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I have had my car treated professionally to remove all visible signs of rust and it looks and drives superbly. I am realistic enough to admit that things, especially on an ageing mercedes don't last forever.
I would welcome advice as to which year's SLKs are less likely to suffer from rust issues with an eye to changing the car for a newer model at some time.
Many thanks
 

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Oh Yeah!! I used to live in New Hampshire, well into the rust belt of the USA. I am so glad I'm in FL now where cars last until they wear out--or get crashed--
 

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my R170 also suffers from the usual rust.I think its just a case of right car wrong country! and its not going to get any better here in Enland any time soon.you will lmost have to accept ,if like me your slk is your daily driver then rust will be an issue.The r171 seems a bit better but leaving it in the garage is really the only answer as livefreeordie saysR)
 

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To the best of my knowledge, the newer the car the better the technology in all areas, including rust/weather protection. In which case a 171 or 172 would be your best bet. My 4.5 year old 171 is currently showing no signs of rust although is kept as my 'toy' and lives in the garage.

Having said above, my friend's 2012 Jaguar XK convertible with only 10k miles is already starting to show 3 separate patches of bubbling. His car is similarly kept in a garage and used for 'good times' only. Jaguar are sorting it out for him under warranty. Maybe it has more to do with 'the luck of the draw' ! :confused:
 

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your best bet for a Mercedes with little rust in the uk is buy nothing newer than 1986 the w123 series saloons ect were among the last properly built Mercedes:popcorn:. sadly buying newer isn't going to guarantee less problems I refinish car paintwork for a living and have worked on a few rusty 171,s I think the florida move with a 172 will give you the longest rust free ride
 

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I have a 2001 C class that used to live by the sea.... it has many areas of canker that I need to deal with when the weather improves and just checking out second hand doors on Ebay as an alternative to rust curring and filler and new spray paint
My R170 isnt too bad just a little coming around the wheel arches and one little bubble on the front wing above the bumper line which is going to be a pain for such a small amount of rust
 

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your best bet for a Mercedes with little rust in the uk is buy nothing newer than 1986 the w123 series saloons ect were among the last properly built Mercedes:popcorn:. sadly buying newer isn't going to guarantee less problems I refinish car paintwork for a living and have worked on a few rusty 171,s I think the florida move with a 172 will give you the longest rust free ride

Which are the trouble spots to keep one's eye on?
 

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yep arches rears its usually started with stone chips that start to corrode or accident damage (but that's not Mercedes fault tho a galvanised shell wouldn't be too much to ask Porsche/Audi ect) front wing to bumper join will always be a bad area while Mercedes continue to use that mild steel connecting plate i fitted new ones on my 170 when I fitted new wings and give everything a good dose of waxoyle when I assembled it. there's not much chance of stopping it here in the damp uk if you plan on using the car .the slk,s aren't as bad as a/c/e class ect tho
 

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I was thinking of curing the rust around the wheel arches and painting with stone chip and then adding chrome wheel arch trims rather than the hassle of trying to match in metallic paint to any standard
 
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