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1997 E420, 117,000 mls
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65 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How sensitive is the power steering to the level of fluid? When I parked my 97 E420 last night the car was running A1. Upon starting this afternoon there was a groaning from the power steering and the idle speed was up from it's solid 500 RPM to 700 RPM. The fluid level is visible and quite high in the reservoir but just off the dip stick. I've parked the car rather than risk damage but the fluid can only be off by a few tablespoons. Could that small an amount of fluid cause the power steering to groan? Cheers, Chato
 

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1990 Mercedes-Benz 420 SEL(RIP),1997 Mercedes-Benz E420
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1,936 Posts
If the fluid is too low then for sure yes it would start making the sound. As for the level I cant say for sure. Try filling it up to or just below the max line. once full turn the wheel all the way to the right then left a couple of times to ensure flow.
 

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1990 Mercedes-Benz 420 SEL(RIP),1997 Mercedes-Benz E420
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1,936 Posts
Also i believe my gasket in between the fluid container and the power steering pump had fallen apart and is now causing a slow leak, draining the fluid, hitting my belt and could be causing my belt to fall apart.
 

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2001 E320 - Brilliant Silver/Ash: 107,000+
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17,193 Posts
Chato, by "off the dipstick" are you saying it is low and not measured (meaning below MIN) or it is high and above the MAX mark? As Brandon said add fluid if it is low but if it is high then get some out.
 

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1997 E420, 117,000 mls
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65 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It's too low, barely touching the dip stick. I'll top it up tomorrow morning with fluid from the dealership. There's been absolutely no indication of problems up until today so I'm assuming the very minor drop in fluid level is the culprit.

I changed the fluid about two years ago and I've been negligent in checking the level since. I check the engine oil regularly but seldom check the power steering fluid. I'll start including the power steering level when checking engine oil. It's 20 seconds well spent!
 

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2001 E320 - Brilliant Silver/Ash: 107,000+
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It might evaporate over time. I know the dealer added some to mine when I was in there for something else. As far as I know, I haven't needed any since.
 

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1999 E55, 2001 E320, 1990 560 SEC, 2004 ML350, 2001 ML55, 1995 S500, 1998 SL500, 2010 E550 Sport zoo
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7,035 Posts
There is a o-ring leakage on some

A "groan" meaning there is air in the system which usally gets in thru small leaks in the system.

The most common leak is either the hoses, or the o-ring seal on the connection between the fluid reservoir and the pump.

On the o-ringm the reservoir is a slide onf, and the o-ring is on that slide off on the reservoir.

If you have a o-ring leak, the parts are quite affordable, best to get a new reservoir and a new o-ring, which is less than $35 most areas. There is a small nylon baffle screen inside the old reservoir that generally blows out when major air, like a "groan" indicates gets into the system.

Follow proper bleeding proceduire if replacing the reservoir (before the engine is started) which is wheel up off the ground, tunr lock-to-lock manually 20-30
times to bring any trapped air up and out of the system. At least it easier than a W163..
 

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1997 E420, 117,000 mls
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65 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the input guys, it was reassuring . A slight top up of fluid this morning and everything's back to normal. It needed more than the couple of tablespoons I mentioned earlier, more like 100 ml. The system's too sensitive in my opinion but I'm discovering that's the way my E420 is in general. When everything's 100% it runs beautifully, when slightly off, lookout !!!
 
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