Loss of Power Steering Due to Leaking Steering Rack on Mercedes-Benz ML430

Problem Description and Possible Solution

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.

Problem Data
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Average mileage: 125,105 (10,600–199,997)
3 model years affected: 1999, 2000, 2001
31 people reported this problem
Viewing 1 - 15 of 15 comments
Problem started with leaking high pressure PS pipe to the rack. $1000 parts & labor from dealer. Steering rack seal went - went to a local shop - rebuilt rack installed - steering tight with no response. Replaced rack once more. Still poor handling. Power steering pump was blamed - replace with after-market pump. Bill - $2700. Still not happy with the steering response. After about 3 months, pump went again (most likely due to not flushing the fluid completely or using incorrect fluid). This time went to the dealer. He replaced the pump with new fluid. Bill $1000. Total $4700. Seems to be working ok now. What's a mere $4700 to be able to boast "I drive a Mercedes" - I'd much rather not drive at all.
Most of these problems are covered on the Recall of the cooling hose and clamp to the power steering pump..
Rack has completely failed, seals shot. All failed just around the time the hose clamp failure happened. I think the hose clamp failure is directly tied to the rack failure.
Power steering rack assembly leaked after pump replacement caused by wrong fluid. New pump increased pressure in system and seals on the rack started to leak. Ordered rebuilt rack assembly which was fitted. Steering problems resolved, including lack of precise response to steering commands. Rebuilt rack solved the problem, expect to pay for at least eight hours shop work. Core refund is around $150. With a rebuilt rack cost around $400.
leaking power steering rack and line to power steering pump keep comming off radator. Radator may be clocked.
Driving on freeway at speed, suddeny my steering felt like I was driving a 1940s truck.
Got off freeway and found hose hanging with oil all over teh road behind me. Had MB come over and replaced a lost 20Cents lock on teh hose, refgilled steering oil and went on, only to have it happen again a few weeks later.
BUMMER...never buying M<ercedes again.
Power steering just quit working. All the fluid drained out from, I believe, the rack. There was a lot of fluid on it.
Power steering hose popped out three times! Fluid leaked out...completely. Ugh! Cost to repair, part: $170.00, labor $150.00. Hope this doesn't happen again.
I bought this pile of junk at 80,000 miles. Noticed a noisy steering problem right away. Had the fluid flushed and replaced and it helped, but now getting louder and louder and more annoying. Buying this was a huge mistake as this is the LEAST of the problems.
Power steering has failed. Fluid is leaking profusely. The Chico Mercedes Dealer says that the problems are NOT covered by the recall notices. I plan to take my vehicle to a private mechanic to see what can be done to resolve the fluid leakage & get the vehicle running in a safe manner. I filed a complaint with the NHTSA.