High Mileage C Class .. Yay or Nay

JamRocky

New Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2021
Messages
17
Location
UK
Car
None yet!
Hello folks, I had seen a 2005 W203 C220 Cdi Avantgarde come up for sale near me. I’ve had 3 Mercedes so far, all petrol, 1x supercharged and 2x V6. Anyhoo, this C220 Cdi is a nice looking car and internally and externally looks a lot less miles than it is.
Here is the conundrum. It’s a very reasonable price, but it has 172k miles on the clock. It has a lot of history and a very comprehensive service record. I delved a little deeper and I could see that 108k miles was done in the first 3 years of the cars life. After this substantially less miles per year. Only 2k one year. The current MOT detailed just 2 advisories. Child seat fitted to rear and a tyre close to the limit. The MOT the year before just 2 advisories both tyres close to legal limit.
Being sold by a local dealer and will come with a brand new MOT and basic service.
What are your honest thoughts? I drive maybe 5k a year and I rather like the car, but that mileage! Woah! Thank you for your time and any replies!
 

markjay

MB Master
SUPPORTER
Joined
Jun 24, 2008
Messages
36,937
Location
London
Car
W204 C180 Executive SE 2013 Automatic / COMAND NTG4.7 and Morel speakers fitted by www.comand.co.uk
1. Buy on condition.

2. Check the service history for the first 2 years. Make sure the car was serviced at the correct mileage intervals, and not just once a year (and clocking 36,000 miles between services.....). With 108,000 miles in 3 years, it should have had 2-3 services (or at least engine oil and filter change) each year.

3. Get the suspension checked.
 

Petrol Pete

MB Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 11, 2016
Messages
7,141
Location
Petrol stations ...everywhere
Car
C55 AMG Wagon
Hello and welcome . I have a S203 2006 C class with almost 150K miles on it . We can not possibly compare engines and I can tell you nothing relating to the Diesel models. but a bit of the rest of it is somewhat the same .

Rust . rear sub frame (not as bad as the next series up W204) but have a bloody good look at it . wheel arches , under lip at the front and forward of the rear wheels , solid brake lines that run the length of the car hidden by panels so not easy to check without getting it off the ground.

Clicking noises from behind the dashboard or the air handling/aircon not quite blowing out of the correct vents. replacement linkage parts are pennies ....getting to them is sometimes a a completed dash off job , many hours of fun.

This is extreme , but it starts small. It's a 'known' to the point where pre fabricated pressed parts can be purchased to cut and weld in.

wheel arch rust c class.jpg
 
OP
OP
J

JamRocky

New Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2021
Messages
17
Location
UK
Car
None yet!
1. Buy on condition.

2. Check the service history for the first 2 years. Make sure the car was serviced at the correct mileage intervals, and not just once a year (and clocking 36,000 miles between services.....). With 108,000 miles in 3 years, it should have had 2-3 services (or at least engine oil and filter change) each year.

3. Get the suspension checked.
Thank you :) … not immediately put off by the mileage then!
 
OP
OP
J

JamRocky

New Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2021
Messages
17
Location
UK
Car
None yet!
Hello and welcome . I have a S203 2006 C class with almost 150K miles on it . We can not possibly compare engines and I can tell you nothing relating to the Diesel models. but a bit of the rest of it is somewhat the same .

Rust . rear sub frame (not as bad as the next series up W204) but have a bloody good look at it . wheel arches , under lip at the front and forward of the rear wheels , solid brake lines that run the length of the car hidden by panels so not easy to check without getting it off the ground.

Clicking noises from behind the dashboard or the air handling/aircon not quite blowing out of the correct vents. replacement linkage parts are pennies ....getting to them is sometimes a a completed dash off job , many hours of fun.

This is extreme , but it starts small. It's a 'known' to the point where pre fabricated pressed parts can be purchased to cut and weld in.

View attachment 116410
Thank you! Very handy. Oddly for W203 no visible rust on the arches either. Could possibly be a few scabs inside the lip, but just not a single obvious thing. That is what is puzzling about this car. Even with the interior. If someone told me it was a 100k car I wouldn’t bat an eyelid and I’ve seen a few recently with 50k+ less miles on the clock looking a lot worse. Also, MOT’s with advisories as long as your arm, but not so with this. A risk I’m sure, but how on earth does a car do 108k miles in the first 3 years. A taxi perhaps. Anyway, thank you for your generous reply!
 

Petrol Pete

MB Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 11, 2016
Messages
7,141
Location
Petrol stations ...everywhere
Car
C55 AMG Wagon
C class were not popular as taxi's .too small . Not saying it was not one but a 'rep mobile ' company car could easily rack up that kind of mileage in 3 years . Pool car ? Don't worry about it too much , follow your eyes. The rust thing is not universal . My S203 C class was £52K new in 2006 and is showing signs of rust . The one you are looking at would have cost almost a third of that and is showing no rust.

Mine was built in Bremmen Germany , the one you are looking at likely South Africa , all sorts of talk about experimenting with eco friendly paints and galvanising back then . take it all with a pinch of salt do your research , as you have started to do on here and I doubt you will go far wrong. 👍
 

markjay

MB Master
SUPPORTER
Joined
Jun 24, 2008
Messages
36,937
Location
London
Car
W204 C180 Executive SE 2013 Automatic / COMAND NTG4.7 and Morel speakers fitted by www.comand.co.uk
I sold my 2006 South African made W203 in 2017. At 11 years old, there wasn't a spot of rust to be seen anywhere. It was totally rust-free.
 
OP
OP
J

JamRocky

New Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2021
Messages
17
Location
UK
Car
None yet!
C class were not popular as taxi's .too small . Not saying it was not one but a 'rep mobile ' company car could easily rack up that kind of mileage in 3 years . Pool car ? Don't worry about it too much , follow your eyes. The rust thing is not universal . My S203 C class was £52K new in 2006 and is showing signs of rust . The one you are looking at would have cost almost a third of that and is showing no rust.

Mine was built in Bremmen Germany , the one you are looking at likely South Africa , all sorts of talk about experimenting with eco friendly paints and galvanising back then . take it all with a pinch of salt do your research , as you have started to do on here and I doubt you will go far wrong. 👍
What great replies! So grateful!
 
OP
OP
J

JamRocky

New Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2021
Messages
17
Location
UK
Car
None yet!
I sold my 2006 South African made W203 in 2017. At 11 years old, there wasn't a spot of rust to be seen anywhere. It was totally rust-free.
Well I’m not looking for anything amazing. It’s an older car, but I love Mercedes. I’ve owned more than 25 cars of all types with 3 Mercs and they are just my favourite. Although I had a new A Class as a hire car and didn’t get on with it all. Thank you for your reply!
 

Petrol Pete

MB Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 11, 2016
Messages
7,141
Location
Petrol stations ...everywhere
Car
C55 AMG Wagon
Oh , and all the bouncy up and down lever arm bits and linky things underneath on the suspension are cheap and easy to replace/repair when the time comes . Power steering rack carries one litre of fluid , easily changed (probably never been done) . Springs have been known to snap for no good reason , again , not the end of the world cost wise.
 
OP
OP
J

JamRocky

New Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2021
Messages
17
Location
UK
Car
None yet!
Oh , and all the bouncy up and down lever arm bits and linky things underneath on the suspension are cheap and easy to replace/repair when the time comes . Power steering rack carries one litre of fluid , easily changed (probably never been done) . Springs have been known to snap for no good reason , again , not the end of the world cost wise.
This all sounds positive! I also like the idea of renewing these parts over time. I’m not saying a hobby, but going through the car and having parts replaced to keep the old girl going sounds right up my street. What I would want to avoid is bang goes the engine or something dramatically more costly than the car itself.
 

MJJ

Active Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2020
Messages
123
Location
Wiltshire
Car
'09 S211 E220 CDi manual - 185k miles and counting
I bought a 2009 E220Cdi 18 months ago, 170k on it when I bought it and now on 184k. I am very impressed with the whole car. My example was bought as a very cheap stop gap car, and mine had no history evidence at all. I took a chance on it, expecting it not to last that long, but I have grown to respect it hugely - plenty of torque for the real world driving, does over 60mpg on long, sensible journeys (average is 45mpg), and regularly tows a hugely heavy trailer.

Other than normal servicing and consumables, mine has needed an aircon compressor (£350), a battery (£100), a thermostat (£60), fixing the tailgate seal (free), and two front springs (£150). There is very little rust on the underside (battery tray in the boot needed an easy, temporary repair), none on the body, and I trust it to keep on going for another 100k at least.

When I was looking to buy mine, I was hunting down at the cheapest end of the market and there 10 or 12 examples with 250k plus miles on them - still MOT'd and finding buyers.

This is just one data point, but on my experience, I would not be put off by the mileage OP. My only slight hesitation would be in the differences between C, and E class engineering. I had a W124 (E200) and a W202 (C180) as new company cars back in the 90s, and the E was an order of magnitude better engineered than the C. This is a different era for Mercedes compared to what you are considering though.

Martin.
 
OP
OP
J

JamRocky

New Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2021
Messages
17
Location
UK
Car
None yet!
I bought a 2009 E220Cdi 18 months ago, 170k on it when I bought it and now on 184k. I am very impressed with the whole car. My example was bought as a very cheap stop gap car, and mine had no history evidence at all. I took a chance on it, expecting it not to last that long, but I have grown to respect it hugely - plenty of torque for the real world driving, does over 60mpg on long, sensible journeys (average is 45mpg), and regularly tows a hugely heavy trailer.

Other than normal servicing and consumables, mine has needed an aircon compressor (£350), a battery (£100), a thermostat (£60), fixing the tailgate seal (free), and two front springs (£150). There is very little rust on the underside (battery tray in the boot needed an easy, temporary repair), none on the body, and I trust it to keep on going for another 100k at least.

When I was looking to buy mine, I was hunting down at the cheapest end of the market and there 10 or 12 examples with 250k plus miles on them - still MOT'd and finding buyers.

This is just one data point, but on my experience, I would not be put off by the mileage OP. My only slight hesitation would be in the differences between C, and E class engineering. I had a W124 (E200) and a W202 (C180) as new company cars back in the 90s, and the E was an order of magnitude better engineered than the C. This is a different era for Mercedes compared to what you are considering though.

Martin.
Thank you for the reply! I guess this car, like yours, is at the the lower end of the price scale due to that mileage. What a great story about your car though and very inspiring. I’ve had 2 W202. A 240 V6 and a 280 V6. A long time back and I absolutely adored them. The drive, the smooth and everything about it. If I could get a W202 with a modern Diesel engine and all in good order it would be brilliant, but at this low price point this W203 has caught my eye. It just looks in very good order. It’s the mechanicals I’m thinking of, but many say they are fairly robust IF they have the maintenance.
 
OP
OP
J

JamRocky

New Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2021
Messages
17
Location
UK
Car
None yet!
Hello folks, I had seen a 2005 W203 C220 Cdi Avantgarde come up for sale near me. I’ve had 3 Mercedes so far, all petrol, 1x supercharged and 2x V6. Anyhoo, this C220 Cdi is a nice looking car and internally and externally looks a lot less miles than it is.
Here is the conundrum. It’s a very reasonable price, but it has 172k miles on the clock. It has a lot of history and a very comprehensive service record. I delved a little deeper and I could see that 108k miles was done in the first 3 years of the cars life. After this substantially less miles per year. Only 2k one year. The current MOT detailed just 2 advisories. Child seat fitted to rear and a tyre close to the limit. The MOT the year before just 2 advisories both tyres close to legal limit.
Being sold by a local dealer and will come with a brand new MOT and basic service.
What are your honest thoughts? I drive maybe 5k a year and I rather like the car, but that mileage! Woah! Thank you for your time and any replies!
Well bugga me guys! I just rang up about it and it sold last night! Wasn’t meant to be I guess!
 

DSM10000

MB Enthusiast
SUPPORTER
Joined
Jul 12, 2011
Messages
9,094
Location
Near Salisbury
Car
E32O CDi Sport, MX5 1.8 Sport, RR 4.2 SC
I would say that if your annual mileage is 5k then a Diesel is not the best engine type to be considering.
 
OP
OP
J

JamRocky

New Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2021
Messages
17
Location
UK
Car
None yet!
I would say that if your annual mileage is 5k then a Diesel is not the best engine type to be considering.
I’ve considered this, but the petrols are too thirsty. I’ve had diesels now for about 5 years and they’ve been infinitely better if I give them periodic longer runs. Pandemic hit the mileage last year. Think I did 1k!
 

MJJ

Active Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2020
Messages
123
Location
Wiltshire
Car
'09 S211 E220 CDi manual - 185k miles and counting
I would say that if your annual mileage is 5k then a Diesel is not the best engine type to be considering.

I would agree with this on the later DPF equipped vehicles, as the risk of an expensive failure in the emissions aftertreatment kit is fairly high. However, DPF was not fitted as standard on the 220CDi until 2010 (in the E Class at least).

Martin.
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom