New member looking for advice on R230s SL 350s

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New Member
Aug 2, 2013
Mercedes SL350. TR6. TR7v8 Grinnall
Hello forum members. I have recently joined the club as I bought a 2003 SL350 on 13 August. I love the car, Topaz Blue with cream interior and Bose stereo. ( can you tell I am a lady owner, nothing said about technical stuff!).
I have travelled 344 miles in it, it goes very well and is doing 25 mpg. All well with the world one would think but sadly NO!!

Well I have hit a few ISSUES with the car and it is going back to the dealership I bought it from for fixing but I would welcome some views on the issues I have had and the possible reasons for them.

I'll list them as they have cropped up:-

1 The GLOVE BOX is very difficult to open the push button does not seem to do anything. To open I have to grab hold of the LHS near the passenger door and pull it down. This is not good as when I sit in the driver's seat I want to open it with my left hand so I can activate the Bluetooth device I have fitted in the AUX port to link to my iPod Touch. Q How easy is it to get the release button (the silver square one) to work properly? Why couldn't they just put a pull down handle on it?

2 I foolishly only test drove the car with the roof down as that is why I bought it! BUT on driving it with ROOF UP I hear quite a bit of CREAKING, more so on bumpy roads. I have siliconized all the rubbers as the car has been dry stored for about 3 months and the front rubbers looked a little dry, not sure it did much good. Now is this a "feature" I will have to live with or CAN something be done?

3 After one week of ownership I was cruising in town at 30 mph and suddenly had the Parktronic alarms go off BOTH the red lights and the audible tone. So from manual that looks like a component fail rather than dirty sensors. This problem existed for 3 days and I had to drive around with the P light on so the P was OFF (great logic Mercs have!!). BUT yesterday the Parktronic system seems to be OK again. So what is all that about?? Any views. Can a STAR system see what has happened?

4 Yesterday after taking my husband out in the car for the FIRST time since purchase I parked on the drive went to close the car with the key fob press in and nothing happened. The door buttons did not go down and the door mirrors did not park.

Another check in the manual and I discover how to lock the Bxxxxy thing and fortunately I can STILL open the driver's door with the KEYLESS GO key I have in my pocket. I have changed the battery in the key fob and the red light comes on when fob tested and I get the wing mirror lights blinking at me when I try and use the key fob but the door WILL not LOCK with the key fob or soft touch. ALSO The lock and unlock buttons on the central console DO NOT WORK now.

AND I have to lock and unlock the boot with the emergency key. The red light comes on on the open boot switch inside the car and will not open the boot.

Fortunately the fuel filler cap stays UNLOCKED whether the car is locked by the emergency key or not.THANK GOD as I would not have had enough petrol in car to get back to dealership. How would I have solved that one I wonder?

The comfort functions on the seats have stopped working I think. The other day I discovered what these switches were and used them for the first time. I am talking about the multi contour backrest switches on page 91 of OM. I had maxed out on the backrest side cushions with quite a lot of air being blown into the seat and while I was sitting in the car I thought I heard noises coming from them. My husband also tried these switches out on the drive yesterday.

You can tell where I am going with this thread---I think the PSE pump has failed, do you agree. It explains the central, locking, console locking, and comfort seat switch failures I believe. What do you all think? Do the symptoms make sense? What can be done to check all this out, will they use the STAR system?

We were checking the BOOT yesterday and all looked nice and DRY and tidy so I don't think water is a problem.

I also checked out the yellow fuses for the pump and they are both 25, not 20 as I thought they should be. When I bought the car someone had been in the fuse box recently as the cover plate was lose and not clipped in properly. What could that all be about?

AND OF COURSE TODAY the sun is shining BUT I now cannot open the roof. I get and error message saying "Close boot separator" I checked and I have closed the boot separator and made sure both sides and snug in their slots. Is this linked to the PSE pump failure and the fact that now the boot has had to locked with an emergency key and so has lost its marbles and is playing safe??

FINALLY to cap it all the soft touch rubber button on the drivers door popped out today and was so loose I have put it in a plastic bag for the garage to deal with. The switch looked quite green and corroded between the rubber button and the door contact. Are these easy to sort out. Could this have been the start of all the trouble.

Well my fellow Merc. owners this concludes my issues after 13 DAYS of ownership. As a woman I have been phased and upset by all of this. However I now have read the 422 page OM cover to cover several times and have even stuck post it notes on pages. I observe that only MERC. could write a manual of 422 pages and not include the tyre pressures in the technical section but just allude to the figures that they have put INSIDE the FUEL filler cap.

I could really do with a virtual hug as my husband has that "told you so" look on his face because he said that he thought the SL range would be a nightmare. Was he right?

As I said the car is going back to the dealership soon to be sorted any ADVICE on what else I should check that should work once they have hopefully FIXED it would be welcome. I have also taken out 2 year extended warranty in addition to the AA Gold Warranty that came bundled with the car and which would not cover any of these items according to the policy exclusions.

I believe that under the sale of goods act I now have 6 months protection where the dealer who sold me the car must rectify the faults. Am I right?
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The Sale of goods act does indeed give 6 months for faults to appear (as updated by case law and directives incorporated into UK law). Rather than consult the lawyers first though, you should contact the supplying dealer, go through what is wrong of a major nature and ask him to put things right. I would concentrate on the issues that are essential though - creaking roofs on a 10 year old car is not really what you are after in talking to him.

You can of course have the car inspected by a good independent - no idea where you are but there is a guide to recommended independents in one of the forums, who could help in determining the likely issues and frankly if they are simple sort them - I buy a lot of older cars and I don't think the dealer should have to deal with things that I can sort simply myself - if nothing else, if you go to law you can waste a lot of time and money with no great prospect of success if you have not been reasonable.
Very helpful

Thank you so much.. It is good to know that what I thought was wrong is wrong.
I did have it inspected at the insistence of the other warranty company. On the day the Parktronic, central locking, and door button were all working well and so passed the inspection. They all failed less than a week later. So if the dealer does not cooperate I do have another avenue to explore. As these items are included in my warranty, unlike the AA gold warranty it came with that seems about as useful as a chocolate teapot.

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