What is the worst that could happen!? (03 SL)

LostKiwi

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Well at least it doesn't have ABC....(hard to tell for sure but doesn't look like it) so thats one worry dispensed with!

So SBC would be something to budget for - they seem to have a lifetime around the 100k miles mark so if its not been done budget a new pump for that - fortunately not too expensive now that rebuilt one are available.
Other than that check the roof operates correctly by putting it up and down 4 or 5 times.
Check the wind deflector is present - every car came with one so if its missing knock them down on price for a new one or walk away. They are not cheap and are often sold separately to get more money from the sale of a car.
Check for water in the boot. They commonly leak at the seal for the rear window/boot joint. There is a fix for it detailed on the forum which costs not much money - just some time.
If the boot floor is very wet take a very good look at the pump in the boot (under the spare wheel cover). If they get soaked they're expensive to repair and can be a pain to get to if they fail when the boot is locked.
You should have 2 keys and (depending on the KG system) 2 cards. Early systems had separate cards to the main key, later ones are built into the key so no separate cards. Check they all work as second keys are over £100, second cards are nearer £200 (and may no longer be available). If they try to fob you off with 'The batteries in the key are flat' tell them to change the batteries before purchase.

Check rear wheel arches for rust on the lip underneath - they're prone to it.

If possible get it checked on STAR before purchase by a trusted independent specialist.
 

John Laidlaw

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Tell you what that’s a nice car! Keyless go and red leather for that price!
As LK says but not much to worry about at that price
 
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That's what I thought. I don't really need a car, just browsed SLs for some reason, and I thought would be nothing under £10k (haven't been on ball with prices recently). Cannot depreciate further. Buy it, budget to spend £2-3k on unknown surprises. Keep it a couple of years, probably get most of the money back I would think!
 

John Laidlaw

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That's what I thought. I don't really need a car, just browsed SLs for some reason, and I thought would be nothing under £10k (haven't been on ball with prices recently). Cannot depreciate further. Buy it, budget to spend £2-3k on unknown surprises. Keep it a couple of years, probably get most of the money back I would think!
Yes I believe you would
 

LostKiwi

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That's what I thought. I don't really need a car, just browsed SLs for some reason, and I thought would be nothing under £10k (haven't been on ball with prices recently). Cannot depreciate further. Buy it, budget to spend £2-3k on unknown surprises. Keep it a couple of years, probably get most of the money back I would think!
If they follow the r129 then they'll drop to around the £4k mark then rapidly go back up again. The 129s are on the up at the moment it seems - my own cost me £4k 2 years ago and is now up around £6-7k looking at selling prices.
 

nicholas15

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Bought myself an SL500 last year as atoy. Great fun ever since. Sure 350 is sensible over 500 but extra oomph and sound of V8 engine has much to recommend it. Glad I went for it over 350. But ABC is a potential premium cost - check if any ABC issues sorted (e.g. new front struts and/or pump replaced recently).
 
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Well interesting points above LK and Nicholas. When I searched I did notice that at the bottom end of the market, there were more 230s that 129s...The cheapest 129s were a little more expensive!
And ideally as it is a toy, I would have wanted a 500. However, couldn't see much for less than £10k. Do you mind me asking how much you paid for yours Nicholas and what it is like spec wise? And also, how have you enjoyed it!?
 

nicholas15

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Well interesting points above LK and Nicholas. When I searched I did notice that at the bottom end of the market, there were more 230s that 129s...The cheapest 129s were a little more expensive!
And ideally as it is a toy, I would have wanted a 500. However, couldn't see much for less than £10k. Do you mind me asking how much you paid for yours Nicholas and what it is like spec wise? And also, how have you enjoyed it!?

Paid just under £8,500 with 79,000 miles and warranty from dealer. Private sales were obviously cheaper but I am not knowledgeable enough to go down that route. Dealer also had a similar mileage silver SL500 being "sold for a friend" which I had negotiated down to £7,00 but opted, literally, at the last minute for this one in tanzanite blue.

Not sure what is standard or extra, but has got a pano roof, telephone point and personalised number plate. Haven't noticed anything "missing" from spec. Also has 7 speed gearbox which was introduced part way through 2003. Was not the cheapest nor the most expensive at the time for dealers in Kent and the surrounding area. Found out front two struts had been replaced plus other work (e.g rear windscreen seals) by previous lady owner.

On delivery had ABC and ATF fluids changed. It also had had the wrong consumables battery fitted but ultimately replaced f.o.c. by AA. Annual service and pollen filter change plus MOT also carried out. MPG is 27.8 mpg over 4,000 mixed miles. Will achieve 32 on long motorway run otherwise mid 20's locally. SAGA doing a good deal on insurance for 4,000 miles per year; 1/2 price that quoted by Chris Knott. So running costs seem reasonable, so far.

Key pleasure is top down travel, smooth ride and lazy power in quiet comfort. But can turn on the speed and handling if you in an adventourous mood. At speed limit is quietly ticking over at under 2,000 rpm without need for turbo or supercharger. Have done some long journeys as well to Scotland, Midlands and Germany. ABC light came on during German trip but since then has dissappeared (touch wood). Garaged to avoid risk of leaks etc. But happy to use it for short or long journeys.

Happy hunting.
 

LostKiwi

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Wish our 500s would do the right side of 30mpg on a run...
One will do 22 if I'm lucky and the other 26 or so.
 

John Laidlaw

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Rarely got more than 18 out of mine....
 

nicholas15

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Interesting variation on mpg.
With an annual mileage of 4,000 miles the difference between 20 mpg and 28 mpg is 60 gallons so £300 approx. Maybe I could use the loud pedal more?
 

John Laidlaw

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Interesting variation on mpg.
With an annual mileage of 4,000 miles the difference between 20 mpg and 28 mpg is 60 gallons so £300 approx. Maybe I could use the loud pedal more?
Why not use it constantly? :cool: I suspect that was my ‘problem’ (and still is)
 

Mark Q

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I assume you mean the one at 12K , looks very nice, and nice to be a different colour other than silver or black, I drove about 50 miles to see one advertised in that colour when looking, only to be told it had been sold over the phone/internet. I was quite disappointed and just gazed longingly at it through the compound fence.
On an early morning long (100 miles'ish) run at constant 2000rpm set on cruise, I can get 30mpg, but start to play with 0-60's or quick overtaking etc you'll soon get it down to 10.
 

AMGeed

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Wish our 500s would do the right side of 30mpg on a run...
One will do 22 if I'm lucky and the other 26 or so.

How many miles is " a run" Alistair?
I found my 55 needs at least 20 miles at at least 50mph to reach 20+mpg yet do 100 miles avearaging 60mph+ and that will creep up to 24/25mpg.
These V8's like constant speed and miles to come into their own.They are built for motorway commuting. A 10 mile stop start journey and its a dismal 12 -16mpg.
 

LostKiwi

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For the 129 a run was 500 miles (split 100/400 with 5 hours in between).

For the 230 longest run to date was 200 miles (100 each way) with 3 hours between.
 

AMGeed

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^ That's a decent run.
Surprised you aren't getting a better mpg.
 

LostKiwi

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^ That's a decent run.
Surprised you aren't getting a better mpg.
Admittedly the 129 was sitting at speeds in excess of 80mph for most of that run including a sting beyond 110 (private road of course ;)).
The 230 was all motorway and dual carriageway and 70mph or so.

We did get 26 from the 129 once in the south of France. I have a strong suspicion the 129 was running a bit rich on the last run. I'm planning to change the temperature sensors as I know at least one of the three is suspect (it's an M119 four speed so the gearbox doesn't help either).
 

Mic

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What is the worst that could happen?
I think that has largely been covered but in reality the probability is that very little would be likely to go wrong. There is very little to go wrong that would not be covered by a sinking fund of £2k-£3k which is what should be put aside if purchasing any used car of such an age that originally cost tens of thousands of £s.

As far as fuel consumption is concerned I have no data for a 350 but I can advise that over the last 73,669 miles my 500 has averaged 21.24 mpg. I do not use the car unless I am going to get upto and beyond full operating temperature.
The car has done 147,600 miles and since I started keeping fuel consumption records the fuel consumption has been improving (as the car wears out?)

The Rate of Fuel Consumption has been Reducing with Usage

Regrettably I did not start keeping fuel consumption records until the car had covered 73726 miles. In the table below I have recorded the fuel consumed over subsequent periods of approximately 10,000 miles

Table does not copy to this Post but roughly:

80k-90k.....20.149 mpg
90k-100k...20.756 mpg
100k-110k..20.942 mpg
110k-120k..21.456 mpg
120k-130k..21.534 mpg
130k-140k..21.732 mpg

Useless, interesting but not surprising information.

Mic
 

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