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"NEW OWNER" of a 1991 SL 500 weekend toy. Hope I don't go broke maintaining it!
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600 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Greetings MB car fanatics (which I'm becoming) - I'd let to get forum member's input on this:

I have a power steering fluid leak.

I know I need a new P/S pump as that was noticed by MB Mechanic when I did a post/purchase inspection. Yes its the pump :( , No its not the hoses unfortunately. Leaks directly from the pump assembly seams.

I set aside money to get that fixed as its the 2nd to last item of "known repairs" the car needed.

But here's the mystery part:

Its been leaking since October.

So since October, I have a weekly pool of 8-10 inches diameter on my garage floor.

Each week I towel it up. Only for it to reappear the next week, and the next and so on. (for 3 months now).

So ..... How come when I open the PS Fluid canister to check level - which I do weekly - it never drops below the minimum mark!?

Seems to me the reservoir would be empty by now !
That's the mystery part.
Ideas? Just wondering if this is a clue to something else.
 

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Departed 1998 SL500 (and the Pano is in Bogota)
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11,108 Posts
What color was the leaked fluid on the floor ?
 

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Departed 1998 SL500 (and the Pano is in Bogota)
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11,108 Posts
As your level did not drop, I thought would be something else.
 

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1998 SL500, Panoramic Roof, Factory Xenons, Black/Black/Black 2012 GLK350 Black/Beige
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126 Posts
Are you sure it is not transmission fluid? On my 98 one of the cooling lines runs directly underneath the pump, and there is a backet that could chafe it if the rubber is missing. That could explain why the the PS fluid level isn't dropping. Might check your tranny fluid level as well.
 

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2013 SL550 Grey/ Red/Black Ash wood with every option
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426 Posts
P/S Leak

Frank, going back to copy & paste one of my recent posts in reference P/S parts/ price list, I see that you requested some info about taking the P/S pump apart. Sorry I probably never went back to the post. I think you need to get the car on a lift and examine it real good. P/S fluid should be clear/yellowish. not red unless someone put ATF in it. Where is the puddle forming under the car? The two front seals in the pump are the only areas to possibly leak and probably does not require a new pump. The hose/ reservior components are more likely. The steering box may also be leaking. Have you checked your transmission fluid?? The rubber transmission hoses are suspect too. Maybe a combination of all. A thorough inspection will determine what's leaking.
 

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2007 CLS 550, 1998 Harley Road King, 2011 F-150 EcoBoost, '65 Shelby Cobra
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978 Posts
Frank, going back to copy & paste one of my recent posts in reference P/S parts/ price list, I see that you requested some info about taking the P/S pump apart. Sorry I probably never went back to the post. I think you need to get the car on a lift and examine it real good. P/S fluid should be clear/yellowish. not red unless someone put ATF in it. Where is the puddle forming under the car? The two front seals in the pump are the only areas to possibly leak and probably does not require a new pump. The hose/ reservior components are more likely. The steering box may also be leaking. Have you checked your transmission fluid?? The rubber transmission hoses are suspect too. Maybe a combination of all. A thorough inspection will determine what's leaking.
Never trust the stealer regarding the need for a new PS pump. My car was in for a "free" inspection. I was told I needed a new PS pump due to a leak. I want to an indy and he said the small hose between the reservior and the pump is almost always the problem. Hose replaced. Leak fixed.
 

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Sith Lord
72 280SE 88 560SEC 92 E500 6.0 95 SL320 14 GLK350
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11,813 Posts
Maybe when the liquid settles down, it leaks up till a certain point and stops, which explains the constant level mark.
 
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