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mike_a_mechanic, Mercedes Mechanic
Category: Mercedes
Satisfied Customers: 5471
Experience:  17 years experience as a auto mechanic, foreign and domestic.5 years running my own repair business.
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good morning, I a thinking of buying a 2003 SL350 which

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good morning,
I a thinking of buying a 2003 SL350 which has 83k miles on the clock, and a full service history mainly with Mercedes specialists, (not main agents). The car looks like new as it has been looked after. I can afford to buy a 2005 model with the same sort of mileage, also available.My question is, what if any, known faults should I look out for when buying the car?Thank you for your help and or your time answering my question
Hello, welcome. My name is***** will do my very best to assist you with your question. I apologize if you have been waiting long for a response.
The 2003 and the 2005 are both great vehicles that hold up very well and is reliable. Both of these years have a common problem and that problem is the turbine speed sensor inside of the gearbox.
If this fails the gearbox pan and valve body has to be removed in order to replace this, but this issue does not cause and further gearbox damage.
mike_a_mechanic and other Mercedes Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you for your reply and for the tip about the gearbox positioned turbine sensor. I added on a later message, that I am comparing the Mercedes SL350 with the BMW 330convertible 2005/06 automatic gearbox model cars. The Merc being a 2 seater amd the BMW being a 4 seater. The Mercedes has a tin top and the BMW a fabric top. Aside of those issues is the BMW 330 petrol or diesel engined cars a better buy than the Mercedes SL350?Both are excellent builds, I have owned the 330 eight years ago, I wondered if they have any specific faults eight years+ on? That is all I need to ask you, nothing more, and then I will rate your reply +vely. Thank you, ***** ***** Philip

The 330 is a good vehicle except the gaskets in the engine are kind of weak and are prone to leaks. These gaskets make for expensive repairs. Out of the 330 and the Mercedes in my opinion I believe the Mercedes is the better buy. Thank you.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you Mike,

I shall do the rating as promised,

Kind regards


No problem, thank you.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you Mike,


You have answered my question which has helped point out what to look for on both cars. I have to say I am going to buy whichever of the two marques comes up favourably on price first of all. They are both well built yet I have owned BMW's only for the past 25 years, hence the thought of a change of brand this time around


I am grateful for your input as it is very me.


Kind regards,



No problem, thank you and good luck.