Those who said a long distance=purchase bad idea..

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Nov 19, 2011
Lyndhurst NJ
Well you were right....sort of. I am extremely happy with the GL320 now that I have it, theres plenty of room, i love the engine, and it has a hitch, but it has been a frustrating experience. I crossed my t's dotted my i's and went through every possible channel for information on a car I found in Illinois. Ran the VMI with a dealer friend, car had 87 on it, I had records to 83, all MB dealer. Carfax one owner, no serious bodywork. Had a private inspection done, I emailed the list to the shop and asked them to be extremely specific, I own a shop and see these cars all day so I will be meticulous with the car. He wants 100, I send 125 for lunch and his time. He says it needs rear tires soon, everything else is pretty good. All goes well, we got a little knocked off the price for the tires, worked the shipping down, everyones happy. Until the car arrives. We had a Noreaster that day, car was delivered in the rain and snow. I hop in and go for a quick ride. Car floats down the road, rear end jackhammers everytime you hit a decent bump. Popping from front right. I pull up to the bay doors. Halogen headlights, the car was supposed to have xenons. No active fogs. No headlight sprayers. No heated steering wheel. No heated rear seats. All options that were listed clearly on the page. Put the car in the air, needs rear shocks, ones covered in shock oil and dirt. Front right shock leaking oil. I called the PPI shop, guy missed around 1400$ in my cost in shocks and an upper arm. Shop calls me a liar and blames the tow company for it. I leave a poor review and pics with what I found. Inform the sales guy with pics and video of whats missing and why/how could it have been falsely advertised like that. Car dealer came down in price some more and offered a short term warranty for free, 3 mos 3k to cover any surprises and as a goodwill. I negotiated to the next higher level of coverage, AC and components is included for the same amount of time. Car is very clean, interior is very very lightly worn on driver seat and left side steering wheel controls, but has been obviously taken care of, window sticker, all weather mats all 3 rows plus trunk liner, 3 keys! I guess if I had waited longer and kept on searching one mightve come up closer and in the condition I wanted, but most results showed maybe 6 cars within 200 miles, and maybe 2 below 120k. some had 220 and still were looking for 10k! In the end Id have to say always go and look at the car in person, but if you need to have it shipped, expect a few surprises, and do your homework! The right car can be out there, but due diligence is necessary.
No smaller dealer out in Illinois. I wish it was a Catena, I started there about 17 years ago and some people I moved up with are still there. Probably couldve had more pull and of course, looked at it.
<span style="font-weight: bold">That's more than a few "surprises"...........</span>
I will never believe that someone willing to buy a car via long distance is simply too busy to fly out on the 5AM outbound, look it over, and then catch a cab back to the airport for the 7PM flight home and to be sleeping in his own bed that night. You can get a LOT done in one day and it could save you from huge mistakes...
In the end, didn't sound too bad. Got the car you wanted-always a good thing... Kinda thinking on the same for myself. Wife would really like me to find her a rust free (lowish mileage) 2009-2010 Pontiac Vibe. Being 8-9 years old, there are not going to be many shining examples left out there. So there will be some give and take-and I expect to spend some extra money as well. Not going to be easy, but hopefully worth it...
Originally Posted By: CKN
That's more than a few "surprises"...........
About what I went through on my "new" 1993 F-150 4x4 with 87K on the ODO ... And both my wife and I drove it. Brakes, tires, and it was running fine for two months and tosses the coil, module and the dizzy pick-up ... Brakes were gone from a bad OEM booster with the bullet set too tight. They started smoking after the brake job. Had to find out why ... Took some time. Knew it had worn tires (even, but worn). Just did not know how badly they affected everything else ... The ignition was an upgrade from the PO to MSD. I'm sure (now) that it was a bad coil from the days of MSD almost going bankrupt ...). All back to Motorcraft now smile And it still needs shocks. But the front-end shop says the twin-traction beam is as tight as any he's ever seen smile Truck is comfy and all the options work as expected. Was clean as a whistle when we looked at it and have all the service records back to new ... Sometimes they just bite you frown
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I'm surprised you didn't know about the Mercedes Benz decoders that are out there like or you can use Mercedes own site EPC-net but that one cost $75 a year but you get the full data sheet plus parts look up by vin code. Both of mine have the bixenons with the active curve illumination. People are always asking on the forums how to install it afterwards but the headlights alone list for about 1500 each from MB although there are few hundred used. They also auto level. I wouldn't trust any dealer to accurately list all the options on any car. Bixenons would have had headlamp washers and that should have been visible in the pictures. If there had been a picture of the engine you would have seen the stickers near the head lamps warning of high voltage dangers. The halogens don't have that.
Long or short distance is immaterial, what's important is taking the time to inspect the purchase yourself. Paying someone else to do something will always result in a worse job than if you had done it yourself.
Originally Posted By: CKN
That's more than a few "surprises"...........
If I wanted ____ vehicle so badly I would have traveled by plane to inspect in person. Every used vehicle is a cream puff until the inspection. Good to hear you're happy with the purchase.
Originally Posted By: Inspecktor
Originally Posted By: gathermewool
I also said that paragraphs were overrated, too, but who wants to listen to me?
Not overrated at all....paragraphs please!
Originally Posted By: Reddy45
I will never believe that someone willing to buy a car via long distance is simply too busy to fly out on the 5AM outbound, look it over, and then catch a cab back to the airport for the 7PM flight home and to be sleeping in his own bed that night. You can get a LOT done in one day and it could save you from huge mistakes...
+1 I have advised against buying a used vehicle sight-unseen in MANY threads. Once again, one should NEVER buy a used vehicle without inspecting and driving it in-person BEFORE purchase.
1) Isn't there a Manheim Co. inspection service which, when bought for ?..$175?, mandates a 7 day sale cancellation period? 2) Gotta go with seeing a car first hand. A long trip from NYC to the NH coast then diagonally through NH to Middleton (practically Canada) to see 2 V70's. The first shifted clunkily. "I wasn't aware of that"....good to know people from New Hampshire can lie The second had rumbles and leakage. Darn!
I'd go through all that trouble for a 911. And I'd fly there in person. If something wasn't as advertised hopefully that would mean additional negotiating leverage.
How much did you end up spending? I'm looking to get a GL450 or GL550 and found a few 2011 models with around 100k miles selling for $18k to $25k
The only car I ever bought without inspecting it myself was the 2002, but it turned out okay. It was an eBay purchase and the car's condition was exactly as described.
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