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Mercedes-Benz 500SL Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the Mercedes-Benz 500SL based on complaints from actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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26
Known Problems

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

Ports in the cylinder head related to the emissions air injection and EGR systems can clog; the cylinder head should be removed and the ports cleaned.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

Due to wear, high usage vehicles can experience ignition lock and tumbler failures. The ignition lock cylinder will generally require replacement 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.

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).

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