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Discussion Starter #1
Got some bad news from the local dealer after taking my SLK350 MY2006 in to deal with Check Engine light issue.

The written version is:
Balance shaft sprocket worn confirmed CEL is on; Connected DAS and performed a quick test. Found fault codes 1208 constant adjustment of the right bank intake camshaft retarded; 1200 constant adjustment of the right bank exhaust camshaft retarded; Timing cover will need to be removed to verify sprocket is worn.
The service manager tells me that means removing the engine to a test stand.

I had not heard of this issue but it turns out my car is in the middle of the time period MB screwed up the material they used for the sprocket gear. I guess I should have looked into known problems with this engine before I bought the car, the information is there. It is disappointing that MB can screw up like this and I have to pay for it, but I guess it would be the same with any out of warranty car.

Browsing around about this issue, I hear it said that the replacement of the balance shaft and its sprocket is often not the end of the problem as the bits of that sprocket circulating in the engine cause other problems.

I may get them to do the repair or I may trade down to a newer C class like this one:
http://www.mercedesnanaimo.ca/used/Mercedes-Benz/2011-Mercedes-Benz-C250-d17f21120a0a0002000a765c506dce54.htm

Not as sassy as an SLK by a long ways, but it might be more realistic for me.
 

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Premium Member 2005 SLK55 AMG; 2005 SLK350
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I don't want to give you any false hope here, but that's not the same code I saw when my balance shaft failed. I would make the visual inspection of your camshaft markers before proceeding (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XXQArmxXsnM). There are other common (and less costly) issues with the camshaft sensors and actuators -- it could be something else.
 

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Dude!

I had exactly same issue with my SLK 350 2007. Do not give up and apply for so-called good will warranty repair. In my case MB repaired my car and they covered 100% cost of this repair as this is purely their fault - MAKE THEM FIX IT on their expense !

Good luck.

Need more info. Please feel free to PM me!

Best,
A.
Adam
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Mercedes has offered to pay 25% of the parts and labour on the balance shaft replacement on my 2006 SLK350 so it is going in to the dealer soon to have them yank the engine out and replace the shaft. I am a bit less loyal to the SLK I have had for a year now. I might regain confidence in the car that I have been so fond of and keep it but at the moment I have more confidence in my 2001 Corolla with 250,000 km.

I might trade it in on a newer SLK. These seem to be what is available locally at the moment.

I like the colour of this 2010 car and that it has a manual gearbox. It has the smaller engine but the manual gearbox might combine well:
http://www.mbbroadway.ca/used/Mercedes-Benz/2010-Mercedes-Benz-SLK300-a59f00440a0a006500b471feefacd641.htm

Other R171s around here:

2009
http://wwwa.autotrader.ca/a/Mercedes-Benz/SLK-Class/NORTH+VANCOUVER/British+Columbia/5_17421150_BS2005128105327/?ursrc=pl&urp=4&urm=4&showcpo=ShowCPO
http://wwwa.autotrader.ca/a/Mercedes-Benz/SLK-Class/VANCOUVER/British+Columbia/5_18258622_BS200511414486/?ursrc=pl&urp=1&urm=4&showcpo=ShowCPO
http://wwwa.autotrader.ca/a/Mercedes-Benz/SLK-Class/VANCOUVER/British+Columbia/5_18258622_BS200511414486/?showcpo=ShowCPO
http://wwwa.autotrader.ca/a/Mercedes-Benz/SLK-Class/VICTORIA/British+Columbia/5_18382216_20070323121827640/?ursrc=hl&showcpo=ShowCPO
http://wwwa.autotrader.ca/a/Mercedes-Benz/SLK-Class/RICHMOND/British+Columbia/5_18386610_20061027094503360/?ursrc=hl&showcpo=ShowCPO

2010
http://wwwa.autotrader.ca/a/Mercedes-Benz/SLK-Class/VANCOUVER/British+Columbia/5_17994688_20110111153652195/?showcpo=ShowCPO

2011
More than I want to spend:
http://wwwa.autotrader.ca/a/Mercedes-Benz/SLK-Class/NORTH+VANCOUVER/British+Columbia/5_17421150_BS2005128105327/?ursrc=pl&urp=4&urm=4&showcpo=ShowCPO

R172
There is this R172 I could consider although it is more than I want to spend and an auto transmission with a 4 cylinder engine is not quite on for me:
http://wwwa.autotrader.ca/a/Mercedes-Benz/SLK-Class/VANCOUVER/British+Columbia/5_18531950_20110111153652195/?showcpo=ShowCPO

Comments and advice are welcome.
 

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If you're really considering trading up I would make sure some of the more expensive or almost impossible to retrofit goodies are on it.
Expensive: OEM HID lights, NTG2.5 with nav, power seats, electrics in the seats (heater, airscarf), AMG outside plastics if that's important to you.
Difficult (to get fully working): automatic airco

HTH
 

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The second one in your list of 2009 models seems to have most of the desirable optional goodies installed.

That colour looks better in the flesh too than it does in photos.

Man, cars are so cheap in North America...

Cheers,
Brian
 

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Discussion Starter #9
MB has agreed to pick up 25% of the repair cost which is estimated to be $3500. Since they have no legal obligation to chip in, I will take it. Really, this is their screw up but since we all agree when we buy any car that they get a free ride if their mistakes aren't discovered by a certain mileage or age, it is a contribution they are not obliged to make. All in all, I am ok with that. Sort of. I am not the original owner of the car. I am happy with the local dealer who went to bat for me with MB even though I didn't buy the car from them.

I may get my confidence in the car back once it is fixed. If I don't, I might trade it in and in that case:

- I don't care about air scarf, I don't find it significant on my car and Canada is not a tropical country. Heated seats matter a bit more, but I am not sure they are more than a novelty and in these cars they often fail. In SLKs that don't have them, the failure rate is zero.

- I would prefer the non-automatic heater controls. I don't like the way the automatic system works especially when all the windows fog up. I have had a couple of MB cars, and their auto heater controls have always been a problem. The kind of controls that have a knob for where to point the air and another for how much heat you want are technology at its peak of success. Nothing to go wrong.

- I think this car should have a manual gear box. In a regular car, I moved from that point of view 10 or 15 years ago as automatic boxes are easy. This car is not a station wagon. In my old Toyota Corolla, the automatic is perfect. The automatic gearbox in my SLK seems to be in the wrong gear any time I think about it.

I may reconcile with my MY2006 SLK350 or I may trade it in for a newer one. If I do that, it would probably be an R171. Or I may give the whole thing up and buy a regular car. Time will tell.

Feedback is welcome.

Cheers.
-
 

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If you do decide to go with an SLK300, just be aware that unless the car had sport pack from the factory, it will have 16" rims and small single-pot front brake calipers and in drilled rotors. These are not as good as the 2 or 4 pot calipers with cross-drilled rotors on your 350.

The black one in your first link has 16" rims and small brakes..

If you can find a face lifted 300 with sport pack, manual gearbox, that would be a very enjoyable ride IMHO.
 

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Yep, you never know, you might really feel good about the car again when fixed.

Honestly, I think the 350 would provide you a more enjoyable experience especially since you are already accustomed to driving a 350.

One thing I have noticed over time, the engine really does make a difference in your enjoyment of a vehicle. Of course, I know you want a manual. You will have to see after the repair if you have the confidence back in the 350! Good luck! Glad MB is paying at least a small portion of it.
 

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Shibing the Web Guy
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I would like to know how many people has had their go wrong.

It might also get me started looking for 09+ R171s....
 

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I would like to know how many people has had their go wrong.

It might also get me started looking for 09+ R171s....
Good idea!

Mods: how about starting a 'sticky' poll-style thread where members who have had the worn sprocket issue can post details of year of manufacture, engine number, date and odometer reading when the problem occurred? Others who own cars in the affected range that haven't had the issue as yet could also post details for comparison purposes.

It would be a valuable resource to the SLK community here both in terms of trying to establish any patterns/trends and allowing people to make informed judgements based on facts rather than conjecture. E.g. just from the small sample of members here here that have posted about having the issue, there seems to be an over-representation of MY2006 cars.

Just a thought...

Cheers,
Brian
 

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Shibing the Web Guy
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Good idea!

Mods: how about starting a 'sticky' poll style thread where members who have had the worn sprocket issue can post details of year of manufacture, engine number, date and odometer reading when the problem occurred? Others who own cars in the affected range that haven't had the issue as yet could also post details for comparison purposes.

It would be a valuable resource to the SLK community here both in terms of trying to establish any patterns/trends and allowing people to make judgements based on facts rather than conjecture.

Cheers,
Brian

Brian, good idea. I can actually start a post, and I can actually code a webpage and design a database for it in couple of days.

We can probably go from there.
 

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Brian, good idea. I can actually start a post, and I can actually code a webpage and design a database for it in couple of days.

We can probably go from there.
Great stuff, but perhaps we could start a bit smaller with a poll here on SLKworld just to get the ball rolling?

You could always extract the data for processing once we get a decent number of responses to work with.

Cheers,
Brian
 

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Shibing the Web Guy
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Great stuff, but perhaps we could start a bit smaller with a poll here on SLKworld just to get the ball rolling?

You could always extract the data for processing once we get a decent number of responses to work with.

Cheers,
Brian

Sounds great to me. :tu:
 

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Good idea!

Mods: how about starting a 'sticky' poll-style thread where members who have had the worn sprocket issue can post details of year of manufacture, engine number, date and odometer reading when the problem occurred? Others who own cars in the affected range that haven't had the issue as yet could also post details for comparison purposes.

It would be a valuable resource to the SLK community here both in terms of trying to establish any patterns/trends and allowing people to make informed judgements based on facts rather than conjecture. E.g. just from the small sample of members here here that have posted about having the issue, there seems to be an over-representation of MY2006 cars.

Just a thought...

Cheers,
Brian
This is a great idea!
There is one caveat though.
The only folk who report no problem mileage, should be sure that the repair hasn't been done already. This really only applies to the used purchasers with no maintenance records, in my case, I couldn't confirm or deny the fix was applied.

Cheers!
 

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Shibing the Web Guy
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This is a great idea!
There is one caveat though.
The only folk who report no problem mileage, should be sure that the repair hasn't been done already. This really only applies to the used purchasers with no maintenance records, in my case, I couldn't confirm or deny the fix was applied.

Cheers!
In this case, a database that logs the last couple digits of VIN would come to play.

The last couple would be the manufacture serial number, that will work on pre-owned. The program can verify that information to ensure there's no duplicates.

But the problem is, are people willing to trust to give out the last couple digits?
 
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