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2009 SL550 Silver Arrow
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45 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have an '09 with 92k miles on it and it has had the typical issues. I have an ok indy and fix everything as it occurs but can't DIY since I live in a high rise condo. I have not been proactive on doing extra ABC fluid changes but do all scheduled maintenance on-time. You can see my detailed service history at my 2009 MB SL service history

Would you take this car on a 1000 mile road trip to Colorado stay for a month and then drive home?

Larger repairs I've had include 1 accumulator fairly recently, the ABC pump 7 years ago under warranty, engine/trans mounts, passenger SAM, and SBC.

My main concern is breaking down and not knowing of a good indy and being really far from a dealership (not that I want to go to one of those).

What prep would you do? This will be purely in the summer so no issue with needing snow tires. I've been flying up there every summer for several years and rent cars part of the time I'm there and most of them really make me miss driving my car. One time I had a convertible Mustang with 35k on it and the rear view mirror shook so much as to be unusable on any less than perfect road. I thought the mounting must be loose but it was the whole windshield that was moving. I'll cross post since I never know which forum is more popular. Hope that doesn't ruffle anyone's feathers.
 

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2003 sl55amg
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102 Posts
Well, it seems you already know it would be a crap shoot, so I can only agree.
You got to ask yourself one question, do you feel lucky?
This didn't work out so well for the guy in Dirty Harry movie!
 

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2002 SL500 Silver Arrow
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626 Posts
was checking out your spreadsheet -- dang. $2400 per year average in repair and maintenance not counting what the warranty paid. Fwiw -- I would take it to CO. What the heck? The risk is that it costs more than the rental. But if you enjoy sitting in the seat, that is the reason you bought it. Not to be scared of it. Something breaks, you fix it. Sounds like much of the big stuff is sorted, so might only need an indy for routine things. Pay up for a AAA membership, put the top down and hit the road. Good luck.
 

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sl600
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94 Posts
2400 a year isn't bad for fast roadster, but I woulda expected more reliability from a 550, I spend 200-300$ on gas per a month. but the issue in price here, you take the sl to the dealership for everything. But 2400 is reasonable for a luxury car. Grandtourer, thats a bargin. Ive spent over 4000 over the holidays for a coil pack going bad & buying another bad coil pack on ebay, and troubleshooting that it was still a coilpack issue. So replaced it again and then replaced all sparkplugs, vaccum lines, and other age parts around the area. Then did my service b all fluids flush, change some tires.
 

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1999 E430; 2005 ML500
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1,660 Posts
Absolutely. Bring some McGyver supplies (duct tape, pliers, wire) and water for the worst case.

BTW, is your engine in the balance shaft problem range?
 

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Coupe/Convertible Forums Moderator
CURRENT: 2011 SL550, 2011 C300 FORMER: ML350, CLK550 Cabriolet, C240, ML320, 300TD
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19,352 Posts
To answer your question, I would not take YOUR car on a trip, but I'd not hesitate to take mine (MY2011 with under 80K on the clock). I've had some of the same issues as you, but I fixed them all myself for the cost of parts, so my investment is quite a bit less.
 

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2009 SL550 Silver Arrow
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45 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I appreciate the responses here and plan to drive it there this summer and will bring some supplies like what Hirnbiess.

As for the running costs of my car, I went to the dealership until my extended warranty expired and even a few times afterward for things that seemed more specific to this car. I have a decent indy now but they seem to be about as pricey as the dealer. High maintenance doesn't bother me so much but being stranded does but I need to get over that. Even when I'll be in a remote mountain town I probably won't be that far from getting help though I did have a lot of dead zones with my T-mobile phone. But I'll have a work AT&T phone for backup next time which should have better coverage.

Hadn't heard about the balance shaft problem but in my quick searching I think I'm clear since I have an '09.

I greatly enjoy driving this car and really love the ABC ride. Most sporty cars are too rough.
 

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Coupe/Convertible Forums Moderator
CURRENT: 2011 SL550, 2011 C300 FORMER: ML350, CLK550 Cabriolet, C240, ML320, 300TD
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Hadn't heard about the balance shaft problem but in my quick searching I think I'm clear since I have an '09.
Yep, the ""balance shaft" (actually just the idler sprocket on the M273 V8) was only an issue through about mid-MY2007. All MY2005/2006 cars will be in the range for potential failure and the first half of MY2007. MY2008 and later are fine.
 

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Current: '07 SL550, '06 ML350 - Past: '99 ML320 (Sold), '98 SLK230 (Wrecked), 05 SL500 (Wrecked)
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405 Posts
@brownboy2 Yes, I'd take your car for 1000 mile trip.

Where can I pick it up? :)
 

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2004 Sl500
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23 Posts
I took my 04 on a 1400 mile "road trip" when I moved halfway across the country. That poor car blasted through some horrendous pot holes and rough patches on the way, and had ZERO issues, even over a year after moving here. If everything is in tip-top shape, you should be OK. I believe these cars experience issues due to sitting around, not from driving them.
 

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2009 SL550 Silver Arrow
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45 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
2621974


While attempting to leave work today I got the Red ABC Malfunction light so I pulled over and see that something has burst and I found a little black cap. I had to drive about a 1000 feet so hopefully that didn't make things much worse. Tow truck on the way. Glad this didn't occur during the big road trip I was considering this summer.
 

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Coupe/Convertible Forums Moderator
CURRENT: 2011 SL550, 2011 C300 FORMER: ML350, CLK550 Cabriolet, C240, ML320, 300TD
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19,352 Posts
I'm not sure about the black cap you found, but the most common leak on the MY2007+ ABC system would be the main pressure hose, which you can see in your photo running right in front of the oil cooler, between the intake duct and radiator hose. Mine sprung a pinhole leak and took about 10 miles of driving before I got the white error, then less than a mile later it went red. Luckily, the red warning came just as I got into the Auto Zone parking lot next to my office. I bought both cans of Pentosin they had, filled it and made it 10 miles back home and garaged it until I was able to order a new hose.
 

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2009 SL550 Silver Arrow
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45 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
My indy flushed the body control and power steering reservoirs. Did rodeo and multiple test drives but could not upset system. Shop believes it was a "burp" from a failing accumulator but don't want to start replacing them until this happens again.

When this first occurred I was on a level surface and it was within the first 10 seconds of driving.
 

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2008 SL550R
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130 Posts
Here is a slightly off topic reply to driving 1000 miles, before my R230 I had a R129-1994 it had about 130,000 miles on it. I listed it on EBay and eventually sold it to a gentleman from Texas, he got frustrated with his transportation company and asked me about driving it home. I told him the car was up to date maintenance wise and ran extremely well, he bought discounted airfare and flew into an airport about an hour away. He rented a car and came and picked mine up, I was away when he arranged to come by so I had a friend meet him to give him the keys and all the pertinent paperwork. My buddy called me a short while after this happened and asked me if I was aware that my buyer was actually an 81 year old man and his wife. I wasn’t, I had only spoken live once with him, but after that I had to reach out for him. When he was here to pickup his car he arranged a very near to 5000 mile return trip with many stops along the way, when we spoke after the fact he complimented me on the condition of the car he had zero issues his entire trip. So you want to drive 1000 miles? Try doing this buy a car sight/unseen for less than $7k with over 125k miles, fly there (at least 1k miles away) and drive it back. Oh and wait till you have to check out of the retirement community to do it. I still shake my head thinking about it.
 

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2004 Sl500
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23 Posts
My 04' did this once. My indie mechanic said it was due to sticking valves. After valve-block rebuild and accumulator replacement (about 20,000 miles ago) I haven't had a single ABC issue or leak.
 
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