Suspension down on one side SL500

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Surreygraham

New Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2020
Messages
19
Location
UK
Car
C class coupe 2014
I am considering buying an SL500 and the one I’ve just seen looked great apart from:

1. some minor surface rust around one rear wheel arch.
2. Screen on the sat nav infotainment screen needs replacing as it’s not working properly
3. Small dent in rear wheel arch.

Hood came down well and no water in the boot or behind the rear seats and all looked good.

BUT

To show off the car the guy put up the suspension when parked and left it there whilst I went inside and checked the paperwork.

Came out about a half an hour later and it was down on one side (front and back). He said the car hadn’t been run for a while and it would right itself when started. I’ve read the Benz ABC guide and it could be a lot of money or a little.

Should I walk away?

Amy thoughts as apart from that it looked very tidy?

Thanks.
 
How about service history, mileage, model year, price?
 
Mention of 'hood' and 'rear seats' sounds like an R129, but 'infotainment screen' and 'ABC' would probably suggest an R230??
 
Thanks everyone.

It was built on 07/07/2004 and now has 79,000 miles on the clock Selling for £8495.

it has an M113 5 litre engine with a 7 speed gearbox.

vin is WDB2304752F089635 which I think implies an R230

The service history looks good with plenty of receipts and MOT and On line check for accidents etc, all look ok.

Wheels and tyres are all good. Some scoring on rear discs but I can change those.

it looks quite tidy apart from the suspension issue!
 
Personally I wouldn't rely on any care salesman's assertion that "it'll be fine when you run it a bit". The suspension problem and the rest of the issues would put me off, despite the fact that you would not expect any 18 year old car to be perfect. Plenty of R230's around to choose from, but if it's a car you really want you could ask the dealer to fix the suspension.
 
which I think implies an R230

Ok yes that's an R230. Quite a few owners here. The previous version is the R129, which has a fabric hood and rear seats (and optionally, 'ADS' which was the predecessor to ABC).

As above I wouldn't personally buy the car with a known ABC issue (unless you fancy a gamble!). Lots of R230s around - I'm no expert on current prices, but this one doesn't sound super cheap.

Good luck!
 
Also worth bearing in mind that only Mb specialists are going to be doing decent work on old SL’s ABC suspension (at least half the labour cost of MB main dealer ) .
The cost of repair “could “ amount to £ thousands for ABC issues .
The seller doesn’t sound honest to me , at least now you know why they are selling the car .
 
Valve blocks need refurbished...at least you wont have to mortgage your house to pay for that nowadays. Beat the price down to pay for the repair.
 
Thank you everyone.

I've decided to walk away. Although I could probably do some of the work on the suspension there were too many other ‘bits’ that needed sorting which implies a less than caring previous owner.

The search continues!
 
Ok yes that's an R230. Quite a few owners here. The previous version is the R129, which has a fabric hood and rear seats (and optionally, 'ADS' which was the predecessor to ABC). As above I wouldn't personally buy the car with a known ABC issue (unless you fancy a gamble!). Lots of R230s around - I'm no expert on current prices, but this one doesn't sound super cheap.
Amen. You've done the right thing. Autotrader will show you plenty of good, relatively low mileage nearly 20 year old R230's for sale out there. They're a "bit out of fashion" because of the fuel and tax costs, but they can be "good value for money" for someone doing "modest annual mileage" because many are so well maintained and barely used.

Take your time, lots of convertibles come onto the market in April / May. Buy something that looks cared for - preferably garaged - ideally the 3rd / 2nd car, not someone's daily driver. Be prepared for some kind of minor surprise, but avoid buying anything with an obvious fault, unless you know your onions and know how to cheaply resolve that specific issue.

Take a guess at how much this R230 with an ABC issue sold for. One owner 53k miles, with £8k worth of options but an ABC issue that needed resolution and some electrical gremlins. (What we call "deceased spec" but probably a great car that's simply been left unused for nearly a decade). Whoever bought it took a year to get it through its MoT.

The answer is here: Ref 185 2003 Mercedes Benz SL500 MRP

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Thanks everyone for your help.

Interesting - the one you mentioned sold for the same price as the one I was looking at (£8495) which did have an MOT. It also had the original tool kit and first aid kit etc. Maybe I made a mistake but it’s sold now.

I’m much more educated about ABC issues now 😎
 
As stated earlier, there are quite a number of these for sale and they do offer excellent value for the money, but buyer beware! I did check out a few before deciding on the one i now have, it had slightly more mileage than i was hoping for ( £79k ) but full service history and more importantly a new ABC pump which was very expensive.

I am very pleased with mine and have dome a few 1000 miles in it this year alone.

As an aside the insurance is very cheap on these cars but the road tax becomes very expensive post 2006.

Good luck - This time of year is a great time to buy one, I did and purchased mine on New years day last year.
 

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