2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster Long-Term Road Test

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG: 30,000 Miles

September 11, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

The Edmunds.com staff loves driving the long-term 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG, so much so that it just crossed the 30,000-mile mark. It came to us with over 14K miles on the clock less than nine months ago, and I imagine most SLS owners don't hit this kind of mileage in their first year of ownership. Over the last 10,000 miles the car has seen quite a few service visits, mostly related to its problematic convertible top, but for a few minor issues as well.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster: Loose Driver Seat

August 29, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

We've now driven our beloved Mercedes SLS AMG Roadster about 15,000 miles since December and a small problem has come up. Its driver seat has become a bit loose in its mounts. It isn't a big deal, but you can feel it when you're driving the car.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster: Great Customer Service

July 30, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

When I pulled into the service area of W.I. Simonson Mercedes-Benz my hair was on fire. Thirty minutes earlier the SLS's top had broken for the third time and I was over it.

With steam pouring from my ears I cycled the top for the first dealer employee that appeared. Between the look on my face and the busted piece of trim slapping against the red quarter panel, he quickly assessed the situation and ran off to get someone with some power. He returned with Babs Hamilton.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster: Detailing

July 29, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

This engine bay is filthy. Our 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster gets hand-washed weekly and yet this affront to purists everywhere has apparently gone unnoticed. I recently had a friend and fellow auto-journalist ask to see the engine bay and, to my dismay, it was covered in a thick layer of dust and shame. This earth-moving 6.2-liter V8 deserves better.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster: Wheel Finish Issues

July 23, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

After more than 27,000 miles of driving, the black finish on two of the SLS's wheels is beginning to peel. The wheels on the driver side are perfect, but the two on the passenger side are looking worn.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS: 20 Days at the Dealer

July 15, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS

Finally. The Roadster portion of our 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS is again fully operational. It was a long process, totaling 20 days. Take the jump for details.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster: Final Top Repair

July 9, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

The final piece to fix the convertible top on our 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster has arrived. Some damage was done to the headliner when the convertible top failed a few weeks ago. We dropped the car off bright and early one morning at W.I. Simonson Mercedes-Benz in Santa Monica for the necessary repairs. This was after a few weeks of driving around with the top up.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster: Dead Again

June 6, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

So the convertible top is broken on our 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster...again.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG: Tire Wear

May 27, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

Supercars aren't cheap. Owning and maintaining one isn't cheap, either. As a 99-percenter, I suppose it's easy to speculate that if you have a quarter-million to drop on a plaything, you can afford everything that comes with it.

Just as our SLS AMG term comes to an end (sniff, sniff), we had to take it in for repairs for the convertible top again. The service writer gave our car the usual once over and pointed out the tire wear.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster: Convertible Top Failure (Redux)

May 16, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

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.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS: Another Positive Service Experience

April 22, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS

So the convertible top on our 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS is broken. Travis detailed the initial problem. And Josh showed you the pieces. We called on the dealer to put it back together.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster: Top Repair Pick Up

April 11, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

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.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster: Top Repair Drop Off

April 8, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

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.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roaster: Broken Convertible Top

April 4, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roaster

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.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS Convertible: Convertible Top Failure

April 1, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS Convertible

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.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS: Reverse Lock-Out Warning

March 28, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS

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.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS: Windshield Repair

March 25, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS

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.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster: Rock Eats Windshield

March 19, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

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.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS: 20,000-Mile Service

March 12, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS

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.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS: 20,000-Mile Service Estimate

March 11, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS

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."

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG: No More Snow Tires

March 8, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG

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

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS: Snow Tires Mounted

February 20, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS

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.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster: Winter Tires Have Arrived

February 15, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

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.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster: Winter Tires

February 12, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

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.

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS Roadster: Buy a Battery Tender

January 31, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS Roadster

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

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS Roadster: Battery Trouble

January 30, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS Roadster

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?

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2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster: Go Fast Tire Pressure

January 28, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster

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.

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