Considering 2009 SL550 with questions - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-28-2018, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
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Considering 2009 SL550 with questions

So I’m new to this forum but not to this car. I owned a 2003 Designo Launch edition when they first came out back in 2002. Had it for about 35,000 miles and traded it. I’ve always missed it so I’m thinking of getting another one. I’ve read about all the ABC issues and I remember my old one beginning to show some signs of problems before I let it go.

My question is, I’m looking into a 2009 550 for about 64,000 miles on it. I can’t seem to find specifics regarding the 09 models ABC reliability compared to earlier models. Any info you guys could offer would be appreciated. Thanks.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-29-2018, 06:55 AM
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Welcome back, I guess.
The ABC system did not go through many changes over the life of the R230.

The valve blocks had a change to the valves and solenoids, but reliability is maybe better. They are not as old, so they have not had time to show issues. If fluid is kept clean and fresh, they don’t show many problems.

The ABC pump on later models has a dampener bolted directly to the pump, instead of in the left front fender, but the pump and dampener still have issues at times. All dampeners and accumulators have about a 10-12 year lifespan regardless of miles.

The struts, hoses, and electronics have not changed. Hoses show sign of leaks after 10-12 years or 100K miles, and need rubber sections replaced. Changing the fluid and filter often is expected to extend the life of the pump and valve blocks.

The ABC is an awesome piece of engineering but requires maintenance and care like all moving parts. Nothing compares to its capabilities.

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'03 SL55 AMG Pano 95K Mi.
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-29-2018, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by kbob999 View Post
The struts, hoses, and electronics have not changed.
With the MY2007 revision to ABC the strut "travel" sensor within each strut was eliminated. The ABC controller changed as well.

The accumulators on my nearly 17-year-old car with 49K miles are all original. It's my guess that the notion accumulators last only a dozen odd years is a myth: One of those things that one person posted long ago and got repeated over and over to the point where it became accepted as fact.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 12-30-2018, 02:10 AM
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If you consider a 550, pay attention to balance shaft issues on the earlier engines. You can check by VIN / engine number:

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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 01-02-2019, 10:34 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the info. I’m having a dealership do a presentation purchase inspection on the car as well.
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