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Cost of AMG ownership

Discussion in 'General Mercedes-Benz Related Discussion' started by philharve, Jul 5, 2019.

  1. OP
    philharve

    philharve Senior Member

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    Joined:
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    Location:
    Falmouth, Cornwall, United Kingdom
    Your Mercedes:
    W202 C230K Auto 2000
    It was an SLK55 AMG (2006) I saw at the local motor show recently and I only stopped to chat to the wife of the owner to find out what she thought of it and if it was reasonably inexpensive to run & maintain otherwise I would have passed on by. In my mind I have always associated AMG ownership with 'deep pockets' so I have set my sights on looking for a clean C300/C350 of up to 10yr old, which ought to be cheaper to run & maintain.

    I only cover around 5,000 miles per annum since retiring so fuel costs don't worry me. I am not particularly worried about insurance either. It's 'everything else' that worries me. That said, my C230K has been the best car I have ever owned and never breaks down and still goes like a bomb on kick down. I would like to keep it but we are both getting older and any future repairs are likely to cost more than the car is worth. Time to 'move on' and get something a little younger.

    I was shopping in a nearby town yesterday when I encountered a silver SLK 200 with registration beginning 'RE'. I was reminded of my visit to the motor show. It looked clean until I looked closely at the wheel arches. Rust had taken hold. That's what happened to my C230K and it was less than 5yr old. I took it to my friendly neighbourhood independent MB garage and he directed me to a champion restorer where I received excellent service. The restorer dealt with MB and got £2500 out of them to repair the rust spots. That repair is rock solid almost 15yrs later. But looking at the SLK 200 brought back bad memories and I am beginning to wonder if ""ANY"" MB is safe corrosion-wise regardless of age. Maybe I should be looking for a BMW!
     
  2. bembo449

    bembo449 Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    w221 320cdi , r170 23k , range rover vogue , insignia vxr , shitron dispatch
    if you look at any equivalent Bmw of the same era they will be displaying similar rust spots pal , in my experience , mercy after 2006 are usually ok unless they have been repaired before or a stone chip has gone un attended so I don't think bar some of the models having sub-frame problems , you should be too concerned with tin worm
     
  3. OP
    philharve

    philharve Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    W202 C230K Auto 2000
    I must admit I have become a BIG fan of Mercedes since owning my first ever MB. I recall I was nervous about buying it. All the usual questions sprung to mind but looking back it has proven a sound investment, utterly reliable and not expensive to run. My interest in Mercedes is such that I have deleted all thoughts from my mind of owning a different make. I look at BMWs and VWs in passing but I don't see strong evidence of corrosion issues unless it is inside or beneath. Out of sight, out of mind! They 'appear' clean-bodied but maybe they hide future problems.

    When I first started driving back in the 60s and I looked to buy my first car and corrosion was far more apparent. Some makes suffered more than others. I don't recall MB being one of them. German cars seemed to be in a class of their own and virtually unattainable for most people. Rust has become 'less visible' but I admit it still exists. Is it still such a big problem with any make?

    My biggest shock occurred shortly after buying my C230K in 2005. I was having it serviced and I asked the friendly MB garage owner if rust was a problem with MB. He pointed to a silver estate sitting in a corner, same registration as mine. 'W', and it looked as though it hadn't been cleaned in ages and covered in brown spots. He asked me to examine it and when I did I got the biggest shock of my life. What I thought was bird crap, which was everywhere, was serious rust. No body panel had escaped. Part of the wing came away in my fingers and I reeled back in horror thinking I would be blamed. Here was a Mercedes estate less the 5yrs old and was a 'write-off'. I hope never to experience a shock like that ever again. But I also owned a 'W' car. Will it face a similar fate? Well, it did suffer a little rust in all the usual places but it was repaired under warranty and the rust issue never developed into anything serious. Was I just lucky?
     
  4. Mallo

    Mallo Active Senior Members

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    Newcastle
    Your Mercedes:
    '09 W221 S320 Cdi
    I had a CLS55 '05 and to run it was less expensive than my S350CDI - however, if the air suspension fails you will be looking at £700 a corner. Brakes are not too bad on that one. Tyres were a bit of an issue for me as the rears were wide and about £250 each, and they don't last long - 10k max.

    If you drive it around in fear of how much it might cost you then I don't think you're going to enjoy it. I would look at getting a low owner car (max 4 otherwise the proper repairs probably won't have been done) under 100k miles and look at a comprehensive warranty. If you can do that and are happy with the road tax and insurance then it's probably worth it.

    Again, if you don't need the speed and noise then it's not really worth the effort.

    I always look at the cars I buy as money pits and budget accordingly so I expect to pay £2-3k a year to keep an expensive car on the road.

    I guess the question is - if it's going to cost you an extra £1k than a non AMG then what would you use the £1k on and would it benefit you more than a car? If you drive it every day then maybe not much.
     
  5. OP
    philharve

    philharve Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    W202 C230K Auto 2000
    Hi Mallo - you and I think alike! A low mileage example with few owners appeals to me. I think an upper limit of £10,000 is fair. I take your point about air suspension and other possible pitfalls of high-end ownership.
     
  6. bembo449

    bembo449 Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
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    thing is phil , ive found higher miled cars to be more reliable , they have usually had most of if not all the common failures repaired
     
    Blobcat likes this.
  7. OP
    philharve

    philharve Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    W202 C230K Auto 2000
    Hi bembo449 - I have been lucky, my C230K has been extremely reliable. Its battery failed shortly after purchase and it was swapped for a genuine MB battery (£50). Apart from the occasional service part replacement, my C Class runs perfectly, possibly better than ever and I never worry about failure. Can high-milers be more reliable than new? Yes, I think so, for the reasons you give.
     
  8. fabes

    fabes Senior Member

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    Location:
    Southampton
    Your Mercedes:
    E 350CGI Coupe
    I admiring a colleagues AMG in the car park this morning (E55k)
    Got chatting about noise (as he thought mine would be a diesel) and his recent big service bill (not under plan) was huuuge, but it was brakes and a full B service.

    He has done his 2 years of owning it and is looking at moving it on and coming back to earth as he put it.
    I mentioned Merclands site to him, (I have no affinity with them) as he needs wants a moderately fast estate - but that C350 coupe is also still on there if you hadn't seen it.....
     

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