Is this car worth what's being asked for it?

After 8 mostly trouble-free years with my 94’ LHS (which still runs pretty well), I’m considering options for upgrade/replacement. I’ve been looking at a 2000 300M. This car has 111,000 miles on it, everything seems to work on it, it drives very well. It’s supposedly been garaged its whole life (original owner), although in the rust belt. There’s a tiny bit of rust starting on the inside of the doors at the bottom. None on the outside. The tranny has never been rebuilt, and is probably long overdue for a fluid change. The oil was changed frequently and the car uses no oil. The entire A/C system was redone about a year ago with new compressor, evap, rec/dryer. The owner wants $6000 for her, but I could probably get the car for about $5,700 with some negotiating. The owner claims he gets about 25 mpg in mixed driving (and the car’s trip computer bears this out)

Opinions? Anyone own one of these? Based on the web it looks like they’re either very trouble-free or can be a pain in the butt.

had a 94 LHS loved it wish i had spent the $3500.00 for trans and steering 6 months ago even though the book value was only$1700.00 you’ll miss that ride!! google kelly book.

Oblivion- I went and pulled up the repair and reliability history for a 2000 300m from Consumer Reports for you. Here’s the deal- the engine and transmission on these cars are solid, but the climate control system, power accessories (like windows etc), stereo and paint are pretty bad. They’re also noted as having many squeaks and rattles. The 1999 and 2001 300M had some transmission problems.

If you’re looking for a large luxurious car in your price range I’m going to suggest the Lincoln Town Car-it has an excellent reliability record according to the data for ALL years. You should be able to find a 2000 model for $6,000 I think.

Nada books it for about $5000 to $6000 but that does not mean it is worth that much. The car cannot be rated at high retail since it has a little rust. Most likely it is low retail. Think about it, the vehicle is 8 yrs. old and soon will be 9 (model year changes in Sept.) with over 100,000 miles. I would pay less if any.

Thanks for the input. So far just toying with the idea for replacement. The 94’ still runs well and everything works on it. A/C is ice cold though I have to top it off a couple times a summer. I love the car and have been through a lot of life sh*t with it. It kind of has sentimental value at this point. Several jobs, several girlfriends, and 8 years in which it never let me down when I counted on it. The only time I had to get it towed was once on the turnpike when the timing belt jumped. And it did no damage because it’s a non-interference engine. I’m hoping for a worthy successor. I replaced the climate control on my 94’ when it got flaky. Was a whole $37 off of ebay including shipping and 10 minutes to fix. My gf has had many more problems with her newer Honda than I’ve ever had with my Chrysler. 235,000 miles and very little grief. Difficult choice. I may hold out another year or so :slight_smile:

Check it at, too. A loaded 2000 300M with 111,000 miles is worth $4400 in clean condition from a private party. Even in showroom condition it’s only worth $5000. I’d offer him $3500 to $4000 just to see what he says. If he gets indignant, show him where you got your info from. If he is still in a snit, walk away. Look for yourself:*

It is worth what a willing buyer is willing to sell it for and a willing buyer is willing to pay for it. There is no magic way of determining that. It does appear you already know that.

The references you may find listing prices are usually average national prices that have been recorded, while many more have not been recorded. If anything I would suggest that the prices listed in most references are on the high side of real sales. Also consider that the price in Plain City Ohio may not be close to the prices in Centralia Washington.

In todays market, which is terrible, “blue book” prices mean nothing…Many private sellers live in dreamland.

Call a local used car dealer and ask what THEY would pay, cash, for a clean 2000 model 300M. THAT’s what it is REALLY worth…

Where do you think edmunds and kelly blue book get their information? They get it from real transactions. When did that become a dream world, and how does that relate to what this private seller wants?

KBB and Edmunds ask for your ZIP code to give you the local values.

If you jumped the timing chain on your LHS and didn’t bend the valves, you were very fortunate indeed as it is an interference engine, especially the 2.7 and the 3.2l engines. Maybe less so on the 3.5l.

The 300M that year had the 3.5l engine and usually got pretty good gas mileage, unlike the new 300M’s, especially the ones with the “Hemi”. Cars that get good gas mileage are bringing in a premium right now because of the surge in gas prices. The KBB and Edmund’s book values may not be accurate because of the turmoil in the petro market. The big SUV’s and trucks are likely to be worth far less than their blue book values while sub-compacts are getting a lot more. The 300M is in the middle so I’d expect it to be closer to the book value, but who knows. You can use the book value as a bargaining chip since it favors you.

Additional note: It’s hard to imagine why someone would want to sell a vehicle that gets good gas mileage in this economy. There could be something that is seriously wrong with the vehicle or the seller could be facing a “mortgage” problem. If its the latter, they will be motivated to sell, but are basing the price of the vehicle on their needs, not its value. Sometimes people in this situation are having trouble with reality and you may have to wait for them to become reasonable.

Mine has the 3.5 (only engine they put in these) I wouldn’t touch a 2.7L–I’ve heard bad things about oil sludging. The ‘new style’ 300Cs are also available with the 3.5L (touring model), and get comparable mileage I think, but I like the older body style better. (and the price!) The 94’ 3.5L isn’t an interference engine. The newer ones may be for reasons of higher compression. (or plain insanity) According to the owner, his family replaces all their cars when they get over 100K miles. If no one has bought it by next week, I may make him a low-ball offer. It’s nice car shopping when you’re not in any kind of hurry! I’d pretty much always trust a private owner who knows the history instead of a dealer.

Do not buy this car!!! 25 MPG on a car that has 111,000 miles is impossible. I have a '93 Explorer that has 225,000 miles on it and currently gets about 15-18 MPG if I’m lucky. It started out getting 18-22 MPG. I too have been anal about changing the oil, rotateing tires, etc which is why it has 225,000 miles and still going strong. The simple truth is that there is no element on earth that will stop the frictions involved inside the combustion chamber - there will always be very small and gradual wearing away of the cylinder walls and pistons which causes a blow-by effect where your fuel-air mixture will seep by the compression and oil rings. I’ll be honest, about 40% of my 225,000 miles on my Explorer is from being pulled behind a motorhome. I guarantee that the motor in this car has either been rebuilt or the owner is using thick oil (20/50), and has replaced or somehow altered the odometer.

Ok. I have a 2003 300M. The car is troublefree but does have the build quality issues – rattles, creaks, etc. It runs great, drives great, and gets 23 miles per gallon average. I also owned a 97 LHS. I spent a small fortune on that car, including engine mounts, front rack, steering rack, evaporator core (3 times). The car, however, never let me down - always started, and drove like a dream. It got 26 miles per gallon average and up to 30 on the interstate – loaded with luggage. Roomy, stylish … it was a nice car. I don’t think I’d pay $6000 in this market for a 2000 300M. Check around – not a bad car choice, but the price is too steep in my opinion. Wish you much luck!

My old 95 Civic got 38MPG when new and dropped to 36MPG (mainly highway) at 225,000 miles/9 years old. This engine never had any internal repairs just maintenance per owners manual. At 225k it did not burn a drop of a engine oil over 4k miles.

Still looking. I’ve got 235,000 miles on my current car (very similar powertrain) and it uses very little oil. Engine’s never been rebuilt. I know these cars will keep running, just looking for owner experiences and input on value. I seriously doubt this engine’s been rebuilt. Your Explorer is not likely to get as good of mileage as a somewhat lighter, more aerodynamic vehicle, with a V6 instead of a V8. Thanks for the input though. I’m thinking I may keep my car another year or so.

Quoting BeefyNorm “25 MPG on a car that has 111,000 miles is impossible. I have a '93 Explorer that has 225,000 miles on it and currently gets about 15-18 MPG if I’m lucky.”

C’mon Beefcake, compare apples to apples. Your Exploder is not at all similar to the Chrysler being discussed.

I do think $6K is too high for a 300M that will soon be nine years old. My experience with the 3.5L Chrysler engine has be about as good as the OP’s. 200K is not at all uncommon, but do change that timing belt. The 3.5L IS an interference engine. Gates, the folks who make replacememt belts, recommend replacement at 100K, so it’s already past time. See

Settle down BolaneyNorm…25 MPG on a car that has 111,000 miles is impossible.

FYI, I let go of a 98 Taurus with 288,000 that was still getting 30MPG. It is entirely possible that the engine in question is original and using the correct oil. And it has nothing to do with your belief that Carter or Clinton or General Motors stink.