2003 Mercedes-Benz SL500 Problems
RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 2003 Mercedes-Benz SL500 based on complaints from actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.
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.
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.
The engine may develop a stalling and/or no start condition due to a failed crankshaft position sensor.
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.
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.
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, resulting excessive movement at the control arm pivot point, leading to irregular and premature tire wear. Worn Ball joints can also cause similar tire wear symptoms. I some cases it may be necessary to replace the lower control arm, including bushings & ball joint to correct this concern.
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 early versions of the central gateway module (which allows different systems to communicate with each other) have software problems.
Leaks in the pneumatic system will cause problems with the dynamic seats and the trunk and/or door closing assist.
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.