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Old 01-24-2013, 04:12 PM   #1
gus6464
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Default Anyone own/owned an older MB SLK?

I have always wanted one and there is a private seller in my town selling a 1999 SLK230 with 127k miles. The car looks in great condition but I don't know what to check for mechanically. It will only be driven on the weekends. Anyone have any input on the reliability of these if they are well taken care of?
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:15 PM   #2
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Depending on how it was treated and maintained it could be ultra reliable or a total money pit.

Are you able to do minor stuff yourself, such as replace window motors, little engine sensors, that kind of thing? If not, the mechanic you use will make or break the car. "Interviewing" your mechanic is more important with a used german car than the car itself.

An extra 10-15% for a very well maintained german car is money well-spent.
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Old 01-24-2013, 04:24 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpatiallyAware View Post
Depending on how it was treated and maintained it could be ultra reliable or a total money pit.

Are you able to do minor stuff yourself, such as replace window motors, little engine sensors, that kind of thing? If not, the mechanic you use will make or break the car. "Interviewing" your mechanic is more important with a used german car than the car itself.

An extra 10-15% for a very well maintained german car is money well-spent.
I have never used a third party mechanic and this will be the first used car I ever buy and all we have had are Toyota and Hondas. My father-in-law has a mechanic friend he knows through church that has been doing work on all his cars for 10+ years so I guess I can talk to him. The owner of the SLK has all the maintenance records and clean carfax as well. It looks like he really took good care of the car but still on the fence.
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:43 PM   #4
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my dads friend had a 2000 slk230. same style as the 99.

i wouldn't buy it. i borrowed it for a week when i was getting work done on my car i think back in 06. at the time it was his like his weekend car, and it seemed like a pretty terrible car even then since it was made during a bad period for mercedes.


the engine was a 2.3L kompressor (not sure if that was turbo or supercharged), and was really unrefined, sounded like a tractor. the center audio stack the fake metal paint had flaked off a few of the knobs (for a 6 year old luxury car that was terrible) and the backlighting stopped working on one side. and to top it off the hardtop convertible motors were broken.

and my dads friend doesnt treat his cars badly, that stuff just broke on its own. i guess i'd just be wary of benzes made before 2006 or so when they went into their "hey we should build quality cars again renaissance". the 2006 S550 for example is totally bullet proof. same with the new C class
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Old 01-24-2013, 07:04 PM   #5
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I agree. Don't buy it unless you want a hobby project (will cost you a lot of time and money). Look around on the forums at www.benzworld.org , www.peachparts.com .
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Old 01-24-2013, 08:22 PM   #6
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I own one and love it but. That year car is known for K40 failures but can be fixed fairly easy. Also the PSE located in the trunk gets water in it. If they have not replaced it and added the kit to turn it upside down expect to replace it. Best bet is to look for a slk 320 little stronger with a v6 Benzworld is a good place to learn look to the R170 forum. 2001 had less problems then the 99 year ones
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Old 01-25-2013, 05:28 AM   #7
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Not a good year, not really fun to drive, not fast, too many miles, etc. I'd steer clear of this one.
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Old 01-25-2013, 05:40 AM   #8
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Not a good year, not really fun to drive, not fast, too many miles, etc.
That shows what little you know. I bought a new SLK230 with the AMG Sport package back in 1999 and owned it for ten years. At the time, only one car (a Ferrari) had a faster time through Road and Track's slalom. It was a very fun to drive car and much like a Miata, you felt like you were going faster than you actually were.

The downside is that stuff broke. One time the fuses on the convertible top went bad. I was told that is a $3000-5000 repair at the dealer. Fortunately I was covered under warranty. The cigarette lighter went bad on my car. I didn't think it was a big deal because I don't smoke. Then I had a flat tire. The spare is not inflated and you needed the lighter socket to inflate it.

Gave it to my father-in-law when his car died. He loves that little roadster.
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Old 01-25-2013, 05:41 AM   #9
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European car out of warranty will be a money pit unless you know how to do all your own work and don't mind the car being down while you aquire parts cheaper than buying local.

<- Owns a newwer Mercedes with only 49k... out of warranty.
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:21 AM   #10
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That shows what little you know. I bought a new SLK230 with the AMG Sport package back in 1999 and owned it for ten years. At the time, only one car (a Ferrari) had a faster time through Road and Track's slalom. It was a very fun to drive car and much like a Miata, you felt like you were going faster than you actually were.

The downside is that stuff broke. One time the fuses on the convertible top went bad. I was told that is a $3000-5000 repair at the dealer. Fortunately I was covered under warranty. The cigarette lighter went bad on my car. I didn't think it was a big deal because I don't smoke. Then I had a flat tire. The spare is not inflated and you needed the lighter socket to inflate it.

Gave it to my father-in-law when his car died. He loves that little roadster.
My rommate had the exact same car back in the day. He bought it new from Florida and we flew down there and drove up 95 back to RI with it over a couple of days. I drove it many, many times over that period and after the initial newness wore off, it was just another car. It is not fast by today's standards and as you mentioned, it was a mechanical nightmare at times.
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Old 01-25-2013, 08:56 AM   #11
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That year car is known for K40 failures but can be fixed fairly easy. Also the PSE located in the trunk gets water in it. If they have not replaced it and added the kit to turn it upside down expect to replace it.

saw this twice this year.
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Old 01-25-2013, 02:52 PM   #12
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saw this twice this year.
The K40 can be resoldered and they sell a kit to turn the PSE upside down. If you want a fast one get the AMG version slk 32. Very fast!
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Old 01-26-2013, 03:05 AM   #13
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I went ahead and did a more thorough search on that model year so decided to pass on it. I will now start to be on the lookout for a 2001 or newer. I really like this car because of the hard top (never been a fan of convertible soft tops) and like many of you mentioned, while it is not fast it is still a really fun drive. This will just be a weekend car for me and my wife since she just got a new 2012 Accord and I am now looking at the new 2013 for me.
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