Planning to buy SLK ASAP - need advice - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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

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#1 Old 05-15-2013
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Planning to buy SLK ASAP - need advice

Hello everyone!
Recently I fell in love with SLK and I am really excited to buy this amazing car. Though I have limited budget for the car (only $10K cash).
SLKs are fairly rare to find in Houston.

I do not want to buy a car with very high mileage above 80K miles and do not want black exterior and this makes my search even harder.
Currently I know only one car on sale here in town that fits my budget and requirements: 2001 SLK230 with ~79K miles.

Of course, I am planning to inspect it at certified Mercedes repair shop prior to the purchase. But anyway some mechanical problems could arise in a few months. I do not know what to expect from the car that old. Another choice for this budget is Mustang 2007 with 53K miles, but SLK attracts me more. I found a lot of mixed reviews about the reliability of Mercedes, though SLK seems more reliable compared to many other Mercedes models and I am hoping that my repair expenses would not be so huge.

So what do you think, can 2001 SLK with 79K miles be considered as OK choice that would give me more happiness than troubles? Currently I do not have enough budget for the possible repairs. I know some electronic issues could be very expensive to fix. Ideally I do not want to have any technical problems within one year. I am planning to put about 12K miles on the car within one year.

Thank you in advance for the response!
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#2 Old 05-15-2013
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79k is nothing to a Merc engine they are built to last, as long as its had its oil changes etc. the things just run in ..

In Germany they have Mercedes taxis with a Million miles done, still going strong, hope that helps ?
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#3 Old 05-15-2013
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79k is still young for MB, 2001 SLK only a few problems are known. Front top cylinder for unlocking top at windshield can leak. DIY repair less than $40 or dealer for few thousand. Other wise is it has been serviced you should have a pretty much a care free car. Any used car can have a an unexplained problem. Good luck with your hunt. Check cars.com or autotrader.com, good sources to find a car. Take your time there is a car out there for you.
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#4 Old 05-15-2013
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#5 Old 05-15-2013
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Originally Posted by Yellowstoner View Post
So what do you think, can 2001 SLK with 79K miles be considered as OK choice that would give me more happiness than troubles?
No one would be able to predict future problems but that car has a lot of life left in it with those miles. Check your scheduled service/maintenance options for the model and mileage. Find out exactly what it's going to cost through the dealership after it's inspected, then price shop an independent for the necessary repairs if you cannot do them yourself and whatever you do, please plan on an emergency repair of at least $1000.

example: I had no idea when I purchased my car that the previous owner turned it in with winter tires. I cannot drive it in the summer with winter tires on it. Something about the heat of the black top will destroy the tread. So there went my safety net, 4 new tires had to go on.

It's just the little things. You won't be able to foresee everything but the people here are brilliant at providing ideas and solutions.

Good luck!


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#6 Old 05-15-2013
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... troll around cars.com for a while. great filters for budget, colour, mileage, distance from you.. you'll get a feel for what's available within your budget.


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#7 Old 05-15-2013
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Service Records are important. I woud be much more confident of an SLK that had been regularly serviced at a Dealer or qualified Indy. You can get the pick up checklist on this site to help you inspect the car. You should also expect to pay a couple of hundred dollars for a good inspection. It should read the STAR Diagnostic codes for the car and look over all of the main systems. You should also be able to download the owner's and maintenance manuals for the model year you are buying off the web, and thus know what should have been done to the car.

Best Wishes on your search.
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#8 Old 05-15-2013
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spot on Reb. if you get serious about a car, ask for the Master Vehicle Inquiry (the owner can get it from any MB dealer). It will tell you alot about the car's history (any that was done by MB).


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#9 Old 05-15-2013
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My '99 SLK230 just went over the 130K mile mark...and is still running strong. If you're looking for a car, that when you're at a stop sign, the person next to you will look over and give you a thumbs up...the SLK230 is the car you want. I have to admit, I do like the Mustangs, but there is no comparison as far as I'm concerned.
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#10 Old 05-15-2013
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I'd suggest buying a facelift model 2000-2004. They tend to have less problems. I'd recommend to become a handy DIY person. Otherwise you'll spend big $$$ for simple repairs. I do enjoy my 2003. I'm the 2nd owner and pet this car. The previous owner also seemed to take a good care of it since it was in perfect condition and had all records! Bought it with 80k's and now have 126k's miles. Done Lots of things throughout the car but they're all age related, especially rubber and plastic =( + Texas heat does it's job. It's of a black color. Put window tint on it and my air conditioner never goes above 1.5 even during these hot summers here in Houston, TX! So, search for the one you like and don't regret the money spent on inspection. There's an inspection list somewhere on this forum, but from my experience I recommend checking the steering drag link and ball joints, steering damper, engine mounts, steering locking cylinder, roof mechanism.

Good luck searching!
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#11 Old 05-16-2013
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Funny those are your two choices, I've got a 2000 slk and last summer wen to California and rented a 2011 or 2012 mustang convertible so was constantly comparing the two in my mind as we drove.

The 'stang was comfortable, much much more so than the Benz for me. The slk seats don't hav springs...just different foam densities, which I guess saves weight but the seats In the stang made it easy to drive for 4 hours... I'm pretty stiff in my slk after that long.

It might it be fare to compare the ride quality to a nearly new car and a 13 year old car, but the stang drove heavier, softer and whole nice on the straight patches, the slk can really take the corners, personal If I push it I can hit 60 easily around a 30-35 mph corner, without feeling your on the edge of losing it, couldn't do it in the stang.

Both are nice, by I've got to say I walk out even though I drive a pretty sweet 2010 range rover, it doesn't make me smile like my blacked out 2000 slk! Daily driver to for stang, fun extra car? Gotta be the slk!
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#12 Old 05-16-2013
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Thanks everybody for the response! Tomorrow I am planning to check out one vehicle that fits my budget and other parameters. Hope it will not have any major issues.
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#13 Old 05-16-2013
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good luck in your purchase/hunt for an SLK

I have a 2003 320SLK and love it. I have had the trans serviced, and had the valve cover gaskets replaced. Other than that two oil changes and two tires. everything costs more on a MB. My Red toy has 76K on her and I put 5k of that on last summer. She has heated, dry storage all NE winter. Good luck.
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