S550: Leaving 'Em Nicer Than I Found 'Em


It has been one year since I brought the S Class into my life. Which means it's time to let it go, as my "try interesting cars, fully depreciated" experiment isn't meant to be about long-term ownership. Plus, the S550 isn't really ideally suited to city living (it's so big!). 

After listing the car on Autotrader and craigslist, it wasn't too long before a buyer materialized. But during the course of the purchase, he arranged for a pre-purchase inspection (turns out, there are now mobile providers who come out to inspect the car -- in this case, SafeBuy). 

Wouldn't you know it, a code scan turned up a bad oxygen sensor. Further looking around revealed an oil leak that was traced to the front cam cover seals. And while that was all being fixed, it revealed a variety of aging plastic bits (thermostat, coolant lines) that had developed cracks and needed replacing. Oof. Here's what needed doing: 

  • Oxygen sensor ($389)
  • Front engine cover gaskets & coolant lines ($2,072)
  • Thermostat ($422)

All I can say is that I like to leave 'em nicer than I found them, so here we are. Just another reminder that while these cars are cheap to buy (relative to their new price), they are expensive to maintain. 


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