hidden it". Then I realized the cannister was right on top with a nice hex head on the lid to make it easy to remove.
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Originally Posted by mvbighead View Post
Yeah, I've fixed that issue on the WJ, so I know exactly what you're talking about. I spent some time researching and found one that was all metal, and installed from the glovebox. Once installed, it worked just as expected.

But that's the point. It is far less likely that Mercedes or BMW is going to look at that and say, hmmm, this plastic piece should be good enough.

Granted, repairs are still going to be expensive if it fails despite not building for quantity. And it does happen. But the point is that econoboxes are built to be cheap, luxury vehicles aren't.

Repairs will surely be more expensive on a less common vehicle, but they are likely to be built better from the start.
Talking about just a single 06 W211, almost 100k mi.

sunroof pan does not have drainage, there is always little leaks in sunroof so when the pan fills up, the water over flows and zap, there goes your rooftop console that controls sunroof and ambient lighting. 700 dollar part.

SBS brake Master cylinder failure , at least this is covered for ten years.
M272 Balancing shaft wears out because they used a metal that was too soft. They will not cover this. So you have to pay yourself. I think they want 7k.

MB uses a cheap ass ac fan... It will develop a squeak, guaranteed. The motor is fan, it's the cheap plastic part that is squeaking. There is also an issue with the regulator, the AC will shut itself off.

Oil pump whines as it ages, apparently it has to be replaced.

winshield washer heater (I think it's the heater) leaks slowly, depletes the tank in a week or so.
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:23 AM   #44
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It sounds like Benzes should be avoided
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Old 11-08-2012, 10:30 AM   #45
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It sounds like Benzes should be avoided
I love the car, but it is not without fault. Some parts of it are great, other you go who the hell thought that was a good idea.
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Old 11-26-2014, 08:06 PM   #46
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I Am new to this forum, though I am Grateful that I have access to it. I have given a deposit on a 2003 CLK430 Cabriolet (Silver with black top). The car is beautiful, the colors are wonderful for Florida weather, and I really like the exhaust sound - especially at startup. I like many others have heard so many horrible and frightening stories about the costliness of "luxury cars" - especially Benz and BMW. I heard these horror stories and warnings prior to buying my first used BMW (I had no issues with it mechanically-in fact I bought it needing some repairs, did them and never any other issues). I then heard this prior to purchasing a 1997 E420 in 2009. Again, NO mechanical issues or extensive repair bills. The last vehicle I bought was a 1991 BMW 850I (V12 Coupe)....man the horror stories, warnings and things said of how this car would be a "money pit". News Flash!!! Other than 2 sets of tires in 18 months, no major repair bills. The car even sat for a number of years prior to my purchasing it. Did tranny fluid/filter change, a neutral safety sensor and basic oil change and coolant. I was even warned about this car from a number of mechanics. I bought a Jag s-type and had problems galore. I believe it has a good deal to do with the build, quality of parts, and DEFINITELY how the vehicle is maintained. This could be with Honda, Toyota, Chevy, BMW, Benz or any other. Benz tend to scare more who are not Benz owners, as with BMW also. My wife purchased a pre-owned 1993 328i in 2004 with over 200k miles - ended up driving the car until it had 349k miles on it,then rear-ended by an S500 and totaled. The mechanic Who regularily serviced the car wanted to still buy it in the condition that was in because the motor and drivetrain were still in excellent condtion, never rebuilt and ran as smooth as a new BMW. Benz, BMW is NOT a Chevy Cavalier, not a Mazda and not a VW. We should expect, to some degree, for parts or maybe labor to be a little more than some other automobiles; though we should not assume that because a "luxury/high end" pre-owned/used car is used, it will automatically give us hell and drain our pockets. I speak from owning many cars. In fact from 2008 til now, more than 13 cars and all except one was a "luxury" car (BMW, Benz, Jag). That's My word

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Old 11-26-2014, 08:54 PM   #47
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My Dad just bought a 99 ml320 with 190k miles on it but he only paid $1900. At that price he just didn't care. It runs well and he is just going to use it as a beater. When something expensive goes out on it he will just sell it off for whatever he can get and buy something else. It already has a bunch of little things wrong with it which is why he picked it up so cheap but none them really matter. $7k seems like a lot money for an old 160k mile clk430.
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Old 11-26-2014, 10:28 PM   #48
pauldun170
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Originally Posted by halik View Post
Had ~80K when i sold it. Check the MBworld forums, people have them in the 100s w/o issue. Unlike most other lux cars I've owned, the CLK doesn't really have any common weak points (same for w210 cars).

In general I take an issue with people that pull out old wives tales out of their ass w/o having any prior experience with the topic on hand. Different cars have different issues that may or may not be more prevalent; generalizing that all luxury cars with miles are bound to have problems is just idiotic.
You are talking about a car you no longer own and sold with less miles.

This guy is looking at a 14 year old car with 160K.
It doesn't matter what kind of car it is at this point.

Unless this is a one owner, dealer serviced car, I'd pass.
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Old 11-26-2014, 11:47 PM   #49
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Fact: people who buy 10+ year old luxury cars probably shouldn't be buying luxury cars.

Yes, there are exceptions, but it's not the norm. When someone says something like 'I have 10k to buy a car' and starts looking at older BMW and Merc vehicles, rather than newer domestic or Japanese vehicles, it's typically the start of a beautiful disaster.

I don't even recommend buying older Japanese luxury cars. They break, too. More amenities = more stuff to break. Technology that was cutting edge ten years ago = a lot more likely to break than the same tech that has made it into newer, cheaper cars.

Not to mention the complete misconception that luxury cars are usually owned by people with money. Tons of people buy new cars that they can't afford to maintain...do you want to then buy it after they've put 100k on it?
And Mercedes tech from even 5 years ago was complete shit so now you're paying to repair crap that is so obsolete it isn't even funny.

NM... necro thread.
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Old 11-26-2014, 11:52 PM   #50
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My Dad just bought a 99 ml320 with 190k miles on it but he only paid $1900. At that price he just didn't care. It runs well and he is just going to use it as a beater. When something expensive goes out on it he will just sell it off for whatever he can get and buy something else. It already has a bunch of little things wrong with it which is why he picked it up so cheap but none them really matter. $7k seems like a lot money for an old 160k mile clk430.
Those were garbage when new. My FIL had one and it was a rattle box about on par with a Ford Exploder of the same era. He replaced it years ago with a Lexus RX350 and replaced that a couple years ago with a BMW X5. Both of which are much better cars.
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