Paul Duckworth and his team of Mercedes-Benz experts have been serving Santa Rosa since 1977. Mercedes-Benz designs its cars to last, but strict Mercedes maintenance is required to achieve maximum longevity. When investing in a used Mercedes, it's not always easy to spot prior maintenance failures and current Benz issues. You ultimately need a CK Auto Master Mechanicto vet your final choice before purchase, but here are five Mercedes inspection tips to help you narrow down your choices.
Mercedes Pre Purchase Inspection Tip #1
Check the fluid levels and poke around under the hood looking for leaks of any kind. Begin by checking the dipstick for the quantity and condition of the engine oil. If the oil level is well below full, this can indicate that the current owner has failed to address an oil leak or that the engine regularly runs without the optimal oil level. Similarly, if the oil looks black or sludgy, there's a good chance that it hasn't been changed at the correct intervals. Next, check the radiator fluid. You should see fluid visible within the radiator once you pop the lid. If you don't, there's a chance that the engine isn't being cooled properly. Up next is the transmission fluid. There's a dipstick for this fluid as well. You want to confirm the quantity and quality of the fluid. Check the quality by rubbing a bit between your fingers. It should be bright pink. If it smells burnt or it has visible particles in it, it needs to be replaced. Burnt transmission fluid is a red flag, and you should pass on any Mercedes with fluid of this quality. If you're an automotive hobbyist, you might have the skillset to check the power steering fluid, brake fluid and air conditioning coolant. If you aren't sure how to check these fluids, it's best to bring your prospective car into CK Auto.
Mercedes Benz Inspection Tip #2
Your prospective Mercedes has a lot to say. Make sure you listen. Your prospective Mercedes, whether in fine or poor condition, will make various sounds while operating. You want to listen to the sounds while the engine is idling, at low speeds and at highway speeds. Look out for the following sounds specifically. High-Pitched Squeals and Squeaks These sounds are most often associated with brake issues such as the need for new pads or rotors. The need for new pads isn't usually serious. The need for new rotors can indicate that the current owner has neglected major warning signs. Deep Thuds Thuds that occur while driving can indicate issues with the vehicle's strut and shock assembly. You really don't want a minor pothole to cause you a major repair. Intermittent or Regular Chirping or Squeaking You're likely to hear these sounds while driving the car when there is a loose belt or misaligned pully. Some loose belts can be tightened relatively easily, while others need extended labor. Clicks, Ticks and Taps These noises can indicate issues with the oil quantity or quality of the CV joints. If the engine has been running without the necessary amount of oil, years can have been stripped from the life of the car. If the CV joints are bad, a catastrophic failure can occur while driving causing you to veer off the road. Hissing This sound typically emanates from a vehicle that has an issue with the coolant. An engine that has been running hot for too long will fail much sooner than one maintained properly.
Mercedes Benz Car Inspection Tip #3
Don't roll over on any issues you detect with the tires or wheels. Tire and wheel maintenance can be reflective of overall maintenance. Regular tire rotation and alignments are important to ensuring the longevity of any car. You can spot poor tire and wheel maintenance when you see bubbles or cracks in the tires. Uneven tire tread can also indicate that rotations were not performed at the correct intervals. Needing to replace a tire or wheel in the same quarter or even the same year can be a major inconvenience and a financial burden. When you drive a luxury and performance vehicle, you need the rolling components to function optimally.
Mercedes Inspection Tip #4
Look out for any malfunctioning electrical systems. Check the headlights, brights, taillights, dome lights and brake lights. You'll also want to confirm the functionality of the automatic locks, remote start, radio / stereo, moon roof, sun roof, automatic windows and the lights in the dash. Some of these electrical components can be easily replaced, while others require extended labor. When you purchase any car, you don't want to inherit a list of to-do's. Although many of these checks might seem trivial, failure to address multiple malfunctioning electrical systems can tell you that the current Benz owner has not paid attention when repair was required.
Mercedes Used Car Inspection Tip #5
Mercedes mechanics don't all have the same knowledge, skill and experience. Never trust a statement of car condition provided by the current owner. It will be difficult to authenticate the statement when you don't know the mechanic or shop that wrote it. Also, you never really know what circumstances provoked the owner to sell the car. If the owner has fallen on hard times, selling that car might be the difference in paying the mortgage or not. When people feel desperate, they're more inclined to be dishonest. When you want to be absolutely sure that a used Mercedes will be a worthwhile investment, bring it in to CK Auto Exclusive. Every mechanic on our team is well-trained on old Mercedes models and new. We have the industry's best diagnostic technology and many decades of experience identifying difficult-to-spot Mercedes issues.
FOR YOUR MERCEDES BENZ CAR INSPECTION!