Problems with the pneumatic system can cause closing assist and door lock issues.
Problems for specific Mercedes-Benz S500 years:
Car problem reports
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Most reported 1996 Mercedes-Benz S500 problems
The crankshaft position sensor may fail. Symptoms of this are: The engine will crank—but not start—especially when the engine is warm. The car may start again if it is left to cool off, but it may run roughly or have poor performance.
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).
The engine wiring can degrade because the insulating material falls off leaving the bare wire exposed. This can cause many problems depending on which wires are exposed and what they touch.
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.
Due to exposure to the sun, lenses for head lights may become opaque (cloudy or hazy). This reduces the effectiveness of the lights. Our technicians tell us plastic polishes can improve the clarity of the lenses, but replacement of the lamp housings is the only way to regain the full intensity of the lights.
Other than a defective motor, a bad switch or blower motor resistor assembly can cause an inoperative heater blower motor.
The climate control system can fail or perform erratically due to internal problems with the climate control button electrical contacts. Replacement of the climate control assembly is commonly required to correct this problem.
Vehicles with automatic level control that ride harshly in the rear (no give in the suspension) may have one or both dampening actuators which have failed. It is commonly recommended the actuators be replaced in pairs.
A cracked or broken heater core outlet housing can cause a coolant leak near the bulkhead (firewall). Our technicians remind us that coolant leaks should be repaired in order to avoid overheating the engine due to coolant loss.
A faulty mass air flow (MAF) sensor can cause erratic/rough engine operation and fuel economy issues. Since this sensor measures the actual amount of air entering the motor, when it fails, the engine control module (ECM) takes the wrong information and delivers incorrect volumes of fuel to the cylinders.
One or more of the following steering linkage components may wear prematurely; tie rod ends, drag link, or idler arm. Our technicians remind us the wheel alignment should be checked and adjusted if any of these items are replaced.
High mileage vehicles may develop a leak from one or more of the transmission oil seals.