1998 SL320 - maintenance suggestions ?

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Pcn1

Active Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2008
Messages
159
Location
Maidenhead, Berkshire
Car
SL320
The car is now 26 years old with 90K on the clock, has a very good service history and I have a thick file of all previous work done.
It drives fine and I have no concerns at present. Its just sailed through the MOT with no advisory's.

However, to be proactive and keep ahead of the maintenance curve, what should I start to consider to inspect/replace ?
Its had new front lower wishbones and front springs a few years back, plus sway bar bushes.
My first thought was the shocks but the car drives fine and the shocks work as they should, I have no concerns with ride quality. The shock mounts look perfect on external visual inspection, no hairline cracks in the rubber. (There's no receipt evidence of these mounts or shocks ever being replaced)
I'm happy to replace failing parts, but also I don't want to throw out parts that still work. However, we know some cars can hide their problems.

Any thoughts ?
 
The car is now 26 years old with 90K on the clock, has a very good service history and I have a thick file of all previous work done.
It drives fine and I have no concerns at present. Its just sailed through the MOT with no advisory's.

However, to be proactive and keep ahead of the maintenance curve, what should I start to consider to inspect/replace ?
Its had new front lower wishbones and front springs a few years back, plus sway bar bushes.
My first thought was the shocks but the car drives fine and the shocks work as they should, I have no concerns with ride quality. The shock mounts look perfect on external visual inspection, no hairline cracks in the rubber. (There's no receipt evidence of these mounts or shocks ever being replaced)
I'm happy to replace failing parts, but also I don't want to throw out parts that still work. However, we know some cars can hide their problems.

Any thoughts ?
Good job , lovely car .
Do you do the work or does a garage do the work for you ?
What about putting it in to an MB specialist for an hour or so’s inspection and get their thoughts about likely future upcoming failures .
Depending on what that raises you might need to be proactive and order some parts as spares in case they stop making them ?
 
Good job , lovely car .
Do you do the work or does a garage do the work for you ?
What about putting it in to an MB specialist for an hour or so’s inspection and get their thoughts about likely future upcoming failures .
Depending on what that raises you might need to be proactive and order some parts as spares in case they stop making them ?
I do the regular work, bigger jobs will have to go to an indie if required.
 
Make sure all the "fluids" are up to date ---- brakes, differential fluid , coolant, aircon gas, etc most manufacturers specify changes by mileage but on cars that only have occassional use time may be a better guide? Cars benefit from regular use /movement not sat around. Consider replacing tyres older than 5 years from date of manufacture likewise the battery or have it on trickle charger. elastomers seals embrittle/ harden with age-wiper blades/poly v belts---all pretty standard stuff
 
It’s easy to throw money at an older car. For a 90k miler I would just keep it going and keep on top of any issues as they arise. If you’re not doing the work yourself form a good relationship with a decent specialist you can trust to be pragmatic regards maintenance and repairs.

I think I would be most concerned over corrosion on a 26 year old car - perhaps have the underside carefully inspected and rust proofed if you want to keep this long term? Most other stuff is simple bolt off/on type work and there’s good availability of new and used parts :)
 
If you want to be proactive, have a mechanic put it on a lift and spend an hour or so looking it over. He can give you a list of A B and C items that you can schedule.
 
Nice motor, had one myself. Just keep on top of the standard stuff and use the hard and softtop regularly as the mechanism can cause problems if not used now and then. Gearbox service can be a problem getting the torx studs out so plenty of wd for a couple of days before attempting a filter change. Lovely to drive, and i mean drive. Plenty of info on here if you get stuck. Good luck and enjoy.
 
I'm planning on doing a coolant flush at the weekend, and will take the time to have a good look underneath.
Thanks for the suggestions so far ;)
 
The secondary water pump and the electronic thermostat under it can cause problems. If there's only heat on one side in the foot well its on its way out. Its located down the back of the fire wall on the drivers side, it supplies water to the other bank of cylinders and can cause a head gasket failure, nearly been there.
PS, its a pain to get at, just follow the pipe back from the T joint near the rad and put the bonnet straight up. Check tyre wear regularly as there's a lot of geometry going on, back and front, a four wheel alignment might be a good idea. Best of luck.
 
Ok, i had a 2000 year v6 so you won't have the same problems, us the roof though as that is a problem.
 

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