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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I'm considering joining your ranks soon if I can find the "right" car. I searched the high mileage threads and get the impression the SLK could last quite a long time if properly maintained. I didn't see any THIS high so I thought I'd better ask...

I am currently looking at a 2000 model year with 163k MILES. Asking price - $6000. It test drives strong with no noticeable noises or idiosyncrasies. It has a couple aesthetic issues such as chin damage and minor paint imperfections on rear quarter panel. After having a non MB pre-purchase inspection (it was after dealer hours on a weekend) I know it needs the following; passenger-side differential seal (minor leak), steering stabilizer (minor leak), alignment/tires and it has a "power steering cooler leak".

None of the above repairs deter me from the purchase and the test drive was solid. Has anyone heard of a "power steering cooler leak'? I noticed it as a light oil mist on the driver's side lower wind deflector (near the fog light). There is limited mechanical history with this vehicle.

Anyone care to weigh in regarding whether it will be a good around town commuter for 2-3 years? Thanks in advance for your thoughts and thanks for such a great MB resource.

Scott

p.s. I've owned some interesting "hobby rides" in the past (wasn't sure if that was what I was supposed to put in my garage) but this will be my first German/MB. I'm looking forward to being pleasantly surprised with the ingenious engineering and quality (no, I'm not looking at you - makers of Lucas electrics ;), sort of...) Cheers!
 

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Administrator 2009 SLK 55 AMG/Founding Member 2006
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Welcome to the World’s Premier Mercedes-Benz SLK Community from Valrico, Florida!


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Jeff
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Founding Member #2 2008 SLK55 AMG
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Welcome from southern California.
 

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Hi SH_SLK

Welcome from Tucson!

It would be great for you to join our ranks, but I'm also reminded of the statement I often hear in MB vintage circles: "There's nothing as expensive as a cheap Mercedes."

Now, I've happily bought an old MB W123 diesel with 165k miles and thought little of it; those cars have a well-deserved reputation for durability. But the history of SLKs is a lot shorter, even the R170s, and they are gas engines. Without a good maintenance history (especially regular oil changes), you're buying a pig in a poke.

The inspection is promising if those are really the only bugs, but you're going to have to budget another chunk to get all the fluids and filters up to specs. If you are serious about the car, I suggest following it up with an inspection by the dealer or a MB specialist. At 160k miles, you can also expect a lot of odd things like the driveshaft flex disc to be worn out -- things the first inspector may not have thought to check.

Around my area (southern AZ) there are plenty of 1998-2000 model year R170s to be had, typically about 100k-140k miles in the range of $8-11k. If you can push the budget a little more you can get a car that's somewhat less "used" and probably a lot less risky.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks Iridium,

I appreciate your comments. I'm leaning toward holding off for now as I have yet to see anyone mention a car with this many miles.

We seem to have a similar market here. For $8-10k it looks like you can find a low mileage vehicle. I'll just have to keep saving if I want to pay cash...

Scott
 

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Thanks Iridium,

I appreciate your comments. I'm leaning toward holding off for now as I have yet to see anyone mention a car with this many miles.

We seem to have a similar market here. For $8-10k it looks like you can find a low mileage vehicle. I'll just have to keep saving if I want to pay cash...

Scott
I've personally never been scared off of high-mileage cars. I honestly believe your just about as likely to have issues a 110k as you are at 160k. thats why with any used car you need to have a "used car budget"- money you set aside each month to cover expenses related to the car.

If your at all handy, I found the R170 is just about the easiest car I've ever owned to work on. Fuel filter, fuel pump, rebuild the roof cylinders, diff seals and fluids, cooling system etc. all are easy access, quick DIY jobs.

I'd trust a properly cared for 160k car over a improperly cared for 90k mile car any day. Just find a non-MB shop that does good work, start saving for your big expense budget (when a friend of mine bought a 190k mile car I told her to make sure she puts away 200 a mo because then after 12mo she can easily afford an engine or trans or whatnot- but even after all that work its a lot cheaper than a lower mileage car.

If thats the true story on that car, I'd say lowball offer them.

A good R170 around here is going to run you 10-11k. If you can get that car around 5k, even if you have to replace everything- Engine, Trans, and a bunch of other items, your looking at 9-10k total for a car with everything in tip-top shape compared to buying one with 100k for 10k that may still have problems down the road.

I'd try to see if you can get the price down 1k or so and then its probably not a terrible move.
 

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Premium Member 2013 SLK250
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My first SLK 2001 had 100,000 when I bought it and a I know a person who also bought a SLK 2001 with 30,000 miles at the same time that was dealer serviced. He ended up spending several thousand dollars on repair and I spent less than 500 on repairs in the first year. His car had not been driven much and a lot of stuff had dried out from none use. When he bought it a MB tech told him to be ready for repirs due to the low miles as he has all ways serviced the car and knew it well. My car had a spotty service records and other than replacing O2 sensor and new brakes and new tires drove it for two years and had no problems. It was an ever day driver for me and ran up another 18,000 miles in local and week end get aways. High miles is not always bad.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks!

High miles is not always bad.
I've personally never been scared off of high-mileage cars.
Thanks for the counterpoint guys. To be honest this car still has me curious. I have an appointment for a prepurchase inspection at a MB shop tomorrow and hope they give me similar news to the first shop. I appreciate the suggestions too. It's been a few years since I had to do any serious wrenching but I do like my projects. If I can keep an '86 Lotus Turbo Esprit on the road it sounds like this, by comparison, should be easy. I think you're right though Arachnyd, the repair fund will be key. I think with a bit of up front diligence and maintenance the car will likely be a good candidate for my station car over the next couple years and it seems like a great way to enjoy driving a ~30 MPG car. :tu:

BTW, regarding talking the price down, $6k was down a grand from asking. I'll try to get off the lot titled/reg'd and plated for 6 but I doubt they'll budge below that.

I'll post how it goes either way.

Cheers,

Scott
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Update

I just pulled a Carfax and it had some good info. Of course no rollbacks or accidents noted. The last owner (of 3) had it for 120k miles and showed 10 service records. While I didn't see them at the dealer I notice he has a picture of service records in the listed ad. I'll ask to see the Hx tomorrow.

Scott
 

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Discussion Starter #12
It's Done!

Well I brought it home Friday night and already know I made the right decision. The car checked out with the second mechanic and was within $10 of the previous estimate from the 1st Mechanic. I did stand right there and we went through his concerns and what I knew to be wrong with the vehicle. It has some work to do but should be a good ride.

Thanks again to all contributors here.

BTW, check out my Spotted SLK post for the surprise I got on the way home from the dealership! :)

SH
 

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Well I brought it home Friday night and already know I made the right decision. The car checked out with the second mechanic and was within $10 of the previous estimate from the 1st Mechanic. I did stand right there and we went through his concerns and what I knew to be wrong with the vehicle. It has some work to do but should be a good ride.

Thanks again to all contributors here.

BTW, check out my Spotted SLK post for the surprise I got on the way home from the dealership! :)

SH
Thats great news! Congrats on picking up the SLK and joining the ranks! I think you'll find that members on this forum are incredibly helpful, and whether you have a mechanic fix things, or you fix them yourself, I think you'll find your new SLK very enjoyable!

I know its hard to tell by the pictures, but it looks very clean for a high mileage car of it's age. It looks like its been cared for!

Enjoy! :burnout:
 

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Thats great news! Congrats on picking up the SLK and joining the ranks! I think you'll find that members on this forum are incredibly helpful, and whether you have a mechanic fix things, or you fix them yourself, I think you'll find your new SLK very enjoyable!

I know its hard to tell by the pictures, but it looks very clean for a high mileage car of it's age. It looks like its been cared for!

Enjoy! :burnout:
Thanks Arachnyd. The info here has already been extremely valuable. I stayed up way too late last night reading various DIY how-to's and Ebay, et. al. for parts sources. I will be replacing the interior and driver's side rear view mirrors, steering stabilizer and tires first thing. They all look like easy projects and should be a good intro to working on this platform.

Have a great week. I hope you get to put the top down. It started raining here yesterday so it may be a couple days for me - Portland, go figure :).

SH
 

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slkstore.com
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Catching waves...

Very nice looking car! The thing that jumps out at me is: needs a short antenna! =)

Yes, I changed mine too, and it's the first thing I see on an SLK now.

-K
That's funny. With so many other little things to address I hadn't even thought about the antenna. Does a short antenna degrade reception that you've noticed? I'll typically be streaming from a phone but just in case (not to mention I got a kick out of the programmed weather reports). Are the ubiquitous ones on EBay worth their (shipping) weight?

Coming from Santa Cruz I figured you'd be focused on a different size/type of wave!

Cheers,
 

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Discussion Starter #18
That's funny. With so many other little things to address I hadn't even thought about the antenna. Does a short antenna degrade reception that you've noticed? I'll typically be streaming from a phone but just in case (not to mention I got a kick out of the programmed weather reports). Are the ubiquitous ones on EBay worth their (shipping) weight?

Coming from Santa Cruz I figured you'd be focused on a different size/type of wave!

Cheers,
I just checked SLKstore.com. Thanks Jeff.

I guess they answered both questions from my post - go OEM and reception is actually improved, sweet!

I'm headed back to their site to keep checking it out. I should have started with the sponsor pages last night instead of EBay...

Thanks!

SH
 

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Administrator 2009 SLK 55 AMG/Founding Member 2006
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you will be putting on the smarttop soon anyway!
 

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Congrats!

Congrats on the purchase! You seem to have done your homework well, and you have a solid understanding of the car's mechanical state...which should be a recipe for an enjoyable ownership experience.

Great looking ride, although I might be a bit biased...we have twin cars (mines a black 01).
 
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