Am I going to kick myself?

Will

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I have just been looking at a 1997/R C280 Sport (facelift model V6)
It was a nice spec car - grey leather, electric drivers seat etc etc
117K - MB history to 70K, some other garage for the last few services.
Nice colour combination, Azurite blue, grey leather, carbon trim etc.
A few things spoiled it:
Obviously has had its fair share of knocks over the years as a few panels have been painted. He admitted that it had a light N/S/F knock recently and had the bonnet, wing bumper etc repaired/replaced and painted. It also had a new tyre on this corner!
Fairly grubby, smoked in and a slight rip on the drivers doorcard.
Air Con was not working properly, ie, not blowing cold! You could just hear it cut in but it wasn't cold.
Obviously not been "cherished", needed a good service and the oil was grubby etc.
It had a strange sort of rattle coming from one of the engine ancilleries as the engine came to idle from revving, and as you first pulled away? No idea as to what it was - possibly power steering pump or one of the pullies/tensioners, around that area?
Was imported in 1998 and has had 4 owners (3 technically as he was on the V5 twice with his company names).
He wanted £6000 and dropped to £5500 but I didn't have the bottle and my gut feeling was not right. It does seem very cheap, but only if these repairs were not too expensive. Ie, fixing the air con and the rattle, along with a thorough service and a few miscellanious items, as well as anything I may have mixed could make it into a more expensive car, especially with 117K miles.
I just kept on saying to myself "a 1997/R Facelift C280 Sport, good options and £5500!"
If i budget £1000-1500 for repairs, it is still a fairly cheap car.
But...I went with my head and not my heart on this one and walked away.
So now for the mind games....
Should I have....?!!
Cheers,
Will
 

Brian WH

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There are plenty of Good Motors out there, so why be happy with second best. A better one is always round the courner and worth the wait.

These "heaps" give MB owners a bad name, and they are not worth the trouble of trying to bring them back to acceptability mate. Walking away is the only answer.:cool:
 

GregE240

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I agree with Brian - you were better off walking away.

It could have possibly been quite a sum of money for you to invest in such a car (don't know), and £1,000 estimates can double. Quickly. Welcome to MB servicing charges.

In hindsight, an AA inspection or similar may have provided more information as to what was amiss, but given secondhand C Classes are two a penny, I think you did the best thing in saying a polite no thanks.

Your car is out there, mate. The best things come to those who wait.

ATB,

Greg
 

jaymanek

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yeh i have the option of buying a clk right now...i havent seen many nice ones out there. This particular one is perfect spec, but the scratches all over the bodywork put me off... It would not cost much to put right, but its not the same as buying a mint one....

Im gonna wait and you probably made the right decision too..
 

andy_k

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repeat after me this simple buying guide.....

"there is nothing as expensive as a cheap Mercedes"

rather than walking away it's often better to run - that way you are further away before the nagging doubts start :)

Andy
 

John Peerce

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i think you did the right thing by walking away. It sounds like it has too many "dodgy" things in its current state and history.

As one poster said above, there are plenty of other cars to choose from.

When i bought my car, the air con wasn’t blowing cold air. I didn’t think much of it, i thought i just have to re-fill it with refrigerant gas, right ? WRONG ! it turns out the air con condenser is rusty and leaking. Cost £450 to put right. Plus many other things i had to replace in the car.

The one lesson i now learnt from buying used cars is there is no point in buying a neglected used car and THEN trying to take good care of it. You will find there are all sort of problems due to the way previous owners drove/treated the car, and you can never get it back to "perfect" working condition, you will just keep spending and spending. The only exception to this is if you are a mechanic or experienced enthusiast, in which case you can do the repairs yourself and maybe save money.

Get yourself a well looked after used car, not a neglected one, and you will easily get back the extra premium you spent on the purchase price and you will also get peace of mind.. which is priceless !
 
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Steve_Perry

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Will,

You've done yourself a favour by walking away. Better to buy a car you are happy with. Remember... if in doubt walk away. If you are serious about purchaing a particular car and you want peace of mind, go for a professional inspection, such as the AA inspection, that should pick up all but the most minor of faults.

You say the seller admitted the car had a recent knock, would he or you be able to tell if the chassis had been bent?

There'll be plenty more decent cars to drool over ;)

S.
 

jaymanek

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just a note for the future though:

Remember that cars more than 2 or 3 yrs old almost always have suffered from minor scratches or small dents, if these have been repaired to a good standard, then i wouldnt worry. But anything more, then walk away... A C280 is an expensive vehicle to maintain anyway and you dont want any unexpected items...

Good luck in your search!

Jay
 

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