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I own a 20003 500Sl. This is my 5th mercedes and I am getting very sour on Mbz. The Hard top wings in the trunk have been a problem since I bought the vehicle and now the top will not go down. I have spent several thousand dollars on the useless active body control motor to get fixed which is still not working right and the gas gage, oil gage and tire pressure gages are still not working correctly. I read bad reviews in Consumer Reports on this car, in fact they said, avoid buying this year and this model. For an expensive car it is hard to believe the problems and that is just the tip of the ice berg. Has anyone else had a problem with the hard top wings and the ABC suspension on this car.....HELP!!!

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In response to your posting, I bought a 2004 SL500 for my wife brand new. It currently has 13,000 miles on it and we have had nothing but problems as you described above. We spent in July 2009 on the retractable roof and wings that got stuck and would not close or open; $3,500 to fix that problem. We have had the car lock the doors on its own and we could not open with the automatic key and/or the mechanical key. It took several tries and when we brought it to the dealer, we ended up with a new car battery. Friday night, my wife went out to start the car only to find the doors had locked themselves again. Again the entry automatic key would not work. We had to fuss with the mechanical key until we were able to open the car. We then found we could not operate the seats and since by wife is petite, I had to ask my daughter to get in the car and start it. When she did, all the dash lights turned red and the ABC warning appeared as well as a waring to contact the dealer and drive the car carefully. When we restarted the car on Monday afternoon to take it to the Mercedes dealer, it appeared to operate just fine. We explained all the problems we were having and they have gone through the entire car as of this writing. They now tell me they need to replace a secondary battery and check the TPC devices. We are now looking at another $1,500 to $2,000 bill and as I stated only have 13,000 original miles. I have owned Mercedes since 1972, including several SL's, SE's and C's and by far this is the worst car we have owned to date. We are now discussing dumping the SL and buying a Lexus!!
Merle Krantzman said:
In response to your posting, I bought a 2004 SL500 for my wife brand new. It currently has 13,000 miles on it and we have had nothing but problems as you described above. We spent in July 2009 on the retractable roof and wings that got stuck and would not close or open; $3,500 to fix that problem. We have had the car lock the doors on its own and we could not open with the automatic key and/or the mechanical key. It took several tries and when we brought it to the dealer, we ended up with a new car battery. Friday night, my wife went out to start the car only to find the doors had locked themselves again. Again the entry automatic key would not work. We had to fuss with the mechanical key until we were able to open the car. We then found we could not operate the seats and since by wife is petite, I had to ask my daughter to get in the car and start it. When she did, all the dash lights turned red and the ABC warning appeared as well as a waring to contact the dealer and drive the car carefully. When we restarted the car on Monday afternoon to take it to the Mercedes dealer, it appeared to operate just fine. We explained all the problems we were having and they have gone through the entire car as of this writing. They now tell me they need to replace a secondary battery and check the TPC devices. We are now looking at another $1,500 to $2,000 bill and as I stated only have 13,000 original miles. I have owned Mercedes since 1972, including several SL's, SE's and C's and by far this is the worst car we have owned to date. We are now discussing dumping the SL and buying a Lexus!!
I have had major problems witht he abc suspension! My 03 sl500 is such a piece of junk! OK, back to the suspension, here is what it has done several times, I can be driving or as in the first time it happened I was sitting with the car running and it felt like someone sat on the rear of the car! I looked around nothing, then it sort of hiked up the front! It did this while driving too, not fun at all! The dealer said it was the sensors, fixed it at least twice and now they tell me the hydraulic shocks are leaking....I have 57,000 miles on this crapper! OH, shocks, 4500 bucks. About that situation with the locks, mine did that too, and then would not start, strange, thought it was the battery, nope, it is the electronic iginiton system, it all works together... 1400 bucks but it is fixed for now. Not sure about the trunk issue, but mine has leaked since day one and it has been "fixed" several times, once they had it for seven weeks. Never ever will I buy a mercedes again, ever! Hope this was helpful.
Merry Campbell said:
Merle Krantzman said:
In response to your posting, I bought a 2004 SL500 for my wife brand new. It currently has 13,000 miles on it and we have had nothing but problems as you described above. We spent in July 2009 on the retractable roof and wings that got stuck and would not close or open; $3,500 to fix that problem. We have had the car lock the doors on its own and we could not open with the automatic key and/or the mechanical key. It took several tries and when we brought it to the dealer, we ended up with a new car battery. Friday night, my wife went out to start the car only to find the doors had locked themselves again. Again the entry automatic key would not work. We had to fuss with the mechanical key until we were able to open the car. We then found we could not operate the seats and since by wife is petite, I had to ask my daughter to get in the car and start it. When she did, all the dash lights turned red and the ABC warning appeared as well as a waring to contact the dealer and drive the car carefully. When we restarted the car on Monday afternoon to take it to the Mercedes dealer, it appeared to operate just fine. We explained all the problems we were having and they have gone through the entire car as of this writing. They now tell me they need to replace a secondary battery and check the TPC devices. We are now looking at another $1,500 to $2,000 bill and as I stated only have 13,000 original miles. I have owned Mercedes since 1972, including several SL's, SE's and C's and by far this is the worst car we have owned to date. We are now discussing dumping the SL and buying a Lexus!!
Wow I have not been to this site in several months....thanks for the info on the wings for the top I have not braved going in and checking what that will cost now I know...I actually have velcro on mine and it seems to work....yeah velcro on an mercedes...what a joke!!!

Merle Krantzman said:
In response to your posting, I bought a 2004 SL500 for my wife brand new. It currently has 13,000 miles on it and we have had nothing but problems as you described above. We spent in July 2009 on the retractable roof and wings that got stuck and would not close or open; $3,500 to fix that problem. We have had the car lock the doors on its own and we could not open with the automatic key and/or the mechanical key. It took several tries and when we brought it to the dealer, we ended up with a new car battery. Friday night, my wife went out to start the car only to find the doors had locked themselves again. Again the entry automatic key would not work. We had to fuss with the mechanical key until we were able to open the car. We then found we could not operate the seats and since by wife is petite, I had to ask my daughter to get in the car and start it. When she did, all the dash lights turned red and the ABC warning appeared as well as a waring to contact the dealer and drive the car carefully. When we restarted the car on Monday afternoon to take it to the Mercedes dealer, it appeared to operate just fine. We explained all the problems we were having and they have gone through the entire car as of this writing. They now tell me they need to replace a secondary battery and check the TPC devices. We are now looking at another $1,500 to $2,000 bill and as I stated only have 13,000 original miles. I have owned Mercedes since 1972, including several SL's, SE's and C's and by far this is the worst car we have owned to date. We are now discussing dumping the SL and buying a Lexus!!
Very helpful...yeah whenever I let the car idle I feel that same weird shift in the weight of the vehicle....scared me to death the first time it happened now I just get the weird looks like I am making it go up and down like having a low rider with hydrolics.....what a joke!

Merry Campbell said:
I have had major problems witht he abc suspension! My 03 sl500 is such a piece of junk! OK, back to the suspension, here is what it has done several times, I can be driving or as in the first time it happened I was sitting with the car running and it felt like someone sat on the rear of the car! I looked around nothing, then it sort of hiked up the front! It did this while driving too, not fun at all! The dealer said it was the sensors, fixed it at least twice and now they tell me the hydraulic shocks are leaking....I have 57,000 miles on this crapper! OH, shocks, 4500 bucks. About that situation with the locks, mine did that too, and then would not start, strange, thought it was the battery, nope, it is the electronic iginiton system, it all works together... 1400 bucks but it is fixed for now. Not sure about the trunk issue, but mine has leaked since day one and it has been "fixed" several times, once they had it for seven weeks. Never ever will I buy a mercedes again, ever! Hope this was helpful.
Velcro on a Mercedes! LOL, but it is not funny really is it? I mean we spent a small fortune on a car that is really a piece of crap and Mercedes never has stood behind their name on mine! I kept taking it in and thinking "well, it;s a Mercedes, this must be the last little thing and it will be great!" How wrong could I be! I cannot even list all of the things that have been wrong on this car! If I knew then what I know now I would have driven that car hard the first 50,000 miles and done it within the warranty period so I could have known! The worst is that is has no value now, maybe if I found a sucker I could get 23,000! I am guessing that it has cost me over 2 grand per mile to drive that stupid car! I am stuck with it now. It is in the shop (not the dealer) now getting those shocks replaced (parts alone 3 grand) and there was something with the torc arm, the transmission something leak, the head light ignitor module, and I did buy new tires.... dealer wanted 7 grand and I am getting it done for about 4500. One thing I will say, at this point I don't care much for this car, it is now just something to drive as I have spent so much on it and must keep it, so I bought off brand tires instead of the Michelins! Kumho ECSTA Sport..from Tire Rack... 496.00 for four tires! I have used these on my 2000 Jag S Type and they rode exactly like the Michelins on that car! The tread pattern looks good, so I am giving them a try! Will post if they are great. Actually, even if they are not, the price is! :-)
Unlike most cars, high-end Benzes only get worse and worse with higher mileage. ABC, in particular, is notorious for its tendency to leak or outright self-destruct and being a total pain in the rear to repair reliably. There are way too many stories out there of owners paying pretty penny to fix the system just to have it break again and again. That's really the main reason why post-warranty resale values are absolutely horrible.

Merry Campbell said:
If I knew then what I know now I would have driven that car hard the first 50,000 miles and done it within the warranty period so I could have known! The worst is that is has no value now, maybe if I found a sucker I could get 23,000! I am guessing that it has cost me over 2 grand per mile to drive that stupid car!
Thanks for the input Andrey, I kind of figured it would be that way! Cripes! I have my pos in the shop now and should get it back today or tomorrow.....shocks of course! You know I wished for a lot of years, well since the 1972 450sl for that car........to be honest my worse than crap 1980 Chrysler Cordoba was a better car, and that is not saying anything nice! Mercedes Benz be ashamed! Thinking of having a nice door magnet made up to warn others!


Andrey Abutin said:
Unlike most cars, high-end Benzes only get worse and worse with higher mileage. ABC, in particular, is notorious for its tendency to leak or outright self-destruct and being a total pain in the rear to repair reliably. There are way too many stories out there of owners paying pretty penny to fix the system just to have it break again and again. That's really the main reason why post-warranty resale values are absolutely horrible.

Merry Campbell said:
If I knew then what I know now I would have driven that car hard the first 50,000 miles and done it within the warranty period so I could have known! The worst is that is has no value now, maybe if I found a sucker I could get 23,000! I am guessing that it has cost me over 2 grand per mile to drive that stupid car!
Wow, I tell you the stories just get better and better. How did your repairs work out?. Yeah these Sl's are worth northing. I put Sumitumo's on mine and I keep getting flats because I have chrome Amg rims and they are not sealing the tires right....but they were cheaper than Michelins. Thinking of doing an air suspension conversion to get rid of that crap hydralic thing on there and the top will stay velcrod so hopefully I can get rid of it.

Merry Campbell said:
Thanks for the input Andrey, I kind of figured it would be that way! Cripes! I have my pos in the shop now and should get it back today or tomorrow.....shocks of course! You know I wished for a lot of years, well since the 1972 450sl for that car........to be honest my worse than crap 1980 Chrysler Cordoba was a better car, and that is not saying anything nice! Mercedes Benz be ashamed! Thinking of having a nice door magnet made up to warn others!


Andrey Abutin said:
Unlike most cars, high-end Benzes only get worse and worse with higher mileage. ABC, in particular, is notorious for its tendency to leak or outright self-destruct and being a total pain in the rear to repair reliably. There are way too many stories out there of owners paying pretty penny to fix the system just to have it break again and again. That's really the main reason why post-warranty resale values are absolutely horrible.

Merry Campbell said:
If I knew then what I know now I would have driven that car hard the first 50,000 miles and done it within the warranty period so I could have known! The worst is that is has no value now, maybe if I found a sucker I could get 23,000! I am guessing that it has cost me over 2 grand per mile to drive that stupid car!

Everyone w/ a SL which has ABC Suspension.. Please Read Belov. This comes from Mercedes Benz wiki site. See bolded comments from Mercedes Benz

 

 

 

 

Active Body Control, or ABC, is the Mercedes-Benz brand name used to describe fully-active suspension, that allows control of the vehicle body motions and therefore virtually eliminates body roll in many driving situations including cornering, accelerating, and braking.

In the ABC system, a computer detects body movement from sensors located throughout the vehicle, and controls the action of the active suspension with the use of hydraulic servomechanisms. The hydraulic pressure to the servos is supplied by a high pressure radial piston hydraulic pump. A total of 13 sensors continually monitor body movement and vehicle level and supply the ABC controller with new data every ten milliseconds. Four level sensors, one at each wheel measure the ride level of the vehicle, three accelerometers measure the vertical body acceleration, one acceleration sensor measures the longitudinal and one sensor the transverse body acceleration. At each hydraulic cylinder, a pressure sensor monitors the hydraulic pressure. As the ABC controller receives and processes data, it operates four hydraulic servos, each mounted in series on a spring strut, beside each wheel. Almost instantaneously, the servo regulated suspension generates counter forces to body lean, dive, and squat during various driving maneuvers. A suspension strut, consisting of a steel coil spring and a shock absorber are connected in parallel, as well as a hydraulically controlled adjusting cylinder, are located between the vehicle body and wheel. These components are prone to failure, hazardous when fail, but adjust the cylinder in the direction of the suspension strut, and change the suspension length. This creates a force which acts on the suspension and dampening of the vehicle in the frequency range up to five hertz.

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