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1999 SLK 230
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As many of you might know, there's a drainage problem with the PSE pump that controls all the locks on the SLK. The pump sits inside the trunk well ("boot" to our fellow Brit SLK owners) and when it gets wet from rain and lack of water drainage, your locks don't work, the alarm goes off intermittently etc.

MB apparently has come up with a fix which is to move the PSE pump within the trunk well.

I discovered this just last week when I dropped my 230 off to have the 3rd PSE pump replaced (3rd replacement was done back in May 2005). My service advisor claims the fix just came out frm MB about 10 days ago.

I don't have a copy of the bulletin number or anything else to refer to it yet as the dealership is still working on the fix (10+ days and counting).

I will post the specifics of the fix when I get the car back in working order.

The dealership had my car for a week to perform this fix (for the very first time) and when I picked it up on a rainy Saturday morning, the locks didn't work and you could hear the pump moaning/groaning in the trunk, so it went back into the shop. [xx(]

I've been promised the car will be available today.[xx(]
 

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Is this a silent recall? Or fix as people report a problem?

Will they charge people that are out of warranty?

Any info will be useful becaue this is a problem that has already happened to me (fixed out of warranty for a trivial charge last year) and it will happen again to the replaced PSE if not fixed.
 

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SLK 230
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The pump gets wet even if the drains are clear.

There is a leak that allows the water to travel down the wires and on to the pump.
 

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I have found that the water leaking into the PSE is the greatest when you have water collected on the trunk lid and you open it to take something out of the trunk. The water runs and pours out into the corner and travels down the wires in the corner even if the drain isn't clogged (it cannot drain all the water that quick). Opening the roof with the trunk opening back is OK except that the water on the roof pours into your lap then [:)]

Other problems are driving in heavy rain which creates sloshing in the area and sends it down into the trunk than through the drain and forced jet of water while washing the car. Don't use pressured water hose to clear the debris in the drain area.

Surprisingly going through a car wash doesn't seem to create much leaking.

Until this is fixed permanently, be vary careful about opening the trunk when you have water on the trunk.
 

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2003 SLK32 AMG
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Mine is at the dealer right now for its 4th PSE in 3 years. I'll be curious to see if they move the pump. I don't see how placing it lower in the trunk will eliminate the problem. Either they need to create a loop in the wiring to drain off water before it reaches thepump or improve the seals and drains to prevent it from entering in the first place. Do the redesigned R171s have the same problem?
 

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2002 SLK32 AMG
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You should know better than that Venk. Of course it's silent, and of course they only fix it if you report it. It's not a recall. Yes, they'll charge people out of warranty, but if you get go in armed with the information, they typically do it free for cars recently out of warranty and cover some of the cost for older cars. Depending on the dealer, you may have to get the Zone rep involved.

I'm thinking that what you want is for them to do the fix now so you won't have the problem again. That may be a much more difficult task than getting a failed PSE replaced for free. Your first PSE failed after 5 years, right. Why would they do now what they can put off another 4 years, or likely forever since few people keep their cars for 9 years?

venk - 10/19/2005 12:15 PM

Is this a silent recall? Or fix as people report a problem?

Will they charge people that are out of warranty?

Any info will be useful becaue this is a problem that has already happened to me (fixed out of warranty for a trivial charge last year) and it will happen again to the replaced PSE if not fixed.
 

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2003 SLK32 AMG
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So far no mysterious new fix at the dealer repairing my car. They are replacing the 2 trunk gaskets along with the PSE pump. This is the first trunk gasket replacement on this vehicle. Other trips to the dealer for PSE pumps have resulted in the more typical drain hose replacement and trunk adjustments. I mentioned a new repair out of Mercedes and they hadn't heard of one yet. I'll post updates as the work progresses.
 

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You should know better than that Venk.
That is always the case, nevertheless...
Of course it's silent, and of course they only fix it if you report it. It's not a recall.
I didn't think it was a publicized (voluntary or involuntary recall). But there are multiple shades of repairs that auto manfacturers do other than a published recall and I was trying to find out which one it was without assuming it.

Is it
a) A recall in which they pre-emptively fix it when customer brings it in for any service service - a symptom of this failure is doors unlocking automatically and this could be enough of a potential liability problem for them and this may also prevent a publicized recall later on.

b) Is it an as-required free repair regardless of warranty status because of a design defect? It would be good to know if this is the case because some dealers aren't up on whether something should be charged.

c) Is it just a service bulletin that tells the service guys how to fix it if they come across it and charging based on "good-will" value as you describe?

It would be good to know what the facts are "without knowing better" on my own. [:)]

I'm thinking that what you want is for them to do the fix now so you won't have the problem again. That may be a much more difficult task than getting a failed PSE replaced for free.
Actually, I had early symptoms last month on two separate occasions of the alarm going off on its own a few minutes after arming it after long drives through pouring rain. For the first failure, this symptom preceded successively bigger symptoms.

Your first PSE failed after 5 years, right. Why would they do now what they can put off another 4 years, or likely forever since few people keep their cars for 9 years?
The failure is not dependent on age, it is dependent on how often the car is exposed to rain. See post above for multiple failures within 3 years. Earlier on, I kept the car religiously out of rain but not so much these days as it is my main car. It may fail after the next few rainy drives for all I know. Hence my interest.
 

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2003 SLK32 AMG
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I just picked up my car and here is what was replaced under my extended Starmark warranty:
210-820-61-117 electric cable
211-820-91-26 control unit
170-800-08-48 pump

These items were replaced under Goodwill:
170-750-00-98 weatherstrip
170-790-03-98 seal, folding

As usual, the local dealership (Friendly Motorcars) lived up to its name and performed the repairs without complaint. The trunk appears do be quite dry even though it is raining and that usually meant some water intrusion in the corners near the rear window. I'm glad that MB is taking this problem seriously and seems to be supporting their dealer network. My local dealer may be doing these repairs on their dime, but I suspect that they are reimbursed. Either way, each time I bring it in I'm treated with respect, given a loaner car, and my car is returned to me in better shape than when I brought it in. I know this sounds like a commercial, but I can't complain about the service I've received and I don't regret the purchase of this car because of that level of dedication. I'll be curious to hear how dave_slk230 did with his Boston area dealer and repair of the same problem.
 

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1999 SLK 230
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Gents,

I have to apologize for not adding to this thread sooner but it's been 3 weeks since my 230 went into the dealership for the PSE pump leak problem.

Four PSE pumps later(!) the dealer finally returned the car in working order. Out of the 4 PSE pumps they installed, one was defective from the factory, two had various problems I'm not quite sure of. Locking actuators for the gas cover and passenger side door had to be replaced as well. The tubing leading to the various doors had to be replaced as it had water in it.

All this on the dealership's dime and no cost to me on a car that is OFF warranty. I got to drive a loaner C320 in the mean time. Not bad for a small sedan; at least the interior didn't look like it would peel. :)


I do give the dealership credit for fixing the problem though I had to go back weekly and point out noisy locks, noisy pump problems and the fact that the locks didn't work after the first PSE replacement, etc.

The "fix" apparently is to flip the PSE pump upside down in the same location. This according to the shop foreman I got to talk to briefly.

The dealership still hasn't given me any specific info or bulletin number. I haven't even gotten the final work order back as they want to "mail" it to me. I assume they want to santize the paperwork. The paperwork IS about 15 pages. I expect to get the paperwork sometime over the weekend.

Whatever specifics I can find out, I'll pass along.

Again, sorry for the long delay and lack of fix details.
 

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dave_slk230 - 10/28/2005 4:10 PM
The "fix" apparently is to flip the PSE pump upside down in the same location.
German engineering ingenuity at its best [:)]

I am wondering if I should do this pre-emptively on my own. The fix does make sense, since the leaking water wouldn't probably collect in the circuit boards this way.
 

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venk - 10/28/2005 8:34 PM

[I am wondering if I should do this pre-emptively on my own. The fix does make sense, since the leaking water wouldn't probably collect in the circuit boards this way.
I think you would need some kind of kit to extend all the pneumatic hoses and electrical wires. I tried to turn it upside-down when I had mine out to put it in a plastic bag, there was no way I could turn it "as is". I'm hoping MB will come out with a kit that the dealer can use to easily extend everything as needed and flip it over. The problem will be finding out if they have such a kit and then getting them to do it without charging a bundle.
 

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RE: Heads Up --- MB has a "fix" for PSE pump

I love my 98GreenSLK (50K) ordered her myself and I am the only one ever behing the wheel - Houston TX. All was exceptional til 2002 dash peeling issue. Greenway (Main) dealer did paint job on my dash. I was told this was the only fix.... I do not like the way it looks. 3 months ago I took her in for noises when I would lock unlock doors. $3240.16 later.... still noises, but the doors and trunk are working. Today is first visit to this site. I was looking for fix to newest problem: drooping fabric headliner noticed today! Now I see the PSE notes..... I cannot believe this - What should I do? Jan Houston working girl.
 

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So..

I just (1 week ago) had mine replaced and turned upside down to the tune of $650...out of warranty - told me that's the best they could do as I was not the original owner (even though I'm only the second - had it since 22k miles) - so I'm really curious if there will be anything that comes out that is an official recall so that I could get my money back.

Faith
 

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I just (1 week ago) had mine replaced and turned upside down to the tune of $650...out of warranty - told me that's the best they could do as I was not the original owner (even though I'm only the second - had it since 22k miles) - so I'm really curious if there will be anything that comes out that is an official recall so that I could get my money back.

Faith

Did you get yours replaced at a dealer? The same procedure cost me 2100.00 up here about 6 months ago. My lovely third party warranty didn't cover it due to the damage being "water induced" and not simply a mechanical failure.

I would absolutely love it if I got that money back from an official recall. :(
 

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I was just thinking (which is always dangerous) why not just plug the drain on the right at the top so no water can go down it at all? Wouldn't the water just go down the other side or run along the gap between the trunk lid and the trunk out the back of the car?
 

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Michaeld619,

The problem is that the water that collects there can posably leak through the trunk seals. After poping the roof hundreds of times I honestly think there are several ways for the water to get in there. One is the small corner window's Look right below those and you can see that it is right above the PSE wires. Drains plugging up and letting water collect there..

Face it these trunks allow a small amount of water in there no matter what. Turning the PSE and covering it is your best defense.
 
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