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Recommendations for 1998 SL320 maintenance?


QuirkEinstein

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I have a big dossier of all the prior work done on the vehicle, which is 26 years old with 90,000 miles on the clock, and it has a very excellent service history.
At this time, I am not worried about how it drives. It recently passed the MOT with flying colours and zero advisories.

I want to be proactive and stay ahead of maintenance by inspecting and replacing things before they break. What should I start thinking about?
A few years ago, it had new front springs, lower wishbones and sway bar bushes.
I was worried about the ride quality at first, but now I know it's not the shocks; the vehicle handles well, and the shocks do their job. Externally, there don't seem to be any issues with the shock mounts; not even little rubber cracks. (No receipts show that these shocks or mounts were ever changed.)
I have no problem swapping out broken components, but I'd like not discard functional ones. But we are aware that some vehicles might mask their issues.

Have you any ideas?

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Great work, that's a nice automobile.
Is it you who performs the job, or is it a garage that you hire?
Have an MB expert have a look at it for an hour or two and give you their advice on what to do if it breaks down soon.
In light of the questions it raises, you should probably acquire a few extra components just in case they ever decide to cease producing them.

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Verify that all the "fluids" (brakes, differential fluid, coolant, air conditioning gas, etc.) are current. For vehicles that are only used sometimes, may a different metric work better than the miles that most manufacturers use to describe changes? Vehicles perform better when driven often and kept active. Replace the battery or put it on a trickle charger if the tyres are more than five years old from the date of manufacture. The usual suspects: elastomers, seals, age-wiper blades, poly v belts, etc.

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It's simple to buy a used automobile and pour money at it. My advice for a 90k miler is to simply keep going and deal with problems as they come. Get to know a reliable expert you can rely on to be practical when it comes to repairs and maintenance if you can't handle it yourself.

If you want to retain this for the long haul, I would be more worried about corrosion, especially on a 26-year-old vehicle. Maybe you should have the undercarriage checked out and protected against rust. There are plenty of new and used components available, and most of the other equipment is just bolt on/off.

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Really enjoyed driving one of them. The mechanism might create difficulties if not utilised sometimes, so it's important to stay on top of the basic items and use the hard and softtop often. Gearbox servicing may make removing the torx studs difficult, thus it's recommended to use lots of water for at least two days before trying to remove the filter. As a driver, you will find it delightful. Find a wealth of information here to help you out if you become stuck. Take care and have fun.

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Issues may arise with the electrical thermostat located underneath the secondary water pump. If your foot's temperature is uneven, it's probably on its last legs. It distributes water to the opposite bank of cylinders and is situated on the driver's side of the fire wall; I've been almost there when it failed to perform its job.
Putting the bonnet up straight and following the pipe back from the T junction near the rad will lead you there, but it's a hassle to get there. Because of all the geometry involved (both front and rear), you should probably have your tyres aligned every so often and check the tread depth. Good luck.

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