Why You Need a Detailed Prepurchase Inspection - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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#1 Old 04-19-2012
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Why You Need a Detailed Prepurchase Inspection

I just purchased a 2008 SLK55 with 22k miles from a broker who bought the car from the Riverside, CA auction where many Mercedes dealers send their cars.

While some of this is caught on the visual, here's what the detailed inspection showed:

Jack pads missing
Oil pan leaking
Valve / baffle covers leaking oil
Power steering leaking
Navigation module missing
Sat module missing
Cupholder sticking/broke
Broken Carbon fiber trim pieces
Fuel door sticking
Bent wheel (unrepairable)
Wipers needed
Window tint issues
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Tirefit and compressor missing
A few lights out
Remote has broken button

I highly recommend a DETAILED prepurchase inspection if getting a car remotely. The "it looks good" inspection just didn't cut it here. I've got a lot of work to do, and can clearly do a great deal, if not all, of this. The big learning for me is to never trust the VIN that the modules are actually there!

The good news? The paint is perfect!

My SLK350 that I sold to acquire this car looks a lot better now!
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#2 Old 04-19-2012
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Originally Posted by rodell View Post
I highly recommend a DETAILED prepurchase inspection if getting a car remotely. The "it looks good" inspection just didn't cut it here. I've got a lot of work to do, and can clearly do a great deal, if not all, of this. The big learning for me is to never trust the VIN that the modules are actually there!
I agree 100%. I couldn't, wouldn't. I purchased three long distance cars in the past eight years. One new and two used. It was a hassle driving long distance to inspect, purchase and return. All three turned out well. I would gladly pay a small deposit to hold the vehicle, with every intent to purchase if the visual inspection confirmed the sellers description. I would also gladly walk away, losing the deposit if necessary, if the vehicle wasn't as advertised.

I'm surprised at the number of discrepancies you found on your 2008 SLK 55. Obviously only four years old with low mileage. Definitely not a loved or well maintained SLK. The missing NAV and Sat radios modules if confirmed on the data card is a scam. Buyers beware, trust no one.

Good luck with the repairs.
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#3 Old 04-19-2012
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I recently purchased a 2006 SLK55. I used AutoTrader mostly and wanted to purchase from a dealer figuring that the cars would be in better shape. Well as it turned out the two cars that looked pretty good in the photos, which were several hundred miles away, were not in that great shape. I used an independent inspection service which uncovered enough issues with either car to put me off the sale. I ended up with a car with 19,554 miles on it from a private owner. This guy had several “toys” he kept in his air conditioned/heated garage and the car I bought is in excellent shape. Glad I had paid to have the inspections done.

I'm older so I drive fast as I have less time left to waste.
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#4 Old 04-19-2012
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Distance buying is not without its drawbacks. Like its too far to drive and kick the showroom windows in
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#5 Old 04-19-2012
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I had ours inspected by MB. I asked them to go over it as though they were going to sell it. Unfortunate choice of words as we went round and round about "warranty". In any case, it would have been 150$ spent - and thousands saved. But the car was 4.0

PS anyone, dealer or private, that is reluctant to have an inspection done should be avoided IMHO


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