Newby Questions - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

General Discussion Topics must pertain to all 3 generations of SLK - R170, R171 and R172

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#1 Old 05-20-2012
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Newby Questions

I finally took the time to go through the SLK 280 trunk to see the spare wheel, tools, and so on.

I do not have a "protective wrap" and a "valve extractor" in my tool tray.

What is a protective wrap and what is it used for?

Is the valvle extractor a specific tool for the SLK and is it necessary?

Also, on the left wall of the truck is a small black plastic box held on by a spring bolt. There looks to be some sort of electric equipment in the box with 2 leads to it. What might this be?

Finally, I am accustomed to 4-wheeling where I carry a whole load of tow straps, wheel chocks, air compressor, X lug wrench, tie downs, and other such equipment. Given the space available in the SLK, what do you folks carry in the way of emergency tools or equipment?

Thanks for your help, I am finding this forum to be invaluable after only a few days. It is fun, too.

Rick
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#2 Old 05-20-2012
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Originally Posted by Rickanns View Post
I finally took the time to go through the SLK 280 trunk to see the spare wheel, tools, and so on.

I do not have a "protective wrap" and a "valve extractor" in my tool tray.

What is a protective wrap and what is it used for?

Is the valvle extractor a specific tool for the SLK and is it necessary?

Also, on the left wall of the truck is a small black plastic box held on by a spring bolt. There looks to be some sort of electric equipment in the box with 2 leads to it. What might this be?

Finally, I am accustomed to 4-wheeling where I carry a whole load of tow straps, wheel chocks, air compressor, X lug wrench, tie downs, and other such equipment. Given the space available in the SLK, what do you folks carry in the way of emergency tools or equipment?

Thanks for your help, I am finding this forum to be invaluable after only a few days. It is fun, too.

Rick

The 'protective wrap' is just a clear polyethylene sheet/bag that is used to wrap your damaged wheel whilst you are deciding where in your car you might be able to put it.

The valve extractor is just a standard schreader valve core removal tool - it is provided so that you can TRY to fully deflate the spare after it has been used, so you can replace it back in the trunk spare well.

There should be an electric air compressor in there somewhere - a rectangular plastic box with an air hose and a long cable, terminating in a 'cigarette lighter' plug.

As far as tools/spares go, the only stuff you'll ever need is that which you have left at home in your garage. A mobile phone + charge card will cover most eventualities.






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#3 Old 05-20-2012
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First. Take the spare tire and tools out of the trunk and put them in your garage/basement where they belong. Then put them back in the trunk when you are selling the car.

Second: Join AAA Texas for $80 per year. They will tow you to have the tire repaired. 4 times a year 100 miles per time. You have to have the tire repaired anyway and don't want to drive slow on that spare.

Third: You will save at least $80 in premium fuel cost by not carrying the spare. Plus you wont attempt to change the tire so you will have a reduced cleaning bill for your pants etc. The reduced stress from not dealing with the flat tire: Priceless.

Fourth: Gaze in amazement at all the extra space you now have where the spare used to be: first aid kit; manuals; flashlights; hatbox; illegal aliens etc.
G.

PS. AAA You also get fuel delivery, locked doors opened , free maps etc.

AAA Texas - Membership Services
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#4 Old 05-20-2012
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Only thing you need is a cell phone in the USA call 800-FOR-MERCedes (800-367-6372) for roadside service. If you bought your car from MB or spend $100 in 18 months it is free. Like somone else said no matter what you have in the trunck it will be the item you left at home is the one you need.
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#5 Old 05-20-2012
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Originally Posted by Gbarringer100 View Post
Only thing you need is a cell phone in the USA call 800-FOR-MERCedes (800-367-6372) for roadside service. If you bought your car from MB or spend $100 in 18 months it is free. Like somone else said no matter what you have in the trunck it will be the item you left at home is the one you need.
But MB Roadside assist will only tow to an MB Dealership. They don't treat puncture repair as priority unless they know you. Here, you could wait all day. Tow to a tire specialist you wait maybe an hour.

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#6 Old 05-21-2012
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...and if the tire is wrecked, he will be able to source a matching tire much more quickly..


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#7 Old 05-21-2012
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An even cheaper option is to use Allstate. You do NOT need to be an allstate insured either, anyone can use it.

http://www.allstate.com/auto-roadside-services/good-hands-roadside.aspx

Free to have, $75 per tow. Not sure about you, but I sure don't need 4 tows a year... I've never needed more than 1 . $50 for refuiling, jump starts, lockouts, and tire changes.
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#8 Old 05-22-2012
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[QUOTE=Arachnyd;307105]...An even cheaper option is to use Allstate. $75 per tow...QUOTE]

The Allstate plan covers 10 miles towing. I could push the car that far. (Well maybe downhill) Then its $3/mile. I tour a bit and would like to have coverage of about 100 miles. With Allstate plan that would be $75 plus 90 X $3 or $345 even 50 miles would be $225

AAA may be less expensive and more thorough coverage. It also covers my bikes so that helps when I forget to refuel. Plus I have some older cars and bikes that are a bit more prone to breakdown.

G.
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#9 Old 05-22-2012
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I havent tested my theory yet But I think when you need to stow the punctured wheel, it might just fit standing in the spare wheel well if you remove the polystyrene tray. Or as said better still call your breakdown company. Lots of new cars dont have a spare at all Mazda MX5 for one.
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#10 Old 05-22-2012
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I havent tested my theory yet But I think when you need to stow the punctured wheel, it might just fit standing in the spare wheel well if you remove the polystyrene tray. Or as said better still call your breakdown company. Lots of new cars dont have a spare at all Mazda MX5 for one.
Vettes and Camaros for 2... thats what the "onstar" button is for!
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#11 Old 05-22-2012
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The Allstate plan covers 10 miles towing. I could push the car that far. (Well maybe downhill) Then its $3/mile. I tour a bit and would like to have coverage of about 100 miles. With Allstate plan that would be $75 plus 90 X $3 or $345 even 50 miles would be $225

AAA may be less expensive and more thorough coverage. It also covers my bikes so that helps when I forget to refuel. Plus I have some older cars and bikes that are a bit more prone to breakdown.

G.
Certainly depends on your situation. For you its clearly a smart move, for most people its unfortunately not. I want to start by pointing out that basic AAA is only 3 mile tows. I rarely ever leave the 20 mile radius of my house with any vehicles except my truck, and I have towing coverage through my insurance (amica) for that, plus towing coverage from Chrysler. Its all my other vehicles I just plan on using allstate as I've only had 1 breakdown, flattire, etc. in the last 15 years, and that one was taken care of by onstar... so for me, $0-$335 > $1125, but of course it depends on who you are and what your doing!

I was reading an article where the average AAA member only calls once every 3 years (or in other words, for those of you who call 4 times per year, theres 3 other people who call 0 times per year). In fact, according to one AAA region, they have 880k memberships and 515k roadside calls. thats on average, one call every 1.7 years- However as you can tell by this conversation, everyone doesnt use it equally. Some users use it multiple times per year, others don't use it for many years, So in other words, for about 1/4 of users, AAA is worth it. for 3/4 of users, its probably not.

I also know pricing differs. Here its $150 per year for AAA plus (100 miles per tow). Classic is only $90, but only includes 3 miles per call. If you need a tow, fuel up, etc. 0-10 miles once per year, Allstates cheaper. If you need 10 miles twice per year, Allstates cheaper, BUT if you tow 100 miles every year, or 50 miles 4 times per year, or anything like that, yes AAA is the way to go.

I've been considering getting Coach-net. for $129 (less than AAA Plus) it includes unlimited Road Service for all family vehicles including boat and car trailers (AAA doesnt cover trailers) and motorcycles. I know you said your AAA covers motorcycles, so it must be a location based thing because in AAA New York, they explicitly state that Motorcycles are not covered. AAA NY . I've also considered lowering my chance of risk with something like towpal , but I'm not quite sold on either route.

Trailers have been a different story for me...

But I guess it all depends on who you are and what you use it for. If you have a few older cars and break down multiple times per year and need to drive a real long distance, AAA makes sense. If you don't tow more than once a year and don't tow far, Allstate makes sense. If you need motorcycle, boat, or trailer coverage, something else like coachnet may make sense.

I don't want to sound like I'm just pitching Allstate, but for those of us who decided AAA was not worth it for us, I just wanted to point out that Allstate is a lot cheaper than "cash calls"! If AAA makes sense for your usage though, go for it! There is no one-size fits all.


Last edited by Arachnyd; 05-22-2012 at 02:24 PM.
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