2002 Mercedes-Benz SLK32 AMG Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 2002 Mercedes-Benz SLK32 AMG as reported by actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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Known Problems

The rubber bond in the harmonic balancer can decay, which causes the balancer to move and work its way toward the timing cover. If the balancer comes into contact with the timing cover while the engine is running, it will fracture and damage the cover and potentially other surrounding parts. The harmonic balancer should be inspected at every service.

The crankshaft position sensor may fail. Symptoms of this are: The engine will crank—but not start—especially when the engine is warm. The car may start again if it is left to cool off, but it may run roughly or have poor performance. Communicating these specific symptoms to your technician can save diagnostic time.

Failed spark plug wires and/or ignition coils can cause intermittent misfires (rough running); the Check Engine Light may also illuminate. Diagnoses of the ignition system will be necessary to determine which components are at fault.

The evaporator temperature sensor can fail, causing the AC compressor not to cycle. If the AC compressor does not turn on, the AC system will not blow cold air. If the compressor is stuck on, the air will be very cold at first, before warming up.

An engine Oil leak may develop from the PCV vent housing on the valve cover and/or the inspection plate on the front of the engine.

High mileage or older vehicles commonly develop leaks from the differential seals and/or cover. Our technicians recommend a complete reseal of the differential unit whenever these leaks are repaired.

A vibration felt through the center floor of the vehicle can be caused by driveshaft flex discs, which crack and shred, causing excessive driveshaft movement. Not repairing these can cause damage to the driveshaft center support bearing, or, in the worst case scenario, damage to the transmission or differential.

Irregular and premature tire wear can be caused by the lower control arm bushings cracking, resulting excessive movement at the control arm pivot point. Ball joints can also wear out prematurely, causing similar tire wear symptoms. I some cases it may be necessary to replace the lower control arm, including bushings & ball joint to correct this concern.

One or more of the following steering linkage components may wear prematurely;  tie rod ends, drag link, or idler arm. Our technicians remind us the wheel alignment should be checked and adjusted if any of these items are replaced.

Due to wear, high usage vehicles can experience ignition lock and tumbler failures. The ignition lock cylinder will generally require replacement to correct this concern.

The anti-lock brake system (ABS) modulator assembly may fail due to dirty brake fluid. Our technicians recommend a complete brake system flush every two years in order to help prevent this problem.

Due to the size and material used on the brakes of these vehicles, the brakes may start to squeak around the 50 percent wear point. The brake rotor surfaces become uneven, causing a lip to form at the outer edge of the rotor. Because of this, the rotors are usually replaced when the pads are worn (pad life varies depending on driving style and terrain).

The electrical connector at the automatic transmission may leak fluid into the wiring harness. If not repaired, the oil will migrate through the wiring harness and damage the transmission control module. At that point, a new harness and control module may be necessary to correct this problem.

It is not uncommon for the sun visor hinges to break.

A fluid leak from the front of the vehicle may be a result of a worn steering dampening shock. Our technicians tell us that if a leak is noted from the dampening shock it should be replaced.