Mercedes-Benz 300SL Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 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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Known Problems

The head lamp wipers are easily damaged, especially by automatic car washes.

The lenses for head lights may become opaque (cloudy or hazy) as a result of sun exposure. This can reduce 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 necessary to regain full intensity of the lights.

The cooling system hoses may fail unexpectedly. The hoses can look good on the outside, but the rubber can degrade and erode on the inside. If not carefully checked, the hoses can burst at any time.

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.

Motor mounts commonly fail, causing engine vibrations to be transferred to the body. Failed motor mounts should be replaced in order to prevent damage to the transmission mount.

As vehicles age, various problems may develop with the hard and soft tops. If problems are encountered, it would be recommended to have a technician familiar with these tops perform the diagnoses.

High mileage vehicles may develop a transmission fluid leak from one or more of the oil seals.


A worn steering dampening shock can cause a fluid leak at the front of the vehicle. If a leak is noted from the dampening shock, our technicians tell us that it should be replaced.

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.

The bushings for the shifter lever wear out to the point where they break and fall out. This causes excessive movement (loose feel) in the shifter lever and a clanging-type noise when changing gears.

A knocking noise from the front end can be caused by cracked strut tower bushings.
The part that attaches the distributor rotor to the camshaft can break; the starter will still crank, but the engine will not start.
Fuel leaks, erratic or rough engine operation, and fuel economy issues can be caused by the failure of a fuel system component called the EHA (electro-hydraulic actuator) valve.