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2003 CLK500
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78 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Good day SLK forum!

I just wanted to see how you all felt about your SLK, and if you could give me some advice.

I've been a Mercedes and BMW fan all my life, my first car was a 1976 300D Diesel, since then I've a few more Mercedes, I currently now own a 3 and 5 series BMW. For the last couple years now, I've wanted a convertible really bad. I've always liked the SLK, and with the hardtop, it seems like the most practical of all converts. In my eyes it almost seems like the practical solution as a daily driver, as most of the time its just me, sometimes my wife and there will be no kids in the near future. I'm pretty sure that I'm set on a 230 Kompressor, theres something about the way a Mercedes 4cyl sounds that I can't get over.

So my question to you is, what can you say about the SLK, anything I should be looking for, what does mileage say for these cars particularly, if its not too big of a deal, i would buy one with 150k if i had to, i mean my 1997 5 series has 177k on it and she looks and drives brand new, so mileage is not really a big deal to me.

Is considering this car as my daily driver a bad idea?

Fill me in everyone, please.
 

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2003 SLK230
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653 Posts
I've had mine for a bit more than a year and a half and I'm still in love with everything about it with the exception of the way it sounds. I mention this one issue because you specifically inquired about it. Although its acceleration and agility never cease to amaze me, the car sounds like a Toyota! It just sounds so bland and....well, Corolla-like. I've got an old Triumph Spitfire with a 1500cc(!) engine that sounds like a pit bull next to the SLK, so its puny prattle's obviously coming from a poorly (or purposely quietly) tuned exhaust/muffler system.
I should also mention that mine's just a nice weekend/toy; it's not a daily driver. In fact, I don't think I've ever driven it in the rain (and don't plan to). I plan to keep the car for many years and fully expect it to begin to appreciate in value in the future (I'm convinced that the r170 body style's destined for classic/cult status).
If you're looking for a fast, all-weather (due to its convertible hardtop) GT that draws stares (mostly from women), I'd go for it.
Oh, and don't forget to post photos when you get it.
 

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98 red 230 slk
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454 Posts
Well, lets see... I have a 1998 w/152000k miles. Runs like a cat n purrs like a kitten. Yesterday it was 79 degrees coming home from work in my daily driver. Guess which position my top was in???? GOOD IDEA!
 

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44 Posts
I have a '99 5-speed with 64k miles and use it as my daily driver. The engine has been great but it suffers from some of the "normal" SLK maladies such as windows that need adjustment and interior paint that is wearing off. Neither of these are a big deal. Recently, the duovalve that controls the A/C went out and I'm going to attempt to clean it this weekend.

So far, it's been a great daily driver and has been a hoot to drive. It also turns a lot of heads!
 

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2004 230SLK
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222 Posts
I've had my '04 230 for about 20 months. I bought it at 84k miles and now have 91k. It's a daily driver but being retired I don't pile a lot of miles on it.
It's everything I'd hoped it would be and more. I'm fortunate in not having to drive it in rain or snow but our severe heat in summer is rough on any automobile. The four cylinder is a pretty reliable engine and doesn't cost a lot to maintain. Like one of the guys said, the exhaust note is pretty subdued but I've grown used to the silence. With the top down it's a fun car. With the top up it's a quiet coupe. The best of both worlds in my book!
 

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SLK 230 Kompressor 1998
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366 Posts
It is a small toy, I try to find excuses to drive it.
Not very practical for moving things around but it is ok.


Things I took care of since I bought it 2 years ago:
Cleaning MAF that was giving me a code
Transmission fluid change
Bushings for lower control arm, tie rod end, ball joint.
Engine mounts, tranny mount.
Fuel filter.
both O2 sensors (was unnecessary)
Belts.
Spark plugs
Changing the supercharger with a rebuilt one (probably was unnecessary)
Didn't have interior paint problem since it was scrapped by previous owner.
changing light bulbs occasionally
Front rotors, brake pads, flushing brake fluid.
Changing struts for hood, trunk
Changing window wipers
Changing air filter
Placing a better window limiter and adjusting my window to it.
Refilling AC
Adding the simple roof circuit for top operation
Car PC

Things I will do in the future:
Changing the O rings for top Cylinders
Vacuuming my car, and getting ride of unnecessary junk in the trunk :p
Changing the belts again
Changing the spark plugs again
Suturing the driver seat leather where string broke.
Changing a light in the instrument cluster that went out.


I love my car and given the choice knowing what I had to do, I would buy it again.
 

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2008 ML350; 2001 SLK230 (traded in)
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1,006 Posts
Over 5 years I've had my 230 and I love it. I drive it everyday (except golf or snow days). I've got just over 111k miles on the odometer and I'm not looking to part with it any time soon. It's experienced all the small items you'll see posted in this forum, but nothing big.
 

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2010 C200 CGI /W203/SLK230/W202/230E/280SE
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3,301 Posts
4 yrs and still love it - daily driver is fine - if you have to carry something lumpy, top down helps.

Don't let this put you off but this is a summary of common issues for the 230 (not all affected) - may help you with what to look for.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
The basics of the R170 are the same as the W202 - C class (same
engine/trans/brakes/diff/suspension.) so a Haynes book (3511) is
handy (no kompressor inf.) - there is no manual in hard copy for the SLK but copies of Benz WIS disks can be found on Ebay - I got the set of 2 - never use them - dreadful to navigate but may help one day

# Transmission -change fluid between 30-50k is good as insurance (jerky first couple of cold changes - normal)

# Coolant change is vital - every 3yrs - use Benz coolant - cheap

# If it starts throwing codes/running rough - Maf is first suspect.

# Oil type air filter might cause MAF contamination - miniscule benefit

# Oil separator can be cleaned to ensure no oil gets to MAF - easy

# Starting/stalling - look at crank pos. sensor or cam pos. sensor

# Brake pads, easy - Brake fluid flush at 2 yrs - easy cheap job

# Engine mounts are oil filled and can go at 140K kms+ - quite easy

# Drive belts (2) at 100k kms - 10 min job - belts cheap

# At 100+ k kms, consider the lower front susp. rubbers - knocking
noise when braking hard (Dealer job)

# Any noise from engine at start up is likely to be belt tensioner brgs (2) $30 fix
- easy- Idler bearing is bought as a complete unit (easy fix but $60)

# Kompressor runs until engine heats up (can feel noisy)- otherwise
cuts in at about 2300 rpm - (pre face lift models)

_____________SLK SPECIFIC________________________

# Peeling console paint - all 6 colours are avail. - easy and perfect
$40 fix.

# Shocks might be suspect at 120k kms+ - easy install -KYBs - $300 USD from Tirerack, really worth it

# IMPORTANT - use short wheel bolts in tool kit if fitting the
emergency spare wheel - using std wheel bolts will cause serious damage !

# Important to keep PSE dry (pneumatic pump for central locking etc) - RH side trunk - under jack in foam jacket - Usual problem is a leaky trunk seal or aggressive hose washing - some guys wrap in plastic or mount upside down.

# The K40 relay sometimes has an issue with 2 dry solder joints -
again fairly easy fix by checking and re soldering

# Noisy diff/transm. sound is nearly always tyres -aggressive tread
is bad news - many posts on this. Soft tyres also aggravate the noise -you can tell when tyres need air by the sound.

# Roof has 5 hydraulic rams - oil level inspection RH side in trunk - unusual to have to have to top up- generally reliable.(ram seals fixable) Any problems with roof - check switches first - Lube all hinges with silicone spray and cycle roof regularly- (lube 4 locking hooks also)

# Clean rubbers where roof joins and lube with Krytox grease or Honda equiv. (dont use ordinary grease on rubber) Lubing the rubbers will get rid of nearly all creaking - notice how quiet your car is after washing or rain

# Rattle behind seat is usually 2 rubber blocks fallen out where window touches the parcel shelf (in trunk) -1 minute fix (additional 2 blocks works even better)

# Lights behind heater controls can be changed by pulling knobs off

# Lights behind speedo cluster is fiddly but do-able -2 large 15 small

# Headlights can mist up after washing (they have to breathe)- silicone bead down vert join on lights is cheap invisible fix - 2 min. fix

# Loose indicator stalk is a remove steering wheel job - quite easy 2
bolts for airbag and 3 for stalk (reinstall with Loctite blue)- large allen key for st/wheel (IMPORTANT - disconnect battery)

# Door trims can creak/armrest come loose - easy fix - remove trims & re-glue armrest and other bits with Liquid Nails. - zero cost

# Fuel smell will probably be old fuel and vapour lines/connections under RH rear wheel. Easy fix - use 5/16" fuel injector hose on filter and pump - ordinary fuel hose for vapour lines - new jubilee clips needed.

Oberoi
 

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2016 SLK300 (2011 SLK300 and 2002 SLK230 Sold)
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1,009 Posts
Got mine new in 02 and have not looked back. Has 39K fun & high perfomance miles on it. It's a keeper! :thumbsup:
 

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Two 1998 SLK230s, 2003 SLK230 SE, 2002 ML320
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920 Posts
I have had three SLK230s consecutively since 2004 (ie 6 years - 2 years each). They have all been daily drivers and I have covered over 100,000kms in them and loved every km. The first and 3rd were (are) great cars with little trouble. Lost the first one in a crash. The second had a few electrical troubles (CPS and O2 sensors and a troublesome CCM - oddly it belonged to an auto electricain before me which probably explains a lot). The current one is a 2003 model and hasn't missed a beat in almost 60,000kms - I bought it at 5,000kms.
Oberoi's list of stuff is a great guide, but don't be put off by it as not everyone has all the issues.
 

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SLK 230K sport, 99', Silver, 60K miles
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75 Posts
Had mine for nearly a year now and absolutely LOVE it - quick, agile, comfortable and still looks stunning (certainly turns heads with the top down) - most people think I bought it new! Only thing I am not liking at the moment is the huge amount of condensation that builds up inside the car now the weather has gotten colder (live in the UK). Hope the car lasts forever :)
 

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2008 ML350; 2001 SLK230 (traded in)
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1,006 Posts
Had mine for nearly a year now and absolutely LOVE it - quick, agile, comfortable and still looks stunning (certainly turns heads with the top down) - most people think I bought it new! Only thing I am not liking at the moment is the huge amount of condensation that builds up inside the car now the weather has gotten colder (live in the UK). Hope the car lasts forever :)
Have you checked for any water leaks coming into the cabin? The one time I had a leak, when my drains were clogged, I had lots of condensation on the insides of the windows.
 

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SLK 230K sport, 99', Silver, 60K miles
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75 Posts
Have you checked for any water leaks coming into the cabin? The one time I had a leak, when my drains were clogged, I had lots of condensation on the insides of the windows.
One of the drains is blocked at the rear (luckily the side opposite to the relay and no water is gathering in there - have been drying up the condensation with some towels). Going to sort that this weekend. Haven't noticed any water getting into the cabin, but since one is already blocked I will check them too. That is my weekend project :)

Edit: Are there any pics here of the front drains? I found a thread by Bazzle a while back where he installed mesh onto all of the drains and it had some good pics, but i cant fiind it again :(. My front drains don't look blocked, but i really can't tell.
 

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2003 CLK500
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78 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Wow.

Thanks guys. You've definitely made up my mind.

I have ALWAYS really like the SLK, its awesome looking car, the 2.3 Kompressor engine has always been my most favorite engine from Mercedes other than their turbo diesel's...

My friend runs a large Chevrolet dealership in Fort Payne, AL and he took in an 2004 SLK230K with 40k on trade over the summer and let me take it on dealer plate for the weekend and I was in love like the first few blocks I drove it.

The reason I put up this post is because I've had 6 Mercedes to date and they've got their own set of problems, which I probably have experienced all of, I really wanted to know what the SLK was all about, and from what you all said, it seems like the SLK really seems to suffer from very minimal problems IMO.
 

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2003 SLK32 AMG Designo
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844 Posts
Not that there's anything wrong with the 2.3 Kompressor engine, but I'd really suggest that you try an SLK320 as well before you make any final decision. Virtually no difference in performance, but the SLK320 is smoother.

I've had nearly 7 years with SLKs, first the SLK320 and then the SLK32 AMG. Both were 2003 models and both were my daily drive. Snags I've had were:

SLK320:

- I didn't notice that I'd left something on top of the boot roller blind, then retracted the roof, scraping the paint in the process. My fault entirely!

SLK32 AMG:

- Left rear window regulator failed - fixed under warranty.

- Supercharger intercooler pump failed - fixed under warrranty.

- Rust around the boot lock - fixed under warranty.

- Driver's seat cushion heater has failed - still haven't got round to getting it fixed!

My main problem? I can't think of another car which would ever give me the same smile for money value!

On normal tyres and rims, the ride comfort of the SLK230 and SLK320 is better than that of the SLK32 AMG; also the automatic transmission is much smoother. But the SLK32 AMG has incredible performance!
 

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2001 SLK 320(217K Miles), 2002 E320 Special Edition(183K Miles)
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3,467 Posts
Agree with Nick on the 320. It just don't seem have all the niggling little problems of the compressor, has a better standard performance and about the same economy. And it has a lovely sound under acceleration, but quiet under normal cruising.
I was also looking for a 230 and took several on test drives, but the first drive in a 320 just clinched it for me. Close to 90,000 miles later and I'm still happy. And it's my daily driver (80 miles each day).
 

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SLK R170 1999 2.3 PETROL
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5 Posts
OIL CHANGE KOMPRESOR

Hi All. Im a new member to Benzworld, wondering if i could get some help finding out what my Kompressor is, EATON (M45 OR M62) As i would like to change the oil, current millage is 72,000 miles,


Here is my car details
VIN WDB1704472F147779
trade designation SLK 230 KOMPRESSOR
Shipping date 24/8/99
Engine number 111 973 22 072 877
Salon 221A
Optics BOSCH
Order number 0953796564
Code LKP 1 744
PPC 722 605 01 702 245

Also have the part number off kompressor - A1110900308
 

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97 230slk
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4 Posts
98 230SLK

tried to email u but message was unable to be delivered at your hotmail email. please see my ad in this forum (FOR SALE) dated

7-19-2016, posting #355. good luck in your search for one of these fine little vehicles.
 
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