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Discussion Starter #1
Gretings Everyone
I recently purchased a 1995 S420 with 82500 miles on it
The car was owned by parents of a friend and it pretty much fell into my lap. I bought the car then found the BenzForum. I've noticed in a few posts regarding maintaining this car that the owner would be looking at about $5000 a year. I also read that a pre-purchase inspection is not an option it MUST be done. So here I am with a beautiful car I know very little about. I plan on having a nearby dealership work on the car and I'm wondering what are some of the items that contribute to the $5K annually? I've owned a lot of Audi's in the past and they had items like the steering rack, and CV joints that had a life expectancy of about 70K miles. does this car have areas that I should put on an annual schedule?
please advise
 

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I would be shocked if you ever have an issue with the CV axles on this car. They will be around and functional well into the next century. The only parts I even stock for MB CV's is the bolts. Literally bulletproof. No steering rack (it's a recirculating ball setup) on the car either, so no worries there. The steering gear will likely leak a little, but they pretty much all do. Until it's really losing a lot of fluid, just moniter the levels. A re-seal will be close to $1000. Your m119 engine is one of the best engineered powerplants ever put in any car, period. That motor with some headwork and two turbochargers was MB's endurance racing motor. Off the shelf bottom end. You really have to try to hurt one of these. At 85K, you probably haven't even scratched the cross-hetching on the cylinder walls. You are fortunate enough to have the older automatic trans as well, which if fluid changes are done regularly, should last almost as long as the motor. You will likely have some excessive wear in the suspenions and steering components. Check for play and replace parts as they become necessary. These setups are very basic, simple designs and should be easy to work on even for a novice DIYer. You diff is probably leaking like all MB diffs. Resealing it is a pretty easy job. Really, just keep up on your fluid changes (and don't neglect the brake fluid, it will congeal with age and cause major problems). Again, it's an expensive car with some pretty complex electrical systems, but with proper maintenance it doesn't have to be overwhelming.
 

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Thanks PHAEDRUS242
This is truly a supercar and I am going to keep it.
The car comes from a solid family and I know it wasnt abused. I have noticed a few areas that will have to be addressed soon (instrument cluster lights, sticking sunroof), but other than that its an awesome car.
I plan on doing a 7500 mile maintance in the next few days and purchasing a snow wheel and tire setup.
I visit the forum daily so you'll be seeing many more of my posts
 

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Just heads up, phae kinda mentioned it. You'll probably have to replace the front lower control arm bushings if they have been done recently. You can pretty much be certain that your steering dampener is worn. Your prop shaft flex disks should get inspected. I believe S420s have a standard suspension system and not ADS. Someone correct me if I'm wrong. But new shocks may be in order if they have never been replace, unless you like that battleship in a ocean storm kinda ride.

I suggest an oil change every 5000 miles (or 7??? kms), Synthetic should work. Just follow the regular maintainence plan with 15k, 30k, and 60k services.
 

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Thanks for the heads up Ze
I've been thinking about the prop shaft as I noticed a very very slight vibration as I accelerate from a full stop. The vibration can only detected at around 700-800 RPM and cant be felt at all above that (I'm still researching it).
As for shocks/struts I always look to upgrade any component that I replace so I'm thinking about doing a spring replacement at the same time. I remember reading posts regarding Eibach vs H&R springs, one being softer than the other etc. My ideal setup would be a Bilstein shock with firmer springs but I dont want a harsh ride nor do I want the car to have that "bobbing" look as the car goes down the road (very un-S like)
How does one know when the steering dampner is worn?
Lastly is there any truth to the tale that synthetic oil is a little thin for "older" cars?
 

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If you turn your steering back and forth slightly while going slowly forward, if you feel a slighty click in your steering wheel, or if the steering effort feels alittle loose around center, but when you crank it, it stiffens up, that's usually a sign that the dampener is toast. It's kinda hard to explain.

And yes, synthetic oil is alittle thinner than conventional, and yes it will leak alittle easier than conventional, but it resists wear sooooooo much better than conventional that I think it's worth it. With only 82k on it, you should be alright using it. Also 119 engines really don't leak oil that much. They occasionally, very occasionally, spring head gaskets leaks. But they do leak many times at the oil level switch. I can't remember if you have to drop the oil pan to replace the seals on that or not.
 
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