Potential problems

mercedes-benz
sl-class

#1

considering buying 2003 mercedes benz SL500, has anyone had bad experiences with this car


#2

They’re average to ‘worse than average’ on Consumer Reports. If you buy it expecting maintenance costs that go with an $80k car with average reliability, that’s ok. Don’t expect Lexus-type reliability.

The most common ‘problem’ with these is a lack of maintenance. Only consider one that has a fully documented (that you have inspected) maintenance history. Often they’re on their 3rd or 4th owner, and are neglected.


#3

the one that I’m looking at has had only 1 owner and has all maintenance records, appears to be in excellent condition and the price seems very good. Also, the owner says I can take it to the local mercedes dealer and have it looked at. It does have recent inspection. I do have 2004 lexus LS430 and your right, it is very good on maintenance. Under these conditions I just described do you think this is a safe bet


#4

Sure sounds reasonable, given a clean bill of health from the dealer (have them review the maintenance history, too). Of course, any 7-year-old car (especially one as complex as a top-of-the-line MB) can have unexpected problems.

You might post your question on a MB SL forum, I bet you’ll get several answers from owners of that exact model.


#5

how would I find MB SL forum


#6

Google ‘Mercedes SL forum’. That SL is often referred to by its platform label, R230.


#7

MSN Autos says that there is an occasional problem with the mass air flow sensor. They estimate the repair cost at $300. They give it their highest reliability rating. If it has been well maintained, you should get many years of enjoyment.