TRANSMISSION - Check for vibrations at 30mph and 70mph — it could be the propshaft’s rubber doughnut coupling. Oil can leak from the ECU’s connection into the auto’box (a new rubber plug is £12). Faulty brake pedal switch can lock the ’box in Park; use the manual override below the shift lever.
ELECTRICAL - Water ingress can flood the boot, shorting the central locking module.
RUNNING GEAR - Brakes and suspension rarely give trouble but the steering lock can seize. One fix is to drill out the locking pin.
BODY - Check the active rear spoiler works (rises at 60mph, falls at 40mph). If it doesn’t, a faulty switch requires expensive replacement of the switch bank on the dash. The cabrio’s folding roof should be watertight. Thick steel body is a challenge for dent repairers.
CORROSION - Rear wheel arch lips hold muck and water, causing paint bubbling and rust. Boot catch sponge seal holds water, leading to the same.
INTERIOR - Check switches work and, on early cars, that the cupholder works. Check roller-blind luggage cover is present.
Also worth knowing:
Parts exclusive to the Crossfire, such as body panels, are expensive; otherwise save money by buying parts shared with the SLK from suppliers like Euro Car Parts. For servicing, the model is pretty simple, so any good workshop will be okay.
How much to spend:
£1500-£2750 - Early 03-04 cars (mainly auto and manual coupés) from 50k-130k miles.
£2800-£3995 - Tidier, early coupés up to 70k miles and 07-reg; some higher-mileage cabrios.
£4000-£5495 - Reasonable mile cabrios to 06-reg.
£5500-£7495 - Plenty of tidy 06-reg convertibles up to 60k miles, plus lower-mileage coupés.
£7500-£9995 - The best late and low-miles drop-tops, plus SRT-6 coupés and convertibles. The best of the latter go to £14,000.
One we found:
CHRYSLER CROSSFIRE 3.2 AUTO CONVERTIBLE, 2006/06, 67K MILES, £4490 This two-owner, dealer-sale soft-top is an eyeful in red with grey leather. If you prefer the coupé, the same money buys a cherished one-owner 05-reg in pretty much the same spec, with 59k miles and a full service history.