Advice wanted - buying an old SLK

finisterre

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Hello.
I am new to the forum but I hope you will bear with me.
My partner has decided she would like an old SLK, I think she has always fancied one and X reg and older cars are cheaper to tax so 2000 or earlier, she has £6000 to spend. I have been asked to sort it out. I have had a Vito for twelve years or so and bought it because MB is supposed to be reliable, it is reliable but very rusty. The paintwork was crappy, it is not an advert for the brand. So, a few questions if I may...

1. Is it better to go for a low mileage or the most recent if rust is going to be a problem?

2. Are there any style or mechanical revisions that it is worth looking out for?

3. The engine, economy is an issue so should we choose a 200 or a 230, do they have the same problems?

4. She says she would like an automatic, is this a bad idea?

5. What should I look for as an indicator of quality?

6. Is it worth looking for a MB service history, do they do a better job than whoever else might have stamped the book?


Profuse thanks will be offered for any answers or advice.

Fin
 

Will

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An old saying, but buy with your eyes at this age/value.

Look for evidence of proper care/maintenance. Service history, if not full MB at least reputable specialists and receipts etc. Look for rust on the bodywork, check the operation of the roof/electronics etc.

Auto box is a good idea, and most buyers will agree - most were sold as autos orginally too. I'd imagine the economy of a 200 and a 230 would be very similar.

I'd look for the most genuine and cared for example in your budget - don't get too hung up on mileage or age - I'd much rather a well maintained example with no rust etc.

A set of matching/quality tyres often hints at the sort of care a car has had in my experience. People who skimp on tyres and other everyday items often skimp on maintenance and repairs ;)

Will
 

kwakdonut

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Hi and welcome.

Am not an expert on the SLK but I will certainly offer some advice

1. Buy the best you can afford. £6k should get you something reasonable

2. The facelift model looks prettier but may be out of your price range at this time?

3. Certainly not much difference between the 230K and 320 (4 cyl supercharged v V6). Not sure about 200 and standard 230 though

4. Automatic yes. Most MB's are Auto's and generally some of the best autoboxes in the world

5. The star on the front can be misleading!! Rust can be an issue. Also you will need to check operation of the roof and also the boot for water leaks, certainly on older ones.

6. Full MBSH is ok but don't poo-poo Independant MB stamps as there are many very good quality ones around. A car of the age you're looking at will probably have these by now!

Good luck in your search. Am sure there will be plenty more advice to follow.....
 

Londonscottish

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As above

- look out for RUST - bad period for MB paint
- look out for expensive roof malfunctions
- go for auto - it's the default and will make it far easier to sell on
- go for 230 - why not? more gutsy, similar MPG
- at that age you want MB stamps OR good Indy stamps (lots of threads on here as to who some of the reputable indies are
 

Dryce

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Hello.
I am new to the forum but I hope you will bear with me.
My partner has decided she would like an old SLK, I think she has always fancied one and X reg and older cars are cheaper to tax so 2000 or earlier, she has £6000 to spend. I have been asked to sort it out.

I would have thought that the VED difference between pre 2001 and later cars would be nothing compaed with the possible running costs.

1. Is it better to go for a low mileage or the most recent if rust is going to be a problem?
Tend to get rust at the rear wheel arches from what I've heard.

I would go for a younger car.

2. Are there any style or mechanical revisions that it is worth looking out for?
Tip auto gearbox came in around 2000 I think.

3. The engine, economy is an issue so should we choose a 200 or a 230, do they have the same problems?
It's a heavy car. In the real world how you drive it makes more of a difference.

4. She says she would like an automatic, is this a bad idea?
No.

It was originally 230 and auto only anyway. Most are autos.

5. What should I look for as an indicator of quality?
Water gets into the boot if drains at the side fill up.

Check roof operates and that seals aren't degraded.

Leather seats scuff at the edges as people get in/out.

6. Is it worth looking for a MB service history, do they do a better job than whoever else might have stamped the book?
Depends.

If it is a later model check the mobilo situation. The later models will have the alleged 30 year corrosion warranty and mobilo cover if the MB service history is complete. Active mobilo cover gets you free recovery services as well.

But my view is a consistent service history with known independent is just as comforting if mobilo isn't a factor.

With Assyst variable servicing we seem to get around 11000 to 12500 miles between services. Approx every 16-18 months. Most of the car mileage is motorway/dual carriage way and rural roads.

Faults we've had so far are rear wheel speed sensors.

Both went within about 6 months at around 50000 miles.

MAF sensor gets contaminated has been cleaned twice.

Alloys were replaced by MB under warranty at just under 3 years old after corrosion appeared. Same corrosion has reappeared again at 6 years old.

Servicing costs have been between 200 and 300 per service at MB or a MB specialist. Speed sensor and MAF fixes have been between 65 and 120.
 
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219

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An 'old' SLK ?

Bit of a misnomer if you ask me .

I wouldn't describe anything you pay road tax on as 'old' .
 

A210AMG

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My dad owned one of the very fist in 1998, black with red / black leather, AMG wheels, Bose, heated seats, Auto.

A 230K and he could get 35mpg out of it. He kept it 7 years only to swap for a SL. Since owning it it needed nothing only the normal servicing items.

Great car and the rood at the time would stop people walking down the street :)
 
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finisterre

finisterre

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Thanks, Will, kwak (may I call you kwak?) and Londonscottish. Automatic, I have been getting too idle to change gear until absolutely necessary so it suits me too. If the engines are equally reliable a 230 sounds good, I don't need a big engine to scare myself. I also like the idea of checking for odd tyres.

The roof - expensive malfunctions, should it be silent? Presumably leaks can be mended with a new rubber? I should look to see if any dampness has penetrated deeper though.

Anyway, thanks again, it feels a bit less daunting with a few heads to ask.
 

Matt32AMG

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You buy as late a car as possible, post 2000 or later you get the face lift model.

With all model variants not only the size of the petrol tank wasincreased from 53 litres to 60 litres, but also ESP came as standard as well as a manual 6-speed transmission with Speedtronic, also known as tempomat, plus a gear indicator in the instrument cluster. Cars with automatic transmission get Tipshift as standard and a new styled steering wheel but no multifunction feature.

On the exterior newly styled rear and front Spoilers and door sills painted in the body colour, also new foglamps, outside rearview mirrors with integrated indicators, a newly styled handle for the boot and an exhaust pipe made from stainless steel as well as a newly styled front grille, which will be slightly different with the 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder versions. Also the wheel design was changed for all versions except the entry-level SLK 200.

In the interior, new seats with full electrical adjustment and memory functions, (If spec’d). The carbon-look will be substituted by aluminium while other elements got a more stylish or executive look, (a reaction to customer`s critics on the "cheap" interior materials used previously).

New choice of colours became available - lazulith blue metallic for the body and magma red and lotus yellow for the upholstery were available on the face lift model as were Xenon-headlights with automatic height adjustment and pop-out high-pressure lens washers if spec’d. :thumb:

Think that covers it Happy hunting. Oh and the 230 engine is bomb proof and get as full history as possible.
 
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finisterre

finisterre

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Thanks Dryce, I shall have to read that a couple of times to get it all but it looks like I shall have to take notes. *grin*

I will also have a closer look at the VED, I thought an extra couple of hundred a year might be worth saving as six grand isn't going to buy one much newer than 2000 anyway.
 

tpwuk

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Yes I know, I had already looked at it after reading some of the discussion about child benefits here.

I would love it and Mrs F will say the engine is stupidly big.:)

It is stupidly big but not that stupidly uneconomical. Tell her about the bigger boot and back seats. More room for shopping bags! :bannana:
 

kwakdonut

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Thanks, Will, kwak (may I call you kwak?) and Londonscottish. Automatic, I have been getting too idle to change gear until absolutely necessary so it suits me too. If the engines are equally reliable a 230 sounds good, I don't need a big engine to scare myself. I also like the idea of checking for odd tyres.

The roof - expensive malfunctions, should it be silent? Presumably leaks can be mended with a new rubber? I should look to see if any dampness has penetrated deeper though.

Anyway, thanks again, it feels a bit less daunting with a few heads to ask.

Mr Donut will be fine :D and you're welcome!
 

Rovinghawk

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Most of those who answer that an automatic is better have never driven a manual SLK; many have never driven one with an autobox either.

Having driven both, I went for a manual as I find it suits the 230K engine better and suits a sports-type car better.

My advice to you on this is to try both and see what you prefer- ignore what others have in their C/E/S class and find out what works best in the car that you/your wife will drive.

RH
 

kwakdonut

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Auto's in MB's are way better than their manual counterparts but yes, you're right, the OP should try both and see what suits!
 

tpwuk

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A manual Merc just doesn't seem proper! It makes me chuckle when people trying to sell manual geared Mercs describe them as "rare" and "sought after". No they're not, they're just rubbish!
 

Rovinghawk

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A manual Merc......they're just rubbish!
Have you ever driven a manual slk230? How do you know my car is 'just rubbish'?

RH
 

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