Welcome at the buying review of the Mercedes Benz SL. This generation the R230 was built between 2001 and 2011.
This car is for people that look for a luxery roadster with plenty of power.
In this review we will check if this car is reliable and what some of the issues are when buying such a car.
In early 1996, 6 years into the life of the R129, development work on a successor began.
In early 96 design work on the car started, Mercedes would use state of the art technology by the name CAVE,
to construct the car. Cave stands for Computer Aided Virtual Environment.
On june 1997 the final design was selected and further refined into production specifications into 1998.
The SL was unveiled at the 2001 Frankfurt Motor Show, production started on October 13 2001.
The R230 came to the market in 2001 and was equipped with a steel folding roof, in Mercedes language the Vario Roof.
This roof was well built, so that when the driver had the roof closed, there was the feeling of driving a big coupe.
Engine wiss there were many choices, V6, V8 and V12 engines.
AMG also tuned the SL creating very powerful cars like the SL 55 AMG, and after the facelift in 2006 and 2008 the SL63AMG and SL65AMG.
There was even a 670 HP black series available.
Talking about the facelift, in 2008 Mercedes almost changed everything it could on the SL.
New engines, some equiped with two power domes to underline the power of the engine and sportiness of the car.
Also overall the car got a much sharper design, sharper nose and rear end.
Let’s focus on the strong and weaker points of the SL.
• Comfortable cruizer
• Fantastic engines
•The early SL350 and SL500 suffer from breaking baffles in the gas tank. They will rattle, but replacing the tank is expensive because a part of the roof mechanism has to be disassembled.
•The M272 and M273 V6-engines have problems with the distribution, wherein a gear for the balance shaft excessively wears. The engine will therefore run uneasily. Replacement is a costly affair.
•The ignition coils of the V12 engines are sensitive and replacement is expensive.
•The optional ABC suspension is beautiful, but check carefully whether the car is level and if there are no leaks. It is recommended to replace the fluid every four years. If that has not happened, there are potentially expensive repairs to be made. The problem may be in the struts or in the pumps, but in any case replacements or repairs are quite expensive.
•Sensotronic Brake Control is a beautiful, intelligent system, but the pump on the SL sometimes breaks and repair is costly. Mercedes recognized major problems with the brakes and replaced the system with conventional brake systems on volume models on cars like the E-Class.
•Because the redesign for a car such as the SL that was built in a relatively small edition became too expensive, the braking systems were not rebuilt on these cars.
•The steel roof will give lots of comfort, but it is also a heavy component of the car concisiting out of many moving parts.
Be sure to check the roof for proper opening and closing. There should not be any strange noises and it should function proparly, otherwise you can expect a big bill when fixing the roof.
•The connection of the C-post is not good, so that leakage can occur in the boot, but also in the rooms where important electrical components are located. This is potentially a moneypit.
The problem should be resolved from the facelift in 2008, but there are still some owners to find online who also had the same problems in later models. If necessary, you can check whether there is a leak by just driving past a washing box and putting the high-pressure sprayer on the car.
•The frames of the windows are rust-sensitive, especially in the early production cars.
•Rust is also an issue (especially with early production models) at the rear wheel arches.
•Damage at the drive side chair is common, usually caused by getting in and out of the car.
•Like you espect with such a car, there are many gadgets available for this car.
Make sure they work, press all the buttons and check if they function.
•Make sure you check if the keyless entry function works, if specified.
•Check the workings of the aircopump.
•If moisture is collected in the vacuum pump of central locking, this can cause central locking to stop functioning.
•There are two batteries in the SL, one of them is used for all electronical gadgets such as roof controls and seat heating.
That battery has a tendency to run out fairly quickly, especially in pre-facelift models.
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See you guys in the next video.