Last post on Jul 24, 2012 at 9:07 AM
You are in the Mercedes-Benz SL/SLK-Class
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Mercedes-Benz SL-Class, Convertible
#590 of 786 Trying to decide...
May 03, 2004 (8:21 am)
...between a 1993-1995 E-class cabrio and a 2000-2002 SL (those years because I want Desert Silver, new for 2000). Would purchase within the next year or two. There was an excellent article in the April edition of MERCEDES ENTHUSIAST magazine (printed in England). Basically, it said the the R129 SL was currently affordable, but a bit complex, while the E cab had likely reached its low point in value and would possibly appreciate. The car would be driven maybe 2000-3000 miles per year. It seems that the common complaints with the E are head gaskets and climate control issues, while with the SL perhaps problems with the power top? I don't know just how complext the SL is--I can't remember if it was based on a shortened S-class chassis. Anyhow, all insights would be welcome!
#591 of 786 Avoid Renntech Steering Wheels
May 07, 2004 (1:14 pm)
I just received the Renntech wood/leather steering wheel in light ash to replace the black factory wheel on my '04 SL55. (I don't know why AMG uses only black steering wheels in a convertible. They get mighty hot in the sun.)
Renntech advised me ahead of time that I would have to pull the airbag out of my existing wheel to install in the new wheel. So far, so good. What they did not tell me was that I also had to pull the steering wheel menu and audio buttons and the large center cap off the existing wheel. Big problem. All those items are obviously black, and Renntech knew they were . . . both because I told the salesman and because Renntech claims to specialize in converting SL55's. Renntech did not supply the buttons and center cap, and they won't take the wheel back, since they say it was a special order item. So I've either lost the $1700 I spent for the Renntech wheel, or I've got to spend another $1000 to order the light ash components from Mercedes to complete the wheel change-out.
I'm just going to throw the Renntech wheel in the garbage and write this off as a bad experience with internet purchases. But I'm disappointed that a company with Renntech's reputation for quality will not accept any responsibility for not disclosing to me that additional parts would be needed to complete the wheel swap.
CAVEAT EMPTOR, I guess.
#592 of 786 Personal Experience or SL500 (un)reliability
May 11, 2004 (4:10 pm)
Thought I should chip in my 2 cents worth. I have had my lovely SL500 for ten months now. I love the car, but it has been so very unreliable I cannot stand it any more.
The ownership experience is severely blighted by the regular appearance of faults, which always necessitate a visit back to a Mercedes service department. And the SL-specific parts are often not available immediately which means your car sits, un-drivable, in the repair shop waiting for a back order part.
In the last 10 months of ownership, I have spent a month driving loan cars, whilst waiting for various parts and repairs. Now let me say quickly that Mercedes has paid for every repair under warrantee and every loan car under courtesy, but that does not take away the irritation of the continuous unreliability of this flagship car.
This week’s fault is the seat-belt pre-tensioner (car unsafe to drive, we have been waiting 10 days for parts), but previous failures have included hydraulic suspension (car not drivable), exhaust system failure (car not legal to drive) and the electric seat adjustment getting stuck in the full-forward position (so that you cannot get into the seat!).
If you are buying an SL500 as a sunny-day third car – go ahead. But don’t buy one if you want something reliable to enjoy whenever the sun comes out - because, as likely as not, you'll be in a diesel C-class estate loan car when the sun actually comes out for a day.
#593 of 786 SL500 disappointment
May 12, 2004 (7:52 am)
I've had my '03 SL500 for about 18 months and 8000 miles, and have had recurring electrical problems for the past 12 months. At any moment while driving I am likely to get a potpourri of warning lights - BAS, ESP, check engine, engine coolant, and the most frequent light: Transmission! Visit Workshop. Except for the tranny warning, all are false alarms, and disappear after shutting down the engine and then restarting. The transmission warning is much more interesting. Nine times out of ten it too is a false alarm, but every once in a while it illuminates and continues to re-appear even after clearing the message. When that happens, I know what to expect. The car will not shift out of first gear without careful and serious coaxing. Though that has only happened to me four times, it is a real attention getter and has left me quite frustrated with the car. Needless to say I have become a regular at the M-B service shop, and while the shop has been great and accomodative, replacing control modules, batteries, harnesses, etc., the problems keep coming back (in fact I'm waiting for a call from the service manager as I write this).
I've owned various M-B models for 14 years (2 S class, 2 CL class and this SL) and I can honestly say this is the first time I've had problems with the quality of a Mercedes or had a car that couldn't get fixed. Except for the occasional fisrt gear issue, the problems I've experienced aren't debilating as the car still works, but they are extremely frustrating.
Before I got the SL I had a 2000 CL, which I absolutely loved, and as I await my next service appointment I find my thoughts turning more and more to a new CL55. Electrical gremlins aside, I've found my SL to be a wee bit too small, and at 6'3" I find getting in and out of the car difficult. Without a doubt the SL is a beautiful car, and tooling around with the top down simply can't be beat. But I'm going to get rid of this SL, and I think it's time to return to a CL. My only question is whether or not M-B will be changing the body style for the CL any time soon.
May 12, 2004 (9:57 am)
I've had my '04 SL500 for about 5 months, and it seems to have many more little issues than any previous MB I've had (3 S-Class, 1 ML, 1 E & 1 SLK).
It spends too much time in the shop, though they do treat me nicely & I too get a decent loaner (C class) while I wait for this or that.
I've had no problems that have yet rendered the vehicle undriveable, but seat motor probs have been recurrent (oh the comfort seat pkg is a real waste). I do sometimes feel the tranny getting stuck in 1 st gear, esp when it's cold, but so far it hasn't stranded me.
May 12, 2004 (9:12 pm)
The current CL has at least 1 more model year (2005) to go, if not 2. The next S-Class is due to be shown at Frankfurt in 2005 (Sept) and the CL will surely follow at either Detroit or Geneva (Jan and March) of 2006 which would make it a 2007 model.
#596 of 786 1999 SL 500 40,000 miles
May 13, 2004 (7:11 am)
I now own three Mercedes (1999 SL 500; 2002 S 430; & 2003 CLK 430 Cabriolet)and sold a 1993 300 SE with 40,000 miles on it 2 1/2 years ago. I had so much trouble with the '93 on things that should never go wrong starting around 35,000 miles and costing $6000 to fix the next 5000 miles that I thought I just had a lemon. Now the '99 SL 500 is starting to have things go wrong that should not that I am thinking Mercedes quality is terrible, particularly with only 40,000 miles and 7 yr. 100,000 Starmark warranty which does not seem to cover anything that does go wrong. I say beware of Mercedes quality. My replacement for the '99 is likely to be the new Cadillac or some other worthy car.
#597 of 786 Re: Mercedes Quality [shoes #577]
May 13, 2004 (10:42 am)
I AM HAVING THE SAME PROBLEMS WITH MY 2003 SL 500. IT IS ALWAYS AT THE DEALERSHIP AND IT SEEMS THEY DO NOTHING. I PAID A 104,000 FOR IT AND ALL I END UP DRIVING IS LOANER CARS!
PROBLEMS: BRAKING PROBLEMS, GAS TANK NOISE, TRUNK NOISE, BRAKES SLIPPING AND KNOCKING, NAV GOING OFF, ROOF LEAKING, CAR NOT STARTING, KEYLESS GO NOT WORKING, KEY IS GETTING STUCK IN IGNITION (I USE WHEN KEYLESS GO ISN'T WORKING....I PAID FOR KEYLESS GO AND HAVE TO CARY THE ACTUAL KEY AROUND B/C THAT NEVER WORKS)!
THE CAR NOW HAS 14,000 MILES ON IT AT LESS THAN 8,000 THE DEALERSHIP GOT INTO AN ACCIDENT WITH MY CAR. NOW I SEE THERE IS A RECALL ON THE BRAKES. I AM SURE THE BRAKES MALFUNCTIONED ON THE DRIVER FROM THE DEALERSHIP BUT THEY WOULD NOT ADMIT IT.
THEN AT 14,000 THEY HIT SOMETHING ELSE WITH THE CAR WHEN IT WAS IN THEIR CARE....THE FRONT WAS DAMAGED AND ALL PAINT CHIPS ON MY CAR
EVERYONE PLEASE BE AWARE THAT MB AND THE DEALERSHIPS DO NOT CARE ABOUT THE CONSUMER. IF YOU WANT AN SL BE PREPAIRED FOR TROUBLE.
May 13, 2004 (5:24 pm)