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2005 SLK 200 R171 Tanzanite blue metallic finish
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53 Posts
Hi everyone,

I'm still considering an SLK. Is rust on the rear subframe a common problem area? Where do they normally go and are some model years worse than others?

Assuming that you cannot find such a helpful dealer as Brava 91, is it an expensive job to replace and / or a potential car killer?

Thanks,
LeeP
Yes the sub frame is a weak point on these models. You should have no problems have this done under warranty, make sure you tell the dealership to escalate as is is covered by a warranty, however it is a well kept secret that MB is not too proud to spread.
 

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* Registered looking for SLK
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6 Posts
That is amazing, there is no time limit? So, some MB dealers will cover under warranty on even a 2005 car????
LeeP
 

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* Registered
2005 SLK 200 R171 Tanzanite blue metallic finish
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53 Posts
That is amazing, there is no time limit? So, some MB dealers will cover under warranty on even a 2005 car????
LeeP
Yep, even if there's no service history and the car is 16 years old as it seems to be a "factory defect" MB have used cheese in that period to mold their rear subframe :LOL:
 

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Registered 2005 SLK200
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14 Posts
Discussion Starter · #24 ·
The problem is they corrode from the inside out so even if you do get the car up on the ramps it all looks good as I did trying to be clever before my purchase and having an MOT done after 8 months of ownership and getting a glowing report from my garage about how good the car looked underneath and five months later just by chance I thought the exhaust sounded like it was blowing slightly so I ran the car in to my garage for him to have a look. He rang me saying I need to go round urgently. I poped round and to my horror he pointed out that the rear subframe was shot. But this is not all slk's and since posting about my car there's been a few more slk owners getting the subframe done foc. When l change my car for a newer version as I love the car it's great my first purchase would be a Mercedes inspection at a cost of £150 for some peace of mind . Don't let my story put you off as they are amazing to own and drive. Sorry for the long rambling hope you get sorted
 

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2005 SLK 200 R171 Tanzanite blue metallic finish
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53 Posts
30 year corrosion warranty" don't print what you don't want to do"
Yeah.

On another note, I quickly read the bumf about that on the warranty booklet and it is a warranty that cover corrosion from the inside, I should have read this before I repaired my under boot lid pistons floors as they were totally corroded from the inside.
 

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2009 SLK55 AMG
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1,026 Posts
This post illustrates the value of this forum.
Having just acquired a 2009 SLK55 AMG P30 option I would never in a month of Sundays thought to be concerned about the rear subframe. Having read about it a few weeks ago as I was awaiting to get the car inspected and service I added it to the list. It is fine but if there was a problem I would not have know about it without this site.
So thanks to all those who keep this thing running and up to date.
 

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Registered 2005 SLK200
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648 Posts
Just had my subframe replacement done under warranty so free of charge
2005 96000 miles and no service history
Pleased for you, that's a great result.

I have taken on MB from dealer level right to the top with no joy whatsoever over our rotten subframe.

I was basically told no chance, I would have to foot the bill.

Scrapyards in UK are charging MORE for a used one than I paid for a brand new subframe 😳

I had a 300 mile round trip to pick up from the nearest dealer who had one, and over the phone I asked if he could help me out with my travel fuel costs on the £814 bent bit of tin.
He kindly sold me it for £730 which was decent of him, no discount offered at my local stealership plus a three week wait for the part from Germany..how does that work with MB all over the UK with parts in stock?

Car has been off the road for months, any new buyers out there, get the subframe checked!!!

Got to say I am NOT impressed with the quality of the brand new bent bit of tin, absolutely rubbish, and an outrageous price for a part MB know is failing all over the world on the R171 model.

MB are a disgrace IMO with their pot luck attitude to replacement.

I was unlucky, the OP was lucky 👍🏼
 

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Administrator (UK)
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The issue itself is one thing (poor), but the hit and miss attitude to repair is ridiculous.

How is it that a member walks in to one dealer and gets fobbed, but another and not an issue.
Maybe we should be looking at the groups who own multiple dealerships and see if there are names to avoid for all things MB. Most (all?) are owned by franchise.
 

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Registered 2005 SLK200
Joined
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648 Posts
The issue itself is one thing (poor), but the hit and miss attitude to repair is ridiculous.

How is it that a member walks in to one dealer and gets fobbed, but another and not an issue.
Maybe we should be looking at the groups who own multiple dealerships and see if there are names to avoid for all things MB. Most (all?) are owned by franchise.
It's the fact that MB refuse to act over and above the stealerships, leaving final say to each individual one and refusing to acknowledge this abysmal problem, and not even helping out with the total cost 🙄
 

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* Registered
2005 SLK55 AMG
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200 Posts
The issue itself is one thing (poor), but the hit and miss attitude to repair is ridiculous.

How is it that a member walks in to one dealer and gets fobbed, but another and not an issue.
Maybe we should be looking at the groups who own multiple dealerships and see if there are names to avoid for all things MB. Most (all?) are owned by franchise.
Myk could we compile a list of the friendly dealers ( with the help of those who have already had replacements)who have done this for our members to be able to see
 

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* Registered
2005 SLK280 6 mt
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1,465 Posts
Knowing what I know now!
The best route would of been to book into a stealership, pay the small amount for the health check and got them to pay particular attention to the subframe.
I think there would of been a good possibility they would of replaced it for free.
Unfortunately I was to eager to get it done and back on road a.s.a.p 😕
 

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Registered 2005 SLK200
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648 Posts
Meant to say, our car had a fully stamped up MB history up to 90k when I bought it, my local Indy (two ex MB lads) and myself, along with my mechanic have looked after the car since. Not like MB haven't had their money's worth out of exhorbitant servicing fees from our cars previous owner 🙄

I can only praise the MB Blackburn branch for knocking the price down, it paid for the journeys fuel to pick it up 👍🏼
 

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Administrator (UK)
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34,845 Posts
Can't find it, so new thread in UK section for listing the good/bad only.
Not for discussions.
 

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* Registered
2005 SLK 200 R171 Tanzanite blue metallic finish
Joined
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53 Posts
Pleased for you, that's a great result.

I have taken on MB from dealer level right to the top with no joy whatsoever over our rotten subframe.

I was basically told no chance, I would have to foot the bill.

Scrapyards in UK are charging MORE for a used one than I paid for a brand new subframe 😳

I had a 300 mile round trip to pick up from the nearest dealer who had one, and over the phone I asked if he could help me out with my travel fuel costs on the £814 bent bit of tin.
He kindly sold me it for £730 which was decent of him, no discount offered at my local stealership plus a three week wait for the part from Germany..how does that work with MB all over the UK with parts in stock?

Car has been off the road for months, any new buyers out there, get the subframe checked!!!

Got to say I am NOT impressed with the quality of the brand new bent bit of tin, absolutely rubbish, and an outrageous price for a part MB know is failing all over the world on the R171 model.

MB are a disgrace IMO with their pot luck attitude to replacement.

I was unlucky, the OP was lucky 👍🏼
That sucks big time. Did you escalate with MB UK? I find it strange, and as I speak german, I could have had no problem calling MB HQ in stutgart, I wasn't going to give up, it's utterly bizarre what you experienced.
 

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Registered 2005 SLK200
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648 Posts
That sucks big time. Did you escalate with MB UK? I find it strange, and as I speak german, I could have had no problem calling MB HQ in stutgart, I wasn't going to give up, it's utterly bizarre what you experienced.
Yes, MB UK, not interested, it's an old car, repair at my cost etc etc they don't care about us keeping hold of, and looking after their own 'older' cars, they'd rather we ditched them and bought a new one 🙄 and don't get me started on their utterly worthless 30 year corrosion warranty...

We've had the usual front edge of front wings rot from the inside due to trapped moisture - again, MB not interested.
 
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