closing tag is in template navbar
timefactors watches



TZ-UK Fundraiser
Results 1 to 41 of 41

Thread: Cheap Merc - talk me out of it!

  1. #1
    Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Manchester
    Posts
    6,381

    Cheap Merc - talk me out of it!

    Evening folks.
    I've been tasked with finding a new car this week and just wondered if some of the more mechanical minded members would chime in?

    I'm on about a 1500 quid budget and I want something halfway decent (i.e. not another Ford Focus or Peugeot 307).
    Currently I'm only driving the wife's Qashqui but I do need my own runabout again now so I've hit the AutoTrader for inspiration.

    For some reason I'm drawn to the Merc C180 Kompressor. Two door, a bit sporty but it's only a 1.8 automatic so the insurance stays sensible.

    Engine size is a key issue, I've only been on my own insurance for a year or so, I've always been a named driver, so not really built up much of a no-claims bonus.

    My budget buys one with 90k on the clock, running and MOT'd but needing a little tidying up which I'm not remotely bothered about, I'm probably only going to run it for 12 months while I save up for something a bit bigger.

    Any downfalls? What do I need to be looking for (or should I stay away from a 15 year old Merc full stop??)

    Here's a link to the best one I've found so far just for an idea;
    https://www.autotrader.co.uk/classif...dius=25&page=4



    Again, I bow to the TZUK members with more knowledge than me, which is just about all of you.

  2. #2
    Had one , same colour but mine was a 2004 so the facelift interior.

    My sister and and brother in law had one too. Between the three of us not one thing went wrong on any of ours. Bullet proof engines. The panoramic roof is a great option too.

    Go for it.

  3. #3
    Rust round the arches will be the main issue to look for. Merc paint went through a bit of a bad spell for a few years in the early 2000's. Nothing you can't sort easily enough if its not gotten too far into the metal. My wife's on her 3rd older Merc and we've had reliable driving from them over the past 15 years.

  4. #4
    Journeyman DamianM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Northern Ireland
    Posts
    138
    I owned a very similar car 6-7 yrs ago. A nice comfortable cruiser being an auto, but the panoramic roof squeaked like mad and it slipped the timing one day and that was it game over @80,000 miles.

    They are a rust magnet for front wings and rear arches, I had to have all four corners done while I owned it and ironically just a few weeks before the engine went.

    They are super expensive to fix and you could easily spend its original purchase price on the silliest of fixes.

  5. #5
    Craftsman
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Nottingham, UK.
    Posts
    482
    Donít necessarily be put off by the engine size. I had a 2008 CLK200 Kompressor which was a 1.8 engine and auto.
    You learn to adjust your driving and itís quick enough.
    I had 2 issues with it in 5 years - getting the auto box oil changed because it was sluggish to shift and the wiring loom for the front parking sensors rubbed through giving all kinds of odd alerts.

    A very comfortable car which I loved but was seduced by an E350 which gives me horrible back ache.
    I let it go for a steal 18 months ago and know itís just sailed through the MOT as it always did.

  6. #6
    Master
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    London
    Posts
    7,482
    Blog Entries
    1
    Decent enough cars. I've just sold an 05 one of these last week. As others have said, engines pretty well solid. Bodywork is the enemy here. Check arches, below the boot lip and on the bonnet above the grill.
    Also, make sure the gearbox is smooth. If it isn't, 9 times out of 10, it's a pretty easy fix but you don't want to be one of the 10% stuck with a knackered 'box.
    Other than that, check all the electrics work, make sure the warning lights illuminate then go out and check the MoT history online - this gives you an indication on how it's been cared for in the past.
    Last edited by Dave O'Sullivan; 14th April 2019 at 16:23.

  7. #7
    Better off with a C220 CDI - 1.8K engine built by Mitsubishi and lots get timing chain issues!

    Also underpowered, better off with a earlier 2.0 that was built built if going petrol route..

  8. #8
    Journeyman
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Saundersfoot, UK
    Posts
    209
    I'd avoid the early C-class, due rust (MY2000-2005) and electrical issues (looms made in North Africa I believe). Better to go for the older 190s, or push for a 55 plate or later if you want that size of car. Diesels are particularly rugged, without DPF to worry about until 2008 or so. The E-class is a much bigger car (and more roomy inside); the W124 is absolutely great, as is the older W123, albeit they are a bit long in the tooth now and may feel somewhat gutless (and also may be a bit too 'old man' image for you....though old is sometimes cool). However, the 123 is now beginning to appreciate......

    I've had several 123/124 and 211 (post 06 facelift) and rate all of them very highly indeed. Having traded for a 212, I find the seats less comfortable too. Nevertheless, I'd take any of them over a Pug or Ford.

    Best of luck!

  9. #9
    Master
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Somerset, UK
    Posts
    1,043
    Had one many moons ago although the 220 diesel engine.

    Look out for suspension knocks, rust and the thing I hated most the horrible squeaking sun roof.

  10. #10
    Journeyman
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Saundersfoot, UK
    Posts
    209
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_Mac View Post
    Had one many moons ago although the 220 diesel engine.

    Look out for suspension knocks, rust and the thing I hated most the horrible squeaking sun roof.
    At least suspension knocks are an easy and cheap fix.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  11. #11
    Just do it.

    If it breaks scrap it!

    Itís a cheap cheap car thatís not worth spending on if it goes wrong!

  12. #12
    Master
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Cheshire/Oxfordshire
    Posts
    1,998
    W203 Mercedes of that era rot like a pear as mentioned due to poor build quality as mentioned. 2005 onwards are far nicer inside and were galvanised corrrectky. The 180k is ok and does decent MPG but try and find a saloon as they hold their money better, look nicer and are more practical. Check history and M.O.T advisories as most Merckís have complex suspension and bushes, bearings, lower arms and tie rods tend to need regular replacement. Finally be aware many have a fixed rear seat that wonít fold down unless it was ticked as an option back then!!

  13. #13
    Journeyman
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Saundersfoot, UK
    Posts
    209
    Think we have collectively failed to talk you out of it.....

    Old Mercs, bar those from the rust-prone period, are solid and great cars. Many Greek taxi drivers made good choices. I remember being a pax in one that had done over 600000 miles. It was still going well....


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  14. #14
    Master Albellisimo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Manchester
    Posts
    1,652
    Ah! The OP is on about CLC Coupes. Had one new as a company car in 2009 and was decent. BUT those old ones are rust buckets. You'd be better off getting a C Class Saloon and spending £2k plus.
    Old Mercs are great but past a certain date they're pretty shoddy. Lots of squeaks and groans. One of my mates is always buying them and they're nothing but trouble.
    If I had that budget I'd get a Saab. Saabtech in glossop have some great cheap ones. Saabs are all solid even the GM ones.

  15. #15
    Master
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    London
    Posts
    7,482
    Blog Entries
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by Albellisimo View Post
    Ah! The OP is on about CLC Coupes. Had one new as a company car in 2009 and was decent. BUT those old ones are rust buckets. You'd be better off getting a C Class Saloon and spending £2k plus.
    Old Mercs are great but past a certain date they're pretty shoddy. Lots of squeaks and groans. One of my mates is always buying them and they're nothing but trouble.
    If I had that budget I'd get a Saab. Saabtech in glossop have some great cheap ones. Saabs are all solid even the GM ones.
    Problem with Saabs now is getting parts.

  16. #16
    Master Albellisimo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Manchester
    Posts
    1,652
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave O'Sullivan View Post
    Problem with Saabs now is getting parts.
    Never had any problems with my old one. Parts readily available at Saab Tech. The newer ones are GM parts

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Pete D View Post
    I'd avoid the early C-class, due rust (MY2000-2005) and electrical issues (looms made in North Africa I believe). Better to go for the older 190s, or push for a 55 plate or later if you want that size of car. Diesels are particularly rugged, without DPF to worry about until 2008 or so. The E-class is a much bigger car (and more roomy inside); the W124 is absolutely great, as is the older W123, albeit they are a bit long in the tooth now and may feel somewhat gutless (and also may be a bit too 'old man' image for you....though old is sometimes cool). However, the 123 is now beginning to appreciate......

    I've had several 123/124 and 211 (post 06 facelift) and rate all of them very highly indeed. Having traded for a 212, I find the seats less comfortable too. Nevertheless, I'd take any of them over a Pug or Ford.

    Best of luck!
    Lots of rust and expensive electrical issues with some of the older Mercs- weíve always ran E classes etc. and the 2000 ish models and before 2010 were just awful, not hugely better until the newer model for us either.

    Personally, Iíd be looking for newer than 15 years old, as stated above, due to the issues with those cars in that period, or look elsewhere.
    It's just a matter of time...

  18. #18
    I'm in no position to talk you out of it, I'm going to look at a160K-miler in a couple of days time (420 diesel engine).

    R
    Ignorance breeds Fear. Fear breeds Hatred. Hatred breeds Ignorance. Break the chain.

  19. #19
    Master murkeywaters's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Near the sea
    Posts
    2,908
    No experience with Merc's, with your budget I would simply find the best car of any reasonable make or German if that's what you want for the money, rather than decide on a car and try and fit that car to your budget.

    Just done an Autotrader search for BMW's under £1500, amazing what comes up for that price but you got to be careful!

  20. #20
    Master
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Cheshire/Oxfordshire
    Posts
    1,998
    Quote Originally Posted by murkeywaters View Post
    No experience with Merc's, with your budget I would simply find the best car of any reasonable make or German if that's what you want for the money, rather than decide on a car and try and fit that car to your budget.

    Just done an Autotrader search for BMW's under £1500, amazing what comes up for that price but you got to be careful!
    Many will be 4 cylinder models and are best avoided. For 1.5k the sensible by would be a focus,Mazda of some sort or a Toyota IMHO

  21. #21
    Craftsman
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Wixams, Beds
    Posts
    717
    Personally for that money Iíd be looking at a Lexus IS 200. Or possibly a GS 300.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  22. #22
    Craftsman Anygreg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    England
    Posts
    704
    Also you should still be honoured your years of named driver discount if it was accumulated with one insurance company and you stay with that company. So each year you gain your own NCD you drop one years named driver discount an so on. I know direct line do this.

  23. #23
    Journeyman
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    Winchester
    Posts
    65
    Quote Originally Posted by murkeywaters View Post
    No experience with Merc's, with your budget I would simply find the best car of any reasonable make or German if that's what you want for the money, rather than decide on a car and try and fit that car to your budget.

    Just done an Autotrader search for BMW's under £1500, amazing what comes up for that price but you got to be careful!
    Indeed, I bought an E46 330i Touring auto for £1450 three years ago and it was perfect in the two years I had it. That was probably more luck than judgement though. Personally, sub £1500 I'd be trying to go Toyota this time. I don't feel the German cars from the previous decade are lasting particularly well, especially with rust. One of my current cars is a broken E46 M3, which doesn't help matters.

  24. #24
    Craftsman
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    Solihull, UK
    Posts
    366
    At that kind of money, I'd be inclined towards more basic cars. As someone else advised, a Mazda/Toyota or possibly a Skoda. There will be a few low mileage, looked after motors out there. Just a matter of searching them out.
    Last edited by Finners; 22nd April 2019 at 08:03.

  25. #25
    Craftsman
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    willington,UK
    Posts
    594
    go for it Kev! having spent a working
    lifetime self employed in the motor trade with a little caution its a no brainer.successful motoring on this kind of budget is 10%mechanical knowledge 90% luck.cars at this age and price just need the failure of one major component to be scrap but you are risking only a relatively small sum.of old mercs i have some experience.my wifes previous merc was a 1999 c200 [2ltr petrol].we sold this last year in excellent order.the car had been thouroughly serviced by me using the best of oils etc once a year regardless of mileage.
    we owned it for 12yrs and did 80K miles in it.in all that time the only non service/non consumable parts it needed were an air mass sensor [£40 aftermarket] steering linkage [£80 aftermarket] and an ignition key [main dealer £240]the latter not the cars fault,my rottie Diesel thought it would be a fun thing to chew.the bodies do rust so you need to have a good look at the mot failure points.wasnt a problem for me as obviously i have the facilities to keep it looking good.the only reason i replaced it was i came across an e class w211 in immaculate condition , one owner from new genuine 45.000mls with the rocketship v6 3ltr diesel.had that just over a year and has needed only the parts for a service and i have welded a broken exhaust bracket,hope this helps .pm me for a phone number and if you have any questions now or when you go and look i will try and advise you.greasemonkey
    Last edited by greasemonkey; 22nd April 2019 at 10:40. Reason: sspelin

  26. #26
    Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Manchester
    Posts
    6,381
    Afternoon all.
    Just a quick update and message of thanks - I bought a 2005 model this morning and picking it up tomorrow.

    Cheers.

  27. #27
    Journeyman
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Saundersfoot, UK
    Posts
    209
    Good for you. Best of luck with it.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  28. #28
    Master vagabond's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Here and There....
    Posts
    4,470
    You know what they say - "Without pictures, it didn't happen"

  29. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by kevkojak View Post
    Afternoon all.
    Just a quick update and message of thanks - I bought a 2005 model this morning and picking it up tomorrow.

    Cheers.
    Good stuff 05 = good paint too. My wife has an 05 B Class and it's been flawless (as is the paintwork).

  30. #30
    Journeyman
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Location
    Belfast
    Posts
    169
    Quote Originally Posted by kevkojak View Post
    Afternoon all.
    Just a quick update and message of thanks - I bought a 2005 model this morning and picking it up tomorrow.

    Cheers.

    Good work. You'll go far in a pre dpf diesel Merc.

  31. #31
    Craftsman
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    Mountsorrel uk
    Posts
    813
    Why pre dpf, mercs started having them as optional extras from 2003 my mates old e class has one and that's 04

  32. #32
    Master
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    3,900
    I had a cheapish SLK once. Water would gather in the central locking pump in the boot, destroying it - a well known design fault and a very expensive part to replace. I ended up just using the key for a year or two. But the water that would pour out of the fuse box area on the passenger side when driving in rain on the motorway finished it for me. One too many times the electrics went crazy and one time the heaters stayed on full blast even when the ignition was off and the key was out. This experience has taken the shine off the myth of German engineering for me, and made me wonder if thereís really such a thing as a Ďcheapí high mileage luxurious car. Plus you canít drive anything pre-2006 in London any more.

  33. #33
    Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Manchester
    Posts
    6,381
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnnyE View Post
    Good stuff 05 = good paint too. My wife has an 05 B Class and it's been flawless (as is the paintwork).

    Pic's on the way. It needs a really good tidy up first, it was cheap for a reason. ;)

    I've been driving it a couple of weeks and it's an absolute dream, but there is a problem with the transmission - sometimes (maybe one drive in three) it sticks in gear. It's not the "limp home" mode as it'll still rev way past the 3000 rpm, but it seems to stick in second and refuses to change up.
    My Merc mate reckons it's the automatic speed sensor and an easy fix. It's in the garage on Wed's.

    It was still a great buy, I've been thrilled with it as a cheap run-about. Thanks again all.

  34. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by Itsguy View Post
    I had a cheapish SLK once. Water would gather in the central locking pump in the boot, destroying it - a well known design fault and a very expensive part to replace. I ended up just using the key for a year or two. But the water that would pour out of the fuse box area on the passenger side when driving in rain on the motorway finished it for me. One too many times the electrics went crazy and one time the heaters stayed on full blast even when the ignition was off and the key was out. This experience has taken the shine off the myth of German engineering for me, and made me wonder if thereís really such a thing as a Ďcheapí high mileage luxurious car. Plus you canít drive anything pre-2006 in London any more.
    Thatís a blocked set of rain channels, causing leaks ito the boot and the water under the glovebox is blockage of the rain channels behind the scuttle, generally due to leaves stuck down the gap between the bonnet edge and the windscreen, both are an easy fix and typical of most cabs (usually caused by being a car left outside in all weather)

  35. #35
    Master
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    3,900
    Quote Originally Posted by RJM25R View Post
    Thatís a blocked set of rain channels, causing leaks ito the boot and the water under the glovebox is blockage of the rain channels behind the scuttle, generally due to leaves stuck down the gap between the bonnet edge and the windscreen, both are an easy fix and typical of most cabs (usually caused by being a car left outside in all weather)
    Thanks for this, but itís long gone!

  36. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by Itsguy View Post
    Thanks for this, but itís long gone!
    Aye, hopefully itíll be of use to someone!!

  37. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by kevkojak View Post
    Pic's on the way. It needs a really good tidy up first, it was cheap for a reason. ;)

    I've been driving it a couple of weeks and it's an absolute dream, but there is a problem with the transmission - sometimes (maybe one drive in three) it sticks in gear. It's not the "limp home" mode as it'll still rev way past the 3000 rpm, but it seems to stick in second and refuses to change up.
    My Merc mate reckons it's the automatic speed sensor and an easy fix. It's in the garage on Wed's.

    It was still a great buy, I've been thrilled with it as a cheap run-about. Thanks again all.
    Speed sensor makes sense. Also: a good moment to replace the auto-box' oil and filter(s) a well.

    Menno

  38. #38
    Master
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Manchester
    Posts
    1,937
    Quote Originally Posted by kevkojak View Post
    Pic's on the way. It needs a really good tidy up first, it was cheap for a reason. ;)

    I've been driving it a couple of weeks and it's an absolute dream, but there is a problem with the transmission - sometimes (maybe one drive in three) it sticks in gear. It's not the "limp home" mode as it'll still rev way past the 3000 rpm, but it seems to stick in second and refuses to change up.
    My Merc mate reckons it's the automatic speed sensor and an easy fix. It's in the garage on Wed's.

    It was still a great buy, I've been thrilled with it as a cheap run-about. Thanks again all.
    Stuck in 2nd is the Transmissions protection mode, had a similar issue with my E55 a year or so back.
    Speed sensor is the most likely & as others have said it forces you to do a good trans service too.
    Should be fine once sorted.

  39. #39
    Grand Master Dave+63's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    East Sussex
    Posts
    11,315

    Cheap Merc - talk me out of it!

    I had the sensor replaced on my e220, it was around £500 from an independent auto box repair centre.

  40. #40
    Master Sharky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Bristol
    Posts
    7,911
    Any pics Kev?

    Thanks

    Mark

  41. #41
    Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Manchester
    Posts
    6,381
    As soon as it's back from the mechanic Mark... I haven't seen it for three weeks.
    The auto transmission not changing gear turned into another problem then another problem, so a couple of hundred quid lighter but I expected a few issues with a 15 year old Merc for £800. It's still come in at just over a grand fully serviced.

    Two issues now - one, the car has been in Germany for the past ten years (registered in the UK then taken abroad, then brought back here again) so the speedo is in KM rather than MPH. Guessing that's an easy job to swap back, otherwise I'll be at it with the tip-ex.

    Second issue is the reg, which a friend of mine said looks like a rude word. I can't do much about that, but at least it's given the car a nickname...
    PL55 EFB (PISS OFF)
    Last edited by kevkojak; 10th June 2019 at 09:32.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •