Date registered: Apr 2014
Vehicle: 1998 MB E300TD, 1997 MB E320
Location: LA, CA
Mentioned: 122 Post(s)
Quoted: 752 Post(s)
I'm sure there has to be someone trustworthy. Given your comments about the mechanics recommendation to replace shocks and struts and whatsnot.... you need to find someone who actually knows MB, not those who occasionally work on one.
If the rear end is sagging, then you only need to find out why its sagging and replace the offending part. Anybody who recommends replacing struts, power steering pump or anything that leads into 4 digit invoice, run. They don't know what they're talking about....alternatively, they want to take advantage of a clueless owner. I don't know which is worse.
Either way, run.
First, educate yourself on how the system works, what it is supposed to do, what is a wear and tear item, and what is a item that is only needs to be replaced when it goes bad, and then you'll be better equipped when dealing with mechanics...even reputable ones.
Power steering pump (this is the pump that also controls the hydraulic pump) -- only replace when leaking or not working.
Struts -- only replace when leaking
Level valve -- only replace when rear end sags (which is happening in your case... better to verify first)
Accumulators -- replace when you experience harsh ride over bumps. This is a wear and tear item. (this is a item that absorbs the vibration and shocks from the road. If it goes bad, you will feel the road that much more and the noise will be very bad)
Hydraulic fluid needs to be flushed every now and then. Doing it on the same schedule as a power steering flush is a good idea (once ever year)