FAQs—Mercedes Benz 450SL
I think that this Mercedes Benz 450SL is a great car, really. I mean it should be since it's a Mercedes, right? But, lately this car is starting to freak me out. It's like every problem imaginable has come to this car all at once. My main concern is that when the car is in idle, it seems to be shaking more. Any thoughts or suggestions?
When a car is vibrating—whether it's in idle or in motion—it is an indication that there is something wrong. Sometimes, you will feel the vibration through the steering wheel and sometimes throughout the entire vehicle. This could be just a small problem but if left unchecked, could lead to a much bigger and expensive one. Among the common causes of a car vibrating or shaking are wheels that are out of balance, loose or disconnected hoses, faulty spark plugs and worn shocks. We can rule out wheel balance as the problem if your car only vibrates when it's in idle. Some vibrations can be caused by hoses that have either become loose or disconnected. If this is the case, simple look for the problem point and reattach the hose. However, if the hose is damaged or broken, you will need to replace it.
While some drivers overlook spark plug issues when the problem is vibration, you'd do well to check it before ruling it out. When one or two spark plugs are worn out or faulty, it can cause the engine to misfire and the car to vibrate. The solution, of course, is to replace the faulty plugs. The shocks, meanwhile, are responsible for keeping your car from bouncing. When these wear out and start to malfunction, you can expect a bouncy ride. Replacement or repair can solve this problem.
I've had my 450SL for years now and I've got no problem with it until recently. A few days ago, I noticed that there is white smoke coming out my car's exhaust. It doesn't happen all the time but mostly when I start up the engine and when I accelerate. Any idea what is up with my car?
If you're seeing different colored exhaust fumes from your 450SL, it's time you pay attention to it and find the root cause of the problem. You may not see any warning lights being issued on your car's onboard diagnostics but smoke coming out of the exhaust is a sign that something in the car is not functioning as it should. Now, white smoke can be nothing if it's thin and vapor-like. It's just the result of normal condensation in the exhaust system. The smoke disappears quickly. But, when the smoke is thicker, this is a big problem and can be caused by burning coolant in the engine. Reasons for this include a blown head gasket, damaged cylinder head or a cracked engine block. Yes, all of these mean you need to spend for costly repairs. And ignoring the problem can only cause serious engine damage.
Okay, so I've been freaking out about my Mercedes Benz 450SL lately. It used to have no problem with starting but now it's hard on starting and rough when you put it on idle. What should I do?
If your 450SL starts fine when cold but idles roughly or does not stay running, this could be an indication that the car's engine temperature sensor is malfunctioning. When you start your car's engine cold, the temperature sensor sends a signal to the engine control unit (ECU) to provide a richer mixture. When the sensor fails, it will send a higher than actual performance signal to the ECU. The ECU then leans the fuel mixture thinking that engine is operating at normal conditions. What happens is that the engine runs rough. This should disappear when the engine gets warm because it will no longer need a richer mixture. Bad plug wires can also cause the car to idle roughly. Try running your car in a dark area and check the plug wires. If you see some arching to the cylinder head or fuel rail, then you have bad plug wires. You either need to replace or repair these.
Mercedes Benz 450SL: From the Early ‘70s to the Early ‘80s
When you say Mercedes Benz, the first thing that comes to mind is usually luxury or elegance. The style of the Benz, be it a convertible, sedan, or SUV, is second to none. With its distinct style, Mercedes Benz hasn’t ceased to capture a particular segment in the American market. Some of the best-looking cars it has created include the R107 and C107. These vehicles were rolled out from 1971 to 1989. With close to a 20-year stint, the R107 and C107 are the second longest single series produced by the automaker, right after the G-Class. These vehicles were sold under the SL, for the R107, and SLC, for the C107, models. These included the Mercedes Benz 450SL, among others.
1973: And then came the Mercedes Benz 450 SL
Mass production of the R107 or 350SL began in 1971. After just several months, the 350SLC also came out. These Mercedes Benz vehicles entered the North American market by 1972. They were initially called the 350SL. The vehicle that came equipped with a larger 4.5L V8 engine was later called the 450SL, renamed for the 1973 model. When the 450SL/SLC was launched in markets other than North America in 1973, the bigger V8 engine was also offered. Back in 1972 to 1975, the Bosch D Jetronic fuel injection system, an earlier version of the electronic engine management system, was used by US vehicles. By 1974, a fuel-injected 2.8L straight-6 became an option for both the SL and SLC. These models were known as the 280 SL and SLC. US models sold from 1976 till 1979 were equipped with the Bosche K Jetronic system, a mechanical fuel injection system. These models then used the 4.5L engine, becoming known as the 450 SL/SLC.
In 1977, the 450SLC 5.0 eventually became part of the lineup as a special version of the coupe. This came with an all-aluminum 5L V8 engine, along with a black rubber rear spoiler, a small front lip spoiler, and an aluminum alloy boot lid and bonnet. The 450SLC 5.0 also came out in time for the 1978 World Rally Championship.
1980: The final year of the Mercedes Benz 450SL
The 450SL rolled out only until 1980. Various problems were associated with it. The 1975 and 1976 models, for instance, had an issue with the vapor lock. Some also complained about a difficult restart, which was attributed to the placement of the catalytic converter under the hood. Eventually, the converter was transferred to the back of the transmission in the exhaust. The automatic climate control system of some 450SLs and 380SLs also became an issue. Models manufactured after 1981 were then given a better automatic climate control system. Although this was rather short-lived, the Mercedes Benz 450SL did leave a good impression to some Mercedes Benz lovers and classic car enthusiasts. This paved the way for sleeker, more reliable Mercedes Benz designs.