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2014 SLK250
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15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got the FOR color on my 2014 250. For all the research I did, I didn't know about this problem before I bought the car (or this forum ;)). But I REALLY love the color red, nearly all my cars have been red. Were it not for this paint problem, the red in the MB would be stunning.

So now that I have it, what's the best way to fix it? I'm VERY much a layperson here and don't fully understand what all the paint processes are. It seems that my options are - a full on re-paint, a color correction, and a wrapping.

Do I have those options right? What's my best path?

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2015 SLK250D
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64 Posts
Looking at your photos, the first and third just show stone chipping, with the white undercoat showing through. This is very similar to what I have seen with red Alfa Romeo sports cars. The second picture shows the clearcoat coming away is and is possibly the problem except that if this is a plastic panel, the well-known paint problem is said to only occur on the metal panels.
My SLK is a late 2015 and appeared perfect when I examined it at the dealers in October 2020, only for what looked like microblistering to appear in late November. At the time I thought I'd get it sorted in the spring of 2021, only for it to disappear from view in the spring !! I did a small repair on the rear wing top behind the driver door where the clear coat was peeling slightly. I flatted off the clear coat all around and used an aerosol can of clearcoat to recover the area, then polished. This has held up so far. As far as I can ascertain, the fault lies in the clearcoat, not the base coat.

If you're not a rich man, then it is possible to respray small areas using aerosol cans, the trick is to use quite fine flatting paper and not go at it like a bull at a gate. My final flat paper was 1500 grade. The lower front valance needs totally flatting down and refinishing to get rid of the chipping. Not difficult, but you need warm weather. Then try to cover with some of that clear vinyl film one can buy.

When I had an aluminium XJ6 I had to do quite a lot of paint repairs where the dreaded aluminium corrosion had occurred.
 

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2007 SLK55 AMG
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2,383 Posts
Try to find an outlet that sells paint to shops.
I had one match ny Xfire paint so I could do add-ons.
 

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2014 SLK250
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15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'd approach the local dealership.
Worst they can say is 'No', so what is to lose.
They won't be interested in the stone chips for sure (wear and tear), but the clearcoat may get a response.
Not that I can do anything about it now other than fix it, but are the stone chips the result of any particularly poor practice/driving? I’ve never seen a car do that.

Would a ceramic coating provide more protection against this problem once it’s fixed?
 

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Not that I can do anything about it now other than fix it, but are the stone chips the result of any particularly poor practice/driving? I’ve never seen a car do that.

Would a ceramic coating provide more protection against this problem once it’s fixed?
Depends.

Quite common in UK, but we grit roads in winter (mixture sand, salt and gravel).
When roads get resurfaced they leave a top layer of loose gravel.

If the state where it 'lived' did that, or it got used on back roads, then I'd say to be expected.

See Jeff's clear bra threads as above.
Others have used similar, but basically all of them are different coatings (eg ceramic) that take the hit rather than the paintwork.
However, they will need replacing at some point.
 

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2003 SLK230
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156 Posts
In the UK you can buy a kit if you fancy trying a touch up job yourself …
I would imagine similar is available stateside somewhere.
Problem with the kit is that the primer is grey. I assume that white was used by Merc as it makes the red brighter when applied over it.
If i was doing it with rattle cans i would use a white 2k primer then the base coat colour then the red in 2k.
2K is harder and better wearing than 1K, it uses an activator to harden the paint, works similar to how body filler (bondo) goes hard.
2K polishes far better than 1K.
Definitely use a tight sealing face mask if using 2K paint.
 

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2012 SLK200
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176 Posts
I came across a brilliant Mars red SLK250 CDI with no flaws whatsoever. But considerable trawling of this forum and the others found that red paint is a disaster waiting to happen so I kept looking.

Some say it is the clearcoat. Others say it is the red base coat and the only solution is a bare metal respray. Some postings suggest even a bare metal paint job does not do the trick - that they had it redone by Mercedes and later it failed again. Some threads report the micro-blisters occur within an hour, on a cooler day, parked outside. Some say it depends on your location - that more extreme weather conditions cause it, which unfortunately includes the Raleigh NC region. MB-USA settled a lawsuit on the matter.

This morning a new posting popped up on the primary place cars are sold in New Zealand. 2011 Mercedes-Benz SLK 200 NZ New + new paint | Trade Me Motors. As you can see, the asking price includes a $7,000 fresh paint job. It will be interesting to see if there is a market for a repainted Mercedes.

I would suggest using a lot of Google searches to read the many experiences and observations as to the cause and fix. Some suggest having the peeling repaired and then vinyl wrap the whole car (but repair first or the underlying imperfections will show through).

As for stone chips, find a friendly dealer and ask them who the best paint detailer is nearby. A good detailer will airbrush the chips so they are almost impossible to see... and you are talking in the hundreds not thousands of dollars if you can get the guy who does dozens of dealer cars every week.

I'm not sure I agree with the rattle can DIY fix. If you are on a budget and want just to fix the imperfections, better to find a professional willing to do a cash job who will tell you how to prepare it for him. You do the sanding according to his instructions, remove the stuff that is not to be painted and carefully tape the stuff you can't get off. You buy and supply the paint to his specs. Let him do the spraying. It's an art learned with years of experience. But don't just fix what has failed. Do your homework to research where it may fail in the future.
 

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2015 SLK250D
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64 Posts
Just to say that i get micro-blistering appearing in winter, and then it disappears in spring/summer. Weird ! At the moment I see no blistering as it's nice and mild here in the UK. Of course we get rain all year round here, so it must be temperature related.
 
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