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Discussion Starter #1
I recently purchased a 2003 CL600 , 52K miles, with a CPO warranty good for 3 more years, or a total of 100K miles on the clock. Thank God I did, in 2 months, already had some big repairs - ABC pump & lines, and fuel pump. However, in the 52K miles up until now, reviewing the repair history printout from the dealer, it does not appear that ABC issues were ever a problem with this car-this was the first repair as far as I can tell, in 52K miles and 4 years. Most of it's repairs were small stuff.

I see a few posts from other CL600 users describing problems ranging from electronics to ABC issues, but only from a few users. Of course, MB didn't make that many of these cars. I am wondering if there are more CL600 owners in the wings who are experiencing no ABC or electronic problems, and thus no posts?

Is there someone out there who has a 2003-2005 (turbo) CL600 which they have owned for a while, put some miles on, and had relatively few problems with it? I did see one post where an owner reported that after the ABC pump & lines were replaced on his car, it was ok after that "for years" according to the post, and he had very little trouble with it overall. Most owners won't get online and post something in this forum just to tell you that their car is working jsut fine! You don't see a post unless there is a problem, so it's hard to judge how representative those posts are of the cars overall.

Has anyone experienced putting 50-60K or more miles on their CL600, without major ABC or electronic problems? I really love this car but wonder what the future holds, especially after warranty is out!
 

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CL 600 reliability

Hi: I bought my '01 CL600 about a year and a half ago. It had about 19K miles on it when I bought it, and now I have about 25K mikes, so it gets minimal use. I have to say, when I first had it, I was concerned about the ABC. After letting the car sit for about a week while on vacation, the front end drivers side sank all the way down. Pressing the ABC switch, it popped right back up again. Took it to the dealer, and they flushed the system under warranty and replaced fluid. It has happened only once since then, under similar circumstances.

I'm not sure if this thought carries any weight, but since the second incident, I have adjusted the body height using the dashboard switch OFTEN (mostly to avoid scraping the front air dam), and the car hasn't sunk since--even after leaving it for a week or two at a time. I'm wondering if "working" the system somehow helps it? Ever since I've been doing this, it hasn't sunk even a millimeter. Anybody else had this experience?

As far as the rest of the car, no problems whatsoever, and I'm very happy with it. :D


Regards,

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Steve, thanks! I am really happy with mine too, but haven't had it long enough to gauge the reliability, and all the horror stories can tend to put one off. Mostly use the car for weekend drives & short trips. An absolute blast to drive, most fun car I have ever owned!
 

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Just happened

After having owned the CL600 for a little over a week, the same just happened to me after not having driven the car for 5 days.
Pressed the suspension button to raise it up and back down and everything appears ok.
Should I be concerned about this problem ?:eek:
 

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I don't have the 600, But I have a 2000 cl500 for the last year in chicago, after putting it away for 3Mo. I came back to the front end sunk all the way down, the ABC light was on in red but as soon as I put it in drive the front end just jumped up and now it has been driving fine for two wks.
Can anyone tell me how to go about changeing the cabin filter in ths car?
 

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The ABC is a major pain. Something from the system was breaking on my car every month. Line here and a line there and a ABC pump here and an ABC pump there. If the ABC system wasn't on the car, it would be much more dependable.

The other issues were failed coil packs, failed idler pulley, and other minor stuff here and there. The ABC stuff and coil packs are crazy expenzive if you're not under warranty. I feel the cars take such a huge hit in depreciation because they are so unrelaible.

Even though I loved my CL, I don't think history will be kind to these cars and will probably be regarded much like a Jaguar from the 80's. The 215 CL is absolutely stunning inside and out and it is a huge shame that Mercedes didn't do a better job engineering a more dependable car.
 

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Ferraris and Bentleys have been like this too. Impressive cars, sold generally to very wealthy individuals who didn't drive them much and traded them back in on a whim. With the CL, Mercedes is approaching that level in price, so apparently in other ways as well.

We love these cars and take them for what they are, but this forum could probably use a sticky to warn the unwary who buy them several years old on the cheap, thinking they're going to enjoy all that luxury and prestige without paying for it. Oh, they'll pay.
 

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abc is a bummer

I have a 2002, built in 7-01. FYI
I love the car for sure but the abc unit failed...just like the recall stated...but the dealer said it was a different hose. point is the hose decomposed and with no internal filter for a know or what is seemed to be a known problem there is no filter protecting the 3600 pump. This is the coolest brand but they have a problem with ABC and in 2007 the NHSTB shows this is a problem and directs you to the recall. 74000 miles. and the guy at MB tells me, "the line is 7 years old"
 

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and the guy at MB tells me, "the line is 7 years old"
...so this sounds a LOT like citroen, and that it's better to change the lines BEFORE they break down and wreck the pump. I used to pull off all kinds of crap with my Citroens - you can drain the fluid out, change the filters, clean the reservoirs, replace the gas springs (they hand unscrew... inside is nitrogen at 70 bar... a great system IF you go to the trouble of understanding it.

Did your MB guy say what the lines are made of? Are they rubber pipes or fuel pipe materials? Draining the fluid and refilling would be dead easy if it's Citroen tech, and the point that people are making here about keeping it fit by pumping it up & down is another data point: it moves air bubbles out of the working fluid...

(on my old BX & Xantias, the ride height was a steel lever poking up into the cabin from the suspension. Move the lever and the gap between the ride-height valves and the ARBs changes - so the whole car hip-hops to command. I bet the Mercedes ssytem isn't like that)

...are there any system manuals for this setup on the web?
 

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thanks

I have seen a citron, scarry car for me. I have the rep looking at this car and am very confident he will understand the recall and how it can effect the entire system
 

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...so this sounds a LOT like citroen, and that it's better to change the lines BEFORE they break down and wreck the pump. I used to pull off all kinds of crap with my Citroens - you can drain the fluid out, change the filters, clean the reservoirs, replace the gas springs (they hand unscrew... inside is nitrogen at 70 bar... a great system IF you go to the trouble of understanding it.

Did your MB guy say what the lines are made of? Are they rubber pipes or fuel pipe materials? Draining the fluid and refilling would be dead easy if it's Citroen tech, and the point that people are making here about keeping it fit by pumping it up & down is another data point: it moves air bubbles out of the working fluid...

(on my old BX & Xantias, the ride height was a steel lever poking up into the cabin from the suspension. Move the lever and the gap between the ride-height valves and the ARBs changes - so the whole car hip-hops to command. I bet the Mercedes ssytem isn't like that)

...are there any system manuals for this setup on the web?
The mercedes system does have a Hip-hop procedure called the "rodeo". Used to get the air out of the system.
 

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> rodeo

OK so how does one get to that or trigger it? Thinking about Citroen Hydractive and the earlier variants, a change of fluid was viewed as a regular job of work, and the system had little filters inside the fluid reservoir you could take out and pretty much flush in your driveway with a can of WD40. The color of the fluid was the basis of a whole load of diagnostics of the system - it starts out kind of limey green and there are various darker colours it goes until it is black as oil.

Where is the fluid reservoir in the CL engine bay?
 

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ABC and that Sinking Feeling

Although I don't have a CL, I have an S600 '05, also with ABC. When I 1st got it, the previous owner hadn't driven it for some time, and I noticed that when stopped, the front suspension would sink a little.

I took it into Merc and they topped up the fluid, and since then I have had no issues. When I went on Holiday in August, it stood for a month, and didn't sink at all.
 

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Hm. Well, Citroen started fitting non-return valves in their systems quite late in the day: it was very common to see CXes and BXes way down on their bump-stops and depending on the condition of the fluid, the pipes and the pump, the cars could take up to 20-30 seconds to rise.

Changing fluid in those cars was an annual or bi-annual thing - if the CL system is 'open' (that is, it can lose fluid in normal operation) then it should really be dealt with the same way. A good Citroen setup was regularly fed sparkling clean fluid, because pumps and valves could be badly degraded by grit in the medium.

Sounds like MB believe this to be another "maintenance-free" system!
 

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> rodeo

OK so how does one get to that or trigger it? Thinking about Citroen Hydractive and the earlier variants, a change of fluid was viewed as a regular job of work, and the system had little filters inside the fluid reservoir you could take out and pretty much flush in your driveway with a can of WD40. The color of the fluid was the basis of a whole load of diagnostics of the system - it starts out kind of limey green and there are various darker colours it goes until it is black as oil.

Where is the fluid reservoir in the CL engine bay?

Did you ever learn the answer to this?
 

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Did you ever learn the answer to this?
Kinda. I found the reservoir - it's behind the RH headlight if you stand in front of the car looking in the engine bay. Smallish black header tank with a plastic cap: a thick rubber return hose is attached to the centre of the cap and it can't be taken off without removing what looks like a non-removal shield. I tried the cap on mine and it was surprisingly loose !... so I tightened it down.
 

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so is everyone just living w/ this ABC issue whenever the car sags after not driving it for a week? it sounds like this is quite common?
Patrick
 

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Has anyone written a procedure for how to clean and replace these hoses and get the system in tip top shape.

This would be a great file to post on this site.

Does this site have a technical area where these kinds of things are saved for viewing?
 
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