I have a chance to buy a 2000 E55 AMG from a family member. It has
high miles (80,000) mostly highway. Price is $20,000. Condition is
very good and has all of it's service records. I'd love to own a car
like this and there is no way that I could get into one for this
price. What should I figure for yearly maintenance? Is this a fair
price for a car with this many miles on it? How do the E55's hold up
over the years if well maintained? Any known problems with this car?
How much should you figure for yearly maintenance? That all depends on how
many miles you intend to drive the car. Most Mercedes owners would not
consider 80,000 highway miles high mileage. I don't know of any problems
specific to that model. However, worn or stretched timing chains are not
uncommon with the mercedes 8 cylinder engines such as the 4 valve/cylinder 4.20
and 5.0 liter engines. I would expect the E55 engine would have the same
weakness. But you can check the timing chain for wear and you can have the
chain replaced if necessary. Usual maintenance will include brake work and
lubricant changes. It should not be much worse than any other mercedes using
However, worn or stretched timing chains are not
uncommon with the mercedes 8 cylinder engines
The rule of thumb on timing chains is: 100K miles or 10 years, for
changing. The chain usually is not a problem, it is the chain guide rails
which get brittle and break and then get in the chain teeth and that's when
the problems began. If the car has had regular oil changes many cars can be
safely driven up to 125K miles or more. A mechanic can measure to see if
the chain has stretched. You might want to do that before putting in a new
chain at this point if the car has had good service.
The mercedes factory manuals spec 2 degrees of chain stretch at 20,000 km on
their double roller diesel engines. It's time to think about a new chain when
you start seeing higher amounts of chain stretch like above 6 degrees. I
popped a chain on a 617 diesel engine at 208,000 miles but I didn't have any
chain noise prior to the chain breaking. My machinist tells me that it's
usually the plastic chain guides which break off and damage the chain. I tend
to agree with him. The upper guides would be the ones I would pay attention to
as they get hot bolted to the heads. The chain tensioner and lower guides
don't seem quite as delicate.
On 03 Jan 2004 00:43:29 GMT, email@example.com (VCopelan) wrote:
Why? It's a totally different 3 valve/cylinder engine.
FWIW, I've never seen any variant of this V8 (113) engine ever need a
timing chain replacement.
E55s are expensive to maintain, here in the UK consumable parts like
brake pads and discs (rotors) are between 3 and 4 times as expensive
as the same components for other model E class.
Big wheels means big tyres, and the big engine makes short work of
them, especially on the rear.
Personally I wouldn't worry about the mileage, 80k is no big deal in
this day and age. Its going to cost more to keep an E55 than any other
E class, but think of how much fun you are going to have driving it...
These are pretty good MBs although with 80,000 miles you can expect some
maintainence problems. Possible water pump replacement, things like that.
The engine and drivetrain are just about bulletproof...but you can have
problems with AC evaporators, automatic door closers, sun roofs, etc.
Getting a car with all the service records, as you have, is very important.
and the fact that it is from a relative is even better. Sounds like a good
buy but keep some money in reserve as you should with any used car. If you
take care of this car you can drive it 250K miles or more.
IMHO the thing to be concerned about in a specialty model vs. its
standard version is the cost of its specialty parts. I don't know what
exactly these are on a E55 vs. an E500 but you can bet that whatever
they are they'll be expensive.
You ought to get a quote on the cost of insuring this car before you
Good advice! I can't imagine the insurance cost on a E55 could be much worse
than a E500 but you should check before you write a check to buy the car.
Parts prices are anothe matter. Parts prices on the limited production cars
tend to be much higher than the regular production models. A cracked cylinder
head on a E55 is likely to be very expensive but if the car is well maintained
you shouldn't have problems. But I did have a friend with an S class AMG and
he had a rear axle damaged in an accident. The new axle was over $10,000 (well
at least that's what he claims).
Thanks to all for the information. Insurance will run about $1200 per
year. I have a great Merc mechanic locally. Unfortunately, the car is
2000 miles from where I live, so I'd be buying a car that I haven't
had checked out. If the car is all she says it is, I "should be"
okay. I'm figuring about 20% of the purchase price as a safety
cushion for repairs and clean up. I'm trying to decide whether
driving it back home or shipping it, is the way to go. I have had
some pretty bad luck with auto transporters in the past (damage and
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