I need some tips on buying - 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 05-01-2016
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I need some tips on buying

I'm not having good luck trying to buy a used SLK. There is nothing available locally and the ones I like are gone before I can make arrangements for trip to go see them. My choices are the Chicago area, which I don't trust, or "long distance". From what I see, lots of "long distance" buyers are putting down payments on cars they haven't seen yet. Is this the norm? What are your options for making sure you aren't getting junk? I'm willing to give this a try if I knew the rules. Anyone have any suggestions?
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#2 Old 05-01-2016
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If nothing local, you have to search where most convertibles aka SLKs are found
Florida and California primarily
so check those states and take a road trip
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#3 Old 05-01-2016
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get the free datacard of options when you get the vin
make sure they have records of maintenance

https://www.slkworld.com/general-disc...checklist.html


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#4 Old 05-01-2016
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Only rule in buying any car is "buyer beware"... That being said, look closely at all the pictures and ask for more of the trouble spots. You can have them take the car to a dealer for inspection. Got mine long distance.....didn't do as I just described and had Bly one minor problem the seller sort of hid. I would do it again though. Just a little slower on the purchase.


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#5 Old 05-01-2016
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I was in the same boat; I couldn't find the car I wanted locally, and was looking nationally for a car. I ended up buying my car sight unseen, from a dealer 1400 miles away. It's worked out great, I got the car I wanted, in the condition that was disclosed to me by the dealer. Here is what I learned through the process:
  • A dealer that works with remote buyers will have a large number of high resolution pictures for you to review on their website. My dealer had 100 pictures of the car I bought, all high res, good focus.
  • That same dealer will help you arrange a PPI at the shop of your choice. In my case, they delivered it to the local MB dealer and picked it up when the inspection was complete. I paid for the inspection, and received the report direct from that dealer.
  • Get the Carfax and talk to the shops that worked on the car directly. They can tell you more about how the car was cared for than what is written on the Carfax. The people I talked to were more than happy to tell me what they knew about the car's history.
  • If you can't inspect the car in person, is there someone you can trust that will check it out for you? In my case, I had a cousin who was willing to check out the car and the dealer. Definitely helped my peace of mind.
  • Finally, that type of dealer will help you arrange shipping if you need it. Don't be afraid of using a broker, but make sure you check them out, and get some quotes on your own (uship.com is a good source of quotes). Get enclosed transport, so there is little chance of on-route damage
  • After you close the deal and the car is on the truck on its way to you, when you get anxious, take a deep breath and remember you did all the due diligence you would have done had you seen it live.
  • Make sure you are there when it gets unloaded.....its a great, fun feeling.
The other thing you can do is work with a local dealer to find the car for you and bring it in. I talked to a couple local dealers about that, but ultimately decided to find the car myself.


Good luck! Have fun! Don't forget to breathe!!


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#6 Old 05-01-2016
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I used Cars.com and Autotrader.com and put in my requirements such as distance, price range, year range and checked it every other day or so and found mine. Took a month or so of trying. Not the best time to look for a convertible as summer is coming on and people will hold on for the summer and come fall will be wanting to sell them.


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#7 Old 05-01-2016
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I would: stick with dealers over individuals over long distance (5-6 hr drive). In any case, obtain VIN. No VIN, no go. Buy and use Carfax to check vehicle history. Ask dealers to provide Carfax. Make them think your decision will be contingent on it. Use AutoTrader.com. Look at Craiglist. BEWARE OF SCAMMERS! Read and follow the "Avoid Scams" sections of those websites. Don't go anywhere alone and try to meet in public places in liue of someone's home. Remove all jewelry and don't take any plastic or cash. Obtain data card from Jeffie so you know what options the car should have, and then verify whether those options are functional. If not-leverage time baby. If buying a 171 use VIN to check whether balance shaft sprocket may be an issue. 172 has other potential issue (cam shaft sprocket??). Ask for service records. Look for evidence of oil change history.

I was fortunate. I found the car on Craiglist. Communicated extensively with owner and to the extent possible and verified he was the actual person he claimed to be. I basically agreed on price sight unseen but took a cashiers check which I was prepared to rip Up. I suppose I could have taken multiple checks for the purpose of haggling but I am not that person. DON'T TAKE CASH! I sent him bank info for the check (with personal info blacked out) which he verified. Luckily I had Found a buyer (Craiglist) for my deer destroyed (total loss) MX5 in the same city. Drove it 4.5 hrs from home, bought the SLK, then sold the Miata later that day. The first (only) owner of the SLK was kind enough to let me use his plates for the drive home, then I mailed them back. It can be done but I stress take every precaution possible. The number of fools is infinite, and the perverse are hard to correct.

Also important: be patient and take your time-get the car you want. If I had it to do over again (which I will), I would be sitting on an 8 cylinder rather than the six. Still I'm very, very happy and thankful that it worked out as well as it did.

God's Speed and good luck! Post your progress please for those of us who enjoy this forum!
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#8 Old 05-01-2016
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Leave the Betty at home that way you can get the options YOU want. Here is a link to PHX maybe something will interest you. Fly in put the top down drive home.

Mercedes-Benz SLK for Sale in Phoenix, AZ 85051 | Bestride.com
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#9 Old 05-01-2016
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With all due respect sir, I disagree completely. Happy wife=Happy life. One should never "Leave the Betty at home". Cars will come and go, wives don't (ideally).
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#10 Old 05-01-2016
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First of all, thanks for all of the great suggestions. I guess I am not alone and just have to be patient and diligent.

Second, my wife has absolutely no interest in any car I buy, so there is no worry about bringing her along. My biggest problem with her is to come up with an argument for getting rid of my Lexus, as she loves the damn thing!

Third, I have seen an SLK on Cars.com, in the Chicago area I like. I am tempted, but extremely "gun shy" about buying from there. Cars like an SLK are over-priced and even low mileage models are not as they seem to be. Buying a low mileage, 10 year old car from the Chicago area likely means it spent 10 years in slow traffic on awful streets in crappy weather. They have had the crap beat out of them and are worn well beyond their mileage. Don't ask me how I know.
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#11 Old 05-01-2016
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I don't think mine was over priced, as all that I looked at or considered were in the same range. I think it was over priced to begin with, and I am still flabbergasted at how much it depreciated in 10 yrs. in another ten it will be worth negative X dollars I guess. I looked at an 06 that had 192k. It looked liked like it had been "rode hard and put away wet" (an equestrian expression) many, many times. You're right about that Chicago car, background says a lot. Have you looked at sleaze Bay? Lots of dealers on there.
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#12 Old 05-01-2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Balr14 View Post
My biggest problem with her is to come up with an argument for getting rid of my Lexus...
Hit a deer. It worked for me.
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#13 Old 05-01-2016
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I assume you've looked at the "SLK cars for sale" section of this forum. There's an 02 near Chicago. If it was a VW diesel I would consider 150k to be "low mileage ", but it's not, so it's not IMHO
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#14 Old 05-02-2016
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Originally Posted by Balr14 View Post
Buying a low mileage, 10 year old car from the Chicago area likely means it spent 10 years in slow traffic on awful streets in crappy weather. They have had the crap beat out of them and are worn well beyond their mileage. Don't ask me how I know.

I agree completely. I focused on the south and California. A hometown Colorado car would have possibly been fine, but there aren't too many out here, and you have to watch for excessive damage to the paint and the interior from the sun.
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#15 Old 05-02-2016
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I've bought several cars long-distance. I have always gotten cars inspected at a dealership close to the buyer, and have had several that didn't pass the inspection and so I moved on. I would always recommend that.
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#16 Old 05-02-2016
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Patience depends on how specific you are. I was...took over 4 months to find what I wanted. I DID over pay.....for color. Hey you want what you want and might as well wait for it. It happen to be a Colorado car! Quite a few paint chips....so a nose job came first. Didn't haveta....just wanted toa. You mentioned you liked a Colorado car.....why?


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#17 Old 05-02-2016
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You mentioned you liked a Colorado car.....why?

That was me. Very dry climate, and they don't use salt on the roads, so corrosion is limited to nonexistent. We do use a gritty gravelly stuff of some kind, which can cause paint issues. But in general, the climate is kind to cars.
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#18 Old 05-02-2016
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That was me. Very dry climate, and they don't use salt on the roads, so corrosion is limited to nonexistent. We do use a gritty gravelly stuff of some kind, which can cause paint issues. But in general, the climate is kind to cars.
Nice to hear!😀


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#19 Old 05-03-2016
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Used Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class For Sale Milwaukee, WI - CarGurus

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#20 Old 05-03-2016
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There's an 05' blk/blk SLK 55 about 10 minutes from my home in Raleigh NC for sale and on cargurus.com. It's been there for a few weeks. It looks to be in good condition and priced reasonably and probably negotable.

http://www.cargurus.com/Cars/l-Used-...ting=138988041

If you have interest in the car, i could do an over the phone inspection with you.

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