1986 Mercedes-Benz S-Class 560SEL from North America - Comments

23rd Dec 2003, 14:56

Bought my 1986 560 Sel 3 1/2 years ago. Car had wreck title but only 76,000 miles. Three trips to Florida from NY, the Car has run and performed beautifully. Problems experienced are unique, chrome plated wheels peel causing air leaks loss and flat tires twice a year. Air flow sound from poor door alignment somewhat annoying but considering the bargain price I paid for car, inconvenience tolerable. One problem which is driving me bonkers is alarm system. Alarm works off drivers door. When alarm is set, horn alarm goes off so I put an intercept switch in to stop alarm from sounding off. If I leave horn switch off, lights will blink and horn will sound for five minutes. Can't set alarm without horn setting, very annoying at night when neighbors asleep.

Being a doubting individual, I had to max out the tach and speedometer. While in Canada, took car to 160 MPH. Same feeling as ride on Concord Jet.

Great car, preparing for next trip to Florida. Also have 79 450SL. Wish I never bought this car. Fun toy, but all MB's expensive to maintain. Car has only 85,000 miles, had to replace entire front end, rework heads and needing most likely install cat converter if car does not become exempt form exhaust test.

If you read this note soon (12-22-03), can you provide me feedback as to what viscosity oil has proven best for you..

Honk if you eyeball another 560 SEL on the roadway, never know who may behind the wheel. Final question, any good parts supply source? Need an a/c compressor w/clutch and condenser, automatic antenna, emergency brake light switch, passenger side window switch in console (light out), heat switch console - works but doesn't light, clock for 79 450 SL which I am told is part of tach.

Later..........

1st Sep 2005, 22:12

The original person who started this particular review is a legend! Thank you very much for your input, tech knowledge and general thoughts. I have been confused as to whether to purchase an '89 BMW 750il or an '87 560SEL (Talk about direct competitors!). You've convinced me to buy the 560! Thanks!

20th Oct 2006, 21:42

Yes, I couldn't agree more. I have been debating for a week now to buy one that's for sale and after reading these comments I think I will. I know that it's TWENTY YEARS OLD, but it is so tempting. After driving an Audi 100CS Qauttro(488,000KM - Canadian, Eh!) for 8 years, I love German cars. I think I'll take the plunge!!!

23rd Oct 2006, 12:47

Anyone please advise - I'm planning to buy a 500sel Mb for 4000$ with only 55000km. I saw it in the ad only. Is their any automatic transmission in this model? Cause I prefer only automatic. Thanks in advance.

19th Apr 2008, 11:16

I bought my 560SEL from an auction. I am taking it home to Africa (LIBERIA). What will be my problem in Liberia?

Please help me.

Gbor.

22nd Jun 2008, 08:56

I wish that I had read your review two years ago before I bought my 560SEL, particularly the part about transmissions giving out after 100,000 miles.

I bought a very well-maintained 560SEL with 106,000 miles in 9/2006 from its second owner. I assumed that it needed nothing. Big mistake.

Since then, I have put in a re-manufactured transmission, new valve seals, alternator and battery, brakes, a/c repair and a repair to the automatic climate control.

On one hand, I've spent a lot of money. On the other hand, the resulting vehicle is a heck of a car. Powerful, magnificent heating and cooling in the passenger cabin. Long distance driving is nice, and it handles well in traffic as well.

Gas mileage is, well, what you expect. I am pleased to be getting 19-20 mpg now on the highway. She doesn't use oil. Starts and runs well. When things are working, she is an engineering marvel.

18th Sep 2008, 22:39

Simply the Best value out there today for used (high end) Luxury rides. I am now over 355,000 miles and am loving every Mile!!! My car is a 1989 560 SEL.

8th Nov 2008, 07:47

I have a 86 Mercedes SEL, bright red in almost perfect condtion at 85,000 miles. I did not buy it new but have had it about 10 years. One thing has always puzzled me -- the horn only works when the ignition is on. I discovered this at one of my car inspections a few years ago. I am surprised that this was not mentioned in the Users Manual. Are they all like this?

20th Jan 2009, 12:02

Excellent car; the only downside which bothers me is the changing of the rib style tail lights to the non desirable smooth aerodynamic style in the triangular shape.

The rib style tail lamps has always been a mark of refinement towards any Mercedes Benz

The newer body styles,changes the entire look and appearance of the Mercedes, as a result of these two major changes, I just don't buy the newer class anymore, I stay with the 1986 to the 1990 -- 560 SEL when they are gone they are gone.

After this I don't focus on Mercedes any longer, unless the body style and the taillights comes back, just like they did with the Volkswagen Beetle and the Austin Mini Cooper.

2nd Mar 2009, 21:33

I just bought mine as a transportation while I save for a new car, but in to the point now that I really don't want to get rid of it, and I am planning on spending the money on fixing it up... It's really fast for the weight and the torque is outstanding, the quality is more of an industrial machine... suspension like a truck and handles like a Bentley... and looks like a mobsters car... I can truly say I am in love.

15th Mar 2009, 17:20

Can someone let me know how much was this car selling for back in 1986? And what is the price range these days?? My dad is about to buy one and would need these info...

18th Mar 2009, 09:56

Wow! I have never laid eyes on a post made 6 years ago still being commented on! I have finally purchased a 1989 560 SEL and have to say, it's about time! I paid $1,500.00 for it with very little cosmetic wear inside and out! The engine and AC work beautifully at 143,000 miles. I got lucky on this car and I know it! Gas prices aside, you can't get better than the W126 560 SEL!

26th Mar 2009, 18:07

This is the second 560 SEL owned, first one was my wife's car which I rarely drove. Really like the BIG car feel & look. Not bad on gas mileage. I consider it a joy to drive & loves the way it looks. I owned a Rolls Royce & Bentley in the past, & would rate these car only one step below, but less expensive to own. Treat yourself to a 560 SEL.

Anthony Allen.

10th May 2009, 20:06

My girlfriend co worker is giving me 86 560 series. I like to know more about how long it mite drive and what big problems I mite encounter. It has 200,000 miles. Also if I can find Part pretty cheap. Please email me at jcphotos2go@gmail.com thanks and God bless.

13th Aug 2009, 06:36

I own a 1987 Mercedes-Benz 560SEL with over 200 thousand. Am starting to have problems with the transmission. It leaking trans fluid and shifting is starting to become rough. Only when the transmission becomes hot.