As an old saying goes: There is nothing more expensive than a cheap Mercedes. And that’s true to a certain extent. Cars that have seen a fair share of asphalt tend to be priced quite affordably, but it’s mostly for a reason.
Of course, everything depends on the brand, the way the car has been looked after, and even common sense in some cases. Mercedes cars are notoriously complex, and as you tick the 100k mark on the odometer, all those complex components are getting more and more worn out.
So, is a high mileage Mercedes a reliable automobile? Well, it depends.
Mercedes cars have always been associated with stellar build quality. What Mercedes does best, is the engine. But not every Mercedes powerplant is made equal. Many different cars are plagued by many defects, and having a doomed motor is perhaps one of the worst.
Most Mercedes Benz engines are up to scratch, but not all of them. Certain engines in certain years were prone to failure and should be avoided. The V6 M112 engine was very reliable but an M273 and M272 had various problems and were used from mid-to-late 2000s.
You should investigate as much as possible. Taking some time to get to know the ins and outs of specific models and their engines should take the strain of buying a high mileage Mercedes. Furthermore, you should consult with a Mercedes specialist to understand what to expect when buying a used Benz.
Vehicle history report
Maintenance records have a very important role in a car-buying scenario. You are much less likely to run into trouble when buying a high mileage Mercedes if the car is accident-free and has only had one or two owners. The only way to truly know the truth is through a thorough vehicle history report.
A new car warranty will probably be expired, which means you will need to pay for any repairs, unless you buy an extended warranty and an authorized dealer does the maintenance. By doing so, you are much more likely to end up with a more reliable automobile.
It also makes sense to factor in all the different costs of service and repairs so you can be sure how much a car is worth. This way you’ll see if the asking price makes sense when to consider compared to a lower mileage Mercedes.
Pre-purchase inspection (PPI)
If you want to know the reliability of a specific model you are interested in, you should also consider doing a pre-purchase inspection. A car may seem adequate on the outside, but without digging into the mechanics, you can easily end up with a faulty automobile. These aspects are key in determining how reliable a car truly is.
The pre-purchase vehicle inspection should be performed by an expert only, and you should do your due diligence in finding a legitimate mechanic. Doing this will make the process a lot less excruciating, for you and your wallet.
Pre-purchase inspections do wonders in determining how reliable a car was during its lifespan. Not all models are made equal. Some earlier examples of some models had issues, while the later ones were stripped of those issues, even before they left the assembly plant.
It all varies from one car to another, and doing a pre-purchase inspection should shed more light on the subject. The specifics of individual examples are the most important reliability factor, so it definitely makes sense to do a PPI.
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FAQs about buying a Mercedes
How many miles can a Mercedes go?
There is no simple answer to this question. It all depends. Some models are written off sooner than others. Some die after only 50k miles on the clock, while others keep on ticking way past the hundred thousand miles mark. Even climbing up into millions.
Many people tend to think that high mileage Mercedes cars are a money pit, but all things considered, the stigma is unfounded in many cases. Mercedes cars are prone to breaking if not properly maintained because of their complex architecture. That said, a well-maintained example can serve you a long time.
Manufacturers go to great lengths to ensure the efficiency and reliability of their respectable products, and they do this through lengthy testing and fine-tuning the ins and outs of every aspect of driveability and sustainability.
Why buying a high mileage Mercedes is a good idea
More up-to-date cars are made to last a long time, so you shouldn’t rule out buying a newer high mileage Mercedes. Specific parts in a car deteriorate over time, and that eats into the reliability factor of a specific example.
There is a certain stigma surrounding high mileage cars, and people tend to avoid them thinking it might end up badly. Sometimes that scenario does play out, but it’s blown out of proportions. Whatever the case, you should generally be a lot safer with a newer model.
A great benefit to buying used are ample offerings listed on many different sites. There are many listings of many identical models, most of them being sold by private sellers. It’s a great place for finding just the right deal on a newer Mercedes.
This is especially the case if you are one of those people who tend to buy and sell cars very often. As the mileage on a car increases, the depreciation curve flattens out, and you can put many more miles on the odometer without losing much value.
Furthermore, a well-used car means that the inner workings of the engine are lubricated extensively, and all the carbon build-ups are regularly burned out. Both of which contribute to a long-lasting engine.
Why buying a high mileage Mercedes is a bad idea
You walk into a showroom and you lay your eyes on a gorgeous S 500 coupe. As you approach the car your eyes glance at the window sticker, and on it is a rather tempting offer.
You scout the sides of the car only to find out that the car is in pristine condition. You remember all the tricks your dad taught you when buying a new vehicle and you check all of the ”bad spots”, but it all seems to be in tip-top condition.
You still can’t manage to find the catch, so you start reading through the listing and realize your dream car has 100,000 miles on it.
Before you decide to speak to the salesperson, you should ask yourself: How deep do your pockets go? The price indicated on that window sticker is only the entry price, but the service and maintenance costs for such an automobile are maybe way above your budget.
You may never know how a 100k miles Mercedes was driven. As far as durability is considered, one could argue that a 50k mile hard-driven Mercedes is a bigger risk than a 200k mile Mercedes used in a dignified manner. And you don’t know which one of those two is the case.
No matter what breaks on the car, it will be on you. The same applies to examples that have been involved in accidents. The probability of those cars not being reliable is extremely high, especially with a lot of miles on the clock.
And given the fact that in today’s day and age, dealerships tend to mask even the most insignificant defects on the cars listed for sale. Who knows for certain if the car you are interested in is actually as good as the listing may suggest?
To avoid all these hardships and many others, you should investigate as much as possible. And, maybe the S 500 coupe that caught your eye could be a great catch, that will faithfully give you another 100k or more virtually effortless miles. It is viable.
No car is reliable or unreliable by default after a 100k miles. It all depends, and it takes time and proper investigation, and you might end up with the purchase of your life.