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Discussion Starter #1
Howdy all,

Betsy turned 40,000 miles this week and I thought I'd check in and just give a brief update. For those that don't know me, I've got a 1999 SLK 230, Sport Pkg, Auto, Special Order Obsidian Black Metallic, Oyster leather, and I do drive it in the winters with no trouble. Winters are usually light in the mid-west anyway (except this winter).

Wow, can't believe it -- 40k miles. She's still brand new really. Save for the minor scrape I mentioned in another post (you can't see it anymore), and a door key scratch (virtually fixed), and tipping a curve with one of my wheels (not fixed, but it isn't bad), and an interior rub spot on the door which was repaired under warentee the car is nearly perfect. I keep the oil changed every 4-5k miles these days; and am just preparing to rotate the tires again. I had to replace the summer tires last fall, which I did with the Kuhmo's high performance we've talked about time and again. I've never wanted for anything more out of these tires. I'm not a hot-footed driver; but I do enjoy the occational stop-light sprint. This winter I've been averaging 28 miles per gallon -- not too shabby considering gas prices have peaked at $2/gallon in Indianapolis a few weeks ago. The worst gas mileage I've ever received was 20 mpg on what I think as just a bad tank of gas from a little Citgo in the middle of nowhere. I'd guess it was likely that the tank just didn't get filled up like I thought. (I always pump until the auto shutoff at the gas pump turns off the first time -- I never "top off" my tank.) I prefer to buy my gas from either my local Shell, or BP stations -- and have my preferred pump.

This spring, I'm going to have her professionally detailed at my dealer. They owe me a freebie. They'll do this when I have my driver's side c-pillar repainted (still rubbing in the trunk after having it fixed last summer). MB says they have a replacement for the trunk to permanently fix the trunk rub. I'm going to push for a 2nd professional detailing since they had supposedly fixed this last year.

Best moment with my car: Two summers ago we took an all-top-down drive to Amherst Island in Lake Ontario in Canada (town of Stella). It was a BEAUTIFUL trip -- not a drop of rain the whole week. The problem was actually the dust. The island supposedly hadn't had rain in some record 3 months. And black cars stay clean about 5 minutes anyway. Actually, the worse part of the trip was a stop at a rest stop somewhere outside of Toronto and getting surrounded by more geese than I've ever seen (think of "Night of the Living Dead" except instead of cheesy zombies, it was canadian geese). My loving mother-in-law was throwing french fries out of their car RIGHT NEXT TO MINE! ARGH! As fast as you can say "divorce" I started cranking the roof up just as one goose dive-bombed my car. It was like someone chucked a cup of oatmeal and it hit my head rest, rollbar, and part of the roof (it was partially up when the attack began). Thankfully, it was the only 'mess' I had to clean up. I had some Miguires detailing spray with me, and after moving the car a block away (clear of the zombie geese) I put the top back down and cleaned up the mess. Thankfully, none of us was wearing it. The trip was 18 hours, one-way, and just perfect -- PERFECT! Granted driving anything 18 hours is a big strain; but the car seats were adequate, and the ride never too stiff. My wife says she wished for slightly softer seats, and lumbar support, but isn't interested in spending a bunch of money to upgrade our seats. I have had some thoughts of getting the AMG32 seats, or other mods -- but truth is, Betsy is just fine the way she is.

My biggest complaints are the cup-holder, and the radio. I wouldn't mind having a nice radio that could pick up the radio station 87.7; and had an in-dash CD player. It's a real shame MB decided to just include a tape player in the default radio.

Craziest moment: Transporting 250 pounds of frozen beef 120 miles with the top down. Some of you may remember the picture I posted when I did this. We bought a quarter beef from a local mom'n pop butcher in northern Indiana, and decided it was so beautiful that we couldn't drive home without the top down. So, my wife creatively packed everything in the trunk and IT FIT! We were both shocked. What is more the trunk acted as its own freezer. The beef was all completely frozen after the 2 hour drive home. It was a beautiful top-down drive as well.

What's next: So I'm preparing for my next service interval. MB recommendes an alignment check, and coolant flush'n fill; but I'm not sure I'll get the alignment check. When I had my tires put on last fall, the technician told me that my alignment was fine -- my old summer tires didn't show any unevenness. Also I bought a cheap little coolant checker, and it was perfectly normal. I had to top it off about a cup last summer, but otherwise I've never had an issue with the radiator. I've had some thoughts of doing the flush'n fill myself with the manual pump I use to change the oil. Any thoughts? I'm just not a big fan of wasting money if I can do it myself. I'm not a mechanic, but if I have clear instructions I can do it. Oh and I may change my brakes too -- they are getting a little thin, though no squeeking noises yet.

By the way, we had such a grand time on our trip to Amherst Island that we're going back again this summer. My fingers are crossed we'll have perfect weather again.....

Sure I've thought about selling -- for the family we've not yet had, for another car (I love the porsches, the audis, Chevy Corvettes and SLR's, and jags, etc. for all various different reasons) but time and again I keep telling myself that my little SLK is all I need. Sure I'd love an SLK 32AMG in silver or black, but my wife says it best when she says that I'd only get into trouble with the law and spend more money on gas for a beefier engine. I'd still consider it, but she does have a way of putting things into perspective....

Sincerely,
Douglas
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Can you recommend a replacement yellow turn-signal lens?

As I indicated in the "blob remover" post earlier, my passenger-side turn-signal yellow lens cover has a chip out of the corner. This is on my fendor near the front corner. It isn't bad at all -- barely noticable in fact, but I wanted to look into getting it replaced as cheaply as possible.

I searched the forum for other posts and have had trouble finding other posts on this. Any suggestions on the cheapest/best way to replace with the normal yellow lens cover?

I've also had some thoughts of replaceing them with clear lenses and yellow lights -- but there seems to be so many options and they are quite expensive. I'd welcome thoughts or recommendations here. Are clean lenses legal?

Thanks,
Douglas
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Sorry -- meant this for the SLK board. My bad... <EOM>
 

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Glad too hear about your enthuseastic experiences with you SLK, but shouldn't you share th...

Glad too hear about your enthuseastic experiences with you SLK, but shouldn't you share this with the R170 forum?
 
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