2003 Mercedes-Benz SL500 Repair and Maintenance

A guide to problems, costs, maintenance and repair for your 2003 Mercedes-Benz SL500

The active body control system can leak fluid from numerous areas, including the tandem pump, hydraulic lines, struts, and/or seals. If it is not repaired, the vehicle ride height could drop too low and cause damage to the undercarriage.

The engine may develop a stalling and/or no start condition due to a failed crankshaft position sensor.

Leaks may develop from the differential cover and/or seals on high mileage or older vehicles. Our technicians recommend a complete reseal of the differential unit if these leaks are addressed.

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There is a faulty software calibration that affects several areas including shutting off the fuel supply in a collision. This could cause a fire hazard during an accident. Dealers will reprogram this software. The Mercedes-Benz recall number is 2008 070001. This recall began during August, 2008.

Due to deterioration of the wiring harness connection or failure of the hydraulic pump, the sensotronic brake control (SBC) system may default to the hydraulic back-up mode. In the back-up mode, the driver has braking power sufficient to stop the vehicle, but greater brake pedal pressure is required and brake pedal travel will be noticeably longer. Dealers will install a bracket and replacement ground wire to the SBC pump unit on all affected vehicles. Additionally, dealers will inspect and replace the SSC pump unit in certain SL models. The Mercedes-Benz recall numbers are 2005070007 AND 2005110001.


High mileage combined with a high number of brake actuations, or a high brake actuation frequency, can cause the pump motor of the SBC to run out of permissible tolerances. As a result, excessively high pressure may build the high pressure line of the brake system. If this occurs, the system will switch into the hydraulic function mode as designed. Sensotronic brake control is disabled when the brake system is functioning in the hydraulic mode. Dealers will inspect the SBC hydraulic unit and replace it if necessary to correct this concern. The Mercedes-Benz recall number is 2004 050014.

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Worse car I have ever owned. Something on it breaks at least once a month sometimes more. I've owned it almost a year and have put maybe 6k miles on it and have spent about 12k on maintenance. She's like a hot super model, beautiful to look at, fun to ride but every time I get in her she cost me money.

THIS CAR BLOWS!! and i dont mean like a supercharger....nothing but problems on an 03 with 44k miles from private dealer: 1)battery control module = replaced 2)200amp "pre-fuse" = replaced 3)gas tank = needs to be replaced (spot weld baffle breaks and starts making clanging noise) 4)motor mount BROKEN = needs to be replaced 5)brakes wore down in 5000 iles = replaced 6) moisture causes ESP...

I bought this car with 55000 miles, by the time it hit 61000 ils,I have to replace the transmission gear box. It won't shift from Park to R-N-D any one of this positions,it costs $650 to put a new gear-shift box in. NOW,on Oct 1 2012, with 67000 ils; you know what!!! It blew the hydraulic line under the car,all the hydraulic fluid leaking out,it cost $1700 to get it fixed. In order to keep thi...

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