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

7th Jan 2010, 12:37

I have owned my 560SEL for just over 2 years, I bought it from a friend who was the original owner, he bought in New York City, brought it back to Toronto and drove it from May 24 weekend through Labour day weekend between Toronto and Pointe Au Baril.

It has 110,000 miles, runs like a dream and looks as though it just came of the assembly line.

I have owned many vehicles in the last 30 years, none as comfortable or as much fun to drive, I intend to follow his routine of driving it from May till September.

As far as maintenance is concerned, I took it to Mercedes for service prior to driving it for the first time. When the mechanic looked it over and put it on the hoist, 2 other mechanics approached and almost simultaneously said "wow". One of them commented "this girl is in amazing condition, this is how you treat a car".

I love it, I recommend it and look forward to many many years of cruising in this solid beauty.

J.C.McDermott.

14th Feb 2010, 14:22

I have a 1986 560SEL purchased new in December '86 and it still looks new. I have three other Mercedes-Benz on the road, 2- 1998 C class cars and a 2007 E-320 BlueTec.

I have over the past 24 years spent about $11,000 on repairs which include:

1. Water pump (55,000 miles).

2. Replaced radiator (86,000 miles).

3. Changed A/C to R-134 (96,400).

4. Radio & auto antenna (101,540).

5. Replaced chain guides & tensioner (104,580).

6. Replaced distributor rotor, cap and ignition wires (106,200).

These repairs along with several batteries, brake pads, spark plugs and various filters, along with Mobil I oil changes every 7,000 miles since the car was new. (I had to deliver my own Mobil I to the Mercedes dealer in the 80's, since they did not carry it).

The car has been great, and I have no plans to trade it in... just maintain it (especially Mobil I oil) and it will last a long time.

8th Apr 2010, 13:42

I have had my 1991 560 SEL since new (Dec 31, 1990).

The car has been fantastic - it has just under 80,000 miles. The only defects are the CD player does not work, and parts for it are nearly impossible to get.

Also some of the vacuum motors for the A/C are weak. The repairs have mainly been routine - plus the rear accumulators for the hydropeumatic suspension were replaced.

Bushing for the transmission shift lever was replaced. Also various other bushings have been replaced.

Both rear window supports were replaced.

No electrical problems.

The reverse polarity fuse saved the day when a battery charger got hooked up backwards.

Some front end work is needed, which is minor ($1000).

The next generation S class had many more problems and did not have the switches etc. built to last for several million cycles.

The only new Mercedes I like is the S550, but doubt it will give the service of a 560 SEL.

22nd May 2010, 16:58

Just bought a 560 SEL. Wow, this is a real car, a 1987. I am well impressed. This is a lot of car. Same price as 52 plate Mondeo, but drives much better.

23rd Aug 2010, 18:24

I just bought my second 560-SEL, my first one was written off when I hit a deer at 130 kms, I didn't even feel the deer hit. Just a small thud. These cars are tanks and class all the way. There is nowhere that you can get a better deal for a used car that outlooks, outperforms and outclasses most new cars! If you are lucky enough to find one of these beauties, buy it!

Enjoy your 560.

Sam, email: drumstyx08@hotmail.com.

1st Nov 2010, 06:11

I have bought a 560 SEL yesterday. It is in unbelievable condition. 1986, 104.000 mls. Everything is working as if it is new. No scratches, no marks, flawless, mindbreakingly beautiful.

I live in the Netherlands (Europe). The car is imported (California). I paid much too much money, in respect to the USA prices, but I own the most beautiful 560 SEL of the low lands.

Keep you posted on my first actual driving experiences.

15th Feb 2011, 17:13

I just bought a 1990 560SEL with 135,000 miles. It's burgundy with tan inside. The inside looks like no one had ever sat in it. The transmission was bad in it, but for a $100,000 I could not pass it up. New transmission is installed, and have had two issues with the car.

One is it would stall when I was driving, like it ran out of gas. It would start back up, but do the same thing a couple miles later. I replaced the fuel relay switch, and now it works fine.

Second issue is I filled up the gas tank for the first time the other day, and topped off the tank the next day. I smelled gas when I opened up the trunk. I took out carpet inside trunk, and found gas down in rear quarter panel on the side of gas tank. Checked out gas tank, fill tube, and overflow tube, and there's no leaks. If anyone might know what's wrong, I would appreciate any feedback.

The car now smells like gas very strong in the trunk, and somewhat in the cabin area.

Other than this issue, the car runs great, and it's very beautiful.

I know this problem will be fixed, and gas smell will go away soon. I have only had the car for 3 weeks now.

21st Feb 2011, 19:47

We just acquired a 560 SEL 1986. What a dream.

I never thought one could like a ride so much, I get on the road and don't want to stop. My boyfriend bought me the car for Valentine's and now wonders who I love more, she is a sweet ride.

Those gas prices come down, road trip.

Barb.

10th Apr 2011, 16:44

Just purchased 1986 560 SEL with 150K miles.

It has some minor issues (rear windows need work, valve cover gaskets leak, interior panels are coming loose).

But I have owned many autos and this thing is really well built and you can get them cheap (I paid less than $3K). When you run it up to 70 MPH, it is at its game and you will very much enjoy.

Advice: buy the best one you can, save some funds and fix the relevant issues, take a weekend and clean the car and learn it; you can fix more items than you think. Enjoy!

The only thing I can compare it to is my 1948 Packard: Over engineered and very well built. Do not hesitate to buy a high mileage if all looks well.

15th Apr 2011, 17:12

Depending on the options between $90,000 and 110,000.

20th Apr 2011, 10:33

Hi, leaking transmission is most likely the rubber seal that has been given too much tension, then it just cuts along the weak area.

As for slipping when hot - it's time you changed the clutches in the box. Very simple job if you find someone who knows how, and then you are good for another 200,000 K. Just did the same for my 300TE, and it's worth the effort.

4th May 2011, 23:54

Did you ever find out what the gas smell was in your trunk? I just filled up for the first time, and smelled gas temporarily in the truck, then the odor went away. Did you ever find out what it was? I also smelled it slightly in the car? Please let me know.

swaters@ssrkfc.com