Just talked myself out of buying an '01 slk230 - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

SLK R170 General Discussion SLK 200, SLK 230K, SLK 320, SLK32 AMG

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#1 Old 03-18-2010
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Just talked myself out of buying an '01 slk230

For the past week I've been researching SLKs and was this close to signing on the dotted line for a beautiful "well-kept" '01 with 61000 mi.

Already knowing the german car's reputation for requiring astronomical funds for proper maintenance, I had accepted that fact. However, this morning, I came past a website where owners of R170SLKs described one after another after another awful experiences, many of whom had fewer than the 60,000 mi, and had maintained their slks to the letter.

Being a very busy medical resident, I just can't risk or afford that headache at this time. I would constantly worry about the possibility of breaking down on the way to the hospital during an emergency, which could have devastating consequences.

I guess maybe in a few years when I can afford two cars (i.e. a reliable one in addition to an SLK), I'll revisit the decision. As for now... tsk, tsk
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#2 Old 03-18-2010
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I have an '02 with 72k and have had nothing go wrong other than the S/C water pump which was only roughly 600.00 to replace and its common for the SLK32.

I am not familiar with the SLK230 and if thats the case I feel sorry for all the SLK230 owners....
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#3 Old 03-18-2010
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'tis bizarre - I know tons of folks here (UK) and in Germany who have R170's, and have no problems with 'em at all.

I've got a 04 reg C Sport Coupe, with the same engine and transmission as the R170 200K - and it's been a great, trouble free car as well...



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#4 Old 03-18-2010
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That's too bad. That car was clean! Well, they made more. Maybe you can look into getting one when you're out of school. There's quite a few sports cars out there for that $12 grand. I bought my G35 for less than that and never had any problems with it.. nor are they known for any (03-05 models). The "rev up" motor that came out in 06 had some issues with burning oil.
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#5 Old 03-18-2010
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I have an 02 R170 with 135K and other than basic repair/replace stuff (tires/brakes) i never had a problem. I've even modded my car without any problems. Not sure what these other guys are doing, maybe they should let someone else do the repair work
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#6 Old 03-18-2010
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well, don't talk me into it or anything. I just don't want to be shelling out hundreds/thousands of dollars month after month after month just to own this car... though it may be an amazing car.
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#7 Old 03-18-2010
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#8 Old 03-19-2010
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'01 slk 320

Bought a '01 320 7 months ago ...80,000 miles ...
got extended warranty for $1600 ...
Just had oil changed ...
Mercedes dealer did very complete inspection ...
couldn't find anything wrong ...
For the price we paid (10k) ..
Driving a SLK with the top DOWN is priceless ...
Wife has parked her Vette ...
SLK is her daily ride now ....
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#9 Old 03-19-2010
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Hey RalNga,

Do you know which company offered your extended warranty. The one that was offered with my prospective slk was about 3000 or so, but I'm wondering if I can find a cheaper price. That might change my mind.
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#10 Old 03-19-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shoneek View Post
well, don't talk me into it or anything. I just don't want to be shelling out hundreds/thousands of dollars month after month after month just to own this car... though it may be an amazing car.
LOL, no matter what people say about the slk good/bad you have to be comfortable with your choice so do what's right for you.
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#11 Old 03-19-2010
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shoneek,
i always say 'consider the source' before believing in it.

My slk is also a 2001 with now 81k miles...not one single issue,i maintain it correctly but also drive it very spirited.
My good friend in germany, has a 2003 slk 230, with believe it or not over 180k miles on it,already...he drives all over the place and is still in his mid 20's and drives it full force and spirited on the autobahn....he got it with 25k miles on it....and to this date....he never ever had one single issue,not a thing...

and my other buddies (2 of em) who also own a slk 230 and a 200,also never ever had an issue,i mean literally nothing.

I will say though, the models prior to face lift had some issues,which were lifted and fixed big time...

I really assume,the stories u heard were stories u were maybe looking for to hear u know...if u are looking for bad slk stories,u will find them,just like with any other car....

ps: my slk is my only car,driving in ohio snow and summer...it never failed me,and i am also in the medical field and have a perfect attendance
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#12 Old 03-19-2010
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Member's choice ..

Member's choice ...
got it with our loan ...
from SRP Credit Union Augusta Ga ....
I think you can only get it from a lender ...
3yr--36,000 miles ...$1,600
We have one from them on our '98 vette too ..
they are good about paying ...
so far they have spent over 5K on repairs ..
cost us $2,800 ..but well worth it for an older car ...
It's just like insurance ...only good if you need to use it ...
It's a gamble ...
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#13 Old 03-19-2010
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ralNga, Did your extended warranty cover everything or was it limited to big things like engine, transmission, etc?
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#14 Old 03-19-2010
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Menber's Choice

Covers most everything ...
there are 4 levels of which they will cover ...
according to price ...
Extended Warranty

Members have the opportunity to extend the warranty on a vehicle. There are four levels of coverage from which to choose, ranging from bronze to platinum. These plans cover vehicles up to 9 years old, with mileage of up to 100,000. In addition to covering repairs, this warranty program can also provide 24-hour, toll-free emergency roadside assistance, towing reimbursement, rental reimbursement, and emergency travel expenses. Simply select the coverage option that best suits your needs. Rates vary based on the car's age, model and mileage.
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#15 Old 03-19-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shoneek View Post
well, don't talk me into it or anything. I just don't want to be shelling out hundreds/thousands of dollars month after month after month just to own this car... though it may be an amazing car.
So what is the point of your post? You'll find problem cars no matter what brand they are! Every car will have an achilles heel and for anyone to expect engineers to design and manufacture a product with 0 failiure rates is unrealistic. Stuff happens! Have you ever thought that trolling car forums will most likely give you the impression of perceived unreliability because, let's face it, people are usually looking for help. The number of problem post far out weighs post of praise. If you look at the cars that I keep, you might think that I'm masochistic but I can guarantee that I spend less on maintaining my fleet than most average consumers because I understand them. I you were to compare your options for a convertable in the same price range, I don't think you will find another make that is comparable to the SLK.
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#16 Old 04-01-2010
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Hi Shoneek

Sorry to hear you've been scared off. As Designo says, web sites where people look for help are full of people looking for help! I work in marketing and can tell you that satisfied customers almost never make a peep in public forums; dissatisfied people make a lot of noise -- so it can be very difficult to judge overall reliability from how many problems are reported.

Many people on this site love modifying their cars and spend a lot of time and attention on them; some, like me, never think about their cars unless they want to go somewhere. In which case I jump in the car and go. I get it serviced when it tells me, I get the official test done when they tell me and that's about it. I've only ever called the service out when a fool (um, me) left the light on and drained the battery.

My experience (a pre-facelift 2000 SLK230 and a 2002 SLK32 AMG) was that the facelift helped a lot, but that basically they're very good. My present one has 105,000 miles and works splendidly; when I get it serviced almost nothing needs doing. For what it's worth, it's my only car and I even use it for IKEA and similar tasks. I like it because I feel safe in it, it drives like a dream, doesn't need a lot of attention, and the roof down is a simple undiluted joy. That mix, together, makes it a great car.

In the end, you have to feel good about your choices, but don't be swayed by a long list of problems in a place where people list problems. You'll find the same for most cars or any kind of complex machine. If you're concerned about it, I'd read the reviews from firms like JD Power, who list the R171 as 5/5 stars for "Overall Reliability" (though in the end they prefer the Z4) -- why not dig out the reports for the models and years you're interested in. I believe though that the individual car's history and build is vastly more important than the fault averages for the model -- the averages have to be pretty low, but some individual cars are frankly terrible. So whatever car you end up with, do pay very close attention to the individual one you buy.

Best of luck in whatever you choose, and have fun.

Kind regards,
Jonathan.
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#17 Old 04-01-2010
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This reminds me of something we deal with at work. Anything you read online tends to be one extreme or the other. People who are satisfied or happy with something don't tend to go on a forum or website and post just that. You tend to get the people who are very unhappy or dissatisfied with a service that will go on the internet to vent. And then slkworld would be the opposite where most people here are car enthusiasts who are very satisfied and hence posting on the internet.

Basically, you'll find both extremes on the internet, the group that hates 'XYZ product' and the group that thinks 'XYZ product' is the best thing in the world. The people who are near the middle who thinks its average, decent, fine, swell, aren't taking the time to go on the internet and post just that.

There is literally no product out there that you couldn't find somewhere on the internet, someone saying something negative about it

More onto topic; my slk is a r171 but has had no problems for 2 years, and only been to the dealer twice for oil changes.
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#18 Old 04-01-2010
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^^ Very true however, most of the posts above about "reliability" also include the words "service regularly". He's a student so the MBz services would be ASTRONOMICAL to him. Heck, they're astronomical to me therefore, I service it myself. I've noticed there aren't a lot of DIY guys in the MBz forums. Even if the guy can turn his own wrenches, he probably has no where he CAN work on it.

After my one trip to the dealer, and them telling me I needed $2000 worth of repairs/maintenance (which turned out to be a total cost of $135 in parts and doing the work myself) I'd be done with the car too. It's not that the car is unreliable or costly keep up, it's that the dealers make sure they soak you dry to maintain it.

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#19 Old 04-01-2010
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... completely agree with Todd: I once went to a Mercedes dealership for a service but never, ever, again. I now go only to independent mechanics who have been recommended by people I know (or through this site): much better work at a fraction of the price, with a smile and a clean thrown in.

Kind regards,
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#20 Old 04-01-2010
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Ok guys....Obviously no one wants to say it so I will and it's plain and simple.
Either you want to buy the car or you don't.

I have an issue when some one comes on here and asks for information and then takes that information and blasts the board on how you will have to make fixes to the car once you buy a used one and that its not reliable.

To resolve that...buy a 2010 and you won't have to shell out anything during the maint period.

Good luck!

P.S. It is a Benz and not a Civic!
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