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Mercedes-Benz S500 Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the Mercedes-Benz S500 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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Known Problems

Problems with the pneumatic system can cause closing assist and door lock issues.

The relay which turns the airmatic suspension pump on may fail causing the pump to run continuously. This can result in failure of the pump motor or a dead battery as the pump motor will continue to run after the car is turned off. Also, Worn airmatic pump mount bushings can causes noises in the front axle while driving on bumpy roads or a buzzing noise while the pump is running.

CD changers, command units, voice control units, PSE units, and Tele Aid units are prone to failure, especially in early models.

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.

Instrument cluster lenses break easily.

Glove box hinges, the center console armrest, and the cup holders break.

A cracked or broken heater core outlet housing can cause a coolant leak near the bulkhead (firewall). Our technicians remind us that coolant leaks should be repaired in order to avoid overheating the engine due to coolant loss.

Some models have tandem hydraulic pumps—one section for power steering and the other for suspension adjustment. These pumps are prone to leakage from either section.

Oil feed tubes break and fall into the crankcase (engine) and the tappet becomes noisy (ticking), resulting in degraded idle quality. Our technicians recommend replacing all of the tubes at the same time, broken or not.

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.

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

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.

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

Cup holders break easily, especially if sticky liquids are spilled into the cup holder mechanism.

One or more door windows may stop working due to a failed window regulator. Replacement of the failed regulator will be necessary to correct this concern.