Driven in winter or not. - 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 01-12-2016
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Driven in winter or not.

Not doubt the question has as many cons as positive points of view, ask a mechanic and he'll probably say drive it, with such issues as flattened wheel bearings and stuck brake systems, as well as battery, hoses and rubber deterioration, plus the winter house for rodents...

My thoughts are based on 40+ years of owning both cars and motorcycles in different climates, and for the most part I've found it better for the car to at least drive it several miles a week to keep things moving. ( hopefully avoiding salted roads) And I've found that things hold up much better, rather than standing still for 5 months, even with a trickle charger.

Engines like to stay lubed with oil at the top end, something you don't get when standing still ( unless you've used conservation oils) plus the entire system gets to "breath" with fluid motion through the hoses and belts and AC pump. Diffidently a plus.

Any thoughts from the cold climate folks?
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#2 Old 01-12-2016
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As you can imagine, this is covered ahhh, search is your best friend

https://www.google.com/webhp?sourcei...%20in%20winter
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#3 Old 01-12-2016
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Yeah, looked. It seems the issues were tire related and basic handling characteristics. I was looking for overall engine benefits and bearing issues, and some perspectives.
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#4 Old 01-12-2016
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Members will reply. You checked all of those threads already?
About 2,650 results. you fast!


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#5 Old 01-12-2016
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buwhhahha naaa. just engine related. ( so much to do, and so little time ...
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#6 Old 01-12-2016
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I try to keep the car moving at least once a week over the winter. As you said, I avoid road salt like the plague, as it will destroy the car over time.

I believe it's a good practice to lubricate the seals, to prevent 'permanent' bends in the moving rubber and to prevent internal corrosion from forming. I am somewhat fortunate in that it's unusual to have a blanket of snow throughout the winter on Long Island and sand is often used on the roads instead of salt.

How well the strategy works will be tested with annual oil analysis. The car has a good analysis record from California; it will be interesting to see if the positive trend continues in NY.

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#7 Old 01-12-2016
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Agreed, moving ( or running the engine) at least to working temperature is vital. I'm using a cold weather oil and sufficient antifreeze, as we can get minus 20C a few times a year. Normally its just around freezing point during winter, but this year it hit hard. I avoid the salt if at all possible, I have a long road to my place off the beaten path, un salted, so driving a few minutes a week is without damage.

No doubt cold engine starts are hard on any moving parts, but I think far outweigh the possible deterioration of standing still 5 months. Frankly the car did a remarkable job last week when I brought it back to Stockholm, even with summer tires.
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#8 Old 01-12-2016
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A car standing still for a long time is worse than driving it. Only avoid salt like members above say above. Goe as soon as possible to a car wash to clean it below. Or do it yourself when you have a hot water steamer.
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CAR WASH! Oops, shock not shouting.


I'm not in the league of many on here but I wouldn't touch a car wash with the slk.
Way too many places for water and detergent to creep in.


Much prefer the annual winter check up at MB. Whether she needs it or not.


The Maguires visit has got me thinking two bucket system come spring. Their vids are interesting.


Otherwise it's eau natural, or rain as most call it and an occasional brush of the wheels.
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#10 Old 01-12-2016
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I don't like car wash either don't get me wrong and I filled many a bucket with rain water myself but some people living in a big city can't wash their cars in the street anymore.


Some people advise me to use the hot water steamer as dirt sticking on the chassis tends to bring rust underneath. We have a lot of dirt on the roads here
as it is a rural country.


Myself I don't like the steamer.
I prefer bucket and sponge.
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#11 Old 01-14-2016
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I found a place here near me were they do hand washing any time of year. They have a menu of items you can get to full detailing inside and out to just hand wash the exterior. For just the basic hand wash (done inside there garage) the cost is $20 CDN. Seems worth it to me to keep the car clean during the winter. Nothing like that near you?
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