1988 Mercedes-Benz S-Class 560 SEL 5.6 from North America


The W126 may be the best car ever built by any manufacturer


Gas tank seam leak.

Minor coolant leak (cheap repair).

Heated seat relay. $25 for a used part on eBay that works perfectly.

Rear windshield delamination caused the rear defroster to not work on the top half. New windshield replaced for about $200.

Chrome insert from front bumper rusted; replaced with NOS.

Rear power window motor replaced with a used part.

Hood insulation replaced.

Fuel pump relay, $110 total parts and labor.

Fuel pressure regulator replaced due to a small gas leak. New OEM part was $280 parts and labor.

Front and rear suspension repairs, totaling under $1000.

General Comments:

The best car I have ever owned; I love it.

Cruises down the highway at 85 like a locomotive; great car for a long road trip.

Repairs have been very reasonable using an independent Mercedes mechanic.

Transmission, engine, braking, and steering are all flawless; hard to believe it's a 25 year old car with 150,000 miles.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th September, 2013

1988 Mercedes-Benz S-Class 560 SEL 5.6 Liter V8 from North America


Beautiful, fun to drive, tank-like quality machine


I have had to replace the wipers once, and it cost about $80. Parts cost a lot more for a Mercedes, but the quality of the 80s Mercedes makes it worth it, because in the end, you will have a car that runs forever.

The car would stall at the slightest tap of the gas, which was dangerous. I had to replace the EHA valve because of a small gas leak, and it has not stalled since.

The front right and left wheel bearings had to be replaced due to age. I noticed they were going bad when there was a loud buzzing noise when approaching highway speed.

A small oil leak that is fixed by pouring in a few quarts every couple months.

Except for regular servicing, new Michelin tires, and new brakes and rotors, nothing else has gone wrong.

Nothing wrong mechanically on the car. All lights and controls work well.

General Comments:

I got this car as my first car after my 17th birthday, and have enjoyed it very much! It is white, with hardly any imperfections in the paint. I keep it clean and apply tire shine regularly, and it is a real head turner. Although it is 22 years old, it still looks like a modern car, but very very impressive.

The car is very long, and like everyone says, is built like a tank. Even though it weighs over 2 tons, its 5.6 liter V8 makes it a very quick car. Even more impressive is it's geared taller for highway driving, so it's very quiet and low RPMs at highway speed.

The only con is the gas mileage. It gets worse gas mileage than a Lamborghini, literally. I get 14 - 16 driving in the city.

Overall this car is very comfortable. All seats have the seat warmer, and all seats recline. Yes, that includes the backseat. Lots.. I mean lots of leg room and a huge trunk.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st November, 2010

1988 Mercedes-Benz S-Class 500SE 5.0 V8 petrol from Italy


I can't stop smiling when I drive it


1) Power steering is leaking oil.

2) A/C pipe had to be soldered because it was leaking gas; the replacement would cost more than the car...

3) I'm not quite happy with the automatic gearbox; it changes roughly instead of being like velvet. Some progress made after the replacement of the oil, but it is not perfect.

4) I had to replace the sparkle wiring (300 Euros) because of its age.

5) I had to replace the terminal exhaust; a bath of blood, we say in Italy...

6) Radio is old and shows signs of age.

General Comments:

I bought it used for very little money, as no one wants these cars in Italy. People here say they are old-fashioned, good for gypsies and for the mob. Well, I think that gypsies and the mob have a very good taste, and 70% of people are stupid!

The car was almost perfect; no rust, no signs of wear in the interior. Perfect engine, not a single drop of oil. I converted it immediately to LPG.

Now I have a second car, as a reserve, costing me as a Fiat Punto. 11-12 liters of gasoline or 13 liters of LPG for 100 kms.

It is an absolute dream to drive. Oh well, one could say it is boring, because it makes exactly what you want, with no other scenes. It is the perfect car for hours of relaxed driving. Perfect comfort. If you want to run, to outperform other people, it is the wrong car. With it you have to be a calm gentleman.

Perfect brakes, never had better brakes on any car I drove. Good road holding. The engine has a very good torque and should last 500,000 kms or more. It is important to change the engine oil every 10,000 kms.

I think it is the most (or, at least, one of the most) elegant cars ever made.

I'm an ecologist. For the purpose of saving raw materials, I deeply like the idea of using this car for other 30 years and making 1 million kms with it, while other people buy 10 cars in the same time (cars that require raw materials, paint, energy...).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th April, 2010

16th Sep 2010, 14:55

I have a 87 500SE euro from Italy. It is mint as well. For sure I have the only one in Canada. It's not for sale. Even for the mob. Unless they made me a offer I could not say no to.

15th Oct 2010, 06:13

Hi, I have just bought a 87 560 coupe, what a car!! I totally agree with you both, they will have to bury me in it.

John, Perth, Western Australia.

20th Oct 2010, 15:58

I'm the original writer. 140.000 kms now. 50 cents worth of a special product in the power steering fluid drastically reduced the leak. Automatic gearbox much better after 3.000 kms with the new oil, and still making progress. No engine oil consumption whatsoever.

A very, very big problem for a car 22 yrs. old: the wood on the ashtray has detached! I think I'll need 30 cents worth of glue...

As the Canadian friend wrote, not for sale, not even for don Vito Corleone...

3rd Mar 2014, 02:50

I'm the original writer. 170.000 km now. Just changed the rubber collector under the air filter (180 Euros). No other problems. At 200.000 km I'll change the timing chain, with guides etc. The best car I ever had.