Top Car Maintenance Tips to Ensure Performance on Your Mercedes Benz 280SL
You don't have to speak Car and Driver just to know that any car with a Mercedes badge in it will be worth all the dimes. Mercedes Benz is known to produce great cars with enough power in the trunk and an abundance of luxury in the interior. Therefore, your Mercedes Benz 280SL should be a worthy ride even if you've bought it used. If you want to keep your 280SL running as good as when you have it the first day, you need to make sure that you never neglect maintenance. The good news is that most basic car maintenance steps are easy to do, and you can even do them yourself. Below are some tips on how you can ensure top performance for your 280SL in between services:
- Make sure your car uses the right engine oil and that it's always filled to the right level.
What you have to understand is that your car's engine is made up of a large number of moving parts—all of which are important to its performance. The engine oil is the one that ensures all these parts are working together properly. How? This oil is a lubricant and reduces friction and wear as a result of the engine parts moving against each other.
The importance of engine oil cannot be undermined. That's why it is important that you always check and make sure that there is enough oil in the engine. The oil level should be maintained and checked regularly regardless if you have a brand new car. As time goes, the amount of oil in the engine will decrease, and when that happens, issues such as overheating may follow. Make sure that the oil level is always between the minimum and maximum level. When topping up, make sure to use oil with the correct grade. You can consult your owner's manual for the recommended engine oil for your car.
- The power steering fluid should be checked regularly.
The power steering fluid is the fluid in the hydraulics that is responsible for transmitting power in the power steering. Regular servicing of this fluid can help prolong the life of the power-steering system's parts, such as the pump and the steering rack. You have to make sure that the fluid in the reservoir is always filled to right level; do not overfill. Check your Mercedes Benz 280SL for the recommended interval on when to change the power steering fluid. Eventually, the wear-prone parts of the power steering components such as the seals and O-rings will break apart and contaminate the fluid. This will send the steering pump to work harder and eventually break down. This is a costly repair or replacement. Hence, knowing when to replace the power steering fluid is important.
- Ensure that your car's transmissions operate correctly.
Although transmission checks and maintenance are best left to the experts, there are few things that you can do to maintain the good health of your car's transmissions in between services. The first thing is to ensure that the transmission fluid is filled to the correct level. Your owner's manual will have instructions on how to check the levels and how much you need to add in case of top ups. When you check the fluid level, make sure that the fluid is not discolored or burnt. Lastly, use the correct type of transmission fluid—the manual should have this information.
Changes to the Mercedes Benz 280SL
When it comes to roadsters and coupes, Mercedes Benz does it better than other auto manufacturers. It creates a great mix of luxury and performance in its lineup. Among its old roadsters that made a lasting impression is the Mercedes Benz W 113. This two-seat roadster/coupe made its first public appearance at the 1963 Geneva Motor Show. The SL models came equipped with an inline 6-cylinder engine featuring multi-port fuel injection. They were lighter in weight since they used aluminum for the trunk lid, hood, door skin, and tonneau cover. The W 113 could be best remembered for its superior handling due to its short and wide chassis, good suspension, radial tires, and excellent braking power. It also had a remarkable front-end styling, much like its predecessor, the 300SL (W 198). The W 113 used a set of upright Bosch fishbowl headlights. Its chrome grille had a three-pointed star at the nose panel. W 113 SLs were available as coupe/roadster, with a soft top and a removable hardtop as an option. These paved the way for the Mercedes Benz 280SL, which was launched in 1967 and lasted for a few years. About 24,000 280SLs were manufactured, and more than half were sold in the US.
1967-1971: From the beginning through the final year of the 280SL
The 280 SL was in the market for around four years. Its end in 1971 was marked with the arrival of the R107 350 SL, which replaced the W 113. The W 113 was later transformed from a sports car into a grand tourer as years went by. Its US models came with a 4-speed automatic transmission. Models with manual transmission came with a 4-speed setting and had the ZF 5-speed as an option.
The Mercedes Benz 280SL underwent a series of changes and revisions over the years, taking in a new look and performance level. In 1967, the 280SL used one-piece wheel covers. In 1968, the US models came with a new set of sealed beam headlights. Meanwhile, it received a big change in 1969 in the form of new tail lights that used amber turn signals. For US models, the headlight assembly was designed with full amber lower section. This came with illuminated side markers, better emissions control, and transistorized ignition. Eventually, the ZF 5-speed M/T was dropped as an option. This feature only became available upon request.
There were other revisions made in 1969, including the use of a heater rear window for the hardtop. All models also came equipped with hazard lights. A single master key was used for all the locks in the vehicle. In 1970, several updates were done, including the use of Lichteinheit headlights (optionally with halogen main beam). Fuchs alloy wheels later became an option. The coolant expansion tank was modified to opaque beige plastic from the original satin-black steel. New door locks were also used. The Mercedes Benz 280SL lasted only through 1971.