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Looking to buy 2008 S550 with 188,628 Miles - But There's A Catch!

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S-Class (W221) 2007-2013: S 320 CDI, S 350, S 450, S 500, S 550, S 420 CDI, S 600

Looking to buy 2008 S550 with 188,628 Miles - But There's A Catch!

 
Old 10-05-2016, 06:39 AM
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S550
Looking to buy 2008 S550 with 188,628 Miles - But There's A Catch!

Hello everyone, as the title suggests, a dealership that I've been loyal to for the past number of years currently has an 08' S550 for sale--the only thing is obviously the rather high mileage. As a BMW guy, I'm no stranger to German Automobiles or their possible expenses.

With that said however, my knowledge on Mercedes in general is rudimentary compared to my knowledge on BMW's. With BMW's, I'm used to the engine(s) itself being relatively bulletproof while the surrounding components tend to be less than stellar. I'm doing my due diligence and learning as much as I can about the M273 engine, so here's where things get a little interesting.

The car will obviously get a PPI and I'm able to request most things to be changed at the dealerships expense, here's my list so far:

Water-pump
Starter
Front Left & Right Strut
Coil-packs & Plugs

So that's the catch! What else can I add to the list of preventative maintenance to ensure this vehicle will last for at least the next 5 years/100,000 miles relatively trouble free?

Information about the S550:
New Transmission

Carfax: https://www.carfax.com/VehicleHistor...NG71X78A221516

VIN: WDDNG71X78A221516

Only two previous owners

In closing, what issues may be specific to this model/year that I should ensure are looked into? What else should I asked to be changed along with the aforementioned? Would YOU buy this vehicle if everything explained here would also apply to you? How confident are you in the M273 engine?

Asking price: $14,000

Thank you guys for your time!
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Old 10-05-2016, 08:18 AM
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I would pass...

Unless I bought from a Mercedes dealer and not a fly by night used car lot.

The dealer could have pulled records that possibly not be showing up on carfax

Also getting oil changes done at Pep Boys and Jiffy lube only showing on carfax is another ding for me.

Spend a bit more. At $14k is a bit too high
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Old 10-05-2016, 08:27 AM
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Considering everything in your original post- I would pass.

Last edited by alx; 10-05-2016 at 09:47 AM.
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Old 10-05-2016, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by amgm5s8 View Post
Unless I bought from a Mercedes dealer and not a fly by night used car lot.

The dealer could have pulled records that possibly not be showing up on carfax

Also getting oil changes done at Pep Boys and Jiffy lube only showing on carfax is another ding for me.

Spend a bit more. At $14k is a bit too high
Fair enough, but at the very least there are some records of maintenance on the CarFax itself.

I feel that $14k is a tad on the higher side as well, but I figure that would be a decent price when taking into account all of the maintenance I can ask for in return to offset said asking amount.

Thoughts?
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Old 10-05-2016, 08:32 AM
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$10k tops and oil changes at Pep Boys does not count for service records
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Old 10-05-2016, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by alx View Post
Considering everything in you original post- I would pass.
Any particular thoughts? Price too high? Sketchy history? Would you buy for a cheaper price if everything still applied?
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Old 10-05-2016, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by amgm5s8 View Post
$10k tops and oil changes at Pep Boys does not count for service records
True, I'll take your input into consideration. Thank you
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Old 10-05-2016, 10:01 AM
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The problem with a car like this is the surprise factor. Lets say you buy it for 13K and get some of the items covered that you mentioned. 2 months later the tranny pukes, 6 grand later and you still have a car worth 13K at best. Then 1 month later the motor mounts and struts or air pump die, several thousand dollars later and you still have a 13K car. The reason these high mileage cars are so cheap out of warranty is because of the ongoing maint. If 14K is your budget, go buy a nice used Accord. this car will destroy you financially.
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Old 10-05-2016, 10:38 AM
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Exactly. The trap is when the $14,000 car needs a repair that's 50% of its value, does nothing to increase the value, but makes the car virtually worthless if the repair isn't completed.
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Old 10-05-2016, 10:58 AM
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Yeah $14K is way expensive for that mileage and condition. In the NYC metro area it took a few seconds to find this one on Craigslist, a 2007 with about 100K on it, and there are many more where that came from:

http://newjersey.craigslist.org/ctd/5813114712.html

Or $13,800 for 158k miles and looks to be in good shape:

http://newyork.craigslist.org/brk/cto/5813569824.html

Or best yet, an AMG package car with 63K miles for 20 grand:

http://newjersey.craigslist.org/cto/5740728204.html

The point is, you can do way better.
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Old 10-05-2016, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by YouAreMyWorld View Post
Any particular thoughts? Price too high? Sketchy history? Would you buy for a cheaper price if everything still applied?
at 200k miles unless meticulously maintained this particular engine is on a steep declining curve as far as internals go. valve guides, cylinder #8 camshaft lobes, chain tensioner, even compression if you will. the 722.9 tranny is also most likely running with borderline slippage on clutches and can go downhill very quickly at any moment.

oh, and dealer is in this one for about $10-11k. just an fyi
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Old 10-05-2016, 02:23 PM
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I would avoid that car like the plague if I were you. A 190k mile Benz is nothing like a 190k mile Honda. You could easily be looking at $20k+ in repairs in the next couple of years. IMO, an S550 with that mileage is worth zero with all of the forthcoming bills you'll likely have coming your way. Alx has only touched on a couple of the things that will go wrong. There will be many more than that.

You'd be much better off buying one with 50k miles with a price in the low $20k's and purchase a solid aftermarket exclusionary warranty. You'll end up spending way less in the next couple of years (including the price of the car and warranty) and then have a car that actually has some value when the warranty expires.
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Old 10-05-2016, 03:45 PM
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why you would buy a 190k mile bmw? keep looking.
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Old 10-06-2016, 05:38 AM
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Do you have a mallet? Use it on your head for even considering purchasing this purchase. Unless you run your own repair shop, forget it. If you are in love with the car, offer them $7500. If it dies, just park in in your front yard and part it out over the course of the next couple years.
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Old 10-06-2016, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by sloanbj View Post
Do you have a mallet? Use it on your head for even considering purchasing this purchase. Unless you run your own repair shop, forget it. If you are in love with the car, offer them $7500. If it dies, just park in in your front yard and part it out over the course of the next couple years.
A bit harsh, don't you think? The guy has never owned a W221. So unless he's been a constant purveyor of the boards, he likely wouldn't know about all of the normal, and very expensive issues with a typical higher mileage S-class. Older BMW's for the most part have different types of issues as they get up in age and mileage than an S-class.
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Old 10-07-2016, 06:54 PM
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I own many high mileage cars:
325,000 w115
285,000 w123
245,000 w124
195,000 w140
My Dodge pickup is at 175k miles. But I will never buy a high mileage late model high end car. You will be fixing and maxing out credit card until it is someone else problem.
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Old 10-08-2016, 09:57 AM
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Yeah, the only way to get 200,000 trouble free miles on a W221 is to own four of them.
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Old 10-08-2016, 12:36 PM
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Don't do it unless your trying to finance this car to impress your friends and then hide the car out of embarrassment when it wont start any longer soon after.

190k for a honda/toyota car is pushing it. But for a Mercedes, your that sucker that the dealership is parading as their cash cow.
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Old 10-08-2016, 11:08 PM
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Originally Posted by mercedesbenzs55 View Post
190k for a honda/toyota car is pushing it. But for a Mercedes, your that sucker that the dealership is parading as their cash cow.
We have over 180k miles on my wife's Odyssey and it is running great. It is to the point that it needs about $600/year in maintenance and repairs, but that's nothing compared to a $600/mo car payment. I think it's good for at least a couple more years of reliable driving, which means we'll go around 9 years w/o a car payment for her.
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Old 01-30-2019, 09:42 AM
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Looking to buy 2008 S550 with 188,268 Miles

I own a 2007 S550 with 175,000 miles. Just paid $11,000 to bring it up to snuff: Timing Chain; Gas tank Charcoal cannister, Sunroof cables, Right side Air suspension struts. It runs AND LOOKS like new; of course it does! I just bought a "new" car. With Mercedes as with BMW, the more you pay to purchase, the more you pay for upkeep! THERE IS NO ESCAPE.
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Old 01-31-2019, 12:54 PM
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Replacement parts for a $15,000 S-Class cost the same amount as parts for a $120,000 S-Class. Replacement just comes more frequently with the former.
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Old 01-31-2019, 01:05 PM
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To buy a car with almost 200,00 miles and expect to get another 5 years/100,000 miles minimum out of it is wishful thinking at best. Wait awhile, save up some more money, and get a newer and lower mileage car. In the long run, you'll be glad that you did.

Just my 2 cents.
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Old 01-31-2019, 01:45 PM
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I think a good deal of the longevity discussion depends on the operating environment as well. Here in the desert your enemies are heat and sunlight, but never rain, salt, potholes, etc. Also, if you are paying someone to work on your car ... that gets expensive in a hurry.
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Old 02-01-2019, 04:16 AM
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W221 S550 (M273 engine)
Where I live, most cars get rolled back and I can guarantee you most W221's have never seen a dealership after their warranty expired and all are beyond 190k miles.
Do people drive them? Yes.
Are they crazy? Not as much as everyone itt seems to think.

With that said, there are two deciding factors here:
1. How good are you at spotting problems with the car before you buy it?
2. Can you work on the car yourself / do you have a cheap and reliable mechanic on hand?

If you think you can spot major issues beforehand AND eventually fix potentially big surprises yourself....go for it. If not, forget it.

Again with ALL that said, I wouldn't buy the car unless I'm absolutely sure that:
1. Air suspension won't crap on me soon.
2. The timing chain isn't due soon.
3. The car isn't affected by the swirl flap issue.
4. The car hasn't been in a major frontal accident (the steering rack is really a b...ch to fix).
5. The car isn't affected by the idler gear issue or it has been addressed.
6. The electronics are ok. (Dealership quoted me 6k for a new command unit which ended up being fine lmao).
7. The sunroof is absolutely ok. (So apparently this is also a REAL B...CH to fix due being very labor intensive).
8. The transmission works perfectly (I got real frustrated with mine because it was giving me a "kick" at low speeds and nobody could figure out what was wrong with it, was close to getting the whole transmission replaced because of it; ended up being some stupid 30$ solenoid that just needed cleaning, didn't even bother replacing it).

These are the major issues the car COULD have.
Check your engine number to see if you are affected by the idler gear issue, if so - get that done for free or pass on the car.
The rest, should be possible to determine from a PPI and an extensive test drive.

Good luck!

P.S. If engine throws cam codes, get all 4 camshaft adjuster solenoids replaced as well.

Last edited by alex070707; 02-01-2019 at 04:22 AM.
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Old 02-01-2019, 07:59 AM
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Whatever one you buy, it would be in your best interest to get a Star/Xentry system which IMO is an essential tool for these cars. Here's what I've been able to do with Star/Xentry and Vediamo.

Update Command - Video, Birds Eye View, etc Required to install the latest version of the maps available which vastly improved traffic updates.
Update Telaid to mBrace - Took them up on the trial, but it wasn't worth paying yearly for it.
Update Radar Sensors
Update Door modules - Times 4, One by one out of the blue the windows wouldn't respond to the controls.
Update Audio System
Update Keyless Go
Update Center Display
Enable AUX after iPod Kit installation
Coded a new set of headlights - Dealer wanted $169 for something that takes 10 mins to do.

Using the dealer quote for $169, the 12 updates above at a minimum would have cost me $2,028. I used my system to make every update to firmware that was made available for the 2007 model year
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