The Mercedes Benz SL Class Fifth Generation (R230), 2001-2012, was unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show in the fall of 2001. This German import was offered as a 5-speed or 7-speed automatic, and was featured in a variety of impressive editions during its decade of production, such as the SL 63 AMG Edition IWC, the Grand Edition, and the SL Night Edition. Nevertheless, this German automobile, like any make and model, has a few common malfunctions, such as hard top roof problems.
More specifically, the driver and passenger side flaps can individually fail to extend fully, which results in the micro switch failing to engage. A cable drives these flaps by moving each small plate, which connects to a gear. If the metal plate becomes warped, the connection fails. Your R230 might be in need of a stronger, replacement plate.
Some owners have successfully replaced these parts with a do-it-yourself kit. Others drivers, however, have reported trouble situating the plates so that they can engage the gear teeth. The pieces can slip and lose contact, and it can be tricky to install the parts so that everything fits and the trunk can be reattached, as well.
Consulting an independent German import expert can save money and prevent frustration. The proper tools and resources will be immediately available to these specialized technicians, yet they can offer cost-effective solutions. Moreover, these mechanics will have experience with your German roadster and its common issues, so they will already be familiar with the most likely causes of roof failure, and they will be aware of recalls and warranties specific to your make and model.
Search for a local, independent Mercedes-Benz repair shop with Mercedes-Benz mechanics that have dealer-level expertise at a fraction of the expense.