Mercedes-Benz Forum banner

1 - 20 of 57 Posts

·
Registered
2003 SL55
Joined
·
479 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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
 

Attachments

·
Registered
2011 SL550, 2012 E550 Cabriolet
Joined
·
83 Posts
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?
 

·
Registered
2003 SL55
Joined
·
479 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
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.
 

·
Premium Member
2003 SL500, 2012 E350 4Matic P2
Joined
·
840 Posts
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".
 

Attachments

·
Registered
2004 SL500
Joined
·
103 Posts
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
 

·
Premium Member
2003 SL500, 2012 E350 4Matic P2
Joined
·
840 Posts
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
 

Attachments

·
Registered
2005 SL55 AMG
Joined
·
107 Posts
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
 

·
Registered
00 SL500 SOLD, 05 SL600 Sport, 09 Silverado 4x4 LTZ,SOLD '15Silverado LTZ 6.2 8Speed John Deere 318
Joined
·
1,781 Posts
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!!!!
 

·
Registered
2003 SL500, 2000 S500
Joined
·
364 Posts
WIS says to do this with the fluid hot. That's probably the purpose of the Rodeo routine. Also, WIS says to use 10 litres of replacement fluid.

I believe it's worth investing in a Chinese-cloned Star Diagnosis system for a few $$$ for this type of work.
 

·
Registered
2005 SL55 AMG
Joined
·
107 Posts
WIS says to do this with the fluid hot. That's probably the purpose of the Rodeo routine. Also, WIS says to use 10 litres of replacement fluid.

I believe it's worth investing in a Chinese-cloned Star Diagnosis system for a few $$$ for this type of work.
If fluid temp is a concern drive the car for :20 minutes before performing the fluid change.

I have a Star Diagnostic unit. I still use the outlined procedure as it's both quick and thorough.

By all means folks can go out and buy a Star Diagnostic and rodeo away. This is simply an easy alternative for the average owner to avoid spending the money on a Star Diagnostic unit and the time to learn to use it. This is a simple way to flush the fluid themselves in their own garage in about the time it take to perform an oil change.

I change my fluid using this procedure every 20,000 miles. My 2005 SL55 has 105,000 miles and is on the original pump, all original shocks, and none of my ABC hoses or lines show any signs of weeping fluid. At 100,000 I rebuilt both Valve Blocks and replaced all 4 accumulators as preventive maintenance.

Having worked on cars my entire life from factory sponsored race teams to vintage car restoration I never bought the story that ABC is a "life fluid" with no recommended service interval as Mercedes says. If the average owner swaps their fluid and filter every 20k they will be way ahead of the game in preventing ABC failures whichever method they use.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
135 Posts
Fantastic post! Instant-sticky! Thank you SO much for this. I just checked the fluid in my 2007 SL550 with 35k miles. It's brown and smells burnt. I'm picking up fluid, a filter, and tools to flush the system this weekend. Bravo!
 

·
Registered
2011 SL550, 2012 E550 Cabriolet
Joined
·
83 Posts
Quick question: Which direction does the fluid flow? The way I understand your post is that it returns through the hose that's clamped to the reservoir cap. That means that the fluid in the reservoir first goes into the system as opposed to going through the filter first. So the fluid is filtered as it returns to the reservoir, right? That would allow any particles that should happen to fall into reservoir while the cap is off to get into the system. I just want to be sure I understand the flow of the system correctly.
 

·
Registered
2006 SL500
Joined
·
180 Posts
You are correct. The fluid is filtered through the middle of the filter. This is why you have to clean the top of the reservoir before opening and seal it when it is open.

The debris that they are worried about is being generated by the pump and shocks metal parts. The hydraulic fluid absorbs water just like brake fluid. This water will rust parts in the system. The ABC system is as forgiving as any other part in the car. The issue we have is we do not drive the cars. I put on 10k miles in 3 years. In my opinion we just need to remove the fluid every year no matter the miles.

It is a lot cheaper then replacing the pump and shocks. Just my $.02

David
 

·
Registered
2011 SL550, 2012 E550 Cabriolet
Joined
·
83 Posts
I agree with you 100%. My '11 just clicked 15,000 and I'm considering doing it too. I used to do all my own oil changes and saving money wasn't the reason either.....it was making sure it was done right. I think the ABC fluid change falls into that category as well. Thanks for all of your info..:thumbsup:
 

·
Registered
2003 SL55 AMG, 1994 Porsche 928 GTS, 2007 Audi A8, 1990 MB 560 SEC
Joined
·
341 Posts
I purchased an '03 SL55 with 42K miles in Utah last August, drove it 2300 miles home, then about 1K miles before going into my hobby garage for storage/winter maintenance. I have all records for MB services on the car (Warranties by previous owners), and can not find any record of this service being done. I have all the materials for ABC flush, am going to obtain the magnetic filter from Exclusive Automotive in Germany, and do the flush as soon as the weather is cooperative here in southeast PA! I too will do it every 3 years at maximum, which will probably be less than 15K miles.

I've learned a LOT about this system in the last two months thanks to this and other forums! Great write-up on the flush vtvette. Thanks for doing it.

Gary Knox
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Great write-up. At the risk of asking a foolish question, with the filler cap/filter assembly removed during the process, is there any concern of running the system without the filter? I suppose since you're backfilling with new fluid, the filter is not needed?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Great write-up. At the risk of asking a foolish question, with the filler cap/filter assembly removed during the process, is there any concern of running the system without the filter? I suppose since you're backfilling with new fluid, the filter is not needed?
I was unable to view prior posts for some reason earlier. So, based on the above posts it would seem that since the direction of the fluid is back through the filter, there's no issue of running the system without the filter, only to be mindful of any particles around the opening of the fill cap that could fall into the reservoir and subsequently get cycled through the system.
 

·
Registered
2011 SL550, 2012 E550 Cabriolet
Joined
·
83 Posts
I was unable to view prior posts for some reason earlier. So, based on the above posts it would seem that since the direction of the fluid is back through the filter, there's no issue of running the system without the filter, only to be mindful of any particles around the opening of the fill cap that could fall into the reservoir and subsequently get cycled through the system.
Correct. The fluid returns through the filter and the particles are caught there before returning to the reservoir. I would think the other way would be better but there must be a good reason why they did it this way.
 
1 - 20 of 57 Posts
Top