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New owner of 1998 slk 230. The top worked fine for first two weeks while the weather was really hot. Yesterday morning the temp was 63 degrees attempted to retract the roof and the windows went down the trunk opened but the roof did not move. In the evening the temps returned to high 80s and the roof worked fine. This morning 62 degrees the roof did the same trunk opened but the roof never retracted. Could this be an indication of low hydraulic fluid? Thanks in advance.
 

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Sorry, I'm not that familiar with the failure modes. Did the roof unlock? Did you try to assist it? Sounds like a manifold problem to me.
 

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New owner of 1998 slk 230. The top worked fine for first two weeks while the weather was really hot. Yesterday morning the temp was 63 degrees attempted to retract the roof and the windows went down the trunk opened but the roof did not move. In the evening the temps returned to high 80s and the roof worked fine. This morning 62 degrees the roof did the same trunk opened but the roof never retracted. Could this be an indication of low hydraulic fluid? Thanks in advance.
You can always check the hydraulic fluid. It should be between two marked lines on the pump reservoir accessible from the trunk on the passenger side (US model).

That doesn't sound too good. Some members reported of roof failing at high temps, rather than at lows. Can you try giving the roof a little push with your hand after the trunk opens and see if it starts moving?
It sounds like a failed roof hydraulic pump...
Might be worth a try to change the roof hydraulic fluid. Pretty tedious DIY but manageable. Check this thread. It has all the info:
http://www.slkworld.com/slk-r170-class-diy/25664-roof-hydraulic-pump-draining.html
 

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Thanks still investigating issue

After doing some poking around on the net I saw posts regarding the hydraulic fluid level, viscosity and age of. So I'm going to remove as much of the existing fluid as I can refill to max. In the evening after work the level was at max and the top worked fine. In the coolness of morning the level was mim and the top failed. Call the local MB dealership and a liter of pentosin CHF 20/CHF 11 is $19
Read the instructions posted here on the procedure and ready to go Saturday.
This is a very useful resource for SLK owners. Thanks..............
 

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Tolerance issue

Good luck swapping the fluid; good move. Check the released fluid for any metal bits, either iron of aluminium (or even aluminum :)).
As Jayson mentioned, normally when hot, because of increased tolerances, but actually failures can go either way, as a result of differential expansion, so hot or cold might produce issues. (For example, if your roof was set up on a really hot day, it would work then, but might be worse when cold. Most cars would be set up on a cold day, and so be worse when hot)

Across the front of the roof is the locking cylinder; if the locks are overtight, or unlubricated, or whatever, then this cylinder may not be able to push the latches when cold. Try tapping the roof with the heel of your hand to try jarring the latches to undo. Next stage is to pull the little cover in the roof beside the dome light, and put an Allen key (hex key) into the socket there, and you may see this turn when opening the roof; chances are it doesn't. You could help it, and you can then work it manually to feel the sorts of loads your latches are causing. If that is the issue, and once released, the rest of the roof works OK, then you can rework the latches, and use the manual function to see when you've got the action nice and smooth/easy.

Happy hunting.
 

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I will be changing the fluid Sunday and will post results monday. Thanks for the tip. Seems like you've been there. :)
Tolak and Jayson are 2 of our best when it comes to 170 analytics. They really know their stuff. Please keep us posted.
 

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New owner of 1998 slk 230. The top worked fine for first two weeks while the weather was really hot. Yesterday morning the temp was 63 degrees attempted to retract the roof and the windows went down the trunk opened but the roof did not move. In the evening the temps returned to high 80s and the roof worked fine. This morning 62 degrees the roof did the same trunk opened but the roof never retracted. Could this be an indication of low hydraulic fluid? Thanks in advance.
My 98 SLK230 does the same thing except it also has this issue. The first and most common sign that I had was in putting the top down, the windodws go down, the back trunck raises, the top comes unlatched and then everything stops moving and doesn’t retract but the pump continues to run. I have also had instances where the top was down and in trying to put it back up, the back trunk raises and the top gives a little nudge but does not go up and the pump continues to run. Only about 30 minutes after does it go back to place when the car has been off and left alone please help I have no clue what to do
 
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