Gasoline smell in the trunk (MB 560 SEL etc).
The fuel sensor (sending unit measuring how much gasoline is in the tank) has a rubber seal at the top. If this is worn/damaged/misaligned... a FULL TANK can leak at this point. Less than full will not overflow. An easy low cost item.
All the comment writers are correct... the "126" model MB is the classic one.. the 560 SEL is the queen of the bunch. My tiny negative comment is the door panels and the tendency to "make noise". An easy "fix"... you can dismount the panel, apply some stick silicon around the edges (both sides) and remount the panel.. (carefully and snug fit).
A serious caution is the sun roof.. there is a need to properly lubricate this; failure to do that will in time result in a costly repair. It requires a special grease (costly) and a couple of hours to do it right. While at it, inspect and treat the rubber seals.. replace if needed.
Lastly, the headlights seem not quite up to the task. There are replacements (Silvania has one), and there are others that are probably not legal so be careful. Often the correct aiming will help a lot.
Apart from those minor points, the car is excellent... with decent care, it is easy to have it still going well at 300,000 miles.
It is not known to most car buyers that you can buy a twenty something year old car for under five thousand dollars, and be part of the army of 560SEL's, which happen to be the best car/model ever built. Even the rich folk who see you while in their 100 grand new M/b seem to have either a respect from knowledge, or just a plain sense that they are looking at something real special from the past when a M/B was at its zenith.
A 86 M/B 560SEL silver, only 37K on it, was just made available to me.
Had to replace a fuel pump... that's it.. runs great, no rust, been in a garage for the last 15 years. I just wanted to know what it is worth. Thank you.
1986 Mercedes Benz 560 SEL.
I'm putting deposit on one I found on craigslist. Had a quick look at it, overall it looks like it has been taken care of. The guy who has it now is just making a quick sale, he didn't even clean it up, looks like he has been trashing it the past few months he has owned it. But it has a stack of receipts for previous work, carpets and upholstery are in great shape, except for all his paper trash. The dash is cracked, but he has a spare. Went to test drive, but it was out of gas... argh, can't wait to get it off his hands. I'm sure the original owner will be turning in their grave... assuming the only way this was sold to this man was the owner passed and someone in the family did a quick sale.
Anyway, have a good friend who has a garage and works on foreign cars, although he told me to stay away from Merc!
Will keep you posted, thanks for previous posts, will be checking receipts for what work has been done. Cheers.
It was selling for 58,000.00 in 1986. It is also, one of the best Benz ever built.
I bought my 1986 560SEL in December, 2010 with 128K original miles. Had dealer stamps in the service book until the 92,000 mark.
The car had sat for about five years outdoors, yet only one tiny crack in the dash near the driver's dashboard near the speaker, and one tear on the leather knee bolster on the passenger's side.
A fuse had melted and caused the HVAC panel to stop working; this was a $35 fix at my mechanic's. Blows cold with new 134a.
Minor switches (passenger side headrest, right rear passenger recline button, stereo wheel fader, driver's window) need cleaning or replacement, rear SLS accumulators, front shocks all need replacing, as well as cam chain and ramps.
Runs strong and hard, quiet, does not burn a drop of oil, nor leak or weep any. I've done all the fluids, bought German coolant from O'Reilly's, plan to use Liqui-Moly synthetic for the next oil change. Mileage runs nearly 20 on the highway, unmentionable in town.
I would agree with all the above posters - these things were built in the days when the MB engineers held sway, not the accounting or marketing types. Built to a standard, not to a price. And we all get to benefit from that, 20 plus years later.
52,000 dollars in 86 for an 86 560 SEL Mercedes. Good condition today would be about 6500.
I had 2 Mercedes; one was an SL. They do look dated used.
Secondly, repairs when they will happen can be extremely expensive. When new, less so. Just 10 quarts of oil and a filter. Granted they cost more, but they also are new and look new. It's a solid high speed cruiser.
When used and the pollution devices start being an issue, it's time to move on.
I switched to Corvettes. I can have the top down in under 5 minutes without help or fear of scratching the paint. Latching a MB hardtop down is a real chore.
Parts are very high. My air conditioning once cost 5k to fix.
My biggest expense now is pretty much just the car, not repairs. Just 6 quarts of Mobil 1, filters and run flats. A friend of mine also switched from the BMW Roadster to a new Corvette. His experiences are similar to my own now.