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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I went out for a Sunday ride this morning in my SLK280. Everything was going well until I had to punch the throttle to get out in front of a car that appeared around a curve as I was pulling unto the main road.

Things rapidly went down hill after that. The battery/alternator warning light came on immediately and the power steering stopped working. I tired to limp to a convenient spot to stop (like a service station), but the car overheated in short order. At this point I killed the engine and coasted into a side street.

I was 30 miles from home. Fortunately, I had a used belt at home and my son is a mechanic. Luck was with me and he was home. 50 minutes later he showed up with tools and the belt. He installed the belt for me, but he also pointed out that the tensioner didn't seem quite right. With few options other than a rollback, I decided to head for home. I got within about 8 miles before the second belt shredded and the tensioner was now obviously toast.

Fortunately I was able to pull into a shopping center. I called my son again, and off he went to get another belt and a tensioner. Luckily the local parts store (Car Quest, Raleigh) had both in stock (it was a Gates tensioner - as was the MB OEM on the car). After another hour or so, I was back on the road.

My son thinks I should replace the other idlers. Is this a good idea? I see some recommendations that the idlers be changed every 60,000 miles. I thought this was excessive, but if these things are subject to random failure at that sort of mileage, I don't mind replacing them.

Ed
 

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**Registered 2012 SLK55 AMG w/P30
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3,852 Posts
Glad you made it home in one piece. Mercedes are strange that way, no rhyme nor reason with certain parts about when they're going to fail. Of course the SLK is known for certain items to fail, just don't know when. I just lost the hydraulic ram on my roof at 29K miles, and I am expecting engine mounts to fail soon.
 

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* Founding Member #2
2008 SLK55 AMG
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19,485 Posts
How many miles on the odometer? And yes, if your son is a handy mechanic, then by all means, replace the other idler wheels.
 

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Registered 2006 SLK280
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1,274 Posts
If the idlers are like those on my W202 C230 Kompressor, they aren't designed to be lubricated so when the original bearing lube wears out the only option is to replace the pulley. Motor & transmission mounts also tend to wear out between 65k and 75k; a look at the VMI for Sunhilde revealed that the first owner replaced those at 76k miles. If your son works for beers, you're in great shape!

Greg
 

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*Premium Member
2005 SLK350
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2,562 Posts
Just checked RockAuto and the cost of both idler pulleys is about $35 plus shipping. With one failure under your belt plus the cost of another belt, it seems like a very reasonable cost to replace those two also.

I always replace all tensioner and idler pulleys with a belt replacement.
 

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