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  #1  
Old 11-05-2003, 12:26 PM
lynn tassin
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Consider This Before Buying Sl's

Ive had a 380 sl for 3 months now and its only been out of the shop for a period of about 9 days. 1981 with 79k on it. Ive changed all manner of things on it and still does not work. I was so excited to get it and now find myself in the biggest nightmare of my life. It is now at its 3rd dealership and still broken. I have learned the following and I think you should consider this before EVER buying one.

I've talked to 6 sl owners at the dealership while visiting my car. They brag about how much they have spent on their car "THIS MONTH" and seem think its funny. One guys says 'Yeah its usually a few hundred to a few thousand each month, but hey thats just part of the game with these."

I have discovered that these cars are for the wealthy who have not only lots of time for aggravation, but lots of money to spend. Every part they change on this car is a minimum of $500.00

If you are an everyday Joe, DO NOT BUY ONE OF THESE. They are unreliable, costly and from the time you sit in it to the time you get out you wonder what will break today. Spare yourself some headaches and lots of money and buy something new. Im not bitter about it,, just tired of all of the expense and aggravation. Dont make the mistake I have made. Its really really not worth it. There is no Quality in these cars
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  #2  
Old 11-05-2003, 12:40 PM
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So far, so good with mine... My pal's '81 500SL seems pretty robust, too.
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  #3  
Old 11-05-2003, 01:05 PM
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Well you do realize this car is 23 years old, right? And that it was a very expensive car during its time? And that all of those expensive parts that made up a very expensive car, are still going to be very expensive today!?

What it sounds like, is that you failed to do your homework before you bought what is a pricey car to maintain.

Why don't tell what problems you are having, and perhaps this forum can help you. Use the tech help forum.

On a positive note, the car will qualify for ANTIQUE plates in a couple of years, and that could save you some money on insurenace if you don't drive everyday.

Mike
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  #4  
Old 11-05-2003, 01:27 PM
lynn tassin
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If expensive to maintain means waiting for the next part to break, thats not maintenance thats just shoddy. It is a constant expense and everyone I have spoken to has similar stories. If you havent had problems yet, I fear your # might be next
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  #5  
Old 11-05-2003, 01:29 PM
lynn tassin
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I have one of the many problems already listed on the forum under 380 jumping on idle. Im just trying to save the next guy. I wish someone had done the same for me.
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  #6  
Old 11-05-2003, 02:11 PM
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I have had my 83 380SL for almost 4 year. After a timing chain replacement, have not had any major trouble.

Usually in the shop once a year for small items that I am too lazy to fix myself. Will be in this Friday to have a new airpump installed. Could do it myself in less that two hours, but lazy.
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  #7  
Old 11-05-2003, 03:41 PM
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Wink

I've had major trouble!!! You name it I've replaced it. Next on the list is a new set of springs. There is always something.

It's been great for the last year or so, but let's face it any car of that age is going to need TLC.

A friend of mine once said to me that I'd never sell it. I asked him why he said that and he replied; you'll have too much money in it.

I laughed, I'm not laughing anymore.
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  #8  
Old 11-05-2003, 04:02 PM
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I'm knocking on wood here and not making any judgements, but mine has been pretty trouble free. Two distributor caps and rotors and a fuel filter have been it in 6 thousand miles. Car had 31K on it when I bought it. If it starts to cause me grief I'll unload it in a hurry.
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  #9  
Old 11-05-2003, 05:09 PM
lynn tassin
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This is my point. I have friends that have really old cars like fords and toyotas. What they do is truly maintenance ie oil change etc and rarely have a part break.. When it does its very inexpensive to fix. They're spending alot more time on the road than I am. Even when my car IS running, I dont hold my head up high, cause Im waiting for the other shoe to fall. I actually feel mostly embarrased by the car, cause I never know when or where its going to leave me. What should be bringing me great joy, I find just constantly has me on edge. As one MB mechanic told me.." I can maintain this car for you everyday of the week, but you still better not drive too far in this car in case it breaks.. That should have told me all I needed to know about the quality of this car, 23 year old parts or not
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  #10  
Old 11-05-2003, 06:28 PM
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Lynn,

It sounds like most of the problem is with the mechanics. The CIS system is not an easy one to deal with, even for a Bosch certified tech. A dealership most likely does not maintain a staff that is capable of dealing with issues on a car of this age.

Try and find an independent Bosch certified shop. One that will do a bit more investigation before using the "wholesale" parts replacement approach. Taking pot shots in the dark will indeed become very expensive.

Even for a DIY type these cars require alot of attention.
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  #11  
Old 11-05-2003, 06:51 PM
lynn tassin
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Im am going to fix all problems this week then this car is on the auction block in the dc area soon. I am enclosing pics. If there are any rich guys here or mb mechanics who have lots of money or need some extra aggravation please contact me. Its just not worth it. I'll be at the Infiniti dealership on Monday for a FX45 and free of all this crap. DO NOT BUY THESE CARS
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Consider This Before Buying Sl's-mb3.jpg  
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  #12  
Old 11-05-2003, 06:57 PM
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Lynn,

That car looks pretty clean.

Oh well we'll miss you.
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  #13  
Old 11-05-2003, 06:58 PM
lynn tassin
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Having made this decision I feel 100 % better already. Once this repair is done, I am positive that the car is good for at least 5 days before something else brakes. PLease call if interested
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  #14  
Old 11-05-2003, 07:17 PM
lynn tassin
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another pic
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  #15  
Old 11-05-2003, 07:24 PM
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This sounds like the car from Ammityville - I think I'll pass. But I thnk you're basically on to something - a used Mercedes like that is best owned by a DIYer. If you're just looking for transportation and not at all interested in working on the thing you're better off with a new car - any new car. It's not just the labor cost but the fact that most shops charge absurd prices for the parts. But on the other hand if you enjoy working on it, buy parts mail order, it can be both economical transportation and a source of enjoyment. Some of us are more likely to get annoyed at a new car - the darn things provide nothing to tinker with.
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