Mercedes-Benz SL500 Problems

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.

(193 people reported this problem)

Mercedes-Benz SL500 Vehicles With This Problem

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Average mileage: 80,478 (2,000–170,000)
10 model years affected: 1994, 1996, 1998, 2000, more2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006
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Viewing 21-40 of 111 comments
leveling, red light car too low, lopsided on start. repaired twice and still not right

I am done with Mercedes.
This is the second time I had this "fixed" in the last 2 years.
MB dealer charged me $2,700+- and the fix lasted almost 2 years
Now the Abc light stays on the left side of the front of the car drops, so low
the "Don't drive car too low" warning light comes on.
I love the car, had it for 11 years, but MB should be ashamed of themselves
for not providing a recall on this major issue (and of course the cars are not cheap to maintain on other issues as well)
I have 4 MB's in the family, but as much as I love the engine and build integrity of the overall car, it's this ABC suspension and MB's lack of responsiveness is making me look elsewhere for another luxury vehicle.
I have the same problem. I bought the car new in 2003. It only has 60.000 miles ABC light cones on the car drops on the right side the display reads car too low or drive carefully. It is leaking hydraulic fluid. THIS RIDICULOUS Mercedes should do something 100.000 for a car with 60k and needs so much to repair. I think we should all get together and do something this is crazy
Every year for the last 3 years there would be large amount of hydraulic fluid leaked and red ABC light comes on. Was told at dealer need new struts and new ABC pump. Front and Rear struts have been replaced now the ABC warning indicates to take to workshop. I can feel the car lift up but does not adjust back down as it would normally. Off to the dealer again...not looking forward to the expense of replacing the pump. It doesn't sound like that will even fix the problem! Definitely there should be a class action suite!!
ABC light went on and there was a pool of hydraulic fluid under the front end of the car. Error code said ABC hydraulic system. He said the pump failed when testing the system. Total cost with new pump, fluid and labor was 3K. I paid this because I love my car ....
ABC Light on dash, car height dropped. Estimated $4000.-6700.00 car has now been parked. I am the original owner, hardly ever drive

Gear shift froze before that, the ignition locked up had to replace and replace 2 keys. That happened at 46000. Because I donot drive much warranty over years ago and I was not offer extended. This car was a waste at $104000.00!
ABC light came on, looked under hood and saw that the reservoir had expelled some fluid. Next time I drove it it left me stranded.
I had driven the car to a friends house 80 mi. The next morning found large puddle of hydraulic fluid under car. Front left canister valve failed. Had to have the car towed 80 mi to dealer. Love the car, but it's becoming increasingly apparent that with so many complicated systems (possibly not engineered properly) I may have consider getting rid of the car. Disappointed!
All Mercedes owners with ABC problems, please call the Nstional Hi-way Traffic Saftey office at 1 800 424 9393 and report your problem. They already have this problem on file but need more to activate a recall by Mercedes. My leak started after only 40,000 miles! And may cost up to $5,000 to fix! Help!
My car sits in the garage over night and when I come out in the morning it is tilting down on the left.
Also, mechanic said repair was almost 3,000.00.
I too, love my car.
Is there any help.
3 min. after turning the car off, the car drops to the lowest level. After starting the car, the car goes back to the required height. what could be the cause of this
turned 50000 miles and abc workshop light came on, no visable oil leaks but resivore is low. do I add the pentosin chf 11s oil with the motor running?
Car started dropping overnight, replaced the power steering pump which is a dual pump which connects to the hydrolic pump. ABC light came on, resovire is full and has new filter, unable to find leaks and I have been told that I have a bad power steering pump from multiple MB dealers however, I just paid 3900 to replace which should be under warrenty and I am now being told that can not be the problem because according to two dealers, once the pump has been replaced they have never seen it go out again, unable to diagnose problem
My ABC Pump has been replaced twice without ever working properly at a cost of 800 dollars for a rebuilt pump.After being parked for 15min the The body drops and touches the wheels, the right lower than the left and sometimes body rises up after the engine is started automatically on and some times I mus must manually raise it with by pressing the sport ride button to cause it to rise.I have had to replace or repair the front bumber spoiler for having sunken down on the lip of a parking curb curb after being parked for 15 min
Many failures with the ABC, had to replace rear strut, line to strut, 1 year later had to replace front valve block, 3 months later rear valve block, 1 year after that had to replace the entire hydraulic pump. Total cost was just short of $10,000!
Vehicle began dropping in the front slowly; spent $4400 to repair, now the rear is falling...told the struts may be bad or some type of sensor. love the car, but becoming a real money pit.
Hi, I'm a car dealer in Texas and I took a one owner '03 SL 500 in on trade and kept it for my personal car. It already had the hydraulic leak in the roof but now it's leaking fluid from the front end on the driver's side and the back end is up in the air. The red "ABC Drive Safely" lights remain on after I start the car. The car still has a loan balance so I offered the bank a smaller amount on the payoff because of the repairs and they took my offer so if you have a loan balance on your car let your lender know so they can reduce the loan balance to reflect the repair depreciation and then make them a cash offer for the payoff. This way they don't have to do the repairs if they repossess the car whether voluntary or not and it saves you a ton of cash allowing the additional funds to fix yo' "Drop Top"...!! The repairs can run as high as $12,000.00 to fix all the leaks on this car but I got it with problems and had never owned this body style. I may keep the car and let my son have it. He can use a new project to keep him busy. ;)