Active Body Control System Can Leak Hydraulic Fluid on Mercedes-Benz SL500

Problem Description and Possible Solution

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.

Problem Data
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Average mileage: 80,478 (2,000–170,000)
10 model years affected: 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006
203 people reported this problem
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Viewing 1 - 20 of 111 comments
I was informed that the hydrulic pump is going out and needs to be replaced at a cost of $1610.00 for parts and $845.00 for labor and also the rear right strut is bad and also needs to be replaced at a cost of $1310.00 parts and $560.00 labor ...among a few other things that would total about $5500.00 to repair everything....i'm in such a dilemma of what to do....i LOVE my car but i'm really hesitate to put that kinda money into it thinking that lots of other very costly things may be getting ready to go wrong with it...i've heard that stuff tends to start breaking at about 100k miles ....anyone have any suggestions or insight or personal experience with any of this???? i would GFREATLY APPRECIATE ANY INFO!!!!
2004 Mercedes-Benz SL500 82,000 mi,
I replaced the tandem pump and the car was fine, for about two days! Now, the "ABC warning" light comes on in red, saying "car too low". the suspension will raise one side of the car, and lower the other. Or, sometimes, the car will run just fine. Can anyone PLEASE give me some guidance on how to fix this?
2003 Mercedes-Benz SL500 141,000 mi,
heard a bursting sound. stop car looked under car. hydraulic fluid leaking near left front tire. hoping its a hose! at dealer now
my '03 sl500 is LOPSIDED!! in order to get into my garage and drive in the city, i need to have my car at the highest lift level and I've had nothing but problems with the ABS system since I bought my car...course MB made this fix and that fix while it was under warranty but the problems persisted. Now, everytime I leave my car for longer than an hour, the left side of it drops...fortunately, when I get in and push the lift button (technically turning it off) the car rights itself, then I just press the button down twice and the car lifts itself again...but this just CAN'T be normal...HELP
I get the ABC warning signal when I start the car on cold days. Now the dealer tells me I need to replace the fluid & filters at a cost of $800. does this sound reasonable ?
if car sit for a couple of days right front drops.
I have a Mercedes 2003 500SL which I really enjoy and take great care of. I started experiencing problems with the ABC system in this car. Now, I've always loved this car and admired it totally from it's looks to the amazing ride. Anyone who owns this car should read what I'm about to explain. First of all, once the dash light came on wrt ABC I immediately brought it to a shop who works on all types of high end German cars. They couldn't fix the problem so I ended up going to the dealer. A dealer who is the oldest in it's county. Well after their evaluation, I needed to replace the front valve block(which handles the left and right front suspension). The part alone is about $2100 and 8-10 hrs labor. Estimating around $4000 plus the 10-11 liters of Pentosin fluid. Another $380-$400. I got the car back and within the next 3-4 weeks the dash light comes on again. Bring it back to the dealer to find out the rear valve block needs to be replaced. Which as they explained is more involved and cost about $4300-4600. Had them go ahead and do the job since I need the car fixed. After about 1 week the front ABC hose burst and lost all fluid. Had it towed to dealer. They took 2 weeks to find what hose and where it goes. They finally tell me to replace the 2 most important hoses THEY HAVE TO REMOVE THE ENGINE. How absurd and ridiculous of a design. They said it's $4400 to replace these 2 hoses and remove engine. I want to sell my car that I love so much. I'm into this ABC problem for over $20,000.00. If anyone has experienced this drop me a line. Talk soon.
2005 Mercedes-Benz SL500 70,290 mi,
car abc controls stays lit on dash after a few day car tilts on left sideandsits on tires
2003 Mercedes-Benz SL500 168,000 mi,
Active Body Control signal light coming on; leaking fluid and dealer has problem fixing
2003 Mercedes-Benz SL500 106,000 mi,
My red light comes and says my car is too low. Previously I had a system fault code of c1525 systme pressure too low,I replaced the ABC filer in expansion reservoiw which csot about $2,134 to service.The dealer recommend to replace bot hthe front and rear valve blocks due to lates fault codes c1525-001-0002-004. This will cost $5,000. Right now I just press the button by my gear shift that lifts my car and it makes the red light go out. I have to do this about four times a week.
2003 Mercedes-Benz SL500 66,500 mi,
The Driver side has completely dropped. The dash is red and warning "Car too low"
2004 Mercedes-Benz SL500 55,000 mi,
Suspension settles at night when car is parked. MB does nothing about remediating this problem but the dealer wants to charge thousands of dollars to fix this. This is a problem that MB needs to take care of. These cars were expensive, and they need to stand behind their product, which they do not.
2003 Mercedes-Benz SL500 58,000 mi,
ABC blew a hydraulic leak
CL 500...The ABC system, sucks. This is the second time Ive had this issue. Thankfully, it happened the first time while under warranty at year 2. Since this seems to be an issue for these cars one might think that Mercedes would recall. I had a shock go out in the first three years of ownership. Beautiful car,but what a nightmare.....Hopefully Mercedes will remedy since this has already happened, and they "Fixed" it at the local dealer. Perhaps a class action ???
2006 Mercedes-Benz SL500 38,000 mi,
Leaking abc
2004 Mercedes-Benz SL500 68,000 mi,
Leak of Hydraulic fluid from ABC system reservoirs. Estimate repair $2900.
MB SL500 hydraulic oil leaked, took to MB dealer they indicated the seals in the two blocks need to be replaced. Makes sense for the age of the car, just would like to know what the estimated cost should be for this work.

For those told by dealer to replace the tandem pump, request dealer provide price for rebuilt pump, should be about $700 instead of $1,700. Also note the front and rear blocks should never have to be replaced, the dealer can just change the 'O' rings at a cost of ~$350/front & back
Suspension too low. MB dealer estimates $12,000 repair bill.
2005 Mercedes-Benz SL500 80,000 mi,
leveling, red light car too low, lopsided on start. repaired twice and still not right

I am done with Mercedes.
2003 Mercedes-Benz SL500 85,000 mi,
fluid leaked from seal in pump. Pump lost pressure. I ignored it. Now the pump is broken and needs to be replaced at around $1600 incl labour. Never ignore the warning lights!!! Have lots of cash to keep this prima donna running...