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'05 Expedition
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Discussion Starter #1
Actually, I'm looking for a lot of suggestions. I didn't want to double-hijack Sal's thread where you posted your pics.

Here's the history. Mom & Dad just buried their '94 Mercedes S420. I think if it had been a horse, we would have shot it a couple weeks ago. It had 123,000 miles on it, and all kinds of things started going wrong, just like they did at 80,000 miles.

We all thought that this might be his last car (he's only 63) and that it would run well beyond 250,000 miles. He bought it new. It's a happy day, though--he just bought Mom a new S430. White/White.

So how have YOU managed to get so many miles out of your Fleetwood?

The engine, transmission, and rear end were all okay on the Mercedes, but things like A/C (estimated $5000 repair), heater core, bushings, shocks, radio, phone, and computer all have failed.

He's spent enough in repairs over the past three years to buy a lightly used Buick. For the money, he could've bought two new Cadillacs or even three new Buicks since '94.
 

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2003 Cadillac CTS, 2005 Cadillac STS4 1SG
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many cars engines will run for a long time, but other things start to go wrong like alternator, fuel pumps things like that. Mercedes dont last past 100,000 miles.
 

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06 STS-V, 94 Fleetwood TS
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Beleive me I have heard all this before. My Dad drive a Mercedes and he loves them. I harass him all the time by calling his car a nazi cab.

Anyway, he goes on and on about the german engineering in this thing, but he spends I don't know how much repairing it all the time. Just this year I can recall shocks, spring mounts, leather U-joints at the rear wheels, stereo wiring, injector this and that, air conditioning, all kinds of engine crap, suspension stuff, hell it just never ends. He is brainwashed.

Bottom line on the Fleetwood is this. It sits on a chassis that dates back to 1977. It uses an engine that in its basic form dates back to 1955. The front engine/ rear drive layout is known for its reliability and strength (how many front wheel drive trucks are out there?)

As far as I know, the Fleetwood is the last American car with rear wheel drive, 5 bolts on the wheels, steel bumpers, and fender skirts. This is a combination that has been perfected over a period of at least 40 years.

As far as how do I make it last. I do any work on it that I can myself. If I have to let anyone else work on it I insist that they have the same respect for it that I do. I always park the car in a garage which keeps it dry most of the time. I believe that this aids in keepeing condensation out of any exterior/engine switches and wiring. Another thing I do is wash it regularly. I mean hand washing, and I mean things like the engine, undercarrage, and insides of doors/trunk, etc. Letting dirt and grime build up will eventually aid in some failure. The last key is I drive the car and I drive it often. I don't cut it any slack either... I drag race it, road race it , slalom it, circle track it and tow my boat with it... It is forced to stay in shape.

...and I don't consider this just blind luck either... my stable includes:
1994 Fleetwood - 276,700 miles
1988 Chevy Truck - 267,000 miles
1997 Monte Carlo - 165,000 miles
1980 Monza Spyder - 15,000 miles (OK, this one is not typical)

My advice is this BUY AMERICAN!!!
 

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1995 Fleetwood Brougham
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709 Posts
Hey I work for Mercedes, and I drive a Caddy. So what does that tell you. :D I can only tell say that 5,000 to repair an a/c on any benz is too much. The 94 and 95 S-classes have bad wiring and especially the engine harnesses between the injectors and the M.E. control module. Elvis let me know what the car needs. E-mail me
 

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'05 Expedition
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Discussion Starter #5
FASSTWOOD said:
Hey I work for Mercedes, and I drive a Caddy. So what does that tell you. :D I can only tell say that 5,000 to repair an a/c on any benz is too much. The 94 and 95 S-classes have bad wiring and especially the engine harnesses between the injectors and the M.E. control module. Elvis let me know what the car needs. E-mail me
Thanks for the offer, but the car is gone. They said that the A/C coil had a crack in it or something, and it was leaking freon. They said the coil was inside the dash, and that the whole thing would have to be removed and replaced. The job ran something like 25+ hours @ $80 an hour. Then there were parts.
 

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Bill's right, the secret to the longevity of the Fleetwood is it's simplicity and choice of "tried and true" chassis design. The Fleetwood is certainly NOT a "tour de force" when it comes to technical wizardry or state-of-the-art electronics. Cadillac went "old-school" with this car and it pays-off with longevity in SPADES.
 

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I thought Mercedes had a "million mile club!?" They are supposed to be good cars. My aunt has a 1991 BMW 735i, and there were some problems with it but never the engine or trans, and it has higher mileage. I think if anything is cared for, it will last longer, but then again anything mechanical (no matter the brand) will fail eventually.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Katshot said:
Ralph, notice what items were the issue? really nothing MAJOR. They obviously just wanted to get rid of the car.
I'm beginning to think you're right! The new one sure is nice. Maybe they were just looking for an excuse to trade?

If the '94 S420 had been mine, I wouldn't have hesitated to drop $5000 into it if if meant getting another 20,000 miles out of it. If the damn thing is paid for, and if you still like it, why not?

I mis-spoke when I said that the A/C was going to cost $5000 to repair. Turns out it was about $3500 of a total bill of $5000. The other items were suspension and cooling-system related.

I think another item to consider is that my father is 63, and he doesn't get into diagnosing and D.I.Y. on cars anymore. Yeah, he used to, and he taught me a lot back in the days when I was driving a pickup truck that was as old as I was. I guess he outgrew D.I.Y., and I probably will someday, too. He'd rather pay more and not have to think about it.

Even though it crapped out at 123K, the '94 S420 is the best/most durable car they ever owned. #2 goes to a 1977 Sedan DeVille that they put 84,000 miles on.
 

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1995 Fleetwood Brougham
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709 Posts
Elvis said:
Thanks for the offer, but the car is gone. They said that the A/C coil had a crack in it or something, and it was leaking freon. They said the coil was inside the dash, and that the whole thing would have to be removed and replaced. The job ran something like 25+ hours @ $80 an hour. Then there were parts.
Oh yeah i forgot about that!!! that job sucks. Its called the evaporator.
 

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1995 Fleetwood Brougham
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All I gotta say is that the benz motors are freakin bullet proof. But every thing else is a little iffy. It's very very rare to see a benz with an engine knock.
 

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Katshot said:
Ralph, notice what items were the issue? really nothing MAJOR. They obviously just wanted to get rid of the car. If everyone dumped cars because of this degree of repairs, nobody would still own a FWD Cadillac.
I would still like to think if I (and I do) take very good care of mine that it would last a very long time. Other than the occasional stop-light drag with a smug-looking Benz driver, I drive slow and careful. I can't see why it would not last as long as a RWD? Is the transmission so much more "advanced" on a front-wheel that more things would go wrong? What is more simple, the drive-line? I know there are more parts on a FWD suspension, etc. I beat the hell out of our Phoenix coupe FWD, and no problems other than everything BUT the eng. trans. (245,000 kms) Is it just that FWD is weaker or not built as good? I hear what you are saying, but if RWD is so "much more" reliable than FWD, then they really should build more rear-drive cars again, and I have no problem with that. Look at how many crappy Dodge Aries K cars are still running around! I can't believe that!
 
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