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Registered 2004 SLK350
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373 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So here is the thing, have owned the little lady now for almost 5 months, and debating if I should love it or list it!


I cannot put my finger on it, but there is something in the back of my mind that is stopping me falling completely in love with the SLK, so I thought I would write some blur and see what others think. Could have increased the budget, but wife I think worried about my thirst for cars after spending £14k to redo the driveway to put more space on it, wonder why :)

The good, love the style of the 171, interior for a 17 year old car is really good, yeah there some crap bits like the storage between the seats etc, but actually like the style and colour, seats are comfy, got all the extras. Like the blue colour mine is in, breaks the usual boring merc greys/silver (sorry take take any offense). Love the electric roof, love the roof being down, will be out later if the roof dries by lunch time and can fit around work. Love the V6 sound, not a V8, but actually sounds good when the rev counter climbs, like the speed, again for a 17 year old car, it quick enough to put smiles a smile on the face. This club, it has some amazing people, it is very active, probably the most active I have been part off, and that does have value.

The bad, had a few frustrating problems, new roof controller, had to fix the heater, ESP light been on (although since done the steering wheel reset, touch wood has gone), it does need new tyres, budget ones are crap. Don't like the auto gear box, to be fair again it is 17 year old, auto boxes have come along way since then, buttons to change gear manually are awful. Always fixing things, again, the car is 17 year old, but I always feel grumpy with this, I don't on other cars I own or have owned.

What I probably will do to the car assuming I keep it, refurb the wheels, not bad, but need to be tidied up, Double Dim system to bring the audio system up to scratch, fix 3 tiny dints (annoys me), not done a full detail on the car yet, but should bring the body work (swirl marks) with the dint fixes back to A1 condition, got a MA polisher, clay and every other clothes, bucket, snow foam lined up, just need a clear day (normally takes me 8 hours to do everything).

The problem is, I like going out for a drive, I owned a Rover 25GTI once (long time ago), it was like a proper go-kart, vtec engine you could rev the nuts off I wanted to take it round twisty roads. The current Jag, I want to drive it, its a lethal weapon, goes like stink, sounds and looks amazing, surprised it not got me in trouble yet :), the 3000GT I had, loved to take that out, to be fair it only went quickly in a straight line, but it was the old school neck breaking shove into seats that gave you the smile, it was awesome.

The SLK, I am not sure what I love, I don't know it putting flappy paddles on to change gears would help, did not really enjoy the S3 (boring car, smart inside, so linear, no steering feel) I had unless using the paddles to make it pop and bang a bit.

So I am stuck thinking, this is the first convertible I have ever owned, I do like open top driving that much I have learned with this experience to date :) But why don't I want to get out and drive it more?

Interesting in view which will probably be bias on this club, but what do others think?
 

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Premium Member 2018 SLC43
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3,396 Posts
Hard one, the SLK is a great bit of kit on a summer's day......
591881

But some quick points from above:

1. Have You reset the gearbox adaptive learning, which sometimes helps:

Reset Transmission Adaptive Learning
This procedure is all over our forum (and other forums). It does work as I use it occasionally (like yesterday). Posting and making a sticky for new members. What it does? in a nutshell, it resets the ECU/TCU's learned detection of throttle inputs, effectively re-establishing the 0% and 100%...


Or another way:
1. Turn the ignition key to the on position. (but do not start)
2. Press the gas pedal all the way to the floor and hold for ~10 seconds.
3. Turn the key to the "OFF" position (but don't remove the key), then release the gas pedal.
4. Wait at least two minutes for ECU to reset.

Also has the Auto Gearbox firmware been updated?

2. Plus if You have the steering wheel buttons, someone was making a paddle conversion:

591879
591878


591880
 

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Registered 2004 SLK350
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373 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Trev, will try the gear box reset. No idea on firmware, how do you check MB?

I860, can I leave the lady outside your house for a couple hours, on coming back expects some mods. Is that you SLK in the video?
 

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Administrator Founding Member since 2006
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103,372 Posts
you'll know it! :D
 

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Super Moderator (Canada)
2012 SLK55 AMG w/P30 "Schwarzie"
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17,053 Posts
Ps how do you know gear box reset, does it beep or something?
Nope. You should just notice the difference when moving out though.

AND you'll need to do it say, every fill up because if you fall back into your usual style of driving, it will as well 😉
 

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Premium Member 2012 SLK55 AMG
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7,899 Posts
One of things for me about owning an SLK and belonging to this forum is the social side which of late has had to be curtailed. I am longing for the time that I can once again jump in the car and drive with the roof down to a breakfast meet, or a drive out, or a road trip or an event with fellow SLK owners on here. Roll on that time.
 

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Registered 2004 SLK350
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373 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Ok, yes, you do know it, I think last driver was mrs marple :) it has made a more pleasant drive.

I think paddles and a remap may help as i860 suggested, place down the road can uplift to this for 225.

Original BHP 268
Tuned BHP 292
BHP (Increase) 24
BHP Increase (%) 9 %
Original Torque (Nm) 350
Tuned Torque (Nm) 375
Torque (Increase) 25
Torque Increase (%) 7 %
 

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Super Moderator (UK)
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32,363 Posts
It is an individual thing.

17 years old, so some things on your list (paint, dents) are to be expected and dealt with.
Paddles, oh I love flappy paddles. Look up gpaddles on FB. Also, what mileage? May need a tranny service to get the best. BTW have you tried changing with the stick? Tap left for down and right for up?

You might consider the sport+ option. Those who have done it seem to be pleased.

Things like the esp, well, it is sorted now.
Every car has things fail, once fixed/replaced no longer an issue.

Budget tyres! Suitable for skid pan, farmer field, burnouts and that is it.
Go medium at least.
Our 350 was ok on Bridgestone, but even better on Michelin and both year round driving.
Sticky stuff is good for summer, but not for winter. Spring/Autumn depend on temperature.

Sound system. Was not best when new, but no 17 year old car would suit.
But you do not buy a car for the sound system as a primary reason. It is secondary.

I jump in the 55 EVERY opportunity. More than happy running the 350.

Our meets etc has been stuffed for 12 months and will take a few more months to pick up.
They are fun though.

Hard to give a truly valid opinion from a distance, but for you I would say sell.
Maybe try a 55, or a 350 172 as a tester. But I get the feeling that you find the current 350 outdated and do not want to do the work to personalise it. No point flogging a dead horse if you can sell it.
 

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Registered 2004 SLK350
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373 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
51,500 miles on the clock, history shows trans oil all has been changed, will have to check exactly when in the paper work.

Never got on with auto stick changes :)

Your point about 55 vs 350 is an interesting one, the jag (xf) is much quicker, newer, smoother and it is an absolute hoot to drive.

Have the top of the range stereo system from 17 years ago, actual speakers and sound is really good I think. Can plug phone using aux for music and other options here, but will replace.

Tyres, Michelin Supers will go on, I am tight, while those budget have good thread, they staying on :)

The auto reset has made driving it feel more enjoyable, I am thinking get the paddles on first, love the paddles in the XF when you want to have some fun.

Then reassess. The point right at the top around summer love in a convertible is important, I do need to remember why I wanted one :)

The meets will help when we finally can.
 

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Premium Member 2018 SLC43
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3,396 Posts
The Gearbox Firmware would need to be checked by a good MB Indy Dealer and the Gearbox oils needs to be changed every 5 years/50k miles from memory.

On the tyre front: I've gone over to Michelin Pilot Sport 4, which I'm very pleased with, once both front and back where changed....

The only thing other route You might want to consider before spending lots of money on Your current R171, is try finding and test driving a Face Lift R171/350 with Sports Pack (18" wheels, stiffer suspension & Boot Spoiler ect). These came with the newer 305hp V6 engine, updated COMAND, no CD stacker in the glove box and a few other useful improvements.
(Though admit that most V6 R171's are Silver of Black....)
This was the 2010 R171/350 I sold a few years back:
Link >>
Sold - UK SLK R171/350 for Sale:
 

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Super Moderator (UK)
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32,363 Posts
I find Mich SP4 a good year round tyre without the super sticky tyre price.
So much so that I run all 3 of ours on them.
 

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Registered 2004 SLK350
Joined
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373 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Tramission Oiil changed in 2019. Current SLK on 17 inch rims with sports suspension option ticked.

I think I need to checkout the paddle option first, should feel more like I am in control. Will look those ones mentioned above up.
 

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Registered 2004 SLK350
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373 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Running pirelli p zeros on the XF, I think size specially made for the car, what the car was sold with new.

I like the SP4 too, usually put those boots on, never found any car yet that has run worse with them on, but as mentioned earlier I am a tight arse :censored:
 

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Premium Member 2004 SLK350
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5,269 Posts
Thanks Trev, will try the gear box reset. No idea on firmware, how do you check MB?

I860, can I leave the lady outside your house for a couple hours, on coming back expects some mods. Is that you SLK in the video?
I can do the remap and sport plus on your car, I have all the tools. Yes, that is my slk on the video.
Not sure if the pop and bang will be as loud as mine as i mod my exhaust.
 

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* Premium Member
SLK 200 R172 2011 🇮🇹
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177 Posts
@Tomato as you said "17 years"and usually when you buy a car with that age is for doing some fixing :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
Very unlikely you will find a perfect car with that age, unless is from a collector and you'll pay for it a significant amount....
Got mine 9 years old and had to spend on it and still spending. I know that a car after 100k km has some inevitable fixes along the way and some of them might be tough to digest...
But the point is...CONVERTIBLE and with affordable maintenance (pieces of every kind and sort from used, to OEM, to aftermarket) and great support from the forum....what else?;)
By the way got mine two months ago and already thinking about AMG55s or SLC 43 o_O
 

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Premium Member 2005 SLK200K 'Little Growler'
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1,498 Posts
Tramission Oiil changed in 2019. Current SLK on 17 inch rims with sports suspension option ticked.

I think I need to checkout the paddle option first, should feel more like I am in control. Will look those ones mentioned above up.
Absolutely, absolutely, before you do anything else, find someone with SDS near you (or drive down to Bournemouth) and have @i860 do the A mode for you. After 5 months in my 200, I was neverendingly pissed off with the auto box and it's crappy changes. An hour after meeting 'the man', I had a car that changed up and down when I would. Completely different car indeed and me v happy now (except that I made a mistake and bought a 200 instead of a facelift 350). I also changed steering wheels to a flappy paddle model, but now hardly use it.

HTH (as Dave would say)
 

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Registered 2004 SLK350
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373 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
@Tomato as you said "17 years"and usually when you buy a car with that age is for doing some fixing :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
Now now I knew it would come with problems, the problem is having enough love for the car to want to fix them.

The resetting of the auto gears has made the driving experience a lot better already, need to full in love 😍

Cannot fault this forum, even this post, the feedback has been great, its not been you fool, you must keep this cars, it is the only car you should ever own, its the best etc its really balanced with views so thank you.
 

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Super Moderator (UK)
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32,363 Posts
It never ceases to amaze at just how many 'unhappy with pick up etc' posts can be resolved with the reset.

Whilst Mercedes 'The best or nothing' is true, our membership's input is 'simply the best'.
The number of forums that I visit and search an issue, finding many threads with but one post, then come back here and see very few help threads that have ever been ignored.
It is like coming home.
 
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