The Mercedes 722 at Brooklands – 15/9/21.

This is a little blog about my afternoon out at the Brooklands Mercedes-Benz World (UK) this week.

So my R172 has an annoying injector noise that can be heard with the roof down @ 50mph, plus twice now I’ve had engine misfire while either taking long sweeping bends or exiting hair pin bends, even with a 75% fuel load, as though it’s having fuel starvation…? (Results in Engine codes: P030100 + P030200 + P030300) I say lucky, removing the key & restarting the engine clears the misfire & EML, but still “Not Ideal”

Not only does the EML come on, but able to pull these codes with my iCarsoft Diag Tool.

So after this happened a second time, I had a phone conversation with the Service Department at Mercedes-Benz World where I asked if they would be any better than my local MB franchise dealer with regards to AMG engine problems? The response was “Well we do look after all the AMG track cars here” and for anyone who has done a passenger ride at Mercedes-Benz World, they will confirm that they get driven hard…!!

Now the Brooklands Service department does have an excellent MOT viewing area with free coffee:

Mercedes-Benz Brooklands – MOT viewing area.

But watching a Software update from a distance is similar to watching paint dry, so as it was a sunny afternoon, I sat outside in the cafe seating area with a coffee half watching the AMG C63’s out on the track:

This was interrupted by something very different out on the track, that didn’t sound like a modern AMG, so went to investigate and after asking one of the many staff members that had also come out for this vehicle, was advised that the famous Stirling Moss – Mercedes 722 was being giving a run out in preparation for the Goodwood Revival this weekend.

Winter R172 SLK/SLC Storage Tips

With winter well & truly setting in here in the Northern Hemisphere and sunny days becoming few & far between, here are some winter storage tips to consider for your R172 Roadster:

> Before parking your R172 up for the winter, take your SLK/SLC for a good 30 minutes plus run out on a dry day before parking it up. This final drive will help reduce the condensation in the Engine that a cold start produces, but this run out also reduces the amount of moisture in the body panels.
Also make sure the brake pads are dry, especially if you washed the car just before putting it away or parking it up:

> Also run the Air Con for ~15 minutes during the first part of the 30 minutes of a run out, then turn the Air-con off during the second half of this final run, to dry the ventilation system out. The lubricants in the refrigerant keep the seals gas-tight, which is the reason for using the Air-Con on a regular bases, regardless of the roof being up or down!
This is especially important for newer R172’s that have “R1234yf” Refrigerant that is slightly more environmentally friendly, but on the down side more prone to leaking….. (Older R172’s have the original cheaper, less flammable “R123” Refrigerant)

> If safe to do so & the wheels are chocked, leave the hand brake off – Not so easy on the SLC, which is applied automatically as soon as the drivers door is opened…

> Pump the tyres up to ~38 to 40psi to help stop the tyres getting a flat spot – As the cold weather sets in they may well be well below the recommended pressure anyway… (Just remember to adjust the pressure to the correct value, when going for the first run out in the spring..!!) Additionally if the Handbrake if off, you have a manual R172 and space permitting, rolling the car back ever so often, then forth every so often will help with the weight of the car sitting on a different part of the tyre.

> Though the petrol SLK/SLC fuel tank is sealed, better to leave it fairly full of decent quality 98+ Octane fuel during any period of non-use, to help reduce condensation in the tank and also leaving the walls of your fuel tank exposed during storage can invite corrosion in the presence of moisture, especially if the fuel contains Ethanol. Here in the UK, all petrol fuel now has to have at least 5% Ethanol, but at least the pumps now have to be labelled – So don’t fill with “E10”, un-less you have no choice. The Ethanol content of the petrol does not store well for long periods in a cars fuel tank, so fuel stabiliser could be considered if the car if likely to sit for periods in excess of 3 to 6 months?

> Consider changing the Engine oil, before laying the car up for winter, not after being laid up. Better to have fresh oil, than heavily contaminated oil sitting in the engine over the winter..

> Allowing a car battery to go flat can damage the battery & will shorten it’s life. If the battery is well charged, the battery will last 4 to 6 weeks, but after this & especially if the battery was not fully charged before being laid up, starting your R172 could be a problem. On any modern car including the R172, trying to start the car with a near flat battery will throw error codes and course electrical gremlins..
Running a car while stationary to purely charge the battery is not good for the engine. So if mains power is available, connect the car to a Battery Trickle Charger like the “CTEK MXS 5.0” model that is used by many SLK/SLC owners – Accessing the battery under it’s cover is not so easy, so using the “Jump Starter Point” can be a better option:

Custom CTEK Indicator Lead – Connected to the R172 Jump Point.

> A Car Cover is another option especially if the car is parked under trees, but only fit them on a clean car as the grit under the car cover could scratch the car – Also make sure the cover is a good fit, to minimize rubbing of the paint work..!!

> If a car cover is not used, a Fabric Wheel covers or a shaped piece of ply board might be another option for outside storage, to stop the rain making the brake disks rusty..??

> For R172’s lucky enough to be stored in a UK garage with mains power, whether in regular use or stored for the winter, my final recommendation is a “Desiccant Dehumidifier” to help control how damp the car gets in the garage. The “Desiccant” part is important, as it allows the Dehumidifier to continue working down to ~3’c. Reducing the Humidity helps to stop the brake disks going rusty and also reduces corrosion on the electrical connectors. A model that I’ve used successfully for a number of years is the “EcoAir DD122FW MK5 CLASSIC Desiccant Dehumidifier” and can be found on-line for around £158 (November 2020)

DD122FW CLASSIC MK5 – Recommendation for Damp UK Garages.

So those are My winter storage tips, feel free to comment below, or add your own tips.

Remembrance Sunday – 2020.

On this “Lock Down” Remembrance Sunday, it reminds me our visit to one of the many War Memorials in Northern France.

Last June on our last day in France on route to Calais, we first enjoyed the lovely tree lined roads that France has to offer if you allow time to avoid the Peage Motorway Network.

Road Side Poppy’s in France

The “D996” running North from “Dijon” may only have a 80km/hour speed limit, but on a sunny Sunday morning made for some fine top down driving in the French country side:

The “D996” North of Dijon – France.

Having done a Google search, we re-joined the Peage Network to get some km’s under the tyres, before visiting the “Thiepval Memorial” More info here:
This impressive memorial to the missing of the Somme is one of the largest of its kind in the world. The white panels around the base contain 73,000 names of the soldiers who were killed during the fighting on the Somme, but have no known grave.

Thiepval Memorial – Northern France.

Though the visitors centre was just closing when we arrived, we could still walk around the Memorial and reflect on the sheer number of names on the panels… (Best visited late afternoon or early morning for fitting pictures)

Thiepval Memorial – France.

The information panel below shows the location and how the trees have grown since 1932:

From the Thiepval Memorial, it was an easy drive back to Calais for our evening crossing back to England:

RIP – Sean Connery

Sorry to hear that Sean Connery passed away yesterday, aged 90…

Though some of the early James Bond films looked a bit wooden to today’s Blockbuster standards, I away’s enjoyed the scenery and locations that 007 visited. One that always brings a smile was the filming of the 1964 Gold Finger Film on Furka Pass in Switzerland:

Having subsequently driven over Furka Pass on a number of “Euro Road Trips” I’d definitely recommend adding this to the bucket list of any SLK/SLC owner planning a driving trip to the Alps.