Buying Guide

From W220 S-Class Encyclopedia
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W220 is available in different versions. You must choose the engine type used, production date (facelift/prefacelift, D2B vs MOST) and wide range of optional equipment.

Inspection checklist

Note that an average W220 vehicle contains around 100 motors from which only one is engine. Make sure to inspect all the features thoroughly and not just the ride of the vehicle.

Questions to the seller

  • Ask in what condition the car is.
  • Ask what defects the car has. If the seller claims that he is selling car in a perfect condition, any issues found by you can be a good bargaining reason.
  • Ask what significant repairs the car has passed recently.
  • In which workshop the maintenance work has been carried out.
  • Ask how long the owner is owning the car.
  • Ask why the owner is selling the car.
  • Ask if the vehicle has regularly received anti-rust coating.
  • Ask if there have been any problems with Airmatic. If the seller states that no problems have been observed in the last 5 years, then you can be sure that problems soon will appear.

Technical inspection

  • As the first thing connect DAS and run quick test. Print the error codes to PDF and clear them. Rerun the test after other inspections and driving tests are performed. See which error codes reappear.
  • Enter "AAC - Automatic air conditioning" section in DAS to perform quick self-test (will check if all flaps and actuators work).
  • Check the wear of leather on seats and steering wheel.
  • Check what wheels and tyres are installed. Check if it complies with W220 specification (225/60R16, 225/55R17, 245/45R18). Check tyre wear.
  • Inspect chassis for rust. Ask if any anti-rust spray has been used.
  • Check windows from inside. Look carefully for any cracks.
  • Check if windshield spray works correctly and windshield wipers work.
  • Open the hood. Check if hood mechanism works correctly.
  • Check if handbrakes work. Can they be released easily.
  • Press the Airmatic level control switch and see if the car rises.
  • Check if headlights function properly. See if automatic level adjustment works correctly on startup.
  • When starting the car use built-in voltmeter to see if alternator is functioning properly. Try to gas the car - the voltage should not fluctuate, but stay fixed around 14V.
  • Take the car to dark place and see if interior lighting is working. Check specifically if the door handle illumination for all doors work.
  • Check if all functions for all seats work.
  • Check if window controls on all doors work.
  • Check if IR receiver for summer convenience opening feature work for both front doors.
  • Check if headlight washing system works.
  • Check if turn signals on exterior mirrors work.
  • Check if exterior mirror controls work.
  • Check if exterior mirrors fold in and turn signals still work.
  • Check if exterior mirror turn signal light has no burned-out LEDs.
  • Check labels on windshield and all windows. For original windows year number should be the same or older as the production year.
  • Check COMAND and its functions.
  • Check if Parktronic system is not switched off and all sensors work.
  • Check if in the tail lights all bulbs work and no LED bulbs from the break light module are burned out.
  • Check the label on the tail lights. Are they original (have MB logo) or are DEPO aftermarket tail lights.
  • Check the installment of tail lights - if they do not blend in smoothly the car might have been deformed in an accident.
  • Check if there is SXXX logo on the trunk cover - if not the car has been repainted.
  • Check the type of exhaust pipe and how well it is installed (originally, unless W220 has AMG package, the exhaust pipe should not be visible).
  • Check if the trunk and all doors have working soft-close system.
  • Check if the trunk can be opened by smart key and by pressing the button.
  • Check if the trunk and doors can be unlocked mechanically using metallic key.
  • Check if interior/exterior rearview mirror dimms by covering the light sensor on the back of the rearview mirror.

Driving tests

  • Check if car goes straight if the steering wheel is let go freely.
  • Drive slowly (in the slowest speed possible) though potholes and look for clunking or squeaking sound from the suspension system.
  • Make turns and look for clunking sound.
  • Accelerate and see how swiftly the automatic gear shifter works.
  • Accelerate very fast and suddenly release the gas pedal. The car should not convulse.
  • When idling see if the chassis is not vibrating.

W220 equipped with LPG

  • See where the control button is installed.
  • See where the refilling port is installed.
  • Ask when and where the LPG kit was installed (is there still a warranty).
  • Ask what type of LPG system was installed (STAG vs BRC vs LPGTECH)
  • Ask what is average fuel consumption when driving using LPG.