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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I haven't owned a SLK in 10 years and am in the market again.

From searching here, I've noticed there are some problems with the early R171s but have not seen much about the 2008-2010 range. I will keep searching the archives.

Any feedback on this one or general tips for this year range?

History from Carfax

- 2009 SLK350 - 53K miles
- 2 owners - lease and CPO
- All local (Florida)​


Year 1
- Sat on a dealer's lot first 12 months - required new battery, new rotors/pads before first sale

Owner 1 (Lease) @ 39 miles - 1 year later
- Lease owner #1 was 2 yrs 10 months - Drove 19K miles
- Don't see record of service during this time
- No record of repairs

Owner 2 (CPO) @ 19K miles
- MB dealer did brake fluid flush before sale
- Owned for 3 yrs 7 months; did 20K maint
- Dealer oil change @ 50K - then traded it immediately
- For sale @ 53K miles

REPAIRS
- Assumed roof leak @ 20K; says "convertible top adjusted; weatherstrip replaced by dealer"
- A/C receiver/dryer replaced @ 20K
- A/C charged @ 49K by Tire dealer; last August
- A/C charged again one week later by MB dealer; last August

Got a scorecard! Engine is 272969 30 933581

Asking price is around 19K; Premium package; Sports package with some AMG features. Silver exterior; black interior; appears to be in great shape from pictures.
 

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*Premium Member
2005 SLK350
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2,562 Posts
Hello,

I haven't owned a SLK in 10 years and am in the market again.

From searching here, I've noticed there are some problems with the early R171s but have not seen much about the 2008-2010 range. I will keep searching the archives.

Any feedback on this one or general tips for this year range?

History from Carfax
- 2009 SLK350 - 53K miles
- 2 owners - lease and CPO
- All local (Florida)​
Year 1
- Sat on a dealer's lot first 12 months - required new battery, new rotors/pads before first sale

Owner 1 (Lease) @ 39 miles - 1 year later
- Lease owner #1 was 2 yrs 10 months - Drove 19K miles
- Don't see record of service during this time
- No record of repairs

Owner 2 (CPO) @ 19K miles
- MB dealer did brake fluid flush before sale
- Owned for 3 yrs 7 months; did 20K maint
- Dealer oil change @ 50K - then traded it immediately
- For sale @ 53K miles

REPAIRS
- Assumed roof leak @ 20K; says "convertible top adjusted; weatherstrip replaced by dealer"
- A/C receiver/dryer replaced @ 20K
- A/C charged @ 49K by Tire dealer; last August
- A/C charged again one week later by MB dealer; last August

Got a scorecard! Engine is 272969 30 933581

Asking price is around 19K; Premium package; Sports package with some AMG features. Silver exterior; black interior; appears to be in great shape from pictures.
It would appear as though there is a leak in the A/C system. That could be significant depending on what part of the system is leaking (A/C systems are closed and only need more refrigerant if there is a leak). The evaporator part of the A/C system is inside the car, requiring the entire dash to be taken out to access it for replacement. There are plenty of nice SLK's to choose from. I would avoid one that may give you big headaches down the road.

Did the dealer that currently has it for sale buy it through the auto auction or did they take it on trade?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It would appear as though there is a leak in the A/C system. That could be significant depending on what part of the system is leaking (A/C systems are closed and only need more refrigerant if there is a leak). The evaporator part of the A/C system is inside the car, requiring the entire dash to be taken out to access it for replacement. There are plenty of nice SLK's to choose from. I would avoid one that may give you big headaches down the road.

Did the dealer that currently has it for sale buy it through the auto auction or did they take it on trade?
One thing I missed from the CarFax is that during the last A/C diagnosis, the dealer said: "Outside air temperature sensor replaced". I've read about those sensors keeping the A/C from engaging. I take your point though. Did the MB dealer really diagnosis this correctly in August?

It looks like they traded it to an Audi dealership and they put it up for sale two weeks ago. It's currently for sale at used car dealer that sells used European cars. CarFax isn't showing the latest transaction and nothing about an auction.

I was going to pay a reputable independent mechanic to review the car but I guess checking for a freon leak might be more than is feasible.

That's a shame. I really like this car. AMG sports package and all :)
 

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Founding Member 2006
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108,943 Posts
Have you ruled out a 55 because of price?
 

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*Premium Member
2005 SLK350
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2,562 Posts
One thing I missed from the CarFax is that during the last A/C diagnosis, the dealer said: "Outside air temperature sensor replaced". I've read about those sensors keeping the A/C from engaging. I take your point though. Did the MB dealer really diagnosis this correctly in August?

It looks like they traded it to an Audi dealership and they put it up for sale two weeks ago. It's currently for sale at used car dealer that sells used European cars. CarFax isn't showing the latest transaction and nothing about an auction.

I was going to pay a reputable independent mechanic to review the car but I guess checking for a freon leak might be more than is feasible.

That's a shame. I really like this car. AMG sports package and all :)
The auto trans in these cars are a bit service sensitive. Maintenance schedule calls for a trans service including fluid replacement at 40K miles. Does not appear to have been done based on the CarFax report. Another reason to steer clear of this particular car.

Be patient - the right car will come along. Took me a year to find one that I could not say no to.
 

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Premium Member
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106 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Have you ruled out a 55 because of price?
Yeah, I am trying to be smarter about how much I spent this time around. If the A/C was functional, I think under 20K for a 2010 with 50K miles in good cosmetic shape is a good price. Well, that's based on only a few searches over the past few weeks. You guys know better than me.

Inventory Detail ? Prostarauto

It seems there's a hefty jump in price locally. It's either less than 20K or around 35K for the 2013+ models. Those seem to be the two major categories. I would love to spend around 20K especially if I am not replacing tires, brakes, and doing 2K worth of maintenance that was neglected.
 

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Founding Member 2006
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108,943 Posts
Remember, in Florida, for convertible purchases, you want to get it in the winter time frame, buying from snowbirds that might leave it in the state before heading north

try autotrader and cars.com if you haven't
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The auto trans in these cars are a bit service sensitive. Maintenance schedule calls for a trans service including fluid replacement at 40K miles. Does not appear to have been done based on the CarFax report. Another reason to steer clear of this particular car.

Be patient - the right car will come along. Took me a year to find one that I could not say no to.
Yeah, I was counting on the transmission service, brake fluid change, and both filters. We just bought a ML350 in a similar situation - unknown/neglected service. It got expensive on day #2 but we got a good deal to offset.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Remember, in Florida, for convertible purchases, you want to get it in the winter time frame, buying from snowbirds that might leave it in the state before heading north

try autotrader and cars.com if you haven't
Yeah, I figure I have another 45 days of colder weather. Been on AutoTrader, CarGurus. Will try cars.com. Had some website problems there.
 

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Founding Member 2006
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108,943 Posts
what is your zipcode so i can look for you?
 

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Founding Member 2006
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108,943 Posts

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Premium Member
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106 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
what is your zipcode so i can look for you?
I am at 32257.

There's an even cheaper black 2008 nearby that looks to be in good shape but it was a fleet car. I never figured out the details.

I've been trying to avoid a light colored interior. My 2001 SLK peeled horribly and really looked bad by 2004. I saw this on the used MLs we were looking at and we finally settled on black, which seems to look good over time. Not sure if this is still a problem in the 2008+ cars.

Thanks
 

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Founding Member 2006
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peeling no longer an issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I went to at least look at that car on lunch.

I did not realize the Sports package with the bigger tires ended up lowering the car. I do not remember my old base model SLK being so low.

Of course the AC was ice cold when 70F outside but they could have charged it yesterday.

It would need new tires (worn front - mismatched) and all of the over due service. I'll need to look at more to know if it's worth 20K or if I should accept the fact I'll need to spend a little bit more.
 

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2005 SLK350
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2,562 Posts
It looks like they traded it to an Audi dealership and they put it up for sale two weeks ago. It's currently for sale at used car dealer that sells used European cars.
The pecking order for used cars is the manufacturer dealerships get and sell the best cars and the independent dealers get what the manufacturer dealers don't want. Within the independent ranks you will have some that get the cars that are nearest to what the manufacturer dealer will stock and then there are the ones that will be of lesser and lesser quality.

In the case of the subject car the Audi dealer decided they did not want it on their lot so they sold it to a local independent. That's probably a little better than running it through the auction - but not by a lot.

While I'm on the subject of dealerships - they all have their own pricing structure. Some will put a premium price on virtually every car on their lot and other dealerships are much more realistic on the asking price. The one price no haggle dealerships typically are reasonably priced and if it is a MB store and they have put the car on their lot it is likely a decent car. I find that NADA seems to report the closest to actual market value of the various online valuation sites. Find a MB dealer that prices their used cars fairly and you will will likely get a decent car at a reasonable price. Why, because they know the issues with every model, they likely have access to the records of the service history, and if the car is at all questionable they will move it off their lot.

Just my two cents worth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The picking order for used cars is the manufacturer dealerships get and sell the best cars and the independent dealers get what the manufacturer dealers don't want. Within the independent ranks you will have some that get the cars that are nearest to what the manufacturer dealer will stock and then there are the ones that will be of lesser and lesser quality.

In the case of the subject car the Audi dealer decided they did not want it on their lot so they sold it to a local independent. That's probably a little better than running it through the auction - but not by a lot.

While I'm on the subject of dealerships - they all have their own pricing structure. Some will put a premium price on virtually every car on their lot and other dealerships are much more realistic on the asking price. The one price no haggle dealerships typically are reasonably priced and if it is a MB store and they have put the car on their lot it is likely a decent car. I find that NADA seems to report the closest to actual market value of the various online valuation sites. Find a MB dealer that prices their used cars fairly and you will will likely get a decent car at a reasonable price. Why, because they know the issues with every model, they likely have access to the records of the service history, and if the car is at all questionable they will move it off their lot.

Just my two cents worth.
That's great advice. I was not looking at NADA (or other values) but simply ignoring the MB dealer cars based on asking price. I guess I need to try and see how much margin my local MB dealers are trying to get. I have two dealers here locally but owned by the same company. Otherwise, I may look a few hours away drive.

Thanks!
 

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2005 SLK350
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2,562 Posts
I went to at least look at that car on lunch.

I did not realize the Sports package with the bigger tires ended up lowering the car. I do not remember my old base model SLK being so low.

Of course the AC was ice cold when 70F outside but they could have charged it yesterday.

It would need new tires (worn front - mismatched) and all of the over due service. I'll need to look at more to know if it's worth 20K or if I should accept the fact I'll need to spend a little bit more.
If it were me I would walk. You can not undue neglected service. Plus, the fact that someone put mismatched tires on it would be reason enough to pass on it as it shows a complete lack of care - from my view point. On the tire point - I noticed on the CarFax reports that more than once a single tire was replaced. That is a possible red flag that one tire is wearing out significantly faster than the others or at least the other tire on that axle. Not normal and not good.

There are far too many SLKs out there to compromise on these issues and the long term impact they have on the car.
 

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2005 SLK350
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2,562 Posts
That's great advice. I was not looking at NADA (or other values) but simply ignoring the MB dealer cars based on asking price. I guess I need to try and see how much margin my local MB dealers are trying to get. I have two dealers here locally but owned by the same company. Otherwise, I may look a few hours away drive.

Thanks!
I ended up getting mine from a dealer in Columbus, Ohio - I'm outside of Washington, DC. I would normally never buy a car from Ohio as the winters there are bad and lots on road chemicals are used to keep the roads clear. But, I had the dealer put the car up on the lift so I could inspect the underside and it was obvious the car was never driven in the winter much less in the rain as it looked like a new car underneath.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I ended up getting mine from a dealer in Columbus, Ohio - I'm outside of Washington, DC. I would normally never buy a car from Ohio as the winters there are bad and lots on road chemicals are used to keep the roads clear. But, I had the dealer put the car up on the lift so I could inspect the underside and it was obvious the car was never driven in the winter much less in the rain as it looked like a new car underneath.
Did you get yours at a MB dealer? CPO?

I will expand the distance to at least all of Florida and look for MB dealers only. That will give me several dealers to look at.
 
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