From 2005 to 2011, German manufacturer Mercedes-Benz produced the R171 SLK Class luxury roadster. These vehicles were the second generation of the SLK class, which were ‘sport, light, coupes.’ These compact German sports cars delivered high performance, accelerating from 0 to 60 in just under 4.3 seconds. Because these vehicles were so sporty and fun to drive, many can still be found racing around highways today. Though, the Mercedes-Benz SLK Class R171 is touted as mechanically sound, many drivers complain of mechanical problems with their cars.
Some SLK Class R171 owners complain of gearbox problems with their vehicles, particularly those with low mileage. The problem usually presents itself quite suddenly, as the driver can be cruising along and the vehicle abruptly shifts itself into neutral with the engine still running. This can be extremely frightening, especially if it occurs at a high rate of speed! Turning the vehicle off and then back on usually temporarily solves the issue, but definitely is not a long term solution.
This problem presents an extremely dangerous situation for vehicle occupants and should be evaluated immediately by a professional. Mercedes-Benz has issued a Technical Service Bulletin for the transmission control module in the R171 SLK Class related to this issue. Because an incorrect repair can directly affect the ability of the vehicle to shift properly while driving, we do not recommend that the home mechanic attempt this repair.
Your local Mercedes-Benz service technicians will be able to reference the Technical Service Bulletin and any other information Mercedes-Benz has released, related to the repairs. They will be able to discover if anything is covered under warranty and work with you to find a solution to the problem.
Search for a local, independent Mercedes-Benz repair shop with Mercedes-Benz mechanics that have dealer-level expertise at a fraction of the expense.