Last post on Jul 24, 2012 at 10:07 AM
You are in the Mercedes-Benz SL/SLK-Class
What is this discussion about?
Mercedes-Benz SL-Class, Convertible
#479 of 786 SL500 versus SL55
Nov 18, 2003 (10:38 am)
I have owned both of these cars. I picked up a very early SL500 in Germany in April, 2002 then got an SL55 in April of 2003.
I feel that the SL is having early teething pains. I had problems with both relating to a clicking sound coming from the area of the fuel pump behind the seats as well as brake related problems on both (loud squealing and modulation difficulty). I currently drive a 2003 E55 which suffers from none of these issues.
Initial quality problems aside, there is no comparison between the AMG product and the standard offering from Mercedes. If you are an enthusiast, the AMG product will please you in ways the standard offering cannot. The interior leathers are superior, acceleration is incredible, responsiveness improved, ride and handling improved, steering and braking much sharper. I found the SL500 to be boring to drive and the SL55 is anything but. The problem with both of these cars is too much weight, but the SL55 feels like you are driving on a cushion of air, like a puck in an air hockey game.
The E55 I drive now is the best car I have ever owned and I have owned 90 of them.
#481 of 786 Mercedes Nut
Nov 21, 2003 (11:37 am)
I am just a Mercedes nut with more money than sense. I might get another SL55 sometime but I will wait until 05 to see if they debug them some more. Besides, I have a CLK66 Cab I expect shortly.
Nov 21, 2003 (5:48 pm)
A CLK66 Cab??? Or do you mean a CLK55 Cab?
#483 of 786 New Model
Nov 24, 2003 (11:44 am)
What, you don't know about the CLK66?
Sorry, I typed too fast without my glasses, I do mean the CLK55 Cab.
#484 of 786 320 SL Repair Manuals?
Dec 01, 2003 (5:39 am)
Can someone recommend a source for a good 320SL repair manual? I'm mainly interested in educating myself on the mechanics of the car, as well as some basic maintenance and repair.
Dec 02, 2003 (11:39 am)
Dealer has the best one.
#486 of 786 Any Insights?
Dec 05, 2003 (7:33 am)
Has anyone gained any experience yet with the new 7-speed transmission in the 2004 SL500? Heard any news about when, if ever, they plan to beef it up for the SL55? Know whether the rumors are true that the SL will receive a styling change in 2005 to pick up styling cues from the SLR?
I was on the fence about whether to quickly trade my 2003 SL500 for an SL55 now that they are more commonly available. But it looks as if the model is evolving so quickly that I might want to wait one more year.
For what it's worth regarding the earlier comments about initial quality problems . . . I've had a string of recent cars (1998 Corvette, 2000 Jaguar S-Type, 2002 Audi A6 4.2, and 2002 Audi S6) that were plagued with electronic problems. (And the Corvette was plagued with other problems too numerous to mention.) But so far the SL500 is the most problem-free car I've owned. Given the immense amount of technology and number of gizmos on the car, I find that quite surprising.
#487 of 786 Problem free?
Dec 05, 2003 (9:58 am)
Gee, I had two SL's, the SL500 and the SL55 and neither were close to problem free. The brakes made all kinds of noise and were always hard to modulate. There is a known problem from the fuel pump which makes clicking noises behind the drivers seat, for which there is no cure. Mercedes has already changes suppliers for the Command system.
I agree about waiting until 2005, because Mercedes has some work to do on these models.
Dec 05, 2003 (12:16 pm)
Actually, my brakes squeal loudly in some conditions, but I wasn't viewing that as a quality defect. I had the same problem on an Acura RL a few years back. After talking to a lot of different people and researching the internet, I found that brake squeal is a design trade-off with disc material. Harder materials that last longer tend to squeal more. Acura finally fixed their endemic problem with a disc material changeover that reduced noise and marginally reduced pad life. Given the weight of this car, MB might have opted for hardier materials and more noise.
I have read quite a bit in car mags about the difficulty of modulating the SL brakes, particularly from low speeds. Frankly, if it's there, it's so minor that I adapted to it almost without realizing it. (In fact, many of the test drivers said they did the same.) This could be defined as a design quality problem, I guess.
I have heard an occasional noise from the rear quarters of the cabin. However, since I keep a few CD cases in the storage bin with the CD changer, I assumed it was just them flipping back and forth as I braked and accelerated. Could that be the fuel pump clicking instead? Is the clicking constant or intermittent? If intermittent, under what conditions? The fuel pump really does sound like a quality problem. For almost $100K, it's inexcusable.
Any idea what the problem was with the Command system, other than its user-unfriendliness? (I hear the 2004 has already scrapped the CD-based system in favor of a DVD.)