W210 E55 AMG purchase - newbie!

Discussion in 'Engine' started by reza_q, Sep 6, 2011.

  1. reza_q

    reza_q Member

    Messages:
    45
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    Car:
    W210 E55 AMG
    Hey all. My name is Reza and I work as a Research and Development Engineer within the Automotive industry. This looks like a great civilized forum with good conversation and I'm looking forward to have some good discussions.

    I'm kind of new to Mercedes Benz having not owned one since my C280 Sport many many years ago! BUT I am a true petrol-head and not particularly scared of running vehicles! My car list of some 50 plus cars has included;

    Impreza P1
    E30 M3 2.3 16V
    E30 325i Sport
    E36 M3 3.0 Convertible
    E36 M3 3.0 saloon
    E36 M3 EVO coupe
    540i Sport
    Audi S8
    Various Golf VR6's, including the 12V and the later 24V 4-motions in both Golf and Bora
    728i Sport
    740i Sport
    840Ci Sport
    330CI Sport
    328i Sport (a few of these)
    Accord Type R's
    Integra Type R's
    Alfa 156 3.2 GTA
    Alfa GTV 3.0 V6 Aero

    And lot's, lot's more! I'm absolutely and hopelessly addicted to running and restoring cars. I need to get married, pronto...currently I'm running a VW Golf GTI 1.8 16V MK2 in Pearl Grey, J reg and 3 door (yum) with a late 1999 BMW E36 M3 3.2 EVO 6 speed Individual on a T reg (God, these cars are just SUPERB!).

    Anyhow, there is a reason I'm posting on here! I'm just about to buy a pre-facelift E55 AMG (1998). Currently negotiating the price but I have a number of questions I hope that you fine people can help me out with....

    1 - The car is on 125K from new with a lady owner. It lives in a heated garage and has done since new. It's always been serviced at Mercedes dealers (I know that this is probably a bad thing!) and using Mobil 1 or Shell. What surprised me is that the couple have taken it in when the car has told them, and this appears to be every 20K worst case!!!! Do these cars run to 20K on extended service? I hate extended service intervals!! Needless to say the engine will have the oil changed every 3K from now on (excessive I know, but it's the lifeblood of the car and I'm very, very particular...)

    2 - It hasn't had any corrosion concerns or recalls through the useless Mercedes network. I had a good look around and it has slight bits at the bottom of the rear arches where the paint actually looks thin (what did Mercedes do wrong with these cars?!). I pulled the door rubbers back and the upper sections only have some surface bits and bobs around where it appears the spot welds would be. Since everything on this car has been completed at franchised Mercedes dealers, what is the deal with Mobilo and their rust warranty? It is 12 years old....

    3 - It hadn't been started since 24th August (owner has a rather splendid collection of cars!) and when he cold started there was a wisp of smoke for all of 0.5 seconds. Couldn't really seen whether it was blue or black. Car started very strong. Under-bonnet is immaculate. Truly. Is this smoke likely to be oil stem seals (be surprised, not changed those since my Escort RS turbos) or just residual fuel in the combustion chambers/catalyst?

    4 - There was a light smell of oil when running. The owner mentioned that the oil cap failed and spilt oil everywhere. A new cap was on the car, and there appeared to be oil all over the engine undertray and possible LHS bank ignition coil. It seems to me that the smell could have been this oil leaking onto the exhaust manifold? It just wants a good clean?

    5 - The owner has assured me that the engine takes no oil between servicing. I find that unlikely since there were a couple of Mobil 1 4 litre tubs opened in the garage. Are these engines oil tight, as it were? Or do they like a drop of the gold stuff?

    6 - It's never had any gearbox oil changes and again useless Mercedes have not even mentioned it to him/her. I have sent an email to Olly about completing this as an absolute priority. I've got good BMW connections and am familiar with BMW sealed for life nonsense, I guess MB are just the same?

    7 - The car has the BOSE upgrade, two tone leather, heated front and rear seats plus the Monoblock AMG wheels, all with Michelin Pilot Sports. It also has Xenons, but are there important options I am missing?

    8 - I didn't drive it but the owner did, very very gingerly. God this car has lived a very easy life! Coming from BMW circles I would suggest that the suspension felt a little softly sprung, and that the lower front ball-joints were knackered (mentioned by MB). Do these cars ride well, or is it tired at 125K? Just didn't feel as driver focused as any of my M cars....And what about the ball-joint cost? MB invoice suggested £174 all in, but this was 2008.

    Anyhow, that's me! Hope you guys and gals are able to help me out with some keen advice. And I do hope that I may be able to help you guys out in the future with some technical advice.

    Appreciate whatever you guys say.

    Many thanks

    Reza

    4 -
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2011
  2. gchild

    gchild Active Member

    Messages:
    507
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    Car:
    C280 Sport
    Welcome. That is some collection of cars.

    Im sure you will get the responses to your questions shortly
     
  3. W210 Fan

    W210 Fan MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    1,434
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    Location:
    Godalming
    Car:
    W140 S500L W208 430
    Hi reza,

    im on my third W210 E55 and I love them,

    1. the cars monitor the oil condition and if its been driven nicely 20k between services could be possible, I got 18k out of mine once but I wasnt happy with it, 10-12 is about what I go for, 3k is a bit over the top, the oil is about £50 a gallon and it takes 8 litres so its your call, my last E55 had 170k on the clock when I sold it and it still pulled like a train, the engine will outlast the car,

    2. yes, W210s rust, and in all the places you have already looked at, my point of view is that they are fast, reliable and comfortable, I put up with the rust, I dont bother messing about with merc for the repaint service I just have a man that does it, it costs me about £300 a year to keep on top of the rust, if the car has a full MB service history with the last service being within two years they will repaint the offending panel under the 30 year cover,

    3. a tiny wisp of smoke on a car that has been stood for a while wouldnt bother me,

    4. oil in the engine bay, it could have been the cap but check the rocker cover seals, they will get a bit hard at 120k and start to weep,

    5. the 55 engine can consume 1 litre of oil for every 1000 kilometres and be within spec, my last one liked a little drink of the golden and it never bothered me, it just meant that there was always clean oil in the sump!

    6. budget for about £200 for ollie at PCS to change the fluid, I get mine done at 100k and every 10-15k afterwards, its a no brainer as you have hinted it as `sealed for life` just doesnt wash,

    7. the engine is the important upgrade, the speakers are great though, xenons on a pre-facelift wasnt an option as far as I know, maybe somebody has retro fitted them? all front seats are heated, rears are a rare option, they all come with the 18" monoblocks and bilstein sports shocks which means she sits like a german muscle car should, personally I like parking sensors, you can get rear blinds but with light sensitive mirrors I think they are pointless,

    8. They are not driver focused like an M car is but if you want to scream through france in comfort I would choose the 55 all day, been there done that and loved it, they are heavy and the steering and suspension geometry is set up for comfort as it comes from the standard E class, although the shocks and springs are stiffer on the AMG you wont get the feedback you may be used to, most of them have parameter steering which is light at low speeds and gets heavier as you get faster, I look at these things as muscle cars with suprising handling, a boxter through the bends they are not, but a boxter just doesnt pull like the E55,

    hope this helps and welcome to the forum,

    mark
     
  4. W210 Fan

    W210 Fan MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    1,434
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    Location:
    Godalming
    Car:
    W140 S500L W208 430
    if you post the advert in the spotted in ebay section all the usual suspects can pour over it and spot things, many eyes spot many things and all that

    just been in the thinking room and come up with some more stuff,

    it might be worth checking the front discs, they are huge and expensive to replace, they are left and right handed,

    the handling comes from the massive tyres, 245 on the front and 265 on the rear, after that you better have some talent!

    the engine has another 100 newton metres of torque over the audi 4.2 litre unit which is where the huge pulling power comes from and thats kinda what the car is about,

    two good upgrades are the exhaust mod, ollie can help you with that, it sounds very nice, a quick youtube will pull up all sorts of stuff, the engine does sound great when its allowed to breathe

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bTZcYXtHnM

    and swap the flexible brake hoses for braided ones, if you dont like the power and you want to abuse the gearbox ollie was looking at a M113 (engine code) supercharger upgrade last time I was there,

    ollie is a very respected person on here, it would also be worth dropping the car into him after the purchase and getting him to check it over, I dont work for him but he looked after mine and you are trusting him with your life with a car like this
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2011
    1 person likes this.
  5. jeffwebb

    jeffwebb Active Member

    Messages:
    314
    Joined:
    May 19, 2006
    Location:
    Orihuela, Spain./ London, England.
    Car:
    E55 AMG + Suzuki Burgman 400
    Welcome to the forum.
    I would agree with Mark. If you are anywhere near Olly HERE pop in and get him to check it over, He looks after mine and I have been very pleased with the results. Good luck with the car.
    Regards, Jeff
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. SHAUNE55

    SHAUNE55 Banned

    Messages:
    143
    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    Location:
    Manchester.
    Car:
    '01 E55 : '99 E55
    My pre-facelift has them, it's option 617 on my datacard.

    This is interesting, I've heard of the 30 year cover but this is the first time I've heard it mentioned on a forum, they normally say 8 years. If the panel with the rust has had any previous touch ups or paintwork that wasn't done by MB it voids it.
     
  7. DogWagen

    DogWagen Active Member

    Messages:
    120
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    Location:
    Peterborough
    Car:
    BMW E91 325d and Alpina E46 B3s. Still miss my C43 AMG Estate - Azurite Blue
    Goodwill and MobiloLife


    My experience matches what Shaun says. The 'goodwill' extends up to 8 years from purchase provided that the car has a full MB history, you have owned it for over 6 months prior to making a claim and the panel has the original (or MB-repaired) finish. About 3 years ago I ended up with 2 new wings, a new tailgate and repairs to the roof and doors on my C43. The rear wings had been re-touched and didn't qualify.

    The MobiloLife is a different matter - keep up the service history up and you have UK/european rescue cover. Have a look at Mercedes-Benz UK - MobiloLife - Registered 24.10.98-31.12.03 to see what's on offer.

    Hope that helps,

    Mike
     
  8. EDZ649

    EDZ649 MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    4,001
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    Location:
    1066 Country
    Car:
    R129 SL600 V12
    Welcome to the forum.

    The smoke at start up is nothing to worry about, most of the 55 engines do it.

    As above the rocker cover seals do suffer with slight weeping, again nothing to worry about and a fairly easy, inexpesnsive diy job to change.

    The front ends do suffer with ball joint failure and anti-roll bar drop links, it's a heavy car up front but they do handle well for the size when pushed.

    Both of my previous 55's consumed about a litre of oil between services.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2011
  9. OP
    OP
    reza_q

    reza_q Member

    Messages:
    45
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    Car:
    W210 E55 AMG
    Hey gents

    Thanks for the responses! Makes such a difference to the purchase of the car.

    I have spoken/emailed Olly and once the car is in my possession it will be down to see him!

    I love the sleeper looks of the AMG, and always have! I just wished they sold more in black!

    I shouldn't think I would be doing more than lets say 3K a year in it, so servicing it more often than not is my preference! Costco Mobil 1 is cheap I here?!

    Yes the car has factory Xenons as opted by the first owner.

    I will post you guys some pics when she is here.

    BTW, I only have one key with it. Any idea how much Mercedes charge to supply and code a new one? Or is it like Gone in 60 seconds where they are all coded from the German factory lol?

    Thanks chaps
     
  10. EDZ649

    EDZ649 MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    4,001
    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    Location:
    1066 Country
    Car:
    R129 SL600 V12
    About £260 for a new key.
     
  11. W210 Fan

    W210 Fan MB Enthusiast

    Messages:
    1,434
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2005
    Location:
    Godalming
    Car:
    W140 S500L W208 430
    Yes i looked for 18 months for my first E55, it had to be black with black leather, theres a few about now, most are silver, im tempted by a black facelift estate with black and white leather, or a jasper blue W208 with black and white leather, choices choices
     
  12. Williamwoo

    Williamwoo Active Member

    Messages:
    569
    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2010
    Location:
    Somerset / Chives, France
    Car:
    W124 E320 estate / Audi A6 BiTdi / Skoda Yeti 4x4 / VW Caravelle
    I personally always make it a rule to drive any car I'm planning on buying. Merely being a passenger in the car when it was being 'very very gingerly' would concern me slightly - it is easy to hide problems when driving like this (e.g. steering tugging to one side? brakes unbalanced? gearchanges not as smooth as they should be under full throttle? etc).

    Welcome to the forum btw.
     
  13. OP
    OP
    reza_q

    reza_q Member

    Messages:
    45
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    Car:
    W210 E55 AMG
    Cheers Will

    **** on! I always get a drive, but when the chap told me it wasn't insured anymore I thought hmmmmm, rather you than me!

    I will insure for a day, give it a blast etc before taking her away...
     

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