What Should I Worry About When Buying a Used Car

Hi BenzWorx,

Can you tell me if a 2004 G500 with 90–100K will last me a few years? I will have the pre inspection purchase done of course, but just looking to buy one and would rather get an 04 or 05 than buy a 09 or 10. ~Haz

Hi Haz,

This is a great question. I wish more people would ask because it is sad to see someone that made a bad choice struggling to keep up with all the repairs.

As with all luxury vehicles, this one will require more care and maintenance than average and because of the name, that service is going to require a greater than average invesment. The payoff of course is that you get to tool around in a very desireable vehicle. Sweet!

All else being equal it probably will last you a few years, it’s a Benz after all. But there are a lot of variables at play— for example, how well was it cared for up until now? Regular service and maintenance will mean that it’s in pretty good shape now and should hold up well. A pattern of neglect, however, could mean many parts and systems may be on the verge of a breakdown.

How long it will last also depends on how much and what kind of driving you will do. If you put on 80,000 hard miles a year it probably won’t last as long as if you only put on a gentle 25K a year.

Without actually seeing the vehicle, and, betters still, being able to review the service history, this is all just a guess. When you do come in for the pre-purchase inspection, see if the seller can give you all their records and receipts for service over the years. That way we will be able to figure out how well it has been cared for. It would be best to call and schedule the inspection.

Lower mileage is always best. The engine and drivetrain on this model are much improved in model years 2007 and after. What issues there are lie in other areas like problems with the window regulators, door lock actuators, some electrical issues. Of course, some vehicles, even of the same make and model, just hold together better than others.

These are the same kinds of questions you’d want answers to no matter what the make and model are. Evidence, in the form of a pile of reciepts, that the vehicle got regular oil changes is already a good sign. Other good things to see are transmission flush and fill, on higher mileage vehicles timing belts and replaced water pumps somewhere around 75,000 miles.

Also, I recommend asking your trusted mechanic — No suprise, I recommend me — and do some research online on Google, edmunds or even consumer reports. If you are looking for a trusted mechanic, give us a try at BenzWorx AutoHaus or give us a call at 847–844–0349.

I hope that helps. ~x