Looking for some good input on buying an SLK - 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 08-16-2008
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Looking for some good input on buying an SLK

Hey yall, been browsing around this forum for the past week or so and it looks like you have a great community here! So for about the past month I've been on the hunt for a convertible. Right now I'm driving a 2006 Mazda6 S. It's been a great car, only has 33,000 miles on it, but I feel the need to have the wind blowing in my hair and to admire nature. Funny story, but I ended up meeting this girl at the beginning of summer. She ended up being a summer fling of sorts(goes to another college) and happened to have an SLK 230. Long story short I drove that dang thing whenever I could and absolutely loved it. Granted she's a female and didn't take great care of it(150k odd so miles) and it was a little worn out, but I still loved it. I've ended up looking at 2 or 3 SLK's locally(relatively speaking) and just can't pull the trigger. I almost did on a 1999 with the sport package two nights ago. It was silver and had the AMG wheels and stuff....it was really sharp. Unfortunately it had 126k miles on it which scares me.

I'm a pretty informed person when it comes to cars...so I've definitely done my fair share of research on the SLK. Looks like reliability comes into question a lot with this car and thats definitely a factor for me. As of right now I haven't had a single problem go wrong with my current car, and honestly probably won't for another 50,000 miles. Its just a good car.

What problematic areas should I be looking for when looking at these SLKs? Based on the forums here it would appear the engine is pretty solid. The powered tops freak me out a little due to all the moving parts and just the general intricacy of how it works. I'd always have the top down except when it would be raining...shine or clouds....so it would be going up and down every time I drove the car.

I keep trying to wind this post down and I simply can't haha....I just really love the car and could talk all day about it. My budget is pretty strict...I can trade even for my car and thats about it. That puts me in around the 13-14k range price wise. Mileage is an issue too....would really like it to be 100k....and preferably closer to 75k.

K here we go. What I'm asking for is just some good, honest advice. Is the upkeep on these cars strenuous on the wallet? I'm in college so money is tight. Also, what should I be really paying close attention to when looking at one?

One last question...I know that as a community, yall could probably talk about the positives of the SLK all day long...and thats great! But if you had to comment on one thing that you absolutely hate about the car, what would it be?

Thanks so much in advance, sorry for the long ass post, I'm just looking for some solid advice on purchasing an SLK.

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#2 Old 08-16-2008
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Welcome Alex1118!

Which SLK do you have in mind? R170? R171? Where are you located? The selection may vary by region.

The main drawback may be the cost of MB expendable parts eg brake rotors/discs. Regular maintenance for Service B may be a tad high but then the flexible service is not spaced as close in time, but also depend on your miles traveled per month. I say a tad because the cost on some parts and maintenance on the 2003 Honda Oddysey (minivan) is sometimes near par with MB. If you know of a highly recommended independent MB shop (aka "indy") then it would be cost-effective.


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#3 Old 08-16-2008
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Hi, and welcome. The SLK is a great, FUN, car. I also drive a 2004 Mazda6 as my daily driver. Great looking, medium price, comfortable and fun to drive, I love it. Based on your budget, your looking at a R170 SLK. Plenty out there, all models, great prices. I see more and more SLKs in my area, most are R170s. Very few problems reported here, nothing major. The retractable roof is rock solid. As Eddy stated, repairs and part can be expensive, but that's true for most vehicle. No SLK negatives other than not enough drive time. It's not a daily driver. Good luck in your search.
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#4 Old 08-16-2008
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If you have never had a german car (BMW, Audi, MB) before you would not believe the cost to maintain.

We bought a "certified" 2005 350 back in March. Our car has been in the dealer three times, each one week at a time, in the last 5 months we have had it. Luckily all the repairs have been covered under warranty, but they would have cost over $7k if we had to pay out of pocket. Not to mention the couple hundred dollars in rental cars I have had to pay for during that period because sometimes no loaners were available.

We're on a 2000 mile roadtrip right now and I discovered a couple other things wrong with the car. We put up the top the other day and it wouldn't close all the way. When I put it back down, I heard something fall off in the trunk and found a plastic clip and bolt sheered off.

I still like the car, though I doubt we will keep it out of warranty. Enough power, good looks.
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