Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG

Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG (R230)
Disclaimer : This collection of info, links, etc., does not imply any endorsement or guarantee of fitness of a given
product or service producer, and also may be subject to errors or omissions.
Updated - 8 February 2015
SL55 AMG - The German Bentley
Mercedes seem to have created the perfect car. Superb(ish) quality,
gorgeous looks, super car performance and at the touch of a button
it becomes a convertible! The V8 engine from the SL500 has been
heavily modified by AMG resulting in a near 50% increase in power.
This is enough to propel the SL55 to over 200mph with speed
restrictor removed.
Braking is excellent thanks to 8-pot vented discs and ESP brake by
wire technology, while the SL55 becomes the first Mercedes to
feature pushbutton sequential gear shift. Handling is assisted by
state of the art active body control, however it still struggles to cope with the car's enormous 2 ton mass.
With the SL55 AMG, Mercedes has taken its legendary roadster and injected it with a major dose of horsepower that
elevates it to near super car status. With nearly 500 horsepower emanating from its supercharged V8, this drop top
can outdo most sports cars in a straight line, yet it's still docile enough to go for a top-down Sunday drive. The
ridiculously powerful SL65 AMG might overshadow the SL55 in the minds of some buyers, but unless you have regular
access to roads resembling the German autobahn, the real-world performance difference will go unnoticed 95 percent
of the time. If you're looking for the ultimate combination of open-air fun and unparalleled performance, the SL55
satisfies in ways few other cars can.
The SL Through the Years :
If you want to hear sweet music, attend a concert or purchase a Ferrari.
If you want to sit out in the heat in comfort, then find a restaurant or purchase a BMW.
If you have fear of locking your brakes, then buy a Porsche. But......
If you want to stop breathing in 4.8 seconds,
If you want your stomach to drop to your seat and your heart to leap into your throat,
If you want a machine to give back to you everything you gave to it and then ask for more,
If you want to feel the passion of a single man’s heart, then, my good man, you purchase an SL55 AMG.
Future Values - Is the SL55 a classic in the making?
The SL was and is a classic, so by all means the R230 will be a classic in the future. However, the valuation will drop
for years and years for two reasons :
Too many were made to make appreciation viable
With the next SL out in equally big numbers, the R230 will be the choice of the 'wrong' clientèle (young,
posers, drug dealers, etc.)
However, having said the aforementioned about the R230’s in general (SL500s, SL550s, SL600s, etc.), perspective
changes when you start to look at the AMGs (SL55s, SL65s and SL63s). The AMGs being made in more limited
numbers, with supercar performance, improved quality and impressive appearance, this should keep values higher.
On top of that, as years pass, there are fewer models remaining on the market, due to accident “write-offs”, neglect
(too costly to repair at current values) and some get so heavily modified that normal buyers get scared off, that values
of well cared for examples with full dealer service history and only subtle mods, will fetch higher market values.
Due to the complexity, unreliability and replacement costs of the infamous Active Body Control (ABC) system, I
propose that, even considering my comments in the previous paragraph, that should one convert to an SL350 coilover system including front and rear sway bars and have them professionally (dealer) installed, your value will possibly
even increase over an ABC car, but at the very least, the conversion should not depreciate the car’s value.
About 15 years old, SLs will become classy again to drive.
Boot/trunk lid
Front wings/fenders
Inner door shells
Front and rear bumpers
Engine Specs
My engine Handcrafted by
Bore x Stroke
Maximum RPM
Firing Order
Compression Ratio
Supercharger Max. Boost
Air Filter Element
Oil Filter
Spark Plugs
Spark Plug Gap
Spark Plug Torque
In-Line Fuel Filter
Cooling System Anti-Freeze
Florim Avdija, AMG Affalterbach, Germany
97.00 mm x 92.00 mm
494 bhp @ 6,100 rpm
516 lb/ft @ 2,750 to 4,000 rpm
6,500 rpm
9.5:1 0.8 bar (12 psi)
K&N 33-2181 (2 required) +15hp
Mobil 1 10W30 Fully Synthetic (9.0 US qt (8.5 litres)
NGK PFR 5 R-11 (these are Platinum)
0.039 in (1.0 mm)
15 – 22 lb/ft (20 – 30 Nm)
2 belts (Length 8ft 1 in (2462 mm) and 4 ft 3 in (1289 mm))
MB 320.0 anticorrosion/antifreeze with water 50:50
5-speed Automatic Transmission
Gear Oil
5-speed Auto
1st-3.59; 2nd-2.19; 3rd-1.41; 4th-1.00; 5th-0.83
MB Automatic Transmission Fluid (9.1 US qt (8.1 litres))
Final Drive
2.82 : 1
Hypoid Gear Oil SAE 85 W 90 (1.5 US qt (1.4 litres))
Double Wishbones and Coil Springs with ABC (Active Body Control)
Five-link with ABC (Active Body Control)
Turn Lock to Lock
Turning Circle
Power Fluid
Power assisted, rack and pinion
36.2 ft
MB Power Steering Fluid (Pentosin CHF 11S)
Braking System
Electronically controlled 4-circuit with 4-wheel discs.
Master Cylinder
Brembo Ventilated 14.2” Discs with 8 piston fixed-type callipers
Brembo Ventilated 13.0 in Discs with 4 piston fixed-type callipers
Servo-assisted master cylinder
Mercedes-Benz DOT 4+
Sensotronic Brake Control :
Electronic braking system transmits brake pressure individually to each wheel based on driver input and various
vehicle parameters. Sensotronic optimises brake pressure at each wheel in normal braking, emergency stopping and
during ESP activity. “Soft Stop” feature precisely modulates brake pressure as the car approaches a stop during
normal braking. Automatic brake drying applies the brakes lightly and briefly based on windscreen wiper use and
driver braking intervals, to reduce moisture on the brake surfaces. Predictive brake priming sets the brake pads nearer
the discs when the driver quickly releases the accelerator, for faster braking response.
Brake Assist :
System senses emergency barking via the speed at which the driver presses the brake pedal and immediately applies
maximum available braking force, potentially reducing the overall stopping distance by eliminating the delay caused by
a common human tendency, not to brake hard enough, soon enough. Letting up on the brake pedal releases “Brake
Antilock Braking System
ABS senses impending wheel lockup under heavy braking and pumps the front brakes individually or the rear brakes
together (to help to maintain stability) as needed, up to 30 times per second, to prevent lockup and maintain steering
ability. Sensotronic eliminates the pedal pulsation commonly associated with conventional brake systems and ABS.
Starter Motor
Starter Battery
Consumer/Accessory Battery
Entry & Egress
14 V / 180 A
12 V / 1.7 kW
12 V / 35Ah
12 V / 70Ah
The sport seats are roomy and can be controlled electronically while the Easy Entry system shifts both seats and
steering column to make entrance and egress hassle free.
Centre Bore
Std. M.B. Wheel Bolts
5 x 112 mm
66.6 mm
M14 x 1.5” thread pitch, Ball Seat, Thread Length - 25 - 28mm
Standard Original
AMG ultra-thin-spoke, light alloy, wheels (Style V)
8.5” x 18”
9.5” x 18”
ET 30 mm
ET 33 mm
255/40 R 18
285/35 R 18
33 psi ? bar
34 psi ? bar
Note :
Mercedes-Benz wheel bolts have a “Ball Seat”, while most aftermarket wheels require bolts with a “ 60 degree
Taper Seat”
Higher positive ET/offset = more”set-in”. (i.e. if original has ET 38, and new has ET 28, then new wheel will sit
further out by 10 mm, and will be more flush with fender).
Minimum wheel bolt engagement inside hub is about 1 1/2 times the bolt diameter
i.e. 14mm diameter bolt
will require at least 21mm engagement inside hub (or another way, 21mm outside inner edge of wheel).
Currently Fitted :
Mandrus Manheim Painted/Gun Metal
Rear 8.5" x 19" 9.5" x 19"
ET 25 mm
ET 25 mm
Wheel Bolts for Mandrus Wheels:
255/35 R 19
285/30 R 19
M14 x 1.5” pitch, 60︒ Taper Seat, Thread Length - ?mm
NOTE : There is a handy wheel offset calculator at :
Current Tyres
SKU: W-1985MAH255112B66
SKU: W-1995MAH255112B66
1010TIRES.COM - Wheel Offset Calculator
Michelin Pilot Sport A/S Plus 95Y M+S (255/35ZR19)
Michelin Pilot Sport A/S Plus 95Y M+S (285/30ZR19)
All Season
All Season
NOTE: current A/S tyres are not as good as pure winter/snow tyres, but may be a good all round compromise
in areas where winter is not too severe. However, next tyre change, I will be fitting winter/snow tyres, for all year
round use (they will wear slightly quicker in summer driving, but I’ll just change them more often).
Tyre Pressures
Most favour dropping cold pressures on their street tires somewhat to give greater stickiness and handling
characteristics. Lower tyre pressures have improved the car’s ride quality, despite the increase in wheel sizes.
33 psi (suggested going down to 28 psi for better ride with bigger dia. tyre)
34 psi (suggest going down to 29 psi for better ride with bigger dia. tyre)
Wheel Spacers
There are several wheel spacer options (but I don’t use) :
5 mm
17 mm
21 mm
25 mm
31 mm
Future Winter Tyre Option
NOTE : Brands of Possible Winter Tyre :
Bridgestone Blizzak LM-25 RFT
Pirelli Sottozero 240 Gen II
- $475 each
- $420 each
Dunlop Wintersport D3
- $475 each
DIY Maintenance, Part Cross-References & Modifications
Local Mercedes-Benz Mechanics
Euro Mobil AutoHouse
284 Glendale Ave
St Catharines, ON L2T 2L3
(289) 273-2327
Euro Motors (Peter & Helen Schleich)
1665 Beaverdams Road
L2V 4T3
(905) 688-4760
John and John
Niagara Import Service
242 Niagara Street
St. Catharines
L2M 4V4
(905) 937-2455
ZOROTECH (German auto specialist Hamilton)
Contact details
Address: 339 Fruitland Rd. Barton Arvin, Stoney Creek L8E5M8, ON
Tel: 905-643-5538
Fax: 905-643-3228
Cell: (519) 803-3228
Email: [email protected]
Off QEW south on Fruitland Rd., Stoney Creek. Not far.
Euro Automotive Imports
5665 King, Grimsby, ON • 905-309-0951
13 miles | More Information »
Off QEW south on Ontario St., Beamsville. Turn right on to Main St. E
Kompressors Autoworld
245 Barton Street, Stoney Creek, ON • 905-594-1641
Boyd Automotive and Tire
Service and Repair of Mercedes-Benz Vehicles
380 Vansickle Road
St. Catharines,
ON, L2S 0B5, Canada
(905) 685-5821
Mississauga Auto Repairs
3085 Wolfedale Road
L5C 1V8
(905) 279-7501
email : [email protected]
Kleeman Specialists
Oakridge Auto Service (Michael Fraculj)
220 Wyecroft rd. #43
Oakville, Ontario
L6K 3B1
e-mail [email protected]
Phone [905]338-3131
Fax [905]845-7132
Wheel Spacers
H&R Trac Wheel Spacers
John Nguyen
Paragon Competition
1681 Langstaff Road, Unit 12,
(905) 760-9222 (John and orders)
(905) 760-9996
Local Bodywork Repairs or Replacement
Sam DeMita (father) Anthony (son) Sun Collision Centre (905) 227-7571
AutoFX (graphics, logos and decals) 113 Cushman Road Unit 44, St. Catharines (905) 685-3266 [email protected]
Niagara Appraisal Services Wally Clark Enterprises Limited, P.O. Box 2182, Niagara Falls, Ont., L2E 6Z3 (905) 356-4785 Appraisals
What Can Go Wrong? - General Problem Areas and Common Faults
NOTE : The SL55 is fairly reliable, but, when it goes down, “it goes down hard”.
The things that are weak and will break (at around 90,000 km) are :
front ABC strut/shocks (2)
rear ABC strut/shocks (2)
ABC valve blocks (1 front and 1 rear)
ABC Accumulators (Cannon Balls) - 2 front and 2 rear
ABC tandem pump - (power steering pump and ABC pump combined), engineered in one unit as a spacesaving measure.
Intercooler pump
Engine mounts (2) and transmission mount (1)
Lower ball joints ($700 dealer installed)
Supercharger bearing
Replacement Costs (as of 2013) :
NOTE : Very important to check the prices of “independents” against the MB dealer.
In my case, my local MB dealer offers labour and parts cost reductions on MB cars 7 years and older :
$125 per hour labour rate reduced to $99 per hour
15% off MB parts prices
Example of Canadian OEM Parts Costs
NOTE : above reductions not calculated in table below :
Prevention and Fixes :
This vehicle has sensotronic brake control (SBC). If the SBC light on the dash illuminates, have the brakes
checked. If the SBC is not working, limited brake pressure is delivered to the front brakes, increasing the
distance it takes to stop. The SBC hydraulic unit has a specific service life programmed into the control module;
follow the manufacturer's recommended service procedure for proper maintenance of the SBC. Follow the two-year
service interval for brake fluid flush.
Oil leaks from the PCV vent housings on the valve covers and inspection plates on the front of the engine are
common. The rubber bond in the harmonic balancer can decay, which causes the balancer to move and work its way
into the timing chain cover. If the balancer comes into contact with the timing cover while the engine is running, it will
fracture and damage the timing case and potentially other surrounding parts. The harmonic balancer should be
inspected at every service. Oil leaks from the oil level sensor are common. The crankshaft position sensors tend to fail.
Suspension & Steering
Front thrust arm and control arm bushings can crack and sometimes tear completely. If this is not repaired quickly,
damage to the front subframe unit will occur, which is very expensive to repair. Updated control arms (that prevent
damage to the subframe when the bushings wear out) are available. The active body control (ABC) system can
leak fluid from numerous areas, including the tandem pump, hydraulic lines, struts, and/or seals. If it is not
repaired, the vehicle ride height could drop too low and cause damage to the undercarriage.
NOTE : more information on ABC alternatives, later in this document.
Drive Train
A vibration felt through the centre floor of the vehicle can be caused by driveshaft flex discs, which crack and
shred, causing excessive driveshaft movement. Not repairing these can cause damage to the driveshaft centre
support bearing, or, in the worst case scenario, damage to the transmission or differential. High mileage or older
vehicles develop leaks at the differential seals and cover; the whole unit needs to be resealed to repair the leaks. The
wire connector on the transmission leaks fluid into the wiring harness. If not repaired, the oil will migrate through the
wiring harness and damage the transmission control module. A new harness and control module are required to fix the
Electrical & Lights
Brake light switch failure can cause the ESP and BAS warnings to illuminate. The early versions of the central
gateway module (which allows different systems to communicate with each other) have software problems.
Heating & Air Conditioning
The evaporator temperature sensor can fail, causing the AC compressor not to cycle. If the AC compressor does
not cycle on, the AC system will not blow cold air. If the AC compressor is stuck on, the air will be very cold at first,
before warming up.
Stuck in Park
Usually due to the shift interlock. There is a lever at the end of the shift interlock cable, next to the shifter, and this
interlock my be faulty. To fix, replace with part # AR27.60-P-0122R and follow instructions below :
Servicing & Intervals
For all, their performance and luxury, the new SL55 is designed to be remarkably easy to live with, offering flexible
service intervals, dependant on way you drive car.
A full service history is absolutely essential, and it’s equally important that the car has been looked after by a qualified
specialist. Gaps in the history should sound warning bells, particularly if they occur at the same time as a change in
ownership, and make sure bills for parts match the recommended schedule – it’s easy to fill the service book
with oil changes but never do the more expensive maintenance jobs.
A Service (1 wrench) is larger job
B Service (2 wrench) is smaller job
How to Reset Service Light Indicator (without MB Star DAS)
Mercedes SL Class R230 (from year: 2003) :
Turn on the ignition (standard display of the control system appears).
Press button (UP arrow) or (DOWN arrow) on the multifunction steering wheel until the FSS indicator with
(Single Wrench) or (Double Wrench) and the service deadline appears in the multifunction display.
Press the reset knob (1 button) for about 4 seconds. Picture below.
This message appears in the tachometer, DO YOU WANT TO RESET SERVICE INTERVAL? CONFIRM BY
To confirm hold down the reset button until you hear a signal.
The service indicator now displays the reset interval.
Video link to reset SL55 service indicator :
Web Repository of R230 Info
Vario Roof Diagnostic Aid.pdf
Manually Closing the Vario Roof.pdf
Dual Battery.pdf
FSS operating instructions.pdf
FSS reset.pdf
Instrument Cluster.pdf
Wiring diagrams - reading.pdf
remove shifter lever[1].pdf
remove center console cover[1].pdf
Steering wheel/Airbag
change front pads.pdf
change rear pads.pdf
2004 SL500 MANUAL R230 SBC Tool info.pdf
2004 SL500 MANUAL R230 SBC Safety Sheet Involves BRAKES.pdf
2004 SL500 MANUAL R230 SBC Disable wo STAR_DIAGNOSIS.pdf
2004 SL500 MANUAL R230 SBC disable on other MB.pdf
2004 SL500 MANUAL R230 SBC ABS info.pdf
Body Panels
removal front bumper.pdf
removal rear bumper.pdf
Fuel Filter
replace fuel filter.pdf
headlight removal.pdf
headlight replace.pdf
Jacking Points
Jacking up safely, securely using Special “Jackpoint Jack Stands”
Figuring out where to lift the back end without using the official jack points where the jack stands go is always the
difficult task for me.
How It Works
Options & Applications
FAQ's & Reviews
Tech Info
JackPoint Store
Contact Us
4 low profile “Jackpoint Jackstands” are a great solution to get all 4 wheels up safely. Higher initial investment, but
quality is first rate as is customer service.
NOTE : There are 4 jack points on the SL55 AMG :
For a floor/trolley jack, the 4 lift points are :
front - protruding pins behind front wheels
rear - protruding pins in front of rear wheels
The contact points are squarish and have holes in the centre (position a Hockey Puck between the jack and the
contact point).
How To Video Link :
Different pads are available to suit cars with differing styles of locations, such as flat surface, pinch welds, locator pin
style, etc. Rubber pads are also available to insulate metal to metal contact.
Each pair of JackPoint Jackstands comes with either a standard or low profile jack pads. These pads will work on a
wide variety of cars with pinch weld or flat jacking locations.
Special cars may require special applications.
At JackPoint Jackstands we try to find the right fit for your car. Custom or modified pads can often be fabricated for
your unique car. Pictured below is a pad modified for the unique jacking location on a Mercedes SL 550.
Standard finish is a natural cast, textured with no coating, paint or glaze. Optional polished or powder coated . Standard matte finish :
All finishes below :
These jack stands are rated at 4000 lbs. 1) JackPoint JackStands consist of two major components :
the JackPoint Base
and the JackPoint Pad
2) The Base and Pad should only be used with a properly operating floor jack. The jack must have a jack plate that is
between 3 and 5” in diameter. 3) Check to see if the floor jack will roll into the open side of the Base with the jack plate elevated as high as the top of
the Base. (base including handle or wheels less than 11.75” and jack lift arm less than 5.5” wide for clearance with
4) With the jack lowered, place the Pad on top of the jack plate
5) Position the jack under the vehicle so that the Pad aligns under the vehicle’s factory jacking location
6) Slowly raise the jack until the Pad contacts the vehicle’s jacking location. 7) Using the jack, raise the vehicle until it is high enough to slide the Base under the vehicle and locate the Base under
the Pad and jack plate. 8) Slowly lower the vehicle until it is an inch above the base.
9) Lower the vehicle so that it rest on the JackPoint Base. 10) With the vehicle resting on the base, you can remove the jack and repeat the process to install additional
JackPoint Jackstands.
Diagnostics and OBD II Scan Tools
Overview of OBD II
OBD II Technical History
Since the late '70's early '80's vehicles have been equipped with sophisticated electronics to control vehicle emissions
and performance. Through the years several systems have been used, and keeping up with the differences from year
to year was a real chore, to say the least. Multiple scanners that attached to the vehicles on-board computer systems
were needed, and it was not uncommon for the scanner to become obsolete from model year to model year. These
were the days of the "pre-OBD I "(On-Board Diagnosis-First design) systems. Beginning in '88 CARB (California's Air
Resources Board) and the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) required vehicle manufactures to include a "self
diagnostic" program capable of identifying an emission related fault in the On-Board Computer systems. The first
generation of On-Board Diagnostics came to be known as OBD I. The CARB conducted studies on the OBD I vehicles
and found that the system was not capable of detecting an emission related component unless it had failed. The
components that had not failed completely were unable to set a DTC. Also, it was found that some systems not being
monitored had failed and yet the vehicle would pass an Emissions Test as the failed part would not be a factor unless
the vehicle was being driven or under a load. The CARB and the EPA passed new laws that would address the
problems found during the OBD I case study. These new laws and requirements are known as OBD II. Since
mid-'94-'95 some vehicles were equipped with the second design, OBD II systems. In '94-'95 only select models were
equipped with this new system, and in '96 every vehicle sold in the United States were equipped with the OBD II
system. You might be asking, ok, so what? Well, this was the single and largest improvement made to diagnosis and
repair of the On-Board Computer systems since their introduction. The DLC (Data Link Connector) that a scanner
attaches to, is virtually the same for every vehicle, and the "Generic" DTC's (Diagnostic Trouble Code) are the same
for every vehicle. The terminology was changed to terms that would be used by all manufactures. Before this, the
computer (PCM), for example, could have been called a Processor, ECU, Control Module, ECM, etc. To know what the
name of a part on a specific system was called or how it functioned, or was located, was tough when you worked on
multiple vehicle models.
Do you remember the early home computers? The box that connected to your TV set and allowed you to play games
and do light bookkeeping? Then the 286, 386, 486 computers each being a little faster and better than there
predecessor? Look at the OBD II system on your vehicle the same way, faster and "smarter" than any other system
used in computer equipped vehicles. This is good news for everyone. The vehicles perform better (fuel economy,
performance, longevity) and the "self-diagnostics" are simply amazing. If 20 years ago someone would have told me
that the on-board computer would be able to tell me that the fuel cap was loose or that a specific cylinder was misfiring
I would have laughed.
Does my vehicle have OBD II?
To determine if your vehicle is equipped with the OBD II system is fairly simple. The DLC (Data Link Connector) must
be located within three feet of the driver and must not require any tools to be revealed. Look under the dash and
behind ashtrays. All cars and light trucks manufactured since late 1995 should be OBD2 compliant. Two factors will
show if your vehicle is definitely OBD2 equipped :
There will be a note on a sticker or nameplate under the hood: "OBD2 compliant”
• There will be an OBD2 connector as shown below
Pin 2 - J1850 Bus
Pin 4 - Chassis Ground
Pin 5 - Signal Ground
Pin 6 - CAN High (J-2284)
Pin 7 - ISO 9141-2 K Line
Pin 10 - J1850 Bus
Pin 14 - CAN Low (J-2284)
Pin 15 - ISO 9141-2 L Line
Pin 16 - Battery Power
SL55 OBD II Access DLC Connector
Port is located under driver’s side panel, behind small plastic pull-down flap :
How do I know the OBD II is functioning correctly?
When a problem within the system that will effect the vehicle's emission output is noted, the MIL (Check Engine) will
illuminate to alert the driver that a problem exists within the system. Also, the system will set a DTC (Diagnostic
Trouble Code) that can be retrieved using an OBD II Scanner or Code Reader. The DTC will lead to the direction in
which the fault occurred. This is one area that is misunderstood. The DTC is a "helpful tool" that will be key in
determining what happened within the system. One thing to keep in mind, the DTC is a STARTING point in most
cases. For example, a PO301 would be a misfire was detected on #1 cylinder. The first thing that comes to mind is the
spark plug, and there is a good chance the spark plug could be failing, but, a defective fuel injector, spark plug wire or
COP (Coil Over Plug) unit is failing and cause the DTC to set. Then all of the other possibilities, basically everything
that would have to do with the cylinder performing is a possible reason for the DTC to set.
What is the difference in a Generic and Enhanced DTC
Every OBD II vehicle has to comply to strict emission standards. When the vehicle is new, this is easily achieved, but
what about after 50,000 or even 100,000 miles? Every OBD II vehicle is required to able to determine if a fault within
the system that would cause excessive emissions to be expelled from the tailpipe in the form of a DTC.
The Generic DTC's are a list of mandatory trouble codes that must be present and able to be displayed should a fault
arise. There are many Generic DTC's and not all of them will be used on every vehicle. The ones used depends on the
yr/make/model/engine of the vehicle. The Generic DTC's are also designed to be able to be retrieved using a standard
OBD II Scanner or code reader.
The Enhanced DTC's are DTC's that are vehicle specific. Simply put these are DTC's that have been added by the
manufacture to further "Enhance" the diagnosis capabilities of the vehicle. Without this option every vehicle would be a
clone to one another. A simple example of an Enhanced DTC would be:
Ford Vehicles.
Waste-gate Failed Closed
Keep in mind that if your vehicle is '96 and newer, Federal Law requires that ALL vehicles (cars and light trucks) sold in
the United States MUST BE OBD II Compliant. This includes ALL Domestic, Asian and European vehicles.
How To Test OBD II On-Board Diagnostic Systems
On-board diagnostic systems are more sophisticated than ever. OBD2, a new standard introduced in the mid-'90s,
provides almost complete engine control while also monitoring chassis, body and accessory devices. Computers may
seem more complicated than oil and grease, but The Part Pros are here to help you test your system and locate any
problems in the diagnostic network.
Since all vehicles are not the same please refer to the manual supplied with the OBD2 code reader for vehicle specific
Important info about OBD II
Can diagnose/check engine problems in all CAN and OBD2 vehicles (1996 and newer) and many of the most
popular OBD1 (1981 to 1995) vehicles
Features unique patented all-in-one screen display and LED display for quick emissions check
Automatic refresh updates data every 30 seconds when connected to the vehicle - an easy way to verify repair
Code definition can be displayed in English, French and Spanish
Can be Flash updated with a standard Windows® PC
Features memory/battery backup for off-car review and analysis
Connecting the OBD2 Code Reader is as simple as locating the DLC connector.
Reading the LCD Display
Before you start testing, take a good look at the LCD display. The illustration above explains what the various icons
mean and how the DTC (Diagnostic Trouble Code) will be displayed. The unit is self-powered by three-AAA batteries
and will let you know when they are running low. When connected/receiving power from the vehicle, the CAR Icon will
The OB2 code reader is a very simple tool to use. Once it is connected, turn the power on. Once the ignition is
switched to the on position, the code reader is checking the system for any stored DTCs.
The meaning of each DTC can be found in the manual supplied with your code reader.
the code reader displays a DTC PO309, Cylinder 9 misfire was detected.
Once you know what the problem is, you have to determine what's causing it. In this case the intake manifold gasket
was faulty. Once the repairs have been made, it is time to clear the DTC and check the system to verify the repair.
Clearing the Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC)
Clearing the DTC is very simple. Press the ERASE button on the code reader. A message will display on the screen;
"SURE" for conformation. If you wish to clear the DTC press and hold down the ERASE button again until a message
appears on the screen "DONE". If you did not wish to clear the codes and hit Erase by mistake at the screen message
"SURE" simply press the link button to return without erasing any DTCs.
When you clear the DTC(s) from the PCM (Power train Control Module)you also clear ALL of the other gathered
information that the PCM has collected, including Freeze Frame, Drive Cycle data, manufacture specific enhanced
data end everything stored in memory is erased - just like if you cleared the Cache files on your PC.
The vehicle's PCM will need to re-learn the information that was erased. Don't be alarmed!! This is easily
accomplished just by driving the vehicle. All you have to do is get driving.
Mercedes Error Codes (1996 and newer Mercedes-Benz but not model specific)
Powertrain :
P0100 Mass or Volume Air Flow Circuit Malfunction
P0101 Mass or Volume Air Flow Circuit Range/Performance Problem
P0102 Mass or Volume Air Flow Circuit Low Input
P0103 Mass or Volume Air Flow Circuit High Input
P0104 Mass or Volume Air Flow Circuit Intermittent
P0105 Manifold Absolute Pressure/Barometric Pressure Circuit Malfunction
P0106 Manifold Absolute Pressure/Barometric Pressure Circuit Range/Performance Problem
P0107 Manifold Absolute Pressure/Barometric Pressure Circuit Low Input
P0108 Manifold Absolute Pressure/Barometric Pressure Circuit High Input
P0109 Manifold Absolute Pressure/Barometric Pressure Circuit Intermittent
P0110 Intake Air Temperature Circuit Malfunction
P0111 Intake Air Temperature Circuit Range/Performance Problem
P0112 Intake Air Temperature Circuit Low Input
P0113 Intake Air Temperature Circuit High Input
P0114 Intake Air Temperature Circuit Intermittent
P0115 Engine Coolant Temperature Circuit Malfunction
P0116 Engine Coolant Temperature Circuit Range/Performance Problem
P0117 Engine Coolant Temperature Circuit Low Input
P0118 Engine Coolant Temperature Circuit High Input
P0119 Engine Coolant Temperature Circuit Intermittent
P0120 Throttle/Petal Position Sensor/Switch A Circuit Malfunction
P0121 Throttle/Petal Position Sensor/Switch A Circuit Range/Performance Problem
P0122 Throttle/Petal Position Sensor/Switch A Circuit Low Input
P0123 Throttle/Petal Position Sensor/Switch A Circuit High Input
P0124 Throttle/Petal Position Sensor/Switch A Circuit Intermittent
P0125 Insufficient Coolant Temperature for Closed Loop Fuel Control
P0126 Insufficient Coolant Temperature for Stable Operation
P0128 Coolant Thermostat Coolant Temp Below Thermostat Regulating Temperature
P0130 O2 Sensor Circuit Malfunction (Bank 1 Sensor 1, open circuit bef cat right)
P0131 O2 Sensor Circuit Low Voltage (Bank 1 Sensor 1)
P0132 O2 Sensor Circuit High Voltage (Bank 1 Sensor 1)
P0133 O2 Sensor Circuit Slow Response (Bank 1 Sensor 1)
P0134 O2 Sensor Circuit No Activity Detected (Bank 1 Sensor 1)
P0135 O2 Sensor Heater Circuit Malfunction (Bank 1 Sensor 1)
P0136 O2 Sensor Circuit Malfunction (Bank 1 Sensor 2)
P0137 O2 Sensor Circuit Low Voltage (Bank 1 Sensor 2)
P0138 O2 Sensor Circuit High Voltage (Bank 1 Sensor 2)
P0139 O2 Sensor Circuit Slow Response (Bank 1 Sensor 2)
P0140 O2 Sensor Circuit No Activity Detected (Bank 1 Sensor 2)
P0141 O2 Sensor Heater Circuit Malfunction (Bank 1 Sensor 2)
P0142 O2 Sensor Circuit Malfunction (Bank 1 Sensor 3)
P0143 O2 Sensor Circuit Low Voltage (Bank 1 Sensor 3)
P0144 O2 Sensor Circuit High Voltage (Bank 1 Sensor 3)
P0145 O2 Sensor Circuit Slow Response (Bank 1 Sensor 3)
P0146 O2 Sensor Circuit No Activity Detected (Bank 1 Sensor 3)
P0147 O2 Sensor Heater Circuit Malfunction (Bank 1 Sensor 3)
P0150 O2 Sensor Circuit Malfunction (Bank 2 Sensor 1, open circuit before cat)
P0151 O2 Sensor Circuit Low Voltage (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0152 O2 Sensor Circuit High Voltage (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0153 O2 Sensor Circuit Slow Response (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0154 O2 Sensor Circuit No Activity Detected (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0155 O2 Sensor Heater Circuit Malfunction (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0156 O2 Sensor Circuit Malfunction (Bank 2 Sensor 2)
P0157 O2 Sensor Circuit Low Voltage (Bank 2 Sensor 2)
P0158 O2 Sensor Circuit High Voltage (Bank 2 Sensor 2)
P0159 O2 Sensor Circuit Slow Response (Bank 2 Sensor 2)
P0160 O2 Sensor Circuit No Activity Detected (Bank 2 Sensor 2)
P0161 O2 Sensor Heater Circuit Malfunction (Bank 2 Sensor 2)
P0162 O2 Sensor Circuit Malfunction (Bank 2 Sensor 3)
P0163 O2 Sensor Circuit Low Voltage (Bank 2 Sensor 3)
P0164 O2 Sensor Circuit High Voltage (Bank 2 Sensor 3)
P0165 O2 Sensor Circuit Slow Response (Bank 2 Sensor 3)
P0166 O2 Sensor Circuit No Activity Detected (Bank 2 Sensor 3)
P0167 O2 Sensor Heater Circuit Malfunction (Bank 2 Sensor 3)
P0170 Fuel Trim Malfunction (Bank 1) ) check vaccum leaks first or
P0171 System too Lean (Bank 1) ) faulty MAF (mass air flow) sensor
P0172 System too Rich (Bank 1) )
P0173 Fuel Trim Malfunction (Bank 2) )
P0174 System too Lean (Bank 2) )
P0175 System too Rich (Bank 2) )
P0176 Fuel Composition Sensor Circuit Malfunction
P0177 Fuel Composition Sensor Circuit Range/Performance
P0178 Fuel Composition Sensor Circuit Low Input
P0179 Fuel Composition Sensor Circuit High Input
P0180 Fuel Temperature Sensor A Circuit Malfunction
P0181 Fuel Temperature Sensor A Circuit Range/Performance
P0182 Fuel Temperature Sensor A Circuit Low Input
P0183 Fuel Temperature Sensor A Circuit High Input
P0184 Fuel Temperature Sensor A Circuit Intermittent
P0185 Fuel Temperature Sensor B Circuit Malfunction
P0186 Fuel Temperature Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0187 Fuel Temperature Sensor B Circuit Low Input
P0188 Fuel Temperature Sensor B Circuit High Input
P0189 Fuel Temperature Sensor B Circuit Intermittent
P0190 Fuel Rail Pressure Sensor Circuit Malfunction
P0191 Fuel Rail Pressure Sensor Circuit Range/Performance
P0192 Fuel Rail Pressure Sensor Circuit Low Input
P0193 Fuel Rail Pressure Sensor Circuit High Input
P0194 Fuel Rail Pressure Sensor Circuit Intermittent
P0195 Engine Oil Temperature Sensor Malfunction
P0196 Engine Oil Temperature Sensor Range/Performance
P0197 Engine Oil Temperature Sensor Low
P0198 Engine Oil Temperature Sensor High
P0199 Engine Oil Temperature Sensor Intermittent
P0200 Injector Circuit Malfunction
P0201 Injector Circuit Malfunction - Cylinder 1
P0202 Injector Circuit Malfunction - Cylinder 2
P0203 Injector Circuit Malfunction - Cylinder 3
P0204 Injector Circuit Malfunction - Cylinder 4
P0205 Injector Circuit Malfunction - Cylinder 5
P0206 Injector Circuit Malfunction - Cylinder 6
P0207 Injector Circuit Malfunction - Cylinder 7
P0208 Injector Circuit Malfunction - Cylinder 8
P0209 Injector Circuit Malfunction - Cylinder 9
P0210 Injector Circuit Malfunction - Cylinder 10
P0211 Injector Circuit Malfunction - Cylinder 11
P0212 Injector Circuit Malfunction - Cylinder 12
P0213 Cold Start Injector 1 Malfunction
P0214 Cold Start Injector 2 Malfunction
P0215 Engine Shutoff Solenoid Malfunction
P0216 Injection Timing Control Circuit Malfunction
P0217 Engine Overtemp Condition
P0218 Transmission Over Temperature Condition
P0219 Engine Overspeed Condition
P0220 Throttle/Petal Position Sensor/Switch B Circuit Malfunction
P0221 Throttle/Petal Position Sensor/Switch B Circuit Range/Performance Problem
P0222 Throttle/Petal Position Sensor/Switch B Circuit Low Input
P0223 Throttle/Petal Position Sensor/Switch B Circuit High Input
P0224 Throttle/Petal Position Sensor/Switch B Circuit Intermittent
P0225 Throttle/Petal Position Sensor/Switch C Circuit Malfunction
P0226 Throttle/Petal Position Sensor/Switch C Circuit Range/Performance Problem
P0227 Throttle/Petal Position Sensor/Switch C Circuit Low Input
P0228 Throttle/Petal Position Sensor/Switch C Circuit High Input
P0229 Throttle/Petal Position Sensor/Switch C Circuit Intermittent
P0230 Fuel Pump Primary Circuit Malfunction
P0231 Fuel Pump Secondary Circuit Low
P0232 Fuel Pump Secondary Circuit High
P0233 Fuel Pump Secondary Circuit Intermittent
P0234 Engine Overboost Condition
P0235 Turbocharger Boost Sensor A Circuit Malfunction
P0236 Turbocharger Boost Sensor A Circuit Range/Performance
P0237 Turbocharger Boost Sensor A Circuit Low
P0238 Turbocharger Boost Sensor A Circuit High
P0239 Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Malfunction
P0240 Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0241 Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Low
P0242 Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit High
P0243 Turbocharger Wastegate Solenoid A Malfunction
P0244 Turbocharger Wastegate Solenoid A Range/Performance
P0245 Turbocharger Wastegate Solenoid A Low
P0246 Turbocharger Wastegate Solenoid A High
P0247 Turbocharger Wastegate Solenoid B Malfunction
P0248 Turbocharger Wastegate Solenoid B Range/Performance
P0249 Turbocharger Wastegate Solenoid B Low
P0250 Turbocharger Wastegate Solenoid B High
P0251 Injection Pump Fuel Metering Control "A" Malfunction (Cam/Rotor/Injector)
P0252 Injection Pump Fuel Metering Control "A" Range/Performance (Cam/Rotor/Injector)
P0253 Injection Pump Fuel Metering Control "A" Low (Cam/Rotor/Injector)
P0254 Injection Pump Fuel Metering Control "A" High (Cam/Rotor/Injector)
P0255 Injection Pump Fuel Metering Control "A" Intermittent (Cam/Rotor/Injector)
P0256 Injection Pump Fuel Metering Control "B" Malfunction (Cam/Rotor/Injector)
P0257 Injection Pump Fuel Metering Control "B" Range/Performance (Cam/Rotor/Injector)
P0258 Injection Pump Fuel Metering Control "B" Low (Cam/Rotor/Injector)
P0259 Injection Pump Fuel Metering Control "B" High (Cam/Rotor/Injector)
P0260 Injection Pump Fuel Metering Control "B" Intermittent (Cam/Rotor/Injector)
P0261 Cylinder 1 Injector Circuit Low
P0262 Cylinder 1 Injector Circuit High
P0263 Cylinder 1 Contribution/Balance Fault
P0264 Cylinder 2 Injector Circuit Low
P0265 Cylinder 2 Injector Circuit High
P0266 Cylinder 2 Contribution/Balance Fault
P0267 Cylinder 3 Injector Circuit Low
P0268 Cylinder 3 Injector Circuit High
P0269 Cylinder 3 Contribution/Balance Fault
P0270 Cylinder 4 Injector Circuit Low
P0271 Cylinder 4 Injector Circuit High
P0272 Cylinder 4 Contribution/Balance Fault
P0273 Cylinder 5 Injector Circuit Low
P0274 Cylinder 5 Injector Circuit High
P0275 Cylinder 5 Contribution/Balance Fault
P0276 Cylinder 6 Injector Circuit Low
P0277 Cylinder 6 Injector Circuit High
P0278 Cylinder 6 Contribution/Balance Fault
P0279 Cylinder 7 Injector Circuit Low
P0280 Cylinder 7 Injector Circuit High
P0281 Cylinder 7 Contribution/Balance Fault
P0282 Cylinder 8 Injector Circuit Low
P0283 Cylinder 8 Injector Circuit High
P0284 Cylinder 8 Contribution/Balance Fault
P0285 Cylinder 9 Injector Circuit Low
P0286 Cylinder 9 Injector Circuit High
P0287 Cylinder 9 Contribution/Balance Fault
P0288 Cylinder 10 Injector Circuit Low
P0289 Cylinder 10 Injector Circuit High
P0290 Cylinder 10 Contribution/Balance Fault
P0291 Cylinder 11 Injector Circuit Low
P0292 Cylinder 11 Injector Circuit High
P0293 Cylinder 11 Contribution/Balance Fault
P0294 Cylinder 12 Injector Circuit Low
P0295 Cylinder 12 Injector Circuit High
P0296 Cylinder 12 Contribution/Range Fault
P0300 Random/Multiple Cylinder Misfire Detected
P0301 Cylinder 1 Misfire Detected <--- often indicates catalytic converter problem (says BOTONOSI)
P0302 Cylinder 2 Misfire Detected
P0303 Cylinder 3 Misfire Detected
P0304 Cylinder 4 Misfire Detected
P0305 Cylinder 5 Misfire Detected
P0306 Cylinder 6 Misfire Detected
P0307 Cylinder 7 Misfire Detected
P0308 Cylinder 8 Misfire Detected
P0309 Cylinder 9 Misfire Detected
P0311 Cylinder 11 Misfire Detected
P0312 Cylinder 12 Misfire Detected
P0320 Ignition/Distributor Engine Speed Input Circuit Malfunction
P0321 Ignition/Distributor Engine Speed Input Circuit Range/Performance
P0322 Ignition/Distributor Engine Speed Input Circuit No Signal
P0323 Ignition/Distributor Engine Speed Input Circuit Intermittent
P0325 Knock Sensor 1 Circuit Malfunction (Bank 1 or Single Sensor)
P0326 Knock Sensor 1 Circuit Range/Performance (Bank 1 or Single Sensor)
P0327 Knock Sensor 1 Circuit Low Input (Bank 1 or Single Sensor)
P0328 Knock Sensor 1 Circuit High Input (Bank 1 or Single Sensor)
P0329 Knock Sensor 1 Circuit Intermittent (Bank 1 or Single Sensor)
P0330 Knock Sensor 2 Circuit Malfunction (Bank 2)
P0331 Knock Sensor 2 Circuit Range/Performance (Bank 2)
P0332 Knock Sensor 2 Circuit Low Input (Bank 2)
P0333 Knock Sensor 2 Circuit High Input (Bank 2)
P0334 Knock Sensor 2 Circuit Intermittent (Bank 2)
P0335 Crankshaft Position Sensor A Circuit Malfunction (L5)
P0336 Crankshaft Position Sensor A Circuit Range/Performance
P0337 Crankshaft Position Sensor A Circuit Low Input
P0338 Crankshaft Position Sensor A Circuit High Input
P0339 Crankshaft Position Sensor A Circuit Intermittent
P0340 Camshaft Position Sensor Circuit Malfunction
P0341 Camshaft Position Sensor Circuit Range/Performance
P0342 Camshaft Position Sensor Circuit Low Input
P0343 Camshaft Position Sensor Circuit High Input
P0344 Camshaft Position Sensor Circuit Intermittent
P0350 Ignition Coil Primary/Secondary Circuit Malfunction
P0351 Ignition Coil A Primary/Secondary Circuit Malfunction
P0352 Ignition Coil B Primary/Secondary Circuit Malfunction
P0353 Ignition Coil C Primary/Secondary Circuit Malfunction
P0354 Ignition Coil D Primary/Secondary Circuit Malfunction
P0355 Ignition Coil E Primary/Secondary Circuit Malfunction
P0356 Ignition Coil F Primary/Secondary Circuit Malfunction
P0357 Ignition Coil G Primary/Secondary Circuit Malfunction
P0358 Ignition Coil H Primary/Secondary Circuit Malfunction
P0359 Ignition Coil I Primary/Secondary Circuit Malfunction
P0360 Ignition Coil J Primary/Secondary Circuit Malfunction
P0361 Ignition Coil K Primary/Secondary Circuit Malfunction
P0362 Ignition Coil L Primary/Secondary Circuit Malfunction
P0370 Timing Reference High Resolution Signal A Malfunction
P0371 Timing Reference High Resolution Signal A Too Many Pulses
P0372 Timing Reference High Resolution Signal A Too Few Pulses
P0373 Timing Reference High Resolution Signal A Intermittent/Erratic Pulses
P0374 Timing Reference High Resolution Signal A No Pulses
P0375 Timing Reference High Resolution Signal B Malfunction
P0376 Timing Reference High Resolution Signal B Too Many Pulses
P0377 Timing Reference High Resolution Signal B Too Few Pulses
P0378 Timing Reference High Resolution Signal B Intermittent/Erratic Pulses
P0379 Timing Reference High Resolution Signal B No Pulses
P0380 Glow Plug/Heater Circuit "A" Malfunction
P0381 Glow Plug/Heater Indicator Circuit Malfunction
P0382 Exhaust Gas Recirculation Flow Malfunction
P0385 Crankshaft Position Sensor B Circuit Malfunction
P0386 Crankshaft Position Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0387 Crankshaft Position Sensor B Circuit Low Input
P0388 Crankshaft Position Sensor B Circuit High Input
P0389 Crankshaft Position Sensor B Circuit Intermittent
P0400 Exhaust Gas Recirculation Flow Malfunction
P0401 Exhaust Gas Recirculation Flow Insufficient Detected
P0402 Exhaust Gas Recirculation Flow Excessive Detected
P0403 Exhaust Gas Recirculation Circuit Malfunction
P0404 Exhaust Gas Recirculation Circuit Range/Performance
P0405 Exhaust Gas Recirculation Sensor A Circuit Low
P0406 Exhaust Gas Recirculation Sensor A Circuit High
P0407 Exhaust Gas Recirculation Sensor B Circuit Low
P0408 Exhaust Gas Recirculation Sensor B Circuit High
P0410 Secondary Air Injection System Malfunction
P0411 Secondary Air Injection System Incorrect Flow Detected
P0412 Secondary Air Injection System Switching Valve A Circuit Malfunction
P0413 Secondary Air Injection System Switching Valve A Circuit Open
P0414 Secondary Air Injection System Switching Valve A Circuit Shorted
P0415 Secondary Air Injection System Switching Valve B Circuit Malfunction
P0416 Secondary Air Injection System Switching Valve B Circuit Open
P0417 Secondary Air Injection System Switching Valve B Circuit Shorted
P0418 Secondary Air Injection System Relay "A" Circuit Malfunction
P0419 Secondary Air Injection System Relay "B" Circuit Malfunction
P0420 Catalyst System Efficiency Below Threshold (Bank 1)
P0421 Warm Up Catalyst Efficiency Below Threshold (Bank 1)
P0422 Main Catalyst Efficiency Below Threshold (Bank 1)
P0423 Heated Catalyst Efficiency Below Threshold (Bank 1)
P0424 Heated Catalyst Temperature Below Threshold (Bank 1)
P0430 Catalyst System Efficiency Below Threshold (Bank 2)
P0431 Warm Up Catalyst Efficiency Below Threshold (Bank 2)
P0432 Main Catalyst Efficiency Below Threshold (Bank 2)
P0433 Heated Catalyst Efficiency Below Threshold (Bank 2)
P0434 Heated Catalyst Temperature Below Threshold (Bank 2)
P0440 Evaporative Emission Control System Malfunction
P0441 Evaporative Emission Control System Incorrect Purge Flow
P0442 Evaporative Emission Control System Leak Detected (small leak)
P0443 Evaporative Emission Control System Purge Control Valve Circuit Malfunction
P0444 Evaporative Emission Control System Purge Control Valve Circuit Open
P0445 Evaporative Emission Control System Purge Control Valve Circuit Shorted
P0446 Evaporative Emission Control System Vent Control Circuit Malfunction
P0447 Evaporative Emission Control System Vent Control Circuit Open
P0448 Evaporative Emission Control System Vent Control Circuit Shorted
P0449 Evaporative Emission Control System Vent Valve/Solenoid Circuit Malfunction
P0450 Evaporative Emission Control System Pressure Sensor Malfunction
P0451 Evaporative Emission Control System Pressure Sensor Range/Performance
P0452 Evaporative Emission Control System Pressure Sensor Low Input
P0453 Evaporative Emission Control System Pressure Sensor High Input
P0454 Evaporative Emission Control System Pressure Sensor Intermittent
P0455 Evaporative Emission Control System Leak Detected (gross leak)
P0460 Fuel Level Sensor Circuit Malfunction
P0461 Fuel Level Sensor Circuit Range/Performance
P0462 Fuel Level Sensor Circuit Low Input
P0463 Fuel Level Sensor Circuit High Input
P0464 Fuel Level Sensor Circuit Intermittent
P0465 Purge Flow Sensor Circuit Malfunction
P0466 Purge Flow Sensor Circuit Range/Performance
P0467 Purge Flow Sensor Circuit Low Input
P0468 Purge Flow Sensor Circuit High Input
P0469 Purge Flow Sensor Circuit Intermittent
P0470 Exhaust Pressure Sensor Malfunction
P0471 Exhaust Pressure Sensor Range/Performance
P0472 Exhaust Pressure Sensor Low
P0473 Exhaust Pressure Sensor High
P0474 Exhaust Pressure Sensor Intermittent
P0475 Exhaust Pressure Control Valve Malfunction
P0476 Exhaust Pressure Control Valve Range/Performance
P0477 Exhaust Pressure Control Valve Low
P0478 Exhaust Pressure Control Valve High
P0479 Exhaust Pressure Control Valve Intermittent
P0480 Cooling Fan 1 Control Circuit Malfunction
P0481 Cooling Fan 2 Control Circuit Malfunction
P0482 Cooling Fan 3 Control Circuit Malfunction
P0483 Cooling Fan Rationality Check Malfunction
P0484 Cooling Fan Circuit Over Current
P0485 Cooling Fan Power/Ground Circuit Malfunction
P0500 Vehicle Speed Sensor Malfunction
P0501 Vehicle Speed Sensor Range/Performance
P0502 Vehicle Speed Sensor Low Input
P0503 Vehicle Speed Sensor Intermittent/Erratic/High
P0505 Idle Control System Malfunction
P0506 Idle Control System RPM Lower Than Expected
P0507 Idle Control System RPM Higher Than Expected
P0510 Closed Throttle Position Switch Malfunction
P0520 Engine Oil Pressure Sensor/Switch Circuit Malfunction
P0521 Engine Oil Pressure Sensor/Switch Circuit Range/Performance
P0522 Engine Oil Pressure Sensor/Switch Circuit Low Voltage
P0523 Engine Oil Pressure Sensor/Switch Circuit High Voltage
P0530 A/C Refrigerant Pressure Sensor Circuit Malfunction
P0531 A/C Refrigerant Pressure Sensor Circuit Range/Performance
P0532 A/C Refrigerant Pressure Sensor Circuit Low Input
P0533 A/C Refrigerant Pressure Sensor Circuit High Input
P0534 Air Conditioner Refrigerant Charge Loss
P0550 Power Steering Pressure Sensor Circuit Malfunction
P0551 Power Steering Pressure Sensor Circuit Range/Performance
P0552 Power Steering Pressure Sensor Circuit Low Input
P0553 Power Steering Pressure Sensor Circuit High Input
P0554 Power Steering Pressure Sensor Circuit Intermittent
P0560 System Voltage Malfunction
P0561 System Voltage Unstable
P0562 System Voltage Low
P0563 System Voltage High
P0565 Cruise Control On Signal Malfunction
P0566 Cruise Control Off Signal Malfunction
P0567 Cruise Control Resume Signal Malfunction
P0568 Cruise Control Set Signal Malfunction
P0569 Cruise Control Coast Signal Malfunction
P0570 Cruise Control Accel Signal Malfunction
P0571 Cruise Control/Brake Switch A Circuit Malfunction
P0572 Cruise Control/Brake Switch A Circuit Low
P0573 Cruise Control/Brake Switch A Circuit High
P0574 Cruise Control Related Malfunction
P0575 Cruise Control Related Malfunction
P0576 Cruise Control Related Malfunction
P0576 Cruise Control Related Malfunction
P0578 Cruise Control Related Malfunction
P0579 Cruise Control Related Malfunction
P0580 Cruise Control Related Malfunction
P0600 Serial Communication Link Malfunction
P0601 Internal Control Module Memory Check Sum Error
P0602 Control Module Programming Error
P0603 Internal Control Module Keep Alive Memory (KAM) Error
P0604 Internal Control Module Random Access Memory (RAM) Error
P0605 Internal Control Module Read Only Memory (ROM) Error
P0606 PCM Processor Fault
P0608 Control Module VSS Output "A" Malfunction
P0609 Control Module VSS Output "B" Malfunction
P0620 Generator Control Circuit Malfunction
P0621 Generator Lamp "L" Control Circuit Malfunction
P0622 Generator Field "F" Control Circuit Malfunction
P0650 Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) Control Circuit Malfunction
P0654 Engine RPM Output Circuit Malfunction
P0655 Engine Hot Lamp Output Control Circuit Malfucntion
P0656 Fuel Level Output Circuit Malfunction
P0700 Transmission Control System Malfunction
P0701 Transmission Control System Range/Performance
P0702 Transmission Control System Electrical
P0703 Torque Converter/Brake Switch B Circuit Malfunction
P0704 Clutch Switch Input Circuit Malfunction
P0705 Transmission Range Sensor Circuit malfunction (PRNDL Input)
P0706 Transmission Range Sensor Circuit Range/Performance
P0707 Transmission Range Sensor Circuit Low Input
P0708 Transmission Range Sensor Circuit High Input
P0709 Transmission Range Sensor Circuit Intermittent
P0710 Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit Malfunction
P0711 Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit Range/Performance
P0712 Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit Low Input
P0713 Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit High Input
P0714 Transmission Fluid Temperature Sensor Circuit Intermittent
P0715 Input/Turbine Speed Sensor Circuit Malfunction
P0716 Input/Turbine Speed Sensor Circuit Range/Performance
P0717 Input/Turbine Speed Sensor Circuit No Signal
P0718 Input/Turbine Speed Sensor Circuit Intermittent
P0719 Torque Converter/Brake Switch B Circuit Low
P0720 Output Speed Sensor Circuit Malfunction
P0721 Output Speed Sensor Range/Performance
P0722 Output Speed Sensor No Signal
P0723 Output Speed Sensor Intermittent
P0724 Torque Converter/Brake Switch B Circuit High
P0725 Engine Speed input Circuit Malfunction
P0726 Engine Speed Input Circuit Range/Performance
P0727 Engine Speed Input Circuit No Signal
P0728 Engine Speed Input Circuit Intermittent
P0730 Incorrect Gear Ratio
P0731 Gear 1 Incorrect ratio
P0732 Gear 2 Incorrect ratio
P0733 Gear 3 Incorrect ratio
P0734 Gear 4 Incorrect ratio
P0735 Gear 5 Incorrect ratio
P0736 Reverse incorrect gear ratio
P0740 Torque Converter Clutch Circuit Malfuction
P0741 Torque Converter Clutch Circuit Performance or Stuck Off
P0742 Torque Converter Clutch Circuit Stuck On
P0743 Torque Converter Clutch Circuit Electrical
P0744 Torque Converter Clutch Circuit Intermittent
P0745 Pressure Control Solenoid Malfunction
P0746 Pressure Control Solenoid Performance or Stuck Off
P0747 Pressure Control Solenoid Stuck On
P0748 Pressure Control Solenoid Electrical
P0749 Pressure Control Solenoid Intermittent
P0750 Shift Solenoid A Malfunction
P0751 Shift Solenoid A Performance or Stuck Off
P0752 Shift Solenoid A Stuck On
P0753 Shift Solenoid A Electrical
P0754 Shift Solenoid A Intermittent
P0755 Shift Solenoid B Malfunction
P0756 Shift Solenoid B Performance or Stuck Off
P0757 Shift Solenoid B Stuck On
P0758 Shift Solenoid B Electrical
P0759 Shift Solenoid B Intermittent
P0760 Shift Solenoid C Malfunction
P0761 Shift Solenoid C Performance or Stuck Off
P0762 Shift Solenoid C Stuck On
P0763 Shift Solenoid C Electrical
P0764 Shift Solenoid C Intermittent
P0765 Shift Solenoid D Malfunction
P0766 Shift Solenoid D Performance or Stuck Off
P0767 Shift Solenoid D Stuck On
P0768 Shift Solenoid D Electrical
P0769 Shift Solenoid D Intermittent
P0770 Shift Solenoid E Malfunction
P0771 Shift Solenoid E Performance or Stuck Off
P0772 Shift Solenoid E Stuck On
P0773 Shift Solenoid E Electrical
P0774 Shift Solenoid E Intermittent
P0780 Shift Malfunction
P0781 1-2 Shift Malfunction
P0782 2-3 Shift Malfunction
P0783 3-4 Shift Malfunction
P0784 4-5 Shift Malfunction
P0785 Shift/Timing Solenoid Malfunction
P0786 Shift/Timing Solenoid Range/Performance
P0787 Shift/Timing Solenoid Low
P0788 Shift/Timing Solenoid High
P0789 Shift/Timing Solenoid Intermittent
P0790 Normal/Performance Switch Circuit Malfunction
P0801 Reverse Inhibit Control Circuit Malfunction
P0803 1-4 Upshift (Skip Shift) Solenoid Control Circuit Malfunction
P0804 1-4 Upshift (Skip Shift) Lamp Control Circuit Malfunction
P0805 Clutch Position Sensor Circuit Malfunction
P0806 Clutch Position Sensor Circuit Range/Performance
P0807 Clutch Position Sensor Circuit Low
P0808 Clutch Position Sensor Circuit High
P0809 Clutch Position Sensor Circuit Intermittent Ckt
P0810 Clutch Position Control Malfunction
P0811 Clutch Slippage Excessive
P0812 Reverse Input Circuit Malfunction
P0813 Reverse Output Circuit Malfunction
P0814 Trans Range Display Circuit Malfunction
P0815 Upshift Switch Circuit Malfunction
P0816 Downshift Switch Circuit Malfunction
P0817 Starter Disable Circuit
P0818 Driveline Disconn. Switch Input
P0820 Gear Lever X-Y Sensor Circuit
P0821 Gear Lever X Sensor Circuit
P0822 Gear Lever Y Sensor Circuit
P0823 Gear Lever X Sensor Circuit Intermittent Ckt
P0824 Gear Lever Y Sensor Circuit Intermittent Ckt
P0830 Clutch Position Switch A Circuit Malfunction
P0831 Clutch Position Switch A Circuit Low
P0832 Clutch Position Switch A Circuit High
P0833 Clutch Position Switch B Circuit Malfunction
P0834 Clutch Position Switch B Circuit Low
P0835 Clutch Position Switch B Circuit High
P0836 4 Wheel Drive Switch Circuit Malfunction
P0837 4 Wheel Drive Switch CKT Range/Perf
P0838 4 Wheel Drive Switch Circuit Low
P0839 4 Wheel Drive Switch Circuit High
P0840 Trans Fluid Press Sensor/Switch A Circuit Malfunction
P0841 Trans Fluid Press Sensor/Switch A CKT Range/Perf
P0842 Trans Fluid Press Sensor/Switch A Circuit Low
P0843 Trans Fluid Press Sensor/Switch A Circuit High
P0844 Trans Fluid Press Sensor/Switch A CKT Intermittent
P0845 Trans Fluid Press Sensor/Switch B Circuit Malfunction
P0846 Trans Fluid Press Sensor/Switch B CKT Range/Perf
P0847 Trans Fluid Press Sensor/Switch B Circuit Low
P0848 Trans Fluid Press Sensor/Switch B Circuit High
P0849 Trans Fluid Press Sensor/Switch B CKT Intermittent
P1000 Electronic Gear Selector Module: Defective N15/5
P1101 Ambient air temperature display temperature sensor
P1102 Ambient air temperature display temperature sensor
P1103 Ambient air temperature display temperature sensor
P1104 Ambient air temperature display temperature sensor
P1200 Positioning of camshaft of right cylinder bank impaired with respect
P1208 to crankshaft, Indicates worn sprocket on the balancer shaft (M272) or worn guide gear for timing chain (M273)
P1228 yet unknown code on 1997 C 220 CDI
P1345 problem with cables to hot film mass air flow sensor or HFM itself
P1346 problem with cables to hot film mass air flow sensor or HFM itself
P1347 5 pin connector to hot film mass air flow sensor unplugged during two key cycles
P1349 measured air in HFM sensor unplausible compared to throttle flap
P1350 measured air in HFM sensor unplausible compared to throttle flap
P1351 measured air in HFM sensor unplausible compared to throttle flap
P1352 measured air in HFM sensor unplausible compared to throttle flap
P1386 knock control
P1519 Idle Air Control Valve Circuit Failure
P1570 Intermittant No-Start Immobiliser Module
P1581 ?
P1599 Ambient air temperature display temperature sensor
P1600 Ambient air temperature display temperature sensor
P1629 transmission limp home due to under voltage
P1632 transmission limp home due to under voltage
P1633 transmission limp home due to under voltage
P1634 transmission limp home due to under voltage
P1636 transmission limp home due to under voltage
P1747 Electronic Gear Selector Module: Defective Interaction of CAN with control unit A1 (instrument cluster)
P1750 Electronic Gear Selector Module: Very low control unit supply voltage
P1831 Transfer case: Position motor, position sensor, power supply is faulty
P1832 Electronic Gear Selector Module: SHORT in circuit N15/5 output stage
P1857 ratio of HFM sensor signal to intake manifold pressure out of range
P1858 ratio of HFM sensor signal to intake manifold pressure out of range
P1910 Electronic Gear Selector Module: Control Unit over voltage
P1912 Electronic Gear Selector Module: Weak touch push button voltage
P1999 load limit is active
P2000 NOx Trap Efficiency Below Threshold (Bank 1)
P2001 NOx Trap Efficiency Below Threshold (Bank 2)
P2002 M44 (charge air cooler circulation pump)
P2003 Particulate Trap Efficiency Below Threshold (Bank 1)
P2004 Particulate Trap Efficiency Below Threshold (Bank 2)
P2004 MAF sensor wire harness or connector problem (voltage low, high, fluctuating, implausible)
P2006 MAF sensor disconnected with engine running
P2006/002 B17/8 Charge air temperature sensor: short circuit to positive or open
P2013 cause 47155737/18893 Charcol canister shut-off valve leaking
P2016 Self adaptation of mixture formation from bank1/2 of cylinder is at
P2085 max/min limit at part throttle
P2017 Self adaptation of mixture formation from bank1/2 of cylinder is at
P2086 max/min limit at idle speed
P2025 fault with cable of intake air temperature sensor
P2026 5 pin HFM connector unplugged two key cycles
P2027 Intake air temperature too high/Check coolant pump& additional radiator
P2029 measured value of intake air temperature sensor implausible
P2030 measured value of intake air temperature sensor implausible
P2032 measured value of intake air temperature sensor implausible
P2031 Exhaust Gas Temperature Sensor Circuit (Bank 1 Sensor 2)
P2032 Exhaust Gas Temperature Sensor Circuit Low (Bank 1 Sensor 2)
P2033 Exhaust Gas Temperature Sensor Circuit High (Bank 1 Sensor 2)
P2034 Faulty crankshaft position sensor detected at startup due to camshaft sensor, update software
P2039 Oil level sensor If all three set in M112/M113, cable/wiring fault
P2040 Oil level sensor If two of these are set, replace sensor
P2041 Oil level sensor Applies to M-class with M112/M113 engines
P2069 Ambient air temperature display sensor
P2070 Ambient air temperature display sensor
P2080 Exhaust Gas Temperature Sensor Circuit Range/Performance (Bank 1 Sensor 1)
P2081 Exhaust Gas Temperature Sensor Circuit intermittant (Bank 1 Sensor 1)
P2085 (see P2016)
P2086 (see P2017)
P202E M16/6 Throttle valve actuator: Line transposed
P208E M16/7 Recirculating air flap acuator: line transposed
P2089 (A) self adaptation R cyl bank for enrich at partial load above limit
P2090 (C) self adaptation R cyl bank for enlean at partial load below limit
P2091 (E) self adaptation R cyl bank for enrich at idle load above limit
P2092 (G) self adaptation R cyl bank for enlean at idle load below limit
P2093 (B) self adaptation L cyl bank for enrich at partial load above limit
P2094 (D) self adaptation L cyl bank for enlean at partial load below limit
P2095 (F) self adaptation L cyl bank for enrich at idle load above limit
P2096 (H) self adaptation L cyl bank for enlean at idle load below limit
P20E1 Charge air coolant circuit: charge air temperature is too high
P2100 Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit/Open
P2101 Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit Range/Performance
P2181 5 pin connector to hot film air mass sensor connection problem
P2182 5 pin connector to HFM unplugged during two key cycles
P2208 transmission: The speed of Y3/6n2 to Y3/6n3 is excessive
P2200 transmission: limp home, speed sensor ring K1 error
P2201 transmission: limp home, speed sensor ring K1 error
P2311 ETC one or more messages from the ECU and not available in the CAN bus ETC is electronic transmission
control unit
P2312 ETC Message "Coolant Temperature" not available in CAN-bus
P2314 ETC one or more messages from N93 central gateway not on CAN bus
P2315 ETC message "kilometer reading" from control unit A1 instrument cluster not on CAN bus
P2326 ETC message from N22 AAC pushbutton control unit not on CAN bus
P2355-002 Check system EGR, air mass is too large, check/replace EGR line
P2404 ETC stop lamp switch signal sent from ETC via CAN bus implausible
P2767 transmission: limp home, speed sensor ring K1 error
P2768 transmission: limp home, speed sensor ring K1 error
Body :
B1000 HRA Headlamp range adjustment: Supply voltage of the control unit is too low (undervoltage)
B1004 LCP Lower Control Panel: Control unit does not match vehicle type
B1016 EIS No enable from control module EWM (Electronic Selector Lever Module)
B1021 CAN fault N10-1 or A37
B1056 Automatic Air Conditioning: Problem in CAN communication with control unit DCM-RL
B1132 Alarm activated via S62/7 glovebox switch
B1153 Component B48 (Front passenger seat occupied and child recognition) has only detected one transponder
(could also be memory card on front passenger seat)
B1201 Electric seat adjustment front left: Hall sensor front height M27m3
B1213 If seat memory installed: ext left rearview mirror voltage faulty
B1214 If seat memory installed: ext right rearview mirror voltage faulty
B1226 In-car temperature sensor (B10/4)
B1227 Outside temperature indicator temp sensor (014)
B1128 Heater core temperature (B10/1)
B1229 Heater core temperature (B10/1)
B1230 Evaporator temperature sensor (B10/6)
B1231 ECT sensor (B11/4)
B1232 Refrigerant pressure sensor (B12)
B1233 Refrigerant temperature sensor (B12/1)
B1234 Sun sensor (B32)
B1235 Emissions sensor (B31)
B1241 Refrigerant Fill
B1246 PTS Parktronic: A42b1 (left outer sensor, front bumper) The plug connection has poor contact or is loose, or the
sensor or cable is faulty
B1310 Left/Window airbag sensor is defective
B1315 Problem in Front passenger child seat recognition (could also be memory card on front passenger seat)
B1416 Coolant circulation pump (M13)
B1417 Duovalve (Y21y1), left
B1418 Duovalve (Y21y2), right
B1419 Electromagnetic clutch (A9k1)
B1420 Idle speed increase
B1421 Pulse module (N05)
B1422 Series interface (K1) connection to instrument cluster (A1)
B1423 Switchover valve block (Y11)
B1424 Activated charcoal filler actuator (A32m2) open
B1425 Activated charcoal filler actuator (A32m2) closed
B1432 Non-USA DTC
B1459 Series interface (K2) connection to instrument cluster (A1)
B1462 Wide open throttle (WOT) position signal diesel engines
B1470 Fuel level sensor has on open
B1476 Airbag malfunction indicator and warning lamp is defective
B1481 HRA: Part E2m1 (Right headlamp range adjustment motor) has short to ground
B1489 HRA: Part E2m1 (Right headlamp range adjustment motor) has open or short to positive
B1492 HRA: Part E1m1 (Left headlamp range adjustement motor) has short to positive
B1617 Part E19/1 (Left license plate lamp) is defective
B1618 Part E19/2 (Right license plate lamp) is defective
B1628 Part E2e5 (Turn signal lamp) in module E2 (Right front headlamp unit) is defective.
B1703 Intermittant No Start in AAM Immobiliser Module
B1709 Component H3 alarm siren - not fitted or not coded
B1711 Alarm activated via hood switch S62
B1725 Alarm activated via ATA towing sensor in PSE)
B1729 PSE Pneumatic system doorlock Control Module A37
B1736 Navigation system's CD Player: Check General CD, Check CD data block, Flimsy CD data
B1768 Faulty open data flap limit switch (0025) Front flap
B1773 HRA: Zero position programming has not yet been carried out or is not possible
B1795 Fault in CAN communication with EIS control module
B1850 Electric seat adjustment front right: CAN communication interrupted with DCM
B1858 Two-way radio signal. The progammed code is ok, but the programmable code is not synchronised.
B1863 Belt pretensioner driver's side resistance too high (stored in airbag ECU)
B1864 Belt pretensioner passenger's side resistance too high
B1867 Ignition circuit with component R12/9 (left front side airbag ignition squib) has < Ohm
B1869 left rear side airbag ignition squib has < Ohms
B1871 right front side airbag ignition squib has < Ohms
B1873 right rear side airbag ignition squib has < Ohms
B1980 Fault at interface between trip computer and magnetic compass
B2708 ?
Chassis :
C1000 Traction System Control Module
C1010 Battery Voltage Low
C1011 ASR/ETS/ESP Circuit Open or Shorted
C1012 Battery Voltage High
C1020 CAN Communication Fault
C1021 CAN Communication With EA/CC/ISC Control Module Interrupted
C1022 ESP CAN communication with the engine system is faulty
C1024 CAN Communication With Engine Control Module Interrupted
C1025-003 CAN Communication BAS communication with ESP control unit faulty
C1034-000 ESP No signal via CAN from the ETC (electronic transmission control unit)
C1035 ESP Fault in CAN communication with N80 steerting column module
C1043-015 No signal via CAN bus from the IC instrument cluster
C1100 Left Front Axle VSS Circuit Fault
C1101 Right Front Axle VSS Circuit Fault
C1102 ETS/ASR, ABS Left Axle VSS Circuit Fault
C1103 Right Rear Axle VSS Circuit Fault
C1121 AIRmatic: fault in component B24/3 (acceler. sensor)
C1122 AIRmatic: fault in component B24/4 (acceler. sensor)
C1123 AIRmatic: fault in component B24/6 (acceler. sensor)
C1132 AIRmatic: fault in component B22/8 (level sensor)
C1133 AIRmatic: fault in component B22/9 (level sensor)
C1135 AIRmatic: fault in component B22/3 (level sensor)
C1140 B34 ESP Brake Pressure Sensor (Electrical Fault)
C1140 Steering Angle Sensor N49 faulty
C1142 ABS Lateral Acceleration Sensor Open/Shorted
C1144 AIRmatic: fault in component B7 (pressure sensor)
C1140 ESP fault: pin 18,19,20 on ESP controller corroded
C1145 ESP fault: pin 18,19,20 on ESP controller corroded
C1145 Zero Point Offset Error Of Component B34 (ESP Brake Pressure Sensor)
C1185 A7/7b1 BAS Diaphragm Travel Sensor (Electrical Fault)
C1186 A7/7b1 BAS Diaphragm Travel Sensor (Zero Point Variation)
C1187 A7/7b1 BAS Diaphragm Travel Sensor (Open Circuit)
C1200 BAS/ETS light on: stop light switch defective
C1207 stop light switch defective
C1303 Right Front Axle Solenoid Valve (Hold) Open/Shorted
C1311 Switchover Solenoid Valve (Release) Open/Shorted
C1312 Master Cylinder Switchover Valve
C1401 High Pressure Return Pump Circuit Open/Shorted; Will Not Shut Off
C1401 High Pressure Return Pump A73N1; ABS return pump relay K25
C1501 SPS P-Valve
C1504 BAS light, play in steering column causes steering angle sensor to lose memory(?)
C1512 Brakes Overheated
C1525 ABC Critical vehicle level
C1600 Temperature After Engine Is Turned Off
Other Systems :
D004 (in AGW) control module switched off due to excessive temperature
D100 MOST fault in segment 0+1
D101 MOST fault in CP segment 2
D102 MOST fault in CP segment 2
D103 MOST fault in segment 3
D104 MOST fault in segment 4
D105 MOST fault in segment 5
D117 MOST configuration deviates from spec
D500 microphone 1 has short to ground
D640 CAN bus to control unit CGW (CAN D): CAN reception timeout of data of control unit CGW
D662 Control unit Telecommunications is faulty: 'CTEL' transmitter and receiver unit
N1100 TeleAid: No signal received from right side speed sensors.
N1101 TeleAid: No signal received from left side speed sensors.
N1111 MCS fault code: audio muted, CD changer briefly interrupted, updated SW
N1112 MCS: Lost Communication between D2B master and other device
N1113 MCS: Lost Communication between D2B master and other device
N1116 MCS: Failure in D2B ring. Fault in position 1 in D2B ring.
N1141 MCS fault code: Set-actual configuration of D2B ring differs from actual.
N1150 MCS fault code: Unknown fault code: update to DAS > 04/2003
N1241 CD fault, CD can not be read.
90C7 ATA Fault Code in rear SAM: Communication fault with component H3/1
9117 fault in CAN communication with control unit Telecommunication
9200 SRS: resistance value in the ignition circuit with R12/13 is too high
9210 SRS: resistance value in the ignition circuit with R13/14 is too high
9260 SRS: resistance in drivers airbag too high. Replace Wiring.
9386 AGW no longer sends on CAN
can scan for fault codes but cannot clear
can read
can read and clear codes
Simple generic hand-held scan tool devices are very helpful for reading/erasing generic codes, but cannot access
more specific vehicle system codes, nor can they reset the many parameters that the dealer Diagnostic unit is able to
process and adjust.
Equus Innova 3030e (Simple Generic)
NOTE : Reads all codes and turns off all warning lights (cannot reset ABC Control, strut heights, etc.)
iCarSoft i980 - Mercedes-Benz Specific (around $140)
NOTE : Reads all codes and turns off all warning lights (cannot reset ABC Control, strut heights, etc.)
The system offers total diagnostic coverage of all engine, chassis and body systems.
2 Video Links :
Drive :
• ME2.8 (6,8 cylinders) (Motor Electronics)
• ME2‐SFI (Motor Electronics)
• ME2.7 (Motor Electronics)
• ME‐SFI (Motor Electronics)
• ME‐SFI2.8 (Motor Electronics)
• ECM (Engine control monolith)
• CDI & CDI2 & CDI3 & CDI4 & CDI5 & CDI6 & CDID & CDI‐V1 (Common Rail Diesel Injection)
• CDID3 (Motor electronics)
• FTC (Front Transmission Control)
• ETC (Electronic Transmission Control)
• ESM (Electronic Selector Module)
• TC/VG (Transfer Case)
• ACS (Automatic Clutch System)
• GRM (Gear Recognition Module)
• DTR (Distronic)
• FSCU/FSCU_EC (Fuel pump)
• ISM (Shift module)
• ME97 (Motor Electronics)
• MED97(MotorElectronics)
• MED177 (Motor Electronics)
• SIM271DE20 (Motor Electronics)
• SIM271KE20 (Motor Electronics)
• SIM271KECNG (MotorElectronics)
• SGR (Radar sensors control unit)
• CDI60LS (Motor Electronics)
• IRS‐HLA (Outer left rear intelligent radar sensor system)
• IRS‐HRA (Outer right rear intelligent radar sensor system)
• HAQ (Interwheel differential lock at rear axle)
• MED40 (Motor electronics)
• UFPCAMG ‐Comtrol unit 'Fuel pump'
• BSA ‐ Belt‐driven starter/alternator
• MED177_M157 (Motor electronics)
• VGSNAG2 (Fully Integrated transmission control)
• VGSFDKG (Electronic Transmission control for double‐plate clutch transmission)
• VGS4NAG2 (Fully Integrated transmission control)
• SCR ‐ Selective Catalytic Reduction
• TC166‐Transfer case
• MED177 AMG
• ME2.7.2 (Motor electronics)
Chassis :
• ABS (Anti‐lock Brake System)
• ESP (Electronic Stability Program)
• BAS (Brake Assist System)
• SBC (Sensotronic Brake System)
• ABC/AIRmatic/ Suspension (Active Body Control)
• VP (Vacuum Pump Brake Booster)
• TPC/TPM (Tire Pressure Monitor)
• EFB (Electric parking brake)
• ES (Electrical power steering)
• EPB (Electric parking brake)
• ARS‐Roll control
• ABR (Adaptive Brake)
Body : • AB (Air Bag)
• ATA (Anti‐Theft Alarm)
• PTS (Parktronic System)
• EIS (Electronic Ignition Switch)
• SEM (Security Module)
• PSE (Pneumatic System Equipment)
• OCP (Overhead Control Panel)
• LCP (Lower Control Panel)
• SAM (Signal acquisition and actuation module)
• SAM‐FL (Front left signal acquisition and actuation module)
• SAM‐FR (Front right signal acquisition and actuation module)
• SAM‐F (Signal acquisition and actuation module front)
• UCP (Upper Control Panel)
• HRA (Headlamp Range Adjustment)
• HRA‐FL (Headlamp Range Adjustment, Front Left)
• AAM (All Activity Module)
• EAM (Extended Activity Module)
• KG (Keyless Go)
• RFL (Radio Frequency Locking)
• VR (Vario Roof)
• SVMCM /MSS (Special Vehicle Multifunction Control Module)
• WSP(immobilizer)
• AHE (Trailer Recognition)
• RST (Roadster Soft‐Top)
• RevETR‐LF (Left front reversible emergency tensioning retractor)
• RevETR‐RF (Right front reversible emergency tensioning retractor)
• CGW(Central gateway)
• PSD (Panoramic sliding roof)
• Dr‐side SAM (Driver signal acquisition and actuation module)
• REAR SAM (Rear signal acquisition and actuation module)
• SG‐FOND (Rear control unit)
• WSS (Weight sensing system)
• XALWA‐L (Xenon headlamp,left)
• XALWA‐R (Xenon headlamp,right)
• SDS (System diagnosis)
• COU (Central operating unit)
• CRN (Center roof node)
• HBF (Rear control panel)
• VBF (Front control panel)
• BNS (Vehicle power supply control module)
• BCG‐Remote control(Rear control field)
• SRS (Supplemental restraint system)
• EZS (Electronic ignition lock)
• DSI (DIRECT SELECT interface)
• VDS‐Vario roof control
Information & Communication :
• KI (Instrument Cluster)
• ICM/IC (Instrument Cluster with Maintenance Interval Display)
• SCM/SCCM (Steering Column Module)
• DN (Dynamic Navigation by CTEL)
• APS (Auto‐Pilot System)
• DAS (Driver Authorized System)
• NSA (Night View Assist)
• MFK (Multifunction camera)
• RFK (Backup camera)
• ASSYST (Active Service System)
• CM (Compass module)
• ASSYST PLUS (PLUS Active Service System)
Seat Modules & Door Modules :
• Seat Modules & Door Modules:
• ESA‐FL (Electric Seat Adjustment, Front‐Left)
• ESA‐FR (Electric Seat Adjustment, Front‐Right)
• ESA‐REAR (Electric Seat Adjustment, Rear)
• OSB‐FL (Orthopedic Seat Backrest, Front‐ Left)
• OSB‐FR (Orthopedic Seat Backrest, Front‐ Right)
• OSB‐REAR (Orthopedic Seat Backrest, Rear)
• AMKS‐LF (Active multicontour seat)
• AMKS‐RF (Active multicontour seat)
• DSP (Pneumatic pump for dynamic seat)
• ESA 'Front passenger' (Electric seat adjustment 'Front passenger')
• ESA 'Driver' (Electric seat Adjustment 'Drive')
• MKL‐HL (Rear left Multicontour backrest)
• MKL‐HR (Rear right multicontour backrest)
• DS‐LF (Left front dynamic seat)
• DS‐RF (Right front dynamic seat)
• HS (Seat heater)
• ESA‐LR (Left rear electrical seat adjustment)
• ESA‐LR (Left rear electrical seat adjustment)
• LAE (Loading floor Automatically extendable)
• ARWT (Automatic rear‐end door)
• DCM‐FL (Door control module front left)
• DCM‐FR (Door control module front right)
• DCM‐RL (Door control module rear left)
• DCM‐RR (Door control module rear right)
• REDC (Rear‐end door closing control module)
• TLC (Trunk lid control)
• RCM (Rear control module)
• HKS ‐ Tailgate control
• KDS ‐ Trunk lid control
• PWC (Partition wall control module)
Climate Control :
• AAC/KLA (Automatic Air Conditioning)
• REAR AC (Rear Air Conditioning)
• STH (Stationary Heater)
• LRH (Steering wheel heater)
• EKMK ‐ Electric Refrigerant compressor
• HSW (Heated steering wheel)
Buyer’s Comment :
My 2006 SL600 and it has the “visit ABC workshop” (not red). It won't raise or lower. The RR side is an inch higher
than the LR. The ABC fluid was low and I thought for sure that was the problem. Topped it off, almost the whole litre,
but no difference. Bought and hooked up a cheap iCarsoft i980 scanner ($140). Seems to work great. In ABC I pulled
code C1129 : “Fault in component B22/6 (Right rear plunger travel sensor)”. It's showing 255 mm (the others are
between 9mm and 82mm, I assume of travel). It's sitting up at +8mm, the other 3 are between -4 and -17mm, pressure
sensor at 190-200 bars.
NOTE : good telling you faulty part, etc., but once installed, you cannot reset height setting using this tool and
have to go to dealer for Star Das setting.
Autel MaxiDiag Elite MD802 “All Systems” (around $400) - “4 System” (around $250)
This later MD802 scan tool (old one was MD702) includes :
Nissan, Infiniti, Toyota, Lexus, Scion, Honda, Acura, Subaru, Mitsubishi, Suzuki, Isuzu,
Hyundai, Kia, Daewoo, Mazda, Holden
Mercedes-Benz, Smart, Maybach, BMW, Mini, VW, Seat, Skoda, Audi, Opel, Land
Rover, Jaguar, Volvo, Porsche, SAAB, EU Ford, Vauxhall
Ford, GM, Chrysler
Peugeot, Citroen, Renault, Dacia, Fiat, Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Lancia, EU
NOTE : Main difference from earlier one is addition of two on-screen buttons (“OilReset” and “EPB” Electronic Parking Brake).
MD802 - covers :
Version 1)
Autel MaxiDiag MD802 For 4 System + DS model :
Only support for Engine, Transmission, ABS, Airbag 4 systems +EPB + OIL Service Reset and support data stream
Version 2)
Autel MaxiDiag MD802 For All System + DS model :
Engine, Transmission, ABS, Airbag +EPB+OIL Service Reset & Electronic modules and support data stream function.
MD802 Features :
1. Ability to quickly Read and Clear codes in ALL modules for European, Asian, and Domestic vehicles 1996-present
2. One button Auto-Scan reads codes in ALL modules and displays them on the screen
3. Quick Erase feature allows all codes to be cleared with the push of a button
4. Live data graphing for the ECU
5. One tool to do it all. Reads and clears trouble codes on engine, transmission , airbag, and ABS failures
6. Global OBD II coverage (US, Asian, & European)
7. Turns off engine, transmission, ABS, and airbag warning lights for most USA Domestic, Asian, and European
8. Supports all 10 test modes of the latest J1979 OBD II test specs, including Read Codes,Erase codes, Live Data,
Freeze Frame, I/M Readiness, O2 Monitor Test, On-Board Monitor Test, Component Test, and Vehicle Information
9. Enhanced OBD II Mode 6
10. OBD II code tips guide technicians to the root cause of trouble codes faster
11. Data graphing
12. View freeze frame data
13. USB cable included for product updates
14. One year of FREE software updates and upgrades included
15. Prints data via PC-link
16. Limited One (1) Year Warranty
This code reader is specifically designed for vehicles from the following manufacturers : •
Ford (EU)
Land Rover
VW (use VW Phaeton for Bentley)
It allows car owners and mechanics to quickly read and clear Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTCs) from several systems
on the car.
This code reader will read/clear codes from EOBD diagnostics systems (this covers engine, power-train and emissions
faults), and from the Airbag, ABS and Automatic Transmission systems on compatible vehicles.
NOTE : It will however, not reset "service due" or annual service indicators (but this can be done using MB indash menu - see elsewhere in this document).
Buyer’s Comment :
For the SL55 AMG, the MD802 is a nice OBDII scanner with a LCD screen for easy navigation and monitoring/
recording of some live data streams. It will not access most the modules in a Mercedes however and certainly can't do
the actuation's nor programming/coding DAS was made for i.e ABC settings and “rodeo”.
More Advanced Scan Tools - As well as Code Reading and Erasing OBD II, these Scan Tools can also carry
out resetting of various car systems including Active Body Control, etc. (similar capability to MB dealer Star
Autel DS708 (around $1,400)
Autologic (around $11,500)
NOTE : Has the Ability to reset Active Body Control strut heights, etc.
Autologic provides independent garages with a dealer-level diagnostic solution for specialist brands.
The Autologic Solution from Autologic Diagnostics Ltd is a holistic approach to vehicle diagnostics for independent
Dealer-level software for eight premium vehicle manufacturers is combined with unrivalled technical support from
Master Technicians and specialist software engineers. The Autologic Solution gives independent garages the
confidence to undertake any service and repair work required and enables independent garages to specialise without
having to involve the dealer or call in outside help.
Providing complete coverage of all the vehicle systems, unique functions of Autologic include coding and flash
programming. These functions together with other features such as retrofits, conversions and fitment of aftermarket
products, surpass the functionality of other diagnostic tools as well as some dealer tool features.
Information is displayed on a large touch-sensitive screen through a simple menu structure, supported by help
screens. Autologic software packages are available independently or as multiple packages run on the same Autologic
hardware base unit.
Autologic MERCEDES-BENZ Technical Specification...
NOTE : Full details on Autologic MERCEDES-BENZ diagnostic capabilities are provided in the pdf document :
MERCEDES-BENZ Technical Specification
The Autologic diagnostic tool for MERCEDES-BENZ vehicles is without doubt the most comprehensive tool to be
made available to independent MERCEDES-BENZ specialists. It is unique in offering full fault code read and re-set,
dynamic data, activation of components, clearing and setting of adaptation values, coding and programming of control
modules (including SCN).
Models covered by Autologic MERCEDES-BENZ include :
W168, W169, W245, W246, W176
W202, S202, W203, S203, CL203, W204, S204, X204, C204
C208, A208, C209, A209
W124, C124, A124, V124, S124, S210, S211, W211, S212, W212, V212, C207, A207
A140, W140, V140, C140, W220, V220, VF220, W221, V221
C215, C216
W219, W218
R170, R171, R172
R129, R230
W463, W163, W164, X164, V251,W166
W414, W638, W639, W901 - W905, W906
Programming of new control modules (including Airbag SRS systems) including SCN coding, system controls such as
adaptation reset and variant coding, initial startup of new instrument clusters (including odometer advancement), realtime reading of all dynamic data, ASSYST and ASSYST+ Active Service Systems, procedure for the fitting of
Mercedes-Benz accessories and D2B/MOST ring components and TV/DVD activation and region coding. ECU
Systems accessed by Autologic for Mercedes-Benz :
• All Engines: LH1/LH2, V6, PMS, ME1.0, ME2.0, ME2.1, ME2.7, ME2.8, ME9.7, ECM 1 & 2, ME-SFI (SIM4), EVE,
ERE, HFM, CDIs 1-5 and CDiD (CDI6 in progress)
• All Transmissions and selector modules, EAG, EGS, ETC, 7GTronic
• ENR, ADS, AIRmatic and Active Body Control Suspension Systems
• All Traction Systems: ESP/ASR/ETS/ABS/BAS & SBC systems
• Sensotronic brake control (SBC – 211, 219 & 230)
• TPC Tyre Pressure Control
• All EIS systems
• All SRS and airbag systems
• All body network modules e.g. OCP/UCP/LCP/SCM etc.
• Roll-over bar and soft top
• Central gateway and system diagnosis modules including ECU programming
• ASSYST, ASSYST PLUS including ECU programming
• DAS2 (Pre-97) modules for 140, 202, 210 e.g SKF (CCM) and KFB (CF) body controls, IFZ PSE, drive authorisation
• D2B and most command modules incorporating all subsidiary modules
• Vito / Sprinter immobiliser (WSP) including key coding
• Drive Authorisation System alignment of new control modules.
• SAM (Signal Acquisition) Modules
• Air Conditioning Systems
• Instrument Cluster
• Parktronic System
• Keyless Go
• TV Tuner activation
Mercedes-Benz “Dealer” Star Diagnostics
Star Diagnosis supports all protocols used by Mercedes. Manufacturer puts out only emissions-related data over
standard OBD protocol and codes the rest in different ''Mercedes language'', which only Star Diagnosis recognises.
This is a diagnostic software program, periodically updated, that all the dealers have and use. It is usually a handheld
device, but some dealers have it installed on a laptop and they wheel it around on a cart.
The printout is very detailed, but customer doesn’t see this, unless specifically requested. As to the memory, there
must be a way to save the scans.
The Mercedes-Benz Star Diagnostic tool is available to anyone on the same conditions, as long as willing to pay
around $40,000 and a heavy monthly fee. When you get to see what Star Diagnosis is capable of comparing to
universal scan tools, it will not matter any more which communications protocol controllers use. The Star diagnostics
system is available to independents through Baum Tools :…
Star Das Diagnostics - Explained
This document describes the Mercedes Star Diagnosis system. In Germany this is known as 'Star Diagnose'.
Star Diagnosis is also known as SDS or DAS by Daimler Chrysler, although the acronym DAS is also used for the
electronic key system. It briefly covers the J2534 system that Mercedes make available in the USA for updating and
configuring the emissions related systems on Mercedes vehicles.
Star Diagnosis (SDS) is a complex system that consists of various parts :
Ruggedised Laptop, or Laptop in special cradle
Multiplexer - The multiplexer is the interface between the PC and the car's diagnostic port. The current
multiplexer connects to the PC with a cable and is made by I+ME Actia and is called the Part D3 multiplexer. It
then connects to old and new Mercedes models using different cables.
DAS Software (The 'Star Diagnosis' program)
Optional MT measurement system.
Optional WIS (workshop information system) software
Over time it has been available in various forms, each new release containing faster/better hardware. The two ranges
of Star Diagnosis are known as the 'Basic' range and the 'Compact' range :
The Star Diagnosis Basic range has essentially a much lower specification ruggedised PC, and thus is not sold
with the ability to interface to the MT system to have WIS, or to use the latest wireless multiplexer. The current
'Star Diagnosis Basic' system is known as the 'Star Diagnosis Basic2',
The current Star Diagnosis Compact system is the Star Diagnosis Compact 3W system.
Mercedes Benz Star Diagnostic Tools
Clearly a Star Diagnostic type tool is important. At preset, MB Star Compact 4 is the most widely used car diagnostic
tool for Benz cars in the garage, compared to C3. The Compact 4 is also called XP-Star and its functions are certainly
more powerful and compatible than the C3.
For instance :
more computer models can be supported by MB Star Compact 4, because diagnostic transceiver supports the
wired connection, in addition to the newly added wireless diagnosis.
the UDS diagnostic protocol which wasn’t applied to C3 now is used for Benz Compact 4 sd Connect.
After long-term use, the performance of the MB Star Compact 4 car diagnostic tool is well-reviewed in the industry.
However during use, the C4, tends to have an overheating issue, in the worst case, a crash may happen as a
Resetting ECU and Clearing Codes (Without a Code Reader/Scan Tool) - Hard Reboot
NOTE : even if you clear codes, you must fix initial cause of code being present, or it will just return.
Hard Reboot Procedure :
Disconnect the negative (black) pole on the battery
Touch the negative cable lead to the positive (red) pole (alternatively, pull both cables and touch them together)
Hold for 2 min (this time gives all the capacitors a path to ground and erases all volatile memory)
The codes are cleared
It doesn't sound right, but it works (recommended by one of the Jag mechanics on this website). There's no problem
touching the neg. cable to the positive pole when it's not connected to the neg. pole of the battery, but you have a
serious problem when you connect both poles on the same battery together (that's a short circuit to ground).
Remember, never let the smoke out of the box (an old electrical engineer joke).
I was told by a service manager at a Honda dealer, who is sharp as a razor, that you should disconnect both posts(in
case there are secondary wires), then bind them together for at least a hour, preferably overnight, so that all
computers and sensors are completely drained of their back-up power and all codes cleared throughout the vehicle.
As ”Check Engine Light” codes are stored in non-volatile memory, they will not erase with above procedure
As windows, clock, sunroof, radio (write down your remember anti-theft code) are stored in volatile memory
and will be erased, so following above procedure, you will require to reset each
There are some codes that can be cleared with battery disconnection or will clear themselves (like a lean/rich
condition) after drive cycles and show that the parameters are no longer in the 'red' zone (I believe the evap.
codes fall into that category).
Most codes, however, require the manual approach with a scan tool. Better yet, invest in a scan tool for
future use.
Parameters Reset :
If shift points are incorrect, the following resets the tranny ECU, etc.
1. Turn the ignition key to the on (not start) position.
2. Press the gas pedal to the floor and hold for five seconds.
3. Turn the key to the "off" position (don't remove the key), then release the gas pedal.
4. Wait at least two minutes for ECU to reset.
Throwing Codes - “Check Engine Light”?
When engine operation does not reconcile with what the ECU is programmed to expect, you get a check engine light.
The light goes on for a reason and the error code is the clue as to where to start troubleshooting. Sometimes a reset is
all you can do because the component failure remains intermittent and you cannot get a code. However, eventually the
part will fail and the reason for the alert can be found once a code is thrown.
The general public is very ignorant on check engine lights. People pay hundreds of dollars, in diagnostic fees, when
they could just spend two minutes on their own, plugging in an OBDII scanner, to figure out what the problem is. For
example, you can get an frequent intermittent CEL light, that is usually nothing to worry about and if there is something
really wrong, chances are you'll feel it before that light even goes on.
NOTE : if the CEL goes on but oil pressure, water temp and oil temp are OK, and the engine sounds and feels
fine, there should be no need to immediately pull over as it’s frequently just a bad sensor. However, carrying a
small V-Checker, allows you to immediately check error code to confirm fault.
Usual suspects :
Misfires due to bad fuel
Opening gas cap before shutting off engine
Not tightening gas cap properly (turn cap so it clicks several times before starting)
Bad/missing gas cap seal (the small rubber gasket on the inside has a tendency to deteriorate and fall out)
Spark plugs need changing
Could also be a leak in the intake gaskets. Very cheap to buy, but time consuming to replace.
Not doing regular battery resets. A battery reset and relearn will in most of the cases improve the engine
responsiveness and keep CELs away. Imagine the mess, if you never rebooted your computer during one year.
ECU’s are the same; they have bugs or memory leaks and some process threads tend to be processed slower
after a while.
An oxygen sensor intermittently fails
Exhaust gas content is outside of specs (which could be anything from an injector to hairline exhaust manifold
Resetting Check Engine Light
In the absence of an MB dealer nearby, any OBD-II code reader will read and reset engine codes. However, without a
code reader, you can also do a “hard reset”. This is outlined in procedure below but, be sure you have your radio code.
What is a "radio code"?
It is a security code (usually 4 numbers), that you must enter on the buttons of your radio after the battery is
disconnected. The stereo is useless unless you have this code and therefore deters would-be thieves. It is usually on a
card with the hand books etc., but with VIN #, dealer can supply.
NOTE : Check engine lights do NOT reset unless the problem is fixed.
Preparation Steps :
Make sure your steering wheel is straight.
Make sure your windows are closed
Make sure your parking brake is released
Turn off your stereo (make sure you have your stereo's Anti-theft code)
Turn off your heat/AC blower
Make sure lights are off
Make sure your doors are UNLOCKED.
Reset Procedure (in detail) :
Open your trunk and disconnect the negative side of your battery
Wait 30 seconds
Reconnect the battery.
Turn the key to position 2 (DO NOT START YOUR ENGINE)
Reset your windows (you only have ONE shot at this, so you must not screw up).
Bring down both windows at the same time by holding the switches just before the click that brings them
down automatically.
Once both windows are all the way down, make both switches click by pressing them all the way down
(this lets the ECU learn that that is the end of the window track and it records it in memory).
Do the same closing the windows, by holding both switches and making them click once the windows are
all the way up.
Turn on your blower and make both sides go to 72 deg. by pressing both up and down buttons at the
same time (this will calibrate the ECU)
Turn on your stereo and enter you stereo code (if you don’t have it, you can forget about listening to the
Open and close roof fully
Turn all you lights on and off, including your fog lights
Turn the key back to position 0.
Turn on your engine.
You will get 2 malfunctions (your ABS and ESP systems must be calibrated)
Calibrate your ABS and ESP systems, by turning the steering wheel all the way to your RIGHT and then
all the way to your LEFT. Then bring it back to the middle (notice the two yellow lights will disappear from
you dashboard).
Let your car run in idle for about 5 minutes
Then take it for a spin.
Remember your ECU is still getting all the readings from all the sensors on your car, so drive slowly first
then faster... and so on. (you are basically teaching your ECU how to handle your car).
NOTE : If you do the reset, it will erase it and reset to OEM set up. The ECU must basically recalibrate itself
and learn about all your car's systems from scratch (not such a bad idea). At first the ABS and ESP lights may
come on, but they will go away after driving it a couple times. No problems.
Engine - DIY Advice and Part Sources
Engine Idle Speed
750 rpm
Maximum Engine RPM
7,200 rpm
Engine Oil Temps.
Should run right on 90︒ C degrees
210 º F - normal street use?
230 º F - track use?
260 º F - heart attack range?
Engine Oil Pressure
10 psi for every 1000 rpm?
Warm - Max - 92 psi ?
Min - 64 psi?
Engine Oil Usage
In normal running, and with no oil leaks, the V8 should use very little engine oil.
It is simply prudent to be kind to any motor. Avoid any spirited driving until the oil is fully warmed, and the clearances
tighten. This usually takes at least ten driving miles, no matter what the coolant temperature indicates.
Oil Additives
I suggest, under no circumstances, to add any additives to the engine oil. A good quality fully synthetic oil,
changed as MB suggested, is all you require for engine longevity.
OilLevel check
Oil Filter Element
Mercedes-Benz ?
AC Delco ?
Bosch ?
Engine Oil
Mobil 10w-40w Synthetic
Royal Purple 10W40 Fully Synthetic (? US Gal ?US qt (? litres?)
Royal Purple Synthetic
Royal Purple Motor Oil Combines premium base oils with proprietary additive technologies to create high performance
motor oils that optimise engine performance and provide superior protection. No special procedures are necessary
when upgrading to Royal Purple. Royal Purple motor oil is fully compatible with mineral or other synthetic oils.
Royal Purple’s API licensed motor oil delivers superior protection and improves performance in gasoline and diesel
engines. Royal Purple’s API SN licensed motor oil meets ILSAC GF-5 and Dexos1™1 performance requirements. For
those seeking enhanced performance in vehicles not under warranty, we recommend our HPS Series of high
performance motor oils with our proprietary Synerlec additive technology. Royal Purple motor oil is compatible with
other mineral and synthetic motor oils. It’s available in the following weights :
SL55 Oil and Filter Change Procedure
Parts needed :
? litres of 10W-40 Oil
An DIY oil change is easy, but removing the engine cover/splash guard, while on stands, is a chore (investigate if
possible to reach oil filter without removing belly pan?) :
Drive car on to
How To Oil Change on SL55 :
An alternative method to remove old engine oil - evacuation method
Note : done at dealer as standard on SL55 AMG.
Use suction pump (like this “Topsider”) to extract oil through dipstick tube (most car dealerships do it this way including
Mercedes-Benz), and it has been tested to prove that you can actually remove more oil by this method, than by
draining. It also saves having it on ramps, etc., and possibly not level when draining, and also saves much time having
to remove and refit so many bolts for the under pans.
It may be possible to permanently remove a small portion of the engine cover/splash guard to enable access to the oil
filter and doesn’t need access to the oil drain. An aluminium panel could be screwed in place which would be much
easier to remove.
Engine Oil Leaks
Take a close look for oil seepage from the timing chain cover, etc. If you require to replace any gaskets, take the
extra precaution of coating the gasket and bolts with a thin layer of "Magic Lube".
APPLICATIONS: For Motors, O-Rings, Gaskets, Bearings and Water Filters.
Magic Lube is a Teflon based non-melting, non-toxic formula that is waterproof for use in both wet and dry
environments. A wide temperature range, of 0 Degrees F to 425 Degrees F, makes Magic Lube ideal for use under the
most adverse conditions.
It forms a durable adhesive film of lubricant that prevents metal to metal contact even under severe shock loads.
Magic Lube is a superior lubricant compatible for use with most Metals, Rubbers, and Plastics. Magic Lube has been
USDA. H-1 Rated to be environmentally safe and corrosion free.
Ignition Fault Diagnosis Chart
SL55 Spark Plugs (16)
The book recommends new spark plugs every 160,000 km or 5 years.
Old Plugs - Condition Chart (circle each plug number as you remove them)
MB OEM Bosch?
NGK ? Laser Platinum
NGK ? Iridium (cannot currently locate an Iridium match)
Gap-?” (? mm)
Hex Size-?’’ ?” ?mm
Reach-?” ?” ?mm
Torque -
NOTE : 6 = Heat range (6 is almost smack in the middle of the full range of plugs, 1 = hot, 12 = cold)
Why Iridium?
Enhanced spark precision, thanks to the 0.4mm Iridium centre electrode
Iridium is six times harder than Platinum
Iridium is eight time stronger than Platinum
Longer life - has a melting point 1,200 degrees higher than Platinum, and twice that of pure Gold
Iridium plugs perform at peak efficiency longer than any other plug design on the market today
Better spark - U-Groove ground electrode technology produces a more efficient flame combustion and
maintains a quality spark even at low voltage levels
Tested power increase by 1.4% along with a 5% improvement in fuel consumption
Spark plug Installation (needs updated) :
Not really difficult to do, but you have to take the air boxes out along with the upper intake.
Remove each coil pack by removing the two bolts/washers on each, then using special coil pack remover tool
(see below).
Remove one plug at a time and replace old spark plug for new, and tighten (do not over tighten). Tighten by
hand and then torque to 10Nm or no more than 1/8th of a turn (Do not forget to put anti-seize compound on the
spark plug threads)
Refit the coil-pack tighten to 10Nm (do one at a time so there's no chance of getting a coil in the wrong cylinder)
Add a little Vaseline or Dielectric grease around the coil boot so they slip into place easier.
Air Filter Testing
Air filters are clearly essential for engine life. Properly fitted they will improve power by ensuring a good supply of
clean, cold air. There is a lot of hype about filters improving power. Some certainly do but only when they improve
upon the existing set up.
Fitting a cone type filter such as a K&N 57i or BMC VAS may well improve flow, and possibly throttle response, but if
the filter then draws hot air from the engine, it will not improve power. In fact it could well reduce power. The same
applies for air box drilling.
3rd. Place
The paper element finished third. It captured around 120 grams of dirt over an 11 minute run before the filter became
2nd. Place
The RamAir (similar to Pipercross) multi-stage foam filter finished first in dirt holding capacity, capturing
a massive 199.81 grams of dirt, but this means only that the foam filter works well out the box, but less well with a
layer of dirt.
1st. Place
The K&N cotton gauze filter (BMC air filters and Green also use cotton gauze) finished second in terms of filter
efficiency, capturing 140.08 grams of dirt over a 22.8 minute run before the filter became clogged.
Air Filters (2)
OEM # ?
Green Air Filter - Part # 2247 (2 required) + 15 hp. Constructed with 100% polyurethane on all four sides, this
high flow, oiled OE replacement performance filter will out flow stock paper filter for improved horsepower and
torque. Five layers of progressively finer mesh cotton gauze media provide maximum airflow for best
performance results. Washable and reusable for multiple cleaning cycles, the tall open evenly space pleats
provide excellent dust holding capacity for longer service cycle between cleanings. Integrated urethane bump
seal insures tight, no leak seal over the life of the filter.
Alternative cold air intake system
Air/Intake Manifold Leak
Air/manifold intake leak: causing rough idling.
Vacuum Leaks
If your car develops a high pitched whistling sound in right side of engine when idling and low speed, which goes away
if a valve cover hose is removed and vented to the atmosphere, then suspect a vacuum leak. Make sure the throttle
bodies are tight and the the vacuum hose, under the right side cover, is hooked up.
DIY Throttle Body Valve Cleaning
One of the problems that you often see, are owners complaining about is a lumpy or erratic idle and sometimes
sluggish acceleration. There may be a quick cure for this problem, and will in fact, work for any car that has a throttle
The issue is that over time a sludgy gunk will build up in the throttle body where the throttle butterfly opens and
closes. This gunk will eventually change the airflow characteristics of the gap between the butterfly and the throttle
body which will cause the erratic idle. In addition, this gunk can cause the butterfly the stick as it opens which will
effect acceleration. The car's computer will compensate for this buildup over time, but if it gets too thick, then the
"Throttle Adaption" will reach its limit, and will throw a code. NOTE : Many times people think that it is the MAF that is bad, when it is just a dirty throttle body.
It is residue comes from the crankcase vent opening. The reason it is there is because there is high vacuum there that
will suck the crankcase oil vapours back into the combustion process of the car. Over time oil solids will accumulate
there and will form a sticky lip around the opening.
This cleaning should be part of your 30,000 mile maintenance as a minimum. However, if you have never had your
throttle body cleaned, try doing this weekend. You will be amazed at how much better your car runs.
Procedure :
Note : images below, show procedure on an Aston Martin V8 Vantage engine, but procedure is similar for
other cars with throttle valves.
The throttle valve, over a period of time, can build up a sticky oily residue. This can cause issues with low rev throttle
response, but easily rectified and only takes about 10 minutes. You need a medium-sized flat-bladed screwdriver, and
carburettor/injector cleaner aerosol.
Pull the black pipe off, so that you can see the throttle flap.
Wearing goggles, and using carburettor/injector cleaner aerosol, spray the metal flap, also opening the flap with
your fingers, so that the edges and intake area is properly cleaned. The excess cleaner will just evaporate away,
and as this is flammable the usual precautions should be followed.
Now, just refit the pipe and clip, making sure it is fastened correctly.
Cleaning the MAF (Mass Air Flow) Sensor
If a check engine light comes on and you find a P0101 code with your scan tool, that means a problem with your MAF
(Mass Air Flow) sensor. The car will probably be stumbling when you hit the gas.
NOTE : One quick test, of the MAF (if your finding the power from engine is down), is just to unplug the MAF
(if engine comes back to full power, then it is the MAF).
You will need a bottle of oil-less MAF cleaning or electric contact cleaner (CRC MAF cleaning is a product especially
for this job).
MAF Replacement
If MAF is found to be faulty, it’s easy to replace (takes less than 5 min) :
Pull the front air box cover up, and then towards you.
Pull off the 2 plastic air tubes.
Lift the whole air box up and off.
The MAF is the plastic housing that the air gets forced in from the air box.
Disconnect the wiring harness
Unclip the plastic holder and pry the holding clip back with a flat screwdriver.
Install in reverse.
MAF around $168 from Auto Parts at AutohausAZ - OEM Auto Parts. The AM dealer quotes over $1000 for the
dealership to replace it. Cheapest place should be Bosch, as they made it.
Suitable Fuel Injector Cleaner - Chevron Techron
Good fuel with Detergent (usually all you need)
If you use good fuel, which includes detergents, then you don't need anything else (most manufacturers recommend
against adding anything to the fuel). Odds are, if you drive your car regularly and you're cycling fuel every few weeks;
you probably don't need a cleaner. The detergent in the fuel is most likely effective enough.
However, if a fuel additive is required, Chevron Techron Concentrate Fuel System Cleaner is recommended (not
Chevron ProGuard). It’s not so much for cleaning the injectors (as not many modern cars have an issue of dirty fuel
injectors), but rather because it helps to clean-out the carbon build up in the engine.
Although Techron recommends 1 bottle every 3,000 miles, it is suggested running the Techron every 3 -5 trips to the
pump to keep the engine free of carbon build-up.
Procedure :
Put one 20 oz. bottle of Chevron’s Techron Concentrate Fuel System Cleaner (not Chevron ProGuard), into
the fuel tank
Just run through the entire tank
You should observe the following :
engine should appear quieter
fuel consumption has improved
NOTE : Techron Product Differences
Chevron makes a few different Techron products, each of which you mix in with your gas. For example, “Chevron
ProGuard” products all use the same Techron additive, but in much lower concentrations.
According to Chevron, there is about 100% more active ingredient in the “Techron Concentrate” product, which allows
it to clean combustion chamber deposits. The ProGuard products can't do this.
Emissions and Oxygen Sensors
Emissions are controlled via :
Oxygen sensors
Catalytic Converters
If you have any engine hesitation (at any rpm), there are a couple of inexpensive things that you can try :
check O2 sensors, although should be OK if no “Check Engine” light on (O2 or air mass sensor problems
always bring on the “Check Engine” light).
change the plugs with new set of new NGK
check spark plug wires (often source of misfire)
change the relays that control the O2 sensors (they are some $30.00 a piece) and can give you the same
symptoms of bad O2 sensors (even if your sensors are fine). These relays are located, one on each side on top
of the side engine compartment vent. You will see them after you open the hood.
The O² sensors are made by BOSH, so its very easy to find them on the internet, for around $100 each.
The O² sensors are installed in treaded holes in the catalytic converters, and are pretty easy to change (but a little bit
fiddly to access). For the fronts, you just have to remove the bottom covers, then use a bent 22mm wrench and pull/
replace a connector.
Replacing SL55 Fuel Filter
Here's another Important maintenance Item that needs to be done every 60k miles or every 5 years, which ever comes
first. I'd like to give thanks to Groves73 for giving me a quick tip on removing the filter once you've got it loosed ("you
have to figure out like a puzzle"). It's tight and Space is limited so take your time and work your way through getting
the filter out.
Tools you'll need :
1) Socket wrench
2) Various extensions
3) 10mm socket
4) Cutting pliers
5) Long nose locking pliers (helps with grasping the old clamps, and also closing shut the fuel hose from the gas tank
to the fuel filter)
6) 2 Hose Clamps (I got them from home depot for .75 a piece)
Before we get started it's best to use googles or protective eye gear as fuel will spill out (about 4 oz). Now on to the
good stuff, Jack up the car and support it with Two jacks. The fuel filter is located right directly about your rear
differential, on the driver's side of the vehicle, you can't miss it.
Step 1 :
Release Fuel pressure. Very easy, just open the fuel filler cap.
Step 2 :
Cut the clamps off with the cutting pliers, all you want to do is break the clamps, not damage the rubber fuel hoses.
Step 3 :
Now loosen the four 10mm plastic bolts holding the fuel filter and fuel filter housing in place. On the 4th and last bolt
that's located under the hose it'll be a bit of a squeeze, I used the same ratchet to pry the hose up far enough for me to
squeeze in the socket and then reattached the ratchet and loosened the bolt off. Same practice will come in handy
when reinstalling the bolt towards the end of installation.
Step 4 :
Now that everything is loose, it's time to loosen the hoses connected to the fuel filter, don't remove them just yet!
Before removing any hoses place a catch pan underneath, then clamp the hose going from the fuel tank to the filter
(That'll stop any fuel from being released from that end, any fuel that'll spill will come from the filter to the connecting
hose that goes towards the engine. Now remove hoses and let the filter drain.
Step 5 :
Take the new clamps and install them into the two hoses.
This is the fuel line from the gas tank to the fuel filter.
This is the fuel line from the fuel filter to the engine.
Step 6 :
Remove fuel filter and install the rubber mounting brackets to the new filter.
New filter with brackets installed.
Step 7 :
Install new filter, Take note of the "Direction Of Gas Flow" indicator, it should have an arrow pointing the direction of
gas flow, which should be installed pointing in the direction of the engine. Meaning gas flows from the gas tank, to the
fuel filter, to the engine. So have the arrow pointing in the right direction, and now do everything in reverse order and
your done.
Attach fuel lines to new filter, screw tight clamps, and finally bolt back the fuel filter bracket to the vehicle.
Finished product.
Handy Resets for the W220 (and possibly other models??)
The reset procedures below may help you to clear up those annoyances when things don't work as they are supposed
to - especially after changing a battery or having one go dead on you. Some of these are in the owner's manual; others
are not. Although for the W220, they may work on other models as well.
Windows, seats, mirrors, steering wheel position (easy entry/exit) and the like can be reset by running them fully in one
direction, holding the switch at full travel for approximately 2 seconds (or longer), then running to the opposite limit,
holding for about 2 seconds (or longer). It is not unusual to have to do this after the battery is disconnected. The
positioning of many of these features is controlled by a Hall's Effect generator, a simple device that counts revolutions
of a motor shaft, and it must be set to register the proper number of turns to reach both limits of travel.
Synchronizing Head Restraints :
If the power supply was interrupted (battery disconnected or empty), the head restraints are no longer adjusted
automatically. To resynchronize the adjustment feature, turn electronic key in steering lock to position 2, move the seat
completely forward and the head restraint fully down, and hold respective buttons for approximately two seconds.
Synchronizing power windows :
If the power supply was interrupted (battery disconnected or low), the windows cannot be opened or closed by the
Express feature. To resynchronize the express feature, press side of power window switch to resistance point until the
window is completely closed and hold for additional 2 seconds. Repeat procedure for each window. The automatic full
opening and closing procedure of the windows should now be restored. (Note: This sometimes works as well for
problems with manual operation of the windows, but not always).
Global Synchronization of auto open/unlock, aka Express Open/Close (windows open/close when car is
Global synchronization synchs all of your windows and sunroof so that they all open or close by a single command
(pointing the key at the IR receiver in the driver's door handle, and pushing & holding lock or unlock). Place the A/C
switch on the A/C control panel in Auto, and the recirc button on. Then press the button between the temp controls and
hold it until all of the windows and roof close. This should resynch them. After that, the Smart Key should open or close
the windows and sunroof as well as lock or unlock the doors.
Also: Door locks are controlled from the key by radio frequency, and will operate regardless of direction the key is
pointed. The auto window/sunroof features are infrared, however, and operate only if the key is pointed at the small
square IR receiver in the driver's door handle. The IR range is usually less than the RF range, and can be affected by
bright sunlight directly on the door handle.
Synchronizing ESP (ECU):
If the power supply was interrupted (battery disconnected or empty), the BAS/ESP malfunction indicator lamp may be
illuminated with the engine running. Turn steering wheel completely to the left and then to the right. The BAS/ESP
malfunction indicator lamp should go out. For more on resetting the entire ECU, see
Synchronizing remote control:
The remote control may have to be resynchronized, if the vehicle cannot be locked or unlocked. To synchronize insert
electronic key in steering lock. The remote control should once again be operational.
Synchronizing Steering Column Height/Easy Exit:
Steering wheel height - basically the same procedure as windows, etc., but with a caution. Move your steering column
down SLIGHTLY, and if you can then bring it back up to where it started (but not higher), then you need to reset the
column with the simple procedure below. HOWEVER, if it goes down slightly, but will not go back up at all, do not try
the reset - it probably will go fully down and not come back up! You may not be able to get into the car to drive, if that
happens. Get it serviced.
Run the steering column full down, and hold the switch down for about 10 seconds after it reaches the lowest position;
then run it back up fully and hold the switch up for about 10 seconds after the column reaches its upper limit of travel.
You may need to do this several times. That should reset the limits in the Halls' Effect generator, and your column
should function normally.
If the steering column will not move at all, it is either a broken nylon connector inside the column, a bad motor, or a
fuse problem.
Seats (easy exit) - try running them to the limits also; however, the seats slide back in the easy exit mode only if they
are pretty far forward in the first place. if they are back beyond certain limits (set by Mercedes), not sliding further back
is normal operation.
Not all cars have easy exit feature, and those that do must have the option selected in the MFD (instrument cluster)
Resetting Automatic Windshield Wiper Function (with a tip of the hat to mvmiler):
First, pull and reseat your windshield wiper relays (locations are on the fuse diagram usually found in the tool
compartment in your spare tire well).
With engine running and all passenger doors closed, starting at 0 turn on wipers to #3 position, then put the switch in
the 0 position then put it in the auto #1 (rain sensor position) then have someone splash water on the windshield as
the doors have to be closed to reset this function. Then they should function normally.
Product for Maintaining Engine Compartment
Nanolex (of Germany) - “Matte Final Finish” :
While it's designed as a quick detailer of sorts for matte painted finishes, it’s perfect for cleaning and maintaining the
matte panels inside the engine compartment. Although it's not designed to add a gloss, it does add a certain "richness"
to the finish. It's good for cleaning up water spots left-over during the wash process, and it adds a light protection as
It's extremely easy to use (just spray a little product onto your microfibre cloth, and buff lightly until it disappears). No
smearing, no streaking, no added gloss :
Nanolex Matte Final Finish - 200ml
Cooling System
NOTE : Engine Water Temperature should run right on 90 degrees C (200 degrees F).
Glycoshell antifreeze mixed with water 50:50
Antifreeze if it is blue is Texaco. You can find it if you shop around. Sometimes at Advance Auto Parts. If it is green you
have no idea most times but you can use the Prestone universal for now.
Best bet is to make sure the fluid is kept fresh ever year. If you are going to do it yourself. Make sure the shop doing
the belt service drains the entire system when the belts are done. Some guys don't drain the system at the dealership
so keep that in mind. The level is in the owners manual.
Upper Coolant Hose Collapsed
Condition may exist when car is cold the upper radiator hose is collapsed, but when you loosen the overflow tank cap
it "inflates" again. This is abnormal. It is caused when hot by pressure building up in the cooling system and this lifts
the spring on the expansion tank cap. The pressure exits via the small pipe by the cap. When it cools the pressure
drops and a vacuum is formed which draws air back in (or coolant if there is an overflow bottle attached). Possible
faults :
Check the overflow pipe for blockage from the tank to the outlet
It could also be a faulty tank cap
Or the top hose has lost its resistance and become weak (if hose is easily squashed and feels soft, replace it)
Coolant Flush & Refill
The other thing I like to do annually is to change the coolant. The reason is because there is a oil-water heat
exchanger buried in the valley of the engine. This regulates the temperature of the gearbox oil using the coolant.
There have been instances of this heat exchanger failing which causes water to get into the gearbox and oil into the
cooling system – neither are desirable. It has been speculated that infrequent coolant changes contribute to the
exchanger failing – for the cheap price of coolant, I prefer to stay on the safe side.
Procedure :
First of all turn the temperature on the cabin heater to maximum. Undo the cap on the expansion tank
NOTE : DO NOT USE Organic Acid Technology (OAT) antifreeze (usually red in colour). Instead of tap water I like to use de-ionised water or battery top-up water (that way there are no problems with
scale found in hard water).
Cooling Fan
The cooling fan in the engine doesn’t work at 100%, normally happens to the 95-98, minor problem but I think the age
has something to do with it.
Over-Heating or Low Coolant Warning Light
There may be a number of issues here. The first relates to bubbles in the coolant system and the second to a drop in
coolant level due to heat expansion in the flexible joints of the plumbing. For the first, try Porsche Pete's Boxster Board
for a procedure to "burp" your system. For the second, there may or may not be an official fix - check your dealer and
PNA. However, Porsche did something and it seems that cars from April 99 on, and maybe earlier, have the fix.
Another possibility may be that under very hard acceleration coolant is actually temporarily sucked out of the reservoir
to the point where the warning is displayed. Topping off the car and restarting may clear the light.
I have recently heard that one of the PAG factory machines had a fault up until April 99 that may have resulted in substandard casings and the resulting overheating problem. This is entirely unsubstantiated at present but if true would
mean that cars built before April 99 will not all suffer from this problem. This has certainly been borne out by my own
experience and that of others who have older cars but who have never experienced this unfortunate ailment.
Changing the ratio of coolant to water and adding Redline Water Wetter, may also be a fix. Reducing coolant and
increasing water will cool better (water cools more efficiently than coolant) but this probably puts your radiator at more
risk from oxidation. Different folks assess this risk differently and I do not feel qualified to give an opinion on it.
However, this possible fix is certainly cheaper, if it indeed works, than some alternatives (oil coolers, additional
radiators, etc).
Exhaust System
Muffler Delete (new tips)
Rear mufflers can wear out, corrode, etc. and are very expensive to replace (more than $2,000 each). A cheaper
replacement option is to have a muffler fabrication shop replace with dual tip Magnaflow mufflers.
The Magnaflow tips are staggered (outside is shorter)
The tips are inside bevelled
They are super quiet and do not drone on highway
Catalytic Converters (DO NOT REMOVE)
Catalytic converters are quite expensive items for any car, they need checking as a car with either poor cats or cats
removed will fail an emissions tests, etc. There are reports that cars running without cats fitted, may not be insured, as
they are not road legal. For the potential 5bhp of extra breathing capacity - its just not worth it.
Cleaning Exhaust Tips
Step 1 - PZ15 Total Auto Wash (breaks down and removes carbon deposits)
Step 2 - Zymol Metal Polish (strawberry and cream scent).
Becker Replacement Rear Mufflers
? US Gal (? litres) Shell M1375.4 DEXTRON III
Checking the Gearbox Oil
Changing the Gearbox Oil
Transmission Service (Fluid and Filter)
Air Conditioning - DIY Advice and Part Sources
System requires regular recharging
System Coolant
Compressor Oil
0.29 US Gal (1,100cc)
0.033 US Gal (125cc)
Type SP 10 (Sanden)
A/C - Low and High Ports
High side service is located
A/C Drains
If some debris.
Trinary Switch
Trinary switches provide compressor protection against high side pressures that are too high or too low. There are 2
styles of pressure switch, binary and trinary.
The binary switch simply splices between the compressor clutch and evaporator thermostat and taps into the high
pressure line. When pressures exceed safe limits, the switch opens the circuit to the compressor clutch thus
disengaging the compressor until pressure return to normal.
The trinary switch operates much the same as the binary in that it shuts down the compressor when pressures rise.
However, the trinary also controls an electric fan on the radiator that pulls additional air across the condenser to bring
pressures down.
348 (1989-1995) A/C Charging (used here only as A/C system example)
I just recently performed the A/C service on my 1995 348, in doing so I discovered a product that works better than
traditional R134a. So I decided I would put together my first How to, for all of you do-it-yourselfers there on FChat.
The product I used was called Arctic Freeze Refrigerant R-134a+ It is made by Interdynamics; it replaces lost
refrigerant & oil to the A/C system and was developed for NASA. If you would like to do some reading up on the
differences of R134a to R134a+, here is a link to a .pdf file that I used.
I can attest to it being a much better product to give your Ferrari’s A/C better cooling. A link to their website and
product page is below.
About R12 and R134
All 1993 and newer vehicles, are supposed to use Refrigerant #134a and 134a oil. R134 uses different oil than the
older R12 system, and since R134 doesn’t get quite as cold, the R134 system typically uses more Freon.
Many manufacturers didn’t want to redesign the A/C, so they continued to use the older systems, filling them instead
with R134, and retrofitting them with the newer style ports. Please be aware of the type of system you have before
beginning, an easy way to tell is looking at the Charge ports.
Charge port for an R12 system
Charge port for an R134 system
If you have charge port for R12, take it to a qualified service centre (either to be converted to R134 or charged with
R12, which is unavailable to the public). Note - the cost of replacing all the failed parts from mixing the 2 different
types of refrigerant and oils will cost well into the thousands.
To refill a partially discharged system
You will need Freon, and the appropriate charge hose. These are available at your local auto parts store. Some cans
come with the hose, and a relatively useless gauge. The gauge is unreliable, and shouldn’t be used to guess the
amount of Freon in the system, as it’s only measuring pressure, and not the level of the Freon. Pressure varies with
the outside temperature, and the temperature of the parts, and the barometer outside the car, making the gauge next
to useless.
Locate the dryer (on the 1995 Ferrari 348 the dryer is located on the passenger side of the trunk, under the
carpeting). It looks something like this:
On the top of it is a little glass window (verify that your Ferrari has this window).
If it does not, please take it to a service centre to be filled (they will carefully meter out the Freon and add the
exact amount).
Start the engine, and turn the Air conditioner on full.
Attach the can of Freon to the low pressure charge port.
Look at the glass window on top of the dryer (there may be foam, or bubbles, or very slow bubbles depending
on the level of charge).
Open the can of Freon very slowly until you feel the top of it get cold.
As the system charges, the window will go from fast foam to slow foam to bubbles to slow bubbles to “clear”.
Once it reaches “clear”, the system is charged.
Fill it slowly, as it’s easy to overcharge if you’re in a rush (just barely crack the can until it starts to get cold and
watch the window carefully).
After all the bubbling / foaming stops the system is full.
Shut off the can.
Run the system for an additional 10 minutes (if any bubbles crop up, add a tiny amount of Freon until they are
If the system is fully discharged:
First you must vacuum out the system to remove any moisture.
If the system has been wide open for some time (like if you had disconnected the A/C lines and left it that way)
then it is recommended for maximum performance, that you replace the dryer/accumulator. If you don’t I advise
you spend additional time vacuuming out the system.
Vacuuming out the system requires an A/C vacuum pump, and also the R134 Charge hose. Both should be
available at a local auto parts supplier.
You should vacuum out the system for at least 5 minutes (longer if the system has been open for any period of
Verify the system is holding a vacuum (this can be done using an A/C pressure gauge). If the system still had
Freon in it before you began, it’s generally safe to assume that there was no large leak, and that the system is
still holding vacuum.
Check the service manual, before charging the system, to verify the capacity of the air conditioning system (do
not overcharge the system). Most R134 systems will take somewhere in the range of 18-24 oz. of Freon. To
gauge the amount of Freon, first look at the capacity of the cans (most of them are 12oz).
If you have replaced the Compressor, or otherwise had the system cleaned with A/C solvents you must add the
amount of compressor oil specified in the service manual.
If you have not replaced anything, you should add 2-3 oz of R134 compatible oil (add the oil first, before adding
1999 Ferrari 360 AC Recharge (but can be adapted for SL55 AMG)
Over the last month or so, my AC suddenly didn't feel as cold as I thought it did in April of this year. I figured it was time
to check the refrigerant level and refill if needed. I had seen the self fill "easy to use" bottles of R134a when walking
through Pep Boys and decided to give it a try to see if it was as easy as advertised. I'm happy to report that it is, even
on a Ferrari.
As my 360 is a 1999 MY with the charging ports behind the inner trunk lining instead of under the three screwed panel
under the driver side of the windshield.
Standing in Pep Boys, there were two choices that I the end, I went with the "idQ Arctic Freeze 134a+" that
included a short hose and low side quick connect fitting. No particular reason, I can't imagine there were any
differences between the different brands. My final decision was based on the quick connect fitting, the one that came
with the Arctic Freeze looked sturdier to me. $34.99 for the 18 ounce can and re-usable gauge.
Back in the garage:
1. Remove the inner trunk panels.
2. Locate the recharge ports. The low side fitting is what you will need to recharge the refrigerant. It is the smaller of
the two and as they are different sizes you should not mix these two up.
3. Facing towards the inside of the car, the low side fitting is on the passenger side of the car and is the one on your
4. Remove the plastic protective cap. Also, prep your refrigerant by shaking the bottle and removing the safety tab if
there is one.
5. Now that you have everything ready, start the car and turn the AC on by setting the temperature dial to Lo and the
flow dial to Auto. Also, make sure the STOP button is out and not illuminated.
6. With the car and AC running, plug the quick connect fitting onto the charging port of the car. You should now see a
reading on your gauge.
7. The low side reading should be between 20-30 PSI. If your refrigerant level is low, simply squeeze the trigger on the
bottle to dispense refrigerant into the system. You will have to agitate the bottle, shaking or moving the bottle around
as you have the trigger depressed.
8. Check the reading by letting go of the trigger, the gauge will read 0 when you have the trigger depressed to
dispense the refrigerant. At 28 PSI, my AC now felt very cold again. I didn't have a thermometer to measure the actual
temp, but the air coming out was noticeable colder than before.
9. When you have completed refilling your system, be careful removing the fitting from the charging port as some of
the components and piping in the vicinity may have become hot to the touch. Take care not to burn yourself.
Very simple to do, ended up costing just $34.99 and about 30-40 minutes including panel removal time and
reinstallation. Just go out and buy one of these at your local Walmart or UK equivalent.
Then open the panel in the front boot beneath the windshield. the AC recharge low pressure port will be visible and it
will have the larger diameter nipple onto which you can fit the charger. Put it on, look at the pressure with the car
running and then add some if you need. Just be careful not to put too much coolant in. Too much and the compressor
gets strained and you could kill it... just be warned.
Revisit the hi-lo connectors and tighten up the shraeder valve and I can almost guarantee you that you won't have to
recharge the freon for a long time. The tool is cheap at your local autozone shop.
R134 (with a sealer in it) :
Some people may think that you are going to gum everything up with additives. However, you’re not actually really
gumming anything up, as the sealant is an oil based product. When in contact with air it forms a sealant.
As it is recirculating in the sealed system of the refrigerant circuit its compatible with the refrigerant oil, but once it
escapes from the source of the leak, it forms a seal.
Don’t confuse this technology with tyre sealants, that has a rubber sealant compound to it. This is an entirely different
Body - DIY Advice and Part Sources
Rust Prevention
When you’ve got a mint-condition car, but you want to use it as your everyday car and cover about 10,000 miles a year
in it, you’ve got to work out how you’re going to do that and still keep it looking good. You can lovingly wash and wax it,
but what about what’s going on underneath the car, and how do you keep the dreaded rust at bay?
The best way of protecting the car against the inevitable assault from water and, even worse, the tons of salt that
councils will no doubt be throwing down once the big freeze begins, is a full cavity wax injection with a full under seal.
First it is power-washed and then fully steam-cleaned underneath
The car is then thoroughly fan-dried
Next the treatment is carried out
Any areas of surface rust are carefully treated with a rust cure
Then every single cavity is injected with Dinitrol 3125 (all the doors, the sills, the wings, the rear side panels, the
bonnet, the chassis members. . . the lot)
Then the underside is sprayed with the 3125, followed by a coating of Dinitrol 4941 (a glossy black under seal
that never dries hard but maintains a waxy feel to it)
The car is then allowed to dry before collection (so takes about 3 days)
Total cost around $1,000, but should last five years (cheaper than replacing a wing/fender or sill)
Note : the combination treatment of Dinitrol 3125 with Dinitrol 4941 is considered more effective than Waxoyl.
Rust Inhibitor (POR-15)
Injecting something, even a good phosphate conversion etchant, is like prescribing sex to a nymphomaniac; at best it's
temporary relief. Also, most etchants need to be neutralised, usually by a thorough water rinse, otherwise the
phosphoric acid will cause rust to resume more aggressively.
You need to kill the rust, which the POR15 metal ready etch does, by converting it to zinc phosphate. You then seal it
with a coating that's impervious to oxygen and moisture, which the POR15 paint does. Then it can be repainted &
won't resume, as the paint further seals the surface. Bondo doesn't work because it doesn't block moisture. However,
you can use bondo over something like POR15, then the paint will seal the bondo well enough so that problems won't
Sandblast or grind out the rust affected areas, apply POR-15 followed with 2 coats of rubberised undercoating.
POR-15 dries rock hard. POR-15 flat black paint can be used as the top coat.
Rust Inhibitor (LPS-3)
Spray LPS-3 rust inhibitor spray on the inside of the door and look for a couple of used, galvanised doors.
Underbody Protection (Wurth SKS Stoneguard)
Without doubt, Wurth's water-based black undercoating. You can spray or brush it on. It goes on grey, then dries to a
PERFECT satin black match. Matches OEM Porsche, BMW, Mercedes and other European auto makers' "body
schutz" or undercoating.
Can be built up because it doesn't run on vertical surfaces. SKS is water based, fast drying and flexible when dry. May
be painted or left as applied. It is best applied with a Wurth SKS Gun, but may be applied with a brush.
11335 Wurth SKS Stone Guard - Beige, 1000 ml bottle
11336 Wurth SKS Stone Guard - Black, 1000 ml bottle
11337 Wurth SKS Stone Guard - Grey, 1000 ml bottle
11338 Wurth SKS Stone Guard Spray Gun
They now have the stuff in 14 oz spray cans (aerosol). Manufactured in Germany.
Mail order company :
This rust-proof coating is sprayed on in minutes, dries in just a few hours (two to three), and offers heavy duty
protection for years. Wurth Stone Guard Black protects the wheel wells, rocker panels and undercarriage of your
automobile from inevitable damage from stones, debris, salt water, and road chemicals that eat away at the finish,
paving the way for rust. Wurth Stone Guard Black, a rubber/plastic ultra-protective spray-on coating is easy to apply,
tough as nails, and can be painted over, so as to match the colour of the car. One or two thin coats in your wheel wells
and on the undercarriage provides permanent protection from originators of rust. The handy spray can means no
messy cleanup or applicator tools. The textured, hard but flexible material deflects all manners of shrapnel that can
abrade, nick and chip away at the under-surface of your car. Best of all, it’s waterproof, so rust doesn’t stand a chance.
Tech notes
Be sure to use in a well ventilated area. Allow to cure naturally for two to three hours. You may layer coats until you
attain the desired texture. Remove overspray with Wurth Clean-Solve.
To use
For best results, thoroughly clean surface that will be treated of dirt, grease and grime. This ensures that Stone Guard
adheres properly. Mask surrounding areas. Spray surface in short, even strokes until the desired texture or thickness
is reached. Allow to dry completely and naturally (two to three hours).
Weatherstrip Maintenance (Cures squeaks, etc.)
I’ve been looking into which products would be best for weatherstrip maintenance and have decided to avoid siliconecontaining products altogether. Through a series of e-mails and research, my personal choices are :
303 Aerospace Protectant (with UV screening) for routine use on all exposed rubber and other select surfaces
DuPont Krytox Lubricants for problem areas that squeak (rubber and plastic alike), such as the header rail in
convertibles, cup holders, etc.
Proper use of 303 Aerospace Protectant requires :
the areas to be treated be clean of any dirt or oils
then thoroughly wet the surface with Protectant and allow to soak for approximately five minutes (rubber) before
wiping dry with a soft, lint-free cloth
reapplication is recommended “every 30 to 80 days of exposure” or when the water repellency begins to
This product is widely available at a reasonable price. Shelf life is a minimum of five years. Two sources are Autopia
Car Care and Autogeek.
Krytox Weatherstrip Lubricant may be applied after the 303 treatment, if necessary :
treatment areas for Krytox should receive limited exposure to dust and dirt, as it may remain somewhat tacky
and can attract dust (it could also rub off on clothing if applied too heavily).
unlike the 303 product, Krytox is not wiped off after application, rather a thin layer is massaged into the rubber
and left in place.
available as both an oil and light grease, choice depends on area being treated and/or personal preference.
care must be taken not to get any on glass or painted surfaces, not because of potential damage but because
it’s difficult to remove once it’s on there.
reapplication isn’t necessary nearly as often as with 303 Aerospace Protectant.
Shelf life is indefinite.
Distribution of Krytox, is rather limited and cost is quite high :
GM sells a 1 oz. applicator bottle for between $69 and $88 US
it’s referenced in the “2007 Chevrolet Corvette Owner Manual” in the section entitled “Recommended Fluids and
Lubricants,” under “Weatherstrip Conditioning”: “GM Part No. U.S. 3634770, in Canada 10953518.”
Also recommended is “Dielectric Silicone Grease (GM Part No. U.S. 12345579, in Canada 992887)”; more
about silicone in a moment.
Chrysler dealerships sell the same one ounce bottle of Krytox Weatherstrip Lubricant (MOPAR Part No.
04773427) for about $85 US
Volkswagen offering costs even more
Eckler’s, where a small tube of “Krytox Weatherstrip Saver” grease (Item #A2524) sells for $44.99
Jaguar endorsed use of Krytox fluid for interior squeaks ten years ago as outlined in Service Advisory “910-01
APR 98.”
Wiper Blades (2)
Part # ?
Side Vent Removal
Vario Roof Squeak Fix (McLube Spray)
The dealer lubed the roof after it developed a problem, but that was a short-term solution. Honestly I think that the
detailers just got too aggressive.
The magic 'stuff' is McLube spray and McLube One Drop oil. They're available for the marine market, from chandleries
and various online sources. Magic. I've used it a lot on boats. I use both products. For more information and
testimonials go to:
Cover your seats - cheap insurance. Retract the top and open the hatch. If there is dust or dirt inside the roof or
the hatch sills, vacuum it out. Get the remainder with detailers spray and a rag.
Clean excess gunk from ALL bits of the track with a Q-tip. I didn't use cleaner or solvent. Wouldn't recommend it.
Look hard. Find every bit of the track you can, from the top, from inside. Retract the roof a small amount to get
to the aft track bits. Be sure to get in (as best you can) to the diffusers/seals both fore and aft of the glass. The
rear is especially tough, barely possible.
Do the same for all moving parts of the hatch hinges and the lock flange. There hinge mechanism is pretty
complex. Actually quite cool.
Use the McLube oil on a Q-tip, to coat the tracks (not the sills, the black track), the hatch hinges and the flange.
You don't need a lot of oil, just coat the surface. Excess just attracts dust. Again look hard at the track. Find &
lube every bit you can - from inside & out, partially & fully retracted roof.
Cycle the roof and the hatch. Repeat the lube process.
For the moving bits of the diffusers/seals you can't reach, use the McLube spray with the red tube extension.
Both diffuser pieces have hinges. I think that the rear diffuser/seal (between the roof and the hatch) is the
source of 90% of the problems. So look closely - anywhere that hard plastic sits against a solid piece of the roof.
The McLube spray dries clean. It will not attract dust and grime. Its possible that the McLube spray would do the whole
job. No need for the oil. I'd consider trying that if your car is in a dusty environment. But since Porsche used a more
viscous product, I use the bearing oil.
Total time
: about 20 minutes
: Silence. No issues.
NOTE : Don't wear jeans (you'll be leaning over the car a lot; easy to scratch your paint).
Vario Roof Flap Issues and Fix
Check out Web Page (
The Top will not Open or Close all the way
If this happens, you are limited to four more consecutive attempts to open or close it. If after those five attempts (one
of which includes the initial attempt when you realised the problem) the system will automatically be inactivated and
you’ll need to wait 10 minutes before it reactivates itself to allow five more attempts (this information is available in the
Vehicle's Owners Manual).
Additionally, if the roof won’t open or close all the way you should look at the two flaps that are located on the
underside of the truck lid, towards the passenger compartment end, to see if either side’s flap is hanging down from
the underside of the trunk lid. If one is hanging lower then it is most likely the cause of the problem and what most
times, lifting the low hanging flap (use a small stick to hold in place), and at same time, get someone to operate the
manual control switch, to close the roof.
A Mercedes’ Service Manager also said that sometimes shaking the roof back and forth while someone is operating
the roof’s manual control switch will sometimes free up the roof.
There is a way to close the roof manually. See link below :
Flap/s not tight against Underside of Truck Lid
If one or both of the above mentioned Flaps is/are hanging down from the underside of the truck lid and it has caused
a problem before then it should be fixed with the repair kit because it will eventually cause a problem again if it hasn’t
So you know what is causing the problem, the picture below shows the defective piece the new repair kit will replace.
The gap the arrow points to shows the bend that causes the problem. This gap is a little under 1/16 inch wide over 2”
length. This gap allows the drive gear to skip a tooth or two on the cable pawl which cause the pad to hang down.
Mercedes has manufactured a repair kit (Part # A 230 750 01 11) for the hanging flap problem. When you get this kit
(see image below) and compare the replacement parts to the old ones you will see that the replacement parts are
superior in strength. MB dealer charges $575.00 to fix for a $60 part.
Installing the Repair Kit (20 min per side)
If your Vario roof stops working one day, it could be that the trunk flap is not sitting tight against the trunk lid. Sensors
monitor the positions of these flaps, and these sensors might not be tripped by a flap that is sagging too low. I never
had problems with my roof not working, but after reading through various posts of others that had, i decided to check
out the condition of my flaps. To my surprise my passenger flap was sagging quite a bit (my drivers side was fine). I
then discovered that Mercedes released an updated part to resolve this issue. The new part is heavily reinforced and
will resist bending much better than the original part.
Also, don't bother with the adjusting screws as they don't work very well for adjusting the tension of the flap.
Fuel Tank Baffle - Repair
If you have a loose fuel tank baffle it can be fixed and will save you at least $4,000 (new tank dealer replacement). All
work is undertaken in the boot (trunk) with the roof closed and took around 1 hour and is best done with as little fuel in
the tank as possible (say a quarter tank).
How To Access Fuel Tank Sender (Takes a little less than an hour) :
• Remove the net lining along the rear part of the boot/trunk.
• Remove the fasteners that hold the boot/trunk partition fabric in place. Use a flat head screwdriver and carefully pry
up the middle of each fastener. Then remove the bottom portion by prying it up as well.
• Once the 2-piece fasteners are removed, there are snaps (behind the partition) that hold the rest of the partition
fabric to the base. Carefully unsnap these using just your fingers.
• Remove the 2-piece snap fasteners at the corner of the partition fabric. Pry out the middle first, then release the
• Remove the grey covers that hide the mechanics of the partition hinges. Then remove the Torx bolts (one either
hinge) that holds the partition hinge.
• Remove trunk partition and store safely
• Remove the boot/trunk floor panel and then remove both net fasteners (have 1 Torx bolt in middle).
• Pull back carpet on sides to remove 1 Torx bolt on either side (it’s not attached at top; just wedged in). This panel is
overlapped by the boot side panels but only by half an inch so can be bent a little either side and coxed out. If you're
uncomfortable doing this, you'll have to remove quite a lot of the boot linings to get the side pieces off, and really it's
not worth it.
• Remove two of the 2-piece fasteners from each side of the plastic piece on top of back carpet panel.
• Then remove the carpet covering the back wall to expose the fuel tank. Now you’ll see the fuel sender opening and
the long black plastic piece (with screw fastenings) covering it. Remove all three screws and remove the black plastic
• The sender is a bayonet fit in to the top of the tank and only needs a quarter turn to remove, but make sure you
unclip the sender wire first. Before removing, the sender, remember to make a mark on the tank and sender to help
when refitting it as it only works in one position.
• Next, unfasten the wiring harnesses and set aside (disconnect two plugs).
• You will now need to make a tool to remove the sender unit. It should look like a small piece of wood with two screws
in it (as in image below) :
• The screws on the tool insert into the peg holes on the top of the fuel sender (also found that with a pair of "bent
needle nose" pliers you can stick one tip in each hole of the fuel sender and just twist. No need to buy or make a tool
to turn the fuel sender unit).
• Turn the fuel sender to the left (counter-clockwise) a few degrees. This will release the fuel level sender.
• Remove the fuel level sender by carefully pulling it out of the hole (fuel level sender and float removed) :
Let’s Fix the Noisy Baffle :
Once you have the sender out, you'll be able to see the baffle (a small LED torch/flashlight is good as you don’t want
to use a normal bulb torch for obvious reasons). Alternatively (more expensive), is a small LED camera with light.
Poking a piece of bar inside the tank and prodding the baffle, will let you see what causes the banging and why (the
baffle runs east/west through the tank and is about 3/4 the height of the tank. It's fixed at the bottom and should be
fixed at either side near the ends. This is where the welds will have failed, allowing the baffle to “hinge” front and back
(acceleration and braking), knocking on the wall of the tank. The baffle kinks about 45 degrees near it's top, forward to
the front of the car and it's this edge that hits the wall of the tank).
There's no way to remove it without cutting the tank in half (it's about 36" wide by 12" tall).
Procedure :
Buy a pack of springs and choose best one for job. Try to pick one with a “ready-made” loop on one side (easier to
attach to the ring on fuel sender). Bend the other side of the spring, to hook behind loose baffle.
NOTE : Use a heavy duty coat hanger (a metal garden tomato stake works well) to hook on and pull the baffle away
from the front wall of the tank (hooked into a handy slot in the baffle plate, just below the bend).
Replacing Rear Trunk/Boot Struts
1. Open the trunk (either have someone hold trunk/boot open or just prop it fully open - it’s heavier than you think)
2. If you are propping the trunk open, make sure you prop it all the way up, since the struts are almost impossible to
manually compress.
3. You will see two metal retaining clips on each strut
4. There is a slot, where you can put a small to medium flat head screwdriver, under the metal clips.
5. Just pry off the clips
6. Once the clips are off, use a little force to take the top off, by pulling the ball joint apart (some may be easier than
7. You may think your replacement strut is a little too long, but if you turn the head that attaches to the ball on the
trunk frame, the strut adjusts.
8. To reattach the new strut, apply a bit of pressure on the ball joint and it pops right back in.
9. No need to fuss with the clips, as they stay in place, when you push the ball joint together.
SL55 AMG - Trailer Hitch / Tow Bar Options
Mercedes seem to have created the perfect car in the SL55 AMG, but carrying capacity is limited. To add a hitchmounted bike rack or tow a small lightweight utility trailer would be a nice feature, especially with such a heavy car at
4,310 lb. curb weight (just under 2 ton).
On researching everywhere, including Mercedes-Benz in Germany, SL (R230) forums, tow hitch manufacturers, etc., I
have been unable to locate a trailer hitch for the SL55 AMG.
A couple of manufacturers have offered to make one but I have to deliver my car to southern US. My next option is
either to purchase a CURT SLK trailer hitch and custom adapt to fit the SL55 AMG, or have a custom hitch fabricated
Found this on German site, but cannot locate supplier yet, but going to keep trying :
Google search phrase converted to German :
mercedes r230 anhängerkupplung anhängevorrichtung
mercedes r230 attelage
mercedes r230 trekhaak
mercedes R230 trækstang
mercedes R230 anhængertræk
mercedes r230 gancho de remolque
Found these options :
1) Westfalia dealer Eichmann in Frankfurt / Main builds removable towbar for R230. Costs about EUR 850.
2) AHK removable SL350 R230 euro 366.39 + VAT. Full + installation + VAT euro 834.76. Tel: 069-9414150.
Above tow bar specs :
Tongue max. weight
Trailer gross weight/towing capacity
- 45 kg (100 lb)
- 450 kg ( 1,000 lb)
Tow Bar Manufacturers :
NOTE : still haven’t confirmed who makes above tow bars (believe it to be ether Westfalia or Bosal?)
PCT Automotive
Examples of Hitch Installation on an SLK230 (R170)
Class I Receiver
Fits Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class Coupe, Including AMG
1-1/4" Hitch Opening
2,000 Towing (no ball included)
Costs around $275
Installation Instructions for SLK
Remove the spare tire cover, and spare tire.
Remove the cowling over the trunk opening
According to the instructions, you can install without removing the bumper (but removing reveals
Set the hitch under the car and prepare to align it. Use the level to mark the centre of the inner bumper just above the spare tire well (this will allow you to align the
level, trunk lock and hitch centres).
Once you have the centres marked and aligned, set the hitch in place and mark the two holes with the marker. Pull the hitch away and drill the two holes. Clean up around the well and areas. You can now loose mount the hitch. Make sure everything looks like it is going to fit then snug it up a bit. Now drill the remaining two holes from inside the trunk using the metal backer as a guide (again, snug the bolts
and see that everything aligns).
Here is the hitch installed with all but the two bolts at the bottom of the well in place.
Tighten it all down and then put the bumper back on. Jack up the car and drill the two holes from the bottom of the spare well (be sure to clean up the area of debris
and use a lot of silicon to seal the holes and bolts).
Now here is the hitch finished
SLK Wiring
My Plans for an SL55 AMG Custom Trailer Hitch
SL55 AMG - Rear Bumper Removal
Press left and right inner fender(2) to side and unscrew bolt(3)
Unscrew bottom left and right bolt(4)
Unscrew bolts(5) from left and right bottom side of bumper
Remove side trunk panelling
Take vacuum reservoir(6) out of luggage compartment recess, but do not separate lines
Remove bracket(7)
Take out insulation mat(8)
Unscrew bolts(9) on side in fender (on left and right 2 bolts each)
Disconnect rear bumper PTS (Parktronic) connector(X35/28) and press rubber grommet out of body together
with electrical lead
Unscrew nuts(11) at rear centre section
Only with a second person as helper, carefully remove rear bumper(1) sliding out of the left and right side
brackets(12) and moving carefully towards rear.
Installation is above in reverse, but ensure (with two persons) that the rear bumper is first inserted at side into
left and right brackets(12).
Trailer Hitch Installation?
SL55 AMG bottom of rear bumper is 10.5” from ground.
Views of SL rear with bumper removed :
Custom installation locally by ? :
Northend Mobility
Viaduct Street
(905) 735-5552
Roof Carriers
Malone HandiRack
SL55 front bumper removal
Take the forward inner wheel well liners off.
Take the 3 front under engine trays off.
Take the 4 top grill screws off.
Take the visible screws behind the grill off.
Unplug the parking assist cable connection on the drivers side inside the wheel well.
You may or may not have to take the front bumper trim that holds the sensors (start prying from the markers
forward; many clips to unsnap) and unplug each one.
Unplug the side marker bulbs.
There may be 2 screws behind the lower grill if its a 55 or 65.
On the right and left sides, inside the wheel well, squeezing the bumper and the front fenders together, there is
a flat metal bracket.
Remove one screw at the edge of the brackets and pull that end away and it will swing the bracket off the lip of
the bumper and then push it forward and it will come lose from the flange it is hooked to.
Then slide the bumper off forward.
2003 Headlights
The headlight is a 2 piece. You can take it apart and reseal easily enough. Use the factory glue (oxybutyl glue)
which conforms well with heat applied and is very pliable.
Procedure :
Remove the lights
Remove the black trim piece on them
Take off the 4 metal clips that squeeze the lens cover to lens backing together
Apply heat via heat gun along the seams
Gently pull apart
Add sealant
Reverse procedure
NOTE : check to make sure the headlights did not lose any of the bottom tabs that let moisture in. There
should be one breather vent that must remain open.
2003 SL Boot/Trunk Will Not Open
If central locking failed and the boot/trunk will not open, try the following :
put the key in the lock and turn quarter turn clockwise; pulling the lever with the key in place should open it.
If locking has failed due to a minor air leak you may be able to briefly restore operation, by removing the fuse for
the pneumatic systems pump and reinstalling it. The fuse is shown here (It's the 20-amp fuse located in the rear
fuse box module. It is mounted under the storage compartment behind the right-side seat. You access the module
by removing the interior trim panel. To do that pull outward at the top left of centre and right of centre to release
two clips and then lift it upward and out) :
The hand latch is connected to the real latch mechanism by a metal connecting rod. The rod will just flip a small
catch on the real latch mechanism and cause it to release the the spring which opens the latch to the open
position. Possibly, this latch mechanism has a broken part in it which wont allow the hook to open or the small
spring loaded part inside the lock, is simply covered and stuck with road grime.
Does the central locking still work on the doors? If so, the locking pump must be good. Operate the roof (if you
have left the trunk cover locked allowing roof to operate) and stop in mid operation this will allow access to the
trunk, have a look for air leaks in the line to the trunk lock.
If mechanism is seized, smash the 3rd brake light and manually pull the mechanism. Clean and apply a good
splashing of WD40 togged it working. Replace and install a new 3rd brake light.
If you don’t want to replace the 3rd brake light and all else fails, get the drill out, remove the license plate, drill the
hole, a finger opens the lock - 5 minute job. Get a rubber grommit to fill the hole, re-instal the license plate. The
license plate covers the hole.
NOTE : locking pump is located on the left side of the trunk/boot. It’s a rectangular black box, with yellow and
black pipes coming out of it, surrounded by a rubber type housing (which seems to act like a gaint sponge which is possible part of the problem).
The pump for the roof is located either above or below(depending on the year of manufacture) the locking pump in the
same part of the boot, but looks very different.
Interior - DIY Advice and Part Sources
Usual suspects to be aware of for interior issues :
Bolster wear from either lots of getting in and out or lazy entry and exit of the car, can be re-connolised but try to
buy well in the first instance, once a seat has been re-connolised its very difficult to do it again as nicely. Also
some cars have optional beading on the seats, this can tear very easily, please check condition carefully as they
can be repaired well only once.
Grime in the metal trim areas or the early cars can be difficult to clean correctly - please contact us for help, the
later cars had smooth finish interior panels which are very easy to maintain.
Door handles are famed for the outer operation cables popping off or retaining clip breaking as the cable seizes
or gets tight, easy repair, (pending availability of the cables, sometimes its the inner door handle cable but
mainly its the door handle, just get them fixed as they pop off or get stiff. Its better than being locked out of your
own car.
If airbag light come on it has come on
Pollen Filter (Cabin Filter, Particle Filter) Change
Replacement :
remove the
Leather Smell
Zaino does a great job in restoring the leather smell. I have used Zaino leather cleaner and conditioner with great
results. Great leather smell afterwards. In time it will lose the smell as it dries out. Keep up with the leather treatment,-at LEAST twice a year to keep some of that scent. Use Gliptone cleaner+conditioner or Swissvax products. Both leave
a nice smell and do a great job.
Leather Care
Quite common if the leather is not protected from direct sunlight. Most times, it should be possible to stretch the
leather and re-glue with a superior strength adhesive.
Note : synthetic alcantara has less of a tendency to shrink than natural leather (which shrinks with heat).
Another thing to consider is, how frequently you condition your leather. You should be conditioning the panels twice a
year (more frequently, may weaken the adhesive as the conditioner actually works its way down into the leather).
Leatherique Rejuvinator Oil
Known world wide for its ability to soften even cardboard hard leather. It is a complex blend of animal proteins,
collagens, with absolutely no oil fillers of any kind. Totally unlike all other leather products, it will not stain or discolour
leather. Simply spray or wipe onto the surface and massage into the leather with your hands. Allow for it be absorbed
into the fibres. Rejuvenator has a unique capillary action which forces proteins into the leather and dirt out.
Although it’s named Leatherique Rejuvenator Oil, it actually contains no oil fillers such as mineral or petroleum oil. The
formula is based on a natural old Swedish Secret and is a complex blend of proteins and collagen that actually restore
the tensile strength to the leather, not just sit on top and make it slick and greasy. It does not harm carpeting or
headliners and will also soften rubber door trim and vinyl. It also contains no Silicon and no wax.
For Best Results :
Apply with your hands, massaging the oil well into all the surfaces and natural folds of the leather, but you may
also use a soft sea sponge, or a soft paint type brush.
If possible, park the car in the sun with the windows rolled up to create a "steam room" for as long as practical,
several hours or a day. In cooler weather, or for long-term storage in a garage, cover the seats with plastic wrap,
and "warm" with a hair dryer.
Leather Shrinkage
Quite common if the leather is not protected from direct sunlight. Most times, it should be possible to stretch the
leather and re-glue with a superior strength adhesive.
Note : synthetic alcantara has less of a tendency to shrink than natural leather (which shrinks with heat).
Alcantara Cleaning
The synthetic suede used on the interior is called Alcantara. The manufacturers cleaning details are here
Seat Height
Seat Height (from ground)
My current seat Height (from ground)
(set at lowest height adjustment)
NOTE : As a rule , you may add up to 2” for a height adjustable seat.
Heated Seats
Faulty heated seat :
Check out fuse
Front Seat Removal
Removing the seat is really
Easy Exit-Entry Convenience Feature
Normal Setting of Convenience Feature :
If Seat Memory Lost......the Fix :
If you take the key out, the seat refuses to go back (likewise when inserting the key, the seat refuses to return to
memory position), this is fix as described by an MB technician.
Make sure you have “key dependent” on, with “steering wheel + seat” activated to on, in the convenience
display menu.
Insert key to position 2
If car has panoramic roof, open fully and close fully twice.
Open fully and close all windows twice.
Move steering wheel up and down to its limits, followed by in and out to its limits
Finally take a deep breath, move the seat forward and back to the limits twice.
You have now re-synchronised the system.
CD will not Eject
Try this, before going to dealer :
Lift the lid of the slot
You´ll see a small white plastic pin on left side (I think there´s similar on the right side too)
Take a small screwdriver and push gently the pin (it should move about 1/2”)
Now at same time push the eject button
That way I fixed mine, while my dealer could not do anything
Steering Wheel Removal
NOTE : Do not activate the ignition with the air bag disconnected.
If you do, it will put the SRS light on (dealer will have to remove it with Star Diagnosis).
Procedure :
unlock the car
make sure wheel is central and fully extended out to give clearance for the air bag side screws
keep the key well away from the car and purge the electrical system (i.e 30 mins to 1hr after running engine).
(the air bag is an explosive device triggered by a electrical current, when you switch the car off there is still an
electrical charge available due to capacitors in the system hence you leave it off to discharge any excess charge
or in the very rare cases playing around taking it off might trigger it)
using a torx 30 bit 2” long, undo the two air bag screws
remove air bag
disconnect both multi plugs, by releasing the catches on the plugs (one is steering wheel controls, the other is
the air bag)
store air bag face upward (not the other way, as if it goes off it will launch itself where ever)
using a 10mm hex key and wrench remove centre bolt
mark the wheel and spline, so that the wheel goes back on in the correct place
remove wheel
Installing New “Flat-Bottom” Steering Wheel
NOTE : Original Steering Wheel below, is 375 mm (14.75") dia.
Model Year 2009 Up (SL63 & SL65) - Flat-Bottomed Steering Wheel :
MB Dealer says that it is possible to replace original steering wheel with the later 2009 and newer flat-bottomed one,
but you also need the later airbag (see below) :
NOTE : Momo is 350mm (13.75")
Audio System
The Bose system is fantastic but needs setting up. Obviously everyone has their own preferences but the majority of
people have found using the following settings as a baseline a great place to start.
Surround: Dolby Pro Logic ON
Auto Vol.: Low
60: 0
200: -2
1k: +1
3k: +1
12k +2
Set Up
Bass: +2
Treble: +1
Fader: +1 to rear
Balance: 0
Sub +2 or +3 ( choose to your taste)
Surround: +6
Console Removal Procedure :
Tools you’ll need :
Use special tools (as shown in images). Tools from Amazon. They are made out of a very strong, smooth
plastic. They were very highly rated by most buyers and many shop owners claim to use them. I think I paid
under $20 for the set of 5 tools.
Various Interior Trim Options
This following shows the various part numbers needed for the various wood, metal and stone trim options on the
Mercedes SL (R230).
NOTE : 1) There are only 3 wood trim pieces in the SL (one on each door and one on the centre console).
There are 5 variants of the centre console :
MY2002 (launch) up to MY2004, i.e. chassis # 089503 - for cars with the older stereo where the wood
goes all the way around the stereo.
From MY2005 onward - this wood trim stops just below the stereo.
The SL63 is similar to MY2005 onward, except the switch pack around the gearstick changed.
MY2009 onward version (but not in all cases) - not clear as to what the exact changes are.
SL Black series is again different (but this may just be because it has a AMG logo on the ashtray).
Aluminium AMG etched trim - (AMG Option H70) :
As per original SL55. Standard on SL55 up to somewhere in MY2005. Option code is H70 for other engines / later
Poplar Trim (Option Code 729) :
Burled Walnut Root trim (Option code 731) :
The picture above seems a bit light, but it is much darker than the Chestnut Trim (option 733) shown below.
Chestnut Trim (Option code 733) :
Re-setting windows
Problems with windows not closing properly or dropping back down after sealing, follow these steps :
Sit in the car with engine running and all doors closed
Starting with the drivers window, take it all the way down with the switch
When its fully down, cycle the switch down, a couple of times (you will hear the relay click out)
Then take the window up with the switch (do not use “one shot”)
Cycle the switch at the top (meaning pull up, release, pull up, hold for a couple of seconds and release again)
Still sitting in drivers seat (using master switches) repeat for the passenger door and then each rear window in
You may have to do the rear more than twice (make sure your seals are not grabbing or have come adrift)
Electrics - DIY Advice and Part Sources
Garage Trickle Charger
Batteries need to be maintained with a battery tender if the vehicle is going to sit for more than a few days. MercedesBenz, Porsche, Bentley and others, sell this CTEK identical tender kit (except with their own label), and charge over
$300 (locally purchased for around $70) :
Solution, is to use a CTEK trickle charger, with “quick disconnect”, plugged in every time car put into the garage. Make
sure you have to step over the charger cable each time you go to the car, or else you may drive away with the trickle
charger still connected (you can pay around $400 from Aston Martin for a CTEK with AM label) :
Cars such as Aston Martin use a three pin socket in boot/trunk, so you buy the three pin male XLR audio connector
from any radio shack place in the high street for about $5 and solder it on to the CTEK cable. It’s only two pins to
solder (1 and 3, but you will need to get the polarity right - pin 1 is +ve?). Example :
p r o f e s s i o n a l - q u a l i t y - 3 - p i n - x l r - c o n n e c t o r s - i n - l i n e - 2 1 9 9 0 3 ?
Connector Cleaner and Protectant
Use Stabilant-22 (an electrical connector cleaner and protector).
Electrical Fault Finding - Theory
3 tangible items are important to remember when testing for electrical faults :
power source - battery, alternator, plus side, power side, hot or positive.
load device - any component that uses up voltage or has resistance to electrons flowing through a wire i.e.
motors, relays, lights, solenoids, coils, spark plugs, or ECUs.
ground return - provides a route for electrons (electricity) to flow back to the battery after use by a load device
i.e. wires, metal body panels, engine block, transmission or vehicle frame.
All are necessary and must be present in a circuit in order for it to operate.
The power source, load device and ground return are physical objects, but in addition, there are basic 3 intangible
properties of a 12 volt DC system :
Voltage (Volts) - think of electrical pressure.
Amperage Amps) - think of the amount of electricity used.
Resistance (Ohms) - think of the restriction on the flow of electrons through the circuit.
Equations :
Volts = Amps * Ohms
Ohms = Volts / Amps
Amps = Volts / Ohms
Watts = Amps * Volts
Amps = Watts / Volts
Series Circuit Rules
All available voltage in a series circuit will be used up by the load.
When more than one load device is present in a series circuit, the individual resistance of each load device,
divides the available voltage, thus adding to the total resistance of the entire circuit.
Amperage is the same at all points throughout a series circuit.
Parallel Circuits
Nearly all circuits designed for cars are parallel circuits, and fortunately the rules are basically the same as for series
circuits, with two exceptions :
Voltage will be equal everywhere on the positive side of the circuit and will not be divided between load devices.
Each additional load device lowers the total overall resistance of the circuit and increases amperage.
Copper Wire Gauge Chart
When the wire gage is decreased by 3 gage numbers, its cross sectional area is doubled and its resistance is cut in
Wire Testing
The copper strands that make up a length of wire can sometime be the source of a voltage drop. Don’t try to find with
your ohmmeter, but keep the wire plugged into the load, and voltage drop test the entire length of wire :
1. Set the voltmeter to read millivolts or on the lowest volt scale.
2. Put the voltmeter positive lead on the end of the wire closest to the battery.
3. Put the voltmeter negative lead on the other end of the wire.
4. Operate the circuit.
5. If the voltage drop is more than .100V (100mV), the wire, or connections are bad.
6. If excessive, remove the wire at both ends and clean the connections, retest.
7. If still excessive, replace the wire.
Wiring Colour Translation for Italian Cars
Find and Fix Short Circuits Faster (old headlight trick)
Fuse-popping shorts in electrical circuits can be hard to locate.
Home-Made “Short Circuit” Tester
Grab a single filament sealed beam headlight unit
Attach a couple of old coiled meter leads to the headlight terminals (a length of heat shrinkable tubing at one
terminal prevents a short circuit at the sealed beam electrical connections)
Install wire ends the same size as the fuse blades at the other end of the test leads
Add an inline fuse holder on the red wire (just to play it safe)
Add wire ends on the opposite ends from the headlight unit, making sure they will slide easily but snugly into the
vehicle fuse receptacles
The procedure to find a short is simple and effective :
Remove the burned fuse.
Plug the sealed beam leads into the fuse terminals in place of a new fuse.
Turn the circuit on and start looking for your short.
If normal load (in this case a bulb) is off, and the fuse is blown, installing another fuse would cause it to blow again. We
need some way to keep the circuit live while we test, and provide immediate feedback while we eliminate the short.
This is where this DIY tester comes in handy.
When you connect the headlight tester, if the short in the circuit is still present, the headlight will illuminate, telling you
that there is a short to ground on the feed side of the circuit in the wire between the fuse and the normal load (one
terminal at the fuse box supplies voltage, while the short provides ground).
This is a big diagnostic plus, since the circuit is live, and stays live as we start tracking the short, by wiggling wires and
wire harnesses. We'll know we've isolated or eliminated the short when the load starts working again. We are putting
the short to work, helping us locate the problem. The sealed beam lights because of the short. As soon as we
eliminate the short, the small bulb illuminates and the sealed beam will dim or even go out.
Bad Grounding (always check for this before Voltage Drop)
Because ground circuit voltage drop can cause most electrical symptoms, test grounds first :
Connect your DMM between the engine and negative battery terminal
Safely disarm the ignition (on some distributorless ignition systems, the simplest way to prevent the engine from
starting during the ground test is to pull the fuel pump fuse)
Crank the engine for a few seconds.
If the voltage drop is excessive, repair the engine ground circuit and retest.
Next, connect the DMM between the negative battery terminal and the vehicle’s firewall.
Then start the engine and switch on all the major electrical accessories.
Too much voltage drop? Then fix the body ground and retest.
Because computer circuits operate on such low current, the standard ground tests may not reveal a marginal ground
on an on-board computer. Before you condemn any on-board computer, check its grounds first. Operate the computer
system and back-probe each computer ground terminal. If you measure anything greater than 0.10 V, trace that
ground circuit and locate the problem.
Sometimes, computer grounds are connected to a spot where they are easily disturbed or prone to corrosion, such as
a thermo- stat-housing bolt. Computer connector terminals also can corrode. Removing the connector and spraying
the terminals with electrical cleaner may be all it takes to eliminate the voltage drop. Experience shows that as little as
0.30 V on a computer ground terminal can cause trouble. Try pinpointing that with a test light.
Keep your eyes peeled for missing body grounds (if someone else worked on the vehicle, he may have forgotten to
reconnect body ground wires or cables). Remember that when the body ground is restricted, current tries to find
another route back to the battery. Under periods of heavy current flow, a restricted body ground may hamper or shut
off a component. For example, turn signals have been known to stop blinking when the driver steps on the brake
pedal. Testing confirmed that a restricted body ground choked off the turn signals. The ground could not handle current
from the turn signals and brake lights at the same time.
Overview of Relays
Here's a diagram of a Bosch relay. They come in many types, and are used in quite a few different vehicles.
When power is applied across the 85 and 86 terminals, current flows through a coil of small wire. This wire is about
100' long, and is usually 28 gauge wire. This builds up a magnetic field in the bar it's wrapped around, and the steel
plate snaps to it. When the power is off, the spring pulls the plate back away from the magnet bar. The "click" is the
plate slamming into the magnet as it turns on. It doesn't "click" when turned off, because the plate swings away from
the magnet without hitting anything.
Note: When the power is applied, the coil sets up a magnetic field in it's windings. When the power is removed, the
field collapses, and a reverse current of high voltage will "kick back" This is called counter EMF, and is how your
ignition coil works (if your fingers are across the coil terminals when the power is removed, you will get a shock).
Below are a couple of circuits to help understand how the relay works in real life. Relays are used to transfer high
current. A Lot of vehicles make use of the ground-to-turn-on circuit. If one if the relay coil terminals have battery power
all the time, the ground-on circuit is how it's wired. Most horn relays are wired in the ground-on method. The steering
wheel contact touches ground and turns on the horn. The horn relay is used because the 15-20 amps from the horn
would arc and quickly destroy the contacts in the steering wheel.
Relays Explained in Detail
Relays are used throughout the automobile. Relays which come in assorted sizes, ratings, and applications, are used
as remote control switches. A typical vehicle can have 20 relays or more.
Relays are located throughout the entire vehicle. Relay blocks, both large and small, are located in the engine
compartment; behind the left or right kick panels, or under the dash are common locations. Relays are often grouped
together or with other components like fuses or placed by themselves. Relays are remote control electrical switches
that are controlled by another switch, such as a horn switch or a computer as in a power train control module. Relays
allow a small current flow circuit to control a higher current circuit. Several designs of relays are in use today, 3-pin, 4pin, 5-pin, and 6-pin, single switch or dual switches.
All relays operate using the same basic principle. Our example will use a commonly used 4 - pin relay. Relays have
two circuits: A control circuit (1 to 3) and a load circuit (2 to 4). The control circuit has a small control coil while the load
circuit has a switch. The coil controls the operation of the switch.
Current flowing through the control circuit coil (pins 1 and 3) creates a small magnetic field which causes the switch to
close, pins 2 and 4. The switch, which is part of the load circuit, is used to control an electrical circuit that may connect
to it. Current now flows through pins 2 and 4, when the relay is energised (below left).
When current stops flowing through the control circuit (above right), pins 1 and 3, the relay becomes de-energised.
Without the magnetic field, the switch opens and current is prevented from flowing through pins 2 and 4. The relay is
now OFF.
“Normally Open” relays (above) are the most common in vehicle applications. However, relay variations include three
and five pin relays :
3-PIN relay instead of two B+ input sources, has one B+ input at pin 1. Current splits inside the relay, supplying
power to both the control and load circuits.
A 5-PIN relay has a single control circuit, but two separate current paths for the switch :
When the relay is de-energised or OFF, with no current through the control coil (pins 4 and 5 have
When the relay is energised or ON, with current flowing through the control coil (pins 3 and 5 have
3 - PIN
4 - PIN
5 - PIN
Below are two popular standard MINI ISO relay configurations. The size of a ISO Standard MINI relay is a 1" square
cube. Both 4 and 5 pins designs are used.
Circuit Identification
Relays are easy to test but often misunderstood. Using a 4 pin relay for our example, we must first identify the pins.
Some manufacturers place a diagram and pin ID on the outside of the relay case to show which pins are part of the
control circuit and which pins are part of the load circuit.
If the relay is not labeled, use an ohmmeter and check to see which pins are connected to each other :
You should typically find an ohm value of approximately 50 to 120 ohms between two of the pins (the control
circuit). If the coil is less that 50 ohms it could be suspect.
The remaining two pins should read OL (infinite) if it's a normally open relay, or 0 ohms (continuity) if it's a
normally closed relay. If the readings are correct, proceed to the next test.
Note: If none of the relay pins showed a coil value and all pins show OL or 0 ohms, the control coil is damaged and
should be replaced.
Practical Testing
Once the pins have been identified, energise the control circuit by supplying B+ to pin 1 and a ground to pin 3. A faint
"click" will be heard; although this "click" means the switch has moved (closed), it does not mean the relay is good.
The load circuit switch contacts could still be faulty (high resistance), and further testing is required. A common mistake
technicians make is they hear a "click" and assume the relay is good. Take the extra step and verify operation.
Operational Check With Test Light
Now start the second part of the test :
Energise the relay (control side) by supplying B+ to pin 1 and a ground to pin 3 (a click should be heard).
With the relay still energised, supply B+ pin 2 of the load circuit (the test light will be on).
De-Energise (remove B+) the control circuit at pin 1 (the test light at pin 4 should go off).
A test light is preferred because a test light will draw current through the switch.
Operational Check With Multimeter
The following steps can be used to perform the testing of the relay using a multimeter :
Keep the multimeter in the continuity check mode.
Check for continuity between the N/C contacts and pole.
Check for discontinuity between N/O contacts and the pole.
Now energise the relay using the rated voltage (for example use a 9V battery for energising a 9V relay, and the
relay will engage with clicking sound).
Now check for continuity between N/O contacts and pole.
Also check for discontinuity between N/C contacts and pole.
As a final test, measure the resistance of the relay coil using a multimeter and check whether it is matching to
the value stated by the manufacturer.
Voltage Drop Testing Explained
Symptoms of voltage drop
Often confusing and contradictory, electrical voltage drop symptoms vary according to the circuit’s job and the severity
of the voltage drop :
inoperative electrical parts
sluggish, lazy electrical devices
erratic, intermittent devices
devices that work sluggishly or erratically during periods of high electrical loads
excessive radio interference or noises in the radio
damaged throttle or transmission cables or linkage
repeated throttle or transmission cable failures
damaged drivetrain parts
engine or transmission performance complaints
no-starts or hard starts
high sensor or computer voltages
erratic engine or transmission computer performance
false trouble codes in the memory of any on-board computer
premature or repeated A/C compressor clutch failure.
This symptom list brings up several points :
1. Visual inspections miss most cases of electrical voltage drop. You usually can’t see the corrosion inside a
connection or the damaged wire that is causing the problem.
2. Ground-side voltage drop, a commonly overlooked cause of electrical trouble, can cause most of these symptoms.
Any circuit or component is only as good as its ground.
3. The more sophisticated electrical systems become, the more important their grounds are. The number of electrical
components has increased exponentially and most do not have separate ground wires. Instead, these devices are
grounded to the engine or body. Rust, grease, vibration and/or careless repairs often restrict the circuit from the
engine/body back to the battery.
4. Many components such as engine sensors share a common ground. Therefore, a bad ground complicates
diagnosis because it affects several components at once.
5. Some shop manuals and diagnostic charts or fault trees recommend checking grounds last. In reality, it is much
quicker to check ground circuits before you climb that fault tree.
6. It’s quicker and smarter to routinely check a circuit’s voltage drop than it is to memorise long lists of symptoms. If
experience has taught us nothing else, it’s that chasing symptoms is no substitute for routine and thorough volt- age
drop testing.
The presence of a bad connection (bulb) adds resistance, lowering the available voltage and amperage necessary for
the intended load devices (headlight or taillight) to operate. Replacing a headlight, taillight, or battery will not solve this
problem. The only way to repair this is to find the bad connection.
The trick is to find the bad connection without unravelling the wiring harness or removing parts. This is the done by
"Voltage Drop Testing".
Voltage Drops-Good or Bad?
Voltage drop tests are usually performed to test loads and locate circuit problems. As a result, we may have a
tendency to think of voltage drops as bad things. But voltage drops can be good or bad; it all depends on where they
occur in the circuit, and whether they operate loads, or simply waste energy.
Good voltage drops are essential. Loads won’t work without them. Available voltage must be dropped across
the load, or it cannot work. Bad voltage drops allow available voltage to be “dropped” at a high resistance elsewhere in the circuit; this
steals electrical energy from the load. A bad voltage drop in a circuit converts electrical energy into heat.
Unwanted resistance in the circuit reduces the amount of electrical energy delivered to the load.
Causes of unwanted resistance include: loose connections; corroded connections; broken wire strands; pitted relay
contacts; and other physical damage that resists current.
Diagnosing Voltage Drop (Locating the Bad Spot)
One of the most rampant electrical maladies showing up in automotive service bays today is the phenomenon known
as voltage drop. Left unchecked, voltage drop causes countless unsolved electrical mysteries, especially when it
infects the ground side of a circuit. It can also trick you into replacing parts that are not bad. The more connections and
wiring a vehicle has, the more vulnerable the electrical system is to voltage drop.
To contain electrical voltage drop, practice safe electrical service. This means measuring voltage drop before reaching
any conclusions. “Voltage dropping” a circuit will tell you when the circuit is too restricted to operate a component
(motor, relay, light bulb, etc.) or operate it correctly. If the circuit is restricted, repair it and retest. If there is no
restriction and the component still does not run or run correctly, then replace the component.
In a good circuit :
Around 12 volts should always present anywhere between power source and the load.
Around 0 volts should only show anywhere between the load and the ground return.
Poor electrical connections are the most common cause of electrical problems. "Voltage Drop Testing" is a simple way
to test for bad connections, switches, components, cables, wires, terminals, or relays, It measures resistance within a
circuit using a voltmeter (not an ohmmeter, as it can only tell you continuity, and not quality of connection). The major
advantage is that nothing needs be disconnected in order to perform the test. Remember, the circuit needs to be
tested dynamically, with current running through the circuit being tested.
If a minimal drop in voltage of 0.1 volts at the connector, this indicates there is no excessive resistance to current flow,
and thus the connector is good.
However, if the voltage measured across the switch is 0.4 volts, there is a problem with the switch, and it is causing
the light bulb to dim.
Simply cleaning the switch terminals and/or replacing the switch, will lower its resistance and increase the voltage
going to the bulb, thereby making it brighter. This method of moving the voltmeter test leads along them to locate the
point of high resistance will work on any circuit. The entire length of both positive and negative sides of the circuit can
be checked without disconnecting any wires or connectors.
Basics of Voltage Drop Testing
We can test available voltage with the load turned off, but available voltage will not tell us if the load will work in the
circuit, so we need to turn it on and then test it, as we can only measure voltage drops when there is current.
Step 1 — Test at the Load
Set your meter to measure volts DC
Connect your test leads directly across the load and turn it on.
Take your reading.
Ideally, the voltage drop across the load should be the same as (or close to) the voltage available at the load.
If this is the case, the voltage drop is a good one.
If voltage drop across the load is a lot lower than available voltage, then the load won’t work properly, because
there is a voltage drop in the circuit somewhere denying the load the power it needs.
It isn’t always practical to test right at the load, as you may not always have direct access to the load. For example,
you cannot connect your meter leads across the terminals of an in-tank fuel pump.
Step 2 — Test the Circuit
To test the circuit for voltage drops, connect your meter leads to two points in the circuit that have the same polarity.
For example :
Connect one meter lead to a battery post and the other lead to the battery cable end (see illustration below).
Connect your meter lead between the positive battery post and the hot side of a fuel injector. Then turn the
circuit on and read the voltage.
Any voltage displayed on the meter indicates a voltage drop, and tells us exactly how much of the available voltage
never reaches the load. Assuming the meter leads are good, lower readings are better.
Know Your Circuit (any rheostats or ballast resistors, etc.?)
We need to offer a word or two of caution here. In some vehicle circuits, a resistor is intentionally inserted to reduce
voltage and current available to the load. Examples include the rheostat that dims the dashboard lights, ballast
resistors in some fuel injector circuits, and motor resistors used to limit blower fan and electric fuel pump speeds. Be
sure you identify an “intentional” voltage drop by checking circuit construction in a wiring diagram.
Voltage Drop Testing Good Values (to be expected)
Close to the following values, should show for good circuits. Use as a rough reference while testing "Maximum Voltage
Drop" :
Starter Circuit
Positive side small starter(4-cyl) = 0.3 volts; larger starter(8-cyl) = 0.5 volts
Negative side 0.4 volts
Starter Solenoid 0.2 volts
Battery Terminals 0.2 volts
Starter circuit (including starter solenoid)
Battery post to battery terminal end
Battery main cable (measured end to end)
Starter solenoid
Negative main cable to engine block
Negative battery post to starter metal frame
Battery positive post to alternator b+ stud
Battery negative post to alternator metal frame
Charging Circuits
0.60 volt
0.0 volts
0.20 volt
0.20 volt
0.20 volt
0.5 volt (all accessories turned on)
0.20 volt
Positive side - alternator charging at 40 amps = 0.3 volts
Positive side - alternator charging at 100 amps = 0.7 volts
Negative side - 0.4 volts
Accessory Circuits (Headlights, Brake Lights, Taillights, etc)
Positive side - 0.2 volts
Negative side - 0.2 volts
ECU Circuits (Ignition Modules, Fuel Injection Sensors, etc). Note : Computer circuits are low amperage.
Positive side - 0.1 volts
Negative side - 0.06 volts (Very sensitive to loss of voltage)
Starting Problems
Make sure your battery is in excellent shape without any corrosion on the terminals.
Rule out an ignition switch problem by direct shorting of solenoid, to get the starter to crank, thus bypassing the
key switch.Now you have narrowed down the problem to the solenoid or the key switch or wires in between or
the battery and its wires.
If the battery is weak, and you have corrosion on wires, weak contacts and high resistance in the key switch,
you get the primary coil juice to the solenoid to click, but not enough to make a complete circuit for the
secondary big current that shorts the solenoid and makes the whole this work by completing the circuit through
the starter.
If the solenoid is bad or overheated, the body of the solenoid expands and can change the bore diameter such
that the centre core that completes the solenoid circuit does not move freely, i.e. it clicks but no complete circuit.
Use a good remote battery, and wire one lead to the solenoid terminal that goes to the key switch and attempt to
trigger the solenoid directly with the loose wire on the other side of the battery.
If this works, you are not getting enough juice to the solenoid, which means your solenoid works, but not your
key switch or battery.
If you are hearing a "big click" coming from the engine compartment that is most likely your solenoid. The
solenoid is engaging but the starter is not turning. (The solenoid acts a both as both a relay to switch your
battery voltage to your starter which takes very high current, and as a mechanical plunger to engage the starter
gear to the flywheel of the engine.) There is nothing in series electrically, temp switch etc., between the solenoid
and the starter.
If the solenoid is making the "big click" then either, the starter is not receiving any or not enough battery voltage
to turn, or the starter has an intermittent open circuit.
You should be able to regularly leave your car sitting for longer than 3 weeks, without having the battery go flat,
but for added security, use a small automatic battery charger and mounting it inside the car by the battery and
plug it in when garaged to provide a maintenance charge on the battery. Investigate the condition of your
battery/charging system/electrical, if the battery drains at rest. Italian cars with front batteries and rear engines, tend to suffer a lot of starter problems (that big cable that is
connected to your (+) pos. battery terminal goes directly to your solenoid, and the longer the cable, the more
voltage loss).
If your are jump-starting from another car, connect the (-) neg. cable going to the good battery directly to the
engine block, or if you have charged your battery, connect a jumper cable from the engine block directly to the
(-) neg. battery terminal.
If it starts, the ground strap going to the engine, is either damaged, corroded or missing (this is an non-insulated
flat mesh attached somewhere on the engine block to the chassis). Remove it, clean it up or replace it,
reinstalling, making sure all contacts are absolutely clean.
If it doesn't start, check that the solenoid is switching voltage to the starter (it must be done with a fully charged
The solenoid is the short cylinder attached to the back of the starter, with two bolts on the back and wires
attached (top one has the large diameter battery cable and a wire to the alternator, the other bolt has a cable or
flat mesh which goes inside the starter).
Duplicate what should be occurring in the solenoid, by using a couple of screwdrivers, to short these two bolts
together (careful not to touch any other metal on the car) and causing a direct ground to the battery. The starter
motor will spin, but will not turn the engine since the solenoid has not engaged the starter motor to the flywheel
(you will probably create lots of sparks due to the high current but it is still a safe 12VDC).
If starter spins, your solenoid is not transferring enough voltage to the stater (bad or corroded contacts inside or
outside the solenoid).
If starter doesn't spin, you have a bad starter.
Batteries (2)
Starter Battery (front) - replacement only available from MB dealer (around $200)
Systems/Accessory/Consumers Battery (rear) - replacement alternatives other than MB dealer
Front - 12V 35Ah 315A
Rear - 12V 70Ah 450A
Dimensions :
Length - ? mm
Height - ? mm
Width - ? mm
SL55 AMG - Batteries & Charging Overview
NOTE 1 :
discharging a battery to a point too low will damage the battery.
NOTE 2 :
SL55 AMG dual battery systems are separate (according to the wiring diagrams). You require to
charge both separately (i checked that the starter voltage does not rise while charging the
system/consumers battery).
NOTE 3 :
when “jump-starting” only use front battery (never use rear one).
There are two batteries in the SL55 (front - starter battery only; rear - system/consumers battery used for everything
The starter battery is dedicated to starting the car, so depletes quite slowly and seldom requires recharging. However,
the systems/accessory/consumers battery requires more frequent charging, as it continues to draw down while
standing, depleting rather quickly (about 0.14 volts per day).
It appears that Mercedes-Benz split and separated the batteries, as so many people store their cars for long periods,
which would have rapidly depleted the starting battery (lots of electronics in the car). These two batteries are
connected through a battery control module, which regulates the charging and discharging of the two batteries, as well
as handling load management. The battery control module measures the load capacity of the main battery, actual
current flow to loads, and can take active measures to stabilise the electrical system. These measures include
increasing idle speed, connecting the auxiliary battery to the system via a relay. or shutting off nonessential consumers
through the CAN Bus. This means that, under certain electrical conditions, some electrical features may not work,
while at other times they function normally".
If the car is used daily, then there are no no problems, but if car left sitting for a few days or more, the system/
consumers battery will be depleted with everything “off-line”, until it is driven a few miles, to recharge system. Note,
main starter battery (up front) holds its charge well (as it’s only for engine starting, and quickly replaces any lost
charge, as soon as it’s running).
Starter Battery
System/Consumers Battery
Headlight Bulbs
SL55 - Interior Light Bulbs Replacement
Time to complete the job:
Map light:
Glove box:
Door light:
Foot rest:
Map light:
Parts Needed:
1) Bulb size 6418 -5 bulbs. 1-Glove box, 2-Each side foot rest, 2- Each Door.
2) Bulb size 2825(AKA wedge bulb) - 2 For the map light.
Tools needed:
1) Panel removal tool
2) Small Flat head screwdriver
The Map light has to be completely removed in order to replace the two bulbs inside, size T10.
Start by unclipping the two tabs that are placed towards the rear of the vehicle. You can start by using the panel
removal tool to help pry the map light open a bit then slide the small flat head screw driver in to unclip the tabs.
Then unclip the two side tabs, one on each side of the map light.
End result.
Twist of the two bulbs and replace.
SL55 Glove Box Light :
The glove box light has to be pried open by sliding a flat head screwdriver or panel removal tool from the top, the light
is held in place by the back wiring assembly. Glove box bulb, size 6418.
Door courtesy light :
Simple, just slide a flat head screwdriver or panel removal tool in and slide the light fixture out. Bulb size 6418.
Foot rest light :
This light can be opened with a small flathead screwdriver. Bulb size 6418.
Fuses & Relays
Fuses 1-27 (left side engine compartment)
Fuses 28-49 (right side engine compartment)
Fuses 50-77 (right rear locker behind seat)
Fuse 78 (right side trunk)
Fuse IDs
Relays (left side engine bay)
Disable Intermittent Alarm
The alarm siren (mounted beneath the driver's side fender) can go off intermittently. This is due to its own 2 batteries
going bad. When they go bad, they leak battery acid all over the circuit board, corroding it, and leaving you with alarm
There are two ways to fix :
Fix 1 :
remove left front wheel
remove the rear part of the inner fender liner
reach inside (under the fender) and remove the siren.
I decided to remove it with the bracket (3bolts as it seemed the easiest).
You can buy a replacement for $103 and replace later if required
Fix 2 :
In the main fuse box you will see a row of fuses.
removing the 3rd fuse from the left should disable the alarm siren and nothing else
this is a 7.5-amp fuse
Electrical Tap (for Accessories)
Removal & Replacement of the Alternator
Removing & Replacing the Starter
Needs to be completed.................
Active Body Control (ABC)
NOTE : Multi-purpose Grease - NLGI No.2 (Lithium soap base)
Cars With ABC
NOTE : Sometimes wrongly referred to as “Airmatic” (air only system), but ABC is purely a hydraulic system.
CL/S 55//63/65/600
SL 55/65/600
2000-2011 all CL’s (after that, it was an option on the CL550’s)
2003 on (European SL350 and SL65 Black series have coil-overs while ABC was
optional on 2012on SL550s)
Optional on 500/55 cars
ABC Suspension Overview
NOTE : Vehicles with Active Body Control or ABC have several issues to be concerned with.
Active Body Control (ABC), is the Mercedes-Benz brand name used to describe fully active hydraulic 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
One sensor the transverse body acceleration.
At each hydraulic cylinder (4 of), 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 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.
The system also incorporates height adjustable suspension, which in this case lowers the vehicle up to 11 mm
(0.43 in) between the speeds of 60–160 km/h (37–99 mph) for better aerodynamics, fuel consumption, and handling.
The ABC system also raises or lowers the vehicle in response to changing load (i.e. the loading or unloading of
passengers or cargo).
Each vehicle equipped with ABC has an “ABC Sport” button that allows the driver to adjust the suspension range for
different driving style preferences. This feature allows the driver to adjust the suspension to maintain a more level ride
in more demanding driving conditions.
ABC system is a fully active hydraulic system driven by a high pressure pump that also controls power steering.
These systems are prone to leaks and seeps but are overall very reliable with leaks at the pump being
The vehicle level is controlled using inputs from four level sensors and accelerometers.
By routing high pressure fluid, delivered through valve blocks, the system also has nitrogen accumulators for
The valve blocks have valves with metal seats and these can be prone to leaking if the fluid has fine particles of
dirt in it. It may be necessary to flush the system in the event that valves are suspected of leaking or the ride
height changes after shutdown.
This uses several gallons of Pentosin CHF 11S hydraulic fluid. NOTE : These systems are complex and diagnosis and testing should be conducted before commencing any
The ABC struts have quick release connectors, given where they are located corrosion often prevents removal
requiring the corresponding hard lines to be replaced. Never work on these systems when they are pressurised. In
many cases they are self bleeding but several test modes are available for these systems that can be used for
diagnostic purposes as well as insuring bleeding is complete.
The ABC pump keeps the pressure in the struts (should be at about 200 bar or 2900 psi) and valve stops (front and
back) need to make sure that the pressure is maintained. If the valve stops start to leak then the ABC pump has to
work harder to keep the pressure. Any one living in the cold climate would know that your HVAC system has to work
harder when a window or door is ajar. It is kind of similar to that. Valves leak pressure and then ABC pump has to work
harder to keep the pressure up and then it is an endless cycle which eventually takes the toll on the ABC pump. ABC
pump giving out means that your valves are probably faulty too.
Your valves get faulty because the hydraulic fluid eventually gets contaminated. There is a filter, but no filter is perfect
and since we are dealing with high pressure systems, the valves eventually start to leak and then it only stops when
ABC pump gives out.
NOTE : I will not here discuss any more of ABC issues, as it’s better to remove and convert to the European
SL350 or Black Series SL65 coil-over with sway bars suspension.
ABC - Vehicle Height Level Control
Both indicator lights OFF - normal lowest height setting selected
One indicator light ON - mid level setting selected (+0.6” or 15mm)
Both indicator lights ON - top level setting selected (+1.0” or 25mm)
NOTE : Button is on left-side-rear on centre console
Some say that by leaving it set in the top height position, this locks the valves in position, keeps the pressure
up, and also reduces wear and tear on the valves
Others advise that the car should not be stored for over 24 hours in the “2 light”, highest height position setting,
as this can promote strain on the system.
However, the consensus of opinion is that there is no problem raising and lowering as required (in fact the ABC
system continually automatically adjusts the ride height at varying road speeds), as this is not putting extra wear
on the system, and is in fact good for the ABC system.
ABC - Sport Control Button
NOTE : Button is on right-side-rear on centre console
The ABC sport setting does not change the suspension feel/stiffness as far as the dampening rates. It simply changes
the rate at which body roll is countered. The head of Mercedes spring/damper development, has been quoted as
saying about ABC specifications :
Body roll during cornering is reduced by 68% with light off, while with light on in ABC Sport mode, body roll is
reduced by 75%.
In either mode, braking dive and acceleration "squat" is all but eliminated.
Body stabilising time after a rapid swerve is cut by 30%.
Summation :
Indicator light off - softer regular driving option selected
Indicator light on - stiffer sporty driving option selected
ABC - Problems, Solutions & Preventive Maintenance
The things that are weak on the SL55 and will break at around 96,000 km are (in no particular order) :
ABC struts (4)
ABC valve blocks (2)
ABC space-saving tandem pump (was LUK, but now updated to Ixetic) - power steering pump and ABC pump
NOTE : Get new later-style valves, as Mercedes has new and improved valves from around 2007.
The root cause for almost any ABC problem is dirty fluid. Once it’s worn/dirty it acts like liquid sandpaper inside
the ABC system, and starts to kill all those hundreds of elastic gaskets/seal-rings.
the ABC fluid (Pentosin) should be flushed every 3 years/35,000 km, along with a new 3 micron filter change
You can easily check your ABC oil quality using the dipstick from the reservoir (sits next to the fill cover which
contains the white filter). Take a white lint free towel and pat the oil from the dipstick onto it. Clean oil is green,
The system uses about 15-16 litres of Pentosinöl (A00198924003-10, or Pentison CHF 11S). To replace you will
need about 10-12 litres.
Depending on load and driving style, the ABC system should last for 300,000 miles or longer.
The struts, don't go bad that often.
If the tandem pump dies, it lets out small pieces of rubber from the seals which clog up the valve blocks.
These valve block controls are electric BUT any dirt stops them in there tracks.
The problem with the ABC filter is, that it is on the return line, so when the pump fails, the fluid doesn't get
filtered until it actually returns, and the damage to the valve blocks is already done.
Replace your accumulators between 80,000-100,000 miles or about eight years (when the accumulators
start to lose charge and/or the diaphragm starts to breakdown, the hydrostatic shock in the system, is more than
enough to start blowing hoses).
NOTE : the ABC electronics can be removed from the car system by coding (if deleting for coil-overs)
ABC Struts - Now Available From Arnotts in Ontario
Arnott Canada
Georgetown, ON
NOTE : us$628.95 each + $300 refundable core charge (MB strut for comparison - c$2,340)
I have confirmed with Rob Schroeder (Performance Mercedes Parts Manager) that Performance Mercedes will supply
and install ABC struts from Arnotts, as required.
US site: Click here for the US site
To order or ask technical questions :
Toll Free Phone: 1-800-251-8993
Toll Free Fax: 1-800-352-8659
Local Phone: 1-321-868-3016
Local Fax: 1-321-868-3703
Active Body Control (ABC) - Deletion (Coil-Overs and Sway/AntiRoll Bars)
NOTE : this is the way to go. I will discuss various coil-over options with sway/anti-roll bars.
NOTE : DON'T BUY A KIT WITHOUT THE SWAY BARS). Converting a Mercedes Benz ABC Suspension over
to Conventional Suspension without the Sway/Ant-Roll Bars as this is very dangerous and makes you car unstable.
SL350 Test Review “Excerpts” (with coil-overs and sway/anti-roll bars)
Just returned from a test drive of the base SL (V6 SL350). It uses the engine found in cars like our E320, except here,
it is bored out to 3.7-l and horsepower jumps up to 245-hp, torque from 315 Nm (232 lb/ft) to 350 Nm (258 lb/ft).
Mercedes claims a 7.2 0-62 mph time for the SL350. I was expecting this car to be “adequate” in terms of performance
but surprisingly, it offers much more than adequate performance. Performance won’t touch an SL500, but it sure isn’t a
slacker unlike the SL280 and SL320 / 320SL’s of the previous generation R129 SL’s.
The steering was unusually light and gave the impression that it was vague, yet it responded quickly to driver input
and made the big SL handle pretty nicely. I had no trouble taking the car around the “racetrack style” country
roads here where handling is a necessity if you drive especially sporty and fast. Handling felt safe and secure
at all times. There was a little body roll but it didn’t bother me much. I actually felt the heavy weight of the SL
is a plus for keeping the car on road.
The suspension was a fusion between softness and stiffness, more the former. It was easy to tell that the
suspension was tuned for comfort, it still did a good job of providing the basics and so much more for sporty
driving. At the end of the day however, this changes nothing from the fact that all SL’s are cruisers at heart. SL350 up
to SL65 AMG, they’re all biased towards relaxed driving. I can summarize the suspension, handling and steering
qualities all in one word: smooth.
Comparison of Engine and Vehicle Weights
Engine Weights (lb)
Vehicle Weights (lb)
ABC - removed weight (lb)
Coil-Over + Sway Bar Parts (lb)
Vehicle Weight Reduction (lb)
Vehicle Weight with Conversion
SL350 coil-overs, ABC and Black Series coil-overs
NOTE : The SL350 Coil-Overs, are the same as the non-ABC SL500, SL550, and SL600, so fit well to the SL55.
KV Coil-Overs (fitted as standard by MB to SL65 Black Series)
The Black Series SL65 uses an adjustable coil-over suspension (KW Variant3) including front and rear sway/anti-roll
bars, as opposed to the unnatural-feeling Active Body Control (ABC), as used on all other SLs (except the SL350).
However, befitting the serious nature of the Black Series, the suspension is quite stiff.
NOTE : On the Black Series SL65 (with coil-overs), when you do a "quick test" via the dealer Star Diagnosis,
there are current fault codes in control units that say "this fault code can be ignored in Black Series models"
after the DTC.
It therefore appears quite possible, in a similar way, to retrofit coil-overs and sway/anti-roll bars to other SLs. Here is
the KW kit for the R230.
NOTE : There is a KW Variant 3 kit for the Non-ABC SL R230.
Bilstein Kit for SL55 AMG
Bilstein already made damper/shock absorber kit that fits the SL55 (they say its for Non-ABC SL R230, when checking
their German online catalog). However, it appears that the following part numbers are specific for the SL55 and SL63:
Once the whole kit is installed, and you have not forgotten the importance of the TORSION (SWAY) BARS, you can
get Bilstein or KW coil-overs.
Bilstein are more reliable than KW and you have the choice of Bilstein B3 or Bilstein B6 Sport kit for the SL55/63.
Rebuild Master Tech - Coil-Over Replacement Kit for SL55 AMG
02 - 08 Mercedes R230 SL55 AMG Complete OEM Coil-Over Conversion KIT ABC to Coils
Contact or Questions :
Rebuild Master Tech (RMT)
920 SW 2nd PL
Pompano Beach FL 33069
Ph: (954) 934-9000
Appears to be using standard Mercedes-Benz parts from the SL350 (all available through your MB dealer network).
Clearing Warnings :
In Europe, Australia and Japan, the SL350 is sold with these parts as standard. In an an email reply I received from
"Rebuild Master Tech", following installation, you only need a Mercedes Star Das scanner to remove the ABC
option out of the car's computer. No module is necessary.
What is in the Box : •
CO230K KIT (Front and rear OEM shock absorber, coil springs, sway bars, links, P/S Pump)
1 Prepaid return label for old CORES
Cost of the KIT is $2,500.00 plus - if applicable - a refundable U.S CORE DEPOSIT of $1500.00 = $4000.00
Conversion kits are a direct replacements for your vehicle's hydraulic ABC suspension and comes with a Power
Steering Pump and Sway Bars. They require no modification to your vehicle and are OEM designed to "bolt on"
without any welding or cutting. However, professional installation may be required. •
It will take a minimum of 15 hr labour and reprogramming the ABC out of the system, so that no warning lights
come on. You can also drop of you car with “Rebuild Master Tech” in Florida and have them do the work for you (cost us $
$1,500 for labour).
It will take a 14 days till shipping (installation manual - video, is in the works).
The manufacturer's OEM design is not altered. Offered is a hassle free, Lifetime Warranty. “Rebuild Master Tech” is a Bosch Service Centre and have an 18,000 square ft. full Service Repair & Rebuild
Facility for all high-end vehicles.
You have 3 options :
If you are local, you can drop off your car for installation of the KIT (no core charge; only us$1,500 Labour)
Mail in your 4 Strut Cores, 2 Valves & Power Steering Pump ahead (no core charge)
Order a Conversion KIT, which is shipped right out to you. Then you return cores, using box and prepaid
shipping label provided (us$1,500.00 refundable core charge required with order). NOTE : Core charges are
refunded within 14 business days of receipt of core.
SL350 Coil-Over Replacement Kit for SL55 AMG - Described in Detail
An SL350 coil-over conversion with sway/anti-roll bars, will more than power of the SL55 AMG.
Owner Comments :
Well, the car is finally done, what I can say is the following after driving the car for almost 70 Km :
The Coil-Overs make the SL55 handle better
Not much more harsh than the hydraulic ABC (really it feels the same unless you are very sensitive).
Now the SL55 is more perfect for cornering, a more stable supercar.
Finally, a reliable SL.
Sl350 (R230) model years 2003-2008 (engine power increase from 2006 to 2008)
A 230 323 08 00
A 230 321 02 04
A 230 323 00 20
A 230 320 21 11
A 230 320 05 89
A 230 320 06 89
A 211 320 33 89
A 211 323 00 68
A 230 326 09 00
A 230 324 02 04
A 230 326 00 64
A 230 320 05 11
A 211 320 33 89
- front damper/shock absorber strut
- front coil spring
- front lower strut seat/mounting
- front sway/anti-roll/torsion bar
- front sway/anti-roll/torsion bar linkage (left)
- front sway/anti-roll/torsion bar linkage (right)
- front sway/anti-roll/torsion bar rod link stabilizer
- front lower sway/anti-roll/torsion arm ball joint
- rear damper/shock absorber strut
- rear coil spring
- rear strut mount
- rear sway/anti-roll/torsion bar
- rear sway/anti-roll/torsion bar rod link stabilizer
approx. $276 each
approx. $40 pair
approx. $20 each
approx. $250 each
approx. $40 pair
NOTE : in above parts list, it appears that H&R lowering springs were supplied with new struts?
Front Damper/Shock Absorber Strut - A 230 323 08 00
Front Coil Spring - A 230 321 02 04
Front Lower Strut Seat/Mounting - A 230 323 00 20
Front Sway/AntiRoll/Torsion Bar - A 230 320 21 11 (note optional adjustable link #50)
Front Sway/Anti-Roll/Torsion Bar Linkage (Left) - A 230 320 05 89
Front Sway/Anti-Roll/Torsion Bar Linkage (Right) - A 230 320 06 89
Front Sway/Anti-Roll/Torsion Bar Rod Link Stabilizer - A 211 320 33 89 (same as rear)
Front Sway/Anti-Roll/Torsion Bar Arm Ball Joint - A 211 323 00 68
Rear Damper/Shock Absorber Strut - A 230 326 09 00
Rear Coil Spring - A 230 324 02 04
Rear Strut Mount - A 230 326 00 64
Rear Sway/AntiRoll/Torsion Bar - A 230 320 05 11
Rear Sway/Anti-Roll/Torsion Bar Rod Link Stabilizer - A 211 320 33 89 (same as front)
Deleted ABC Components
Brakes - DIY Advice and Part Sources
The SL55 AMG brakes are excellent. They should be convincing, not judder (even when hot) and brake in a very
controllable manner. Brakes are expensive, but on cars like these you should take no chances. Make sure the
servicing work has been done buy a reputable person (if shortcuts are taken, and the brake fluid has not been bled
through, this causes a blockage to form in the brake lines, which could be very dangerous, and resulting in brake line
replacement if you cannot clear the pipes.
The brake system consists of several wear items :
pads (two per wheel)
rotors (one per wheel)
and fluid.
Rotors will warp over time especially under stressful heated conditions. Heat buildup can be exacerbated by not
replacing the pads before they are thin. New rotors are smooth all the way to the edge, while worn rotors will have a lip
at the edge.
Warped rotors create a vibration while braking. In the front this can be felt through the steering wheel. In the rear there
will be a rumbling vibration. Typically the rotor can be machined, or turned, to remove the warping so long as the rotor
thickness remains within spec., but MB dealer will not do this and will only replace with new parts.
Rear pads usually only last 20,000 miles (due to traction control working on the rear brakes)
Front pads last longer at about 30,000 miles
Discs/rotors usually last at least two pad changes if not three or four.
The cost of a brake job (parts and labor), in dealer, if it's just pads is around $250, rotors and pads $750. They are
actually pretty cheap to have done relative to a lot of cars in the same class.
You can do the front brakes on an SL55 for $110/each for the front rotors and $200 for pads.
Note : Low dust pads tend to be more prone to overheating, cause brake disc wear, and judder
Brake pad notes :
Consider renewing the brake pads when less that 1/3 of the friction material remains.
Both front and rear sets have the cutouts for wear sensors, but they are not located in exactly the same location
as the stock pads (not a big deal, as the sensor wire is long enough to reach the different sensor location)
You can reuse the stock shims on the front and put the new shims with the rears (the stock shims are quieter, so
reuse on rear also)
Coat the shims and back of the pads with some Permatex or similar anti-squeal compound.
Dealer replaces the pins, however, the reality is that it is perfectly acceptable to use the pins multiple
times and most people reuse the pins, throughout all pad changes, during the life of the vehicle.
Squealing Brakes (DO NOT fit pads other that OEM AMG dealer pads)
Usually caused by poor aftermarket pads.
For example, a SL55 owner chose Textar pads as he had used them on various cars previously. However, after
installing on the SL55, he noticed that after the first few stops, they squealed very badly, and once mildly warm, they
squealed every time below about 10km/h.
His solution was to revert to standard MB pads. No more squealing.
Front Brake Pads
Used on ?.
L=?mm x H=?mm x T=?mm.
Rear Brake Pads
Used on.
L=?mm x H=?mm x T=?mm.
Front Brake Discs/Rotors
?" x
?mm x ?
Discs cost about $125 each from Auto Parts Warehouse.
Rear Brake Discs/Rotors
?" x ?
?mm x ?
Discs cost about $125 each from Auto Parts Warehouse.
Replacing SL55 AMG Brake Pads
Note : front and rear pads on the SL55 have same changing procedure
You can change your own brakes on the SL (they’re all discs), but you require to first disable the Sensotronic braking
system (SBC), before working on the pads.
Disabling the Sensotronic Braking System
Method 1
Just disconnect the brake module/pump (in the front left of the engine compartment, with SBC on it, and it has all the
brake lines coming out of it). The harness easily unplugs from the SBC unit/pump, and you can start the car, although
the dash will go red and warnings will appear, but when the plug is back in, it will leave no fault codes to be erased :
slide the connector clip up
then pull the harness to the left (your brakes will not explode when you disconnect them)
Method 2
You can also change the brake pads by disconnecting the consumer battery (boot/trunk) and pumping the pedal a few
Front Pad Change Procedure
Disable the SBC (using “Method 1” or “Method 2” above)
MAKE SURE AUX/PARKING BRAKE IS OFF (you will need this to change rear brakes)
Put a large wrap of cotton cloth under the brake master cylinder (to catch any excess brake fluid)
Jack up and remove wheel.
Drive out the two pad retaining pins, using a small drift from the front (keep these and the spring clip safe)
Use a brake piston spreader tool, to push back the pistons in the callipers. It makes brake pad changes much
easier and eliminates the risk of damaging the pistons, seals or rotors.
Be careful to watch the fluid level and made sure the pistons do not extrude (even if the pads are down to a few
millimetres, the fluid level in the reservoir should not rise more than a few millimetres when the pistons are
pushed back)
On one side of the car there will be a sensor from pad to a locator on the hub - remove it.
Draw out the old pads
Remove the anti squeal plates and put them all to one side for now
Clean the pad sliding surfaces inside the calliper with a wire brush
If you have a brake squealing issue, you may want to put some anti-squeal compound (CRC Brake Quiet is
good or one made by Permatex) on the back of the pads before putting them on. Apply and smooth out a small
amount on the backing plates of the pads (only use a little, and let dry for about 10mins. before installing pads
This material will harden up, and conform to the calliper carrier and calliper and prevent brake squealing.
Liberally spread some anti squeal paste on the back and edges of the new pad steel backing plate (do not get
any onto the pad surface) and refit the anti squeal plates
Insert the new pads
If you find that the new pads will not slide in, retrieve the old pads and slide one back in as it was, and using the
other end on as a lever, put it on the other side and again firmly lever back both pistons until they are level with
the calliper allowing the new pad to slide in. Leave it there, and using the old pad you had in place on the other
side, firmly lever back the pistons so the new pad will fit in. BOTH PISTONS MUST BE WOUND BACK
TOGETHER. If you do just one, the other will pop out.
Replace the sensor wire on one of the pads with a new one that will be with the set of new pads
Reinsert the spring plate/clip and retaining pins, and using a small punch, to tap the pins back into place from
the rear, and make sure that each pin 'clicks' into place. (Do not use grease or ant-seize on the pins. Just keep
clean and dry)
Check fluid level and top up if required
Remove the cotton wrapping from the brake master cylinder
Reinstall the wheel
Reconnect the brake module/pump wiring harness by plugging it back in
Start car (you will notice all sorts of red warning lights and messages on the dash, but don't panic)
While car is idling, step on the brake pedal several times to set the pads, while pedal is still depressed, turn the
steering wheel from lock to opposite lock TWICE. After about 30 seconds, all the warning lights and messages
will go away.
Rear Pad Change Procedure
Disable the SBC (using “Method 1” or “Method 2” above)
MAKE SURE AUX/PARKING BRAKE IS OFF (you will need this to change rear brakes)
Put a large wrap of cotton cloth under the brake master cylinder (to catch any excess brake fluid)
Jack up and remove wheel.
Drive out the two pad retaining pins, using a small drift from the front (keep these and the spring clip safe)
Use a brake piston spreader tool, to push back the pistons in the callipers. It makes brake pad changes much
easier and eliminates the risk of damaging the pistons, seals or rotors.
Be careful to watch the fluid level and made sure the pistons do not extrude (even if the pads are down to a few
millimetres, the fluid level in the reservoir should not rise more than a few millimetres when the pistons are
pushed back)
On one side of the car there will be a sensor from pad to a locator on the hub - remove it.
Draw out the old pads
Remove the anti squeal plates and put them all to one side for now
Clean the pad sliding surfaces inside the calliper with a wire brush
As 12 above...
If you have a brake squealing issue, you may want to put some anti-squeal compound (CRC Brake Quiet is
good or one made by Permatex) on the back of the pads before putting them on. Apply and smooth out a small
amount on the backing plates of the pads (only use a little, and let dry for about 10mins. before installing pads
This material will harden up, and conform to the calliper carrier and calliper and prevent brake squealing.
Liberally spread some anti squeal paste on the back and edges of the new pad steel backing plate (do not get
any onto the pad surface) and refit the anti squeal plates
Insert the new pads
If you find that the new pads will not slide in, retrieve the old pads and slide one back in as it was, and using the
other end on as a lever, put it on the other side and again firmly lever back both pistons until they are level with
the calliper allowing the new pad to slide in. Leave it there, and using the old pad you had in place on the other
side, firmly lever back the pistons so the new pad will fit in. BOTH PISTONS MUST BE WOUND BACK
TOGETHER. If you do just one, the other will pop out.
Replace the sensor wire on one of the pads with a new one that will be with the set of new pads
Reinsert the spring plate/clip and retaining pins, and using a small punch, to tap the pins back into place from
the rear, and make sure that each pin 'clicks' into place. (Do not use grease or ant-seize on the pins. Just keep
clean and dry)
Check fluid level and top up if required
Remove the cotton wrapping from the brake master cylinder
Reinstall the wheel
Reconnect the brake module/pump wiring harness by plugging it back in
Start car (you will notice all sorts of red warning lights and messages on the dash, but don't panic)
While car is idling, step on the brake pedal several times to set the pads, while pedal is still depressed, turn the
steering wheel from lock to opposite lock TWICE. After about 30 seconds, all the warning lights and messages
will go away.
Replacing SL55 AMG Disc/Rotors
Front Disc/Rotor Change Procedure
Follow the section for removing brake pads in “Replacing SL55 AMG Brake Pads” above
Get a stand (a large paint can is good) that will fit behind the disc with the top flat just under the calliper (this is
to rest the calliper on after the next step)
Behind the calliper there are two large 21mm bolts, holding it to the hub (these bolts are fitted with Loctite, so
they will be tough to undo, and you will probably have to use a long lever)
Rest the removed calliper on the stand you have ready and move away from the disc/rotor
Remove the small torx head screw holding the disc/rotor to the hub
If you are lucky, the disc/rotor will pull straight off.
If not, persuade it with a judicial blow of a large hammer, and failing that, try this method below (using an
improvised disc/rotor puller, wind the clamps up tight, then strike the disc/rotor on the hub face with a large
hammer, and "BANG": they fall off) :
Fit the new disc/rotor by following the above steps in reverse
Smear a film of copper grease on the hub face before replacing the new disc/rotor
Refit the small torx head screw holding the disc/rotor to the hub
Make sure you use some Loctite on the calliper bolts, and do them up TIGHT
Follow the section for replacing brake pads in “Replacing SL55 Front Brake Pads” above, including plugging in
the SBC, and starting car, etc.
Time involved, was probably 30 minutes per side
Rear Disc/Rotor Change Procedure
One of the reasons the rear disc/rotors are harder to remove, is that the parking brake mechanism is in there (in fact,
an old fashioned drum brake). If it has had considerable use, then the friction material will have made a channel in the
drum which acts as a lock.
Follow the section for removing brake pads in “Replacing SL55 AMG Brake Pads” above
Get a stand (a large paint can is good) that will fit behind the disc with the top flat just under the calliper (this is
to rest the calliper on after the next step)
Behind the calliper there are two large 21mm bolts, holding it to the hub (these bolts are fitted with Loctite, so
they will be tough to undo, and you will probably have to use a long lever)
Rest the removed calliper on the stand you have ready and move away from the disc/rotor
Remove the small torx head screw holding the disc/rotor to the hub
If you are lucky, the disc/rotor will pull straight off.
As 7
Fit the new disc/rotor by following the above steps in reverse
Smear a film of copper grease on the hub face before replacing the new disc/rotor
Refit the small torx head screw holding the disc/rotor to the hub
Make sure you use some Loctite on the calliper bolts, and do them up TIGHT
Follow the section for replacing brake pads in “Replacing SL55 Rear Brake Pads” above, including plugging in
the SBC, and starting car, etc.
Time involved, was probably 30 minutes per side
Brake Fluid
2 pints of DOT4 brake fluid for flush.
Most of the brake system hydraulics will also last a long time with fluid changes every 1-2 years. Many enthusiasts
recommend ATE Super Blue fluid, as well as Speed Bleeders which contain a check valve and replace the stock
bleeder screw. Note that the S4 brakes have a separate bleeder screw for each side of the calliper (a total of eight per
Brake Bleeding Procedures
This is a very important part of the annual servicing and something that some workshops leave out. If the fluid
is not changed at least annually it can solidify in the system and cause untold braking issues. The brake fluid reservoir
is located under an access panel in the scuttle, next to the cabin filter.
Using my Vacuum System :
Make sure all brake bleeding screws are clean.
Check fluid level in Master Cylinder (continue to do this frequently during the bleeding procedure).
Either attach clear tubing on outside of bleed screw or insert correct size tapered adapter inside the centre
cavity of the bleed screw, using a pushing, twisting motion.
Operate the vacuum handle about 8 to 12 times to create a vacuum in the line.
Open the bleed screw slightly (1/4 to ½ turn) to allow fluid to enter the jar.
Air that is bled from the system will appear as large, uneven bubbles in the clear tubing. Continue until no more
bubbles are visible.
Pressurised Bleeding (the BEST brake bleeding solution)
Over the years, I've tried just about everything for brake bleeding, including: someone in the car pumping the pedal,
speed bleeder check valves, Motive pressurised bleeder, vacuum pump, etc. My Indie recommended that I try a
pressure system, and he loaned me his to give it a try. I have to say that it feels almost like cheating - it's so easy. It's
made by Power Probe and it's not very expensive.
Brake master cylinder is on driver side, rear engine compartment
Remove the cover to access.
Each caliper has inner and outer bleed screws (you have to crack each open and bleed both).
Suction the excess old fluid out of the reservoir using a bulb or vacuum pump before adding fresh new fluid.
Usually system requires the pressure bleeder be set to a minimum of 2 bar (two atmospheres, or approximately
30 psi).
During process, make sure you keep a close eye to the reservoir level (don’t push air into system).
If you need to add fluid, just release pressure and refill the reservoir (I've found that if I fill my little catch bottle a
little over 1/2 way at each wheel I can fill it twice without any danger of draining the reservoir).
Screw the pressure tight cap on to the brake fluid reservoir (not SL55 below) :
Hook up to an air compressor (set the regulator for 2 bar or 30 psi).
Then just go wheel-to-wheel and crack open the bleed screws 1/2 turn and collect as much fluid as you like.
Retighten the bleeder and you're done.
Retighten the bleeder and you're done (above not shown on an SL55 AMG).
Note : Going with shop manual, bleed the outer screw on each calliper first, then the inner screw (calliper
furthest away from the reservoir first, working back to the calliper closest to the reservoir), in this order :
1. Left Rear
2. Right Rear
3. Left Front
4. Right Front
Brake Dust
Try using Armour All Wheel Protectant aerosol spray (not wheel cleaner) to keep the brake dust at bay. It's pretty
amazing and you will find less brake dust on the wheels and it's easier to clean off. The key is to thoroughly clean the
wheels first, then thoroughly spray the Wheel Protectant liberally, then let it sit over night. If you miss spots on the
wheel you'll notice brake dust accumulating there. The brake dust seems to bead on the wheel and that's why blowing
it off with compressed air seems to work.
“Get Home” Kit
This kit is carried, in pouch, in front trunk. Consists of the following :
A Copy of this file.
Towing eye hook (screws in to front valance)
Bulbs - Direction indicator - spherical 12v SAE type 1073/32 cp?
Parking and stop rear lights - spherical double filament 12v SAE type 1034-3/32 cp ?
Interior roof lights - cylinder 12v 10w ? Correct style of fuses ( 5, 8 and 16 amp)
Carry set of relays 12v Circuit Tester
Electrical Contact Cleaner (Use Stabilant-22 (an electrical connector cleaner and protector)
Paper Towels
Mario Andretti’s take on four supreme convertibles
He rolls up the long driveway to Andretti Winery, hops out, and surveys the hardware. "Man, look at this. What a way
to start the day." His Indy 500 winner's ring glints in the sun, and the eyes which have softened over the years but can
still cut glass with their gaze dance from one exotic ragtop to another. "Where to begin?"
Mario Andretti has spent 40 years squeezing speed out of anything with wheels. We thought it would be insightful and
more than good fun to draft him into service as an MT test driver for a day. His experience in setting up and shaking
down race cars would be wasted, however, on econosedans or minivans. So serious machinery was a must. And
since it's summertime, why not four fantasy convertibles?
Naturally, said wheels had to get from our Los Angeles offices to Andretti's Napa Valley winery, so several members of
our editorial staff "graciously volunteered" to pilot them up and down scenic and twisty California State Highway 1,
which winds along much of the Pacific seaboard. Why the backroads of Napa and Highway 1 instead of a racetrack?
"That's not the way the buyers of these cars are going to drive them," notes Andretti. "Besides, what would be new
about me doing that?"
The Players
2003 Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG
Mercedes-Benz SLs have always been elegant, luxurious, even sporty transport for two. But with the exception of
those early 300SL gullwings and roadsters, they've seldom been truly exciting. This notion finally has been addressed
in the form of the all-new-for-'03 SL500 (now on sale in the U.S.). We went a step further, convincing Mercedes-Benz
to send us its maximum-strength SL, the AMG-fortified version that comes to market this fall.
The SL55 AMG packs serious heat: a 5.5L supercharged, inter-cooled DOHC V-8, rated at 476 DIN horsepower in
Euro trim (as was our test car). It gets better: The U.S. version will be rated at 493 hp. Its max torque rating, an equally
impressive 516 lb-ft, shows up at just 2650 rpm. The blower is a helical screw-type unit connected to the crankshaft via
a V-belt and an electromagnetic clutch; the latter allows the supercharger to freewheel under light load conditions and
minimises overrun when the throttle is closed. This formidable power-plant is backed by a five-speed automatic
transmission equipped with a bimodal TouchShift function. The driver can choose gears sequentially via the shift lever
or by small up- and downshift paddles mounted on the back side of the steering wheel.
There's technology everywhere you look. The SL features M-B's new electrohydraulic brake system, Sensotronic
Brake Control, Active Body Control (with a Sport mode in AMG trim), and an Electronic Stability Control system. The
already well-crafted SL cockpit gets further upgraded, including exclusive AMG leather and Alcantara upholstery, plus
touches of aluminium trim. There's little required outside, as the SL's shape is a nice piece of work, but AMG adds
subtle body trim, badging, and wider-than-stock 18-in. alloys, and Pirelli PZero Rossos. We remain impressed with the
SL's one-touch retractable hardtop, which includes a power-operated wind blocker and a protective shell in the trunk to
cover your belongings while the top is being raised or lowered. All in, a superb bit of design and engineering.
2002 Ferrari 360
No sentence containing the words "fantasy" and "convertible" would be complete without Ferrari's 360 Spider. This
emotive mid-engine sports car was introduced last year as an expansion of the 360 Modena lineup. It's an aluminium
intensive machine, using light alloys for its body panels, engine, transmission, suspension, and chassis structure. Its
3.6L/394-hp cinquevalvole (five valves per cylinder) V-8 screams to lofty 8500 rpm. Our tester had Ferrari's F1
sequential/ manual six-speed gearbox, plus a snazzy set of newly optional two-piece modular alloy wheels. Any car
that turns its engine into a design element by showing it off through a glass panel on the deck is okay in our book.
2002 Aston Martin Vanquish
Much attention has been given to the Aston Martin Vanquish's selection as James Bond's new ride, but it's not
available in convertible form, Aston still makes the ever-elegant DB7 Vantage Volante. A 414-hp V-12 replaced the
former supercharged inline-six a few years back, and Aston has continued to give the DB7 subtle tweaks over time.
Our car was equipped with a five-speed automatic transmission that, much like the Mercedes, features Drive and
Sport automatic modes, plus the opportunity to shift semi-manually via the lever or buttons mounted on the front
surface of the steering wheel. The Vantage's power top requires manual latching, but is well padded and lined in
Alcantara suede.
2002 BMW Z8
BMW's retro-modern Z8 roadster also a recent Bond machine remains one of our favourite super cars. Like the
Ferrari, it makes extensive use of aluminium, but employs a space frame instead of a monocoque chassis. Beneath its
voluptuous alloy skin resides the underpinnings of an M5, a certain Good Thing. That includes the super-sedan's 5.0L/
394-hp V-8, six-speed manual transmission, suspension, and brakes. A Sport button allows the driver to request
sharper throttle tip-in, while Dynamic Stability and Traction Control are there when required or can be shut off if
desired. The superbly detailed interior is an artful blend of heritage-inspired and modern design cues. The Z8 is handbuilt in small quantities and is a sellout each year.
On The Road
Andretti's hands have a light yet sure grip on the banjo-style steering wheel. His eyes seek the apex yet look through
the corner in preparation for the next. "Fun. Fun fun fun!" is how Mario summarises the BMW Z8. "It's such a refined,
classic front-engine roadster. It's got the power of a muscle-car, but is so much sweeter, much more European." Since
the engine's torque peak comes at 3800 rpm, there's little reason to use every inch of the tach. Andretti doesn't,
shifting at around 5000 revs, letting the torque do the rest.
He likes the handling, too, but asks for even sharper turn in. "They've put some initial understeer into the package, but
it's still very tight, as you'd expect. I do like the fact that, even over bumpy surfaces, the Z8's suspension allows it to
maintain full contact with the road." Andretti's happy with the ride quality, but keeps coming back to the hand-built, M5
V-8. "There are just no holes in the power anywhere, and it's really fun to work it down low. It's `right there' and sounds
awesome." Mario comments little about ergonomics, but adds that the dash isn't exactly "self explanatory. The gauges
are in an unusual place, but I like that, and they're very nice."
Andretti's barely taken his finger off the Aston Martin's starter button, and he's already commenting on the intoxicating
sound of its sport-exhaust-equipped 6.0L V-12. "For me, the sound of this car gets a 10." Later, he says, "This car is
more conventional, not tuned to be an aggressive sports car, but it's still very neutral, very nice." Softish, front anti-roll
bars allow for quick turn in at the expense of some body roll. The Aston doesn't leap off the line, owing to its automatic
transmission's tall gearing and relatively heavy overall weight. "The mid-range torque is impressive," says Mario, "but
the transmission's lazy shifts let it down a bit. I also prefer some sort of paddle shifter on the back of the steering
wheel, as opposed to this car's recessed buttons on the front. You have to fumble around too much to find them."
The farther we get up SR 121, away from Napa itself, the more Andretti begins to hustle the Vantage. "It's subtle, but
once you get the feel for it, you can really get it going." The huge brakes, with their large callipers and drilled/vented
rotors, certainly do the job, but require a lot of pedal effort. Going back to the exhaust note of its smooth V-12, Mario
says he'd "consider the Aston Martin for the sound alone.
"Originally, I didn't like the concept of Ferrari's F1 gearbox," notes the man who's won numerous races in both Ferrari
Formula One and sports cars, "but the more I drive them, the more I'm convinced it's the only way to go. Lower speed
shifts still seem slow to me, but they're really good when you're on it." No wonder: Ferrari claims this generation of the
F1 system can shift gears in 150 milliseconds. In his racing days, Mario could do it in 20. Andretti offers no complaints
about the engine: "Isn't that amazing? 8500 rpm in a street car, so easy to drive, and again what a sound.
"Handling-wise," Andretti continues, "the Ferrari is always in the box. It never really reaches a terminal understeer or
oversteer condition." Most of the sports cars he raced were mid-engine, so it's understandable he'd be immediately
comfortable in the Spider. He also praises the steering's precision feel and feedback and obviously enjoys working the
brakes. "It's just so right there. It invites you to drive it faster and faster and faster." Indeed: Mario not so accidentally
misses our predetermined turnaround location, asking to hit "just one more corner." Okay, if you insist.
At full throttle, the SL55 AMG sounds like the devil gargling methanol. It doesn't whoop like the Aston or wail like the
Ferrari. Peg the pedal, and the Mercedes emits a polished, gutteral growl. Andretti's particularly interested in the SL's
supercharged V-8 and isn't disappointed. "As you can see, I'm smiling. The Mercedes is an awesome piece of tech. I
like the automatic's paddle shifters, to be able to monitor the revs. The acceleration is what you'd expect of 460-plus
Mario's quick to recognise the Mercedes place as a high-speed GT. "It's not nimble like a small sports car; you do feel
the weight and mass. But it's so surefooted and stable. Great steering feel, brakes as good as I've felt." He's also
impressed by the lack of body roll, a sign that the Active Body Control does its job without making the handling feel
Unfortunately, the roads we're on are a little too tight to make the most of the SL55's long legs, as the trans or
supercharger is occasionally caught out of step in quick transitions. On longer stretches, its high-speed stability may
be the best we've ever experienced. "You need Spa or Monza for this car." He would know. The SL styling and interior
also proves to be Andretti's pick of the litter. "Front, side, rear it's modern and classic, with great subtleties in the
design and detail. You can tell everything was really worked on."
This may sound like a cop-out, but there are no winners or losers here only choices influenced by preference.
Aston Martin's customers don't buy these cars based on hard-number performance. Yet considering that the Vantage
is a gran turismo as opposed to a pure sports car, and the only 2+2 of the group, it has acquitted itself well. It's fast
and handles nicely, yet maintains an appropriately supple ride/handling balance. The warbling 6.0L V-12 is an
outstanding piece and will figure well into Aston's future product plans. The DB7 platform is now nearly 10 years old,
and it's beginning to show. In fact, its replacement is already being developed. Although the Vantage can't match the
whiz-bang technology and ergonomics in the Mercedes, we appreciate its appeal as an elegant if pricey premiumluxury convertible.
There's nothing not to love about the Z8. It's a classically inspired front-engine roadster that'll accelerate step for step
with the Ferrari, yet mellows to a well-mannered cruiser at 6/10ths. It packs a lion-hearted engine and a worthy, if
slightly conservatively tuned, suspension. The interior would fit well into any museum exhibit on design automotive or
otherwise. A little more-than-expected wind noise with the top up is our main gripe. Anyone who feels that German
cars too often tend toward a lack of emotion needs to drive a BMW Z8.
All these machines are athletes, but the Ferrari 360 Spider is the sprinter among a pack of distance runners. Its
amidship engine placement and lighter weight are just two indicators. The 360's power-plant is the smallest in this
field, yet it accelerated the second quickest, happily wailing its way to redline in every gear. It simply ran away and hid
in any sort of cornering competition. It served up the shortest stopping distance of the group, as well, with minimal dive
and superb brake modulation. The Spider's interior is comfortable and relatively quiet, and we're impressed with the
quality and engineering of its one-touch, self-covering top. Andretti summarises it succinctly: "The Ferrari is the one
here that invites you to attack the road." The 360 Spider isn't your friend or your sister: She's your mistress. And she's
Our expectations of the SL55 AMG were extremely high. Yet, this amazing road-eater exceeded them all. It's a
hyper-powerful, fine-handling GT that embodies liberal amounts of sports and muscle-car. Yes, it's heavy, and
not everyone is philosophically enamoured of so much hardware and technology. But it all works exceedingly
well, keeping the car safe, giving it high limits, and making it feel at least somewhat smaller than it is. Its
exceptional prowess never comes at the expense of ride, comfort, or luxury. The SL55 AMG is truly a super
car you can drive every day: the new king among front-engine luxury/performance roadsters.
Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG
How do you say 'formidable' in German?
This car seems to stir up civilians like few others, and not always in a delighted way. All too often we'd cruise past
some joker only to find him angrily attached to the Benz's rear bumper, somehow offended at being overtaken. We
believe a similar emotion animated the people who divided Marie Antoinette into two unequal portions in 1793, and we
furnish this observation as a public service to potential buyers.
But we were discussing the SL55's power and its increased mass, and in fact the two are directly related. There is, for
example, the weight of the AMG car's supercharger and its air-to-water intercooler, the latter designed with its own
separate supply of fluid. Made by IHI, the belt-driven supercharger is of the Lysholm type, with a Teflon-coated screwstyle impeller delivering boost up to 11.6 psi. Quietly, too. No supercharger whine.
Although this is basically the same SOHC 24-valve aluminium V-8 used in the SL500, there are significant differences.
The hand-assembled AMG version is stroked from 84 millimetres to 92, increasing displacement from 4966cc to 5439,
and the forged aluminium pistons drop the compression ratio from 10.0:1 to 9:0:1, an anti-detonation measure. There
are heavy-duty bearings with cross-bolted mains at the bottom end, plus a new sump and a more powerful oil pump.
Top-end mods include double valve springs, re-profiled cams, and bigger intake and exhaust plumbing.
The supercharged eight feeds its power to a five-speed automatic transmission that incorporates an updated edition of
the Mercedes SpeedShift manumatic. This one offers three modes -- normal, winter, and manual. Its basic function is
essentially the same as Chrysler's AutoStick: Waggle the lever, and you can shift up or down, or operate in full
automatic mode. Unlike AutoStick, the manual mode allows shifting via rocker switches mounted on the backs of the
steering-wheel spokes. And unlike the other modes, selecting manual allows the driver to hold a particular gear right
up to the rev limiter.
Consistent with the law of opposite and equal reactions -- that which goes must stop -- there's also extra mass
associated with the SL55's braking apparatus. The rotors are big enough to double as manhole covers (14.2 by 1.3
inches in front, 13.0 by 0.9 in the rear), vented and cross-drilled at both ends. The diameters are bigger than the
garden-variety SL's, and the fronts are squeezed by eight-piston callipers.
Oddly enough, braking distances failed to match those recorded by the SL500, and by a bunch: 155 feet from 70 mph
for the SL500, 175 for the SL55. Moreover, although we didn't record any brake fade during our testing, we did
encounter a squishy pedal while lapping Road America, even with all the electronic enhancements (Sensotronic Brake
Control) incorporated into this system.
Which brings us to this car's all-around dynamics. Mercedes refers to its "catlike handling reflexes," which is true, if
you envision a cat the size of a Siberian tiger. The key to the SL55's level cornering attitudes is the corporate Active
Body Control electro, mechanical, hydraulic, almost-active suspension, re-calibrated in this application for firmer
responses without compromising ride quality. Although this sophisticated system can't erase weight (it's always there,
always tangible) it manages that weight amazingly well, whether the car is clawing the pavement in a fast sweeper or
unkinking a set of switchbacks. This kind of activity is abetted by the SL55's speed-sensitive rack-and-pinion steering,
which seems to deliver a little more tactile information than the SL500's system, and by the availability of all that torque
for blasting off corners.
As you'd expect, the SL55 is posh-plus inside, with all the hedonistic goodies that distinguish the SL500, which is far
from a torture chamber itself, plus some AMG fillips such as a sport steering wheel, aluminium interior trim, Alcantara
suede atop the instrument binnacle and in the headliner, a superb 10-speaker audio system, silver-face AMG
instruments with red needles, and, the most seductive interior element, deep leather-clad power bucket seats with
serious torso bolsters, for those moments when the owner feels moved to rub up against the limits of adhesion.
Why rare? Check the bottom line. All of which makes this an unlikely toy for young guys prone to red mist. The SL55 is
an executive hot rod for folks with lots of disposable income and Kevlar-clad portfolios.
Buyer’s Guide
There's a lot of love for the venerable Mercedes roadster. One of the best of the breed is the SL55 AMG, so perhaps
now is the time to consider taking the plunge.
The SL55 AMG was the most powerful road car ever built by Mercedes when it was launched in 2002 and, clearly, one
of the best SLs ever. It arrived in the UK in the summer of that year, following on from the R230 SL500 on which it was
based, with 476hp from its 5.4-litre supercharged V8. The £89,040 SL55 covered 0-62mph in 4.7 seconds and had an
electronically capped top speed of 155mph.
There was immediate speculation about the SL55's true top speed from the moment it was launched. To prove the
car's potential, one German car magazine removed the electronic limiter and drove an otherwise standard SL55 to
When Merc brought in its revised styling for the SL in 2008, it took the chance to drop the M113 5.4-litre V8 and
replace it with the M156 6.2-litre V8 to create the SL63. For this guide, we'll stick with the M113-powered SL55 that is
far more plentiful and popular. Even with this popularity, however, early SL55 AMGs are now into the affordable
bracket from around £16,000, which makes them a fine performance bargain.
The SL55 AMG's 5.4-litre V8 may have been based on the SL500's, but very little of the less powerful, nonsupercharged motor remains untouched. For starters, there's the belt-driven screw-style supercharger that sits in the
vee of the engine block. With Teflon-coated aluminium screws, the supercharger can spin at up to 23,000rpm when the
engine is at its limit. This rev limit for the engine is increased to 6,100rpm from the standard SL500's 5,600rpm ceiling.
To cope with this extra power and its associated stresses, AMG engineers adapted the crankcase to use special
transverse screws. The engine also runs with a strengthened block, uprated bearings and pistons with greater
resistance to heat and pressure. Also helping the motor to cope is an improved oil supply system with modified sump
and higher capacity oil pump.
The SL55's engine bore remains the same as the SL500's, but stroke for the AMG was increased from 84.0mm to
92.0mm, giving the 5.4-litre capacity that is 473cc greater than the SL500's. Other changes made by AMG include
cylinder heads with revised intake and exhaust ducts, higher-lift camshafts with longer opening durations and double
springs for the valves.
Mercedes also used the SL55 to introduce fully computer-controlled engine mapping for the first time on its road cars.
Along with the SL55's twin catalytic convertors, it managed carbon dioxide emissions of 340g/km, which were
considered very reasonable in 2002.
Problems with the M113 V8 are very rare as it's a strong engine. Check the oil and coolant fluids are clean to the level,
and make sure all of the visible pipework is in good condition as access around the engine is tight. The charge cooler
for the supercharger sits in the engine's V and uses its own radiator, so have this checked for leaks or corrosion. A
squeaky supercharger can be made quieter by squirting some graphite spray down the head of the supercharger. It's
not a complete fix, but the supercharger is a strong unit and should give no problems, even with an uprated pulley
fitted from established tuners such as Kleemann.
Much more of a worry is the five-speed automatic gearbox, which also came with paddle shifts mounted on the rear
side of the steering wheel. On any test drive, check the gear lever slots from Park into Reverse, Neutral and Drive
cleanly. If there's any hesitation, resistance or it needs to be given a shake to make it work, the plastic peg that
prevents the lever inadvertently being knocked into Reverse without the driver's foot on the brake is about to break. It's
a relatively easy part to replace and there are direct replacements made from aluminium available that cure the fault. A
Mercedes dealer may elect to replace the entire unit, which can add up to £1,500 in components and labour rates. The
gearbox also needs its fluid completely changed every five years.
The rest of the SL55's transmission is very tough, though watch out for cars that have been used on track as the
AMG's weight will give every component a hard time. In normal mixed driving, the SL55 should go 12,000 miles
between services.
"The engine is generally bullet proof and there are owners out there with galactic miles on their cars."
Comfortable ride and clever stability systems, but watch for hydraulic leaks
Mercedes fitted its ABC (Active Body Control) as standard to the SL55 AMG, which allows the car to corner more flatly
yet retain a comfortable ride. It uses hydraulically controlled servos connected to the springs and dampers and did
away with the need for anti-roll bars. This didn't stop AMG's engineers coming up with improved, stronger rear axle
mounts, a beefier steel subframe and better spring links.
Undoubtedly a clever solution, ABC now poses a worry for potential SL55 buyers as the pipework corrodes and lets
fluid leak away. In turn, this lets the ABC's hydraulic pump run dry, which is usually the first component to be blamed
for the system failing. Check the pipes carefully and budget for replacement if there are any signs of corrosion. In
doing so, you may save yourself the cost of a new ABC pump, so check for any signs of fluid leaking underneath the
Another leak to watch out for is from the fuel tank caused by a faulty fuel pump. Again, most will have been replaced
under warranty by Mercedes, but some cars were missed and are spotted by a ticking noise from the tank when it's
less than three-quarters full.
The SL55 was blessed with improved brakes over the standard SL range, gaining eight-piston callipers biting into
360mm vented discs at the front. This set-up almost doubles the front pad face to 220 square centimetres compared to
the SL500. At the back, there are 330mm vented discs and early SL55s came as standard with multi-spoke 18-inch
AMG alloy wheels. Later cars were fitted with 19-inch twin-spoke alloys that are easier to clean and less prone to
You can expect the brake pads to last around 20,000 miles in normal driving, but they do wear more quickly than most
cars'. Discs will also need replacing more frequently than with many other cars of similar performance, but the ESP
and Emergency Brake Assist systems are reliable and hassle-free.
However, the Sensotronic Brake Control (SBC) was subject to two recalls early in the SL55's life. One was for a
software update to the ECU and the other was to check for problems with the brake's hydraulic system. A check of any
SL55's history file should tell if this work has been required and carried out, so don't buy any SL55 without a complete
history record.
Finally, tyre wear should not be any worse than for a comparably quick and powerful rear-wheel-drive car. The front
tyres are 255/40 R18 and 285/35 R18 at the rear for earlier cars.
Svelte styling and that folding metal roof
The SL55 that is part of the R230 generation has a steel monocoque. However, Mercedes made extensive use of
aluminium for many of the body panels to help keep weight down. This means a thorough check of the body for dents
and parking dings is essential as aluminium is trickier and pricier to fix.
The SL55 uses the folding metal Vario-Roof that incorporates aluminium to help reduce weight. While the roof itself is
no cause for concern, the seal between rear windows and body is, which leads on to problems with the roof's electric
motor, the central locking and alarm. When these seals fail, it allows water into the boot where it gathers around the
roof's motor. To make matters worse, Mercedes surrounded the motor with foam to insulate the cabin from noise when
the roof was being operated. The foam acts as a sponge, holding water around the motor and causing it to fail.
When looking at any SL55, lift the boot carpet and feel for damp. Any signs of water are bad news and likely mean
you'll need to replace the electric motor. This is the root of all the stories about the SL's folding roof failing, even
though Mercedes tried to rectify the problem when the car was new. Some cars still suffer from this fault, so inspect
any SL55 carefully.
Mercedes finally cured the leaky roof issue in 2005 with redesigned seals and these may well have been retro-fitted to
an earlier car you're considering. While checking the roof, also listen out for any rattles when the roof is raised. It's not
uncommon for the roof to creak a little, but it can be the sign of poor alignment from the factory or, worse still, crash
Distinguishing features for the SL55 from the outside are the 'Kompressor' badges on either front wing, a deeper front
splitter, side skirts and dual twin tail pipes for the exhaust. All body panels are readily available for any crash repairs.
Plenty of leather and equipment underneath that folding roof
Mercedes didn't stint on luxury when it came to the SL55's cabin. Unique perforated AMG leather covers the sports
seats with extra bolsters for added support, while Alcantara is used on the instrument binnacle and front edge of the
gear lever. There's aluminium trim for the centre console and door trims, and it's also used for the door sill plates with
AMG logos.
The SL55 was offered with three interior options for the leather. They covered black and graphite, alpaca dark grey
and alpaca grey, and black and berry. For the instruments, AMG's unique script is used for the numbers on the main
dials, which have silver faces and red needles, and there are 'AMG' and 'V8 Kompressor' logos on the lower part of the
dials to remind the driver of what's under the bonnet.
From launch, the SL55 came as standard with Mercedes' Audio 30 stereo system, twin front and side airbags, electric
windows and climate control. All of these have proved to be trouble-free and the electrically adjusted leather seats are
hard wearing. However, it's worth tipping the seat backs fully forward to check the well at the rear of the seats for
damp. This is another area where water collects if the rear windows seals are faulty. Also be sure the central locking
and alarm function properly as their controls are in the boot next to the roof's motor that is susceptible to water ingress
from leaky window seals.
Most of the electronics in the SL55 are reliable, but press every button to be sure. The optional Command satellite
navigation may seem outdated now, but it's worth checking it works.
Some of the warning beeps in the SL55 can ping on, but several are over-sensitive, such as the alarm to tell you the
bonnet and boot are open. A good specialist with resolve these issues, and plenty of owners tell us Mercedes dealers
have improved their customer service considerably from the early days of the SL55.
Owner's views
"After many years of driving different cars, I eventually realised for me, and possibly others, the compromises Porsche
and Ferrari make to obtain outstanding lap times at the track do not translate into good cars for the roads we have. So
I thought back to the 55 AMG and realised it did everything you would need in a road car."
"The engine is generally bullet proof and there are owners out there with galactic miles on their cars."
"The comfort is superb in an SL55 AMG. It's a heavy car and doesn't handle quite as sharply as some sports cars, but
the Merc is a great everyday car as it does everything well, so long as you buy a good one from the outset."
"On the inside, it's typically Mercedes: everything is close to hand and the fit and finish and switch quality are superb.
It's a tad Germanic-dull if you have sat in a Ferrari 360 or 430. If you feel the SL is lacking in occasion opt for the
panoramic roof that adds a special touch, but equally I love the Alcantara headlining with matching Alcantara on the
pillars and instrument binnacle."
Get a Service history
A full service history is absolutely essential, and it’s equally important that the car has been looked after by a qualified
specialist. Stamps in the book from Dealer are about as good as it gets. Gaps in the history should sound warning
bells, particularly if they occur at the same time as a change in ownership, and make sure bills for parts match the
recommended schedule (it’s easy to fill the service book with oil changes but never do the more expensive
maintenance jobs).
My Buyer’s Checklist
Car & Seller Info
Seller’s Name
Car Make
Car Model
Asking Price
$ ___________________________________________
Car Info (From Initial Email/Telephone Contact With Seller)
_________________Km __________________Miles
How Long Owned __________________________________________
How Many Owners _________________________________________
Complete Records/Service History? __________________________
Engine Oil Currently? _______________________________________
Where maintained/mechanic _________________________________
Original Colour
Last Paint Job
Interior Colour
Wheel Type/Sizes _________________ Tire sizes _______________
Air Conditioning
Yes / No
Yes / No
Original Engine
Yes / No __________________________________
What special features or options does it have? ___________________
Exterior Condition 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Interior Condition 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Car Fax Report
Yes / No
Car Proof Report Yes / No
May I bring the car to a place for inspection?
Yes / No
Any Accidents?
Yes / No
Emission Test?
Yes / No
Safety Test?
Yes / No
Why Selling
Long Distance - Have Seller Email the Following
Copy of “Used Vehicle Information Package” - From Vehicle Licensing Centre
If dealer get Copy of “Car Proof” & “Car Fax” reports, or if private buy reports
Any "bad" records in the VIN history reports?
Copies of receipts
List of work/repairs done
Check service history for repairs, oil changes, and scheduled maintenance (mileage proof)
List of modifications/upgrades
Pictures - Body from all angles, underneath, engine bay, trunk, interior
If the car has been restored, ask for any pictures taken before, during and after
Follow-Up Questions to Ask Yourself After You’ve Hung Up The Phone
What's your gut reaction? ____________________________
Does this car seem like a possibility?
Yes / No
Current owner seem like he cared for the car?
Yes / No
Why am I interested in buying "this" car? ________________
What is the most willing to pay for this car? $ ____________
What is the least car can be had for? $ _________________
Inspection and Test Drive
Bring :
magnet (not too powerful)
probe or small screwdriver
spark tester
mirror on a telescopic handle
digital camera
a mechanic (if not, make sure to arrange/pay for a pre purchase inspection)
Inspection Tips :
Always inspect/take delivery of the vehicle in the broad daylight; never in the evening/night or in the rain.
A clean piece of cardboard placed under the engine/trans after the test-drive will help show fluid leaks.
Require seller have the vehicle pass all state inspections (safety, emissions) at a mutually agreeable shop (NOT
one of his choosing) before you pay for it. Old (>30 days) inspections are of absolutely no use to you.
A general guide to reading exhaust smoke :
Black smoke = unburned fuel (valves bad or out of adjustment? Carb out of adjustment?)
Blue smoke = burning oil (Accelerating: Piston rings bad? Decelerating: Valve seats/guides bad?)
White smoke = burning coolant! (Bad head gasket? Warped or cracked Head or Block? $$$)
Circle your ratings are as follows :
1. Exterior walk around
Make sure the VIN matches other VIN's on the vehicle and paperwork (original / no alterations)
Does the car stand level?
Visually inspect for rust, repairs, damage, alignment, mismatched paint, overspray (magnet detects filler)
Open and close doors / hood / trunk / tailgate for proper operation
Inspect grill / trim / rubber moulding for bends or splits, dings, missing parts and proper attachment
Inspect the windshield / wipers and side and rear windows for damages, pitting, repairs, wiper marks or cracks
Does the car bounces too much when you push one of the corners down?
Damaged rims?
Do tyres have irregular wear (alignment problem)?
Are wheels and tyres correct size and tyres have good tread depth / pressure?
2. Engine compartment
Any oil, coolant or brake fluid leaks?
Is engine dirty or oily?
Check the oil for water / sludge / clarity / level
Check all fluid levels
Inspect belts for wear and fraying
Check hoses
Inspect wiring
Look for water pump leaks
Any indication of poor repair work / lack of maintenance? (e.g. badly corroded battery terminals, very low oil level, etc.)
3. Start the engine
Check for smoke coming from the exhaust (slight water steam is OK)
Any warning lights stay on or come on while the engine is running?
Is the engine oil pressure too low at idle?
Is the engine idle and rev quality smooth when cold and hot?
Are there any noises (knocking, pinging, whistling, etc)?
Keep it running until the engine is hot, and check for exhaust smoke again
Check oil cap and dipsticks for signs of water. (oil off-colour, brown/grey/white or bubbly)
4. Take the car for a road test.
Listen for engine noise at high / low speeds
Listen for automatic transmission / transaxle noise
Is the automatic transmission shifting smoothly, any delays or trouble shifting?
Does the kick-down function work?
Listen for drive axle and transfer case bearings or gear noise / vibration (humming or growling noises)
Does the engine perform and accelerate properly?
Test the steering for responsiveness / smoothness / free play / pull aside / steering wheel centres
Test brakes for effectiveness / operation / noise / pulling / pedal feel / ABS warning light coming on while driving
Is water temperature and oil pressure normal when hot?
Any vibration between 90kph to 120kph (balance issues) or any humming noise (uneven tire wear)?
Do all lights, switches and gauges operate properly?
Excessive wind noise while driving?
5. Check to make sure all exterior lights are operational.
Head lights, high and low beams
Tail lights
Brake lights
Parking lights
Hazard lights
Reverse lights
Turn signals
License late lights
Fog/Driving lights
Check for cracked or clouded lenses
6. Inspect the interior.
Is the driver seat / steering wheel worn excessively?
Has the odometer any evidences of tampering?
Check the condition of seat upholstery and seat belts for wear / rips / cracks / fading / stains
Are the carpets / door panels / dashboard / headliner in good condition?
Check condition of glovebox, console armrest and door storage
Does the Radio / CD / Navigation work ?
Does the air conditioner provide really cold air?
Does heater / defogger / defroster work?
Does sunroof / electric windows / door mirrors / heated seats / tilt steering work?
Any dampness under the carpets?
7. Inspect the Trunk
Any dampness under the carpet in the trunk?
Inspect trunk for rust (especially below any panels)
Jack, wheel wrench, tool kit all present?
Evaluation Procedure (add up points scored)