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1999 E320 4matic (owned previously); 1996 SL500
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674 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My steering rack is leaking from both boots. I've been using genuine Mercedes fluid and using the bleeding technique whenever I add fluid.

But the leak will completely drain the reservoir every 2-3 weeks.

Has anyone used "stop leak" successfully in these systems?

I'd like to try some backyard/local parts store remedies before shelling out almost a grand for a new rack and alignment.
 

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'01-E320 & 02-ST2
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31,631 Posts
If you could somehow confine it to the rack, I'd say go for it, after all, it's already done. However, you'll be flooding the system with it and potentially damaging the pump, etc. And if it does, you'd end up having to flush/replace everything to get rid of it all.

That said, I haven't used a stop-leak system on the MB. However, from past experience on other vehicles I will say that the larger the leak, the less chance there is that an additive will do anything other that increase the leak in your wallet. And from your description, that sounds like a pretty big leak.

Only you know if the risk of damaging something else is worth it. Given the size of the leak, though, I sure wouldn't risk it. That assumes, of course, that no one chimes in with a "hey I used XYZ and it actually worked...it's been 25,000 miles and no leak, no collateral damage" post.

It sucks. Good luck.
 

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1999 E320 4matic (owned previously); 1996 SL500
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674 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Lucas power steering stop leak is in! Seems to be working thus far...

I filled the reservoir from the bottom mark to the top mark with it.

The only side effect is slightly more steering effort is required at lower speeds (likely due to increased viscosity of the stop leak which has the consistency of cool maple syrup).

I'll keep this tread updated with the results...hopefully it won't become an example of what NOT to do.
 

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'01-E320 & 02-ST2
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31,631 Posts
I agree. Thanks for being the test bunny. :) Good luck!
 

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Mercedes-Benz 1998 E320 - 160,000 Miles Strong
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215 Posts
Lucas power steering stop leak is in! Seems to be working thus far...

I filled the reservoir from the bottom mark to the top mark with it.

The only side effect is slightly more steering effort is required at lower speeds (likely due to increased viscosity of the stop leak which has the consistency of cool maple syrup).

I'll keep this tread updated with the results...hopefully it won't become an example of what NOT to do.
I used lucas to stop the leak on a e420 at the main seal on the power steering pump it took the whole bottle over a 1 month period but eventually it did slow the leak down to a stop.
 

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E300TD 1997 W210 Running on WVO and a % of dino...
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1,206 Posts
I cooked my rack as the exhaust fell off at a really bad time and had to drive miles with the gases hitting the top of the rack... :(

MB want 1400 pounds for a new one.
A good reconditionned one is 250.
I just learned yesterday that some company do a repair kit... The top kit where its slightly leaking cost 25 pounds... :thumbsup:
Dunno how hard it is to change it and if a mecanic is needed, but from 1400 to 25, its worth a try :thumbsup:
 

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1998 E320
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53 Posts
Had mine replaced a year ago. The service managers at my dealer actually gave me the name of these people because the cost associated with the new unit compared to car value.

Meridian Auto Parts sells Steering, Air Conditioning and Air Induction

Had it shipped to my indie. Fantastic warranty. I do not remeber exact price , but something reminds me of being under $350, but you will have to check. I went back when A/C compressor died.

Good luck.
 

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1999 E320 4matic (owned previously); 1996 SL500
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674 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
UPDATE: Power steering leak appears to have slowed significantly...

I can't say it is "stopped" but it has slowed to the point where it is more of an annoyance than a real problem.

$10 well spent!!!

Again, the only disadvantage is more steering effort at slow speeds and when the engine is cold. Once warm there is no difference in steering feel.
 

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2002 E55 AMG
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803 Posts
I just changed the rack on my old w210 last month, was pretty easy to do with simple tools and only took about 2 hours from start to finish. For $250 for a rebuilt unit and $14 worth of MB fluid, I am glad I did it myself.
 

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Premium Member
2001 E320 - Brilliant Silver/Ash: 107,000+
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17,193 Posts
j99xj,

Since you said "appears to have slowed significantly" how often do you need to add PS fluid and how much? Congrats on the $10 remedy. Lucas makes great products.
 

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1999 E320 4matic (owned previously); 1996 SL500
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674 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Its at the full mark today (80 degrees C) and I'll see how long it takes to get to the low mark.
 

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E300TD 1997 W210 Running on WVO and a % of dino...
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1,206 Posts
I just changed the rack on my old w210 last month, was pretty easy to do with simple tools and only took about 2 hours from start to finish. For $250 for a rebuilt unit and $14 worth of MB fluid, I am glad I did it myself.

what W210 is it?
Did you need a ramp of you just jacked up the car?
You need to do an alignement after, you did it yourself too?
Cheers.
Olivier
 

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Black on Black 1997 E420
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267 Posts
I just changed the rack on my old w210 last month, was pretty easy to do with simple tools and only took about 2 hours from start to finish. For $250 for a rebuilt unit and $14 worth of MB fluid, I am glad I did it myself.
Pretty impressive! Why didn't you serve the needs of other forum members and post step by step instructions with pics?(still not too late:D) You had a chance to forever be enshrined in the anals of DIY stickies. At any rate, you saved literally hundreds of $$$ in labor costs.:thumbsup:
 

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2001 SLK 320(217K Miles), 2002 E320 Special Edition(183K Miles)
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3,467 Posts
You had a chance to forever be enshrined in the anals of DIY stickies. At any rate, you saved literally hundreds of $$$ in labor costs.:thumbsup:
Of course he may rather prefer to be in the annals.:D But to each his own. ;)
 

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E300TD 1997 W210 Running on WVO and a % of dino...
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1,206 Posts
Of course he may rather prefer to be in the annals.:D But to each his own. ;)
funny what a letter can do :D

Its a bit like this one:

A new monk arrived at the monastery. He was assigned to help the other monks in copying the old texts by hand. He noticed, however, that they were copying copies, not the original books. The new monk went to the head monk to ask him about this. He pointed out that if there were an error in the first copy, that error would be continued in all of the other copies.

The head monk said, 'We have been copying from the copies for centuries, but you make a good point, my son.' The head monk went down into the cellar with one of the copies to check it against the original.

Hours later, nobody had seen him, so one of the monks went downstairs to look for him. He sees him banging his head against the wall and wailing, "We missed the "R", we missed the "R". His forehead is all bloody and bruised and he is crying uncontrollably.

The young monk asks the old abbot, "What's wrong, father?" With a choking voice, the old abbot replies, "The word was CELEBRATE, not CELIBATE!"
 

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1999 E430
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9 Posts
Current owner of 99 210 430.
Had a slow leak from a worn out seal on the passenger side of the rack.
As a temporary fix I used lucas stop leak not realizing that the extra thickness would cause damage to other components. I learned the hard way, I now have to replace the rack and the power steering pump.
Due to the extra thickness of this stuff plus the cold of winter the consistency was that of tar. I would hear the pump whining on the first start of the day thinking that this cant be good.
Anyways my point is that this stuff sucks, maybe use it for a week to a month but no longer, it will eventually blow out the power steering pump due to the thickness.
 

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1999 E320 4matic (owned previously); 1996 SL500
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674 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
You have to add it in increments. If the reservoir is at the low mark, you fill it to the top mark (for the respective temperature). Also you still need to do the bleeding procedure when adding fluid. (turing the wheel lock to lock a few times with the reservoir cap LOOSE or off) If there is air in the system the pump will whine like crazy.

My power steering system is practically "fixed". When it warms up I'll go check the fluid level.

I DO NOT, and probably will never buy the notion that a Mercedes is an ultra sensitive car that will experience immediate catastrophic failure if anything but the "recommended fluids/parts" are used.
 

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1999 E430
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9 Posts
You have to add it in increments. If the reservoir is at the low mark, you fill it to the top mark (for the respective temperature). Also you still need to do the bleeding procedure when adding fluid. (turing the wheel lock to lock a few times with the reservoir cap LOOSE or off) If there is air in the system the pump will whine like crazy.

My power steering system is practically "fixed". When it warms up I'll go check the fluid level.

I DO NOT, and probably will never buy the notion that a Mercedes is an ultra sensitive car that will experience immediate catastrophic failure if anything but the "recommended fluids/parts" are used.
Thanks for the info on bleeding the reservoir, I wasnt aware of the trapped air causing the whining noise.
However, I still stick to my opinion that this stuff is thick and will only get thicker when its freezing cold during winter. During summer or warm months it was a little stiff in the morning, however once the car warmed up it was fine. During winter starts it stayed too thick for a longer period of time and caused the pump to work harder to push this sludge around the system causing premature failure leading to a rupture in the pump seal.
Think about it, how thick is this stuff compared to steering fluid or break fluid? It would leave one to assume that this system was design for a relatively thin liquid:surrender:
 
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