Another massive disappointment with an SLK 320 Automatic.

AWanderingLancastrian

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Hi to you all out there. Well after several days of pursuing one rather photographically looking hopeful with just 62,000+ recorded miles and umpteen exchanges of questions and images;the sad truth came to light.
The prospects of a 374 mile round trip was however averted
The MoT history was not the best but clearly money with the previous owners appeared to be an issue (advisories continually reappearing year after year until they became expensive failures,the car was looking like it had been getting run on a wing and a great many prayers to the God of Road Safety.
However every cloud as they say just might have a Silver Lining or in this case a lowish mileage 2003 Silver SLK 230 Automatic and an awful lot closer to home.
 

00slk

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What were the dangerous issues with such a low mileage SLK if you don't mind me asking :)
 
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AWanderingLancastrian

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What were the dangerous issues with such a low mileage SLK if you don't mind me asking :)

Hi 00slk. There were no truly dangerous issues just repeated advisories just ignored and ignored and with road springs being identified as corroded and and brake pads seen as thin !!!
The real issue was the non disclosure of the rather tidy looking paintwork that was photographed in the shaded area of a driveway disguising the bubbled paintwork along with the fact that there was only one key.
The car was/is described as 'an absolute bargain but I think that that was being a little optimistic with the real truth and the facts.
The seller made out that he did not have any knowledge of the usual issues and when I pointed out the areas to look at he went a bit vague even to the point of admitting that the car only ever did short journeys and often less than 5 miles each way to work and was left standing all day until the journey home.
 

00slk

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Hi 00slk. There were no truly dangerous issues just repeated advisories just ignored and ignored and with road springs being identified as corroded and and brake pads seen as thin !!!
The real issue was the non disclosure of the rather tidy looking paintwork that was photographed in the shaded area of a driveway disguising the bubbled paintwork along with the fact that there was only one key.
The car was/is described as 'an absolute bargain but I think that that was being a little optimistic with the real truth and the facts.
The seller made out that he did not have any knowledge of the usual issues and when I pointed out the areas to look at he went a bit vague even to the point of admitting that the car only ever did short journeys and often less than 5 miles each way to work and was left standing all day until the journey home.

Thanks for that, obliviously sounds like the seller has only had it a short while, I'm guessing it was a trade in and purchased from auction for either a quick turnaround or they found it needed all these things and decided to off load it. My own opinion mind.
The post face lift models do seem to rust profusely. The pre-face lift seemed to fair better in the body department however the V6 I don't think was available until 2000 post facelift.
Happy hunting though, I am sure the right car will come along for you. :)
 

Chrishazle

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V6 SLK320 is certainly available X reg, whatever year that turns out to be - I've been looking at one a friend bought for his wife a few months ago (it's not for sale) as one of these days I'll no longer be able to get in and out of my 968 cab and will be after an SLK, minimum 320 or possibly bigger engine.
 

Steve@Avantgarde

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Firstly, show me a set of springs that aren't corroded on a 12+ year old car! As long as they aren't snapped then no problem. Them being corroded on the outside, as long as its not hanging, there is no reason to be overly concerned.

Brake pads wearing thin - what exactly does that mean?! One MOT testers opinion may be different from another, and if the owner is only doing 2000 miles per year say, and the pads have 3-6k miles left, why change them? Wait for the warning light.

All of the above work is only about £500 worth at a good indie so it would be silly to discard the car for that.

As for the MOT history, well again, its nothing to get hung up about, some MOT stations are so overly anal its unreal. They advise everything. I am always more suspicious of cars with no advisories! Usually means there is something more undisclosed which wasn't noticed or been bothered to be put on!

In my experience, low mileage doesnt mean good condition, it can mean the exact opposite. I have cars that come to me with rocket ship miles on them in far better nick than the usual low mileage stuff.
 

bembo449

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totally agree with steve above on this , low miles doesn't equal great condition , advisories are exactly that , something to show VOSA that the MOTer is being thorough . My 2p worth , the car you are after isn't exactly rare so why are you looking at cars so far away from where you live ??
 

GlosRichCLK

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As I mentioned, its never a great idea to travel a long way to look at used cars.

Peoples idea of 'good' condition are so subjective, you're almost always going to be disappointed.

Also it can be worth asking in here if anyone local can go and give it a once over first.

The first gen SLK are old cars now, so many will be in poor condition.

In a lot of ways you may be better off looking at the 2nd gen, as they will generally be in better condition, unless you have to have a 1st gen.
 

flowrider

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When i was looking for my SL500 i couldn't find a car near me with the options and mileage that i wanted, the car i bought meant a 360 mile round trip, first trip to view and then a week later a second trip to buy and bring home so 720 miles in total! I must have been crazy :shock:.
 

JBell

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When i was looking for my SL500 i couldn't find a car near me with the options and mileage that i wanted, the car i bought meant a 360 mile round trip, first trip to view and then a week later a second trip to buy and bring home so 720 miles in total! I must have been crazy :shock:.

I did 2 x 310 mile round trips to get my current car, no issue travelling for the right one
 

LostKiwi

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The furthest I've driven for a car is 200 miles each way for an eBay purchase.
That was 5 years ago and I still have that car having added 65k miles to it since.
 
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AWanderingLancastrian

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totally agree with steve above on this , low miles doesn't equal great condition , advisories are exactly that , something to show VOSA that the MOTer is being thorough . My 2p worth , the car you are after isn't exactly rare so why are you looking at cars so far away from where you live ??

Hi bembo. What is rare about the SLK 320 is more to do with what a lot of owners are seriously lacking - Honesty & Integrity.
In real terms the SLK 230 are ten a penny but truly good,well maintained and rot free examples are like hens teeth.
There are some very skilled sellers out there that give me the impression that they had taken short courses in photographic techniques and the art of using shade to hide the truth.
The essential maintenance schedules are often skipped and several of the know issues raise there ugly heads when only just in the hands of the new and unknowing over enthusiastic owners.

I really could write a book on my search experiences over the last 8 yrs or so and to be perfectly honest that is why I stuck with my BMW Z3 2.0 litre Auto and at 67,000 miles I moved it on in favour of my 325Ci Convertible Auto.

As they say 'Faint Heart never won Fair Lady' so I will just keep on looking. My next big hurdle is in mid September when I attain my 73rd birthday and hopefully a further 3 years of driving.
 

Chrishazle

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Keep looking Lancastrian - my friend's one I saw yesterday evening was 1 owner, 72k miles, full MB service history, full leather interior, and he bought it for about 1/5th of what my 968 cab would sell for!! Some day I suspect I'll be following you in the search for an SLK320 - unless I decide I'll go for a larger engine!!
 
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AWanderingLancastrian

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Keep looking Lancastrian - my friend's one I saw yesterday evening was 1 owner, 72k miles, full MB service history, full leather interior, and he bought it for about 1/5th of what my 968 cab would sell for!! Some day I suspect I'll be following you in the search for an SLK320 - unless I decide I'll go for a larger engine!!

Hi Chrishazle. Thank you. Early this morning I went into West Yorkshire to consider an SLK 230 Auto.
First impressions were rather favourable and especially as the dealer had offered me a much more realistic figure for my car than many other had.
This was based upon my description of my car and when I arrived he took one look at it and immediately agreed with what I had described my car as being.

The car had clearly been painted at some stage and perhaps a couple of years earlier and required a couple of 'Nit Pic' touch-ups doing and possibly a wing being re-addressed by a chap not far from me.
After a rather embarrassing situation involving the inability to move the electric driver seat in any direction - it also affected the passenger seat a temporary solution was employed.

An otherwise really nice sub 80,000 mile suddenly showed there was an issue once I had found a suitable driving position.
I was attained but I was unable to explore the performance potential properly and the car became rather noisy - very quickly.
It rather quickly came to light that the car would not change-up through the gearbox but reverse was OK.
The initial test drive was all uphill and rather steeply it was !!
It was not easy to detect whether the box had shifted up into 2nd.

It transpired that the car had been all 'A' 'OK' the day before and had been several miles away and had a transmission fluid change !!!
I am beginning to wonder whether the transmission had missed a service several thousand miles early and had developed ;Hick-ups' and needed to be returned a couple of miles still in first - in Drive.

I am getting a rather uncomfortable feeling in my 72 year old guts;albeit I will explore it further in the coming days.
 

JBell

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blimey JB , that's like 6 hours driving with decent traffic each trip

Yup, drove the first time and went on the train it to pick up, Torquay to Basingstoke, well worth it for the car I have though
 

00slk

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Yup, drove the first time and went on the train it to pick up, Torquay to Basingstoke, well worth it for the car I have though

Did similar with the 500, bought unseen and a train journey to Newcastle, met at the station and drove it back. :D
We've had better service from this car without MB s/h than my 55 with full MB s/h, just goes to show. :rolleyes:
 

00slk

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I bought a car off ebay, when the Misses got in I told her we're going for a drive to Derby, I showed her what I bought and her first words were, I'm not going to Durham tonight dear!! Always now check location properly :shock:
We went and made a long weekend out of it :D
 
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AWanderingLancastrian

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Buying any motor car that has been pre-owned and bought unseen is a little like playing Russian Roulette especially as many of the advertised/listed cars are 'Returns not accepted'.
Indeed I would not sell a car without the prospective buyer first looking and then conducting a test drive after I have shown them 'What the car is really all about' and that they themselves have insurance.

Unlike with a motorcycle one can accompany the prospective buy - I would never never get on the back of a bike with a total stranger in charge of the twist-grip.
I have sold big/powerful bikes in the past on the basis - YES - pay for it and it will go into a sealed envelope and ride it away on the clear and documented basis that - You bend it you have bought it.

Having been and physically looked,examined and driven or attempted to drive some of the examples that are advertised as being the next best thing to a new vehicle really does beggar belief - both from dealers,private individuals that are not disclosing that they are trading and private individuals are on the face of it seemingly genuine bust quite simply have a propensity to exaggerate to the point that they believe themselves and probably would buy their own car off of the internet.

These types of sellers - both trade and private are the ones that are making me feel that what I am looking to change from cannot be matched unless spending insane money for an example that has been very professionally made to look good.
 


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