(Part I) So I purchased the keys for the S500 for $250 for the Mercedes dealership. On Tuesday, I got a call saying that the keys were ready. Sean (my best friend, Mustang driver, and fellow gearhead) headed with me over to the Merc dealer in my parent's MDX. We pulled into the alley where the Merc had been towed behind the service center. At first, we intended to start it, so we knew we needed to jump the car. The car was completely lifeless and didn't respond to the key fob, so we returned in a half hour with jumper cables. The car's systems sprung to life, as well as the alarm system. The Mercedes mechanics started giving us curious looks, but thankfully the fob was correctly paired with the car, and I was able to deactivate the alarm.

I climbed into the front seat and tried to turn it over, but only a faint click emitted from the ignition motor. We let it sit for another 10 minutes, but the old Mercedes wet-cell battery was completely dead, even with the assistance of the MDX's power. Mercedes wanted $247 for a new battery. Two local stores all wanted $186 for a drycell Duracell Platinum battery. Another store wanted $156? for a Duracell Gold drycell battery, but eventually I found a $136 Advance Auto Parts store brand (I'm not sure what it's called) "Silver" wetcell. It was the cheapest, so I bought it. An hour later, as severe thunderstorms began their decent on Northern Virginia. Culpeper and Loudoun counties had severe weather alarms, and lighting streaked the sky every five seconds. As the downpour started, we pulled into the Merc parking lot again, and in the pouring rain, did the battery swap. (Note, the previous owner unintentionally left an umbrella for us, but this is still stupid.)

The car did not hesitate. It turned over in less than a second. The air ride sprung to life. The horn honked. The windows rolled up and down. All the lights worked. I put it in gear. It moved. This car was magic. After seeing this 88 thousand dollar relic parked in the local grocery store parking garage and taking the initiative to bring it through this process, it was still unbelievable that NOTHING was wrong with this car. At all. The odometer read 47428. I powered on the radio and R&B music started playing off a 20-year old CD. The gameboy-esque COMMAND Nav system gave a rough picture of where we were. And the built-in Motorola flip phone started beeping as the dashboard read TEL NO SERVICE.

We slapped some plates from another family car we had just returned, (for the sake of having current plates while we moved it,) drove it to the local gas station, filled the tires, cleaned out the fuel, and then drove it to my garage, all in a torrential downpour wherein both of us had forgotten to wear anything but thin t-shirts.


We spent all night polishing, cleaning, and vacuuming this car, after which we did a through investigation of all the legal papers in the car.


We did a lot of research last night, and with all the extra features available on this car, it is worth at least 8,700-9,000 on Kelly Blue Book. But considering it's low milage, it can be sold for $11-13k on Cars.com. I think I can afford to make down payment on my own car and the car of my aforementioned family friend who is in need of a new car.

Updates, pictures to come.