R170 - Years / models to avoid? - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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#1 Old 08-13-2011
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R170 - Years / models to avoid?

Hi, this is my first post on this forum.

I am based in the UK [london] and am looking to buy a 2nd hand R170 SLK - most likely a 230K. Although I've read the 'history' of the R170 I was wondering what people think about excluding any particular years from my shortlist e.g. very early or pre-'facelift' models etc?

I've seen a few SLKs where the lower part of their bumpers and sides have not been colour coded with the rest of the car which I think looks uncharacteristically basic for the SLK so I'd be keen to avoid these models [which I assume are very ealy ones??].


And I was wondering if people feel that a post 'facelift' model is a significantly stronger contender than an earlier 98/99/2000 model? If there's no significant improvements on the revised facelift version, then I'd probably go back and include the earlier versions in my search.

Thanks in advance for any help! Very much appreciated :-)
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#2 Old 08-13-2011
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#3 Old 08-14-2011
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Hi SLK newbie and welcome to the forum

I've had SLKs for the past 10 years now. My first was an early R170 ('98 plate) and it was great. It was then my everyday car too. It was a 230. Bought it in 2001. I loved it so much that I promised myself I would only sell it on if a 32 amg came up. Six years' later a 32 did come up and I pounced, the rest is history.

Going back to your question about strong contenders, I just think the difference between the early or the later R170s is purely cosmetic. I personally feel the R170 to look out for is the 32 AMG, but they are relatively rare, particularly in the UK if your budget can stretch that far. However, if you are looking at a 230 you should not go far wrong whether its an early or later model. Just make sure the roof works properly and, if its a later model, check the boot lid around the key lock just above the number plate for paint bubbling, its a weak spot on them and obviously the wheel arches for rust too.

Let us know what you get, perhaps even possibly join us on one of our runs.
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#4 Old 08-14-2011
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A few months ago I bought a facelift 230k. The decision to buy a facelift largely was based on the threads on this forum and advice from SLK owners. I've met 2 pre facelift owners and both have been impressed by the reliability of their vehicles. Good luck!
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#5 Old 08-14-2011
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Hello From Weddington, NC

Hello and welcome aboard from Weddington, NC.
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#6 Old 08-14-2011
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Welcome from New Hampshire, my personal opinion is never buy any first year product. That being said i would look at the face lift models.
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#7 Old 08-14-2011
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Maybe a 2000 . . ?

I have one of the last of the line before the face lift, 62K when I found it. I am very pleased with it, there have been minor issues and will be until I get it all sorted . . . but it is a smooth running car. Things to consider . . . check to see that your key works manually in all the locks (important if you get a dead battery and the remote won't work) . . . I would recommend swapping out the K40 relay first thing . . . unless it has been done. And unless you really, really like black . . . don't buy a black one, high maintenance to keep it looking good. And check the boot and trunk drains . . . winter is coming and you want to be sure that water will drain away from the car and not into it. This is especially serious in the trunk where the PSE can be shorted out by water entering the trunk from a blocked drain. Read a lot of posts . . . download the encyclopedia and go through it. The more information you can garner the better decision you will make on your car and price.


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#8 Old 08-14-2011
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Welcome from Phoenix i have a 99 pre Facelift i had no problems with the car at all. Love it. Keep an open mind when you shop for your Slk. I rather have a pre Facelift Slk than some kind of Slk where the owner butchered the car and i don,t know what i am getting. You always can mod the car to your likings.
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#9 Old 08-14-2011
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Welcome from Germany.
I have a '99 pre facelift too, black with new black clear headlights and black LED taillights (didn't change my pic yet). Maybe I do have to wash it a bit more than most, but with my former cars I was used to washing my car every other week too, so that's no problem.
Here in Germany we have TÜV, who'll check the car for €15 before you buy it. You might have something like that in Britain too?

-Hans
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#10 Old 08-14-2011
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I personally prefer the facelift version for the minor cosmetic changes introduced. The colored sideskirts look much better than the black ones and their shape is also different. There are some other differences as well, such as the steering wheel or the transmission but in the end, it goes down to your preferences and your budget.
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#11 Old 08-15-2011
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Hi, Jeff. Apologies for the lack of info - I've now updated my profile a bit more.

Mercedes Lady, thanks for sharing your experience of the SLK's. Really interesting. They sound quite addictive :-)

The 32 amg would be my fist choice. Right now though I don't think I could justify the expense so I suspect the only relationship I'll be having with a 32 amg will be as a screensaver! Having said that, I've just seen one advertised here with an asking price of just Ł7,000 which is rather tempting!

Fyrelight, thanks for the practical advice - very helpful.

LiveForFreeOrDie - Love your signature!: "Drive like you stole it!!" Haha!

If you have posted, thanks. The advice and posts on here have been really helpful.
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#12 Old 08-15-2011
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I wish you the best of luck searching for your SLK, hope you find something nice.
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#13 Old 09-01-2012
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I was in your position a month ago. Eventually went for a facelift (2002) because of info below.


In 1997, development on updates to the R170 began and by early 1998, design work on an updated SLK was completed and patented on February 2, 1998.[5] In February 2000, the SLK received a facelift which included new front and rear bumper designs, body-coloured side skirts and the introduction of new wing mirrors incorporating indicators. The range was expanded to include a new entry-level model SLK 200 Kompressor and a new V6 in the SLK 320. Technical improvements included the addition of Electronic Stability Program (ESP) and a new 6-speed manual transmission. A stabilizer bar was added to the rear and the front one was reinforced. A 3.46:1 axle was added for the manual shift SLK, and the fuel tank grew from 12 to 14 gallons
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