A return to the fold

gramey

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2016
Messages
819
Reaction score
250
Location
Ipswich, Suffolk
Your Mercedes
2003 SL350
So having, in hindsight, foolishly parted company with my R129 with a wish to return to a manual car I strayed into the Audi fold with an S4 cabriolet.
The history of the car all stacked up and on a B road blast it was indeed a weapon. Despite this there were a few niggling problems that became rather tiresome to resolve being so far from the used car dealer I'd bought it from. As much as I enjoyed the manual gearbox and extra power over my R129 the niggling faults combined with an indy who didn't fill me with confidence sadly I quickly fell out of love with it.
So today I bit the bullet, sucked up the loss on the S4 and returned to the Mercedes fold and bought an R230. Perhaps a little pricey but that was offset by a higher part exchange price on my Audi, it is only an entry level 350 and the spec sheet isn't huge. But it's got everything I need, a little ooomph aside, and hopefully will stay with me for some time.
If nothing else LostKiwi (Alaistair?) will appreciate the relief from my rambling thoughts and procrastination greeting him in his inbox, thanks for your patience. :)
My SL350.JPG
 

V6Matty

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2012
Messages
7,454
Reaction score
2,085
Location
Newark, Notts
Your Mercedes
S212/10/E350(His) W169/2005/A180 (Hers)
Welcome back to the Light ;) lol

I knew you were a little disappointed with the Audi experience but the new 230 should more than make up for it,
 
OP
gramey

gramey

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2016
Messages
819
Reaction score
250
Location
Ipswich, Suffolk
Your Mercedes
2003 SL350
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #3
Welcome back to the Light ;) lol

I knew you were a little disappointed with the Audi experience but the new 230 should more than make up for it,

Don't get me wrong the S4 was a rapid car and the grip was phenomenal, it's difficult to prove but I think the relationship between the seller and MOT station was shall we say beneficial to both. Partly stupidity on my part I looked and saw the car had been serviced just over 1200 miles prior to me buying it, what I failed to notice was it was almost a year before I bought it. So when the service light came up rather than face a fight to get the seller to cough up for a service after I bought it and a 270 mile round trip to get it done I paid for a major service on it.

They flagged up that a rear shock was weeping, three of the four lower front control arms had wear in the bushes and the rear flexible brake pipes were perished. I replaced the shocks myself but the control arms proved to be beyond me as I hadn't realised I would need to remove the diagonal cross braces the cabriolet has. Once off the ground I didn't have the huge torx head socket needed to remove them at which point my enthusiasm to do it myself wained.
Of course with the S4 there's always the worry that the cam chains will at some point start rattling, a bit akin to having ABC on an SL500, you know it's going to happen you just don't know when. So with the combination of these things I fell out of love with it and once that happens with an only car it's time to go.

The car had one last dig at me when the engine management light came on during the journey to part company with it which knocked a little off my p/ex price. Martin was very fair and only knocked me back £50.00 after a quick trip to his nearby VW/Audi indy who confirmed it was a fault on the secondary air intake not the cam chains which he'd feared it may be.

I have to say Martin at Chiltern Motors was a pleasure to deal with, the car had a full service at Star Motors at Caversham prior to purchase. I got a proper written warranty with WMS and 12 months AA break down cover and he seemed very knowledgeable about SL's, the only down side was he didn't have a kettle so I didn't get a cup of coffee to see me through my return journey.:)
 

LostKiwi

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2006
Messages
26,468
Reaction score
15,916
Location
Midlands / Charente-Maritime
Your Mercedes
'93 500SL-32, '01 W210 Estate E240, 02 R230 SL500 (Malcolm Spec), 04 Smart Roadster Coupe
I have to say Martin at Chiltern Motors was a pleasure to deal with, the car had a full service at Star Motors at Caversham prior to purchase. I got a proper written warranty with WMS and 12 months AA break down cover and he seemed very knowledgeable about SL's, the only down side was he didn't have a kettle so I didn't get a cup of coffee to see me through my return journey.:)
So how was it on the drive home?
I would imagine the programming of the autobox felt much nicer than the 129?
 

silestanix

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2013
Messages
894
Reaction score
282
Location
London!
Your Mercedes
97' C250TD Sport
Looks clean... Hope all goes well and welcome back to the fold...!
 
OP
gramey

gramey

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2016
Messages
819
Reaction score
250
Location
Ipswich, Suffolk
Your Mercedes
2003 SL350
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #8
So how was it on the drive home?
I would imagine the programming of the autobox felt much nicer than the 129?

I take it the gearbox is still a 5 speed auto on a 2003 car rather than the 7 speed auto of later cars but it seems considerably smoother in the way in which it changes, the rev counter is more of clue that its changed gear than anything in the drive train. :)
 

LostKiwi

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2006
Messages
26,468
Reaction score
15,916
Location
Midlands / Charente-Maritime
Your Mercedes
'93 500SL-32, '01 W210 Estate E240, 02 R230 SL500 (Malcolm Spec), 04 Smart Roadster Coupe
Yes still a 5 speed but unlike the earlier one the shift pattern is adaptive so better able to cover variations in driving style.
 
OP
gramey

gramey

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2016
Messages
819
Reaction score
250
Location
Ipswich, Suffolk
Your Mercedes
2003 SL350
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #10
Yes still a 5 speed but unlike the earlier one the shift pattern is adaptive so better able to cover variations in driving style.

Ah ok, I always thought the 722.6 box on my R129 was meant to be adaptive but if it was they'd obviously improved the software by the time it got to the 230. :)
 

SRE

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 14, 2017
Messages
199
Reaction score
102
Location
Norfolk
Your Mercedes
R230 SL500 2005
A fine choice... Welcome home
 

sl500amgsport

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2017
Messages
1,340
Reaction score
1,052
Location
Essex
Your Mercedes
SL500 2014
Glad you saw the light welcome back to the SL fold, nice looking r230!

Sent from my SM-G955F using Tapatalk
 

daibevan

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2015
Messages
1,300
Reaction score
865
Location
Plymouth
Your Mercedes
W203 C200 Kompressor Elegance SE 2006 Tanzanite Blue with cream interior
Welcome back, look forward to hearing more about it.
 

Yugguy

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2016
Messages
2,241
Reaction score
563
Location
Rugby, UK
Your Mercedes
C220CDI W204 Elegance Comand
Nice, and doesn't look dated, just looks good.
 
OP
gramey

gramey

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2016
Messages
819
Reaction score
250
Location
Ipswich, Suffolk
Your Mercedes
2003 SL350
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #16
Ok so a slight fly in the ointment today when I went out to the car to show my daughter and neither key would unlock it, two new key batteries later and it still wouldn't unlock. So I unlocked it manually and as soon as I put the key in it said 'consumer electrics offline'. I started the car and took a trip to Halfords and bought a battery charger, which I should have done years ago when the last one packed up, as despite a 135 mile journey home yesterday the consumer battery was flat.
Before I'd made it to Halfords everything was back online so it couldn't have dipped too much but it was only a day since it was used. Martin at Chiltern Motors was very quick to say he'd pay for me to get it replaced if it's not holding a charge, I did notice when I left it in the garage last night that the fan or whatever it is was still running on the Comand unit. I assumed this would go off after a while but perhaps it didn't. I'll have to leave the window open once the battery is charged up and see if it is cutting off.
Other than that even a trip to Halfords was nice to be back in an SL, this is the charger I bought which hopefully is up to the job - http://www.halfords.com/workshop-to...rs/ring-12a-smart-charger-charge-and-diagnose
 

LostKiwi

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2006
Messages
26,468
Reaction score
15,916
Location
Midlands / Charente-Maritime
Your Mercedes
'93 500SL-32, '01 W210 Estate E240, 02 R230 SL500 (Malcolm Spec), 04 Smart Roadster Coupe
The rear battery is normally AGM.
That charger should be fine.
 
OP
gramey

gramey

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2016
Messages
819
Reaction score
250
Location
Ipswich, Suffolk
Your Mercedes
2003 SL350
  • Thread Starter
  • Thread starter
  • #18
The rear battery is normally AGM.
That charger should be fine.
It's still charging away some hours later but the fact that it's been sitting at the dealers for some time may mean it will take a good long charge to get it back up, if not it will get replaced. I just need to ensure the Comand unit is shutting down properly or even a replacement will get drained.
 

flowrider

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2014
Messages
3,518
Reaction score
1,489
Your Mercedes
SL500 (R230)
Welcome back and great to see in another SL. I replaced my consumers battery and now a full charge lasts about 3 weeks as long as i unplug the Visseo MB2. I find that the first items to stop working as the battery flattens are the parking sensors, by the time the doors refuse to unlock with the remote key the battery is on its last legs, charge wise.
 

LostKiwi

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 25, 2006
Messages
26,468
Reaction score
15,916
Location
Midlands / Charente-Maritime
Your Mercedes
'93 500SL-32, '01 W210 Estate E240, 02 R230 SL500 (Malcolm Spec), 04 Smart Roadster Coupe
I replaced my consumers battery and now a full charge lasts about 3 weeks as long as i unplug the Visseo MB2.

Hmmm... Looks like ours needs replacing as it's complaining after a week.
 

Avantgarde Automotive, Mercedes-Benz and SLR McLaren specialists. Service, repairs, diagnosis and motorsport preparation.
Unit 14 Hither Green Trading Estate, Clevedon, Somerset, BS21 6XU Tel: 01275 217270 Email:steve@avantgarde-automotive.co.uk
www.avantgarde-automotive.co.uk
Top Bottom