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2007 Mercedes-Benz CLS550
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi All,

I just copped a 2007 CLS550 w/ 89,000 mi. I did a pre-purchase inspection and the seller fixed the most significant issues: Tie rod, front tires, alignment, and coolant leak from cracked reservoir. A transmission service w/ filter was noted but since it’s general service I decided to take care of it myself. Now, I took it to the dealer post-purchase for a recall, “front parking lamp” warning and bulb is out—(might start another thread), a stuck power steering fluid reservoir cap (I tried everything and the fluid is low so she’s whining like an almost hungry baby), and a creaking noise on turns.

Here’s where your help comes in. I need to decode the dealership advisor bull. This is their recommendations:
  1. Front lower ball joints blown out/torn - replace
  2. Lower control arms - replace
  3. Front thrust arms (bushings) - replace
  4. Power steering reservoir - replace
  5. Power steering rack (seal leak claim) - replace
  6. Engine & transmission mounts collapsed - replace
  7. Headlight assembly (due to front parking lamp bulb frayed wiring) - replace
My car is solid and in pristine condition - owned by two seniors in Mt. Pleasant, SC. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have bought it. I have over 10 years of DIY experience in Jeep Cherokees and Saabs. This is my first Benz, and I’d rather not toy with her too much since she’s my pleasure ride.

I don’t trust that she has this many issues. Especially since she rides so smooth and I had a good feeling about my purchase.

She’s at the dealer now. Please help me to decipher through the bull so I can move on from their tyranny and lies. Here’s the video:
http://hmchnc.mkvwa5.com/p/QRA7ni.html

Thanks, and I’m proud to be here.

Queen
 

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W163 and General M Gremlin
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8,573 Posts
Welcome to BW Queen,

Good to have you as a new member.
Please complete your BW registration profile so members may better assist you.
Goto your ===> user CP profile====> click on your icon----> click on Account Settings----> goto Account Details----> add vehicle details---->
ADD your make model YEAR into your Profile ----> click save.

Since you already have DIY experience, go thru this check list and inspect them yourself.
For items 2 & 5, ask why and have them show you the details.
issue 5 could be due to issue 4 - issue 4 should be an easy fix - most likely a seal. Possibly dripping down on the PSR?
Issue 6, Plenty of YT videos showing you how to check and test. DIY replacement is straighforward,
Issue 7, frayed wires does happen due to heat issues over time. Remove the assembly, open it up and replace wiring, if needed.
Done.

Some information to help you navigate, etc., thru BW, in future:
 

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06'E350 wgn,05'E320 CDI,04'E320 wgn,85'300CD,67'230SL
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611 Posts
Hello Queen, welcome and good to hear you can DIY some issues and sort/prioritize others.
Good suggestions from khomer2.

I'm fortunate to have several good independent MB/Euro repair shops in my area. I'm sure there must be some near you, and perhaps other's on this forum can suggest which are best. I joined MB Club of America 26 years ago, and local members are also a good source of info and shop recommendations, as well as Dealership discounts to members for service and parts.

These cars have an excellent On-Board Diagnostic system that allows you to simply plug an OBD-II reader into the port and pre-diagnose issues before bringing to a dealer. I'm not a professional mechanic so the ICarSoft MB V2 (about $150-Amazon) more than meets my needs. Some things I can re-set myself, and if I can't, having some knowledge of the cause before I surrender to dealer saves me time and money and cuts through the BS.

There must be a leak somewhere in power steering if reservoir is low. Delaying repair will only cause more expensive problems. Gotta find a way to remove the reservoir fill/cap and add fluid ASAP, like carefully with a large channel-loc pliers that can grip and apply enough torque.

Nice Car, good luck on your journey and let us know..... -Vinny
 

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Registered
2007 Mercedes-Benz CLS550
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Welcome to BW Queen,

Good to have you as a new member.
Please complete your BW registration profile so members may better assist you.
Goto your ===> user CP profile====> click on your icon----> click on Account Settings----> goto Account Details----> add vehicle details---->
ADD your make model YEAR into your Profile ----> click save.

Since you already have DIY experience, go thru this check list and inspect them yourself.
For items 2 & 5, ask why and have them show you the details.
issue 5 could be due to issue 4 - issue 4 should be an easy fix - most likely a seal. Possibly dripping down on the PSR?
Issue 6, Plenty of YT videos showing you how to check and test. DIY replacement is straighforward,
Issue 7, frayed wires does happen due to heat issues over time. Remove the assembly, open it up and replace wiring, if needed.
Done.

Some information to help you navigate, etc., thru BW, in future:
Yes, I was thinking the PS leak was coming from above (#5). I read the O ring from the pump to reservoir has been an issue. They sent me a video and the tech explains each issue as he points it out. I can see the leak on the driver’s side but I don’t see moisture above. Check it out: http://hmchnc.mkvwa5.com/p/QRA7ni.html
Thanks for the pointers.
 

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2007 Mercedes-Benz CLS550
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hello Queen, welcome and good to hear you can DIY some issues and sort/prioritize others.
Good suggestions from khomer2.

I'm fortunate to have several good independent MB/Euro repair shops in my area. I'm sure there must be some near you, and perhaps other's on this forum can suggest which are best. I joined MB Club of America 26 years ago, and local members are also a good source of info and shop recommendations, as well as Dealership discounts to members for service and parts.

These cars have an excellent On-Board Diagnostic system that allows you to simply plug an OBD-II reader into the port and pre-diagnose issues before bringing to a dealer. I'm not a professional mechanic so the ICarSoft MB V2 (about $150-Amazon) more than meets my needs. Some things I can re-set myself, and if I can't, having some knowledge of the cause before I surrender to dealer saves me time and money and cuts through the BS.

There must be a leak somewhere in power steering if reservoir is low. Delaying repair will only cause more expensive problems. Gotta find a way to remove the reservoir fill/cap and add fluid ASAP, like carefully with a large channel-loc pliers that can grip and apply enough torque.

Nice Car, good luck on your journey and let us know..... -Vinny
The dealer removed the cap for me so I plan to have them add PS fluid, and I bought some too. I just need to get to the bottom of the leak because I don’t tolerate them. I’ll consider investing in the OBD-II Reader. I need one for my Saab anyway. Thanks for the feedback.
 

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I'm blown away with the vid to be honest, I'm just not used to this level of service and transparency at my dealer. The only 'weird' thing for me is that you say the ride is perfect and they say all 3 mounts collapsed.
 

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99' E320, 00' E320, 03' E320T, 05' C230K
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4,213 Posts
Wow..............I think the video with the technician explaining what needs to be done is pretty cool. All repair shops should do this or with the owner present.

The severity of the problem or urgency of the repair is another matter. That has to be determined on certain items. I would of like to see him use a pry bar on some of the suspension parts.
 

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W163 and General M Gremlin
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8,573 Posts
Yes, I was thinking the PS leak was coming from above (#5). I read the O ring from the pump to reservoir has been an issue. They sent me a video and the tech explains each issue as he points it out. I can see the leak on the driver’s side but I don’t see moisture above. Check it out: http://hmchnc.mkvwa5.com/p/QRA7ni.html
Thanks for the pointers.
Cheers for the video link and their (indie) transparency
You're on top of things Queen.
Ditto what @260e crusier stated - "...severity of the problem...", like going to the dentist an they tell you one of your fillings is cracked...
it's a personal decision - do you get it done now,or wait until it cracks (open).

It's a same with auto makers, for American cars, if it ain't broke, no need to fix it. For the Germans, time for preventative replacements.
 

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2007 Mercedes-Benz CLS550
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm blown away with the vid to be honest, I'm just not used to this level of service and transparency at my dealer. The only 'weird' thing for me is that you say the ride is perfect and they say all 3 mounts collapsed.
It’s two mounts: one for the transmission and the other for the engine. Those are standard replacements. What I’m really unsure about is the lower ball joints and control arms, and the PS rack. I think the video is cool too.
 

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W163 and General M Gremlin
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8,573 Posts
It’s two mounts: one for the transmission and the other for the engine. Those are standard replacements. What I’m really unsure about is the lower ball joints and control arms, and the PS rack. I think the video is cool too.
LBJ ===> lots of videos on DIY testing.
Jack up the front end with arms hanging. Grab the tire at 12 & 6 position and alternate, pushing in & out. You're looking/feeling for looseness and any excessive movement, clicking/clunking noises for a potential worn out lbj.
Inspecting just the boots for rips tears is a good idea, this visual isn't definitive.
For the 9 & 3 position, the same for excessive play of the tie rod issues, bearings bushings and again visual is needed here for the bushings (as many never, ever change these out).

For the PSR, you feeling any symptoms of a bad one?
 

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2007 Mercedes-Benz CLS550
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Okay, when I pick it up on Monday, up she goes. I am hearing a creaking noise on turns. I just wish I knew what was most important so I could have it done while they have the car. According to them, it all needs to be done, now.

The PS feels good and tight but the fluid is low, and the leak is obvious just not sure where it’s coming from. From the video, it doesn’t look like it’s coming from up top. To me, It looks like it’s coming from the hoses attached to the PS rack but he says it’s the seal, which I’m not sure about.

I do realize that buying a 14-year old car is going to involve repair costs but I think this may be excessive all at once. I want my daughter and I to be safe when we’re riding.

The tie rods are newly replaced.
 

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W163 and General M Gremlin
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8,573 Posts
Pick up one of these, if you don't have one. I use it all the time for a range things under the hood, under the cars, when I lose fasteners, or need to find a leak buried in all that congestion.
 

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Outstanding Contributor , SDS Guru
1998 MB E300TD, 1997 MB E36 AMG, 2001 MB E55 AMG. 2011 BMW 335d
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6,661 Posts
The rack and pinion needs to be replaced, not the boot or the seal. AFAIK the rack is not serviceable.

Everything else he said on the video is on point.
 

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Outstanding Contributor , SDS Guru
1998 MB E300TD, 1997 MB E36 AMG, 2001 MB E55 AMG. 2011 BMW 335d
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6,661 Posts
  1. Front lower ball joints blown out/torn - replace
  2. Lower control arms - replace
  3. Front thrust arms (bushings) - replace
  4. Power steering reservoir - replace
  5. Power steering rack (seal leak claim) - replace
  6. Engine & transmission mounts collapsed - replace
  7. Headlight assembly (due to front parking lamp bulb frayed wiring) - replace
Out of all of those, the PS is the important ones. #4 and 5. All others can be done piecemeal, one at a time...though the suspension bits are best done all at once, makes it easier.
 

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I disagree a bit on priority.
I would do the ball joints first, and would do the control arms while I’m there.
The PS reservoir leak is common and an easy DIY fix, so i’d knock that out of the way.
Then I would replace the rusty idler pulley he mentioned on the serp belt.

The leaky rack does need fixing, but I would probably replace the seals on my own. It’s messy and time-consuming but not excessively difficult. Otherwise, shop around for a non-dealer-priced fix.

The headlight wiring is an extremely common problem and potentially could be repaired with wiring and harness parts, but at 14 years old if the lens is starting to cloud up, I would probably look for the best aftermarket assembly I could find.
 

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2007 Mercedes-Benz CLS550
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16 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
I’ll do 4, 5 and the idler pulley. I’m checking out the YT video for the reservoir (#4) so I might take a stab at it, or not (depending on time involvement). I thought about doing the seals (#5} on my own but they’re not sold separately. I’ll also ask if they can lubricate the bushings.

I’m pretty sure there’s a headlight washer. The lens look good. I’m gonna lightly spray the bulb socket with quick dry Electronic Cleaner. The low beams share the same housing and frayed wires, and they work so hopefully it’s the contacts.

I’m gonna try to negotiate the costs. May God be with me. Then I’ll continue to vet an Indy shop for the rest.
 

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2007 Mercedes-Benz CLS550
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Hey Fellas,

I have an update for you: I decided to get a second opinion. I found a legit Indy about two miles from home. Their master tech worked for MB service for 14 years. They found similar repairs needed except he said the leak was coming from the PS line, not the rack 🙄. They assured me that the rack is fine. They also said the repair was not an emergency because it was a very slow seep. The seemed to think the lower ball joint and control arms are more pressing. They also said the control arms and bushings are a set. MB priced those separately.

Their service guy broke down everything (labor and parts). They provided pics vs. a video (I’ll take it) and they’re 30% cheaper.

They also said the mounts were starting to sag but no replacement recommended yet.

Anyone ever have a PS line issue? I’m going to stress alleviating the PS leak.

Thank you for all of the feedback.
 

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Outstanding Contributor , SDS Guru
1998 MB E300TD, 1997 MB E36 AMG, 2001 MB E55 AMG. 2011 BMW 335d
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Replacing a PS line is super easy and cheap compared to a rack.

Ball joints and control arms, depends on your geographical location, but yes they Are replaced in sets.
 
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