Buying review Mercedes-Benz SLK (R170) 1996-2004 Common Issues Engines Inspection
Hello everybody, today we do a buying review again, we will take a look at the affordable roadster from Mercedes-Benz, the SLK.
Today we will review the first generation SLK with the internal code R170, this car was built between 1996 and 2004, so this makes this car potentially 24 years old if you go for the earlier production models.
Early 2000’s model are now getting more affordable and this could be a nice fun car for the weekends or for the misses of the house. This car is not very practical so do not expect to bring two kids, the dog and a trunk full of groceries with you wherever you go.
Lets go straight towards the attention points of this car, the fact this car is old is not the biggest concern in the basis this car is well built.
The biggest concern is the maintenance history of this car, preferably at Mercedes itself.
Also check the seats and steering wheel for wear and tear, next to that check what kind of tires are fitted to the car, cheap tires will give you a hint of the previous owner of the garage you’re buying the car.
If you are not sure what type of SLK to buy, I suggest you go for a SLK with a compressor fitted. This will improve the performance and the joy of driving this roadster.
Before I continue with listing attention points, my suggestion is that you go for the second generation SLK, internal code R717 that was built after 2004, this car had a six speed manual or a five speed automatic, this car is more comfortable and has a few newer engines that offer more performance. Off cource these cars will be a bit more expensive since they are younger.
That being said, lets list the issues with the first generation.
If you buying a convertible with a hardtop it is important that the roof mechanism still functions properly, to repair this system, it will cost some serious money. This could also be a bargaining tool off cource during the buying process of the car. When the roof retracts slowly you could have to replace a pump and this is unfortunately expensive.
Furthermore the boot seals are prone for failure, this can result in the spare wheel well filling up with water. This is inconvenient but a set of new seals are not expensive, so check the seals during the inspection of the car.
With a good service history the car will be more expensive and off cource more reliable, in terms of consumption on parts, Mercedes still produces parts for the SLK like brake pads, discs fuel and oil filters. That is a big plus.
This is not a car for you if you are above 1,85 meter or drive long distances. Its more roadster for fun driving with the roof down.
Strong points of the car are the compressor engines, the automatic gearbox.
Weaker points are the roof mechanism, sometimes the windows don’t close well when closing the doors. This usually goes automatic when closing and locking the doors.
And during the inspection of the engine look for oil leaks, this could happen frequently and if you happen to spot it on time the price of repair is not much, around 100 euro here in Europe.
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