HELP: How much should I pay for 1985 500SEL?

It is a one owner with only 85,000 documented miles. Everything works. No rust, and the paint is in decent shape considering the year. Leather is excellent. He is asking $4200.00. Is there anything I should be looking for
on this model as trouble areas before purchase. Thanks.
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Check out every switch for the air ventilation system. Make sure the air conditioner works well, make sure the seat springs are in good shape (even with the weight of a person on them they shouldn't bend much). Listen to the engine carefully with it idling with the hood up. Floor it and make sure you don't smell gas when you do.The price seems alright considering the condition. Richard 1985 380SE

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There is a wierd smell from the engine compartment that smells like hot bleach. Its wierd. I wonder if it could be engine cleaner used. I checked all of those things as well as the underside. I did open the gas cap, and gas sprayed out and hit my arms. I think this was probally pressure from the car sitting in the mans garage. He had not driven it for about a month before I came and looked at it.
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Also, the gas gauge is inoperable. I think it may be a sending unit in the tank. The gague in the dash dances around the "R", and the reserve light flickers once and awhile.
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The most important thing to look for when buying a used MB is the paperwork. Cars that have been taken care of usually come with all the paper since new. Obviously there are cars that are well taken care of without papers, but when you have the paper you know when or if the timing chain was replaced (very important) and you'll know if the engine had regular oil changes, etc. Cars with papers are worth much more on the used market. Naturally you have to have a visual inspection of the body and running gear. These older MBs are worth whatever the seller can get. And no matter what car you buy you will have to spend some money on it eventually as these cars are nearing 20 years of age. Do your homework and try to get the best car for the money.
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Not always. I have every receipt from day one for one of my cars it was a bloody mess.
OTOH the last one I got had zero paper and needed a few minor things and now has 300,000 miles on it; it had 180K when I got it.
The problem with a stack of records 4" thick is you have to spend the time to go through them all. Nothing, absolutely noting beats a pre-purchase inspection by somebody who knows the EXACT car you're looking at. a W!$) guy may be worse than useless on a W109 and vice versa.
--
Richard Sexton | Mercedes Parts: http://parts.mbz.org
http://www.mbz.org | Mailing lists: http://lists.mbz.org
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snipped-for-privacy@vrx.news (Richard J. Sexton (At work)) wrote in wrote:

Hi: I bought a 500 SEL in 2000 for 5000 with 120K Miles on the clock. Has it gone "wrong" - yes. Has it been expensive to "fix" each time - NO! Avg. 150 for every "Tow-Home" failure. What has broken?..... "The DOWN-Side" 1. Starter Motor - Rebuilt - 75.00 2. Alternator - Rebuilt - 80.00 3. Power-Steering Pump - Rebuilt - 120 4. An internal control-box Relay - Replaced 50.00 5. Non-MB original "Ignition Key" - Snapped off in the lock - Tow-home, but 0 to fix. 6. Transmission re-build 1,300.00 7. Heater-Hose "blew" - Cost 5.35
The "UP-SIDE"???
1. Luxury Motoring in a car that originally cost >50K 2. 50K + Miles so far - now at 178K miles - and still going strong. 3. LPG Conversion @ 1,100.00 - saves me 40.00 p/w in fuel costs. 4. Turns heads wherever I go. 5. A classic car - that is a joy to own. 6. Cheap to service - Oil changes every 6,000 miles .... Generally less than 70 per Qtr.
Personally I wouldn't be without it. Better than any "Brand-new" company car i've ever had.
Long-Term???? - I'll keep it till it finally "dies" and then buy another (if I can find one).
Regards,
Dan.
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well, I went adead and bought it. $4200.00. It has 81,200 miles all documented. Serviced at the same dealer all of it's life. I even discussed the purchase with the service manager that has personally serviced the car because he has been at this dealership since 1978. It's been the best Benz so far I have owned even over my 1998 C230!
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That's nice and low mileage. And for that price...was the guy leaving the country or something? Richard

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