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Bringing 2005 SL500 back to health

3905 Views 86 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  TPBenz
Hello Forum, I just got a new to me 2005 SL500. Reading this forum was very helpful to me when shopping for the car, thank you for all the knowledge. The car has 87k miles and an unknown maintenance history. I just did an oil and filter change with Mobil 1 0w40 oil. I have a list of things that I think may need attention next. I would like to get some opinions on what items I should work on first, or if there are items I didn't think of.

  • Tires - still have tread left, but look quite old.
  • Pneumatic leaks - There are multiple leaks according to the codes I'm seeing. Most important one I'll need to address is the trunk lid closing mechanism. The trunk is not closing correctly currently when the pump times out. I'm not opening the trunk for now once I manage to get it closed and the sensor thinks it is closed. There is also leak indicated with the multicontour backrest.
  • One of the rubber lift points on the front passenger side is damaged. I noticed when I was planning on jacking the car up for the oil change. Ended up using vacuum device to change oil from top instead.
  • P1856 Shift lever position identification failure. Car sometimes will not shift out of N into R or P. I'm reading that there may be some bad solder joints for the optical sensors? If not, looks like I have to buy new sensor and mate it to the car.
  • ABC - flush the system. Sounds like based on my reading that I may be able to add a filter to this?
  • I'm hearing some vibrational noise from the engine. I'm not sure if it's the engine mounts or if the engine is not idling well. Although I'm not seeing any codes related to the running of the engine.
  • Change brake fluid
  • Engine air filter
  • Spark plugs

Looking forward to inputs from the folks here.
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Cabin air filter(s), ... Tires will have a date code on them if you look closely, they will say something like 2806, meaning tires were made in the 28th week of 2006. Or 1912 would mean made in the 19th week of 2012. Generally you don't want to have tires that are more then about eight years old. The ABC filter is in the top cap of the reservoir, must be very careful to get it installed correctly in there, go slow and wear glasses if need be. LoL I changed mine and did it in a hurry and got it wrong, and the system paid me back by splashing ABC fluid all over the engine compartment, what a mess, I paid a local indy shop $800 to service the system after that by flushing all the fluid, installing a new filter, and cleaning up the entire mess. They did a good job. Nowadays I wear my glasses and re-check everything when i put things back together. Engine air filters are fun tio replace, pretty hard to do that wrong, also you never know how much debris you might happen to find in there! LOL
Congrats on acquiring the car!! Pics?
 

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2005 SL 500 R230
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Shot mounts will not throw a code. Engine mounts are an easy DIY. Go straight to the entry at the end - ignore all the unnecessary steps. To determine if it's the mounts or the pulsation dampener, slip off the serpentine belt and run the engine briefly. Ignore the red error messages - you can clear the codes later. If the vibration persists, it's probably mounts. If it goes, it may be the PD which gives a whining vibration at the lower end of the rev range.

Mounts and PD are common failure points - all mounts seem to leak at this age.

Yours sounds like mounts. Don't forget the rear tranny mount - it's easy.

Shifter code: easy DIY if you can resolder the optical pickups in the shifter.

Leaking boot lock - another free fix - endless advice online; remove the lock and plug air leaks with cyanoacrylate, not epoxy.

Replace the ABC filter with the new white 3uM type. The old 10uM type is black.

I would work my way through all the repairs, then start on the maintenance.

Check all the drains at both windscreens. They're a known trouble spot - blocked drains may give you all sorts of issues.
 

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Nearly all Mercedes I've bought, used, one of the first things I've done is now motor mounts and transmission mount. They are hydraulic and wear out, and once you've got new ones, you won't have to worry about them for quite a while, like 50-75K miles usually, maybe more... Pretty much the only engines that are horrible to replace those on, are the V12s, all the others are much easier.
 

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2005 SL500 R230
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Cabin air filter(s), ... Tires will have a date code on them if you look closely, they will say something like 2806, meaning tires were made in the 28th week of 2006. Or 1912 would mean made in the 19th week of 2012. Generally you don't want to have tires that are more then about eight years old. The ABC filter is in the top cap of the reservoir, must be very careful to get it installed correctly in there, go slow and wear glasses if need be. LoL I changed mine and did it in a hurry and got it wrong, and the system paid me back by splashing ABC fluid all over the engine compartment, what a mess, I paid a local indy shop $800 to service the system after that by flushing all the fluid, installing a new filter, and cleaning up the entire mess. They did a good job. Nowadays I wear my glasses and re-check everything when i put things back together. Engine air filters are fun tio replace, pretty hard to do that wrong, also you never know how much debris you might happen to find in there! LOL
Congrats on acquiring the car!! Pics?
The closest number that I can find that looks like a date code says 1113 on one tire and 1114 on another tire. Can only find these numbers on the driver side tires, so I'm guessing they are printed on only 1 side of these tires. If that's the case, these tires would be from 2011. No pictures yet. I still would like to pretty it up a bit first.

Shot mounts will not throw a code. Engine mounts are an easy DIY. Go straight to the entry at the end - ignore all the unnecessary steps. To determine if it's the mounts or the pulsation dampener, slip off the serpentine belt and run the engine briefly. Ignore the red error messages - you can clear the codes later. If the vibration persists, it's probably mounts. If it goes, it may be the PD which gives a whining vibration at the lower end of the rev range.

Mounts and PD are common failure points - all mounts seem to leak at this age.

Yours sounds like mounts. Don't forget the rear tranny mount - it's easy.

Shifter code: easy DIY if you can resolder the optical pickups in the shifter.

Leaking boot lock - another free fix - endless advice online; remove the lock and plug air leaks with cyanoacrylate, not epoxy.

Replace the ABC filter with the new white 3uM type. The old 10uM type is black.

I would work my way through all the repairs, then start on the maintenance.

Check all the drains at both windscreens. They're a known trouble spot - blocked drains may give you all sorts of issues.
Thanks. I'll need to look into the mounts and shifter re-soldering. How high is the chance of me overheating the solder joint and damaging the sensor? I just have a regular soldering iron.

Now, a new issue has just popped up while I was driving the car today. The car sounded like it went into Neutral just as I was taking off from a stop sign (engine just revs, no power to the wheels). I coasted to the side and saw the check engine light come on. I turned off the car and turned it on again, I was able to drive, but it feels the engine power is being limited (probably limp mode?). After getting home and pulling the code, I find "0705 Component Y3/8s1(Selection Range sensor(VGS)) Is Defective". Searching online, it looks like a transmission sensor might have gone bad? Is it just a straight-forward replacement of what I find being referred to as conductor plate?
 

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2005 SL 500 R230
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For the optical pickups you need a temperature controlled iron with a long thin tip. You can probably find a tech somewhere who'll do it for a six pack of Bud. 5 second job for an expert.

Tranny issue sounds like a failed Hall effect sensor in the conductor plate; a much more daunting task for the home mechanic. I got the dealer to do mine; the only time I've ever been in there. Expensive but you'll get a full tranny service too and they also replaced the valve body, and didn't charge me.

I think you really need a hoist to do this repair.
 

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2005 SL500 R230
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I did find some reference that sometimes, too much metal can collect on the magnet and thus prevent the hall effect sensor from working correctly. Perhaps it would be a good idea to do a ATF drain and drop the oil pan, and clean up in there, to see if that does anything.

I looked at some videos online (although didn't find a good quality video for the 05' sl500), it seems dropping the transmission oil pan is fairly straight forward. The difficult part to me seems to be pumping fresh oil in, and then bringing the transmission fluid up to operating temperature, and fill till overflow. That part looks like it will be very easy to burn myself if I don't have a lift. If the process is relatively quick, I suppose I could rent one of those diy garage lifts. I think they run around $40-$50 per hour around here.
 

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2005 SL500, 2007 GL450
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Don't overlook replacing the coolant, koensayr.

I love my pristine 2005 SL500, which has ~11,500 miles on the odometer. I bought the SL500 in August 2004 and have treated it so gently over the last 18-plus years. It has never seen rain or snow. I added a Dension Gateway system to allow me to stream music from my iPhone. (I wanted to avoid pulling out the original sound system.) My 29-year-old son long ago "claimed" it as his eventual toy...:)

Happy motoring!
 
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2009 SL 550
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Hello Forum, I just got a new to me 2005 SL500. Reading this forum was very helpful to me when shopping for the car, thank you for all the knowledge. The car has 87k miles and an unknown maintenance history. I just did an oil and filter change with Mobil 1 0w40 oil. I have a list of things that I think may need attention next. I would like to get some opinions on what items I should work on first, or if there are items I didn't think of.

  • Tires - still have tread left, but look quite old.
  • Pneumatic leaks - There are multiple leaks according to the codes I'm seeing. Most important one I'll need to address is the trunk lid closing mechanism. The trunk is not closing correctly currently when the pump times out. I'm not opening the trunk for now once I manage to get it closed and the sensor thinks it is closed. There is also leak indicated with the multicontour backrest.
  • One of the rubber lift points on the front passenger side is damaged. I noticed when I was planning on jacking the car up for the oil change. Ended up using vacuum device to change oil from top instead.
  • P1856 Shift lever position identification failure. Car sometimes will not shift out of N into R or P. I'm reading that there may be some bad solder joints for the optical sensors? If not, looks like I have to buy new sensor and mate it to the car.
  • ABC - flush the system. Sounds like based on my reading that I may be able to add a filter to this?
  • I'm hearing some vibrational noise from the engine. I'm not sure if it's the engine mounts or if the engine is not idling well. Although I'm not seeing any codes related to the running of the engine.
  • Change brake fluid
  • Engine air filter
  • Spark plugs

Looking forward to inputs from the folks here.
Mine is a 2009, same mileage.
I had the dealer change the tranny fluid and the rear diff (not needed but still good to do)...also dealer did the ABC flush with the new 3 micron filter...
I changed the spark plugs myself, air filters, inside cabin filter..
Dealer did the engine and tranny mount replacements
I put in a new starter battery from Benz, also need a new starter (slow crank)
I had one faulty window electrical switch (would not go down all the way on one full press...)
Re-worked the rear main trunk seal (cleaned up the metal that was rusty holding the seal, primer, paint)... then re-sealed the seal using RTV sealant...
 

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2005 SL500 R230
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
One of the 4 pucks for lifting the car is totally destroyed, so I ordered 4 new ones. I took one of the not so badly destroyed ones out (it still looks to be in pretty bad shape, i couldn't pull the stem out of the one that's really destroyed), it looks like the new ones are a bit smaller?

Also, the top half of these things are plastic and seems a bit flimsy. Are we supposed to lift the car with these things?
Automotive tire Camera lens Plant Camera accessory Drinkware
 

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2005 SL 500 R230
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Not as a preference, no.

The front lift point is the puck at the front where the two cross braces meet (is yours missing?) and the rear jack point is under the diff.

Safer and better way to lift, and of course gets the whole axle up. Then you slide your jack stands under those pucks in your photo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Safer and better way to lift, and of course gets the whole axle up. Then you slide your jack stands under those pucks in your photo.
My current jack stands have these U shaped top that's designed more for the pinch welds. Looks to me like these pucks could easily slide off of those types of jack stands. What type of jack stands do you use?
 

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2005 SL500, 96K miles
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One of the 4 pucks for lifting the car is totally destroyed, so I ordered 4 new ones. I took one of the not so badly destroyed ones out (it still looks to be in pretty bad shape, i couldn't pull the stem out of the one that's really destroyed), it looks like the new ones are a bit smaller?

Also, the top half of these things are plastic and seems a bit flimsy. Are we supposed to lift the car with these things?
View attachment 2791900
I used the front center lift point but wasn't entirely comfortable with using only that point. I'll get used to using it eventually.
I can lift the car from the side without using the pucks that you show here by using Zoro Product G2099216 Grade 8 HxHd CpScrw 10",3/4"-10. Cost $14.50 each. These slide into the jack points. They work in combination with a jack or a jack stand. I also used some hard rubber inserts that fit into the jack stands if you don't want the jack stand directly supporting the lift point with the missing puck. I can get the spec for that if you want to try that.
Some will say the bolt idea is risky but using the specification I show here works. I got the idea from BenzWorld.
 

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I used the front center lift point but wasn't entirely comfortable with using only that point. I'll get used to using it eventually.
I can lift the car from the side without using the pucks that you show here by using Zoro Product G2099216 Grade 8 HxHd CpScrw 10",3/4"-10. Cost $14.50 each. These slide into the jack points. They work in combination with a jack or a jack stand. I also used some hard rubber inserts that fit into the jack stands if you don't want the jack stand directly supporting the lift point with the missing puck. I can get the spec for that if you want to try that.
Some will say the bolt idea is risky but using the specification I show here works. I got the idea from BenzWorld.
I wanted to say that these high strength bolts slide into the car jack points.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I can lift the car from the side without using the pucks that you show here by using Zoro Product G2099216 Grade 8 HxHd CpScrw 10",3/4"-10. Cost $14.50 each. These slide into the jack points. They work in combination with a jack or a jack stand. I also used some hard rubber inserts that fit into the jack stands if you don't want the jack stand directly supporting the lift point with the missing puck. I can get the spec for that if you want to try that.
Some will say the bolt idea is risky but using the specification I show here works. I got the idea from BenzWorld.
Do you see any chance of the bolt sliding out while the car is up on the bolts? How much free play is there when the bolt is inserted?
 

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If you slide the bolt into where it stops with no load on the bolt it might slide back a little but as soon as you put lift force on the bolt like your finger or the jack it doesn't go anywhere. I had the front of the car up in the air for 2 weeks using 2 bolts and jack stands. There is some free play but that doesn't matter once the bolt is under load. Just push in the bolt as far as it will go and then raise the jack and start lifting.
 

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My current jack stands have these U shaped top that's designed more for the pinch welds. Looks to me like these pucks could easily slide off of those types of jack stands. What type of jack stands do you use?

I have them too, and they work fine with the pucks on the side. The pucks compress a bit and deform but I have never come close to thinking they'd slip off. I don't need to get the car up high I just slip out the fork and drop the car on the jack frame without the fork in it - plenty of elevation for most jobs.

The tubes on the side of the car, and the jack that comes with the car are for emergency wheel changing only. Who wants to be the next casualty of a car slipping off a jerry-rigged jack setup? Not moi, mon ami. Jack the thing up and support it properly. I'm not 19 any more, thinking I'm invincible, oblivious to potential catastrophe.
 

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Do you see any chance of the bolt sliding out while the car is up on the bolts? How much free play is there when the bolt is inserted?
Check below to see bolt in action. Picture is worth a thousand words. You can see how stable it is.
 

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2009 SL 550
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One of the 4 pucks for lifting the car is totally destroyed, so I ordered 4 new ones. I took one of the not so badly destroyed ones out (it still looks to be in pretty bad shape, i couldn't pull the stem out of the one that's really destroyed), it looks like the new ones are a bit smaller?

Also, the top half of these things are plastic and seems a bit flimsy. Are we supposed to lift the car with these things?
View attachment 2791900
I changed all 4 on mine, you don't "lift" the car with them per se, they simply act as a rubber element between the metal jack surface and the vehicle, do not worry, they won't go flat, they can carry the weight of the vehicle :cool:
 
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