2003 Mercedes-Benz S500 4MATIC Problems
RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 2003 Mercedes-Benz S500 4MATIC as reported by actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.Refine by vehicle
The engine may develop a stalling and/or no start condition due to a failed crankshaft position sensor.
The door for the vanity mirror (or the frame for the door) can break; due to a redesign, the mirror "cassette" will need replacement.
A vibration felt through the center floor of the vehicle can be caused by driveshaft flex discs, which crack and shred, causing excessive driveshaft movement. Not repairing these can cause damage to the driveshaft center support bearing, or, in the worst case scenario, damage to the transmission or differential.
An engine Oil leak may develop from the PCV vent housing on the valve cover and/or the inspection plate on the front of the engine.
High mileage or older vehicles commonly develop leaks from the differential seals and/or cover. Our technicians recommend a complete reseal of the differential unit whenever these leaks are repaired.
Due to the size and material used on the brakes of these vehicles, the brakes may start to squeak around the 50 percent wear point. The brake rotor surfaces become uneven, causing a lip to form at the outer edge of the rotor. Because of this, the rotors are usually replaced when the pads are worn (pad life varies depending on driving style and terrain).
Front thrust arm and control arm bushings can crack and sometimes tear completely. If this is not repaired quickly, damage to the front subframe unit will occur, which is very expensive to repair. Updated control arms (that prevent damage to the subframe when the bushings wear out) are available.
The center console armrest can break. Replacement is commonly the recommended repair.
Analog Tele Aid units are no longer supported and must be updated to digital, preferably at a dealership or a well-equipped independent shop. The update and all related factors should be completed at the same time.
The rubber bond in the harmonic balancer can decay, which causes the balancer to move and work its way toward the timing cover. If the balancer comes into contact with the timing cover while the engine is running, it will fracture and damage the cover and potentially other surrounding parts. The harmonic balancer should be inspected at every service.
The electrical connector at the automatic transmission may leak fluid into the wiring harness. If not repaired, the oil will migrate through the wiring harness and damage the transmission control module. A new harness and control module may be necessary to correct this problem.
CD changers, command units, voice control units, PSE units, and Tele Aid units are prone to failure, especially in early models.