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87 420SEL, 91 560SEC, 02 S55 AMG, 01 CLK55 AMG
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all, I own a 2002 S55 AMG with 105,000 KM (N/A motor) and recently had the fuel lines repaired by a shop that also replaced my brakes. The car has been parked for many months prior due to leaking fuel lines. When I bought it earlier this year, I didn't have any ABC issues.
The only thing to note is that I removed the battery for many months during summer and when I did turn the car back on, it was just to tow it on a flatbed twice from one shop to another.
When I left the car sitting for a few months, the suspension at the front was slammed to the ground. But when I turned on the car and pressed the ride height button, the car jumps up and suspension is back to level.

When I finally got the car back with fuel lines fixed, I drove maybe 20-30KM and now I have ABC message in RED every time I start the car and I can hear / feel a low growl / humming inside the car.
The noise pulses and comes and goes. I have only driven maybe 3-4KM with this issue and am not driving the car anymore. Most people say to check the ABC fluid and run the car in Rodeo mode and do a drain / fill.
Can anyone help guide me to a shop in Toronto that would do this and not charge a lot? Just spent $1000 on repairs this week and the car is already needing more.
I'm told 10L is the minimum amount of fluid to have? The suspension does not sink on any corner even after the car is parked a few days. But after about 10-14 days, the front end is much lower than rear.
I have not touched the suspension button or ABC button to try anything. I'm thinking of opening the ABC fluid reservoir to check the fluid level but some people say even that's dangerous due to contamination.

Looking for some help / guidance on what to do. Car drove fine going over bumps and all during the 3-4KM i drove.
I have seen various YouTube DIYs where people are using a pump to take out the old fluid into a bucket and put in new fluid and change filter.
Should I do this? Or is the only way to do this using Rodeo mode so the fluid is totally cleared out?
Or is the fluid not the issue? From googling, I can tell the ABC system is very complex and has a lot of parts that can and will fail..
I just want to minimize damages to my wallet as this car has cost me more per KM than all of my other cars combined.. (87 420sel, 91 560sec, 01 clk55)

Should I just convert to a coilover setup? Has anyone done this? If so, from where and at what cost?

Thanks for your help in advance!
 

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If you haven’t even checked fluid level you definitely need to ASAP . Don’t drive it till you check fluid level

You’ll be fine it’s easy to check level it has a dipstick just wipe all the dust clean around the reservoir first

there are two dipsticks the large reservoir is abc and the small is power steering. check both of them . They both use pentosin chf11s fluid which many large auto parts stores sell
 

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W220 Moderator
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Should I just convert to a coilover setup? Has anyone done this? If so, from where and at what cost?
Not in a million years.

You own a Supercar, expect to own it and all the issues it will present, we have all had to do this, but once you get on top of it it will be fine :)

Do as Tusabes said, check that level, also note that there is 4 markings, Laden and Un Laden, plus Motor Running (An), and Motor Off (Aus) for each. If you need to top up do it with a funnell through dipstick orifice and in small (100ml increments). Once you get near correct reading, then run the car up and down a few times using the switch inside, re check and your good to go ;)

Keep checking it for a while to make certain you don't have a small leak, a large leak is usually obvious ;)

Settling down in the timeframes you are quoting is quite acceptable, providing it is not an external leak, if it lowers over night get it checked out ;)

HTH,
 
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1999 CL500
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Whereabouts are you in Toronto? Chris at S&S Motors on Queen St East knows the ABC system really well and he's very trustworthy
 

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2000 S500
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w220,. airmatic,. ABC,. the achilles heel of these cars,.
The purists here will council you to fix and repair,. practical people recognize the benefits of a reliable suspension so one can actually enjoy the car. Two totally opposing points of view,.
I'm not sure a naturally aspirated S55 fits into the realm of super car.
Trying to maintain a W220 in canada is not without its challenges,. weak dollar,. weather etc.
The next obvious advice from this forum and its usual suspects will be to council you on purchasing and SDS setup thereby adding to your cost per mile etc,. and sending you on an expensive learning curve to further your enjoyment of owning a
" super car"
Most of the advice will come from warmer climates,..or from very knowledgeable folks like dave who work on MB cars for a living.
Also be prepared for some acid remarks and opinions if you have the gall to modify your " super car" to your likeing,. very much a purist forum
All the best,
From just north of the GTA with a not so "super" run of the mill S500.
 

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Lol @ supercar .................

According to my Insurance Company they are, and I'm not talkin ££££ because I pay no extra to add Cars to my Trade policy, but they are classed as group 50 in UK ;)

SDS is as essential as spanners and sockets, as is Ford IDS on the more modern Fords with much electronics, and similarly the equivalent Dealer Level Kits for all other cars with CAN Buses and multiple Computer Modules on board ;)

Personally I don't care what he does to modify his Car, but removing the ABC well, might as well go and buy Volkswagen or BMW :poop: with Springs and Shocks, ABC is what makes these Cars handle so well when driven hard.
And with knowledge and the right equipment they are not that hard to fix ;) Maintained properly they don't break.
 

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And his problem may simply be low fluid as the car holds its height for 10 days when parked . It’s free to check fluid level, and it doesn’t require sds

I’d have no issue recommending a coil spring conversion if say , the abc pump went out and sent metal bits throughout the system as it will always be contaminated and will fail again . But Recommending someone tear out the system for a minor problem like a burst hose or low fluid level doesn’t make sense
 

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87 420SEL, 91 560SEC, 02 S55 AMG, 01 CLK55 AMG
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161 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thank you to everyone who responded. I checked the level when the car is cold and found the level to be right for the ABC reservoir.
The Power steering reservoir was very low though. You can see in the pictures. I used CHF11S to top up the power steering fluid and now its at MAX.
Could the power steering fluid being this low set off ABC warning screen and cause the odd vibration / humming noise?
Should I turn the car on now that power steering fluid level is correct?
How long does the car have to be running/idling to get the level for ABC with the Motor Running?

I did notice the suspension is more bouncy when I drove last time with the humming noise from the pump and RED ABC warning message in the screen.

Also a separate issue I face is after unlocking the car and closing the driver door and reopening it (without starting the car), the car gives me a red screen saying "move the shift lever to P" Even though its already in P. Not sure what that is about?
 

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87 420SEL, 91 560SEC, 02 S55 AMG, 01 CLK55 AMG
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161 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Whereabouts are you in Toronto? Chris at S&S Motors on Queen St East knows the ABC system really well and he's very trustworthy
Thanks! I'm not that far and could drive there IF its safe to drive my car 20KM? Not sure if that's safe or not...
Another shop quoted me between $650-900 depending on whether I use Pentosin, Mercedes OEM, or Liqui Moly fluid.
They quoted me 2hrs of labor to do the Rodeo / pump out and pump in fresh fluid.
I noticed the color of the old fluid is brownish and the new is green. So maybe I should get new fluid put in with fresh filter?
The price seems very high though because the cost of 1L of CHF11S here is $30-35 in Canada.
Prices above are in Canadian dollars.
 

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87 420SEL, 91 560SEC, 02 S55 AMG, 01 CLK55 AMG
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161 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Yeah 10 day sag is ok. You need to drive it more frequently then that anyway if you don’t want a dead battery
I LOVE DRIVING IT. The problem is, every time I have driven it regularly, I face a major issue.
First it was fuel line leaking.. so I left it parked for a few months and enjoyed my CLK55 instead.
Now that winter is coming, I parked that and want to switch to driving the S55.
I spent $1000 fixing the fuel lines and getting fresh brakes and put in new engine oil.. within 20KM of driving.. ABC Red Screen of Death appears and I can tell the pump is struggling to work.
There's no fluid I can see leaking outside the car anywhere.. LUCKILY.
Not sure what the issue is exactly but I'm afraid to drive the car, hence i have barely driven it 300KM since purchase in FEB 2020.
 

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The abc and ps pump are the same so yes a low ps fluid level could be what you are hearing . Your abc level looks a bit low still so add a bit more

then drive it
 

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87 420SEL, 91 560SEC, 02 S55 AMG, 01 CLK55 AMG
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Discussion Starter #13
The abc and ps pump are the same so yes a low ps fluid level could be what you are hearing . Your abc level looks a bit low still so add a bit more

then drive it
Thank you for the reply! I will add now and see how she drives... fingers crossed. And toes
 

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If you get SDS you can easily find out what the Red Message is, as all it is telling you is there is a problem, not a specific problem .....................

If it comes on when driving, but not when starting when the Car's height level is OK, then that together with "Bouncy Go Kart" type ride points to Accumulator issues which are not mega expensive and also not too bad to fit, and OK to drive it at slower speeds ;)

Drain the fluid and change the filter, (Inside the big cap) at the same time as accumulators, then with SDS you can also Rodeo it ;)

SDS is essential for these cars if you don't wanna get fleeced by Dealership and regular Garages ;)

These Cars are not that expensive to maintain DIY, with SDS and help on here ;)

The folks who come here spouting how bad they are are the very folks who fit chinesium or secondhand Ebay parts, and stubbornly refuse to buy $500 - $700 SDS ;)

On one issue alone SDS will save you that much in Parts, Labour, and save you the frustration of wasting money on bits ya don't need plus still having an unfixed Car.

If you don't believe me read some of @cowboyt 's threads, he has (IIRC 3 S Class W220 and an E Class), I had 4 MB's until recently, R170 SLK, (now with V8 in it), my W220 S Class, a W212 E Class Wagon, and the now sold W203 C Class ;)

Neither of us have issues fixing our cars in a timely manner, neither of us had ever seen an MB that intimately when we first joined here, both of us got SDS, in fact I had SDS for working on CDI Vans, and I bought my dead barn find W220 S500 just to teach myself SDS on a loaded Car, as they have a lot more Computer Modules that a Sprinter or Vito ;)

I have imparted "the knowledge", I'll now follow on and see if I can help, as you have another MB, "BUY THE BLOODY SDS" 🤣

(y)
 

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2007 E220CDI, 1990 300E-24V, 1987 W124 3.6 AMG build 1993 E500 W124, 94 320CE, 1997 W140 S280
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Plus the SDS system will always have value in it so if you sell the car on you can recoup a decent chunk of your initial investment by selling the SDS on here or on fleabay. Ie, don't think you "lose" 500 bucks in buying SDS you can always re-coup some of that.
 

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/\ /\ /\ Agreed :)

It is easily possible to sell a system that can be demonstrated as running, because it doesn't need keygens doing, doesn't need anything, just plug in and go play, so because of that it commands a premium ;)
 

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87 420SEL, 91 560SEC, 02 S55 AMG, 01 CLK55 AMG
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Discussion Starter #17
Hello all, after 3 days of no driving - the left driver side is now a little lower than right driver side. The right side also seems a little lower than normal.
It's not slammed to the ground but notably lower. Bad sign? I haven't driven it or even turned it on since topping up the fluid. A mechanic said its best to leave the system OFF if there's a major fault.
I have topped up the fluid for both ABC and Power steering but I haven't turned the car on.
Car has now been sitting for 3 days since last being driven / turned on.
I was quoted about 700-900$ CAD (depending on what type of fluid i choose) for the rodeo test / pump out and refill method by a shop that is 45 mins away... I would have to tow it there. The fluid is expensive and they recommend buying 14L of it.. Sounds like too much if the system only holds 4/5L?
My fluid color right now is not at all green, its almost brown looking...
I guess I'll call a few shops and see who has the SDS system.. Mercedes wants $350 to diagnose!
 

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You added fluid now you need to drive it to see how it responds. Driving now , knowing fluid is full is fine - it’s only driving while empty that causes damage

what was the point of adding fluid if you weren’t gojng to drive it and test it out?


you added fluid , and now drive it and see how it behaves and report back . You should see in just a short drive how it behaves
 

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A mechanic said its best to leave the system OFF
Avoid that idiot, the system is always ON, you can only control ride and height settings.

3 Days is not the worst for a partial sag, slammed on the stops over night is when it's got a bad issue, again, if no external leaks then a Valve Block Rebuild usually cures that.

Do the VB's at the same time as the Accumulators and then new Fluid / Filter / Flush

If you think that the Fluid is expensive perhaps you should buy a Car that is cheaper to maintain, and the reason you need so much is to actually run that much fluid through it to flush it properly, I pay £12 per litre ;) That and a filter is maintenance !!

Have you had the plastic covers off underneath and checked for any leaks ???

IIRC you said it needed little fluid in Steering, but ABC was dirty, that makes the previous owners cheapskate mo fo's who have neglected the Car, and you have now inherited the fall out as so many new owners do ;)

I know MB's very well, work with them all day long. I never buy any MB and expect not to spend at least £2000 on it and that will just be parts, I do all the labour myself ;)

Have you actually had this on SDS yet ????

No is my guess .........................

Next posts on other threads like this usually say "your all crabbit stalwart purists, my mate says these cars are sh!t, la la la"...................

Don't lets go down that road ;)

You really should be able to DIY this, keep paying shops, especially those that are obviously inept is a total waste of money ;)
 
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Outstanding Contributor , SDS Guru
1998 MB E300TD, 1997 MB E36 AMG, 2001 MB E55 AMG
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depending on what type of fluid i choose
Pentosin CHF 11s only. No exception.

they recommend buying 14L
Yes, that's the amount you need to do a full flush.

Mercedes wants $350 to diagnose!
Yep, sounds normal for the dealer. That price is a 'go away, you're bothering me' and if you accept, they will do the bare minimum. In other words, they don't want you there.

Find an quality indy who's familiar with german vehicles. Hopefully a specialist and not a random yoohoo that's right next to a gas station.
 
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