Tips for Buying a Used Mercedes A-Class Car

The Mercedes-Benz A-Class Mini MPV is the entry level Mercedes car. It has been manufactured and sold as both a 5-door and a smaller, sportier 3 door hatchback.

If you are thinking about buying a used model of this car then you should keep in mind that the A-Class does not have a good reputation for reliability. Many owners reported problems, and the A-Class was ranked as the worst Mercedes car in both a 2005 Reliability Survey and the 2006 JD Power Survey, with many of the respondents complaining about mechanical failures.  Statistics from Warranty Direct also show that the car suffers from more problems than the average vehicle (as well as key competitors like the VW Golf or Audi A3) and can also cost more to put right.

But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t buy one at all, it just means that you need to be extra careful when buying a used Mercedes-Benz A-Class and you need to know what to look for to make sure you avoid the common problems which this car suffers from. Here is a list of things to look out for:

According to Warranty Direct the suspension is the source of almost half the problems with this car, so pay extra attention to the ride quality during your test drive to spot problems in this area.

The universal joints in the steering column often wear, so look out for extra play in the steering as a sign of more serious problems around the corner.

Check for water inside the cabin, especially the footwells, as some owners have reported leaks. Also check for the smell of petrol inside the car, as the fuel filler pipes have been known to fracture.

Make sure that you take the steering to full lock during your test drive, and try to hold it there for a few seconds and listen out for noises. If you hear anything that doesn’t sound right then this could signal a problem with the power-assisted steering pumps.

If the used car you are looking at has clocked up more than 50,000 miles then you may start to see problems with the clutch and gearbox. On semi-automatic models the clutch can fail – look out for slippage or slow changes.

Check that the alarm and key fob immobiliser are functioning properly.

The anti-roll bar links have also been known to fail, so it is a good idea to check them carefully for fractures.