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Opinions on having an SL500 R230 as my daily car.

Discussion in 'General Mercedes-Benz Related Discussion' started by RyanSL500, May 12, 2019.

  1. RyanSL500

    RyanSL500 Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    2002 Mercedes SL500 and 2014 Mercedes C220
    Hi all,

    I’ve recently become a member of this awesome forum (my introduction thread can be found here: https://forums.mercedesclub.org.uk/index.php?threads/new-member.175078/

    I’m the recent owner a 2002 SL500 R230(picture in the other thread) which has been in the family for many years. This adds to my very small Mercedes collection which consists for a 2014 C220 coupe W204 (pictures in the other thread) and a 2016 A180d W176 (no pictures of this as you can probably see one down your road as they are so common!).

    Now, I am aware of the reliability problems of the R230, but all of the big problems have been sorted (the car is on 85k miles). The only thing I’m planning to is reseal the boot and roof seals as I won’t have access to a garage. However, I am intending to purchase a half decent cover to avoid any issues. I am also planning to flush the ABC system and get the gearbox oil changed for peace of mind (sorry I’ve strayed away from my point!).

    As the car is one of the higher mileage ones, I’m not fussed about resale value and as mentioned above, the big issues have been sorted already, I’m thinking of selling my C220 which is my daily car and using the R230.

    Just to give you an idea of my rough mileage, I only do about 10 miles a day commute due to a change in location. So I’m my eyes, having a diesel is pointless for this sort of mileage and will end up problematic with DPF issues. However, there are instances where I need to drive it long distances such as Portsmouth to birmingham for 6 weeks a year (drive up on Monday and back Friday). Then I go out of long weekends around the country and drives around some of the decent roads near by. However, doing this in a Diesel is never satisfying - although cheap!

    I’m currently paying around £300 a month for the C class so in my mind, those payments would go straight into a ‘when the SL500 breaks fund’. I would avoid the biggest the problem which affects most modern Mercedes which is depreciation! The C class will only ever drop in value whereas the SL will either drop at a much slower rate of just stagnate at its current value (however, as previously mentioned, I’m not fussed with the resale of the SL).

    I can imagine that as you’re all reading this, you’re all getting the impression that I’ve already made up my mind in that I should sell the C200. But if I look at this situation from someone who views cars as simply an expensive lump of metal point of view, surely even the thought of getting rid of a reliable modern Mercedes for an old unreliable one is crazy?!

    Therefore, I’d quite like to know all of your opinions. I’m sure most of you are like minded individuals in that you don’t view cars as convenient items like you do a fridge or other white goods. But, I would appreciate hearing comments from people who have been in similar situations and/or have experienced this and what issues arose. I’d also like to know what you would do in this situation?

    I’m currently keeping both cars as I’m not desperate to sell either as both cars are brilliant (the SL is one of my favourite cars, and the C class is dependable, comfortable and looks more expensive than equivalent cars which i could buy for £300 a month. However, if one is to go, it would be the C class as that’s the car which doesn’t do anything for me. It’s simply a very good car. Whereas the SL is something I’m proud to show off!

    From a financial point of view, I’m not in negative equity in the C220 and would have a decent amount left over from selling it and clearing the finance. I also think that this would be the time to sell it as I go new tyres on it last year (so I’ve got some of my money’s worth out of the tyres) and it’d Come with 8 months Mercedes their 1 warranty which I bought, so I know I wouldn’t have the new owner calling me up accusing me that I’ve sold them a dodgy car or anything as I would pass the warranty over to them for peace of mind.

    Let me know what you think!!
     
  2. sl500amgsport

    sl500amgsport Senior Member

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    Joined:
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    Location:
    Essex
    Your Mercedes:
    SL500 2014
    I have an SL500 as a daily driver, no issues at all in the 18 months ownership. It is an R231 model though so no ABC...

    Hope you enjoy yours!

    Mercedes SL500 R231
     
    RyanSL500 likes this.
  3. noonboots

    noonboots Senior Member

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    Mar 17, 2018
    Your Mercedes:
    R230 SL 500 2003 M113 5.0l
    Individual cars of the same type have different reliability. If yours is as sorted as you say there's no reason not to use it every day. If it was an SL bought cheap from e Bay then you might be pushing your luck.
    I've heard a lot of people say that high fuel consumption doesn't bother them financially but that doesn't stop it being annoying. You can only try to see how it suits you. My SL 500 shows 16mpg on my 8 mile trip to work. Longer motorway trips show around 22. I don't know if that's about normal but it's a lot more fuel than a diesel.
     
    RyanSL500 likes this.
  4. Craiglxviii

    Craiglxviii Senior Member

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    Location:
    Cambs UK
    Your Mercedes:
    W215 CL500 Motorway Queen; W251 R320L Familybenz, S211 E320 Avg Designo Edition now sadly missed.
    I couldn’t think of a single thing to go wrong with an R230 SL500 as a daily beast. Ensure you have shares in the local filling station and Opie Oils for your Pentosin, and good to go!
     
    RyanSL500 likes this.
  5. Craiglxviii

    Craiglxviii Senior Member

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    Location:
    Cambs UK
    Your Mercedes:
    W215 CL500 Motorway Queen; W251 R320L Familybenz, S211 E320 Avg Designo Edition now sadly missed.
    I’ve discovered that for my CL500, mpg displayed will be between 8-12 for very short trips and around 23-25 for trips >100 miles. However the actual true average is around 27...
     
  6. OP
    RyanSL500

    RyanSL500 Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    2002 Mercedes SL500 and 2014 Mercedes C220
    I hear what you’re saying. The previous owner spend thousands on all 4 struts and the pump for the ABC system and the braking system pump. So the big things are done.

    I know going for a Diesel to a 5 litre V8 is always going to be a shock with regards to fuel consumption. But my Diesel tends to only just get around 25mpg in the mornings as it’s cold and sitting in traffic. So I’m not too worried about fuel consumption.
     
    noonboots likes this.
  7. sl500amgsport

    sl500amgsport Senior Member

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    Essex
    Your Mercedes:
    SL500 2014
    If the difference is only 7mpg then extra cost is under £20 p/m or £5 per week, hardly worth losing sleep over. People get this weird idea that large engined cars are too costly to run without doing the maths.

    Mine gives 19.6mpg in rush hour traffic in town over 3 miles. 32mpg on a 300 mile run. Costs me an extra £20 p/m to run over my 2.2l Range Rover Evoque on average, considering the performance is on a par with a C63 amg I am more than happy with the extra cost, especially as it is cheaper to insure than the Range Rover!

    Mercedes SL500 R231
     
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  8. sl500amgsport

    sl500amgsport Senior Member

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    Location:
    Essex
    Your Mercedes:
    SL500 2014
    I get 19.6mpg around town on a 3 mile rush hour drive and 32mpg on a 300 mile run.

    If your difference is only 7mpg on your short journeys then only a £20 p/m difference, hardly worth worrying about.

    Mercedes SL500 R231
     
  9. John Laidlaw

    John Laidlaw Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    UnMercs BMW i8 Volvo XC90
    The SL likes to be driven so using it as a daily makes sense, that said when I promoted mine to a daily it hit me hard- however the stuff which failed you’ve already said has been taken care of!
    I’d do as you’re thinking, use £100 of the £300 to fill it every month, stick the other £200 in a rainy day account..all makes sense
     
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  10. LostKiwi

    LostKiwi Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    '93 500SL-32, '01 W210 Estate E240, 02 R230 SL500 (Malcolm Spec), 04 Smart Roadster Coupe
    As John said the 230 likes to be used.
    Can't see a problem. One thing to budget for is an SBC pump as you're coming up to the mileage where they start to get tired.
     
    RyanSL500 likes this.
  11. OP
    RyanSL500

    RyanSL500 Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    2002 Mercedes SL500 and 2014 Mercedes C220
    Fortunately that was replaced by the previous owner (that is if the SBC pump is the electronic brain for the braking system).
     
  12. LostKiwi

    LostKiwi Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    '93 500SL-32, '01 W210 Estate E240, 02 R230 SL500 (Malcolm Spec), 04 Smart Roadster Coupe
    Yep that's the one.
     
    RyanSL500 likes this.
  13. DSK

    DSK Senior Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    CLS 320 CDI
    I look at economy second and quality/comfort and speed first so I'd say ditch the 220 immediately.

    Its not a lot of mileage that you are doing and provided you keep on top of maintenance there's no reason the SL won't do what you need including the long trips without trouble. Having a nice engine which you don't have to batter to make it move/overtake should also help making your drives more relaxing.

    I always do the following weekly without fail even though usually nothing never needs to be done but, if you do the following things weekly, you will instantly spot a niggle before it bites you in the @ass;

    - tyre pressures
    - oil level check
    - coolant check
    - power steering fluid check
    - brake/clutch fluid check
    - visual check of all hoses

    As an example, at 150,000 ish miles, on week I noticed the expansion tank on my car looked a couple of of ml below the maximum mark (and I mean may be like 50 ml or something). Hmm, topped it up. Next week I checked the coolant level was between min/max which alarmed me as I could see no leaks. So I top it up again and check the following week and it stayed on max. This caused me to hunt the issue and I spotted a bit of white residue on the side of the radiator. So popped a new radiator in and its been grand as always ever since without any harm done. Most people won't even bother checking monthly or weekly so as a result this is when you run into something that has probably become a problem as its not been spotted and fixed early enough.

    I wander how many cars are run on low oil or coolant and then have issues or premature failings?

    Look after the SL with basic routine maintenance and enjoy it daily!
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2019
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  14. OP
    RyanSL500

    RyanSL500 Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    2002 Mercedes SL500 and 2014 Mercedes C220
    Thanks for your input! I have to admit I tend to look at fuel consumption last. The C220 is my first and last Diesel. I’m just not a fan of the tractor noise! I have to admit since the C220 and A180 are pretty new, I only tend to check fluids and tyres every other week. But for the sake of 10 minutes extra a week, checking weekly isn’t an issue.

    I know what you mean about how many issues occur due to lack of basic maintenance. Literally everyone I know (apart from my dad) never check their cars!!!

    I’m definitely leaning more towards flogging the C220. If I ever need to use a diesel, I’ve got the A180 which does C.70mpg on a run!
     
  15. Philedge

    Philedge Senior Member

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    Location:
    Chester UK
    Your Mercedes:
    R230 SL500 2005
    Im sure your SL will make a great daily commuter, but you wont have that magical drive to look forward to a weekends or holidays:)
     
    RyanSL500 likes this.
  16. 00slk

    00slk Senior Member

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    Location:
    Cambridgeshire UK
    Your Mercedes:
    2002 SL55 AMG, 2003 SL500
    We run 2 r230's as our daily drivers and between the Missus and I we can average 350 mls each week. The more you use them the better they become. We have had to replace both ABC pumps and one n/s front strut on my car. Tyres and brakes wear out but don't all cars?
    Use it and enjoy it, even after a full week of use, it's still a huge thrill to go away for a holiday in the SL ;)
    The most disheartening thing for me is that I suffer badly from arthritis and getting in and out can really be embarrassing in a supermarket car park :oops: :(
     
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  17. LostKiwi

    LostKiwi Senior Member

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    Location:
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    Your Mercedes:
    '93 500SL-32, '01 W210 Estate E240, 02 R230 SL500 (Malcolm Spec), 04 Smart Roadster Coupe
    I've been using our 230 as a daily for the past 6 weeks for the train station run. It's only about 4 miles each way. My observations are:
    It seems the short runs aren't quite long enough to keep the consumer battery fully charged (but that could be just our car).
    You will almost certainly see mayonnaise under the oil filler cap as the engine can't get hot enough to lose the condensation.
    A wipe out and long run sorts it.
    You will be need to service it more often. When I was using the 210 for the same run the counter got down to 900 miles before next service. A 1200 Mike run to Western France and back saw the counter back at 2000 miles to next service (the 210 uses the M112 engine - the V6 version of the M113).
     
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  18. OP
    RyanSL500

    RyanSL500 Member

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    Your Mercedes:
    2002 Mercedes SL500 and 2014 Mercedes C220
    Cheers for that bud - I’m going to be using the car daily and let me parents use the C220 for a little bit over the summer and then I’ll make my choice up. I’m sure I’ll be doing some long summer drives in it so hopefully I can avoid most of the issues due to driving the short distances to work. The idea of starting up a V8 instead of a diesel is the biggest appeal to me if I’m honest!
     
    Capra likes this.
  19. LostKiwi

    LostKiwi Senior Member

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    Joined:
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    Location:
    Midlands / Charente-Maritime
    Your Mercedes:
    '93 500SL-32, '01 W210 Estate E240, 02 R230 SL500 (Malcolm Spec), 04 Smart Roadster Coupe
    I hear ya! I cannot stand the noise of a diseasel.
     
  20. JBell

    JBell Senior Member

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    Torquey
    Your Mercedes:
    C350 CDi Estate (GAD Edition)
    Just do it, from what I read on these forums they like to be used regularly, leaving them sitting is not good for them
     
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