*new member, first post!* 2004 SL500 ABC - Mercedes-Benz Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-10-2019, 07:48 AM Thread Starter
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*new member, first post!* 2004 SL500 ABC

Hello all,

I'm Vincent, a new member to benz world! Although I'm new to here, I am no stranger to Mercedes. Some models I've owned in the past (2010 E350 Sedan, 1999 CLK320 Cabriolet, 2011 C300 Sedan). My newest addition is a 2004 SL500 in silver with graphite interior and only 37k! Car is in pristine condition and was not driven much by its prior owner, but I seem to have a common issue here and I was hoping to get a little help on how severe the issue is.

The vehicle runs and drives perfectly fine, and extremely tight. However my problem is when I park the vehicle in my drive way the next morning I wake up to find the drivers side much lower than the passenger side. Once I get in it the "stop, car too low" error message appears and when I raise the suspension the car levels itself out and is back to normal with no issues while thew vehicle is in motion. *Occasionally* the "electric consumers offline" message comes on and off.

Now I am familiar with the ABC pump issues but I was hoping being this issue only happens over right, that the repair may be a smaller repair rather than replacing the entire valve body, struts etc? Or possibly the electric consumers offline message has something to do with the pumps not functioning properly over night.

Thank you to all who takes the time to read this and offers advice!!
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-10-2019, 05:54 PM
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First, welcome!

Get yourself a battery tender and connect it to the battery in the trunk if your car is not driven for a few days. I just make it a habit to connect it after each drive. Mine is hard connected to the consumer battery and I simply pop the trunk and plug it in when I park. These cars can act up when the battery gets a little low.

As far as the ABC, get yourself an SDS scanner. If you plan on working on your own car this IS a necessity. Otherwise, the dealership will love you! Search SDS on here for more info.

The car is dropping probably because of dirt lodged in the valve body. A suspension fluid flush is a good idea if the fluid is not a nice green color. Using the SDS you will run a rodeo which exercises the suspension and stresses it to help locate potential future problems. A suspension filter change will also be needed. The older filters are 10 micron and the newer filters are 3 micron. This will help catch finer dirt particles. Mine did the same thing when I bought it. The fluid was beautiful so I simply did the rodeo service and it has not happened since. Almost a year ago.

If properly maintained and serviced, the ABC is great. If damage is already done, it gets very expensive. There is a lengthy but well written article that explains the system and it's needed maintenance. I will post it here when I find it.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-10-2019, 05:57 PM
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-10-2019, 08:29 PM
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The "electric consumers offline" notification is an indicator that your Trunk battery, also known as the consumer battery, is weak. I had the same issue and it was solved with a new battery. Interestingly, the battery that was in my trunk tested fine - the problem was that it was a traditional lead acid battery that someone had put there - probably to save a few bucks. Since I swapped it for a proper AGM battery, I haven't had that issue again.
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 03:18 PM
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Search on eBay for "abc valve block o ring" and you will get a bunch of folks selling rebuild kits which are basically new o-rings for the valves for the older blocks. If you have an updated block, it is not serviceable. But from what I hear, the updated valve blocks don't fail from worn out o-rings.

I bought my kit from seller Unitextured. There are plenty of YouTube videos that show how to replace the o-rings. The biggest pain is removing the block, but it's not impossible to do it on jack stands.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Mercedes-AB...s/153290862013
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 06:35 AM
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If you search through all the ABC posts here and on other sites, you'll find that most DIY valve rebuilds don't really last. They're good for a year or two at the most.

Your best bet is a valve block replacement, specifically using a post 2006 valve block For the MY2007 and newer, Mercedes updated the valve block and improved their design, and they are supposed to be nearly "leak proof". A brand new block costs about $1250, but you can get them used on ebay ofr about $500.

Here is such an example:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/2007-2012-M...8AAOSwHupbdwXb

I would buy one of these, do the replacement and forget about the valves leaking again.

Another nice advantage of doing this you're also getting another set of accumulators. That's not to say that yours need replacement, but depending on the mileage of the donor vehicle, those accumulators might be newer. Better yet, get a set of new accumulators (~ $200 each) and put them on while you've got the valve block out, this way, you pretty much covered most of the stuff that could go bad on your ABC, with the exception of the tandem pump and the pulsation damper.

For about $1500 and a little DIY, you would have basically refurbished your entire ABC system, which should last you the life of the car (or at least another 150K miles).

BTW, they way you can tell the difference between the old and new valve blocks, the 2 side-by-side valve bodies are now unified into one casing:
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Last edited by Dudeman; 04-19-2019 at 06:44 AM. Reason: added more info:
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 11:37 AM
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If/when one of my valve blocks fail on my '03 car, then I will purchase a rebuild kit from eBay. I would never purchase a used hydraulic component for any car I intended to keep.

I don't think the revised valve block is superior to the old. It's true that with the older block a car is more prone to sagging, but according to M-B the sagging is due to an engineering decision to go with a valve design which would offer exceptional longevity.
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 05:27 PM
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I think the jury is still out on whether or not the revised valve blocks will last longer. Anecdotal evidence seems to say they are better as I don't see any reports on the forums about them leaking, but then again, they have fewer miles on them and fewer R230s used them , due to lower production numbers since MY2007. Time will tell.

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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-19-2019, 06:12 PM
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I did a rebuild on my valve block about back in July 2017 and have had no problems since. I also installed the NITRILE O-Rings that was just being introduced by Unitextured at the time. I don't know about you, but $50 seems a lot more palatable than $1500. Dudeman provided good pics of the two types of valve blocks. The newer ones have the valves that look like they are fused together. Really, from what I could tell when I replaced my o-rings, the o-rings were the only things worn. The rest of the valves looked perfect.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019, 09:51 AM
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Updated valve blocks - Bulletin?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JettaRed View Post
Search on eBay for "abc valve block o ring" and you will get a bunch of folks selling rebuild kits which are basically new o-rings for the valves for the older blocks. If you have an updated block, it is not serviceable. But from what I hear, the updated valve blocks don't fail from worn out o-rings.

I bought my kit from seller Unitextured. There are plenty of YouTube videos that show how to replace the o-rings. The biggest pain is removing the block, but it's not impossible to do it on jack stands.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Mercedes-AB...s/153290862013
Yes, the updated valve blocks are much less likely to fail if and only if one performs the proper maintenance of the ABC system.

You maybe able to check if there was a MBUSA recall or Bulletin for the valve block which I would take advantage of. If you have your VIN an MB dealer might tell you if it had been already performed. I had a '05 CL55 that was "bulletined" However, a driver in a 1997 RAV4 ran a light and totaled the car

Last edited by grane; 04-20-2019 at 11:07 AM.
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