Comments on 2004 Mercedes S430 ~100K miles

Status
Not open for further replies.
Joined
Oct 30, 2002
Messages
41,946
Location
Great Lakes
Originally Posted By: hattaresguy
Originally Posted By: Mr Nice
Buy an Accord or Camry for the same money.
I'd rather eat a .45 than drive a FWD dishwasher for 100k. Life's short and you can always make more money.
crackmeup
 

Astro14

$100 Site Donor
Staff member
Joined
Oct 10, 2010
Messages
16,616
Location
Virginia Beach
Originally Posted By: surfstar
A stupid, stupid purchase. LS430 if you "need" something in that class. The maintenance/upkeep costs of the largest Benz would be akin to a boat.
Yes....and no... It can be very pricey. It can also be reasonable, as mine has been. The W-220 is a great car. In the twin turbo V-12 version, it is simply awesome. There is no Lexus, Caddy, or even Beemer like it.
 
Joined
Apr 27, 2012
Messages
13,462
Location
MA
Originally Posted By: hattaresguy
Another benefit to working on Mercedes is they have the best parts support in the industry and a lot of their parts are very reasonable priced. You can also get the parts manuals and FSM's fairly cheaply threw ripped DVD's.
EPCNet by Mercedes lets you look up parts by vin number and it's free for users in the US. WIS is the DVD that has all the manuals and you can find them on ebay for around $20. Or you can get a Chinese knock off C3 or C4 Star Diagnostic system and that usually comes with WIS as part of the whole package.
Originally Posted By: Spazdog
Mercedes Benz will want to sell you an entirely new SBC/ABS pump. Some companies will service the SBC.
They had a rebuilt pump for the SBC on the E class, a little over $800 from a mail order dealer and a couple hundred to install. Some dealers were quoting $2-3k to replace the SBC pump when it was out of warranty.
Originally Posted By: JC1
Have a look at this video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XV9rJwEOCus A scanner for a Mercedes http://www.harborfreight.com/autel-maxidas-automotive-diagnostic-and-analysis-system-62385.html What a bargain at $1099 before taxes..... Yikes....
Some of what he says is true, that's a CLS500, most of those gadgets I've seen in my E class. Has ventilated seats though in addition to heated sets. But the main part that he misses is that all dealers are expensive, they charge top dollar for all repairs, repairs are always cheaper at an indy so it only makes sense to get one if you have a good indy or if you're good at DIY. And leasing is the most expensive way to own one, cheaper would be through an extended warranty or a CPO. None of that for this age of a car though. And the way to go for complex diagnostic would be a knock off Star Diagnostic system, anywhere from $350-$500. There's tons of them over at aliexpress, you just don't know if you're going to get a good one or not. http://www.aliexpress.com/item/2014-Cost...1783909054.html So what option did it have? Heated steering wheel? Heated/air conditioned rear seats? Dynamic seats? Bixenon headlamps with headlamp washers? Distronics? Parktronics? Side roller blinds? Keyless go? 4matic? For fun, you should read the owner's manual at: http://www.mbusa.com/vcm/MB/DigitalAsset...305004matic.pdf
 
Last edited:
Joined
Sep 25, 2009
Messages
17,295
Location
OH
Originally Posted By: hattaresguy
Originally Posted By: Mr Nice
Originally Posted By: OVERKILL
It would probably be less expensive to buy a 5-series bimmer of the same age. Heck, you could get a 2003 530i that would be far more forgiving on the maintenance side as an alternative smile
Buy an Accord or Camry for the same money.
I'd rather eat a .45 than drive a FWD dishwasher for 100k. Life's short and you can always make more money.
I think I might be more inclined to eat a .45 if I owned an expensive car that needed constant wrenching. Unless you can daily drive a car that is neither rare nor collectible, it isn't worth having. The car in question is a relatively common four door sedan, as nice as it might be to drive.
 
Joined
Feb 9, 2008
Messages
6,366
Location
Midwest
Originally Posted By: Mr Nice
Originally Posted By: surfstar
A stupid, stupid purchase. LS430 if you "need" something in that class. The maintenance/upkeep costs of the largest Benz would be akin to a boat.
Affluent folks that buy a Benz can also afford to have it repaired...
The really affluent people are smarter than that with their money.
 
Joined
Mar 16, 2004
Messages
7,255
Location
USA
Originally Posted By: Vikas
This will be a daily driver and expected to run for another 100K+ and 10+ years without much drama and without putting me in the poor house or worse, the boss putting me in the dog house for this purchase! ....... All comments, pros and cons; including "I should have my head examined" are welcome!
To go out and buy a 2007ish car and not expect much drama 100k/10years is unrealistic to start. Next a 2007+ vehicle you are choosing is way over complex and average reliability car maker is the next knock. Oddly this car in 2007/2008 shows as average reliability in Consumer Reports.
 
Joined
Mar 16, 2004
Messages
7,255
Location
USA
Originally Posted By: Pop_Rivit
The really affluent people are smarter than that with their money.
+1 I abutt the "affluent" folks with neighbors with $1 million-$2.5million homes and not a single one drives a S-class, 7 series or Audi A8. Normal car nameplates(GM, Toyota,Honda, Subaru) dominate here albiet extremely loaded models.
 

Astro14

$100 Site Donor
Staff member
Joined
Oct 10, 2010
Messages
16,616
Location
Virginia Beach
Originally Posted By: rjundi
Originally Posted By: Pop_Rivit
The really affluent people are smarter than that with their money.
+1 I abutt the "affluent" folks with neighbors with $1 million-$2.5million homes and not a single one drives a S-class, 7 series or Audi A8. Normal car nameplates(GM, Toyota,Honda, Subaru) dominate here albiet extremely loaded models.
Again, yes....and no.... My car was bought new by a very affluent couple. Lots of affluent folks lease and don't worry about the maintenance as a result. Their business pays for the lease using pre-tax dollars. Roll the insurance into the lease and their cars cost far less, net, than you might think. Big houses aren't necessarily a sign of affluence either, it depends how you define the term. Cash flow? Or net worth? A clean W-220 with the V-8 is a great car. But it's got to be sorted, everything working, garage kept, no rust, no issues. Those examples are very rare, perhaps 5% of what's on the market. The service advisor I work with at our local MB Dealer sees folks that get in over their heads with used MBs all the time. They buy them for cheap, barely able to make the payment, and are undone by a major repair.
 

Vikas

Thread starter
Joined
Jul 22, 2005
Messages
11,943
Location
NorthEast
Many of the concerns raised were answered before but here they are in one place. 1) We already have our Accord/Camry; We purchased Acura TL to cover that part of the equation! We can rest that issue now. 2) S420 is not even on the same planet as Bi-Turbo or V12 or AMG drive train cars; My assumption is that the list of problems typically associated with "vanilla" S420 is going to be lot smaller than those stratospheric cars listed earlier. 3) I could not notice any rust; brake fluid looked clean; tires still had tread; they were matched Michelin Primacy set 3) Assuming air-matic suspension is already taken care of (aka already replaced with Arnott units) AND making sure all the options on this vehicle are actually working and a full PPI is done by a knowledgeable MB mechanic, the downside risk will be minimized 4) Yes; it has gadgets galore but if they are all working at this stage unless it has well-know problem areas associated with this car, I could take the calculated risk. 5) Obviously, this would be a leisure purchase financed by taking the money of out of my 401K (NOT!) 6) I would never buy a brand new MB regardless of our financial situation. For buying new, we always stay with "safe choices". 7) Even though I do very little mechanical wrenching myself, I know lot more and can pick up the knowledge via internet. As long as I have a trustworthy shop, I let them do the dirty work under my supervision and have no trouble paying the fair price for their services. 8) As pointed out before, with pirated DVDs and aftermarket scanners, getting the factory knowledge about diagnostics and repair is still relatively cheap 9) The biggest obstacle is to convince the boss! She would rather tell me to go and buy a new or CPO E-class at about three times the price of this specimen.
 
Joined
Sep 6, 2010
Messages
5,941
Location
Arlington
Originally Posted By: rjundi
Originally Posted By: Pop_Rivit
The really affluent people are smarter than that with their money.
+1 I abutt the "affluent" folks with neighbors with $1 million-$2.5million homes and not a single one drives a S-class, 7 series or Audi A8. Normal car nameplates(GM, Toyota,Honda, Subaru) dominate here albiet extremely loaded models.
Same here. My neighborhood is adjacent to a very exclusive development. Least expensive house I've seen listed was 3X the amount of my neighborhood (it was the small lot in the middle of a corner most of the other homes are about 6X as much) There are Mercedes Benzes in that neighborhood, but the one I see most frequently is an R-Class. Couple of Lexuses (Lexi?) but they are ESes and RXes, not LSes. Mostly Tahoes and Expeditions. Accord EX-Ls and Camry XLEs round out the rest.
 

Vikas

Thread starter
Joined
Jul 22, 2005
Messages
11,943
Location
NorthEast
As far as I can see, it does not seem to have any of the things that you specifically listed (it does have power operated rear roller blind and projector *halogen* headlamp washer)
Quote:
Heated steering wheel? Heated/air conditioned rear seats? Dynamic seats? Bixenon headlamps with headlamp washers? Distronics? Parktronics? Side roller blinds? Keyless go? 4matic?
Here are the list of the options on this decoded from the VIN number. 044 REGULATION WASHER SYSTEM 15N STEUERCODE WERK SINDELFINGEN/GRAZ 212B OWNERS MANUAL AND SERVICE RECORD - AMERICAN 221B SIGN COOLANT/REFUELING - ENGLISH 232 GARAGE DOOR OPENER WITH 284 - 390 MHZ FREQUENCY 249 INSIDE AND OUTSIDE MIRROR AUTOMATIC DIMMING 264 LICENSE PLATE ATTACHMENT AMERICA 270A LEATHER 271A LEATHER ANTHRACITE 275 MEMORY PACKAGE (DRIVER SEAT, STRG. COL., MIRROR) 283B AIRBAGLABLE - ENGLISH 309 CUP HOLDER 384 CTEL PREPARATION CP HIGH FOR USA 414 ELECTRIC TILT/SLIDE SUNROOF IN GLASS VERSION 427 AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION 7-SPEED 461 INSTRUMENT WITH MILES IND. AND ENGLISH LEGEND 475 TIRE PRESSURE MONITOR (TPM) HIGH LINE/MID LINE 494 U.S. VERSION 524 PAINTWORK - PRESERVATION 530 COMAND DVD APS USA WITH NAVIGATION 540 ROLLER BLIND, ELECTRIC, FOR REAR WINDOW 551 ANTI-THEFT/ANTI-BREAK-IN WARNING SYSTEM 573 CHILD SEAT MOUNTING, ISOFIX IN REAR 595 HEAT INSULATING+IR REFLECTG.SAFETY GLASS SIDE+REAR 634 DELETION - FIRST AID KIT 636 DELETION - WARNING TRIANGLE 644 LIGHT-ALLOY-WHEEL 5-SPOKE-DESIGN 17" 668 PACKAGING FOR SHIPPING VEHICLES W/ TIE-DOWN HOOKS 673 HIGH-CAPACITY BATTERY 705L UNITED STATES (USA) 723U CUBANITE SILVER - METALIC 763 RADIO REMOTE CONTROL W/ PANIC SWITCH (315 MHZ) 7XXL NORTH AND SOUTH AMERICA 804 AEJ 03/1; 03/X 810 SOUND SYSTEM 819 CD CHANGER 873 SEAT HEATER FOR LEFT AND RIGHT FRONT SEATS 875 HEATED SCREEN WASH SYSTEM 883 POWER CLOSING SYSTEM 986 IDENTIFICATION NUMBER (VIN-NO.) 989 IDENTIFICATION LABEL UNDER WINDSHIELD M113 V8-GASOLINE ENGINE M113 M43 CAPACITY 4,3 LITRE
 

OVERKILL

$100 Site Donor 2021
Joined
Apr 28, 2008
Messages
53,916
Location
Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: Pop_Rivit
Originally Posted By: Mr Nice
Originally Posted By: surfstar
A stupid, stupid purchase. LS430 if you "need" something in that class. The maintenance/upkeep costs of the largest Benz would be akin to a boat.
Affluent folks that buy a Benz can also afford to have it repaired...
The really affluent people are smarter than that with their money.
And to those people, keeping a Benz/Bimmer/Audi/AM/Porsche/Ferrari/Lambo/McLaren or anything else that us mere mortals deem expensive on the road is nothing. The term "expensive" is relative to one's income bracket.
 

OVERKILL

$100 Site Donor 2021
Joined
Apr 28, 2008
Messages
53,916
Location
Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: rjundi
Originally Posted By: Pop_Rivit
The really affluent people are smarter than that with their money.
+1 I abutt the "affluent" folks with neighbors with $1 million-$2.5million homes and not a single one drives a S-class, 7 series or Audi A8. Normal car nameplates(GM, Toyota,Honda, Subaru) dominate here albiet extremely loaded models.
I work in healthcare and folks in those income brackets are driving a Bimmer, Benz or Land Rover primarily. With the largest chunk of them driving a Benz. The wealthiest person I know drives a Porsche because "that's what he likes".
 

Astro14

$100 Site Donor
Staff member
Joined
Oct 10, 2010
Messages
16,616
Location
Virginia Beach
Originally Posted By: Vikas
Many of the concerns raised were answered before but here they are in one place. 1) We already have our Accord/Camry; We purchased Acura TL to cover that part of the equation! We can rest that issue now. 2) S420 is not even on the same planet as Bi-Turbo or V12 or AMG drive train cars; My assumption is that the list of problems typically associated with "vanilla" S420 is going to be lot smaller than those stratospheric cars listed earlier. 3) I could not notice any rust; brake fluid looked clean; tires still had tread; they were matched Michelin Primacy set 3) Assuming air-matic suspension is already taken care of (aka already replaced with Arnott units) AND making sure all the options on this vehicle are actually working and a full PPI is done by a knowledgeable MB mechanic, the downside risk will be minimized 4) Yes; it has gadgets galore but if they are all working at this stage unless it has well-know problem areas associated with this car, I could take the calculated risk. 5) Obviously, this would be a leisure purchase financed by taking the money of out of my 401K (NOT!) 6) I would never buy a brand new MB regardless of our financial situation. For buying new, we always stay with "safe choices". 7) Even though I do very little mechanical wrenching myself, I know lot more and can pick up the knowledge via internet. As long as I have a trustworthy shop, I let them do the dirty work under my supervision and have no trouble paying the fair price for their services. 8) As pointed out before, with pirated DVDs and aftermarket scanners, getting the factory knowledge about diagnostics and repair is still relatively cheap 9) The biggest obstacle is to convince the boss! She would rather tell me to go and buy a new or CPO E-class at about three times the price of this specimen.
Yep...that's a pretty good summation. If you're able to turn your own wrenches, and you get a pirate STAR C3 (which I am shopping for), or you've got a really good shop, and you're budgeting some of the savings over a CPO E-class for repairs/maintenance, then you can manage this...and you get to drive a car that really is fundamentally different than a typical sedan. I love my W-220 car. I paid less than the cost of a new Camry three years ago when I bought it. It's depreciated since, but since I'm never selling it, I don't care. It's not a daily driver, but when my wife and I take a trip, it's the car of choice. If her car is in the shop (or awaiting my return to fix something), she takes the Mercedes. But make certain that it's been well cared for. That it needs nothing...because just getting a neglected example properly sorted will cost you big $$... This guy, HAOZ129, is my hero...read through his adventure in getting an S600 sorted... http://mbworld.org/forums/s-class-w220/431985-ongoing-maintenance-repair-2003-s600.html
 
Last edited:

Vikas

Thread starter
Joined
Jul 22, 2005
Messages
11,943
Location
NorthEast
I saw all that and I too was impressed but right then and there I knew, S600 is NOT for me! The rube goldberg cup holder contraption in the S-class console is something that only a German designer could come up with -) Heck, I would not even know if it is working as intended or is already broken; it is *that* complicated! Hopefully, the car is not filled with these types of insane levers and pulleys and micro-switches and exposed to element or sugary drinks! Otherwise I would be in big trouble. What is your personal opinion about W220 vs W221 ? Is one definitely better than the other?
 
Joined
Jul 21, 2002
Messages
6,611
Location
KY
Originally Posted By: OVERKILL
I work in healthcare and folks in those income brackets are driving a Bimmer, Benz or Land Rover primarily. With the largest chunk of them driving a Benz. The wealthiest person I know drives a Porsche because "that's what he likes".
No appliances in my doctor's garage either; he has a 2008 GT500, a 2013 GT350, and a Victory 8-Ball. He's also building a Factory Five Cobra in his garage and has a Z06 on order.
 
Joined
Apr 27, 2012
Messages
13,462
Location
MA
Originally Posted By: rjundi
Originally Posted By: Pop_Rivit
The really affluent people are smarter than that with their money.
+1 I abutt the "affluent" folks with neighbors with $1 million-$2.5million homes and not a single one drives a S-class, 7 series or Audi A8. Normal car nameplates(GM, Toyota,Honda, Subaru) dominate here albiet extremely loaded models.
The OP doesn't mention the price, but some S430's can be in the 10k range depending on mileage. Some even up to 2006 were just 13-15k. In 2007, there was a newer style and those are still holding their value. But the question really boils down to whether you'd rather be driving a boring bland new car like a GM, Toyota, Honda or a used Mercedes. I just prefer the Mercedes. Also I looked for a while to find one with lots of options. It's the options that make it interesting and fun to drive for me. Looks like the OP is just getting a basic S430 without much options. Price wise, they all seem to be based on mileage and year, not options. Use that vin decoder to find one with more stuff, although that can be good and bad, more to enjoy, but more to fix when they break. As for what the affluent do or don't do, at some point once you save enough money or make enough money, then you mind as well spend it on something. This of course doesn't apply to the 2/3's out there that just live paycheck to paycheck. And a Mercedes is like anything else, it can be an enjoyable ride. I always enjoy driving my E, very quiet and smooth ride.
 
Joined
Feb 6, 2014
Messages
3,897
Location
Canada
In my area, luxury autos are available for rent for reasonable rates with unlimited mileage. I choose this route to get my "fix" for enjoying a nicer car than my daily Focus. The "luxury" of owning such a machine is not worth the cost/headache aside from the handful of times I'll get to enjoy it's full capabilities.
 

Vikas

Thread starter
Joined
Jul 22, 2005
Messages
11,943
Location
NorthEast
Half of the time I am driving 200K+ 1999 4-cyl Camry! As long as it runs well, I am happy. Two of the windows are still taped up as I still need to order the window regulator(s). Both myself and my wife have no hang up about showing up in our 200K+ 1999 vehicles even at a party or buttoned down event where everybody else is driving newer Lexus RX vehicles! It is uncanny how when we all meet for get together, we are the one with the oldest vehicle! So why am I interested in S-class MB? I guess I will have to visit a shrink to figure that one out!
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top