SLK 230 Reliability - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum
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#1 Old 11-30-2009
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SLK 230 Reliability

Hey guys,

I'm new to the group, but I like what I've read so far. I've seen dozens of cool mods and articles. I was looking at SLK's for my girlfriend, and I wanted to get the 230 so as to take advantage of the MPG. I've heard stories as high as 32 or 33 MPG.

But, a few folks have discouraged me from looking at these. I wanted to get your take. I want to get the newest, so I found a 2004 (last year made) with low miles (40K).

Thoughts? I even have a friend of a friend who works at the Mercedes dealership who said that these have alot of problems. Am I going down the wrong path here? I change my own oil and have done frame up restorations on cars, so I have no trouble (and actually enjoy it) working on my own car.

Thoughts appreciated.

Thanks everyone!

Scott

Also, FYI, she currently has a BMW Z3, so we would be moving over to MB from BMW.
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#2 Old 11-30-2009
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Welcome from Oregon. Hope you get your answer soon. Have never owend a 230 so can't realy coment.
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#3 Old 11-30-2009
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Welcome from NE England - I bought a new 230SLK in 2003, and kept it for nearly a year, before I got my current SLK - in all(!!) that time, I never had a problem.



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#4 Old 11-30-2009
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Scott,

Welcome from Valrico, Florida!
And welcome to this great forum!

Please update your location in your profile as it helps the members answer any questions you might have based on locale and model.
usercp, edit your details, location.

You might want to post an introduction in the ‘new members introduce yourself here’ section, if you haven’t already.

i had a 02 slk320 and gf had an 02 slk230. she did not realize it was 4 cyclinders even though it was a kompressor. get a 320 or move on up to the east side with an early 350

If you haven’t, please use the 'search this forum' feature for your questions as they have probably been asked before.
In addition, If you haven’t, please post your questions in the appropriate discussion forum for a quicker response.
And finally, if you find something useful on your visit here today, please consider donating for hosting and licensing fees to the site. Even $5 is welcome! Thanks!


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#5 Old 11-30-2009
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Welcome from Atlanta! I think whenever buying a car an inspection and records is always going to be a factor in potential issues. If you have some ability to turn a wrench like it sounds that you do, you should be able to tackle about anything that would come up.
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#6 Old 11-30-2009
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I had the same concerns before buying my current "FIRST" Mercedes 3 years ago.

What I found while searching for my car is that the kind of people that buy these cars are the kind of people that take care of their cars. (scheduled services done, garaged, driven with care, etc)

Many of them only use them for weekend cars so many of the cars you look at have low miles on them.

Sure you may have a few problems here and there but that is why SLKWorld is here.

You can search for most anything and read post of how to fix things, usually with detailed pictures.

Many of the members here can walk you thru how to fix anything on your car saving you many $$$$$.

Many of us donate to the site due to the money we have saved and the good friends we have made here.

If I were you I would look for a low mileage car, have it checked out by dealer and buy with confidence.

Should you have any issues or questions...SLKWorld is here for you!

Best of luck to you.
Brent
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#7 Old 12-01-2009
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Yes there are quite a few problems with the early slk's
later model years fixed some of the problems.
my 2¢
get an 03 04 model year with a full service history
also what extras does she want/need, heated seats, Xenon headlights?
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#8 Old 12-01-2009
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Hi

a lot of the previous problems were solved with the phase 2 series ( those with light on the mirrors ) built after 2000

if the car is low mealage, no accident, slept in a garage, was not modified, you should be allright,

have a good try on the road, check the roof system . . .
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#9 Old 12-01-2009
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Welcome Blndspt from California.

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#10 Old 12-01-2009
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Welcome From Elgin, Texas!

I just purchased a 2001 SLK230 Kompressor.
I am loving it!
The part I like the Most is waxing it to a High gloss Shine! :-)
I purchased mine used so it has lots of little cosmetic issues
but the engine is solid and very responsive.

If you are mechanically inclined I dont see you having any problems.
as a matter a fact I have heard from BMW owners that their car is in the shop.
and I have only heard from other MB owners that their cars are solid. and hardly every hear them having to go to the shop for repairs.

So I think an SLK230 is a good choice. It is very fun.
I like the fact that it has a hardtop.

I have seel lots of Z3's they all have soft tops.
I don't like soft tops they dont make me feel safe in many ways :-)

I hope you get the SLK230!
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#11 Old 12-01-2009
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I've had my '99 230 SLK for 18 months. Although used principally at weekends, I have had absolutely no problems.

Mileage on my car is 62,000.

John
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#12 Old 12-26-2009
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i might be late but hope it helps..
ive had 4 slk 230 and a 320 and so far they have all been excellent except this last car.
oddly enough the diffrence being that I bought it in a small town not within 80 miles of a MB certified shop.in my opionion the best years to stick with is 2001 and up.there were a list of revisions that they made to make the car handle better drive better and look better over all.

Make sure you drive it for more than just a few mins check kick down acceleration and also look for any noticable lag(shows signs of poor maint or gas quality) check the top more put it down more than once with you watching from the outside and make sure every closes and latches smoothly.another little tidbit to check is that the radio operations fully and the controls are smooth and that there is no bleed in the screen,
sounds silly but its an expensive replacements and its $$$ to try to put in another system.

Other than your reg maint premo gas and 30 sec warm up from cold there life long partners.Ive gotten one of my slk's to get 34 coming home to austin from Dallas so it is possible with a light foot.If your a tall guy you might appreciate the power seats on the 2001 and up 230 that is optional and xenon lights that were optional after 2001.
anyways good luck hope this helps
if you have any other questions feel free to ask me.
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#13 Old 12-30-2009
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Saludos and welcome from Atlanta ... I had a '98 230 w/ the 4 cy Kompressor (190+ hp) ... purchased in '99 with 4K miles and had it until Nov. '09 when I traded for '05 350 ... it gave me 11 great years with just routine maintenance (brakes, tires, fluids, etc.) ... no major investment until summer '09 when had to put in $3400 in stuff and $900 more in Oct. when some air regulator part went bad and it did not pass emission inspection ... if you treat the early versions of the car with care (keep up routine maintenance) and don't mistreat it on the road, pre-2001 versions should be good to you ... mine was ... good luck with the purchase ... ciao,
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