Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Rural NW Oregon
Vehicle: 2000 SLK230 212K Miles Stock
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OK, the saga of Precious. Sister in law bought it new and put 178K on it driving in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California. No easy miles. Gave it to me and it has been one of my daily drivers since 2009.
Once it died going down a hill and starter would not crank, thought it might be neutral switch problem, wiggled shifter and flipped S/W switch, it started, went to work. At lunch, no start, then started, called dealer, went there for first time and paid $450 for a K40 relay! That is when I started with the forum and learned more. I had to have the front wheel bearings replaced by the dealer because everybody said it was too precise for them. They also did the serpentine belt. $1500. Those are my only dealer visits.
I have replaced brake pads a few times and calipers and rotors once.
I had errors codes that I traced to a failing coil by swapping positions. Got a really cheap coil - and that fixed it. Errors came back a year later, but for the other coil, replaced that one.
Had a lot of trouble with error codes for MAP sensor and cam sensor, posted questions here and read everything, all pointed to a vac leak and oil leak in cam sensor. Replaced cam sensor, FINALLY found vac leak on the INSIDE of the elbow connecting to the map sensor. Could not see it without removing sensor. That explained why I tended to get the fault while sitting at red lights - the engine vibrates a little more and that let the gap open up (and vac at max).
She eats up tires pretty fast. The tires it had when I got it (she probably replaced them with the exact OEM tires) were **** in the rain, and I am in NW Oregon. I have found Kumhos, the cheapest from Tire Rack, stick fine for as fast as I am willing to commit to a turn and are great in rain.
The oil tank on the vario pump is leaking down into the fender well. I took it off and removed the tank, wiggled the O-Ring and put it back together. Not fixed. Put in some power steering leak fix, it seems to be much better. Access to the fill plug for the vario is awful, and if you drop that plug, bye-bye. So the third time, I heated a bolt with a torch and melted a hole in the top of the tank, and stuck a rubber cork in it.
The PSE flooded a few times. Took it a part and cleaned it but the alarm is dead and the door locks don't unlock when I open the driver's door from inside, like they used to. It is upside down now.
CD player in trunk was getting tired, pulled Bose and put in a head with USB, Bluetooth, Aux port. Not loud enough.
Oil consumption - the computer wants oil changed around 17K miles, I have to add half a quart to a quart once during that time.
Engine runs absolutely perfectly when not having problems!
Shocks are still fine, handling, braking are wonderful.
The driver's seat back heater was broken when I got it. Last winter I put it in my garage and pulled the steering wheel to replace the dash lights, and pulled the seat and soldered the seat heater. The seat fix didn't last a week, someday I will put in those aftermarket heating pads. Between the two jobs at the same time I got my SRS light. I also glued a leather patch on the backside of the left bolster that had a 4 inch tear in it.
Years ago I bought a little rectangular OBDII device that lets you display some of the interesting information, also lets you see and clear the error codes, I stuck that on the dash with velcro. Don't use it much, but handy when getting a code and making it go away.
I probably need to replace the spark plugs, I think I have only done that once, when the first coil failed. Good idea to go check that.
Since I got it I never use the headlight washers because they don't retract all the way and get trapped by the little doors. I don't care.
The driver side windshield washer is useless, I have blown them and wired them and replaced the hose (unheated, not paying $100 for a hose) but it fails as soon as I put it all together.
I get a very very consistent 26 MPG in my country driving. I tear up the mountain roads when I get a chance, but mostly I follow the guy in front of me at 62 MPH.
I finally got around to buying the tranny dipstick and it was a quart+ low. Ooops! Will stay on top of that from now on. The locking clip was missing so it got checked by somebody before me.
It continues to be a wonderful car and my daily driver for a 80 mile per day country road commute.