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Make sure you get service records. 50,000 seems low however the car is 9 years old. It is near or atthe second5 year scheduled service interval. Time forsome pretty $salty$ maintanance.Plugs, wires, tranny service, engine & tranny mounts, fuel filter, air filters, cabin filter, coolant exchange, brake fluid exchange. I just performed these services on my 2000 with 33,000 miles and is new to me. I got all the service records from M/B dealer and these items mentioned were not looked after prior to me getting the car. Their great cars so long as the their maintained properly. There are 2 year services and 5 year services. Regular oil changes for me in the northeast are once a year due to no winter driving and sitting in storage for 4 months. GET SERVICE HISTORY SO YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR BUYING. Not a bad idea to let a trained M/B mechanic take a look either. Well worth the 2 to 3 hour labor for pre purchase inspection. I did all the above mentioned work myself and still spent over a grand on just parts and fluids.
I just got mine in Nov of 07 so I can't really give you a detailed report. However, 50,000 miles for these vehicles is like new. There is a major check up at 60,000. My friend just completed his and it cost $600 at a non mercedes dealer. I understand the dealer can get as much as 1,500 for the same.
I would have the car inspected to make sure, as much as possible, that the mileage is original. My mechanic was able to tell that it was by the condition of the engine compartment and the bolts that were untouched.
My previous car was a 1987 560SL that I had for 16 years and put 205,000 miles on it. My total maintenance costs was reasonable, if not low.
The way I see it I paid under $20,000 for my 1999 SL500. A new Accord or Camery would have cost me 10,000 more and I have the a better drive, my opinion. And I have 10,000 in the kiddie towards unforseen costs.
I bought my '99 SL500 in 2005 from an independent dealer. The dealer was reputable, and the car looked pristine and ran well during the road test, so I didn't get mechanical breakdown insurance even though it had 75K miles.That was a mistake. The transmission died about 18 months after purchasedue to oil leaking onto an electrical harness and into the computer according to the MB service tech. Apparently a not too rare occurrencefor this model. Cost...$6,200 at MB repair shop. Other major servicing has included new motor mounts at 80K - $900, new struts at 115K - $700, and replacement of one MB tex panel on driver's seat due to puncture - $250. Recently, the AC blower stopped at 116K - $1440, and the CD changer won't eject the magazine - probably time to replace the changer. All repair work, except CD changer and new leather on seat,has been performed at MB dealership. I stick to the 10K mile service intervals, and go easy on the gas pedal most of the time. I'm now at 118Kand, these breakdowns aside, the car has beentrouble free, and is a great pleasure to drive.
My 1996 SL500 has 218,000 miles and runs strong. My prior MBs aged out with electrical problems long before the power train flaked out so this time around I saved money and bought one over 200,000.This leaves me withseveral thousand in the kittie for the unknown that may never happen. I buy most of my repair parts on the internet for a fraction of the cost and repair the car myself. The M/Bsare well engineered and will last till they rust out if you take care of them. I usually spend less than 1000 per year in maintenance, even after 200,000 miles. I still get 20mpg in town. I only wish they made a diesel for this car.