1991 560SEL: Do I have to fix the hydraulic fluid leaking / suspension problem - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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#1 (permalink) Old 01-28-2008, 12:49 PM
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1991 560SEL: Do I have to fix the hydraulic fluid leaking / suspension problem

Hi

Foremost, I did see how to correct this problem. My question is really do I HAVE TO fix this?

My dad drives a 1991 Mercedes Benz 560 SEL (4 door sedan) with about 188,000 miles on it. He drives it about 30 miles a day (4 days a week) mainly on highway.

We noted that the hydraulic fluid reservoir was emtpy so he bought a can from the MB dealership and filled it up. We noted that it was empty again after few days.

I know the repair work can be costly. Since this is an old car and he does not want to put much, what is the harm if we do not fix the hydraulic fluid leaking issue? I am not sure of how the self leveling suspension works in the car. I am a an idiot when it comes to cars.

P.S. He is the only one who drives to work so there is not much that load on the car other than weight of the car and him in it.

The MB dealership simply said that it was bouncing a lot (just by pushing it up and down) when he bought the fluid. My dad just does not want to give them $150 for diagnosis and then get more bad news.

Thank you so much for your help and advice!!!!!

Raza
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#2 (permalink) Old 01-28-2008, 04:30 PM
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Well the MB hydraulic fluid here at MB of Miami was $20.25/liter, so that will add up fast. If you let the hydraulic pump run dry it will need replacing $$$. There are not that many parts to the system, reservoir, pump, leveling valve (not sure of the official name), accumulators (air cells), and shocks. Either you have a leaky fitting somewhere or one or more of the parts has a leak. The parts are easy enough to have a look at see if you can find the leak. If not pay someone to do it for you dealer or independent. Pay a little now or a lot later.

I just replaced the accumulators on my car this weekend only took about 2 hrs, and the ride is a million times better.

Thanks,
Paul
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#3 (permalink) Old 01-28-2008, 05:03 PM
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You could also convert it to a regular shock system, still kind of spendy, but that could fall under general maintenance.

Just a thought.
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#4 (permalink) Old 01-28-2008, 05:48 PM
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#5 (permalink) Old 01-28-2008, 06:03 PM
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If its leaking that much there should be evidence on the ground where its leaking, either in the front of the car where the reservoir and pump is, or towards the back of the car where the accumulators, valve and shocks are. Of course it could be in the lines from front to back, but again, with that much coming out that quickly, there should be evidence of where it is leaking pretty easily.
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#6 (permalink) Old 01-28-2008, 06:39 PM
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It's worth it to bring it to a shop after you've located the leak to bring it by your usual (hopefully well qualified mechanic who is very familiar with these cars and the hydraulic suspension system) to see how much it will cost to rectify... replacing a hose in one of our cars fixed our SLS problem... however, I think you'll be needing a bit more than that... good luck, and post some pics of where the car is leaking from, as some here might be able to help you with rough estimates...

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#7 (permalink) Old 01-28-2008, 07:33 PM
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I'm going to bet it's the high pressure line that's leaking.. 135 for the Real deal. Bit of a PITA to install around the US air pump, but not horrible.

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#8 (permalink) Old 01-30-2008, 01:31 PM
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Thank you all for replying so quickly and so passionately.

However, my dad does not want to spend money UNLESS he ABSOLUTLEY has to. So perhaps I was not clear in my initial query as to:

What would happen if he does NOT fix hydraulic fluid leaking problem? Other than a smooth ride, would it be dangerous or would it lead to something damaging that would stall or destroy the car.

Apparently, he wants to drive the car till it stops driving (gasoline excluded ). He only wants to do oil changes for the next 4000 miles on the car.

Thanks again!
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#9 (permalink) Old 01-30-2008, 03:14 PM
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If that pump runs dry you will can ruin it which may lead to more trouble. It will also make the car harder to sell as well if that's what he is looking to do. If its just a hose, like Jonathan mentioned as a possibility, that isn't too much money to be spending as a fix, is it? Or, you can keep spending money on the fluid you are replacing but it sounds like that will add up quickly. Not to mention the compromised ride quality without a true working rear suspension.
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#10 (permalink) Old 01-30-2008, 07:07 PM
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To yank the system properly will mean removing the pump and adding a block off plate, purchasing new springs and new rear shocks.

Replacing the high pressure hose is a Lot cheaper.

Not fixing the SLS and driving around on it broken can as mentioned above cause the pump to seize which will Not be pretty as it is on the same drive as the distributor.

Also, w/o the aid of the SLS the rear will be Very bouncy and sag, thus eating the inside edge of your rear tyres..turning a 50,000 miles tyre into a 10,000 mile tyre if you're lucky. Never mind that when you do go over a bump or mid corner ripple the car will bounce repeatedly w/o the SLS system there to dampen the springs compression/rebound.

Either fix the system properly, or remove it in it's entirety. If neither of those options are viable sell the car and buy a Honda.

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