Planning on road tripping, is the cooling system worth worrying about? - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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

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#1 Old 03-02-2018
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Planning on road tripping, is the cooling system worth worrying about?

Hello all,

I've had my 2001 SLK320 for over a year now and haven't had any cooling issues. I replaced the coolant last June (Mercedes Benz coolant) and it always runs at 82 degrees, trickling up to about 95 in stop and go traffic. I love road tripping, and did 3000 kilometres in July without a hitch. In fact, this car has never had a mechanical issue in the time I've had it nor has it ever left me stranded. I did the K40 relay as preventative maintenance.

Nonetheless, I've had experience with a radiator cracking in the past (a different car) and it sucks. I know the SLK has plastic parts in the cooling system, including the radiator. Has anyone had experience with these parts cracking or failing? I do plan on doing a lot of road tripping in the coming months and don't want to be stranded far from home. I know BMW's are notorious for their fragile cooling systems but I'm hoping this doesn't transfer to Mercedes too.

My car has 134,000 Km or around 83,000 miles. It was originally registered in November 2000, so has been on the original cooling system for 17 years.

Thank you for your input!
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#2 Old 03-02-2018
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Whilst you wait for an answer try a few searches on the subject.
Vary the words to get the widest range of results.


I've read most posts on here for the last 2/3 years.
I've not seen much on any cooling system weakness for the 170s in general.


The V6s seem particularly robust.


Having refreshed the coolant, I'd expect you to be OK.

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#3 Old 03-02-2018
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I wouldn't worry about it. It's a simple and durable system. I have 171,000 miles on mine and the cooling system is original.
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#4 Old 03-02-2018
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Similarly here - 104,000 miles and original components too. The M112 is a solid engine and in the 320 it isn't highly tuned or stressed.

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#5 Old 03-03-2018
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Unless you have a reason to worry about it, then don't. It's not something that comes up often on this site. My 320 has been very reliable. Apart from the K40, noisy water pump bearings and the usual consumables it's been great.
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#6 Old 03-04-2018
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About a year ago, my mechanic noticed hairline cracks in the top of the coolant reservoir in my 2003 SLK320 (120K miles at the time), and some coolant residue on the lid...it looked like the tank could fail completely soon. I had him replace the reservoir tank. It was a half hour labor plus the part cost. I didn't take a pic of the problem unfortunately, but here's the new one, in case you're wondering which part I'm referring to:

SLK320 coolant reservoir.jpg

Some other folks reported issues with the same tank in this thread:

https://www.slkworld.com/slk-r170-gen...reservoir.html

I'd say at least take a close look at that tank and see if you see any structural issues with the lid.
Happy road tripping!

Cheers,
Rich
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