1991 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 1991 Mercedes-Benz 300SL as reported by actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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29
Known Problems

Other than a defective motor, a bad switch or blower motor resistor assembly can cause an inoperative heater blower motor.

A refrigerant leak may develop from one or more of the following AC components: AC compressor, hose manifold for the compressor, or the evaporator core. The loss of refrigerant can cause poor AC performance. Our technicians tell us that proper leak diagnoses should be performed in order to determine the cause of any refrigerant loss.

A rough running motor or lack of power can be caused by a failed distributor cap or rotor, ignition wires (or their resistors), or valve cover gasket leaks. If the valve cover gasket leaks, oil can pool where the ignition wire resistor connects to the spark plug. The resistor can fail and the spark plug may not fire because of a short circuit through the oil.

A vibration felt through the center floor of the vehicle can be caused by cracked and/or shredded driveshaft flex discs, resulting in excessive driveshaft movement. If not repaired, damage to the driveshaft center support bearing, transmission, or differential can occur.

The lower control arm bushings can wear and crack, leading to irregular and premature tire wear. Worn Ball joints can also cause similar tire wear problems. I some cases it may be necessary to replace the lower control arm, including bushings & ball joint to correct this concern.

The emissions air injection pump can seize, causing a loud squealing noise followed by smoke from the drive belt. If the engine is not turned off, the belt will break, turning on the alternator/battery warning light.

The electronic throttle assembly may suffer an electrical failure. It is often cheaper to send the valve to a service center for repair that to purchase a new part.

The tie rod ends, idler arm, and/or drag link components of the steering linkage may wear prematurely. Please keep in mind the wheel alignment should be checked and adjusted when any of these items are replaced.

On high usage vehicles, the ignition lock may become difficult to turn due to wear of the ignition lock and tumblers. Replacement of the ignition lock cylinder will generally be required to correct this concern.

A coolant leak may develop form the Radiator due to degradation of its plastic components. Replacement of the failed radiator will be necessary.

Internal and External engine oil & coolant leaks can develop from the head gasket and/or timing cover gasket; these leaks should be repaired before the engine oil and coolant intermix which can result in severe engine damage.

As brake fluid becomes dirty over time, it can cause a failure of the anti-lock brake system (ABS) modulator assembly. Our technicians recommend a complete brake system flush every two years to help prevent this issue.

The brakes may begin to squeak at about the 50 percent wear point. This is due to the size and material used for the brake pads and rotors.  The brake rotor surfaces become uneven, causing a lip to form at the outer edge. This will generally require replacement of the rotors when the pads are worn (pad life varies depending on driving style and terrain).

A coolant leak may develop from the water pump. When replacing the water pump, the drive belt tensioner should be inspected and most likely replaced as well.

 

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