Two weeks ago I bought a used '02 CLK430 AMG coupe. The car had 32,671
miles and I verified that with a CarFax report before purchasing. The
vehicle appears to be in exceptional condition.
My wife will be the principal driver and the car will not be driven more
than about 15,000 miles annually.
My question for those who have experience with this model: In general terms,
is (are) there anything(s) in particular I should be aware of on this car?
TIA for any tips or clues.
Nice car. I had a 2000 CLK430 coupe. The Oxygen sensors (there are four)
had to be replaced at 36,000 miles (symptoms: Check Engine light, rough idle
after freeway driving, idle surge at stop), replaced under warranty, but
around $950 nonwarranty.
The thing to watch for is the front of the car, the lower air dam under the
bumper. I can't count the number of times I pulled into a parking spot
thinking everything was okay, only to have the underside of the front air
dam catch on the concrete parking blocks, then scrape/pull backwards trying
to back out. After the second time it happened, the lower air dam actually
tore at the edges, where the lower air dam connect to the upper bumper
portion; it wasn't repairable, the new bumper retailed for something like
The car always parked just fine, but after sitting awhile, the weight of the
car seemed to cause the suspension to settle in just enough to come to rest
at the top of the concrete strip. Then, getting back in the car (I weigh
185 lbs), the front air dam would bind on the top of the concrete, and grab
and pull and scrape when starting to back out. I began carrying a thin
piece of cardboard paneling in the trunk, in case I needed to slide it under
the dam to back the car off a concrete block without ripping it again.
Nice looking front end, but they don't consider that to be a design defect,
and it's not covered under warranty.
The frustrating part of that lower dam piece was that a simple metal clip to
hold up the back edge (under the engine) would have prevented the back lip
from catching on concrete parking strips, thus forcing (and snapping) the
entire front face of the lower dam forward when backing out.
I meant to put at least a 3" No. 6 screw on the back edge, just to keep it a
half-inch up higher, but wasn't sure it'd be reliable. I tried instead to
stay mindful of the lower dam when parking. It very nearly (due to the
expense) needs a curbfinder or something that will let the driver know it's
close enough to call it good. My new car (SLK32) is even lower, though it
wouldn't probably give an impression of adequate clearance while parking,
then getting hung up after the car settles down from sitting. The CLK never
scraped going over a parking strip, only after the car settled and the
driver got in to pull out.
Anyway, have fun! It's a gorgeous car.
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