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Mercedes-Benz SL Reliability by Model Generation

Results are for year ending June 30, 2018. Only successfully completed repairs are currently included in the analysis. Routine maintenance, most wear items, recalls, and problems fixed with just a reflash or warning light reset are not included.
Year and Model % of Average Repair Frequency  

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What Our Members Are Saying about the Reliability And Durability of the Mercedes-Benz SL

Mercedes-Benz SL Reliability And Durability: Cons
YearBody/PowertrainComment
2004 2dr Hardtop conv. 302-horsepower 5.0L V8
7-speed shiftable automatic RWD
breaks a lot and will be costly after warranty. full 2004 Mercedes-Benz SL review
2002 2dr Hardtop conv. 302-horsepower 5.0L V8
5-speed automatic RWD
room for improvement here. Although the r129 wasn't a product of the doomed Chrysler merger, I sense that my 02 model suffered from some of the lack of attention to detail that doomed other early-millennium Benzes like the S class. I don't like being left by the side of the road and this car did so twice; once when an undetected oil leak took out the crankshaft position sensor, shutting down the car in the fast lane of an interstate just a few hundred feet short of a very busy and long interstate bridge. The other time a mystery battery drain left the car disabled, and when the Mercedes local dealership was dispatched to restart the car, the jump process fried the stereo head (tech comment: "it wasn't supposed to do that", but the dealer refused to do anything about it, and at that point I wasnt using cassettes anyway, so the head was replaced with something more modern). In very hot weather, the convertible top would just decide it didn't want to open; the latches would release, the top would start to retract and just..stop. Wouldn't complete the cycle until it cooled down. The trunk lid finisher -- a red reflective lens that contains the third brake light -- would never stay sealed, and water would accumulate inside the trunk lid, safely stored therein until the trunk was opened, at which point the water would discharge from a point near the hinges into the trunk itself (and on whatever you had in the trunk). full 2002 Mercedes-Benz SL review
 
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