Hi all, new member here, and I'm really a new be. I have never owner a Mercedes before, and don't know anything about them, but I'm looking at a 2003 SLK 320, with 75,000 miles on it. could someone advise me on what I should be looking for when I go to see and test drive it. Problem time is not on my side, I plan on looking at it tomorrow (Saturday) morning. Any advise would be great.
Thanks so much, Bob
Assuming it drives well, make sure the top functions smooth, the trunk stays open, all lights come on when key in last step before turning the engine and that all lights go off after the engine is on. Make sure the check engine light is on before the engine starts and goes off after that!!!
Check the engine for oil leaks. Make sure it stops with a hard pedal and very responsive. Make sure the steering is NOT “all over the place”. Take a look at the rev counter and make sure it is steady.
Make sure it was not in an accident; do a simple test yourself and also check the Carfax.
The simple test is to have the same distance between the hood and the fenders on both sides equal.
Take a look at the wheels; bent wheels are not a good sign, also scratched ones speak for poor driver skills and bad maintenance.
Take a look at the engine oil. It should NOT be black!!! And it should not smell very profound.
Put it in drive and then in rear; if the car shakes, that will point you to bad engine/transmission mounts. This is not severe but is a great bargaining point.
The front spoiler tends to get scratches underneath… Great bargaining point.
Make sure all the glass is branded with the Mercedes logo. If not, pay closer attention for accident marks and it is also a great bargaining point. Could be a rock while driving or a burglar for the side windows, but it is great to talk the price down.
Maintenance history!!! Very important if he asks top dollar. Condition of the tires. Take it to the freeway and pay attention for vibrations between 60 and 70 mi/h. could be out of balance or something wrong.
Look under the car and pay attention to the oil pan and transmission pan; there should be no oil…
Take a look at the lower side of the radiator; it should be dry.
Turn the AC on and make sure it blows cold; it would be great to have a thermometer and check the blower. You should get no more than 38 F with a single vent open.
Take a look at the condition of the serpentine belts. Check the doors for a correct closing.
Go with your hand over the paint and take closer look at spots which are not smooth. Touch-ups are a great bargaining point. Look for rock chips on the windscreen.
Have an OBD II scanner with you and scan it for fault codes
Print this out and take it point by point.
Good Luck and let us know how it went!