1999 Mercedes-Benz CLK 320 2.3 petrol from Bulgaria
Sexy short term affair
1. Engine oil pressure port gasket - leaking.
2. Engine oil filter housing gasket - leaking.
3. Engine oil cooler gasket - leaking.
4. Valve cover gasket - both of them - leaking.
5. Intermittent front-right parking sensor issues from a left-side wire connection causes the whole (front & back) parking sensor system to malfunction and be disabled.
6. Hazard lights not working while the turn-signals are OK - SAM module needed replacing after finding out it wasn't the switch.
7. Wiper not working properly in first-gear where it is supposed to wipe the windshield using information from the rain-sensor - it just wipes once and stops, or if the rain-sensor is disconnected, wipes at 5 second intervals, but not according to rain intensity...
8. Hydraulic fluid - leaks - suspect an o-ring.
It is not cheap to own, repair costs in labor and parts are expensive compared to the average car. Also petrol consumption expenses - when driving in city traffic - are not justified by the otherwise fantastic horse power, since it cannot be utilized on city streets and start-stop traffic. In other words - 18L/100km city and 8.5L/100km highway is good if you enjoy the BHP on a highway, but it's heavy on the wallet in a daily city commute.
When going to indie garages for repairs, the fact that you are driving in with a Mercedes triggers a presumption in the mechanics' heads that you're wealthy enough to accept repair costs 2x times as much as that of a Skoda or a Ford for the same type of work.
The leather seats on mine are in need of an upholstery repair at the seams and due to some pieces being cracked.
Speaking of seats, on the comfort side for a 500 km highway cruise, for half the distance I already experience lower-back pains, and after a stop for refreshments, I already don't really feel like going back inside the car to finish the trip, knowing that driver's seat awaits me, grinning with an evil pain in store for my bones.
This is the first time I've driven an auto, and I've noticed that while getting into D or R from a stop, the car experiences a light thud underneath. I don't know if that's normal for auto gear-boxes, but what I can say is that while driving, the car seems to be shifting alright at the right times when needed.
Never had an issue overtaking on the highway. Enjoying the slight kick when I press the gas pedal to the floor, the nose dives a little and seconds later the car accelerates forward with that racing sound roar of the engine. It's an elegant type of a pleasure to drive.
Road imperfections are felt quite easily inside the cabin on 17" wheels. The suspension is rather firm, giving better grip in corners (although it doesn't feel as solid when taking a highway bend at 200kmh speeds).
The car is a looker, and young women at traffic lights seem to be checking me out, which never happened before in other cars.
Unfortunately, the front and back park sensors are mounted on a strip - part of the bumpers, and the strips are very easy to dismount in seconds - and that's what thieves these days are interested in. It is a matter of pulling out the plastic strip with all the sensors on it, cut the wires and run. Also the facelift's side mirrors' plastic covers are a target I hear.
It's an old car, with its problems and repair needs. It's a looker, but also a thief's target. Drives fast enough, but the seats aren't for long cruises, which is a pity given that the car's strength is at highway speeds. Perhaps good if one lives not too far outside the city and works in the city, connected with a highway to step on the gas.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 24th September, 2014
Original poster here with a short update.
Transmission fluid leak from one of the cooler pipes that goes to the radiator. Water radiator was leaking - replaced. Oil cap leaks oil as well.
All rubber trims - gone plastic and crumbling.
Doors don't close all too well unless slammed - I understand this is how all of them are right out of the factory.
Cracked dashboard - from the sun - also a weak spot.
Front electric seats won't go back automatically when folded for access to the rear seats as they are supposed to.
Crackling coming from one of the door speakers, and also the door speaker covers are very easy to break accidentally.
Command center not reading CDs, GPS antenna broken... What a disappointment of a 14 year old car. But, yes of course - it's an old car - what would one expect. Unless it is a very well kept example with full service history and from an owner who adored and had taken good care of the car - I'd recommend that you avoid it - unless of course you don't care about the repair and upkeep expenses, and just want to have one hell of a fun joy ride beyond the speed limits - then it is worth having for a little while. Just throwing money at it, but - hey - joy is priceless, right?