The German automaker is a benchmark in producing luxury cars and its vehicles are the supreme examples of perfect engineering. Nonetheless, there comes a point when buying a Mercedes is more of a liability and headache and makes you question, “Should I buy a Mercedes with high mileage?”
Let’s find out about what mileage is too high for a Mercedes and what problems can arise if you buy an older model. To find out about the most reliable Mercedes models and how to make sure they last longer, buckle up and keep reading!
Table of Contents
Should You Buy a Mercedes with High Mileage?
For a daily runner and an economical vehicle? Absolutely No! – For an exotic weekend partner? Sure!
Mercedes are considered one of the most reliable and luxurious cars in the world. The leader in introducing newer technologies and safety features, the Tri-Star has always remained the symbol of nobility and comfort.
You shouldn’t buy a Mercedes-Benz with high mileage as it requires great care and looking after. Maintaining a Mercedes is an expensive hobby and once they start to age, the bills keep getting higher. Parts are expensive, components are delicate, and machinery is complicated to maintain.
Hence, if you are looking to buy a car for daily use, a Mercedes with high mileage is a big no, but if you can afford to maintain it, it’s a treat to have.
Also read: 3 Cheapest Mercedes to Maintain (+ Costs)
What’s a High Mileage for a Mercedes?
As a rule of thumb, remember figure 15 – 150,000 miles and 15 years.
Mercedes vehicles are robust in stature and solid in performance. Engineering, attention to detail, and luxury are second to none. But all of these qualities come at a price, which is too high.
Mercedes cars are expensive to maintain, not just in routine but long-term repairs as well. Although the dependability factor is good, once these cars have aged more than a decade and run over 150,000 miles, things start to fall apart. The costly components need replacement, the majority of parts require hefty repairs, and the electronics start to show signs of aging.
What Problems Can Arise with High Mileage Mercedes?
The 5 most common problems with high mileage Mercedes are transmission failure, suspension issues, steering rack problems, rusting, and engine component failures.
Mercedes are usually quite sturdy up to 100,000 miles, but a few problems start to pop up after this milestone. These problems require sourcing expensive parts, paying the costly labor charges, and leaving your car at the workshop for lengthy stays. Some of these issues are;
- Transmission Failure
The transmission system is made up of different parts and all or anyone can go wrong after hitting too many miles, failing the setup. The valve body and connector in the transmission system might leak and cause jerky shifting, eventually leading to failure after overheating the setup.
- Suspension Problems
Suspension assembly consists of ball joints, sway bar links, tie rods and control arms, with adaptive suspension having sensors and magnetic absorbers. This delicate and costly setup usually fails due to wear and tear over the years and endless miles of service.
- Steering Rack Issues
The steering column is the most used part in the interior of a car and connects the driver to the road. Over 100,000 miles, the column U joint, bearings, and flow control valve cause problems. These parts are quite expensive to repair or replace.
- Engine Components Failure
Many parts in the engine ensure proper running and smooth output. The most common parts to go wrong in high mileage Mercedes are the catalytic converter, turbocharger, timing assembly, and water pump. Most of these require replacement, as repairs are usually temporary fixes.
This is a problem with all the used cars, and Mercedes is no exception. Although the build quality of these cars is exceptional, the wear and tear, or negligence lead to rusting. Most affected parts include brake rotors and calipers, undercarriage area, door lining, and suspension area.
Cost of Fixing these Problems
This is an average cost estimate, depending on whether the part requires repair or replacement, including labor charges.
Also read: BMW vs Mercedes: (Depreciation Comparison)
Do High Mileage Mercedes Rust?
Not as much as Ford vehicles, but they do rust negligibly. Irrespective of the model or trim, Mercedes vehicles do rust once they have driven past 200,000 miles, or earlier if the wear and tear are excessive.
Although the attention to detail and quality control at Mercedes manufacturing plants are exceptional, and paint process is top-notch. The cars are metal objects after all and undergo wear and tear once out on the terrain.
To protect your Mercedes from rust: get the whole body sealed with ceramic coating or PPF protection film, get the undercarriage, suspension, and rotors area coated with rust-proof material. Don’t let your car stay in a damp atmosphere for too long, and dry properly after a wash session.
What are the Most and Least Reliable Mercedes with High Mileage?
Expensive is not always reliable
These are the 3 most reliable Mercedes with high mileage;
- 2008 Mercedes E-Class
A very popular mid-size luxury sedan loaded with many advanced features. This year E class reported the least problems and a few issues were not that expensive to repair.
- 2010 Mercedes C-Class
The entry-level sedan and the top seller of the Benz family. In 2010, the C class saw a huge rise in sales due to high-tech features and negligible reports of problems or issues.
- 2011 Mercedes CLS
Despite having a newer structure and features, along with a mighty V8, the CLS remained the top choice among coupe-sedan style lovers and had great dependability.
These are the three most unreliable Mercedes with high mileage;
- 2006 Mercedes E350
Just the E350 trim of 2008 had multiple issues, such as fuel system problems, brake failure, and infotainment system issues. Despite its potential, the car was labeled a failure.
- 2007 Mercedes S550
The flagship sedan had a rough patch in 2007 when the S550 was reported to have multiple manufacturing faults but never recalled by the company. Some other problems included limping engines and time chain failure.
- 2015 Mercedes C300
The popularity of the C class hit a roadblock in 2015 when the C300 was reportedly having multiple issues. The main problems were faulty airbags that exploded due to sensor issues, and detached panoramic roof panels. Both were serious concerns, along with some engine issues that were looked after under the warranty.
How Many Miles Can a Mercedes Last?
At a full stretch with the proper care, 300,000 miles easily. Mercedes are one of the most robust and sturdy vehicles to be built and last a lifetime if looked after properly. Especially the model years after the 70s, as these cars had solid build quality and exemplary manufacturing standards.
Although a few problems start to show up and need attention at around 100,000 miles and major components need replacement or overhauling after 150,000 miles. But if the scheduled maintenance is followed properly and all the boxes in the service logbook are ticked on time, a Mercedes would easily last around 300,000 miles, before you need to replace the whole powertrain.
Also read: Can a Car Last 400k Miles? (7 Cars That Do)
How to Make Your High Mileage Mercedes Last Long?
Ensure timely maintenance, replace faulty parts and use the best fuel
A high mileage Mercedes can become a white elephant and really nerve-wracking to own if not looked after properly. Mercedes generically demand high maintenance and their parts are very expensive, so having a high mileage Mercedes is another challenge on top of that. Let’s discover how you can make your high mileage Mercedes last long;
- If you’re buying a high mileage Mercedes, get the CARFAX report with proper maintenance history and get it inspected by a third party for in-depth evaluation.
- If your Mercedes is over 150,000 miles, switch the engine oil grade after consulting an expert.
- Replace all the fluids and get all the systems flushed with professional agents.
- Get the timing assembly and transmission system overhauled.
- Get the suspension inspected and the necessary repairs.
- Use the highest quality fuel.
- Check the electronic components in routine and replace them when required.
- Get the body ceramic coated and undercarriage area sealed to prevent rusting.