2016 MB E350 - Sell or Keep?

The Critic

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What is the option to replace it? Is it a new car or another used one?
I think his usual plan is to spend $40-50K and drive for around 200k miles. The last two times have been low-mileage CPO. He loves being under warranty for the entire duration of his ownership so he will probably stick to a brand with an unlimited mileage CPO warranty.

Averaging 23k miles a year with 11 months to go on a full warranty, I'd roll the bones and keep piling on the miles and enjoy the car. Easily blow by 200-250k miles based upon the maintenance schedule you have your client on.
He is averaging around 40K/yr right now. Question is will the engine/trans last much longer than 200-250K miles. All of the work that has been done under warranty have not been related to major wear items.

What I find amazing is that he only got 53k miles on the second set of engine/transmission mounts vs 94k on the originals.
I think the tech was just milking the warranty to get some additional labor hours.
 
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Everybody needs to own a BMW or MB once in their lives. I've had both. Its like having one really bad migraine that goes away and never returns. Makes you appreciate just how great life can be.
Maybe on the older models but times change. My W211 had way more repairs than my W212 and 2016 was the last year for the W212. The newer platform, the W213 doesn't really have any major problems aside from the 4 cylinder turbo. Also MB is pretty bad at a first year model which is why I suggest waiting til a nice E400/E450 comes along, those didn't really show up til 2018+ and you're more likely to find those as a CPO while waiting around for them to come off a 3 year lease. I hope he shopped around for the extra 2 years CPO, I think Jeff Jackson gets mentioned a lot in the extended warranty discussion forum at mbworld.org, usually several hundred if not a thousand plus cheaper than whatever the dealer wants.

What I find amazing is that he only got 53k miles on the second set of engine/transmission mounts vs 94k on the originals.
MB always seemed to use liquid filled motor mounts not solid rubber ones so they always fail earlier than regular ones. Mine failed on my W211 at about 60k so it's not unusual for them to go early.

I've owned a few E's and a few newer S's, I was always afraid of the parts bill if something broke even though I would perform the labor myself. I'm much more familiar with Japanese vehicles and would much rather work on 1 of them instead of most German cars. The Germans do make some things easy, but not enough, and the parts bill makes me cringe.
I've owned my W211 for about 7 years and the W212 for 5 years, nothing too crazy on the parts bill, they're about 1.5-2x more than American cars, but Japanese import parts prices are also more than American and I've heard of some Japanese parts bill being greater than Mercedes.

other than the unlucky seized plug and oil wicked engine harness nothing particularly crazy happened
I blame that on not changing the plugs sooner as required by the maintenance manual and the oil wicking is a known problem and some people check and clean off any oil they find in advance as a PM measure.
This is the "the devil you know vs. the devil you don't know" situation. I agree with @JHZR2, front end work and struts will be the next major maintenance item, not repair coming down the road.
Did a lot of front end work on my W211, not yet to the W212 aside from the struts/spring/shocks. Rear shocks I got aftermarket springs from FCPEuro, wasn't that expensive, shocks were Bilstein. OEM was Sachs which tends to be double the price of the Bilstein. The front struts I think were more like $800 for springs, Bilstein struts and the mounts and other bits of MB hardware like the bumper stop and cover. I probably went overboard on all those parts, probably could have just gotten the mount and bearing along with the OEM springs and the Bilstein strut instead of building the entire strut with new parts. There were 3 sets of springs for the car and when I got mine, they were out and they had to be ordered from Germany and took an extra week. So beware if ordering them, could take a while longer with the supply chain problems we have now.
 

The Critic

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I blame that on not changing the plugs sooner as required by the maintenance manual and the oil wicking is a known problem and some people check and clean off any oil they find in advance as a PM measure.
Actually, I tried replacing them at 52K in 2/2018 and #5 was already seized. He just did not have time to make it into the dealer until 74k (which was 8 months later).

The plugs may be worn at 50K but even 74K in 2 years should not be enough to make any plug seize up.
 

JHZR2

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I think his usual plan is to spend $40-50K and drive for around 200k miles. The last two times have been low-mileage CPO. He loves being under warranty for the entire duration of his ownership so he will probably stick to a brand with an unlimited mileage CPO warranty.
But what are his "minimums" for a $40-50k budget? Its possible to buy a new car and a long warranty, or even a new car and a newish car in sequence and be guaranteed 200k miles. The "vanity" factor of what car ranges he is interested in comes into play...
 
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But what are his "minimums" for a $40-50k budget? Its possible to buy a new car and a long warranty, or even a new car and a newish car in sequence and be guaranteed 200k miles. The "vanity" factor of what car ranges he is interested in comes into play...
I think the key point is that with a CPO warranty, it's unlimited miles so you can drive 200k and still be in warranty. It takes over where the factory warranty expires so you can basically do 7 years of unlimited miles with a warranty. Pretty much no other car maker does that. So if you get a car that's 3 years old, pretty much 4 years worth of unlimited warranty and at 40k a year, you can rack up 160k and get a cheap used E class with 3 years and about 40k miles and they're going for about 40-45k now. Maybe the prices will come down a little in 6 months or at least have some newer models to choose from, those are basically 2018 models but the 2019 models were E450's and picked up a few more hp and 1mpg on highway.

Actually, I tried replacing them at 52K in 2/2018 and #5 was already seized. He just did not have time to make it into the dealer until 74k (which was 8 months later).

The plugs may be worn at 50K but even 74K in 2 years should not be enough to make any plug seize up.
Well then that's pretty much bad luck then.
 
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I think his usual plan is to spend $40-50K and drive for around 200k miles. The last two times have been low-mileage CPO. He loves being under warranty for the entire duration of his ownership so he will probably stick to a brand with an unlimited mileage CPO warranty.

I think this is a reasonable plan. He's hitting the end of the CPO warranty, the car still has a little value left in it...if it were me, I'd move on to a newer E-Class.
 
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Speaking from experience from a Merc. tech friend, sell just before warr, up. 1 big engine or other driveline repair will be big $$$$$ , and it sounds like he needs something reliable. As he says, never own one out of warr., unless you are fully equipped to repair yourself.
 
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Speaking from experience from a Merc. tech friend, sell just before warr, up. 1 big engine or other driveline repair will be big $$$$$ , and it sounds like he needs something reliable. As he says, never own one out of warr., unless you are fully equipped to repair yourself.
That's the problem with being a tech, he only sees the cars that have had problem. Had both of mine for a while and both were out of warranty. They're kinda cheapest at 5-6 years and you can still get 5-10 years out of them at that point. I don't them to the dealer so your tech never sees my car. The minor stuff I can do myself but most stuff I take to an indy that charges much less. And they're more reliable of late, as OP mentioned, none of the issues were too crazy.
 
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That's the problem with being a tech, he only sees the cars that have had problem. Had both of mine for a while and both were out of warranty. They're kinda cheapest at 5-6 years and you can still get 5-10 years out of them at that point. I don't them to the dealer so your tech never sees my car. The minor stuff I can do myself but most stuff I take to an indy that charges much less. And they're more reliable of late, as OP mentioned, none of the issues were too crazy.

The owner in question drives 40k/miles a year, he needs a younger vehicle, I don't care what brand/model this one is. By this mileage anything is at beater status or in the case of a Mercedes, something relegated to a baller on a budget.
 
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The owner in question drives 40k/miles a year, he needs a younger vehicle, I don't care what brand/model this one is. By this mileage anything is at beater status or in the case of a Mercedes, something relegated to a baller on a budget.
Yeah, I wasn't really referring to the OP, just the sentiment that you shouldn't own one out of warranty. That's not true.

In the OP's case, that driver puts on enough miles that it makes sense to just get another car. The book value of the car now sits somewhere between 15-20k so upgrading to a newer model even at 40-45k only amounts to about 20-30k. I mentioned earlier that it probably made sense to sell it before the CPO runs out as that might goose up the value a little more than waiting til after it expires. My only thoughts were that maybe in the next few months, the prices might come back down in the winter.
 
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This is the "the devil you know vs. the devil you don't know" situation. I agree with @JHZR2, front end work and struts will be the next major maintenance item, not repair coming down the road. Aftermarket front bumpers are relatively cheap for these cars if your client wants to refresh the appearance. There has been a heck of a lot of sound maintenance & repairs done to this vehicle at little or no cost to the owner. Averaging 23k miles a year with 11 months to go on a full warranty, I'd roll the bones and keep piling on the miles and enjoy the car. Easily blow by 200-250k miles based upon the maintenance schedule you have your client on. Also personally right now I would rather drive what I have vs. donating money into an overheated used car market
I tend to agree here, and it’s not like he’s being offered $20,000 for the car online, instead he has an offer of $10K? What is $10,000 grand going to get you in today’s market? Nothing that you’re going to pile 25,000 miles of driving a year on, so just keep it - you've already done what seem to be the bigger ticket items...the head (ouch), engine mounts. Heck, I’d keep it and try to burn another 100,000 miles out of it. And regarding the head...there is no repair option to extract a seized spark plug than replacing the ENTIRE HEAD? Jesus. Even Ford has a $20 dollar kit to extract a spark plug from a head...Mercedes doesn’t have anything? I would think an independent shop probably could have/would have taken that plug out? could be wrong.

At least you know it’s been relatively well maintained with the transmission, brake and coolant, fluids. I’d probably consider shortening my oil changes down from 11,000 to something around half that. If the thing needs a massive repair in 50,000 miles? Alright, make a decision then when the used car market has hopefully cooled off some...until then just drive it and enjoy the lack of car payments, lower registration fees, tax, insurance. Heck, if you really wanted to save more money, cancel the collision and comprehensive insurance on the thing and just keep your liability insurance (If the bank doesn’t own the car at that point you probably can shave $500-$700 a year just by cutting out those two things).

A 2016 Mercedes E350 is still a nice looking/modern looking car, and with it being a mostly highway car, I think you can drive it another couple years and save yourself thousands towards your next purchase.
 
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The owner in question drives 40k/miles a year, he needs a younger vehicle, I don't care what brand/model this one is. By this mileage anything is at beater status or in the case of a Mercedes, something relegated to a baller on a budget.
It sounds like he’s driving more in the neighborhood of 27,000 miles a year...2016 vehicle x 5.7 years = 27,000ish

The vehicle isn’t exactly “old”, it’s not quite 6 years old at this point. If this guy can keep it another 2-3 years with his mostly highway driving he can probably save himself over $10,000-$15,000 in car payments, insurance, taxes, etc (over the next 2-3 years).

But I get what you’re saying, if you don’t want to deal with repairs at all, get the new car and trade it in every 2-3 years. I know people that do that. Or he could have bought a Toyota Avalon and drove the thing till 300,000 miles with probably spending a fraction in repair costs compared to the Mercedes. But a 2016 Mercedes is still a pretty modern and nice looking vehicle. And believe me, I’m not that guy who told people around here this summer that they should buy 15 year old cars with 150,000 miles on them and commute 50,000 miles a year in them, on the way to 500,000 trouble free miles. I’m not suggesting that craziness. Lol.
 
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Just have him drive it till its dead. Like previously mentioned, right now he will pay for a new or used car.
 
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