1998 Mercedes-Benz SL500 Reviews
1998 Mercedes-Benz SL500 Reviews and Owner Comments
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1998 SL500 with 123k miles now. It has 32 valves and dual OHC. A pleasure to drive. From 1999 through about 2008 I think they have one OHC and 24 valves. I love the car but its like a mistress that always wants more. At 99,000 miles one hydraulic roof cylinder (they raise and lower the soft top) went out-1800; at 107,000 the transmission went-4,700 at AAMCO: to be fair, it may have gone out because a Dealer "flushed" the transmission which experienced people say not to do if you haven't done it regularly-it forces contaminants into the system: so 3 weeks later it went (I know now not to let anyone flush the transmission); the ignition lock jammed at 115,000 miles-1800 at a dealer; while the lock was under repair, the "soft top module" went on the fritz preventing the windows from closing completely: the dealer wanted almost 3,000 to replace it; I declined and read up on this by googling it; in a few weeks it went back to normal again, as I suspect the dealer knew it would (the soft top module goes haywire when a battery is disconnected-usually resets in a few weeks, but when it goes bad, its hellishly expensive to replace); engine work: 4,000; new flex discs; suspension repairs; seals that leaked; and on and on. Nothing is cheap to fix on it, and things you've never heard of seem to go bad suddenly--no wearing down, it just goes. I did learn-duh-to avoid the Dealers, since their prices are 3 to 4 times a good repair shop. Example: An ignition coil repair (like a spark plug) is about 400 at a dealer, 300 at another place close to work, but only 189 at the place I go to now, and their work is just as good. The 1994 S500 -a big tank of a car-was more durable than this 1998, and things rarely stopped working on that 1994. Benz has, I believe, downgraded its components and sells to new car buyers and is not interested anymore in anyone who keeps them after 60,000 miles. Can't say that's bad policy, but beware: My advice: buy it new while its covered by a warranty, or be prepared to spend a lot keeping it going.
very good condition, low miles