The eagle-eyed spotted that one of Six-cylinder's fleet has made its way a little bit North and is currently residing at the Farm of Chaos, sharing shed space with what some might argue was a compelling rival - the XJS. What follows probably explains why Keith always looks slightly nervous when he leaves a car here or lends me something he's just bought...
First, yes, I'm buying the 500 SEC - that's the replacement for the XJS, though the XJS needs to go or I need to pull some more work in. The things we do for our addictions. This hasn't stopped me from enjoying the car as is, though clearly being woken from retirement has caused the usual cascade of things - from a bit of trim going missing when washed, to some electrical gremlins.
So what happens when I get a car, loaned, bought or otherwise?
Initially, there's the rush of excitement. Such as "would you like to take it for a run first?" "NOPE IT LOOKS AMAZING IT'S A MERCEDES WHAT COULD BE WRONG WITH IT EVER!?".
Then there's the radio-less drive home listening for every noise, trying controls again.. "Mirror flappy (resolved by using the electrical folding thing a couple of times)... Lights on, did I just see the indicator flash? WTF?". It has a radio, I just leave it off to hear things. You don't hear much in an S-class.
Then there's the wash & going over the car "What's this bit? Why are these in the boot? Where's this thing? Why is this loose?"
And even on a car like a 500 SEC (yes, it is a 500 SEC and not an S500 Coupé) there are items like this. Most obvious was this...
The felt/rubber seal on the window was being pulled back as it went over the worn out window seal, so it was a real mess. Part number A1406700438, £38 inc. VAT, duly ordered. I think the B-pillar seal will be okay once the lower seal has been replaced, as the lower one contains the upper one neatly.
Addressing the 500 SEC question - it says S500 on the boot. It's also in the wrong place - too low, it should align with the lower half of the star.
Yes, it's a 500 SEC. For absolute, definite sure. So... A1408172715, about £25 later, and it's going to be badged correctly.
Going over the other bits...
You might notice the wiper extension part cover is missing. It was in the glovebox, cracked, a common failure. A1408240249, £16 later and we're good to go. Headlight wipers have decided they'd like some attention, there's a thermal resistance fuse in the motor modules so the nearside one also stopped, but has reset itself; the offside is remaining in the raised position. Solution is to strip, replace/uprate thermal switch (they have a finite life) but also to make sure the mechanism is free and the switch cam is correctly aligned with good contacts. Or just replace the motors, but then the fault can come back!
Love, love, love that engine. Want that engine in everything.
Not pictured - repairing door switches, discovering interior light wasn't working, changing bulb, loud pop, interior light REALLY not working, so a secondhand PCB for the interior lights circuit is on the way, replacing the boot lights with LED units, and a broken seat trim piece that I've yet to source a replacement for.
The soft closing system is next up for attention - the doors don't trigger the compressor, but are plumbed in so I think the switches are at fault, and the boot does trigger the compressor but doesn't pull shut. The compressor is running for timed actuation, not pressure, by the sounds of it, so there's probably a leak internally - I'll check it though as it could be leaking when the boot circuit is activated. The PSE runs on longer than it should too, but as all the accessories it controls seem to be working, that can be let slide.
Enough for now. Goodnight cars (the SEC now has the battery conditioner tail on it, so can be quickly plugged in, too).
Funny thing is, on any other car, all these little things adding up would stress me out. On a Mercedes, I just get on with it, knowing the parts will be available and will be good quality!