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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2000 ML 320. The steering wheel is extremely stiff. The car starts fine but cannot turn wheel. I confirmed steering wheel is not locked! Strangely enough factory alarm went off night before for unknown reason. Got into car and shut off alarm with key fob and car started fine. Problem with steering started this morning when I got back in and started it. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance
 

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99 ML430, 00 ML320, 05 E500 4matic Wagon
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It could a couple of issues.
Moved to the W163 forum so you can get more help.
 

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2003 ml500, 2004 ml350
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Did you check your fluid level?

2 notorious leak areas are the pump to reservoir seal and the cooler return hose.

Also if you ran it dry you may of burnt out the pump it self and a replacement will be needed.

If low and neither of those areas are leaking check everywhere else rack and hoses.

If you have fluid either the pump is at issue or the steering rack.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Did you check your fluid level?

2 notorious leak areas are the pump to reservoir seal and the cooler return hose.

Also if you ran it dry you may of burnt out the pump it self and a replacement will be needed.

If low and neither of those areas are leaking check everywhere else rack and hoses.

If you have fluid either the pump is at issue or the steering rack.
well after getting home from work by train 😩 and investigating I found the cooler return hose somehow just popped off so I got a new clamp and put hose back on filled reservoir with fluid. Worked fine after. Ofcourse I did make a mistake and please tell me it’s not serious. I didn’t know it needed special merceedes fluid 😩
Thank you for your advice
 

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2003 ml500, 2004 ml350
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Benz or dexron III trans fluid.

You should replace that hose a clamp will not hold it. I use 3/8” Gates transmission hose.

Not regular power steering fluid.

Also if you lost a lot of fluid and the pump itself was low you should get both wheels off the ground turn steering lock to lock about 10-15 times to bleed out any air.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
So should I drain and refill with what u said at this point and can I drive one day before doing that?
Thx
 

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Short term propably not too much an issue. Long term you can risk degrading seals and any other rubber part. No telling how the two fluids will interact, Will they gum up etc.

You should do a flush and replace ASAP. It is weird that the pump fluid is transmission fluid but that is what is in the specs.

Regardless The most important thing is breeding any air out. If the pump itself gets a air bubble stuck in it you can burn it out.

As to draining it you will need to disconnect lines at the steering rack, to start with. Not sure how to get the fluid out of the rack itself. Turning the wheel engine off will push some out. I have only drained when replacing racks .
 

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2003 ml500, 2004 ml350
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See here 43sqd’s third post.

 

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Discussion Starter #9
Short term propably not too much an issue. Long term you can risk degrading seals and any other rubber part. No telling how the two fluids will interact, Will they gum up etc.

You should do a flush and replace ASAP. It is weird that the pump fluid is transmission fluid but that is what is in the specs.

Regardless The most important thing is breeding any air out. If the pump itself gets a air bubble stuck in it you can burn it out.

As to draining it you will need to disconnect lines at the steering rack, to start with. Not sure how to get the fluid out of the rack itself. Turning the wheel engine off will push some out. I have only drained when replacing racks .
Curious question? How many pints/quarts are in a entire power steering system?
 

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Gates hose.
My unproven theory is the preformed hose gets hard and dries out, and a clamp can not compress it enough.

Then it leaks or slides off completely.
3451DD62-EB29-40A4-BEE1-4E5FBA4052C9.jpeg
 
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