Can an S-Class be run on a budget? - Rojer
I've just bought a Mercedes S280 1997 4-speed with 95K and FMBSH to 88K. Short service due shortly.

Can an S280 be run on a budget? I'm aware of Euro Car Parts and German-Swedish for parts. I've been told that cheap tyres are a false economy on this heavy tyre-wearing car. But what is the detailed service schedule on an S280? I don't intend to use Mercedes Dealerships for .. ermm .. anything really as they didn't seem to want to sell me a car in the first place ... I tried three times over 18 months and failed!

I did managed to keep my 9 year-old 190E going for another 11 years by changing fluids once a year and a 'full' service every four or five years. It was rust and the 350,000 or so that finally got it. Can an S280 be treated in anything like the same way? Surely a service every 9,000 miles is pessimistic and covers those drivers who thrash their cars. I NEVER race my car, I always let it warm on first starting and avoid short journeys wherever possible.

I'd like to keep it for another 10 years, at least so I'm not really interested in keeping a resale value ... at all. Any help, tips, experience, advice or links very appreciated.
rojer@lycos.co.uk

1.3 'A' Astra
'W' Renault 18
'H' Renault 25 TXi
'H' Astra Est
'K' Passat
'
Can an S-Class be run on a budget? - Ben {P}
9k miles will be ok IF you use high quality full synthetic oil, like Mobil Amsoil, Valvolene, Redline etc. I still think 12 months is a bit long for an oil change though.

Cost co do Michelin cheap.
Can an S-Class be run on a budget? - Rojer
> 9k miles will be ok IF you use high quality full synthetic
> oil, like Mobil Amsoil, Valvolene, Redline etc.

I've been ringing around and one garage said that Magnatec isn't that different in quality to Mobil 1 etc although it is only partly synthetic but just change it 2000 miles or so earlier but much cheaper to buy in the first place circa £10 per litre difference (I need 7.5 litres).

Should I REALLY avoid Magnatec and stick to Mobil 1 / Amsoil type of fully synthetic oils?

> I still think 12 months is a bit long for an oil change though.

I don't think I'll do more than 9000 miles a year anyway but I shall try to source a friendly garage who'll change the oil more regularly than once a year.

Is 1 year really too long? What do others think?

> Cost co do Michelin cheap.

Michelin tyres? I think the S280 tyres are seriously wide at 245/60 something. Do they stock these? I've found the cheapest at £100 per incl balancing but I'm told I should stick to well-known branded tyres.

Thanks for your help so far folks ..

rojer@lycos.co.uk

1.3 'A' Astra
'W' Renault 18
'H' Renault 25 TXi
'H' Astra Est
'K' Passat
'
Can an S-Class be run on a budget? - Ben {P}
Castrol magnatec at typical halfords price is a rip off in my opinion. Its not really better than any other semi-synthetic oil. Silkolene 10W-40 is good. Round here, se london, i can buy 4 litre of Valvolene full synthetic for £15, ie cheaper than magnatec at halfords. go to a good motor factor and see what synthetic they do. £34 for 4 litres of mobil is a lot of money!!

Most of the time i buy my tyres from micheldever. give their head office a ring and they will offer you better advice than me. I personally do not like "cheap" tyres. tyres are very important as regard to safety. i never want the unfortunate pleasure of dealing with a high speed blow out. Just thought i would mention cost co as i was impressed with the prices when i last visited.

If you are not going to be doing many miles, the type of use will determine the best service interval for you. If you do many short trips, no matter of the milleage, it would be best to change the oil more regularly in my opinion. If you do the occasional longer trip, and stick to the good oil you should be ok. I am not sure but i think your s class would of had full synth from new at a Merc dealership. I know bmw recently (few years ago) started elongating service intervals as they switched to fully synthetic oil.

Ben
Can an S-Class be run on a budget? - Cardew
As usual in the Backroom there is a heavy emphasis on the type and frequency of changing oil.
Given the way you treat the car I submit that the 280 engine is the least of your concerns if you change the oil every 10k or so miles - they last for huge mileages.

Like most(not all) modern cars it is the rest of the car that can give expensive problems if you are unlucky. Suspension, electronics, drive train, ABS etc.

The car is really solidly made and you are likely to get a lot of trouble free miles out of it.


Can an S-Class be run on a budget? - Rojer
Thanks Ben and 'Cardew'. I found the tyre site and I shall ask my regular tyre dealer too.

Am I right in thinking that 'fully synthetic' oils are all very similar in quality (i.e. a cut above all non-fully sythetics?)

If I'm saving £30 or £40 per oil change I'm happy to do an oil change 1 or 2 thousand miles earlier but pay a little less per change. I imagine this might even be better than waiting until the oil starts to approach full level of saturation of engine rubbish.

And yes, you're right, MB DOES only use fully synthetic oil from new.

Thanks for your help so far guys.

Does anyone out there know what work exactly is done on an S280 at each of the schedules service intervals? I'm dying to know!!!

PS Off to look at ANOTHER S280 tomorrow! My family are so impressed that they all seem to want one now!

;)
rojer@lycos.co.uk

1.3 'A' Astra
'W' Renault 18
'H' Renault 25 TXi
'H' Astra Est
'K' Passat
'
Can an S-Class be run on a budget? - THe Growler
Slightly at a tangent, proably should be on tech forum but this topic is exercising hot debate amongst my local drinking/motoring circle at the moment. There is tons of research and opinion on the 'Net, and so much individual opining, prejudice and preference that it can all get mighty confusing.... So, first off my MB importer pal says absolutely synthetic and nothing less will do for yours.

Fossil oil is for your lawnmower and your Harley-Davidson ;-)!

Mobil 1 is of course regarded as the standard but there are no bad brand synths so choose whatever suits your pocket is his view. He uses Shell. He also says pay more attention to the rest of the car than just the oil changes on the basis the engine is the most bomb-proof part of the car. He is German MB factory-trained by the way. The old saw of breaking in your engine on fossil first to achieve the necessary fit wear because synth was too slippery is now dead he claims, and all Mercedes and BMW's run synthetic straight from the factory.

OT again but this is a gem. A US pal of mine runs a small interstate trucking company. All his Cummins engines run on synthetic and the oil gets changed at 100,000 (that's what I said) miles. This equates more or less to annually. Well when you consider one of those takes 78 quarts.... He usually runs the trucks to about 1.5 million miles then sells them in Canada to a company which breaks them and rebuilds tow-trucks, fire engines, industrial gen-sets and low mileage utility vehicles using second hand reconditioned parts. He claims when they tear down his Cummins diesels after all those miles they can still find the original honing marks on the bores.

Now here is an interesting slant to this. He worries less about changing the synthetic oil than changing the filters. Each truck gets a filter change every 3 months or so, and he regards this as a primary reason for the longevity.

Hope that sort of answers the S-Class oil issue!!
Can an S-Class be run on a budget? - Rojer
Guys! I am SO impressed!

You are ALL so knowledgable! If not yourselves, at least your pals seem to be ..

;)

Okay some more facts: Money to me is no object, but I object to corporate rip-offs. Such as "Mercedes does the best service" and, "Must be Mercedes approved 'x', 'y' and 'z'" at twice the price and, "Must be serviced at X,000 miles" etc.

I'm just trying to separate the real facts from the profit-squeezing.

You're all helping me get a Mercedes, if not general, car education!

I shall ask my 4-Mercedes-owning friend who belongs to the Mercedes Benz Oweners Club but I'll ask you anyway, does anyone else know of a good MErcedes Specialist in or aorund York or Watford?
rojer@lycos.co.uk

1.3 'A' Astra
'W' Renault 18
'H' Renault 25 TXi
'H' Astra Est
'K' Passat
'
Can an S-Class be run on a budget? - Mark (RLBS)
In answer to your first question "Can an S-Class be run on a budget?" - it depends.

It most certainly can be run, maintained and serviced on a budget. And Mercedes that I have owned have rarely cost anything substantial. The problem is that you might get a serious problem - and if you do it will blow any budget you have out of the window.

The question is really "How likely is an S-Class to have a major problem - belts, chains, air-con, bearings, rack, diff, gearbox and all that sort of horribly expensive stuff.

And I would assume, although I don't know, that the likelihood of a major issue is down to how it has been treated in the earlier parts of its life, assuming that you are not buying new.

In my experience, its not very likely to happen. But if it does it might take a car, that is basically sound and that you are happy with, off the road because your budget will not allow for the cost of repair.

Again, part of that and the risk of that, would be whether you have a budget that you want to keep it under, or a budget that you *need* to keep it under because you cannot afford more. I think you always need to have a car where you have some financial headroom over the likely costs.

If I bought a car with, just for example, likely running costs of $1000 per year, I'd probably want to be in the position of being able to spend, say, $2000 if something went wrong.

Everytime I have bought a car which I can only just afford to run, I have always been caught out by unexpected expenditure.
Can an S-Class be run on a budget? - Gazza
Hi,

My dad just saw this post and will be (has been) interested in buying one of these in August/September when he gives back his company car.

Would you mind if I ask how much did you pay for the S280 and the age and mileage?

Thanks,
Garrison
Can an S-Class be run on a budget? - Rojer
I don't think you'll get a similar deal to mine as the 1 FMBSH owner from new left the country the next day and he priced it to sell. Let's just say it was worth my brother driving from London to Stirling THAT VERY AFTERNOON THAT WE SAW THE ADVERT.

It had 92K miles and in addition to the 1996 'P' reg spec. it has leather, hidden aerial, Panasonic pop-off CD player, metallic paint and side air bags.

On a private sale do not approach anywhere near 10,000. If you shop around you'll find things coming in at £8500.

Haggle and ask any question you want of the owner. You, at the end of the day, are doing THEM a favour, not the other way around. We saw a whole bunch of duff Mercs (okay, three) and drove hundreds of miles in the process ... but it was worth it in the end. Never be afraid of walking away. Spend as much time checking out the owner as you do the car and look out for suspicious stories.

Oh, and while I'm at it ask the following and save time and effort:

o IS it from Japan? (or some other country)
o Which side is the steering wheel on?
o Has it got ANY dents at all? (including dents that you did last week / yesterday / hadn't spotted)
o Are you a diplomat? (Because you can't get trading standards to do anything about their lies)
o Are you really going to be there when I visit or will you cancel when I am five minutes away?
o Does full Mercedes Benz History mean that all the services were done without missing any at a Mercedes Benz dealership?
o When you say 'immaculate', is that before or after the accident is repaired and the stone chips and missing parts of the body are replaced?
o Is that mileage in miles, kilometres or some other unit that you've just made up?
o Are the leather seats made from cloth?

Okay, it's a little tongue-in-cheek but believe it or not, we had ALL of the above

!!!!

Get a fax of their V5 sent and get it HPI checked. Ask them if the service history IS complete.

My brother has just chipped in with two more we found when we were looking for a (sorry) BMW (!):

o Has it REALLY got air conditioning or are you just confused by the maximum output of the normal heater on the coldest setting?
o Is it REALLY automatic or do you have to have a robotic arm / passenger with nothing else to do for the next 10 years?

;)

Apparently he got to the sellers addresses and the above would have saved time


rojer@lycos.co.uk

1.3 'A' Astra
'W' Renault 18
'H' Renault 25 TXi
'H' Astra Est
'K' Passat
'
 

Value my car