Merc C200 Estate - Peter D
I thinking of privately buying a C200 2L Manual 5D est to replace my ageing Volvo 240SE Est. The car is spotless inside and out but it has done 80k with a full SH. Any thoughts on this car and anything I should be looking for. Regards Peter
Merc C200 Estate - Peter D
Hasn't anyone got an opinion on this ??
Merc C200 Estate - Dynamic Dave
Hasn't anyone got an opinion on this ??


You *might* have better luck over in Discussion

----> kick

DD.
Merc C200 Estate - MW
What year?
Merc C200 Estate - Peter D
Late 98 S plate
Merc C200 Estate - Marc
On a 98S it may not have air con unless it's an "Elegance" spec. This affects resale value. The biggest issue here however is the fact that it's a manual, not popular at all on an MB and a bit clunky. Worth significantly less than an auto.

Apart from that I think they're lovely cars
Merc C200 Estate - Aprilia
Nothing wrong with a manual Merc. In fact buyers of older Mercs looking for a towing car or a 'load lugger' often prefer a manual. I've sold a few of them.

Make sure that the gearbox is filled with the *correct transmission oil* - even the dealers put the wrong stuff in and it makes the 'box baulky, esp. on a cold morning.

The 'box should have a Type A Suffix A ATF, which can be difficult to get hold of (go to an Elf Oil agent and buy 'Trans-O-Matic - 5litre is about £15, the 'box takes 1.5 litres). Most older manual Mercs are running around with Dexron ATF in teh 'box, which is the wrong stuff and which is why everyone says Merc manuals are 'baulky'.
Merc C200 Estate - Aprilia
Just to add some general C-Class check points:

Check wiper mechnism works OK - not clunks/thumps.
Exhaust manifolds on 4-cyl engines often found to be cracked at 80k+ miles.
Rear suspension needs checking carefully - its multilink. Put a prybar around all bushes and also check for irregular tyre wear.
Moisture traps each side of boot floor which can encourage rusting.
Cats can fail early.
Merc C200 Estate - Aprilia
One more thing......

Check the cooling system and esp. the waterpump. There have been cases where overheating has occured and not only does the head gasket fail, but the pistons are prone to melting!

Unless you know a fair bit about cars I would get it checked by someone - these cars can become seriously expensive if you have major faults.
Merc C200 Estate - Peter D
Thanks Aprilia. I'm still considering the car and will take another look at it next week. Regards Peter
Merc C200 Estate - And1
Hi Peter D

I get the impression you think this car is high mileage. In fact its barely run in at 80k. 250-300k - no problem. Don't let the mileage put you off in your decision. A.
Merc C200 Estate - Aprilia
Hi Peter D
I get the impression you think this car is high mileage.
In fact its barely run in at 80k. 250-300k - no
problem. Don't let the mileage put you off in your decision.
A.


Having had my hands on *many* C-Class, I would have to disagree that 250-300k is no problem. This kind of thinking can get you into trouble.

A 4-cyl C-Class *can* do over 200k in some circumstances, but many will need major work. Valve stem oil seals and valve guides can go at around 150k. Lots of manifolds cracked by that time too (not a cheap repair). The bushes in the arms of the complicated multi-link rear suspension may also be shot (esp. on an estate). Head gasket failures are not uncommon at high mileage.

Autotransmissions typically need rebuilding at 150-200k. Manuals can last longer. Look out for diff leaks (will start to whine). A rebuilt diff is about £1200 from the dealer!

Personally I would be relucatant to run a C-Class over 150k - unless I got it very cheap and was ready to spend some money on repairs.
Merc C200 Estate - And1

Sorry I was speaking from my experience with a BMW 525 auto.
217k miles with no problems. Maybe Mercs need more care.
Merc C200 Estate - Aprilia
Sorry I was speaking from my experience with a BMW 525
auto.
217k miles with no problems. Maybe Mercs need more care.


I'm not sure of how experience with a 525 auto can be extrapolated to a C200 manual! Anyway, Mercs and BMWs are different cars, but both can break and go wrong. On balance, over years of working on both marques, I have found Mercs to be more reliable - esp. W201, 124 and 126 using KE-Jetronic injection. BMW's of the same era certainly less reliable.
You get good high-milers from both makers, but often (with a bit of probing) find that there have been major repairs in the past. I haven't seen many high-mile BMWs that haven't had cooling system problems at some time or other.
Merc C200 Estate - And1
Aprilia.....just citing how cars can soak up miles. Especially motorway miles. Chill.
Merc C200 Estate - Aprilia
Aprilia.....just citing how cars can soak up miles. Especially motorway miles.
Chill.


Don't worry, I'm well chilled. I get a little anxious when I see people talking about cars covering very high miles without trouble. It *can* happen, but it is rare. A lot of folks don't fully admit to the repairs they've had.

The reason I get anxious is that from being in the trade I've seen how devastating it can be on a family when they take out a loan to buy a fairly high-mile 'prestige' car in the belief that it will cover starship mileage without trouble. That shifty chap on Top Gear a few years ago (can't remember his name) was always recommending mega-mileage BMW, Merc, Lexus etc (I rreckon he had a yard full of them ready to shift).

Their new car has an MoT, but they soon discover all manner of latent problems that cost 'prestige' money to fix. Basically the car is clapped out. Then the poor kids don't get a summer holiday because all the spare money is spent on keeping the car on the road.
There is nothing worse than a car that keeps you poor.

Merc C200 Estate - Avant
It depends how the previous owners have driven them. Imagine the City whizz-kid who gets a company BMW, Audi or German taxi but only ever drives 2 miles to the station on weekdays. He comes back in the evening and does a Le Mans start in the station car park to show off how butch he is. And that unfortunate car will sell well as low-mileage.

I hope my cars which do 15,000 - 20,000 a year with plenty of long trips give as good a service to their next owners as they do to me.

Merc C200 Estate - barney100
I have been running C classes for about four years and have noted with interest the number of very old ones still looking good running well. Don,t be frightened by tales of expensive repairs, many makes of cars can attract expensive repairs. I can,t honestly say that Mercs have made an increase in my running costs over the Volvo I had before.
Merc C200 Estate - Aprilia
I have been running C classes for about four years and
have noted with interest the number of very old ones still
looking good running well. Don,t be frightened by tales of expensive
repairs, many makes of cars can attract expensive repairs.


Well, I've repaired a lot of Mercs in my time (going back to the '70s) and although service parts are cheap, more major parts can be very expensive.
You see a lot of older Mercs in good order because the owner often has a lot of money tied up in the car and can't afford to dump it. Mercs are, of course, superb cars - but they do go wrong and need fixing from time to time. When that happens they can get expensive. For mid- late-1990's MB's there are plenty that have had head gasket failure at under 100k (failed head bolts) and plenty of W210 that have needed recon autobox (and you really don't want to know how much THAT costs!). Whining diffs are a long-standing Merc problem (usually when the output oil seals start to weep) and a factory recon is well over £1000, although you can get the job done for £400-500 elsewhere.

I've never been much of a Ford fan, but I have to admit that their range from 2000-on is looking very good (on all measures). I have to say that the late-model Mondeo gives the C-Class a damn good run for the money, and as a 'near new' buy from a supermarket is great buy.
 

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