Buying a Used Car - Did he think I wouldn't notice??

I’m looking for a used Mercedes, and I thought I had found the one - a 1993 500SEL with 126K. The price was below market, but not so low that you’d think the car’s a lemon.

I called the guy and headed to his place (an hour away) to see the car. The car looks great - perfect interior, a few minor dents that can be fixed with a rubber mallet. The owner turns on the engine and calls my attention to the “only” problem with the car - a minor clicking sound as the engine turns over. He says its had that for a year, but it hasn’t affected performance.

I don’t take the car for a test drive - I want a mechanic to look over the car, and I’d prefer the mechanic be in the car when I tested it. So I arrange to meet the owner at a garage the next day.

When I get to the garage, the owner is already there. I go to find the mechanic (Nick) and ask him to put the car up on the rack. Nick says “the white Mercedes? I told him to pull it around, but it has no reverse! He couldn’t pull it around!” Nick tells me that it need a new transmission - a $4,000 job right off the bat - and tells me to offer the guy $500. I probably should have, but I was so pissed that I just sent the guy away.

Now, I’m a firm believer in caveat emptor when it comes to used cars. My father was a flat-out crook when it came to disposing of our half-destroyed autos. :smiley: If I’m buying a used car, all I expect is the right to inspect the car, with a mechanic, before I buy it. If I or the mechanic doesn’t catch something, that’s my problem.

But fer chrissakes. Did the owner really believe I wouldn’t notice there was no fucking reverse gear!! I mean, I’d notice as soon as I tried to pull out of the parking spot to give the car a spin. There’s caveat emptor, and there’s just being a dick.

And even if he did, did he think that the mechanic wouldn’t catch it?! If I had been him, as soon as I said a mechanic would check it out, I would have either had a sudden emergency, or I would have confessed and dropped the price. But no, this dickweed makes me waste a morning going to the garage, instead. Pissant little twerp.



What a dumbass!

What, you mean you don’t believe that the reverse gear worked just fine right up until thel moment he parked it at the garage?

That minor clicking noise is probably another $2500.00 Cam Shaft job, I’ve got a 560 with that minor clicking sound. I miss my bimmer :frowning:

I’m just wondering how the guy drives it around town without a reverse.

Make sure you always park pointing uphill :slight_smile:

What poseurs! Opulent homes have circle driveways. Backing up is for the servant class, and tiny-brained wipers of other people’s bottoms. :stuck_out_tongue:

At a local ‘new to you’ car dealership around here, I ran into what could have been your salesman. He detailed the 20-something point safety inspection that all the cars went through before I opted to test drive a Honda Civic. The car started fine, but I couldn’t turn the wheel. This wasn’t just lack of power steering, it must have been a broken power steering system.

While he was trying to get the car to move (like I would buy it anyway!) my friend who had come for teh test drive told me there was no passenger side seatbelt! :eek: I guess they aren’t included on the safety inspection checklist.

I went to a used Mazda lot to look at the Pr5’s. I asked if they had electronic odometers. Yes, I guesss it’s impossible to turn those back, right?, Yes. Could I see it. Yes. It said “20000”!!! I still have my Fucus.

No no no, you see back in 1993, they made Mercedes without reverses. They were considered a luxury, you know, like seat belts and air bags. Now if you want one of those fancy cars with a reverse, it’ll cost ya.

There are two ways to cheat with those digital odometers. You can either pull the cable that powers the thing (so it won’t register any miles), or you can re-program it. But there is also a “hidden” odometer within the car’s ECU. AFAIK, this can’t be tampered with, unless you change the ECU. You can read that from the OBD port.

BMW 560??? I’ve never heared of such a model.

I think he meant this MB.

I had a car with no reverse for a while, it went out about the third year I owned it. I always had to make sure I found a parking space that I could "pull through’ so that I could just pull out. If I got in a jam, I could always find some willing strong backs and weak minds (KIDDING!!!) to help me out.

I disclosed its “little problem” when I sold it. It was an old beater, not a supposed luxury car though.

The scary thing is, it’s not too hard to imagine missing this. I mean, I have a standard mental checklist I go through when checking over a car to buy, and I’ve seen a number of such checklists, but I don’t think they all say to try reverse. If you happened to test drive in a location where you didn’t have to reverse out of a park…

It’s almost a “big lie” thing: it’s so obvious that you don’t really think to check it. Well I don’t.

What is with these people? I went to look at a used car, and had specifically asked the woman on the phone if there were any dents. She said no. So I drive all the way over to meet this person in another town, and as I’m walking up to the car, the first thing I notice is a huge dent in the hood. I said, “Why did you tell me there weren’t any dents?”. She said, “I forgot about that one.” :smack:

People do not realize how expensive major repairs on these cars can be! Somebody mentioned the camshafts-just removing the heads on a M-B V-8 engine will cost you $500! The Germans LOVE complexity-which makes engine repairs on M-B a challenge. And spare parts cost a fortune (there are few if any aftermarket mfgs. forM-B). And of course, the use of ANY aftermarket parts will void any warranty! Really olderM-Bs are a pain in the ass to keep running…and until about 1995, their automatic tranmissions were nothing to write home about. They (M-B) love to boast about how many high-mileage cars they have on the road-that is true, except EVERY ONE of those cars is religiously maintained (major service every 15,000 miles. Heck,if you did that for a Rambler, the thing would run forever.

Oooh! A BENZ, now? Your fine, old–vintage, even–American Cadillac wasn’t good enough for Mr Hotshot Lawyer? You’re thinking, "American cars are so déclassé? Or is it “I’m married now so I have to get something that was built within the last decade or two and is likely to start and stay running or The Wife will give me shit?”

Congrats on the wedding, pal. You and she BOTH done good. :smiley:

Old Benz owner here. The third down (pearl blue) in Mr. Blue Sky’s link is an exact match. Yes, they’re expensive to fix when something goes wrong but if you buy one that’s been well maintained and do the same yourself then I think you’ll enjoy a rather lengthy duration between repairs.

It’s a trade off for the pleasure normally experienced and, I think, well worth it. I’ve had Vettes, Zs, big blocks, etc. They were nice but man, do I ever love my 5.6.

No I have Mercedes 560, I bought that when my bimmer burned up in the apartment fire.