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My '03 SLK32 AMG was losing power and surging. What could be the cause of this, I wondered?

Since I have extended warranty, I took it in to have the ignition key cylinder replaced (very hard to turn the key, sometimes not wanting to turn at all).

Carmax fixed the cylinder and the MB mechs there diagnosed power loss as an intercooler pump failure.

Replaced the pump. Car now wants to leap off the road with power. It's great.

The pump failure meant overheating, and then the supercharger clutch would disengage... really bad for power.

Anyway, if this helps anyone, cool.
 

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That is a really common failure on the supercharged V6 used in the SLK32 and Crossfire SRT6. Luckily it doesn't do any damage when it fails and it's really cheap and easy to replace. NeedsWings has the OEM Bosch pump for $130 and EuroCharged has a higher capacity Johnson pump for $180. For some reason the OEM design originally installed on these cars was subject to corrosion. Bosch has subsequently changed the design to eliminate the problem.

The other really common failure on your car is the crankshaft position sensor (CPS). Another really cheap and really easy fix. And another Bosch part.

The good news is that the engine overall is pretty bulletproof and trouble free. The same is true for your 5 speed automatic. Very reliable.
 

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Failures and Cures

I appreciate knowing what potentially may go bad on the engine, and knowing there are ready fixes for each situation. Doing my own work would save some money, for sure. I'll continue to check on this forum, as the good people here are extremely helpful and appreciated! :Beer:
 

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Almost forgot...another failure point on your car. The transmission has a little rubber plug that eventually leaks on all of them. You'll start to see reddish fluid on the garage floor. A $25 fix at the dealer. In and out in minutes. Just have them check the fluid level before they send you on your merry way.
 
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