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Driving my 20 year old S500

I bought a brand new 2000 Mercedes S500 and this 21 year old car only has 50,000 miles. I rarely drive it, only weekends.
Some weeks it sits in the garage.
Is it bad for the car not to drive as much?
The battery is fine as I have a slow charger unit or the battery so it is always charged.

My friend tells me I should drive the car regularly and it’s bad for the car to sit in the garage for weeks.

This should answer your question.


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Am I the only one who thought OP had a Honda, and got really excited? :wink:

Ask your friend how their 20 year old car is doing.As near as I can tell, you are doing every thing right. There are people who will tell you you have to change your oil every 3 or 6 months. That may be true while you are under warranty, but I think you ill be fine with once a year in a garaged car that only does 2500 miles per year.

I did not watch Pat Gosse’s video because I think he is more interested in repair shops profits than customers wallets.

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Is it dependable?
Don’t know. I don’t drive it much

Penny , I don’t see a problem . We have one vehicle that sets in the garage for weeks at a time and I am not concerned . I would ask if you still have the original tires ? If so then I would replace them soon.

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It’s lasted 21 years this way. That seems like the best indicator.


When you do drive it, try to drive it for long enough that the fluids get fully hot. Using fuel stabilizer would also be a good idea in your case.

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@jtsanders has the best answer. It’s lasted 21 years already, it still gives you pleasure when you use it, that’s enough. It is a car, a machine, not a timeless one of a kind creation that should be worshiped as a minor god. You are not obliged to preserve it for the future generations who will simply call Wayne Carini to haul it off when you are gone.

People get confused when they see and consider someone else’s hobby objects that are also simple practical devices. Should anyone ask stamp collectors to simply use the stamps they have on letters? Or demand that civil war memorabilia collectors use their rifle for deer hunting? So you have a car you love and enjoy. Carry on.

Yes, this 21 year old Mercedes still looks brand new, the interior still smells of a brand new car, probably due the leather. I just wanted to make sure I am keeping the engine in good shape as well.
I paid $120k cash for in in Dec 1999, Kelly Blue book now notes this for $5000.
Thank you for all the excellent advice.


Beautiful. You must keep it garaged normally for the paint to remain in great condition.

Yes and yes.
:palm_tree: :sunglasses: :palm_tree:

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The same goes for the headlight lenses. I have observed that Mercedes vehicles are among the worst when it comes to the clouding of those lenses after just a few years, so–clearly (no pun intended)–whatever the OP is doing is helping to preserve those lenses, along with the paint.

Thank you, I bought it because the 2000 S500 was drastically different in terms of looks, from the boxy stuffy S Class to a more sedan looking one starting 2000.
Where we live in Northern California, it is sunny practically most days, never been exposed to sleet or snow, come to think of it, rain neither.
It was always garaged maintained regularly with dealer.


Penny , still wondering about the age of your tires . Tires should be replaced at age even if there is still plenty of tread . 6 to 10 years depending on climate ( hot climate lower number - cold climate the higher number ).

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We replaced the tires once already, threads are still pretty good.

Most people don’t live in a climate as moderate as Northern California coastal areas. It’s hard for them to believe that a shaded spot can be as kind to a car as their garage. My 20 year old Miata looks nearly new underneath. There’s dust and some grime from the road, but no corrosion, no rust, and the original paint under there is still sound and colorful. Tires do deteriorate with time but as long as they stay out of the sun and extreme heat they last a long time.

Once tires get 10+ years old, the rubber tends to get hard, reducing traction even if there’s a lot of tread left, which is a bad thing. You might want to check out how old those tires are.


The weather makes an immense difference to cars. I am a transplant from Long Island, New York and yes both 21 year old car would be in this shape over there. In addition to the rain, sleet, snow, the salt on the roads for ice and snow do a lot of damage to cars.

Good point, you are right, just going by thread in this case could be misleading the tires are from five years ago.