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SL-Class (R230) 2003 -- 2012: Discussion on the SL500, SL550, SL600

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Old 04-02-2002, 11:45 PM   #1
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2003 SL500 problems

Here's just some of the problems dealers have seen on the all-new SL500, which has only been on sale for a month or so.

1. Wind noise from the rear window caused by a missing seal at the bottom of the glass. Entire window must be replaced to solve.

2. Some tire-pressure monitoring systems are malfunctioning due to European-spec sensors being installed in US-market wheels.

3. Various ABC fluid leaks from hoses and fittings, a production change has already been implemented with updated fittings at level valves and struts.

4. Third brake light flashes on and off when brakes are not even applied. New third brake light unit is needed to fix this problem.

5. Ticking noises from the canister purge valve.

6. Fuel sloshing noises in the fuel tank. An updated fuel tank is coming in July with more baffles in the tank, for less fuel movement.

7. Evaporator temperature sensor failures, causing no cold air from the A/C system.

8. Loose pressure release screw in the retractable hardtop hydraulic pump, causing the top to move slowly, or sometimes not at all.
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Old 04-03-2002, 12:31 AM   #2
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Tnx Dave. This is simply shocking!

The quality control issues will be haunting MB and its owners for some time into
the future. NOT GOOD for a luxury automobile and our resale values!!
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Old 04-03-2002, 01:07 AM   #3
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This is not uncommon with an all-new car during its first year of production. Heck, you should just SEE the list of bulletins and updates on the 203 C-class. It's a regular novel!
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Old 04-03-2002, 01:08 AM   #4
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anyone who owns a sl500 now experience any of these problems?
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Old 04-03-2002, 09:10 AM   #5
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I've had my 2003 SL500 (LE) for approx 2 weeks--have driven about 1,000 miles -with top down and up a lot! -have had no problems of any kind--so far. prof giff Albright of State College, PA
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Old 04-03-2002, 10:23 AM   #6
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So you think MB will do a recall on this car or just simply fix them under warranty?? That seems to be a lot of problem.
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Old 04-03-2002, 11:44 AM   #7
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The new SL is suffering from the familiar malady that habitually strikes most, if not all first year production autos. Hopefully they'll have most of the bugs out when I step up for the "55". I'll gladly suffer through the minor glitches, especially in such a complex vehicle as long as defects don't show up where it counts; Engine, drivetrain and other major related systems. Though the active suspension issues are disconcerting, especially when I recall one post months ago from a CL owner and his experience with the collapse of the system at speed......
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Old 04-03-2002, 11:47 AM   #8
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Wow... Just another reason to wait for a 2nd year production vehicle... Hmmm....
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Old 04-03-2002, 12:01 PM   #9
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Exactly what I have in mind. I'm in line for Euro delivery, though not until the the second year of production. Fortunately, one of my best friends is my local MBZ sales manager and is working to accomodate me on this. My fingers are crossed for reliability improvements as production progresses, though I can't help but feel that the AMG division is getting "corporately" production stressed....
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Old 04-03-2002, 04:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
I can't help but feel that the AMG division is getting "corporately" production stressed.
True Brian.

However, I feel that an AMG vehicle has undergone additional quality control, to make is a much better car, then a) a first year model and b) a non-AMG car.
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Old 04-03-2002, 05:32 PM   #11
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Hi Karl,

I enjoy your unbridled optimism. Hope springs eternal, especially when I'm plunking down > 125K by the time they let me out the door.....
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Old 04-03-2002, 07:45 PM   #12
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I have 1500 miles on my SL 500 had it for a month, no problems at all. The only thing I did notice a couple times was a sloshing sound from the gas tank but only a couple times, it does not appear to be a problem, definitly nothing to be worried about!

I am sure something will surface, but this is the 8th new MB I have bought since 96 SL320 97C36, 99C43, 99SL500 Sport,
2000 E55, 2000 S500 (the worst) 2000 ML430 and now I have kept the 2000 ML430 and the 03 SL500 sport.

The 03 SL500 sport is my favorite, and I am a hard judge, the worst a early production 2000 S500

I think the SL55 will be one of the best cars on the road bar none!
The AMG cars I owned were great but always said this should be in a SL format for US then it would be perfect.

I was just telling some MBCA club members how impressed I was with the 03 SL500s quality for early production and how happy I am with this car! I will keep you posted. All I can say is I love it!
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Old 04-03-2002, 09:21 PM   #13
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Hi Brian:

As AMGBENZ stated, I agree that your SL55 should be the best and fastest that MG produced.

You can be sure that the awesome power is balanced; that the entire car is engineered to take the stresses generated by the 476 hp, and covered by the MB WARRANTY, rather than some after-market stuck-on, voiding the warranty.

I had a friend go through the European/Stuttgart delivery last year for an E car. The arrangements went like clockwork - simply flawless!
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Old 04-05-2002, 08:46 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by karl k
True Brian.

However, I feel that an AMG vehicle has undergone additional quality control, to make is a much better car, then a) a first year model and b) a non-AMG car.
With all due respect AMG cars would have had the same problems that were mentioned by mb tech 208 for the new SL if it had the same launch date(perhaps that's why they are waiting!)Retractable top problems, tire monitors,leaking ABC hoses and fittings,3rd brake light problems,ticking canister purge valves, & gas tanks with not enough baffles have nothing to do with AMG spec equipment. I do agree that the hand assembled engines would receive more care but if there is a flaw in the design/engineering of any components even hand built won't help.
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Old 04-05-2002, 11:15 PM   #15
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I agree. Sad but true. Regardless of AMG tidbits and specs, failings of the non specific production line components will be reflected in ALL models without regard for the AMG moniker. Only time and discovery will mitigate the problems as they rear their ugly heads. I'll play the role of "observer" for the first model year...
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Old 04-05-2002, 11:56 PM   #16
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We must all realize that a lot of these problems,

are not even specifically Mercedes's wrong doing so much as their suppliers which have as of late been known to change there components without notifying Mercedes, and that is something that will be monitoring more closely, like the third brake light, and the fuel tank, and the tire monitor system, those are all things that are supplied to MB not made by them

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Old 04-06-2002, 03:04 AM   #17
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Re: We must all realize that a lot of these problems,

Quote:
Originally posted by PHYBENZ
are not even specifically Mercedes's wrong doing so much as their suppliers which have as of late been known to change there components without notifying Mercedes, and that is something that will be monitoring more closely, like the third brake light, and the fuel tank, and the tire monitor system, those are all things that are supplied to MB not made by them

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Regardless of who makes the components, be it Mercedes-Benz or not, the fact of the matter is that the components do fail, resulting in a repair trip to the dealer. This reflects on MB's reputation and customer satisfaction indexes. Take the evaporator temperature sensor failures in the new SL500. Odds are, the sensor itself isn't made by Mercedes, but by another supplier. But when the sensor fails, and the A/C starts to blow warm, the owner most likely won't say "Damn Acme Electronics and their terrible sensors". You'll probably hear something like "I can't believe I just paid a hundred and twenty thousand dollars for this piece of garbage Mercedes that can't even blow cold air!"
Same thing applies to the notorious ML-Class window switch failures (some of you know what I'm talking about).
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Old 04-06-2002, 03:44 PM   #18
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Re: Re: We must all realize that a lot of these problems,

Quote:
Originally posted by mbtech208
Regardless of who makes the components, be it Mercedes-Benz or not, the fact of the matter is that the components do fail, resulting in a repair trip to the dealer. This reflects on MB's reputation and customer satisfaction indexes. Take the evaporator temperature sensor failures in the new SL500. Odds are, the sensor itself isn't made by Mercedes, but by another supplier. But when the sensor fails, and the A/C starts to blow warm, the owner most likely won't say "Damn Acme Electronics and their terrible sensors". You'll probably hear something like "I can't believe I just paid a hundred and twenty thousand dollars for this piece of garbage Mercedes that can't even blow cold air!"
Same thing applies to the notorious ML-Class window switch failures (some of you know what I'm talking about).
True, point well taken.

I had so many electrical problems with my new SL 500 last year, that I only had it for 3 months! More in the MB shop than I care to remember.

I wonder, what percentage of MB passenger automobile parts are sourced in the PRC, & what percentage are electrical/electronic components!!

Does anyone know?
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Old 04-06-2002, 09:37 PM   #19
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I read a post from someone in the automotive business that said: " The Germans need to learn vendor relations if they expect to keep up with Japanese quality." That puts it in a nut shell. Every car today is full of outsourced parts and you need to work closely with your vendors to maximize quality. It's a cultural thing that the Japanese have learned very well and the Germans are lagging behind.
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Old 04-07-2002, 12:38 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by mleskovar
I read a post from someone in the automotive business that said: " The Germans need to learn vendor relations if they expect to keep up with Japanese quality." That puts it in a nut shell. Every car today is full of outsourced parts and you need to work closely with your vendors to maximize quality. It's a cultural thing that the Japanese have learned very well and the Germans are lagging behind.
Re cross-cultural sensitivities, clearly the Japanese have a leg up, not only because of cultural similarities, but also geographic considerations (closer proximity to low labor cost markets w/high work ethics) and experience in the far east. This reflects favorably in the high quality and relatively low cost of Japanese products, benefiting the consumer.
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Old 04-12-2002, 07:35 AM   #21
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Re: 2003 SL500 problems

Quote:
Originally posted by mbtech208
Here's just some of the problems dealers have seen on the all-new SL500, which has only been on sale for a month or so.

1. Wind noise from the rear window caused by a missing seal at the bottom of the glass. Entire window must be replaced to solve.
MBtech208, is the above a common and serious problem? How long would it take to fix? Much thanks for any feedback in advance.
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Old 04-13-2002, 12:59 AM   #22
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It's not a serious problem, unless you consider an annoying wind noise to be serious. It would take a few hours of actual physical labor to fix, that's provided the dealer has a rear window in stock, which is highly unlikely.
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Old 04-15-2002, 01:02 AM   #23
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Question Wind noise

Thanks for the reply mbetch208. I have been experiencing some wind noise (which I believe to be excessive) from the left rear SIDE window at 40mph+, I suppose this will not be related to the missing seal you mentioned about at the rear window?

Other than this, I have been more than happy with the R230. Thanks for any feedback, cheers.
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Old 04-19-2002, 03:45 AM   #24
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Thumbs up Wind noise FIXED

For what's worth, a simple readjustment of the front door fixed the noise.
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Old 07-05-2002, 02:22 PM   #25
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what simple readjustment was that? or shall i have to figure out the hard way? :P
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Old 07-05-2002, 02:22 PM
 
 
 
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