I purchased a Mercedes Benz SLK off an Ebay auction a few years ago and got lucky. It was the best driving car I've ever owned. I hit a section of black ice on the interstate at highway speed and didn't have enough room to bring the car back under control resulting in a collision with a guard rail, rear end damage, car driveable, but repair cost estimates exceeded value of the car and the insurance totaled it. Putting me in the market for a used SLK 230. I live in the rockies and rwd vehicles are not much in evidence here so it was back online. The SLK I want is the R170 version which was made from 1998 through 2004. The total number of these cars sold in the US over that time frame is something less than 50,000 and only about 10 percent of those come equipped with the manual transmission. I'm of the opinion that people that put automatics in 2 seater sports cars seriously miss the point.
My search was conducted over a two month period and many visits to dealerships in far off places for my daughter and other family members, Ipad in hand to facetime me so I could see these cars. I made offers on only a few of these cars over this time and kept coming back to a one owner 2001 at Mercedes Benz Omaha. The internet sales person assigned to me, Ashley, was very patient but never pushed. I got answers to my questions and her honest assessment of what the good and bad points of the car were. In the middle of all of this I got tapped providing daycare in a nearby town for my grandsons and became unavailable for more than a week. Did not stop Ashley from checking in, turns out they work on weekends. The long and the short of it is I made an offer they accepted and were very accomodating facilitating my picking the car up 550 miles from my home. The pick up was a smooth and enjoyable experience involving someone driving across the river to shuttle me from the rental car shop to the dealership.
I drove the car that night on into Iowa to visit my family and show my, "new", car off to more of my grandsons. The following morning I try to lower the convertible top and it hangs up. Not an experience I've ever had with an SLK, although you read such horror stories on the mb forum. I called the dealership, knowing I had purchased an, "as is", vehicle with no warranty to fall back on. Ashley was again very helpful, arranging to schedule me in for an evaluation on my return trip home the following week. My assigned service advisor was Michelle. In the meantime I learned, off the forum, that one possible fix for the hanging top is to bang the right front at the top of the pillar with your fist. That actually works and I could get my top up and down after that. Not especially excited about doing that...but what is a convertible you can't get the top down on?
My visit to the service dept. was a remarkable experience. I expected it to last about a half hour, the time it takes to plug the car into the diagnostics computer and print the results. Michelle found me in the customer lounge after a short time to tell me it was going to take more time...maybe as much as two or three hours because the mechanic assigned had begun to, "dig" , into the problem. Not really what I wanted to hear. Hour and a half passes and I'm standing in the parking lot of the dealership consulting my Ipad for advice about where I might eat when the young man who had driven me the week before found me to tell me Michelle is looking for you. I must have looked dismayed at this news because he quickly explained your car is ready. And it was...freshly detailed. Michelle had me put the top down and up and it works smoother than my old SLK ever did and all the accompaning hydraulic noices and electronic whiring sounds are gone too. She explained that the mechanic found that all that was needed was a good cleaning of the mechanism. The bill associated with two hours of shop time was going to exceed the evaluation cost I was pretty sure. Turns out at Mercedes Benz Omaha the service advisors see themselves as customer advocates. There was no charge, just an apology for the inconvience. I drove the car the 550 miles home that day and if anything it is a better car than the one I liked so much. I've never had such a positive experience with a dealership making a problem right as I had with this dealership. I've had phone calls and emails from various managers at MB Omaha inquiring about the experience in the few days since.
I Recommend This Dealer:
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