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CLK-Class (W208) 1998-2002: CLK 200, CLK 230K, CLK 320, CLK 430 [Coupes & Cabriolets]

Soon to be a W208 Owner

 
Old 04-03-2019, 12:25 PM
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2003 C32 AMG
Soon to be a W208 Owner

Hey Guys, not sure if the W208 CLKs are still being used by many of you. I recently discovered a low mileage 2002 CLK320 in my area that I'm very interested in purchasing (66K miles) . I haven't gone to physically see it yet but from what the dealer was telling me it was owned by an older gentleman who passed away years ago and the car sat for a bit before being revived and put up for sale. In terms of the outer body, I can't see any rust whatsoever and the interior has some wear (faded steering wheel / slightly faded driver seat)

Is there still love for the W208 cars? If all seems well should I pull the trigger? What are the main things I should check for with this vehicle?

This is my first major foray into purchasing an MB and will be willing to do alot of the smaller repairs myself. It would be great if you gurus could provide me with some info / pointers
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Old 04-04-2019, 07:06 AM
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w208 3.2
Let me tell you something man, you take care of that car and that car will take care of you forever, m112-m113 engines are literally bulletproof, chances are that car comes with MB 5G-tronic, which is also bulletproof transmission, kind of slow, but actually bulletproof. You'll have to replace some bushings every once in a while, engine oil once every 8-10k kilometers, maybe cabin and airfilter while you're at it - costs nothing btw... aaand brake pads... which only depends on how you drive the car, you can go for years without even touching the brake system.
Pull that trigger man, again, it all depends how well the car had been taking care of, which is always hit or miss, but it's kind of difficult to mess that car up

Edit: If something brakes, like oil leak from cam gasket/valve cover gasket ( which happens to those engines ) or MAF sensor issues or stuff like that, fixing those issues are pretty cheap, like really really cheap

Last edited by Chillside; 04-04-2019 at 07:10 AM.
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Old 04-04-2019, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Chillside View Post
Let me tell you something man, you take care of that car and that car will take care of you forever, m112-m113 engines are literally bulletproof, chances are that car comes with MB 5G-tronic, which is also bulletproof transmission, kind of slow, but actually bulletproof. You'll have to replace some bushings every once in a while, engine oil once every 8-10k kilometers, maybe cabin and airfilter while you're at it - costs nothing btw... aaand brake pads... which only depends on how you drive the car, you can go for years without even touching the brake system.
Pull that trigger man, again, it all depends how well the car had been taking care of, which is always hit or miss, but it's kind of difficult to mess that car up

Edit: If something brakes, like oil leak from cam gasket/valve cover gasket ( which happens to those engines ) or MAF sensor issues or stuff like that, fixing those issues are pretty cheap, like really really cheap

Thanks alot for your reply man this is good information. I know generally the W208 is not as glamorous as today's options but I love the looks personally. I'll post an update when I go see the vehicle
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Old 04-04-2019, 04:25 PM
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'99 CLK/05 E500 WAG
From my point of view is swing for the fence, and go get it. The 320 is pwrd by the V6 3.2 liter which puts out 215 hp, and still will turn heads just by the looks alone. Check the door stills for dampness, and as mentioned the valve cover gaskets may need to be replaced. SRS /BAS may need attention, and wiper blade too. Other than that it's a good ride, and your like it!
Keep grinding on that blacktop
R,
2MERKS

Last edited by 2MERKS; 05-08-2019 at 07:41 PM.
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Old 04-04-2019, 07:03 PM
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2003 CLK 320 convertible
Well, we like ours. It's our road trip car for when the weather is nice enough to have the top down on the highway. We've driven it to ll four corners of the country and I've no worries about it breaking.

Which body style are you thinking about? Regardless they are nice cars, still fairly easy to work on. Most parts are reasonable and available. The car's got a decent amount of power and handles nicely considering it's not a sports car. Replacement keys are about $150 or so, so make sure you get both of them.

Problem areas I've encountered:

Brake light switch. A common fault area that is easily replaced.
Valve cover gaskets. Mine started leaking at about 100,000 miles. If and when you replace them buy either MB or Mahle (which might be the maker of MB branded gaskets). I replaced mine with Fel-Pro and they leaked, so I had to do the job over.
Broken wire from the trunk lid lights. You'll get strange electrical symptoms and a bad bulb warning. Apparently this wire breaks fairly often. Often enough that the dealer easily recognized the symptoms.
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Old 04-04-2019, 08:32 PM
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'99 CLK/05 E500 WAG
Originally Posted by jinark View Post
Well, we like ours. It's our road trip car for when the weather is nice enough to have the top down on the highway. We've driven it to ll four corners of the country and I've no worries about it breaking.

Which body style are you thinking about? Regardless they are nice cars, still fairly easy to work on. Most parts are reasonable and available. The car's got a decent amount of power and handles nicely considering it's not a sports car. Replacement keys are about $150 or so, so make sure you get both of them.

Problem areas I've encountered:

Brake light switch. A common fault area that is easily replaced.
Valve cover gaskets. Mine started leaking at about 100,000 miles. If and when you replace them buy either MB or Mahle (which might be the maker of MB branded gaskets). I replaced mine with Fel-Pro and they leaked, so I had to do the job over.
Broken wire from the trunk lid lights. You'll get strange electrical symptoms and a bad bulb warning. Apparently this wire breaks fairly often. Often enough that the dealer easily recognized the symptoms.
So true..lol!
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Old 04-05-2019, 10:18 PM
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2001 CLK320 Cabrio
You have already received some excellent advice.

Not sure if the 2002 CLK you're looking at is a coupe (last year of production) or cabriolet (last year of production was 2003).

Point being, in MY 2001 production, MB made numerous significant upgrades and are the best of breed.

Each year, after the initial 5 year, 50,000 mile warranty, I've thought I thought I should purchased a new car.

I still own my 2001 cabriolet, since purchased new, as a daily driver, because it's the best car I've ever owned.

While previously driven MB depreciate, around 70% after 5 years, because of the cost to maintain and/or repair, is outrageous.

As others have noted, the drive train on either the W208/A208 have been bullet proof, when properly maintained (e.g. changes of oil, coolant, transmission fluid and filters).

Specifically, the only out of pocket money I've had to put into my ride, other then preventive maintenance, have been a MAF, CPS and voltage regulator for the HVAC fan), which as a shade tree mechanic were all under $100.

Most, if not all, vehicles of this vintage are acquired via auction. where dealers examine the vehicle servicing and/or accident history (e,g, either via Carfax or by VIN # from a MB dealership).

Be careful of dealers, as example, recently a MB dealership advertised a low mileage MY 2000 CLK cabriolet for $12,000, where a private seller asked only $3,000 for the same car and two MY years newer, with less than 100,000 miles.

Go figure.
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Old 04-06-2019, 06:40 PM
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2007 R350, 2002 CLK55

W208 is one of the best bargains in the MB world. It was a hit when first appeared but was quickly eclipsed by w209 and the resale values never recovered. Interestingly enough, w208 fell into obscurity mainly due to aesthetics because from mechanical standpoint it was one of the most solid modern Benzes built, right up there with w126 and w210. Up until last month I was a very proud owner of a 2002 CLK55. In the two and a half years of ownership my expenses were limited to scheduled service, front and rear brakes and a right sun visor which lost its vanity mirror cover. I found a used set here on the forum for just a few bucks. Other than that the car was simply a pleasure to own. Many a driver in newer cars had their *** handed to them when I mashed the accelerator either off the light or rolling onto the throttle on the freeway.

Things may be a bit different with a 6 banger but itís all relative what you are looking for in your ride. It will still make a great GT and in a Ďvert configuration itís an awesome vacation get away ride. Spend a few hundred bucks to do a Pre Purchase Inspection at afranchised dealer or a reputable indie shop. Check suspension, seat motors and vacuum operated HVAC controls. Good luck and enjoy
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Old 05-08-2019, 04:10 PM
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Hey everyone, thanks alot for your valuable information. Just an update though I did not end up getting that car as lots of electronics weren't working (sunroof out / passenger window / trunk lock frozen / windshield wiper motor etc) and my cash offer with all that in mind wasn't accepted. Looks like I'm going to have to wait a bit longer before I can call myself an MB Owner

Again, thanks to all of you who responded!
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Old 05-12-2019, 02:04 PM
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2003 CLK 320 convertible
Originally Posted by Mitra43 View Post
Looks like I'm going to have to wait a bit longer before I can call myself an MB Owner
Hey, It's a target rich environment. There are still a lot of really good 208's to be had, you just need to be patent and find "your" car.
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Old 05-13-2019, 05:44 AM
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w208 3.2
Originally Posted by Mitra43 View Post
Hey everyone, thanks alot for your valuable information. Just an update though I did not end up getting that car as lots of electronics weren't working (sunroof out / passenger window / trunk lock frozen / windshield wiper motor etc) and my cash offer with all that in mind wasn't accepted. Looks like I'm going to have to wait a bit longer before I can call myself an MB Owner

Again, thanks to all of you who responded!
Can you show the picture of that car you were going to buy? or picture[s]
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