What are the most important questions to ask when buying a used Mercedes-Benz?
My girlfriend found a used 2000 Mercedes-Benz CLK 430 at a dealership in California. It has 120,000 miles but not sure if they're highway or city. The body looks good and I wanted to know if someone could help me relay the proper questions to ask as far as maintenance schedules, upkeep, or what are the best questions to ask so the salesman doesn't try to take her for a ride...literally!
pay a mechanics service $100.00 for a 26 point inspection...this will tell you the condition of the tie rods and suspension bushings....wear on the moving links....wear on the tires and brake rotors and leakage at the wheel cylinders~ a lazer alignment would prove any inconsistencies with regard to a prior accident and whether or not this car was actually pieced together from several prior wrecks~
with a dynamometer we can check the health of the motor...the efficiency as the output in Carbon Dioxide, O2, No2 and any hydrocarbon chains forward through the exhaust system...the testers will put it on the rolllers then take it up to 90 mph then pay attention to the emissions on deceleration~ this will identify a defective EGR system~
of course any fluid leaks would be covered in your 26 point inspection, yet something as simple as checking the dipstick for correct oil level will clue you into the health of this engine~....that costs nothing....also pull a sparkplug and look for evidence of anything other than normal white deposits ...will clue you too~
The best thing to do is pay your mechanic to inspect the car. If you don't have anyone who is close, there are many independent inspection companies available, SGS being the biggest one.
(1) Take the car to a MBZ dealer and pay for a "pre-purchase inspection" - see Jason at WI Simsonson in Santa Monica if convenient - he's great. Most Mercedes dealers charge around $200 - well worth it, as every car needs something. (2) Get a carfax and make sure there were no accidents.
clean bill of health will not stop the car from showing or acting its age, if the price is right and it was properly maintained without major accidents, then welcome to the club.
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