Mercedes-Benz SL500 Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the Mercedes-Benz SL500 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 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.

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

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 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.

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.

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.

A knocking noise from the front end can be caused by cracked strut tower bushings.

The evaporator temperature sensor can fail, causing the AC compressor not to cycle. If the AC compressor does not turn on, the AC system will not blow cold air. If the compressor is stuck on, the air will be very cold at first, before warming up.

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.

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

Bad spark plug wires can cause misfires; the Check Engine Light may illuminate.

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.

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.