Last post on Jul 24, 2012 at 9:07 AM
You are in the Mercedes-Benz SL/SLK-Class
What is this discussion about?
Mercedes-Benz SL-Class, Convertible
#487 of 786 Problem free?
Dec 05, 2003 (8:58 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 (11:16 am)
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.)
#489 of 786 SL Problems
Jul 22, 2002 (2:10 pm)
The brake problems were more than just the usual brake squeal that you occasionaly get in many cars. In both my cars, they were unbearably loud with the top down. Also, there is a pre-brake squeal, which is the sound of the pads being cleaned, that was also very annoying. Lastly, I know of someone with an SL55 whose electronic and back up hydraulic systems failed in the first 300 miles of ownership that fortunately did not result in an accident.
Not sure what the problem with the old Coomand system was, but it may have been reliability.
#490 of 786 Brakes and Stuff
Dec 08, 2003 (7:07 am)
Acutally, the Acura RL I mentioned had a squeal just as loud. I could not put the windows down in the car inside a city, because the squeal echoed so badly off nearby buildings that it almost hurt my ears. Softer disc material solved the problem. I will admit, though, that it's a bit embarrassing to roll up to a stop light and have your brakes squeal so loudly that pigeons fall off garbage cans.
When I was trying to decide between the SL500 and SL55, I saw two SL55's in my dealer's shop due to supercharger problems. Gaskets had blown on one, and the other had caught fire. The one that caught fire was being shipped back to Germany for a tear-down to see what had caused the problem. This helped me decide to go with an SL500 for now.
#491 of 786 Supercharger
Dec 08, 2003 (10:56 am)
Gee, I hadn't heard about the supercharger problem, although my dealer told me they have experienced problems with those engines making funny sounds after 6,000 miles or so. I have only 3,000 miles on my E-55 so I haven't experienced them yet.
My problem with the SL500 was that it felt slow, you really had to mash the accelerator to make it move. My problem with the SL55 was the opposite, you couldn't be gentle enough with the accelerator. Might be nice if AMG offered a normally aspirated engine with around 400 hp in this car. I have a CLK55 now and it seems like a good balance.
Jan 15, 2004 (11:58 am)
Great technical specs for the new SLK. But, boy . . . I hope the SL sticks with its current nosepiece. The SLR may be a phenomenal car, but its styling and proportions are a few steps down from the heights reached by the SL. Yet the rumors that SLR styling cues (especially the nose) will trickle down to the "lesser" cars seem to be true if the above AMG link is any indication. Aaaaargh!
#496 of 786 SL55 Versus SL600
Jan 18, 2004 (9:06 am)
Can someone help me choose between these two cars?
Which would you buy and why?
As I see it, the SL55 is the more aggressive of the two and the SL600 is more plush. Since the factory rates the 0-60 times as identical, it makes me wonder how the driving experience will really differ.
The only obvious difference between the two is the residuals are much lower on the SL600.