May 16, 2013
While driving our beloved 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG with the top up, I noticed a really annoying buzz/rattle over my left shoulder that sounds like a piece of plastic vibrating freely around. I could reach up and vaguely support something and make the buzz stop.
April 22, 2013
April 11, 2013
By now we all know that a couple of little cables let go on the convertible top mechanism and we had them repaired at no cost. That was a first. It just so happened that when I went to pick it up, there was a slight problem: Dead battery, but this was not a first.
April 8, 2013
Monday morning I dropped the SLS off at Simonson Mercedes-Benz near our office in Santa Monica to have its top repaired. It stopped opening and closing properly last week.
April 4, 2013
Our 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster is thrilling, exquisitely trimmed and sticks out like Clifford the Big Red Dog. No matter where you drive the SLS, it gets serious amounts of attention. But when I arrived for lunch at Neptune's Net in Malibu (famous for its seafood and its cameo in The Fast and The Furious), something embarrassing happened.
With the convertible top down on Pacific Coast Highway, the 30 miles from our office in Santa Monica to Neptune's practically melted away. The exhaust on this fire-breathing-6.3-liter-V8 monster is so brutish and evocative that I didn't even bother with the stereo. As I parked for lunch, I pulled the lever for the convertible top only to be met by a loud clicking noise.
April 1, 2013
It's happened again. I've signed up for a car in advance only find it broken and/or damaged on the day I plan to begin driving it. Hey, at least this time there are some hard parts to accompany the note.
March 28, 2013
This warning illuminated when I tried shifting our 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS into reverse. I was safely in a parking space, so I shut off the car. When I turned it back on the warning was gone and everything was working properly. This is the only time we've seen this light and it hasn't returned since.
March 25, 2013
We tried using Safelite to repair a large windshield chip on our 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS that occurred during its recent multi-state road trip. In the past we've used mobile glass repair companies for non-routine maintenance like this. None of them have really stuck out in our minds as remarkable. So this time we decided to try a bigger name in the industry to see if the experience was any different.
March 19, 2013
My buddy and road trip sidekick John Pearley Huffman blames me, but it was really his fault that the large rock destroyed the windshield of our long-term 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster. Sure, I was driving. Somewhere in Utah I think. And yes it was I that chose to follow that large gravel truck a little too closely. But it was John that was sitting in the passenger seat playing solitaire on his phone.
As I said, it was clearly his fault. At least the large divot is right in the driver's line of site.
Oh, and according to our local Mercedes dealer a new windshield costs about $3,500 plus $400 for installation. I said we'll think about it.
March 12, 2013
We picked up our 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS from its 20,000-mile service appointment at W.I. Simonson Mercedes-Benz this morning. In all honesty, we half-expected the SLS to promote us to some sort of priority status. It didn't. Our overall experience was quite normal, including some hits and some misses.
March 11, 2013
We dropped our 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS off at W.I. Simonson Mercedes-Benz. On the agenda was satisfying its 20,000-mile request for routine service. At 20k the SLS requires an extensive list of maintenance items, known here as "Service B."
March 8, 2013
We put the snow tires to good use, but now it's time to restore our 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS to summer driving conditions. A quick visit to our local tire shop did the job. It took 30-45 minutes to swap the tires, load the winter rubber into our long-term CX-5 and pay the $130 bill.
So, is anybody out there shopping some partially used winter tires for an SLS? We might know somebody with a stack of four in his closet.
Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager @ 19,806 miles
February 20, 2013
We reported the arrival of Pirelli winter tires for our 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS. Before any road trip can begin, the tires have to be installed. So we went up the road to our local tire shop to do so.
February 15, 2013
Our winter tires have arrived and our 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster is one step closer to Mount Rushmore.
Yes, Mount Rushmore. Yes, the one in South Dakota. Don't ask me why.
February 12, 2013
I'm aching to road trip this car. And I will. But driving it around the warmth of the southwest just doesn't feel adventurous enough. I'm aching to take this drop-top supercar out of its element. Out of its natural environment. Out of sunny southern California.
January 31, 2013
I realize that the people looking for buying and ownership advice regarding this Mercedes SLS Roadster are few and far between. However, if you should be a potential owner of this brilliant car, may I humbly suggest buying a battery tender for it.
First, the SLS is unlikely to be your daily driver, meaning that it's likely to have long stretches sitting around gathering dust in your garage. Given yesterday's adventure with the drained battery, it's likely that such use will result in your battery being incapable of firing up that giant V8. Really, it's a scenario that seems likely for many such super cars. It's the reason Aston Martins come with a battery disconnect switch in the trunk, er, boot.
So there, some helpful consumer advice. Buy a battery tender.
James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 15,470 miles
January 30, 2013
This morning I came down to my garage to move the Mercedes-Benz SLS Roadster out of my tandem parking space to let my wife out. The SLS started up with its normal uproarious vigor, as if engaged by the hammer of Thor himself. Seriously, it's glorious.
Anyway, I pulled forward to let my wife out, turned on the map light for some reason, and backed the SLS into its spot again. Approximately one hour later I returned to the garage to go for my first real drive in what could easily become my favorite long-term car ever.
Ruh-roh. The keyless entry isn't working. Try again, again, again. Nothing. OK, pull out the little key within the fob, unlock the door and get in. Everything seems to be normal as all the usual displays are on. I have completely forgotten about the map light. Push the starter button, nothing. Ruh-roh again. I reach back and plug the key fob into its home in the little bin behind the center console. There is what I can only describe as an electrical pop, followed by everything other than the engine coming on in the car. COMAND, HVAC system, everything is running as normal, which makes me doubt the obvious prognosis of dead battery.
What in the world is going on?
January 28, 2013
Last week we explored the myriad tire pressure settings of our 2013 Porsche 911 Cabriolet.
Curious as to whether or not our high-powered Mercedes had a similar tire-pressure issue, I dove into the owner's manual to find out.
The answer? Yes. And no.