In a recent episode of Everyday Driver, the two hosts each competed in a cheap car challenge to find the best convertible sports car with rear-wheel drive and a manual transmission for under $7,500. The cars they bought were an E85 BMW Z4 and a Mercedes-Benz SLK. While they were mostly in good condition, they were both old cars that had been neglected for most of their lives. So there was bound to be issues. In this new video, we see those issues.
Admittedly, neither car is in truly bad shape. The BMW Z4 has over 115,000 miles and seems as if it’s only had about one brake change in its entire life, with no other real work done to it. Because of that, just about every bushing in its suspension is bad, which is causing slack in its handling and poor steering feel. However, its replaced Bilstein shocks made a big difference.
As for the Mercedes-Benz SLK, just about the same things can be said but it also has a leak in its metal folding hard-top.
To be honest, for their age and neglect, both cars seem to have held up relatively well over the years. They both run and drive well enough to use on a regular basis and they both look decent enough, even if both cars do have their blemishes, inside and out. This video does prove that neglect can cause issues and, as owners, we should all be more vigilant.
Admittedly, neither car has any catastrophic issues, just signs of both wear and neglect. So, in a way, it also shows how durable these two cars are, which sort of goes against the notion that old German cars are money pits. So if you just maintain your car; change out suspension parts before they’re completely useless, change brakes at frequent intervals, change oil and all wear and tear items; and your car will last many, many years.