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1986 190e 16 Valve, 1998 CLK320, 2000 C230 Sport, 2000 ML 320, 2004 ML350, 2008 ML320 CDI
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Sharing my experience with a leak that slowed and stopped by adding stop leak formula. Now there has been no leaking for three weeks.
I recently purchased a 2008 ML320 CDI, with the better part of 200,000 miles. It's a beauty!

A little history for you. When my mobile mechanic rebuilt the leaky steering pump on my 2004 ML350 in my driveway I was happy knowing it had new o-rings and it stopped leaking. Plus, it was a low cost procedure compared to replacement of the power steering pump.

I don't want to do engine work myself anymore, but I sometimes will try some "iffy" alternatives to repair old cars. So, when my "new" 2008 began leaking power steering fluid I put in a bottle of the proper fluid, and watched it leak out in about a week. Then I bought a bottle of ATP AT-205 Re-Seal. The ATP slowed the leak, but didn't stop it. I put in another bottle and it slowed more, but no luck stopping the leak.

Then I purchased Lucas 10008 Power Steering Stop Leak. I put in about 2 ounces to bring the level up to normal. The level dropped a little bit in three days, but I didn't see any sign of a leak. I put in another ounce to bring it back to normal and it has stayed there for the last three weeks.

I'm not saying the Lucas product is better than the ATP product, just that after the ATP product helped to slow the leak, then the additional Lucas product stopped it. At least for a while.

Side note: Now I found out the rubber seal in the power steering reservoir cap needs to be replaced. Do you know you cannot by the rubber seal from Mercedes? You cannot even buy the cap from Mercedes. You must buy the entire reservoir to get a new cap with seal. Not too expensive, just OEM dumb. I'm leaving it alone.

I just returned from 1,000 mile road trip that included an off-road mountain segment through mud, rocks and snow. Not one problem and it conquered a nearly impassable road (no picture, sorry) along side Jeeps made for those roads. I tested my "new" ML as much as I'd ever want to and I completely trust it now. And it didn't leak any power steering fluid on this trek!

You probably are shaking your head, saying do it the right way or go home, but I'm loving the ol' ML and if it will get me a couple years of commuting and exploring with minimal repairs I'll be set to bring home a Tesla X. And I'll keep the ML too!
 

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W163 Crash Test Driver
2008 ML350 (Me!), 2010 GLK350 (Wife), 2003 ML-350 (Deceased)
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1,342 Posts
Side note: Now I found out the rubber seal in the power steering reservoir cap needs to be replaced. Do you know you cannot by the rubber seal from Mercedes? You cannot even buy the cap from Mercedes. You must buy the entire reservoir to get a new cap with seal. Not too expensive, just OEM dumb. I'm leaving it alone.
I am not sure who told you this, but it’s simply not true. Even the online places sell OEM Mercedes power steering reservoir seals and caps. I get a lot of stuff from ECS Tuning, below.
2609226
2609227
2609229
 

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Registered
1986 190e 16 Valve, 1998 CLK320, 2000 C230 Sport, 2000 ML 320, 2004 ML350, 2008 ML320 CDI
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Many thanks for the cap and seal source at ECS Tuning. I didn't know. My info came from my local dealer who did not sell caps, only the entire reservoir. I also did online searches that only resulted in the reservoir with cap for sale, no separate cap.
The good thing is the leak stopped, but I'll get a new seal anyway as mine is poorly fitted now. I really appreciate your taking time to share info.
 

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Registered
1986 190e 16 Valve, 1998 CLK320, 2000 C230 Sport, 2000 ML 320, 2004 ML350, 2008 ML320 CDI
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Many thanks for the cap and seal source at ECS Tuning. I didn't know. My info came from my local dealer who did not sell caps, only the entire reservoir. I also did online searches that only resulted in the reservoir with cap for sale, no separate cap.
The good thing is the leak stopped, but I'll get a new seal anyway as mine is poorly fitted now. I really appreciate your taking time to share info.
After inspecting the fitment list, 2008 ML320 is not on it. I suppose it has the same reservoir though.
 

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W163 Crash Test Driver
2008 ML350 (Me!), 2010 GLK350 (Wife), 2003 ML-350 (Deceased)
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1,342 Posts
After inspecting the fitment list, 2008 ML320 is not on it. I suppose it has the same reservoir though.
I would bet $20 it is! If you post your VIN I can verify and give you the part numbers.
 

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1986 190e 16 Valve, 1998 CLK320, 2000 C230 Sport, 2000 ML 320, 2004 ML350, 2008 ML320 CDI
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I'll get the vin to you sometime, but not concerned now that it isn't leaking.
 

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1986 190e 16 Valve, 1998 CLK320, 2000 C230 Sport, 2000 ML 320, 2004 ML350, 2008 ML320 CDI
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I would bet $20 it is! If you post your VIN I can verify and give you the part numbers.
Here is my vin- 4JGBB22E68A362939 to see if the power steering reservoir cap is the same as ML 350. So, now it started dripping again. I'll give it a cleaning to see where the leak is and probably start with the seals. I think I'll price the rack and pinion while I'm looking into the steering. I'll check ECS. Do you know if my vehicle has electronic speed sensitive steering? Thank you
 

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W163 Crash Test Driver
2008 ML350 (Me!), 2010 GLK350 (Wife), 2003 ML-350 (Deceased)
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1,342 Posts
Here is my vin- 4JGBB22E68A362939 to see if the power steering reservoir cap is the same as ML 350. So, now it started dripping again. I'll give it a cleaning to see where the leak is and probably start with the seals. I think I'll price the rack and pinion while I'm looking into the steering. I'll check ECS. Do you know if my vehicle has electronic speed sensitive steering? Thank you
Well, now that I have the VIN I see that I was wrong and you were correct. It is a different reservoir then the ML350. The good news is it has no o-ring seal like the ML350, the one that always goes bad and leaks. Your reservoir simply has two hoses connected, which is a much better design. If you are seeing leaks, it can only come from one of three places. The two hoses or the cap.

You were also told correctly by Mercedes that the EPC does not show the cap as a separate part. Looking at pics however, it looks like the standard Mercedes cap identical to the one on my ML350. I can't know for sure, but I would still bet money that the above listed cap & o-ring would fit. Honestly though, you can get a brand new, Dorman or URO reservoir including the cap at your local auto parts store for about $25. If it were me, I would just go that route and replace the whole thing.

I have attached all the relevant part numbers, as well as your vehicles Datacard.
 

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Registered
1986 190e 16 Valve, 1998 CLK320, 2000 C230 Sport, 2000 ML 320, 2004 ML350, 2008 ML320 CDI
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Well, now that I have the VIN I see that I was wrong and you were correct. It is a different reservoir then the ML350. The good news is it has no o-ring seal like the ML350, the one that always goes bad and leaks. Your reservoir simply has two hoses connected, which is a much better design. If you are seeing leaks, it can only come from one of three places. The two hoses or the cap.

You were also told correctly by Mercedes that the EPC does not show the cap as a separate part. Looking at pics however, it looks like the standard Mercedes cap identical to the one on my ML350. I can't know for sure, but I would still bet money that the above listed cap & o-ring would fit. Honestly though, you can get a brand new, Dorman or URO reservoir including the cap at your local auto parts store for about $25. If it were me, I would just go that route and replace the whole thing.

I have attached all the relevant part numbers, as well as your vehicles Datacard.
Wow! That's great! You are making my search and replace less work. I don't know how you do that. It seems like magic to me. I'll get the reservoir.
Can you tell me which rack and pinion I have? Is it speed sensing? I asked my local mechanic about the leak today. He reached under and ran his hand on the inside of the lower engine cover. He pulled out an oily hand saying "looks like steering fluid to me, and he looked to see the inside (toward engine) area of the left rack and pinion boot oily." Told me to price the rack and pinion part rather than replace the seals in that system.
I parked it and drove my 2000 ML320 the rest of the day. That's a great old truck. Under powered, but goes anywhere.
 

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W163 Crash Test Driver
2008 ML350 (Me!), 2010 GLK350 (Wife), 2003 ML-350 (Deceased)
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1,342 Posts
Can you tell me which rack and pinion I have? Is it speed sensing?
You do not have speed-sensitive steering (SA option 213).

The rack part number is 164-460-05-00. See attached.
 

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02 ML320 06 ML500
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Mr Dub, you can save me a lot of reading, so can you tell me why you are asking about the reservoir cap?
 

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1986 190e 16 Valve, 1998 CLK320, 2000 C230 Sport, 2000 ML 320, 2004 ML350, 2008 ML320 CDI
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Regarding the reservoir cap: I said the reservoir cap and or cap seal is not available without buying the entire reservoir. Later verified by member Planethill.
 

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02 ML320 06 ML500
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16,866 Posts
Regarding the reservoir cap: I said the reservoir cap and or cap seal is not available without buying the entire reservoir. Later verified by member Planethill.
You wanted to replace the cap for what reason?
 

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08 ML 320 CDI, 99 ML320 V6, 00 CLK430 Cab
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You do not have speed-sensitive steering (SA option 213).

The rack part number is 164-460-05-00. See attached.
Those steering racks are known to fail. Mine just failed at 110k. I had a rebuilt one installed. My indy says there are only 2 companies that do rebuilds that are trouble free. If you go that route, I can call him and find out the companies. It's a pita job so they don't want to do it a second time.
 

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1986 190e 16 Valve, 1998 CLK320, 2000 C230 Sport, 2000 ML 320, 2004 ML350, 2008 ML320 CDI
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
You wanted to replace the cap for what reason?
Want to replace because the seal is loose and torn. Comes out of cap when opening it, but is easy to put back into cap.
 

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1986 190e 16 Valve, 1998 CLK320, 2000 C230 Sport, 2000 ML 320, 2004 ML350, 2008 ML320 CDI
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Those steering racks are known to fail. Mine just failed at 110k. I had a rebuilt one installed. My indy says there are only 2 companies that do rebuilds that are trouble free. If you go that route, I can call him and find out the companies. It's a pita job so they don't want to do it a second time.
Sounds good. If you talk to him, see if it is Cardone. They have a dominant presence online as rebuild and new racks. Many thanks.
 

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02 ML320 06 ML500
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16,866 Posts
Want to replace because the seal is loose and torn. Comes out of cap when opening it, but is easy to put back into cap.
M/B sells a repair kit for your problem
Want to replace because the seal is loose and torn. Comes out of cap when opening it, but is easy to put back into cap.

M/B sell a repair kit.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Well OK. Thanks. I'll clean oil from parts today before removing anything and determine leak location. Hoping for simple resolution like this kit and or seals on reservoir or pump.
 

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W163 Crash Test Driver
2008 ML350 (Me!), 2010 GLK350 (Wife), 2003 ML-350 (Deceased)
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1,342 Posts
@43sqd, He is talking about the seal on the reservoir cap, not the rack. I think. :D Right @Mr Dub?
 
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