FAQs—Mercedes Benz SLK230
I just had the transmission fluid of my Mercedes Benz changed. How often should the transmission fluid be checked? What would be ideal?
The required maintenance and service schedule would vary per car manufacturer and vehicle model. Your vehicle manual would be your best reference. Auto experts, however, would usually recommend that you check your vehicle's brake fluid at least twice a year, even before you encounter difficulties with vehicle transmission. This will let you know whether it's time for fluid exchange because the transmission fluid is already contaminated or no longer in good quality. You can usually tell by the color of the fluid. Checking the fluid more regularly will also allow you to spot leaks early on in case the transmission fluid level is dropping. Aside from the fluid, the filter should also be checked if it's clogged.
Shifting gears on my Mercedes Benz SLK230 was unusually difficult. I think I'm losing transmission fluid. Where should I check for transmission fluid leaks?
If the transmission fluid level is dropping, there could be leak. There are common areas where the transmission fluid leak can be traced. To find out the source, check the filler tube base and at the drain hole. Also look along the engine and transmission. The leak could be anywhere between these. Also inspect the speed sensor's mounting point, the radiator, and the selector shaft. Aside from checking for leaks, also consider the quality or condition of the fluid. If it has turned dark or it appeared cloudy, then it could be time for a fluid exchange. The fluid may be contaminated.
When I checked the brake system of my SLK230, it turned out that the vehicle is using contaminated brake fluid. The fluid is already dark and looked dirty. Why does the brake fluid get contaminated?
Even in a sealed system, harsh elements could still get through the small holes, contaminating the brake fluid. Air could be mixed with fluid. Water could also be introduced into the system because of condensation. That's why the brake fluid should be checked every once in a while in order to see if it's already dirty and needs to be changed or if it has to be topped off in case the fluid level drops too low. To remove the contaminants in the fluid, the system has to be bled or flushed. Make sure that the brake fluid you'll use for your Mercedes Benz SL230 is the one recommended by the manufacturer.
What would happen if there's too much antifreeze in the coolant mixture? Is this bad for the vehicle, or is it just fine to have a rich coolant mix?
If the mixture is over-concentrated with antifreeze, the fluid won't be able to absorb that much heat because it lacks water. The rich mixture would be thicker than normal, and this could mean that the coolant won't be able to flow around the engine at the usual rate. This would result in reduced cooling efficiency. The mixture may not be able to protect the engine against boil over or freezing.
Mercedes-Benz SLK230: The Bridge of Innovation
Sportlich, Leight und Kurz. These words in German translate to “Sporty, light and short,” which is where the Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class comes from. In the market for a decade and a half with three generations under its belt, it has gone through many changes throughout the course of its production. This compact roadster was the first hard top convertible for the Mercedes-Benz, and as such has a special place in its history as a step towards newer and better products.
1996-2000: Reveal of the Showstopper
On April 22, 1996, the first Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class debuted at the Turin Motor Show. It was a throwback and a modern incarnation of their old 1950s model, the Mercedes-Benz 190SL. Both of these model were similar in that they used four cylinders and have a 94-inch wheelbase.
One of the SLK-Class’ innovations was the vario-roof. This roof design consisted or a folding steel hard top which was divided in half along an axis at angles perpendicular to car direction. One touch of a button and its hydraulic system mechanically pivots the two roof halves. Compared to its rivals which had folding cloth tops, this was a great advancement in roadster design.
The SLK 230 had a top speed of 143mph, with a look that has the protection of a coupe with the enjoyment of the convertible. In its first year, this model sold over 55,000, and thus became the fierce rivals of many other brands.
2000-2004: Getting with the Times
In the turn of the new millennium, the Mercedes-Benz SLK230, along with its other trims, underwent an upgrade to its look and power. The car’s front and rear bumper designs were given a facelift, resulting in a more modern feel. Body-colored side skirts and new wings mirrors were also added, for a more complete look. In terms of performance, a new 6-speed manual transmission was introduced along with the Electronic Stability Program, which help prevent skidding. The SLK230 also had a stabilizer bar added, as well as a bigger fuel tank.
Paving the way for the future
Today, the SLK230 trim is no more. Mercedes-Benz now had 200 Kompressor , 300, 350, and SLK 55 AMG models. Still, the SLK230 has made it mark in the Mercedes-Benz history as the first of its kind for the company. It won CAR & DRIVER’s “North American Car of the Year” award in 1998, to which the next generation followed by being winning the Canadian Car of the Year’s “Best New Convertible” award. The legacy of the SLK230 and the whole first generation will forever remain in the spirit of the new models for its leaps and bounds in innovation and performance.