Loss of Power Steering Due to Leaking Steering Rack on Mercedes-Benz ML350

It is not uncommon for the power steering rack to develop a fluid leak requiring replacement of the rack assembly. Loss of power steering fluid may also cause an abnormal noise and damage to the power steering pump.

RepairPal Verified
Average mileage: 80,820 (31,500–200,000)
10 model years affected: 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, more2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
106 people reported this problem
53 people shared problem details
My 2008 ML350 has developed a very tight steering issue, especially when stopped or moving slowly. The driver can feel flat spots when trying to turn the wheel and the wheel is very difficult to turn. After a decent amount of driving time, it seems to ease up, but for shorter commutes the hard steering lasts the entire time. Power steering fluid has been topped off but wasn't noticeably low when checked. This is a safty concern and it worries me that Mercedes is aware of this, due to the number of customer complaints, and has done nothing about this. Many of these vehicles are driven by females, namely mothers with children, and this problem should be looked into and a permanent repair should come from Mercedes.
50 people like thisFlag inappropiate
Had to replace the power steering at 59000 miles. Just learned that there was a recall. I was never notified of this by the dealer since I did not own the vehicle when I they sent out notices. So aggravated and seeking recourse.
14 people like thisFlag inappropiate
I can't believe it. I just paid off my car and now I have to deal with expensive repairs. This is my 2nd Mercedes. I will never buy another one again.
9 people like thisFlag inappropiate
My car has been leaking power steering fluid since about 110,000 miles. I now constantly replace the fluid on a regular basis rather than paying the $1500 repair cost.
3 people like thisFlag inappropiate
Noticed leakage on garage floor. Placed drip pan underneath and determined that leakage was power steering fluid. Took to dealer (7th MB, always take to dealer-better results). Dealer said probably steering rack. Options: 1) replace rack, ~$3,000 or 2) install "seal replacement kit", ~1,500. Plan to keep vehicle as has been bulletproof till now. Mech found leak where P/S fluid reservoir attaches to pump and resealed it. Brought home, cleaned garage floor and parked truck. Next day noticed more leakage. Back to dealer. Now mech finds leak at the input shaft on the steering rack, same options. Upon questioning mech says the dealer (small dealership) has done this replacement (option 2) several times and has had no come-back on it so I went with that. Job is labor intensive in that to remove steering rack, the front differential and a support member have to be removed and replaced. Obvious MB knows of this issue but haven't been able to find any MB tech bulletin on it.
3 people like thisFlag inappropiate
Just learned that my steering rack is leaking and needs to be replaced. $1500 for the parts plus $600 labor. Called Mercedes, they told me there is no recall on that.
3 people like thisFlag inappropiate
Power steering leak replaced the unit holding fluid starting to leak 50,000 miles later or 2 years.
3 people like thisFlag inappropiate
I heard a loud noise when I was trying to steer, I took it to a local shop and said all the power steering liquid had leaked out. Took it to the dealer and said the power steering seals needed to be replaced.
1 person likes thisFlag inappropiate
ML350 made winding sound when putting vehicle in motion. Sound would go away as vehicle sped up, but would return when slowing down at lights or to make turns. Discovered small leak of power steering fluid. First look it appears from the hose and not reservoir.
1 person likes thisFlag inappropiate
The car was making loud noises. Took it to my mechanic and he said the steering rack is leaking and it will cost me $2,000 to fix it.
power steering fluid leak
Noticed after a month purchase My power steering was low and the steering wheel made screeching sounds and the car started idleing high. Checked the reservoir and it was empty mechanic replaced the fluid and approximately two weeks later the steering wheel was screeching again
Power steering pump failed due to added pressure from leaky/failed steering rack. Replaced rack & pump....expensive!
At 60,000 mil and 67,000 mil Replace seals in spring of two consecutive years after a bad winter. The following year, after a long trip, heard crunch sound and low power steering fluid. (Power steering pump had to be replace and had a loose tie rod.) They said that eventually I need to replace the power steering rack. (Too expensive at the time ) A Slow leak was found (Just Check over time and top off power steering fluid as needed). After that year, Hear crunch sound again. and Finally I'm going to have to (Shell out about $2,900.00) to have it fixed) It is a little more expensive than some Mercedes dealership but they make sure it is done right I won't have any problems in the future with their work.
Tough to steer when breaks have been applied, very hard to maneuver. Giving it gas makes it release a bit but it's very dangerous. Looking for solution, not notified by pre-owned dealer of the issue. Mechanics have not been able to identify the problem, just told me to find out if there was a recall on my vehicle. Purchased in Santa Clara, Ca. I've since moved.
replace rackinopion
Fluid had been leaking from steering rack & reservoir for about six months. Had to keep adding fluid and was making a mess in the driveway. Wanted it fixed before winter. Both items were replaced by dealer.
Leaving from a red light the power steering indicator lit up on dash. Had it towed to dealer and they are replacing the whole rack.
This vehicle has had ongoing issues with leaking power steering fluid, after both official recall services for the "hose clamp issue" (2005-prev owner, Nov 2008 at Barrier Motors, Bellevue) Jan 2009 (86,219)- Loss of power steering fluid (burning smell) and steering column noise led to service visit where they CHARGED ME to replace O ring and gasket. Aug 2009 (92,353)- Reported ongoing steering fluid leak smell during oil change, they found another fluid (oil) leak at housing; had to replace oil filter assy, O rings. Mar 2010 (98,095)- Had oil change elsewhere, they had to refill steering fluid. Sep 2010 (105,593)- Steering fluid burning smell and steering column noise came back. They admitted fluid had been lost "below min range" and that mounting flange (not inspected Jan 09) source of leak, needed replacement (N/C). Apr 2011 (119,950)- Steering fluid had to be refilled during B service visit. Jun 2013 (139,715)- Steering fluid had to be refilled during B service visit. Sep 2014 (155,578)- During B service, small steering fluid leak discovered, fluid had to be refilled. Clearly the root cause of this issue has not been properly identified! Mercedes has not properly addressed this (design failure?) Service depts are only catching the symptoms as they are reported. It is logical to speculate that the entire power steering assembly suffers abnormal wear and tear from these ongoing issues. I want to know what Mercedes-Benz plans to do about this ongoing failure issue that costs customers time, mileage, vehicle wear and money.
same issue of whining noise on turns at slow speeds and fluid on garage floor noticed as well. Took to trusted mechanic and he confirmed the rack.pinion steering needs to be replaced. H e topped off the fluid and sent me away to think about the $2,000 repair. Parts should be somewhere around $700 (aftermarket/refurb) to $1200 (OEM). Labor should be around 5-7 hours or about $500-$700 dollars. What a mess...
Related Items:
I have not been able to figure out where the leak is exactly, but right after i put more power...
The power steering return hose may leak at the radiator cooler fitting. If the clamp is not properly tightened, the hose can blow off, causing increased steering effort and a mess under the hood.
On inspection a small leak of oil was noticed. What is the time & coast of labor for this repa...
Hello, My car is having trouble shifting down from 2nd to 1st gear. Now it was low on steer...
Oil leaks can develop around the oil filter housing.

Related Content