ABC Fluid & Filter Change DIY - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-03-2014, 08:24 PM Thread Starter
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ABC Fluid & Filter Change DIY

This has been covered in various posts and various forums - but thought since did mine a week or so ago would post it up - Was going to take more pictures but it really is ridiculously simple.

Was shocked how bad my fluid was at 92,000kms (57,000miles) - see picture of first 2Ls or so - Black and burnt smelling - way past due for a change!......Will be switching mine out every 30-40,000kms from now on

Credit to those who have posted in various places before. Dont know if this method is the best but seemed logical - YMMV & DYOR

You need:
ABC filter part # 0031846101 (new style 3 micron)
13mm to 13mm hose connector (50c hardware store)
2-3m 13mm hose - clear is easiest ($7 hardware store)
Bucket/Fluid Catcher
Pentosin CHF-11S. I used about 8L for mine all up - but bought 12L just in case
1 small clean funnel (optional)
1 clean oil pump (optional)
1 extra person to start car and cycle suspension

Steps:
*If you have SDS run a Rodeo. Otherwise cycle up and down 20-30 times - Fluid should be hot -(Note I did my flush after a 45 minute run in sport mode, cycling ABC up and down regularly during the drive then an additional 30 times on stopping prior to commencing below)

*Locate ABC reservior cap on LH front side of engine (Passenger side for RHD countries - Drivers side LHD) - it will have a 13mm return hose clamped to it. The ABC dipstick is next to it.

*Open ABC reservior cap - (Has ABC filter attached) remove filter - need to press on the spring - it is attached by a little hook in the seal - place aside on clean MF cloth.

*Undo clamp and take out return hose from ABC reservior cap

*Connect ABC return hose to 13mm connector (i reclamped) attach other side of 13mm connector to clear plastic hose (i clamped this as well) - see picture

*Run clear hose to bucket

*Prep your Pentosin cans ie open and pull up ready to pour.

*This step is optional but i did - use oil pump to remove ABC fluid in reservior and refill with new pentosin. (You could just start the below process without the syphoning out of the reservior)

*BE CAREFUL HERE - Dont let reservior run low/dry you will kill your pump.....Have an auto cut off word for your +1 so if needed they will turn engine off asap.

*Get your plus 1 in the car.

*Get your Pentosin in hand ready to fill through the ABC reservior cap space (I used a CLEAN funnel - again optional)

*Start engine, ABC fluid will pour out clear hose into the bucket. The fluid will drop at a steady pace so be ready with your pentosin and keep filling - however you should be able to keep up with it. (I was extra careful and stopped the engine a couple of times as i was swapping Pentosin cans)

*As you are filling get your assistant to raise and lower the suspension using the centre console button.

*Keep doing the up and down while filling while keeping an eye on the bucket. You will see the fluid slowly dropping the dark/black colour and get closer to the fresh fluid colour. Once you are happy with the cleanliness of the fluid (mine was 5L or so) turn off car.

*Get the spring and seal from earlier and put on new ABC micro filter (again press spring and attach via the hook - a bit fiddly here)

*Unclamp the return hose and remove the 13mm connector.

*Reattach return hose to reservior cap and reclamp

*If not already done top up ABC reservior - not too high as the filter etc has to go back in here - and you will use dipstick to correct the fluid level.

*Put filter in and close ABC reservior cap

You now need to get your fluid to the correct level - the dipstick has 2 readings Engine On ("Auf") - the lower indentation and Engine Off ("Aus") - the higher indentation.

I used the off "Aus" readings - up to you again which you want to do.

for Engine off - car has to be left for 5 minutes on level ground at low suspension setting and should be between the top indentation on dipstick. (I checked after standing cycles & bleed as per below, then a quick run with sport mode and more cycles - parked again and rechecked - then rechecked a week later)

for Engine on - level should be constant at the lower indentation.

*Run a final bleed on the system - if you have SDS run a Rodeo. Otherwise cycle up and down 15-20 times

*Final level check of oil level

Notes:
Official process calls for 2 filters (i think the above method is fine but up to you)
I referred to the below as well:
Youtube video of fluid check & filter change:
Mercedes official docs through the years: see attached
Attached Thumbnails
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Attached Files
File Type: pdf 2010-11-20_151216_flushing_active_body_control_abc_system.pdf (32.4 KB, 2576 views)
File Type: pdf Active Body Control - Checking and correcting hydraulic fluid level (1).pdf (178.8 KB, 2601 views)
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Last edited by theintelligent1; 04-27-2014 at 01:34 AM. Reason: Add Final Bleed
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post #2 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-04-2014, 10:50 AM
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Nice write up and thanks for posting this. My '11 has only 14,000 miles and I'm considering doing the change too. Mainly because of the time element as oppose to the miles. Do you know what model year changed to the 3 micron filter?
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post #3 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-04-2014, 05:31 PM Thread Starter
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Not a bad idea to be thinking about changing the fluid I will be doing every 30-40,000km for sure (18-25,000 miles) or 4 years (but i will hit the kms first).

From my readings think it was October 2005 they changed to the updated filter.
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post #4 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-09-2014, 06:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky-Pilot View Post
Nice write up and thanks for posting this. My '11 has only 14,000 miles and I'm considering doing the change too. Mainly because of the time element as oppose to the miles. Do you know what model year changed to the 3 micron filter?
See the attached DTB (Dealer Technical Bulletin) P-B-32.50/34e . It appears that the work procedure,Parts and Warranty information were updated in revision "d" dated 9/16/08. So it follows that production models produced after that date would most likely have the new finer 3 micron filter. However that said, there is no way to really know when MB's production stock of the old style 10 micron filter was actually phased out. Most manufacturers would use up their old stock first unless there is a safety issue which this is not. The exact phase in date is probably vague.

This DTB has a lot of very informative information especially what is acceptable as to the suspension sagging over time. All the work instructions are also listed for easy reference and access via "WIS".
Attached Files
File Type: pdf DTB PB 32.50-34 Suspension Lowing Issue Causes and Corrections.pdf (147.5 KB, 2131 views)
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post #5 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-10-2014, 09:29 AM
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Great info....thank you!
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post #6 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-11-2014, 10:25 AM
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Thanks for the info... as one who needs a new ABC Pump when my car comes out of winter storage, I'm reading anything and everything on ABC Issues.

The attached PDF from mercy-me is great however, I'm curious if there is one which describes diagnosis when the car is running at idle and the front right drops after approx 10 minutes or so.

I'd love to know if there is a DTB for this type of behaviour.
Thanks in advance

-Stephen
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post #7 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-11-2014, 12:26 PM
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I came across the DTB I posted purely by accident. I was searching for information on a note I found in the parts catalog relating to the change in part number for the ABC filter. The note said "see DTB PB32.50/34*" and I went from there to discover that the change from 10 micron to 3 micron occurred sometime around Sept 08 as described above.

These MB DTB's are internal documents meant for dealership personnel. I could not find anyplace where they are published for public consumption. They are available with a paid subscription to the Startek info site here

If you read the note at the top of page 3 in the DTB I posted, " The dropping vehicle level is not etc.................... Unless you can spot some some fluid around the strut then most likely you have an internal leaking valve somewhere.

I'm posting another document to read which may be helpful.

Finally, why are you changing your pump?

Good Luck, Bob
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Level control, function.pdf (13.4 KB, 1704 views)
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post #8 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-11-2014, 12:39 PM
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Thanks Bob,

And for the rest of you who may be interested... here's why..

http://www.benzworld.org/forums/r230...other-abc.html
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post #9 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-19-2014, 03:39 PM
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ABC Fluid flush procedure - at home, no special tools/rodeo involved

ABC Flush/Fill procedure at home no rodeo/StarDiagnostic/Special tools required. I change my fluid and filter every 20,000 miles with this procedure:

Necessary Items:

1/2" to 1/2" hose connector (in the plumbing section) - Lowes
5 feet of 1/2" clear hose (in the plumbing section) - Lowes
1 Clean bucket
5 or 6 quarts of Pentosin CHF-11S. Cheapest place I found it was my local NAPA in stock at $17.99/quart
1 or 2 new ABC filters (1 is necessary - read procedure below then decide if you feel you want to change it out twice).

Remove the 1/2" return hose that is clamped to the ABC reservoir cap. Install the 1/2" to 1/2" adapter in the return hose, then installed the clear plastic hose to the other side of the 1/2" to 1/2" adapter and drop the end of the clear hose in a clean bucket on the ground next to the car.

Remove the reservoir fill cap/filter assembly from the ABC reservoir and place aside.

Have your cans of Pentosin at the ready, with their spouts pulled up out of the cans.

Have an assistant start the car. You will see the old ABC fluid pouring out the clear hose from the return line into your bucket as soon as the engine is started. As soon as the engine is started be ready to replenish the ABC reservoir with fresh pentosin. The reservoir drains down fairly slowly so, I did not have an issue keeping up with the fluid level. **DO NOT LET THE RESERVOIR RUN DRY!! IF YOU CANNOT KEEP UP WITH THE FLUID LEVEL IN THE RESERVOIR FOR ANY REASON HAVE YOUR ASSISTANT SHUT THE CAR OFF IMMEDIATELY**.

It may help to poke a hole in the bottom of the can of Pentosin with an Awl or small screwdriver as this will drain the can faster.

You will quickly get the hang of the process and a feel for replenishing the reservoir with fluid as the engine pumps the old fluid into the bucket. Now have your assistant cycle the ride height adjustment button on the center console so the car travels up and down. Continue the up/down procedure until the fluid coming out of the return line is nice and clean (this is why the clear hose really helps). I think I used 4 or 5 cans of Pentosin. Once you are happy shut the car down, replace the ABC filter on the reservoir cap with a new filter, replace the ABC filler cap back on the reservoir and reinstall the return line back on the reservoir cap.

Remove the dipstick from the ABC reservoir and start the car up.

While watching the fluid level through the dipstick tube hole start the car up and cycle the ride height a few times. Add fluid as necessary through the dipstick hole to keep the fluid level within the normal operating range (the extended pentosin filler neck will just fit into the dipstick tube opening). Once the system maintains fluid level even while cycling the ride height up/down you are done.

I changed my ABC filter again after about a week just to be sure the remove any residual dirt.

Hope this helps,

Brian

Brian
2005 SL55 AMG


To prolong the life of the components in your ABC system and help prevent system failures flush your ABC fluid regularly (every 20,000 miles, or every other oil change).

Here is a simple procedure to completely flush the ABC system at home requiring no special tools:


http://www.benzworld.org/forums/7824545-post1.html

Last edited by vtvette; 02-19-2014 at 03:42 PM.
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post #10 of 55 (permalink) Old 02-19-2014, 03:59 PM
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Rite on!!!!!! I've done mine this way and doing it this way is simple and very effective. I also just bought a 20Ltr. jug of CHF-11s This should be a LIFETIME supply!!! LOL!!!!! At $215 I could not turn it down. I fully agree that a flush and filter each 20K will help keep the ABC system happy!!!!
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