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2001 SLK230
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117 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello all. I posted this over on SLKWORKD, but they said I'd probably get more answers here. So...

My wife has wanted an SLK for several years and we have a chance to purchase a 2001 230SLK Kompressor with fairly low miles (50k) for a good price. However, after reading some of the problems found about these cars on THIS SITE, I'm reluctant to take the plunge!!

I know that with any car so dependant on electronics, you run into problems, but my greatest concern is with the way they've been treated by the dealerships! I would not expect Mercedes Benz to treat its customers this way and would not put up with this at all. I'm also concerned about replacement parts prices. $4k for a control module??? Come on. They're kidding, right?

I've owned a lot of new and used cars in my 52 times around the sun, including a 1955 Mercedes Benz 190SL, and have had my share of ups and downs, but before we commit ourselves to an SLK, I'd like to become more familiar with the model.

Therefore, I'd really appreciate any and all feedback from actual owners, good AND bad.

so, let me know your experiences and don't hold back!

Thanks in advance.

Ed
 

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2002 SLK 32 AMG, bone stock. 1987 190E 2.3-16 valve (destroyed). 2005 E320 new toy.
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14,926 Posts
Have there been problems with the SLK.... yes there have, no car is perfect is it..

Take a look in the Tech Tips and Such sticky at the top of the page, it will give a good idea of where the problems are. The section is fairly long, but much of the detailed problems are easily repaired or worked around.

The first problem on "your" site is about the tail lights. There has been a recall and they SHOULD have been replaced, if not you local MB dealer can do that free of charge.

Something you might want to consider is that site was initiated specifically to deter people from buying Benz cars, not alert them to problems with the car. There are similar sites for BMW, Ferrari, and almost any other marque you can think of. Many people start them simply to get their own cars fixed or replaced for little or nothing, and sometimes just to hassle a manufacturer for some imagined wrong that was done to them.

Enjoy our site, you can pick up a lot of information here.
 

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Golf R32 / Prev R170 SLK
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6,821 Posts
I know some slk owners with absolutely NO problems. Those sort of peeps dont usually post much as they arent having issues or a need to look for a fix. Some others are just MB enthusiasts who like to read ALL they can re MBs.
In the end its your call. A newer one like you are looking at will prob be a better buy than an early model, depends on what you can afford, if you dont mind getting into it if something goes wrong, etc. More and more parts are available from spares places now, inc MB orig parts at better than dealer prices.

Owning one is also about the experience. I like to look at the MB insignia in the steering wheel and it makes me feel special. Also the car is good looking and people comment on it a lot even though mine is now 10 years old.

Good luck BAzzle
 

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SLK 320 BRABUS Modded
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2,398 Posts
Lo again m8

Anything you need to know you will find here.
 

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2001 SLK230
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117 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Yes, after I started looking around on that site, I noticed that it looked as if the person that started it had a thing out for Mercedes Benz!! So we have to take it with a grain of salt.

I did a lot of reading here (the stickies are great) and found a ton of good information. It appears that this car really isn't as bad as I was lead to believe and most of the typical maintenance can be done in the driveway.

Thank you so far gents.

Ed
 

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02 - 32 (Stock); 99 SLK230 (RIP); 81 CJ7 (Fully MOD)
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399 Posts
With Bruce & Bazzle & Pap on that! :D I hardly had any problems, drive the car like it meant to be driven! You still do your regular maintenance, but most of them are not that hard to do. Parts are not that bad either, if you know where to get them.

Again, this forum is a good resource with occasional shake down! :eek::thumbsup:
 

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Two 1998 SLK230s, 2003 SLK230 SE, 2002 ML320
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920 Posts
I have owned three SLKs. The first '98 model was great and had no problems that were not to be expected from wear and tear. (i.e. brakes, filters, engine mounts, and tie rods [had an out of balance wheel]). This was hit from behind and written off (no injuries to us - these cars are safe!). The second SLK also 1998 was fine but had a series of electrical problems (stop lamps, camshaft sensor, O2 sensor - all easily fixed) It also, I suspect, had a dodgy CCM module as the indicators and headlight flashers would sometimes misbehave, and the crash relay I'm sure would occassionally chatter whic gave some wierd power regulation problems. I traded this for a 2004 SLK that I now drive. Perfect (so far).
These cars are for enjoyment, and diagnosing the odd problem can be fun too. Besides, I got to "meet" the fine folks on this forum.
It's up to you, but if you do buy one, let us know and join in the fun here and on the road.
 

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1999 SLK230
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29 Posts
This site is great I own a a SLK230 99 model I have had it for nearly 2 years and not a single problem it has 76k Klm on the clock dont use it for everyday use but when I do it is a joy to drive. This site gives you a lot of information not just on repairs but modification I have the Halo headlights an easyroof and windrestrictor windblocker purchased at a resonable cost through information from people on this site I dont post alot but I enjoy reading the information
Thanks David
 

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2001 SLK230
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117 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Okay, another question please...

I received the VMI for the car I'm thinking about getting and am confused on the Production date. The car has "SLK230 Kompressor 2001" in the Model/Year field showing that it's a 2001 model, but it has "12/11/1999" in the Production date field! I know that 12/11/99 is November 12th, 1999, but my question is how could a 2001 car have been built in 1999??? That would have been a 2000 model, not a 2001.

What am I missing here?

Ed
 

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'01 SLK230 Kompressor, '95 C280, '98 BMW 528i, '86 BMW M635CSi EURO, '87 190E 2.3-16
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441 Posts
Yes, a 2001 car could be built in 2000. It's still a 2001 model with all the benefits of face-lifted cars.
 

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2001 SLK230
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117 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
But it was built in 1999. As far as I know, a car built in November of 1999 would have been a 2000 model, not a 2001. At least that's the way it works for most cars.

Ed
 

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'01 SLK230 Kompressor, '95 C280, '98 BMW 528i, '86 BMW M635CSi EURO, '87 190E 2.3-16
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441 Posts
Sorry, didn't read your post right - i'm surviving the worst hangover ever :bash:.
What you are describing is very weird though.
 

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SLK 320 BRABUS Modded
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2,398 Posts
Does it have flashers in the door mirrors ?

If you have a link or photos, put them up, Some very sharp peeps here.

If it does not feel right m8, look for another, lots about now m8.
 

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2002 SLK 32 AMG, bone stock. 1987 190E 2.3-16 valve (destroyed). 2005 E320 new toy.
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14,926 Posts
Take a look at the builders plate on the rear door jamb on the driver's side. There should be three stickers the top one is a warning the middle one is the one you want to look at, in the upper right hand corner of the sticker is the "Made in Germany" and the build date, month and year.

The lower two should be there even if the top (right side) one is missing. :)
 

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2001 SLK230
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117 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Thanks guys. Yes, the car DOES have the flashers in the mirrors.

I talked to the dealer and the date is 12/99. He told me that you can't go by that date since Mercedes (and most other car companies) now build cars WAY in advance of the model year. I was told you have to go by the 10th digit of the VIN, and that will show you what year the car actually is. My 10th digit as a 1, so it's a 2001. The Picture Bruce posted has a 2, so his is a 2002, even though it was built in May of 2001.

Things sure have changed!!! It used to be that model years ran from September of one year to August of the next!

Ed
 

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2001 SLK 320(217K Miles), 2002 E320 Special Edition(183K Miles)
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3,467 Posts
Of course if you want reliability and low maintenance, you should go for the SLK 320. Not that much difference in price from the SLK 230 and no kompressor and add-ons that can go wrong. Also a much more modern engine that have about the same economy than the smaller 4 cylinder.
Of course if you look at tuning the engine, that is not really possible with the 320. Much easier on the 230 to add extra performance,
 

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2003 SLK32 AMG
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120 Posts
I read the complaints on the mentioned website and noticed a lot of the problems are ones dealt with here in this forum. Look for signs of water intrusion into the trunk usually under the rear window corners. This problem leads to failure of the PSE pump which will effect your locks, foglights, interior light, and alarm. Pull the codes to see if there are underlying issues and check for general signs of abuse. Get the service records and look for patterns. I've owned all three models (slk230, slk320 and slk32) and each has had minor issues. The SLK32 has dropped in price and may be a viable option for you. Most owners of this model are happy with the additional power and build quality. Good luck.
 

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2001 SLK230
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117 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Thank you for your input guys. I'll check the trunk for signs of water.

I was thinking about a 320, but wasn't sure. Other than the engine, are there any differences?

How do I get a copy of the service records? And is this the VMI (Vehicle Master Inquiry) I keep hearing about? I was told I couldn't get a copy of that since it wasn't available to the public.

Ed
 

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SLK 320 BRABUS Modded
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2,398 Posts
Not alot m8, Just with no SC its one less thing to go wrong.

The power is fed in a diff way, And v6 sounds a little nicer, But with a sports exhaust both sound very close.

I have a 320 myself, Pritty bullet proof IMO
 
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