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1990 500SL
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135 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, I am back after a bit of a break with no car problems.

My 1990 500SL is making a loud groaning noise every time i turn the wheel. it is obviously a noise associated to the power steering. it just started doing this after the car sat for a month unused.

Is it an easy fix or a job for the experts?

Thanks for your help.
 

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1990 500SL
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135 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes. it is at the right level. Anyone have a photo or diagram of where the fluid is just in case i checked the wrong one?
 

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1990 500SL
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135 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for that Erikfinn. I was looking in the wrong place. It's raining right now and the car is on the road because i am building a new garage for it. once i get a chance i will check the fluid again.
 

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Black SL 500 1994
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1,026 Posts
Cheers, once you are at it check if you have a leak under the reservoir. I had on mine and it is very hard to detect looking from the top but if it is moist under there you (probably) have a leak. I had, and if I am not mistaken it is not that uncommon to develop one...
 

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07 R 280 CDI
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217 Posts
ErikFinn: I have the same problem with mine, and checked that container yesterday. I couldn't find any level markings. How much is it supposed to be in there. I will guess mine was about 1/4 full. What type of oil should I top it with?

Thanks in advance...

Kjetil
 

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Caretaker '11 GLK RWD, '04 C240 4matic- totaled, '92 500SL-sold, 95 320E-sold, 85 300TD-sold
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1,694 Posts
Valvoline synthetic with "stop leak" worked for me, less than $5 Cdn at the auto parts store- dealer wanted $2400 to replace pump!!!
 

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Black SL 500 1994
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1,026 Posts
SLNorway said:
ErikFinn: I have the same problem with mine, and checked that container yesterday. I couldn't find any level markings. How much is it supposed to be in there. I will guess mine was about 1/4 full. What type of oil should I top it with?

Thanks in advance...

Kjetil
Heja Kjetil,

I tried to search the manual but couldn't find anything about the level nor the fluid.

But I went to check mine (-93 SL500) and if you open the lid you have a yellowish plastic bar or rod sticking up in the center of the reservoir - on that there should be a level marking indicating at least the maximum level, marked with text: "MAXIMUM 20oC" (o as in degrees...), I just checked mine and I have this level marking on mine...

That Maximum level corresponds to about 3cm from the top edge of the reservoir. I'm sorry I don't know if there is a minimum level mark as I couldn't see through the fluid... But to me it sounds you definitely have too low level, mine is about 2/3 full, exactly at the said Maximum mark, and about 3cm (about 1 inch) from the absolute top edge of the reservoir (without the lid of course...)

Regarding the fluid I would get mine at the dealer's - they know what you should use and should be able to provide you with the correct MB fluid, the price difference can't be so huge to other brands that it would make a real difference.. And hopefully you'll then get the exact same fluid that you have in there already, so to avoid any possible contamination...

Found this one also:

http://www.benzworld.org/forums/r12...sl500-power-steering.html?highlight=reservoir

Regards,
Erik

PS. I do like your wheel/tire combination there, must be a European thing...! ;-)
 

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Black SL 500 1994
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1,026 Posts
sualk54 said:
Valvoline synthetic with "stop leak" worked for me, less than $5 Cdn at the auto parts store- dealer wanted $2400 to replace pump!!!
I paid maybe 20 bucks to a specialist. The mechanic said the hose connecting to the reservoir needed a bit of tightening and did just that (including a wash under the reservoir). Been fine for the last 10,000 kilometers. (I had a small leak only, no noises or other issues..)
 

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1990 500SL
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135 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I just opened up the reservoir. it is only about half full (just below the yellow plastic thing). It is also a dark brown colour which surprises me. i would have thought it should be light brown or red. And there is signs of slow leakage on the outside bottom of the reservoir.

What colour liquid is yours. is it all the way to the top filled?

So... does the fluid need to be replaced. if so does it just drain out somewhere or do i need to bleed the system of air like with brakes. Is it a home job or a service job? I will do the job myself if it is not too in-depth.
 

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Mine was even lower than that, I filled up till it reached the bottom of the plastic. Can't see any markings like max or min though.......

The colour ain't to bad I think, mine was also brown/grey. When I bought new liquid, it was almost the same colour.
 

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Black SL 500 1994
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1,026 Posts
Hi guys,

the yellow thingy (rod, bar) on NZSL's pic is different to mine, but looking at the pic I think you guys DO have the level markings in there, just a bit different: you see those wedges (or arrow/spear heads, triangles) edged on the yellow rod..? I believe they indicate your RANGE for the level - the bottom of the wedges indicating the minimum level and the top the top respectively. As I said before, mine is at the MAX.20oC mark and is about 3cm from the top edge of the reservoir.

NZSL - regarding your "slow leakage on the outside bottom of the reservoir"; I think that could well be a similar leakage that I had on mine. It was from the connection between the reservoir and the hose connecting to it, on the outside bottom of the reservoir. I never actually saw it, but my MB specialist said that was the point where the leakage was and tightened the connection a bit and it stopped the leakage, maybe 20 minutes labor, including a thorough wash under the car, no parts were needed. I would suggest you take it to a shop and ask them to take a look at yours. Or if you are comfortable with working on your car yourself then try it yourself. At the time I would not have tried to fix it myself, but luckily I had a good and honest mechanic who fixed my leakage without expensive labor or parts.


Regarding the correct color, I have no other information but what I read on this post:

http://www.benzworld.org/forums/r12...sl500-power-steering.html?highlight=reservoir

My color appears pretty much the same as NZSL's (at least looking at the pic above) but I don't know how old mine actually is, or if it is still good quality or not... :-/


Regarding fluid replacement, I'm sorry to say I don't know if or how this should be done... Maybe someone can shed some light on that one..?
But here's one more thread that might be helpful (although the M119 on the thread is a -97 and apparently has a newer design pump):

http://www.benzworld.org/forums/r12...-steering-rebuild-kit.html?highlight=steering

One more thread...:

http://www.benzworld.org/forums/r129-sl-class/1243771-power-steering-noise.html?highlight=banjo
 

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1990 500SL
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135 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for those other two threads ErikFinn. That second one is the same as mine. groaning when turning the wheel.

I'm coming up to some days off work on saturday so will be able to work on the car then.

I will try to just top-up the reservoir to start with and see if that works.
I will also tighten things up to stop the leak and clean the area so-as to see if it still leaks.

By the way, if you look closely at the picture i attached earlier you will be able to see some bubbles in the fluid. when i first opened the reservoir after a very short drive the surface of the fluid was covered in bubbles. the fluid is obviously far too low and air is getting into the pump or something and mixing with the fluid. i hope that the fix will be just topping up the fluid.

wish me luck. thanks for the help. keep the advice coming, it is much appreciated.
 

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Premium Member
Black SL 500 1994
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1,026 Posts
Hey thanks for the thanks NZSL! :)

One more thing I wanted to say is that please be careful when you try to tighten things up there. Particularly if you have any aluminum parts involved there as they brake very easily. Try to avoid over tightening so to avoid any unnecessary damage... Otherwise it could cost you dearly..
If your reservoir is only half full then I think it is definitely too low...

Also looking at the pic it does appear to me your level is below the minimum, but as it is a different design than mine I can't say for sure though..
Regarding the bubbles, I don't know if this is normal or not.. Unfortunately.. Like you said, it probably is a good idea to add some and see what happens.

Still about the color and changing the fluid - I would too be interested in knowing if that is something recommended? Does anyone know if and how the fluid should be changed?
 

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1990 500SL
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135 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Good news. Noise problem solved

Good news. noise is now gone.

The problem was fixed by simply topping up the power steering fluid. i didn't actually think that getting rid of the noise would be that simple. anyway, poured some Prestone P/S fluid with Stop Leak into it. immediatly stopped the noise. i put enough in to come about 2/3 of the way up the yellow plastic thing (about at the top of the arrow/spear markings).

The Prestone fluid was clear but it just mixed straight into the fluid that was in there. i havn't tightened anything up. i will just keep an eye on it and see if the stop leak component works.

Another problem solved cheaply with a little help from everyone here.

My car is not enjoying being left outside. another few weeks and my garage will be built at last. then the Merc can be kept dry and warm.
 

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07 R 280 CDI
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217 Posts
I topped up with the original MB fluid, and noise gone here too!!!
 

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1 Posts
Hey Guys , I need a new power steering pump and when i look for the pump on the web it asks if i have self/ leveling , how do i if i have that option on my car ? brian
 

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Y2K SL500 Silver
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8,660 Posts
Hey Guys , I need a new power steering pump and when i look for the pump on the web it asks if i have self/ leveling , how do i if i have that option on my car ? brian
Brian, please tell us more.

What year and model is your car?
How many miles?
Have you checked your fluid level?
What makes you believe you need a new pump?
If and when you have a p/n please check the prices at Parts.com .
 

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Greek God of the R129
SL500-500SEL-190E
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8,565 Posts
Hi guys,

the yellow thingy (rod, bar) on NZSL's pic is different to mine, but looking at the pic I think you guys DO have the level markings in there, just a bit different: you see those wedges (orarrow/spear heads, triangles) edged on the yellow rod..? I believe they indicate yourRANGE for the level - the bottom of the wedges indicating the minimum level and the top the top respectively. As I said before, mine is at the MAX.20oC mark and is about 3cm from the top edge of the reservoir.

NZSL - regarding your "slow leakage on the outside bottom of the reservoir"; I think that could well be a similar leakage that I had on mine. It was from the connection between the reservoir and the hose connecting to it, on the outside bottom of the reservoir. I never actually saw it, but my MB specialist said that was the point where the leakage was and tightened the connection a bit and it stopped the leakage, maybe 20 minutes labor, including a thorough wash under the car, no parts were needed. I would suggest you take it to a shop and ask them to take a look at yours. Or if you are comfortable with working on your car yourself then try it yourself. At the time I would not have tried to fix it myself, but luckily I had a good and honest mechanic who fixed my leakage without expensive labor or parts.


Regarding the correct color, I have no other information but what I read on this post:

http://www.benzworld.org/forums/r12...sl500-power-steering.html?highlight=reservoir

My color appears pretty much the same as NZSL's (at least looking at the pic above) but I don't know how old mine actually is, or if it is still good quality or not... :-/


Regarding fluid replacement, I'm sorry to say I don't know if or how this should be done... Maybe someone can shed some light on that one..?
But here's one more thread that might be helpful (although the M119 on the thread is a -97 and apparently has a newer design pump):

http://www.benzworld.org/forums/r12...-steering-rebuild-kit.html?highlight=steering

One more thread...:

http://www.benzworld.org/forums/r129-sl-class/1243771-power-steering-noise.html?highlight=banjo


Yes you can replace the P/S fluid.
Easy, NO.
With Car is on jacks safe.
First yoy remove the wheels,and panels under the car.
Their hi up, in the back there is the gear box and in front is the pump.
Now you will need a set of crow foot flair wrenches not the regular but the short the one you can attach a 3/8 extension so you can work side ways.
Some are 19mm and 22mm.
The low side is the easy one, two hose clamps and is out 8mm dipending on car replace it
you buy it by the meter or 3 feet.
The hi pressure is a differed story, it has pressed fittings but again it can be replaced if you don't mind getting dirty, suck up the oil from the reservoir open the lines at the gear box
have container to catch the fluid .
Glasses please.
You will get it on the hands and face.
Changing the fluid is the same like changing a hose.
Put new oil in the reservoir move wheel all the way to left and to the right with engine off
a few times .
Start engine do the same slow a few times.
Check oil level about 2" below the top.
Check again after a short drive.
If your are particular do it one more time.
I am not.
Fluid, I use autom. transmission fluid.
Particulars, can go to the dealer.
As for leaks go, the hoses are to close to the exhaust manifold, heat kills them.
The low side gets loose, you can tight the clamps with a long screw driver, but is better to replace the hose for a few dollars.
The hi pressure, if it is not broken don't fix?
Regards.
aam.
 
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