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My wife and I are looking for an older Mercedes diesel. We found a 1985 300D in Baltimore that the owner is asking $4100 for. Even though the car looks to be in pretty good condition, that strikes me as a high price. The car has 180,000 miles on it, the engine has plenty of pickup, the paint looks great, there is no noticeable body rust, and we found no evidence of water damage in the interior. The steering is very loose, but the owner says his mechanic has told him that replacing a ball joint will solve that problem. The owner is the second owner and has had the car for nine years. The Kelley Blue Book retail value I calculated online for the car, if in "excellent" condition, is $2675, and the private party seller value is $1625. I must admit it is a beautiful car, and we are tempted to offer $3,000 and perhaps go a little higher--assuming a friend's trusted Mercedes diesel mechanic finds nothing serious wrong beyond the ball joint. Any advice would be much appreciated.

Richard Blackburn, Belcamp, Maryland
 

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It is hard to speculate on car values with only one reference and not seeing the car in question. I guess it can be more appropriately put, what is the car worth to you? With the reliability of the model in question, and skyrocketing fuel prices, I would consider an increased value. The latest reference may not reflect that. If the car needs work right away, then the top dollar value in a book is not likely to apply.

Check out edmunds.com and the NADA guides for additional references. Offering lower can not hurt, and having more information to back it up will help. If you start with the highest quoted value, and subtract costs of repairs to make the condition reflect the highest value, it would be difficult to make an arguement against your offer.
 

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In my opinion, the KBB price is usually low especially on these cars. However i do think that $4,100 for that car is a tad much. Try hagglin with him a little and see if he'll let you off with a lower price.
 

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price speculation

Hello Richard,
The 1985 300D is a wonderful automobile. I paid a little bit MORE than the $4,100 almost 5 years ago. My car had 165,000 miles on it at the time. It had MANY maintinence records and was in VERY GOOD condition.
These days, that price MAY be a little high.............HOWEVER, no one will REALLY get a VERY GOOD car for less than $3,000 or so...........Remember that you should PLAN on spending a good chunk of cash during the first year to "bring the car up to speed".
CONDITION IS EVERYTHING! These engines can cost up to $6 or 7 THOUSAND dollars to replace and the transmissions are EXPENSIVE as well!
Find a good independant mechanic and let him (or her :roll: ) perform a THOROUGH pre purchase inspection for you. This should cost somewhere around $100 or so.
I strongly recommend a compression test as well.
No RUST.
Maintinence History
Remember......,CONDITION< CONDITION< CONDITION
The AC system can cost as much as $1,500 to get working properly!!!!
If the AC does NOT work, BULLSH*T!!!!!DEDUCT $1,000 from the price, and be FIRM!
There is more, however, do your homework and take your time.
This process will save your a*s in the long run.
Remember, ANY USED CAR is a GAMBLE......
Shop intelligently and you should do ok!
Documented REGULAR OIL CHANGES with a DIESEL SPECIFIC OIL!
Regular VALVE ADJUSTMENTS (recommended every 15,000 miles)
Enough already...
POST BACK WITH YOUR RESULTS
spo out 8)
 

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Spo123:

Looks like we have another new member intimately familiar with the OM617's. Welcome the the BenzForum.

Richard:

In 1990 I was asking myself a similar question about buying the 300SD with 100,000 for $16,000. Fourteen years and 365,000 miles later I wonder how much I have made on the money saved and invested that would have otherwise gone to vehicle depreciation. The PPI is mandatory. Continuity in service records are always a plus. The OM617 is a great power plant. The 722 tranny replacements run in the $2,500 range. My first went out at 215,000. The replacement is running strong with 250,000 on it. (I can't account for the driving style for the first 100,000).

-Scott
 
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