c180 k just purchased

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by NOMONEYBUTAMERC, Jun 19, 2011.

  1. NOMONEYBUTAMERC

    NOMONEYBUTAMERC MB Enthusiast

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    My good friend Andrew asked me a couple of months ago to start looking for a suitable car to take over from his rusty 1997 C180. With a budget of £6.5 k ,a fairly easy challenge, although obviously down the scale of many on this forum!
    Spent numerous hours (days ! ) , scanning ads on the net, then decided to whittle the list down to a few cars to look at. Always amazes me that when you phone sellers and ask a few pertinent questions , the car is not "as described " , they bought it for the wife , who really didnt want a Merc , the FSH , was actually carried out by a mate , or they are just selling for a friend .
    Finally decided to look at 3 c180k coupes , a c180k avantgarde saloon , and a c220 cdi. We will have a look at all of them , then make a decision.
    First up , is the C180k avantgarde saloon . Drive 25 miles to see it , on an 05 plate , 47k on the clock , the seller is the 2nd owner , who has owned it for four years , and buying another Merc. Jasper Blue , with full black leather interior ( totally unmarked). A thorough look at the bodywork reveals a couple of very minor chips in the paintwork, which had been touched in . Asking a reasonable £6500. Drove like a new car, full MBSH , with the last service being 6weeks/650 miles ago.
    At this stage I am thinking , if I was looking for myself I would buy this, but cannot bring myself to make an offer until I know what Andrew is thinking . ( worse choosing a car for a friend than for yourself ). anyway , we need to look at a few more dont we ?
    Hang on , Andrew is about to cream himself , eyes glaze over , and suddenly blurts out , "would you take £6000 for it? " . Seller looks mortified , and said he would be prepared to take £6300 . Struggling to find fault with the car , i observed that two of the alloys were a bit scuffed , so would have to have them all refurbished , and I would value the car at £6000, Finally settled on £6150 , car being collected next week . Is this a fair price , and are there any particular quirks to look for on this model ?:)
     
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  2. markjay

    markjay MB Club Veteran

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    Fair price - yes. Quirks - not really :)

    It will be fully galvanised, so should not rust. :thumb:

    The only thing I am aware of that is a 'common' issue is the front passenger seat occupancy sensor, which brings-up the SRS warning when it goes, but not a big job to fix.

    Other than that... interior trim not very durable, so look after it well. The water-based paint is a bit soft and prone to stone chips as well as tiny lacquer scratches and swirl marks, so invest in Supagard and hand wash it with care.

    Avantgade trim will have lower/stiffer suspension so take care with speed bumps.

    At this age/mileage the spark plugs should have been replaced, same goes for the ATF, and air-filter. And the brake fluid every 2 years. All are 'additional work' and not included in the standard A and B services.

    This model can take a very neat retrofit of the latest NTG2.5 COMAND. Plus several other mods that Alfie did on mine (auto-folding external mirrors is one of them!).

    180K/200K not the most refined, and a bit booming at speed. Also, engine works hard at Motorway speeds, 3000+ rpm.

    And you'll get the dreaded 'delay after acceleration' issue... which is well documented elsewhere in his forum.

    But otherwise... car's a real gem. very enjoyable to drive. My 2006 hadn't missed a beat, well apart from the SRS issue which Olly (BlackC55) sorted out for me. Your good friend Andrew will enjoy it greatly and it will be reliable - I have no intention of selling mine (well not in the next couple of years anyway).

    Good buy! :thumb:
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2011
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  3. trapperjohn

    trapperjohn MB Enthusiast

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  4. BlackC55

    BlackC55 Authorised Forum Sponsor Authorised Forum Sponsor

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    The items they suffer with are:

    Although supposedly galvanised they still rust.
    Front and rear springs snap. (done 3 sets this last week).
    Timing chains stretch.
    Engine breather pipes split. There is one under the inlet manifold that's a bstard to get to.
    Water gets into number one coil and fills up the spark plug recess causing missfire.
    Plugs foul up
    Track rod ends wear out quickly.
    I think that's about it.
     
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  5. markjay

    markjay MB Club Veteran

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    Yes, seat out job. The new sensor is £135+VAT from MB for the part, 1-2 hours to replace. It's not underneath the seat, it's a sort of plastic mat that's inside the seat cushion - in fact it located between the seat cushion itself and the seat's frame, and requires removal of the seat cushion to get at. Apparently it is easier to do with cloth/fabric seats than with leather seats, something to do with the actual seat cushion removal once the seat is out. As said, Olly changed mine.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2011
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  6. OP
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    NOMONEYBUTAMERC

    NOMONEYBUTAMERC MB Enthusiast

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    Interesting comment about the brake fluid change Markjay. The owner fell out with MB Bristol over this. He had the car serviced a few weeks ago at a "special offer " price. When he dropped the car off he was told that they advised a brake fluid change @ £170 . As he had replaced the brake fluid 2 years ago , and not done a great deal of mileage , he thought this was a bit excessive. When he went to collect the car , he was told they could not stamp the service book as he had not complied with their recommendation regarding the brake fluid. After much argument , they wrote in the book , but would not stamp it! Whats so "special " about MB brake fluid that it only lasts 2 years ?
    As far as i am aware the brake fluid in my Skoda Octavia was not changed in 5 years/120,000 miles , and never had any issues with it.
    ( The digital readout on the dash says that next service is due in 8800 miles.on the c180 )
     
  7. markjay

    markjay MB Club Veteran

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    Replacing brake fluid every 2 years is indeed correct according to MB schedule.

    Other manufacturers say 3 years, but in my opinion 5 years is definitely too long.

    The brake fluid is hygroscopic and absorbs moisture. This reduce its boiling point and can reduce braking efficiency when hot.

    You can test it using a tester showing its boiling point, but even so you can only test the fluid in the reservoir and not in the calliper - and brake fluid does not travel around like coolant (as can be evident from the dark fluid that comes out of the calliper in comparison to the clear fluid in the reservoir).

    Unfortunately some dealers would indeed not stamp the book unless all other additional work items were carried out as well. There is some logic to it, because otherwise you could end up buying second hand car with fully stamped book thinking it was well maintained, but then in worst case scenario the ATF, brake fluid, and air and fuel filters will all be overdue and if any damage is caused you could complain to MB about sloppy maintenance while it isn't really their fault. On the other hand, it is obviously a good money maker, as a brake fluid change will cost as little as £40 form an independent using MB original brake fluid.

    But this does raise a bigger issue. Why do different manufacturers quote different maintenance schedules for same items? Spark plugs, air and fuel filters are all made by the same companies, yet the schedule vary considerably. MB quote 4 years for spark plug change, while my Toyota needed it does every 63k mileage (100K Km) regardless of age. And I would also argue the same for engine oil change and ATF change.

    The argument that different engines put different loads on these service items sounds a bit lacking to me.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2011
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  8. OP
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    NOMONEYBUTAMERC

    NOMONEYBUTAMERC MB Enthusiast

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    Just double-checked the Skoda service book , seems the fluid WAS changed 2 years ago at 80k miles. Reminds me , i should change the fluid on my 450sl.
    Main thing is , Andrew is over the moon with his car , although it seems he "forgot" to tell his wife he had bought it until monday evening when he drove it home ! oooops.:wallbash:
     
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