Mercedes-Benz Forum banner

so my parents want to buy a CLK430

1079 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  janos_z
hi all,

i usually hang out on the w126 and w124 forums, but need your input. my parents were in a pretty bad accident about 2 weeks ago that totaled their '01 toyota camry (taxi ran a red light and t-boned them) and now they're looking for a replacement car.

they're eying an '01 CLK430 and an '01 E430 that a local dealership is selling -- i used to have a 400E that my dad drove a few times and fell in love with, and i think they want a V8 benz now...

so now for the age-old question: how's the CLK430 from a reliability and overall ownership perspective? how maintenance-intensive is the V8 in this car? any weak spots i should know about? would this be a reasonable choice for my parents (in their late 50s/early 60s), even though they're not the DIY type? thanks!
1 - 1 of 7 Posts
I think the greatest influence on dependability will be the prior owner(s). A car with records may be a very good buy.

The normal wear items to watch for at this stage will include both motor mounts, the trans mount (especially if the motor mounts are ignored), the $15 brake light switch, flex discs, and possibly the differential side seals.

Things that may break are the catalytic converters, pixels in the temperature / clock, and the power seat motors.

The cats can be the most expensive item. They need to be replaced when the ceramic cores separate from the metal shells. You can tell they're bad when they rattle just off idle. Dealers will warranty them if the car is under 8 years and 80,000 miles. However a 2001 model year car is 8 years old. In that case, aftermarket alternatives may be the better option. The power seat motors are $130 (full retail on parts) and about 30 minutes of your time. If the dealer does it, plan on a couple of hours labor + parts.

The spark plugs should have been changed two years ago. The transmission fluid should have been changed as well. If not, I’d deduct that from the sales price.

I'd ask the owner to supply a VMI (vehicle master inquiry). A dealer can supply one for free.

Lastly, you may want to consider joining the Mercedes Benz Club of America. The parts and service discounts are more than enough to cover the yearly membership.

For me, the CLK430 has been a very good vehicle.
See less See more
1 - 1 of 7 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.