I just test-drove a 1999 SLK 230 last weekend, and I think I'm hooked. Great looks, great handling, well engineered machine. Howerver, the specimen I looked at was driven hard and lacked some basic maintenance that had me walk away - front disc brakes were paper thin, sloppy shifter gate, minor body damage, overspray in the engine compartment, brown brake fluid and leaking trunk supports. I've been lurking for the past few days, and put together a general inspection checklist as I start the hunt for my first SLK 230. Any help with the checklist would be appreciated. I'm sure I'll have lots of questions as my journey begins.
SLK Checklist (updated 7/9/2010)
Inspect Body for signs of rust, damage or repair.
Look inside wheel wells for missing screws or attaching hardware.
Open hood, doors and trunk. Look for paint overspray or other signs of repair. Check doors for worn hinges.
Inspect hood support and trunk support for weakness or leaking.
Open and close bonnet (roof?).
Any missing emblems or markers?
Turn on lights - check all outside bulbs work.
Check radio & CD ( if installed in trunk)
Check Top operation - open and closed.
Inspect brake pad linings and brake rotors for unusual wear
Inspect brake reservoir - is fluid clean or dirty? When was last system flush?
Is the wear even? Is there unusual wear on the outside or the middle of the tread?
Any scalloped tread on inner or outer surface?
Inspect wheels for bent rims, road rash.
Check trunk for spare, inflator and wheel lock tool.
Is the area dirty?
If its’ clean, is it as clean from the underside (recently steam-cleaned for appearance?)
Are the belts excessively worn?
Condition of radiator hoses?
Anti-freeze color? Dirty/Clean Red (original MB) or Green(non-original)
Any fluid leaks?
Engine Codes? - Attach OBD II reader to connector under instrument cluster and check for codes.
Mileage to next service? - use key sequence to display on odometer.
Suspension: Ripped or torn tie rod boots? Pull the tire from side to side - any movement (ball joint wear).
Exhaust: Inspect muffler, catalytic converter and tailpipe for rust or leaks.
Any rips in seat? Loose trim?
Any unlit lights in dashboard or console?
Tip - If all interior lights are off, turn dimmer switch on intrument cluster to see if they light.
Windows fully operate up and down?
Overhead light on with doors open? Overhead light off with doors closed?
Close Bonnet (roof)
Do all gauges work?
Test horn, turn signals.
On a clear road, reach a speed of 5-10 mph. Lightly hold steering wheel while applying brakes. Does the car pull to one side?
From a standstill. Accelerate rapidly. Any smoke from exhaust?
Decelerate - Any smoke? - could mean worn rings.
Inspect tailpipe - Dry soot OK. Oily - worn rings, compressor seals. No soot - too lean?
Take the car up to highway speeds (45+mph). Any vibration? Wind noise? Other noises?
Unusual exhaust noises? Rattles?
Does cruise control work?
Does A/C work
Documentation: Owner's Manual, service records, etc.
Automatic – does the car shift smoothly between gears? Any slipping?
Clutch – Start the car. With the brake on, place the car in 3rd gear. Release the clutch – does the car begin to stall? If not, the clutch may need replacing.
Does the top or doors leak?
Big ticket repair items:
Catalytic converter - $900
Standard Trans Clutch kit - $500
Hydraulic roof lifts - $300 each (4 required)
Kompressor replacement – $1K
Fuel Pump - $300
Control Module - ???
Mass Airflow Sensor - $300
new/used checklist added by jbanks15 1/25/15