To buy or not to buy??

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Abb, Mar 15, 2019 at 8:32 PM.

  1. Abb

    Abb Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Right folks. Since a fellow member posted this link up a few days ago, i took an instant shine to it.

    A good buy for someone

    It’s a 2011 61 plate CLS 350 with a great spec.

    I have made some enquires with the seller, some of which is a little odd but that aside it appears to be a straight honest car.

    It is a one owner car and has a full documented MB history, from MB Guildford/Surrey (it was Tony Purslow the 1st two and then Surrey & Hampshire there after)

    MOT history is good, an advisory some years ago for play in wheel bearings around 38k, and is due a B service incl brake fluid change in Sept this year.

    I am not in a position to view it, let alone test drive it. They won’t allow it to leave their premises but are more than accommodating for any inspection to take place on their site.

    Trying to get an indie to do this was harder than I thought!

    None seemed interested even one which is 1.5 miles down the road! I have managed to find a mobile MB mechanic who will carry out the inspection incl STAR diagnostics and take it for a test drive too.

    (Mobile Mercedes he is called IIRC Paul Rodgers, based in Surrey)

    The seller is not willing to knock 50p off at this moment in time as he states there is no movement on price as the car is priced well at £14,998.

    My main concern with this is the chain tensioner and check valves in the M276 engine, which this car falls into the affected range of both.

    So really my question is (and possibly seeking reassurance) what would other members do?

    As I really do like the car, it suits my needs, it’s the right colour combo, spec, mileage and price bracket for me.

    BUT I don’t wish to cut my nose off to spite my face as they say, and buy a car which has such issues with the engine!

    Help please before I pay for the inspection!
     
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  2. flowrider99

    flowrider99 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    No COMAND, does that matter to you?
     
  3. jdrrco

    jdrrco Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Way to make me feel responsible!

    If they won't let it leave their premises, if you can't test drive it, don't even consider it. That's got to sound the loudest alarm bells.

    As good as it looked originally, there's no way I would buy a car if the seller refused a test drive.
     
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  4. jdrrco

    jdrrco Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    It has Comand. As stated clearly in the text of the ad, listed in the VIN decoder and even a photo of it!
     
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  5. DrFeelgood

    DrFeelgood MB Club Veteran

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    I like it but I wouldn't buy a car of that age from a non-franchise dealer. I'd prefer a year warranty to sort out any niggles.
     
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  6. flowrider99

    flowrider99 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    So it has, I missed it on the data card.
     
  7. jdrrco

    jdrrco Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Surely, by definition, cars of that age are not sold through franchised dealers...
     
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  8. flowrider99

    flowrider99 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I don't think that's an issue, it's not a really expensive car and it is 7.5 years old which I thought put it outside of the dealer network.
     
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  9. clk320x

    clk320x MB Club Veteran

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    They aren’t refusing a test drive, they are refusing to let the indie take it away to their garage for inspection.
     
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  10. clk320x

    clk320x MB Club Veteran

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    I think the main concern for Abb at the moment is the chain tensioner/check valve issue. Does anyone have experience/more information on this issue?
     
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  11. OP
    OP
    Abb

    Abb Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Yes it is all your fault! :D

    On a serious note, my apologies for any misunderstanding. They will allow a test drive, they just won't allow the car to leave the premises to be inspected at the indie down the road, and the indie wont leave his premises to go and have a look for me!:wallbash:

    A sated they are more than accommodating to have any inspection carried out at their premises and a test drive to be undertaken with the only stipulation is one of the salespeople accompanies the driver, which is fair enough in my book.
     
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  12. OP
    OP
    Abb

    Abb Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I can see your point Dr, personally I do all I can to avoid buying form garages and would rather buy privately every day of the week, unfortunately I have hobsons choice on this one.
     
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  13. OP
    OP
    Abb

    Abb Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    This is my main concern. I have read and have had input on other threads re this M276 lump, is this really a case of you pay your money, you takes your chance!
     
  14. DrFeelgood

    DrFeelgood MB Club Veteran

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    Could be chaps, I usually sell on cars of that age rather than buy.
     
  15. jdrrco

    jdrrco Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Re-reading, I see what you meant - sorry for the confusion. In that case I'd get the inspection done and specify that you want them to look into the chain tensioner and check valves issue. Hopefully, an MB specialist looking at it would know to do that anyway.

    If you really like the car anyway, just factor in the cost of potential remedial work and decide if it's worth it to you at that cost. It's what I did with the 500SB and I'm still in credit (at the moment!). However, even if I wasn't, I wouldn't regret my decision.

    Look at people who buy classics and spend many thousands more on their car than it will ever be worth.

    The question is what it's worth to you.
     
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  16. John

    John MB Club Veteran

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    I wish.
    No negotiation and not willing to allow the car to be inspected even round the corner would see me move on. It's one step from charging an admin fee - of which any mention of this and I wouldn't even entertain the idea. After all, they won't care that you spending your hard-earned.

    Having bought a car from an inde - they drove it to my choice of inde (30 minutes away), waited for the inspection and were prepared to negotiate on the results and gave me £500 off. Not a tough decision to buy!

    They will probably end up hanging on to the car for months and selling it for less than you'd offer now.
     
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  17. Will

    Will MB Club Veteran

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    I think the trouble is although we know Abb as a forum member, to someone selling a car that doesn’t he’s just a random guy on the phone/net they don’t know at all. Would we all be happy to let a random person who’s enquired about a car we were selling take it away unaccompanied (or hang around for quite some time?) for it to be taken away to a garage that we may know nothing of either. And let’s face it the majority of cars like this aren’t taken away for inspections.

    Might explain their standpoint? They might be thinking it’s a time waster or just not worth the hassle (ie someone local might buy it instead?)

    Aside from that, I think the car itself looks lovely - for a CLS350 :cool:

    The age/mileage almost certainly explains the non-franchise thing, I can’t see any main dealer retailing a car like that?

    Thing is, you could have it inspected and test driven, and couple of months later it could still spit it’s dummy out. I’d want to know what sort of warranty they would offer, and how it would work if you needed to use it (not being local yourself)

    Other than that, if it’s what you want I’d just buy it. Any old car out of warranty can throw surprise bills. It’s lasted 7/8 years and 60k+ miles already so unless the inspection throws up any real nasties what have you got to lose? Regardless of what they may offer you will still have your basic consumer protection if it turns out to be a real lemon, which I’m sure it won’t be :)

    Best of luck :thumb:
     
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  18. WOODYTHEWISE

    WOODYTHEWISE Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Hi ABB . Mercedes cars under 10 years old with history can be covered under an MB Tier 1.
    I do this with all MBs I have purchased. Sometimes I never needed it. Other times I have saved a small fortune.
     
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  19. E55BOF

    E55BOF MB Club Veteran

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    Start by assuming the worst case. The tensioners and check valves will need replacing. The dealer's aftermarket warranty is pretty worthless. The dealer won't play ball when you try to enforce your legal rights, which will be a time-consuming pain in the bum, and may not be successful anyway.

    Get your indie to check it out; that should at least give you an indication of any problems. If he says there are signs the tensioners and check valves need attention, I doubt a Tier 1 warranty would cover that; presumably MB will want to check the car over before selling you said warranty? If all appears well, add the cost of the warranty to the cost of the car.

    Get a quote to do both the tensioners and the check valves. Add that to the cost of the car. Is it nice enough that, if it comes to it, you are prepared to pay the total with the Tier 1 warranty, or with the quote, for it and still be happy with the deal?

    If any of the worst-case assumptions are wrong, you're better off than you were prepared to be. There will almost certainly be other things needing attention; if not, you're quids in there too. Ultimately, as with most used cars, you're taking a chance.

    Do you feel lucky?
     
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  20. OP
    OP
    Abb

    Abb Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Thanks for the advice folks. Some great advice and having slept on it, I have decided to take the plunge all things considered. Yes, I get that it is a used car and it could have potential issues, but have weighed up my options based on the above and I think as I am going in eyes wide open, I cannot do more than that.

    I will assume it needs chain tensioners and check valves, anything else is a bonus.
    I will assume the warranty isn't worth the paper it's written on.
    I will assume the dealer will not play ball in the event of any warranty claim.
    I will assume the dealer will wash his hands of me as soon as money has exchanged hands.
    I will assume MB will not touch me with a Tier 1 warranty which covers the issues affecting this engine.
    I will assume the dealer will not enter negotiations on any minor faults found.
    I will save my money, to go towards potential repair costs oppose to taking out any further warranties, MB or any other.

    Looks like I am onto a winner then :D

    The indie has asked me to contact him later today to arrange a time for him to carry out the inspection, which should hopefully be Monday.

    I will update this thread once I have confirmation of inspection.

    Thanks again for all the advice, as mad as some of you may think I am! :p
     
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