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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, all.
This time, instead of a salvage-title, low-mileage car, I've discovered a one-owner, all-dealer-serviced, high-mileage car.
2005 SLK350, maroon with beige, 190k miles, recent clutch, drives/looks as new per seller, down to $6500 so far.
Any opinions on the ultimate longevity of a kept-up R171? Or issues that crop up at 200k or greater?
Thanks!
Brian
 

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Hello, all.
This time, instead of a salvage-title, low-mileage car, I've discovered a one-owner, all-dealer-serviced, high-mileage car.
2005 SLK350, maroon with beige, 190k miles, recent clutch, drives/looks as new per seller, down to $6500 so far.
Any opinions on the ultimate longevity of a kept-up R171? Or issues that crop up at 200k or greater?
Thanks!
Brian
I assume with the high mileage you are safe from the known issues with certain ranges of engine numbers.

If it's one owner, I would have them try to get the VMI from the original dealer or better yet the VMI + the more detailed service records. Odds are better for the original owner to get it since I assume this is a private sale.

FWIW, I bought my used 2009 from a dealer and the sales person "accidentally left the VMI on the desk" with the original owner's name blacked out. I am really glad to have it.

Sorry, I don't have experience with high mileage SLKs to offer anything useful in that regard.
 

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I'd want to see the full service history from the seller, with all recommended services done on time. If the seller doesn't have records, the claim of "all dealer serviced" is worthless. Even if you can get the records from the dealer, the lack of a service history would be a negotiation point (personally, I'd walk away).

A car with 190k miles can be just fine IF it has been regularly and correctly serviced, and hasn't been in an accident.

A very careful pre-purchase inspection is a must. I'd take it to another MB dealer. Also check all functions yourself, especially the expensive things that people tend not to fix, like seat heaters. Anything that is broken is a reason for further discount.

The mileage is very high for an R171, so it's hard to guess at value. I wouldn't pay much. You might snag a bargain but be sure you're not snagging a rock.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Datacard

Thanks for the wisdom above. Recent data card confirms few options - 17" 10-spoke wheels & seat heaters is about it! The amber red metallic and beige combo looks nice in his pics, and the seller is begging to bring me the car for my inspection tomorrow (probably a 45-minute one-way trip for him), so we'll see how it plays out.
 

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Does Everything work? Everything? - a sign of the owners commitment.
I guess it's a question whether the last owner kept on top of maintenance ( not just the scheduled maintenance) or just let everything run down together.
Are the springs and shockers ok ?, engine mounts, suspension bushes, brake rotors, fuel filter, engine belts, seats foams and covers ok?
Have the roof cylinders been refurbished? Air-con re-gassed? trunk lid struts done ?
If all these descretionary consumable items have been done in recent times, it is a good sign, if not, there are potentially a lot coming to then next owner.
You might consider that the seller may not get many offers for high milage, you may be about the only one interested.
If you change your mind and want a SLK55, like most of the people here!!!, can you sell this one easily?
Looks like depreciation is taken care of, it's the future running costs that are the unknown, unless there is a full history of expenses.
 

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Suspension parts, bushes, belts, hoses, pumps and other wear and tear items are a worry. The engine itself will probably ok. I suspect roof seals etc also may perish.
 

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Actually the roof seals on my '98 R170 are all looking very very good. Only the one around the rear window glass is showing some age.
All the rest look as good as new. So maybe they are good for a third full decade at least.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If it's one owner, I would have them try to get the VMI from the original dealer or better yet the VMI + the more detailed service records. Odds are better for the original owner to get it since I assume this is a private sale.
Indeed, a private sale, by a transferee from Long Island.
So bit of web search tells me VMI is vehicle master inquiry and will list the M-B mothership's service records, difficult to obtain if not the original owner. He says over $11k spent on maintenance over 11 years, so I assume he has full records which I will insist on reviewing as part of the sale. VMI sounds like an excellent back-up, and fun reading besides!:nerd:
 

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Indeed, a private sale, by a transferee from Long Island.
So bit of web search tells me VMI is vehicle master inquiry and will list the M-B mothership's service records, difficult to obtain if not the original owner. He says over $11k spent on maintenance over 11 years, so I assume he has full records which I will insist on reviewing as part of the sale. VMI sounds like an excellent back-up, and fun reading besides!:nerd:
With all the chemicals put on the roads during the winters in NY, I would be concerned about the amount of corrosion this vehicle will have. It's not the rust you can see it's the rust you can't yet see that's the biggest concern.

For any car, that is a lot of miles. Even if the seller has done a good job of doing required maintenance and repairs as they are needed, every bushing is soft and overly compliant which will reduce the handling, safety, and comfort of the car. The transmission and gear shifter will have slop. Door hinges will have slop. As mentioned all rubber seals around windows and the vario roof will have significant age and drying.

If they have not already been replaced, major components like the A/C compressor, alternator, cooling fan, heater core and evaporator are all at risk of failing. Then there are wear issues with the engine - timing chain, timing chain guide rails, valve guides, every seal (not only engine seals but every seal - a/c, trans, diff, heater, and such throughout the car), and the list goes on and on. A leak down test would be a first step to see the overall general condition of the engine. Oil consumption could well be an issue at this point - hard to get a read on that before ownership.

Not surprised the owner is anxious to show it to you - may be a bit telling.
 

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The mechanic I had that finally figured out my dash light issues told me he has been working on thousands of SLK's and if maintained properly they are well capable of going over 300,000 KMS with no issues. I guess s it really does come down to keeping up with the schedule maintenance and preventing failures before they occur.
 

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What happened to the search for an SLK55?
 

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Hello, all.
This time, instead of a salvage-title, low-mileage car, I've discovered a one-owner, all-dealer-serviced, high-mileage car.
2005 SLK350, maroon with beige, 190k miles, recent clutch, drives/looks as new per seller, down to $6500 so far.
Any opinions on the ultimate longevity of a kept-up R171? Or issues that crop up at 200k or greater?
Thanks!
Brian
:Banane35::Banane20:
 

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