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Old 20th January 2009, 18:29   #31
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Our's was an auto buddy. Go for it. Not much a trouble maker compared to the manual!
Wish you all the best.
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Old 20th January 2009, 18:47   #32
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Great!. Will be in mumbai this weekend and if everything goes fine, will pick it up. Any thing in particular I should look out for during the test drive? How do I know that the auto box is in perfect shape?
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Old 20th January 2009, 19:06   #33
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Originally Posted by Astleviz View Post
Great!. Will be in mumbai this weekend and if everything goes fine, will pick it up. Any thing in particular I should look out for during the test drive? How do I know that the auto box is in perfect shape?
It should shift smoothly. Ask for evidence of ATF fluid changes
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Old 20th January 2009, 19:15   #34
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Ok, will keep that in mind, other than that if I want to change the ATF fluids anyway, any idea how much that costs?
Secondly the person has quoted a city FE of 7 kmpl. Is that realistic? From what I know manual W124s give about that average so shouldn't it be less for autos? Not that it affects my decision in anyway, if it's in perfect condition, I'll get it anyway.
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Old 20th January 2009, 21:08   #35
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Some tips for buying used W124, if you plan to keep it for long.

1) However well built these cars are, used is used. So good evaluation is a must.
2) Test drive at least one other car with same configuration, if you don't have 124 expert with you.
3) If car is from Mumbai check for RUST, places to start looking for are
- Trunk wheel well, under trunk lid rubber seal
- Near battery tray
- Remove floor mat under drivers/passenger foot well, broken A/C drain pipe leaks into floor and go unnoticed.
- Check under body, particularly above transmission.
4) Check for console meters, lights.
5) Check body lines closely for any crash evidence, have seen crash rods being removed from doors after repair to avoid pain of fixing it back.
6) Check interiors thoroughly for pillar covers and door card re-builds. You should not see any nails used. A well maintained W124 will have very good interior.
7) Check all the switches, power windows etc. Check headlight leveling, if it works mostly headlight is original, else pop the hood and check the manufacturer.
8) Have a long test drive, find a good road to reach atleast 110, switch off stereo and listen for any vibrations. Drive shaft issues are difficult to fix due to lack of expertise (even @ dealer) even if you can through money at it.
9) Check for proper A/C functioning (Heat and cold), check all vents are blowing.
10) If all seems well check for service history and do other used car checks.
11) If wiring harness is replaced consider it as bonus, else you will have to do it sometime soon.
12) I would recommend scan for any engine, airbag error codes, may be a compression check too?
13) Enter VIN(WDB...) @ Mercedes-Benz Club Russia | Mercedes-Benz / VIN to get complete details.
14) Get ready to know this beast, there is no mechanic/technician better than you.

Good Luck...
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Old 21st January 2009, 11:44   #36
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Nice quality-check post...I have had a love/hate relationship with the W124 for precisely the reasons mentioned above...but I think its a dream buy. And its going to go into my stable soon.

Will look forward to Astleviz's purchase experience soon!
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Old 21st January 2009, 13:16   #37
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Do you guys recommend availing the services of a professional car evaluator? cartradeindia.com offers this service, according to them this is what they do-

* Official Valuation certificate
* Valid for bank loan
* Car will be certified as non accident car
* Actual mileage ascertained
* No. of owners confirmed
* No liability on car
* Original papers verified for taxes pending

They charge 1000 bucks per car and I am planning to get 3 cars evaluated in Mumbai. Should I go in for this service?
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Old 21st January 2009, 14:42   #38
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If this is a car you are going to keep as a lifer, its absolutely worth the drill. However, what if their investigation is wrong and you do buy a lemon? Do they just refund you the 1k? That would be disaster.
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Old 21st January 2009, 15:33   #39
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Yes, I intend to keep this car forever.

I know that the "supposed" professional evaluators are not an authority in these matters and I might end up with a lemon despite engaging their services. But I am not using them as a substitute for a personal test drive, I will also be checking these cars myself. It's just that I know so little about this particular car that I would like to have a second opinion as well.

If their investigation is wrong, and I still end up with a lemon, getting the 1000 Rs refund would be the last of my concerns

Of course the best thing would have been to take some W124 expert along with me for the test drives but I don't know of any.

Last edited by Astleviz : 21st January 2009 at 15:35.
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Old 21st January 2009, 17:42   #40
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I think you should go ahead and try it, at least last three would be useful.

I feel if you have a expert its a bonus, but not a absolute must.

1) Check with local Mercedes dealer whether they would do a evaluation and book a slot if they do.
2) Check service history, if its regular nothing like it.
3) Drive all the cars and collect data, post it here someone should be able to guide you.

It will cost some money but it would be worth.

P.S: Did you try "Pre-Owned cars" from Mercedes dealer? I have read about pune dealer selling 1996 E220 with 63K KMS for 4.5 Lkh with 6 months warranty and one free service. Probably you should call dealers in Pune/Mumbai and give a try.
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Old 21st January 2009, 18:14   #41
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Last time I was in Delhi to check a few cars, I tried a merc dealer but he quoted 7-8 L for a pre-owned E220. So I gave him a miss.

Here is what I intend to do-
Get the car evaluator to do a prelim inspection and send me his report. It is possible that out of the 3-4 cars I have shortlisted, some might have perceptible signs of abuse/ neglect which the evaluator might be able to see and I will give these cars a miss.

I will then go and personally test the cars that do not seem to have major issues, based on the evaluator's report and I'll carry your checklist with me.

Based on my impressions, I may end up buying one of the cars that do not have major issues with them. assuming that the cars are non-accidental, not affected by floods and have been maintained reasonably well, I have already kept aside a budget of 2 Lakhs to deal with issues that might crop up after my car purchase namely-

1. wiring harness change (40,000-50,000 bucks)
2. Fuel pump change (30,000-40,000 bucks)
3. Suspension overhaul (90,000-100,000 bucks)
4. Throttle actuator (30,000-40,000 buck)

From what I have researched, these are the most common problems with this particular model so I'll be prepared for this.

Does this sound like a resonable approach, considering that I will use the evaluators to eliminate bad cars and not to select good ones and I have a budget of 2 L kept aside to take care of any unexpected expenses?
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Old 22nd January 2009, 08:06   #42
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Yes it looks like good plan, all the best.
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Old 22nd January 2009, 10:04   #43
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The indian made W124 has always been on my radar screen.

But, the problem with used car buying advice is that if you go by the advice, then you would not find a single car to buy.

If you ask me, the policy I use is fix the price to 25% below your budget, fix a search time frame like 3 months, keep a log of all cars seen and observations made, look for legal documentation, and then look at buying the car first.

You'll never be able to find a car that is rust free, if it is rust free then there will be engine problem, if the engine is fine then its accident repair, if no accident repair there would be electrical issues, the thing goes on and on, and if you follow lists, you'll end up walking away from all cars and die with the list in your hand and a dream unfulfilled.

My policy is buy without getting into finance, if something goes wrong, you can alteast park the vehicle at home till your funds build up. The most important thing is getting a MERCEDES BENZ, then learning to live with a used car. You need the patience and skill to put up with parts not working and the determination to get the thing running.

The setting aside of 2,00,000 is a brilliant idea.

Guess you are doing all the right things mate, happy hunting.
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Old 24th January 2009, 20:01   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Astleviz View Post
Do you guys recommend availing the services of a professional car evaluator? cartradeindia.com offers this service, according to them this is what they do-

* Official Valuation certificate
* Valid for bank loan
* Car will be certified as non accident car
* Actual mileage ascertained
* No. of owners confirmed
* No liability on car
* Original papers verified for taxes pending

They charge 1000 bucks per car and I am planning to get 3 cars evaluated in Mumbai. Should I go in for this service?
What from these checks you cant do?? Where are the technical checks?
And you pay 1000. and the car dealer pays them 2000 to give a clear report!!??
I feel all these exercises will be futile. You just need to buy a car direct from the owner, who has had the car for say 5 years, and guage from him the real condition, and reason for selling.
I know of 2 cars around in mumbai, and they seem to be in pretty good condition for the age owned by actual user. will talk to them and let you know on tuesday.
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Old 25th January 2009, 00:12   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Astleviz View Post
reasonably well, I have already kept aside a budget of 2 Lakhs to deal with issues that might crop up after my car purchase namely-

1. wiring harness change (40,000-50,000 bucks)
2. Fuel pump change (30,000-40,000 bucks)
3. Suspension overhaul (90,000-100,000 bucks)
4. Throttle actuator (30,000-40,000 buck)

From what I have researched, these are the most common problems with this particular model so I'll be prepared for this.

Does this sound like a resonable approach, considering that I will use the evaluators to eliminate bad cars and not to select good ones and I have a budget of 2 L kept aside to take care of any unexpected expenses?
Astleviz the W124 is one of the most reliable mercs built. They are virtual tanks, if you take proper care of them. The problems you have mentioned above are not at all common and the prices too steep. The only right price you have got is the Wiring Harness which costs in the similar range what you have mentioned.

Quote:
1. wiring harness change (40,000-50,000 bucks)
Thats quite close.


Quote:
2. Fuel pump change (30,000-40,000 bucks)
Wrong

Rs. 6,500-7500/- for a brand new Fuel pump. This would be the most common cost, keeping i view the adulterated fuel available in our country.


Quote:
3. Suspension overhaul (90,000-100,000 bucks)
An overhaul should not cost you more than 50K including all the bushes and foundations-engine and gearbox.

Quote:
4. Throttle actuator (30,000-40,000 buck)
This is one part that seldom goes wrong. Yes it is expensive but a car with this part gone is sure to have been messed with. In short dont buy one with this messed up.

Actually its the power steering box which keeps on leaking. Thats also easy to fix.

Still its great to keep 2 lakhs aside after the purchase price. Why not buy a better car for that much money and get your woes out. There are MBILM 124s available from 2.5 lakhs to 5.5 lakhs. Of course the condition varyies according to the price. Always go for a good car with minimum hassles. Who wanst to spend time and money in the garage?
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