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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 - 23 May 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 mans 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' clientle (young,
posers, drug dealers, etc.)

However, having said the aforementioned about the R230s 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 cars 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
NOTE : the SL55 AMG engine is bullet-proof, the only issue (minor) are occasional leaking valve cover
The M113 5.4L supercharged is a supercharged and twin-intercooled version of the 5.4 L (5439 cc) M113 5.4. It is
commonly referred to as "M113K" - where 'K' stands for Kompressor (supercharger). Output varies depending on year
and model. Video of the engine assembly :
My engine Handcrafted by

Florim Avdija, AMG Affalterbach, Germany

Bore x Stroke
Maximum RPM
Firing Order
Compression Ratio
Supercharger Max. Boost
Air Filter Element
Oil Filter
Spark Plugs
Spark Plug Gap

97.00 mm x 92.00 mm
494 bhp @ 6,100 rpm
516 lb/ft @ 2,750 to 4,000 rpm
6,500 rpm
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)

Spark PlugTorque
In-Line Fuel Filter
Cooling System Anti-Freeze

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

NOTE : the transmission is also bullet-proof.
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 SAE85 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

14 V / 180 A
12 V / 1.7 kW
12 V / 35Ah
12 V / 70Ah

Entry & Egress

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 = moreset-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

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 Ill 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 cars 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 dont 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
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 :

Kleeman Specialists
Oakridge Auto Service (Michael Fraculj)
220 Wyecroft rd. #43
Oakville, Ontario
L6K 3B1
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
Niagara Appraisal Services
Wally Clark Enterprises Limited,
P.O. Box 2182,
Niagara Falls,
Ont., L2E 6Z3
(905) 356-4785

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 its 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 its 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) :
After performing the services on your vehicle.

Turn on the ignition to key position 2 (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
Lift off the reset button when above message appears.
Now to confirm, again hold down the reset button until you hear a signal and get message telling you when
next service is due.
Turn key off.

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 vehicles factory jacking location
6)Slowly raise the jack until the Pad contacts the vehicles 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 drivers 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.
Some Mercedes-Benz Owners Comments On Handhelds (i.e Actron or Equus, etc.?) :
Q - Plan to upgrade my scanner (low end version). Saw these two: Actron CP9180 ($139) vs Equus 3160 ($200).

I have the Equus 3100, which does the job. Does some nice readout's too.
The Equus is a better unit. I have the Actron and it just does the basics including real time readouts of the ODB II
compliant sensors and also soome freeze frame ability. The Equus 3160 can actually get into some of the CAN
BUS functions that the Actron can not. Most Wally Marts can get the Equus 3160 with free site-to-store shipping
which makes returning the item a lot easier if you do not like it. The Equus can also diagnose ABS components
that the Actron can not. If I did not have the MB SDS I would get the Equus over the Actron in a heartbeat.
I have the Equus 3140 sold under the Craftsman label. I haven't had any trouble with it. The 3140 works on many
OBD1 vehicles but doesn't do ABS. The 3160 does ABS but not OBD1. I'm not sure why they don't have a model
that does everything. Instead you have to choose between ABS and supporting older vehicles.

Some people say CarSoft, but these days it appears their software has more bugs than the Rain Forest in it.

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)
ME2SFI (Motor Electronics)
ME2.7 (Motor Electronics)
MESFI (Motor Electronics)
MESFI2.8 (Motor Electronics)
ECM (Engine control monolith)
CDI & CDI2 & CDI3 & CDI4 & CDI5 & CDI6 & CDID & CDIV1 (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)
MED177 (Motor Electronics)
SIM271DE20 (Motor Electronics)
SIM271KE20 (Motor Electronics)
SIM271KECNG (MotorElectronics)
SGR (Radar sensors control unit)
CDI60LS (Motor Electronics)
IRSHLA (Outer left rear intelligent radar sensor system)
IRSHRA (Outer right rear intelligent radar sensor system)
HAQ (Interwheel differential lock at rear axle)
MED40 (Motor electronics)
UFPCAMG Comtrol unit 'Fuel pump'
BSA Beltdriven starter/alternator
MED177_M157 (Motor electronics)
VGSNAG2 (Fully Integrated transmission control)
VGSFDKG (Electronic Transmission control for doubleplate clutch transmission)
VGS4NAG2 (Fully Integrated transmission control)
SCR Selective Catalytic Reduction
TC166Transfer case
ME2.7.2 (Motor electronics)
Chassis :
ABS (Antilock 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)
ARSRoll control
ABR (Adaptive Brake)
Body :

AB (Air Bag)
ATA (AntiTheft 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)
SAMFL (Front left signal acquisition and actuation module)
SAMFR (Front right signal acquisition and actuation module)

SAMF (Signal acquisition and actuation module front)

UCP (Upper Control Panel)
HRA (Headlamp Range Adjustment)
HRAFL (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)
AHE (Trailer Recognition)
RST (Roadster SoftTop)
RevETRLF (Left front reversible emergency tensioning retractor)
RevETRRF (Right front reversible emergency tensioning retractor)
CGW(Central gateway)
PSD (Panoramic sliding roof)
Drside SAM (Driver signal acquisition and actuation module)
REAR SAM (Rear signal acquisition and actuation module)
SGFOND (Rear control unit)
WSS (Weight sensing system)
XALWAL (Xenon headlamp,left)
XALWAR (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)
BCGRemote control(Rear control field)
SRS (Supplemental restraint system)
EZS (Electronic ignition lock)
VDSVario 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 (AutoPilot 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:

ESAFL (Electric Seat Adjustment, FrontLeft)
ESAFR (Electric Seat Adjustment, FrontRight)
ESAREAR (Electric Seat Adjustment, Rear)
OSBFL (Orthopedic Seat Backrest, Front Left)
OSBFR (Orthopedic Seat Backrest, Front Right)
OSBREAR (Orthopedic Seat Backrest, Rear)


AMKSLF (Active multicontour seat)
AMKSRF (Active multicontour seat)
DSP (Pneumatic pump for dynamic seat)
ESA 'Front passenger' (Electric seat adjustment 'Front passenger')
ESA 'Driver' (Electric seat Adjustment 'Drive')
MKLHL (Rear left Multicontour backrest)
MKLHR (Rear right multicontour backrest)
DSLF (Left front dynamic seat)
DSRF (Right front dynamic seat)
HS (Seat heater)
ESALR (Left rear electrical seat adjustment)
ESALR (Left rear electrical seat adjustment)
LAE (Loading floor Automatically extendable)
ARWT (Automatic rearend door)
DCMFL (Door control module front left)
DCMFR (Door control module front right)
DCMRL (Door control module rear left)
DCMRR (Door control module rear right)
REDC (Rearend 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)
Buyers Comments :
1) 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.
2) I love this tool because it gives live read out information, however this tool only seem to be for diagnostic
information only as you can not adjust any of the control modules settings besides clearing fault codes. Still not a bad
buy for only $175.
3) I used this tool today to check my mass air flow and temp. sensor readings, which it does live also. So far the i980
has proven itself to be a good diagnostic tool for Mercedes owners who do not want to buy the more expensive Star
system to do light diagnostic work on their cars.
4) First of all I have no affiliation with or any way connected with iCarsoft. After seeing other members from different
forums (BMW, Porsche and Mercedes) mention the i980 and conducting my own research purchased a i980 MultiSystem Scanner (www.icarsoft.us_Professional Auto Diagnostic Scan Tool) $139.94 .
Very reasonable pricing for the advertised features. The scanner is well built, powered through the OBDII connector,
has a very clear, easy to read and bright display, reads DTCs, real time data streams for active systems and more
important RESETS SRS faults. SRS faults can be triggered by simply disconnecting the battery. The i980 provides the

DTCs and possible fault resolutions. The i980 also prompts you prior to clearing any fault. Unlike my other universal
OBDII scanners which require batteries, the iCarsoft i980 DTCs are specific for Mercedes Benz vehicles.
I own at least two other universal scanners and diagnostic tools none of which perform as well as the i980 has so far. If
you are interested those diagnostic tools are now for sale, PM me if you are interested. The iCarsoft i980 is not a
replacement for systems like Star Diagnostic System and other high power, high dollar systems but a very handy tool
for DIYers. I was very skeptical when I read advertising for the i980 capabilities, multi system, live data streaming and
DTC fault reset at this price point. The other diagnostic and scan tools I own have ALL been very disappointing, so I
initially thought the advertising claims where boastful and would not be fulfilled. The one thing that won me over was
the money back guarantee. I happen to live in the city the iCarsoft i980 was being sold, if it did not perform as stated I
was going to go directly to that address and return it in person! Fortunately, I have been pleased with the performance
so far and use it often just because it is handy + I cleared the dreaded SRS fault when I replaced my 10 year old
battery with a Bosch AGM.
If, you are in the market for a value priced diagnostic tool, check out the iCarsoft i980 Multi-System Scanner.
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).
Buyers 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 doesnt 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 :

Mercedes-Benz Star Das Diagnostics - Explained

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.
Dealer 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.

Nomenclature Gets Complicated and Often Misunderstood :

MUX = Multiplexer
SDS = Star Diagnostic System
"Compact C3" actually refers to the PC that runs DAS.
C3 / C4 actually specifies the computer or tablet used in the SDS environment,;not the MUX.
DAS / XENTRY are identical, no matter what MUX / System you use (the ONLY legal way to own DAS / XENTRY
is to have a licensed copy through Mercedes which is quite costly). Recommended to get a genuine or very good
clone Mercedes MUX using DAS and XENTRY; there is no better software than the Mercedes factory diagnostics.
The wired MUX is called a Type D (the proved Type D MUX has fewer problems than the wireless SD Connect
and Type D MUX looks likes this) :

The Type D MUX is recommended as the wireless MUX can be a setup hassle, depending on what type of
computer and hardware is used.
The wireless MUX is called SD Connect, but it is recommended to stay with a proven type wired D MUX (they
have fewer problems). The SD Connect with WiFi MUX's have more issues and the clone SD Connects still
have issues with newer cars and black listings. If you want to go this route, then I would advise buying the MB SD
CONNECT C4 with D630 laptop, because it connects via LAN Cable, not COM Port (as MB Star C3). Note, most
laptops have no COM port. Also used Laptop may have problem on Com port so that you would not
communication well. I got one from here :

NOTE : Some of the Chinese clone multiplexers are very low quality and only last a few months under daily
use. There is a voltage regulator in many of the Chinese clones that is incorrectly spec'd during the build and it leads
to early burning out of the unit (many have replaced the voltage regulator for the correct spec'd part and have gotten a
longer life span out of the unit).

Setting Up a Type D MUX - Exploring the MB STAR C3

Background :
The MB STAR C3 is a diagnostic system that is provided by the factory for dealerships and independent repair shops.
It is used to interface with the cars' computers to diagnose systems and pull/reset codes. It even can programme
certain elements of the systems on more modern cars. The system costs upwards of $20,000 from MBUSA, and is
applicable for MBs from model year 1989 and newer.
Prior to 1989, MB cars only had 2-3 computers in the car, but all successive cars have had an increasing number of
computers, and this is where the MB STAR C3 system really comes into its own. The MB STAR system, was PCbased (IBM T30 laptop).
Because of its expense, it has been very much "out of reach" of most MB owners and enthusiasts. To pull codes and
get information about the car, owners were forced to buy limited testers from companies like Snap-On, Trisco, and
others that perhaps allowed one to pull and reset codes, and a couple of solutions provided some limited "live data"
where the car allowed it. These systems would typically run from $500 to well over $1,000.
In recent years, Chinese forgers, have set their sights on the MB STAR market (and other automotive diagnostic
systems for other marques), whereby one may currently purchase an MB STAR system, for anywhere between $250
and $450, depending on the vendor and the items included in the package.
These "clone" systems are easily available on sites like eBay and also Alibaba, but quality varies. There has also been
precious little information on the Internet about the Chinese MB STAR C3 systems, how they operate, and in general
how the system operates.
So, the photos below illustrate what is commonly received with an MB STAR C3 package. For versatility (and because
most people don't own the specific IBM and Dell laptop models that are needed for the internal drives) it is advisable
that the buyer specify the external USB hard drive model of the MB STAR C3. This way the hard drive can be plugged
into any qualified laptop and used. Requirements for a laptop that can be used with the MB STAR C3 system are
generally as follows :

Must have a SERIAL port

Must have at least 160 Gb Hard Drive
Must have a processor frequency rating of 1.8 GHz or higher
Must have at least 1 GB of RAM; more is highly desirable
Must have a USB 2.0-compatible port
Must be running Microsoft Windows XP

It is best to just purchase a used laptop that meets the above specifications, and use this computer SOLELY as a
DEDICATED computer for the MB STAR installation. It can be kept in the garage and used for these purposes. It really
doesn't even have to be connected to the Internet. One can also put the laptop on a dedicated cart, which allows the
computer, cables and a printer (if desired) to be rolled around the workshop/garage next to specific cars.

Installation and Initial Setup :

Step 1 - Prepare Computer For Installation
Using the operating system master disk that came with the computer, it's recommended to just re-format and re-install
a virgin copy of the Microsoft Windows XP operating system onto the computer's hard drive.
Then, you should connect the computer to the Internet (via wireless or via RJ-45 "Ethernet" cable) to update the
software, to bring it up to full Service Pack 3 status and to install all of the current security and product updates, as
Next, you will need to partition the hard drive into two equal 80Gb logical drive partitions, using a free disc-partitioning
programme that you can download on the Internet (there are dozens available for Windows). One be drive "C" and the
other partition can be "E" or "F".
NOTE : You can opt instead to partition your hard drive BEFORE you re-install the virgin copy of Windows XP.
Next, you want to "clone" the USB hard drive (that comes with the MB STAR C3 kit) onto the second partition. Again,
there are numerous, free, downloadable disc-cloning software packages available on the Internet. It takes about 3-5
hours to completely clone the external drive onto the new drive. The reasons for doing this are :

you want to preserve your external hard drive as a backup "master" copy of the MB STAR C3 software (in case
something goes wrong and it has to be re-installed).
performance of the MB STAR C3 system is MUCH better when it's installed on an internal hard drive than when
it's installed on an external drive (it's just unwieldy to have a USB drive hanging off the side of the computer
connected with a USB cable; much cleaner just to have everything inside the laptop case).

Step 2 - Ready For Installation

NOTE : The MB STAR C3 DAS system, as it comes from the cloners, has a hard drive with a Virtual Machine
copy of an official MB STAR C3 IBM T30 laptop as shipped by Mercedes-Benz to the purchaser. The Chinese
cloners have saved an image of this hard drive as a Virtual Machine image, which is then "played" in a Virtual
Machine (in this case, VMWare) on the new computer. So, technically, it's a computer operating within a computer,
hence the name "virtual machine". Because no processor or software emulation needs to be done, the speed is
actually pretty fast once the Virtual Machine is up and running.
Once you have cloned the MB STAR C3 hard drive to the computer, you will see a VMWare Player installer icon. You
double-click this icon, and it will begin the installation process for the VM. It will ask you a bunch of questions (you just
keep clicking on the "Next" button and then it installs the VMWare Player on the "C" (main) hard drive of the computer.

It will probably put icons for the VMWare player on the desktop, in the menu bar and in the Start Menu folder as part of
the installation process.
After that, you will have to restart your computer to complete the installation process, which is normal.
After you restart, everything should be installed correctly. It's a pretty typical Windows software install and it goes
pretty quickly and smoothly.
Remember, you're just installing the Virtual Machine PLAYER that the MB STAR C3 disk image runs inside of. So next,
you have to tell the Virtual Machine WHAT it needs to run. To do this, you have to go to the hard drive that you cloned
the external hard drive to (typically the E: or F: drive) in your "Windows Explorer" program or by double-clicking on the
"My Computer" icon on the desktop or in the Start Menu. From there, you will see an icon with the name something
like "DAS_2012.10.vmx" or something similar. This is the disc image file with the date of the cloned copy in the name
of the file -- in this case, corresponding to the October, 2010 copy/update of the MB STAR C3. The .vmx extension on
the file name indicates that the file is a VMWare virtual machine image.
Double-click on this file, and it should automatically launch the VMWare Player that you installed, and the MB STAR
C3 software playing in the Virtual Machine will ask your for an 8-digit password.
NOTE : Typically, with the Chinese clones you take the first 8 characters off of the serial number sticker that is
on the hard drive (it's the hand-written alphanumeric character string that is on the label on the hard drive
case) and type that in.
From there, it will start loading the MB STAR C3 software. After a minute or two, the main ("Desktop") screen of the
MB STAR C3 system will appear. You have the option to run the Virtual Machine full screen (recommended) or you
can just run it within a window on your screen.
The Desktop screen of the MB STAR C3 (see first image below) contains a number of icons, which correspond to the
various program elements that comprise the system. These individual programs generally correspond to the following
functions (various clones may have slight to moderate variations of what is listed below, depending on the vendor and
the extent of the clone) :

Xentry - the "master control program" which is the hub of the MB STAR C3 DAS system, serving as the gateway
out to most of the other individual key DAS modules
Star Finder - a program that allows (beginning with W210 cars, and all newer chassis) the user to pinpoint the
location of components on the car
EPC - the Electronic Parts Catalog (same as US users have access to online; the MB C3 STAR versions are
probably a bit out of date)
WIS - the Workshop Information System, a collection of all processes and documents pertaining to repair and
maintenance of all the vehicles
Star Utilities - a collection of utilities that help the user administer the MB STAR C3 system -- must be used VERY
carefully !!
Info - information about the MB STAR C3 system
EWA net - the administration program for the core, EPCnet and WISnet functions that tracks passwords and user
Star Browser PL 65 - a price list of MB parts prices (generally out of date, but often a good indicator of pricing)
SD Media - a collection of instructional information and video procedures for diagnosing and solving problems
TeamViewer 6 - a non-Mercedes remote access program that allows the vendor to control your computer if you
need technical support/assistance. Specific program varies by vendor.

Step 3 - Running the System

Typically, because the Chinese cloned copy of the MB STAR C3 DAS is a copy of a real system, taken at a point in
time in the past, you will at this point have to change the day and year of the Virtual Machine (not your Windows XP
system date and time, though you can do this too if you wish) to correspond with that of the day, month and year found
in the file name of the Virtual Machine image on the hard drive provided with the system. Generally, the vendor will
provide you with a specific date that you should change it to. It is IMPERATIVE that you do this before EVERY time
you start up the MB STAR C3 system; otherwise you will get errors and you won't be able to properly run the Xentry
software because it will be out of date.
EWA Net software interface :

So, after you've changed the system date in the Virtual Machine, you should double-click on the "Star Utilities" icon on
the desktop to begin the actual configuration of the MB STAR C3 installation. You will then click on the "StartKey
Manager". At this point, a dialog box will pop up, and you have to select the "Xentry diagnostic" option in the
Application menu.
The system will then provide you with several pieces of information, which you should write down. These bits of
information include :

Start Date
Finish Date

Then you will see a place to fill in a long alphanumeric string of characters, which is an overall system access
password. To obtain this, you have to provide the aforementioned bits of information to the vendor, and they will
generate the alphanumeric code for you. This is several dozen characters in length. You enter this alpha code into the
provided field, and if everything checks out and is correct, you will see a small box pop up that says "Saved
Successfully!". That means you are good to go, and you can then start and enter the MB STAR C3 DAS system.
From there, what you want to do is to fire up the Xentry software by double-clicking on the Xentry icon. The second
and third images below show the Xentry software in the process of loading, as well as its main screen.

SDS Transfer From External HDD to Internal HDD Version 01.pdf

SDS What Is It Version 01.pdf
SDS Software Installation Instructions Version 01.pdf
SDS Instructions For Connecting and Using Version 01.pdf

User Comments :

Requires the Windows XP operating system (I WOULD NOT use Windows 7 or Windows 8).
One other thing....DO NOT enable the laptop's wireless connection with your wireless network, if you have one at
home. Reason being is that it will try to update itself over the Internet, which you don't want. The laptop is just fine
being operated in "standalone" mode as a separate machine. I use mine as a dedicated laptop for shop use only.
To say the Chinese HDD included with the Mux may have contained some 'malware' is a gross understatement. I
brought it up on an isolated access point and sat back with a packet sniffer to watch it. It captured network

information and attempted to send that data to a rolling pool of IP addresses somewhere in the mainland (very,
very sophisticated, someone spent a LOT of time engineering the hooks and payload generation on that one).
The HDD itself contained keyloggers, Trojans, malware windows services, hacked browser objects, infected
shared libraries/exe's, some really nasty low level network stack hacks hijacking DNS, and two rootkits.
I corrected the OS's environment, but, one (or more) of the viruses managed to infect several core shared libraries
of the Xentry application rendering it inoperable (I found a stripped D630 image on a Russian torrent site that I
loaded up on a spare HDD to get Xentry working cleanly). The supplied HDD still has a newer WIS/EPC that
works fine, but I usually opt to use a VMware WIS/EPC I built (for the on-screen real-estate). Though it would be
nice to have DAS/Xentry/WIS/EPC/StarFinder all functioning in one location (my next endeavor I suppose).
Regardless, the point to all this is to BE CAREFUL with any supplied software from China; treat it with kid gloves,
and under no circumstances put it on your home network or plug a thumb drive you don't want a virus on into it.
I think its worth adding that you can get refurbished Dell D630 for $150-200 - so as mentioned upthread its a
minimal investment to have a dedicated "shop laptop" so to speak rather than use your daily machine or anything
else you might need to connect to the laptop. I plan on getting a STAR system after the new year and going this
route, or maybe spending a few extra $$$ to get an old Panasonic Toughbook

Individual Alternative Handhelds for ABS/SBC

NOTE : It may be possible to incorporate the following handheld units along with a good code read/erase
handheld, to substitute for a more expensive and complicated Star Das C3 + PC computer setup?
Mercedes-Benz SBC Tool W211/R230 ABS/SBC Brakes Handheld Diagnostic Tools
Version 1 :
Less than $100
Handheld, user friendly, simple and easy to use
Compatible with latest CAN vehicles
Allows enable and disable of SBC system for safe pad and disk replacement
Clear errors from the SBC system after carrying our repairs
1. The new SP Diagnostics SBC tool has been created to allow you to service and replace brake pads and
components used in the SBC systems which have been fitted on a number of Mercedes vehicles (W211 and R230)
since MY2003.
2. The SBC system incorporates various systems which have previously been separate, ABS, ASR, BAS, ESP and
3. The SBC system can be "woken up" by opening a door, operating the central locking, depressing the brakes, turning
on the ignition or operating the park brake. When this occurs the system runs pre-checks which include a
pressurisation of the braking system. If the brakes are either being worked on or are dismantled when these prechecks occur it can lead to personal injury or damage to parts of the caliper and pad assembly.
4. The SBC tool allows you to disable the system during service and repair work, thus allowing a safer working
environment for the user.
The new SP Diagnostics SBC tool has been created to allow you to service and replace brake pads and components
used in the SBC systems which have been fitted on a number of Mercedes vehicles (W211 and R230) since MY2003.
The SBC system incorporates various systems which have previously been separate, ABS, ASR, BAS,ESP and ETS.
The SBC system can be "woken up" by opening a door, operating the central locking,depressing the brakes, turning on
the ignition or operating the park brake. When this occurs the system runs pre-checks which include a pressurisation
of the braking system. If the brakes are either being worked on or are dismantled when these pre-checks occur it can
lead to personal injury or damage to parts of the calliper and pad assembly. The SBC tool allows you to disable the
system during service and repair work, thus allowing a safer working environment for the user.

Version 2 :

Around $50
W211/R230 ABS/SBC TOOL (Repair Code C249F)
-Repair though OBDII, no need to open ABS assembly! Easy to operate!
1. Using the battery without external power supply.
2. LCD-screen with instruction , easy operation
3. Efficient repair, 3 seconds
1. Directly through the OBD-11 repair SBC internal computer fault code C249F, no need to open ABS assembly,
convenient and quick fix SBC completed within 10 seconds of data, a key to complete the operation.
2. SBC to repair the data first four models: 25% -50% -70% -100% user choice.
3. Can use of SBC and use fixed number of year return to zero, clear the fault code C249F maintenance reached the
limit, do not have to replace the SBC brake system!
If using DAS to check and diagnose the ABS/SBC system in Mercedes Benz's W211 and R230, there is a faults
above hints mean OPERATING TIME OF COMPONENT is exceeded, it's necessary to replace new SBC HYDRAULIC
UNIT, but no need with W211/R230 tool.
For Mercedes Benz's Safety Precautions had stated that before attempting to repair the brake system on its models
W211 (E Class) and R230 (SL Class), the Sensotronic Brake Control (SBC) system must be deactivated first using its
Deactivation of the SBC system is absolutely necessary before carrying out any maintenance work onthe brakes like
changing of pads, discs and fluids because the system is under a pressure of 140 bars. Mechanics who perform brake
services on these car models must have the proper tools to avoid the risk of injuries to themselves and damage to the
brake system.

Until the introduction of this inexpensive, convenient, light, safe and easy to use SBC tool is another alternative to the
STAR-DIAGNOSIS tester when working on SBC system. It can perform the tasks equally well which is efficient and
After the repair had done, the SBC system can be activated and restore back its pressure. The memory is erased

- Quick, easy operations with LED indications.

- Safe to use
- Power ON when plugged into vehicle?s OBDII diagnostic connector.
- Light, compact and very convenient.
- Stand alone unit.
This SBC tool works on W211 (E-Class) and R230 (SL-Class) with SBC systems.

Version 3 :
Handheld, user friendly, simple and easy to use
Compatible with latest CAN vehicles
Allows enable and disable of SBC system for safe pad and disk replacement
Clear errors from the SBC system after carrying our repairs
Updateable (return back to SP Diagnostics)
The new SP Diagnostics SBC tool has been created to allow you to service and replace brake pads and components
used in the SBC systems which have been fitted on a number of Mercedes vehicles (W211 and R230) since MY2003.
The SBC system incorporates various systems which have previously been separate, ABS, ASR, BAS,ESP and ETS.
The SBC system can be "woken up" by opening a door, operating the central locking,depressing the brakes, turning on
the ignition or operating the park brake. When this occurs the system runs pre-checks which include a pressurisation
of the braking system. If the brakes are either being worked on or are dismantled when these pre-checks occur it can
lead to personal injury or damage to parts of the caliper and pad assembly. The SBC tool allows you to disable the
system during service and repair work, thus allowing a safer working environment for the user.

Version 4 :

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 its 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.
ECUs 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 dont 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.

Resetting ECU on R230 SL600, SL500, SL55, SL65

This is a great way to perk up your car. The computers on these cars will pick up and remember driving habits. After
driving in traffic for many days the car starts to respond to those slow characteristics. The reset works to start fresh
and get all that torque. When resetting you can hear a click with the ECU reset.
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.

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 F - normal street use?
230 F - track use?
260 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 Purples API licensed motor oil delivers superior protection and improves performance in gasoline and diesel
engines. Royal Purples API SN licensed motor oil meets ILSAC GF-5 and Dexos11 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. Its 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 doesnt 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 - NGK ILFR6A (1/3 of cost of MB dealer, at around $7.50 each and exactly the same as the original
iridium factory plugs, but minus the MB insignia stamp)
NGK ? Laser Platinum

Gap-? (0.8 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 :

Remove engine front trim panel (#1) - (just lift up)

Remove engine intake ducts (#3)

Remove air filter housing (#2), carefully lifting and removing crankcase bleed hose (#4) from fitting (#5) on intake
line (#6)
NOTE : when removing the air filter housing, make sure that the intake lines (#6) are not twisted. If
removed incorrectly, the steel ring in the intake lines can become deformed and work itself loose when the
engine is running. Remove air filter housing (when removing the central rubber hose that connects the air boxes
to the main intake, make sure you push the upper tab (what you can see) and the lower tabs outward before trying
to pull it out or you'll break the tab(s)). You'll also remove the left-side breather hose as well (it's connected to the
main rubber intake tube)
Remove each coil pack by removing the bolt on each (see below).

Pry spark plug connector off the spark plugs using open-end wrench (get a "Mercedes spark plug wire removal
tool." Many brands, but they are basically open ended 17mm crescent wrenches that have a offset at the end.
Just place over the metal ends of the spark plug boot and using your valve cover for leverage, the boots easily
pop out. Will prevent you from breaking the wires if you pulled them by hand)
Check spark plug connectors, ignition coil connectors and ignition wires for damage, deformation and crack
Remove one plug at a time and replace old spark plug for new, and tighten (do not over tighten). For ease, get
the swivel factory spark plug tool (MB part 112 589 01 09 00) ($50) - comes in extremely handy for the left-side
rear most spark plugs.
Tighten by hand and then torque to 10 Nm 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 tightening to 8 Nm (do one at a time so there's no chance of getting a coil in the wrong
Add a little Vaseline or Dielectric grease around the coil boot so they slip into place easier.

The valve covers have letters on them such as A and B for which cylinder they go in and corresponding A and B on
the coils and plug leads (any other letters like G K H or L would be the different lengths of wires).

Make sure you hear/feel that snap when putting the wire back on the spark plugs.
Refit air filter housing ensuring the catches (#7) do not break off when fitting on to the throttle valve actuator
(#M16/6), as the catches can be sucked into the engine.
Remember to moisten the sealing ring, throttle valve actuator and retaining rubbers with liquid lubricant (Part # A
000 989 01 60).
Refit cover on face end of engine

Ignition Coil Replacement

Remove engine front trim panel (#1) - (just lift up)

Remove engine intake ducts (#3)

Remove air filter housing (#2), carefully lifting and removing crankcase bleed hose (#4) from fitting (#5) on intake
line (#6)

NOTE : when removing the air filter housing, make sure that the intake lines (#6) are not twisted. If
removed incorrectly, the steel ring in the intake lines can become deformed and work itself loose when the
engine is running. Remove air filter housing (when removing the central rubber hose that connects the air boxes
to the main intake, make sure you push the upper tab (what you can see) and the lower tabs outward before trying
to pull it out or you'll break the tab(s)). You'll also remove the left-side breather hose as well (it's connected to the
main rubber intake tube)
Remove each coil pack by removing the screw 5/3 on diagram below (see below).

Pry spark plug connector off the spark plugs using open-end wrench
Separate the electrical connector of ignition coil of each cylinder
Refit the coil-pack tightening bolt to 8 Nm (do one at a time so there's no chance of getting a coil in the wrong
Add a little Vaseline or Dielectric grease around the coil boot so they slip into place easier.

The valve covers have letters on them such as A and B for which cylinder they go in and corresponding A and B on
the coils and plug leads (any other letters like G K H or L would be the different lengths of wires).

Make sure you hear/feel that snap when putting the wire back on the spark plugs.
Refit air filter housing
Refit cover on face end of engine

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&N57i orBMC VASmay 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
Thepaper element finished third.It capturedaround 120grams 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, capturing140.08 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 Filter Replacement

Remove engine front trim panel (#1) - (just lift up)

Remove engine intake ducts (#3)

Remove air filter housing (#2), carefully lifting and removing crankcase bleed hose (#4) from fitting (#5) on intake
line (#6)

NOTE : when removing the air filter housing, make sure that the intake lines (#6) are not twisted. If
removed incorrectly, the steel ring in the intake lines can become deformed and work itself loose when the
engine is running. Remove air filter housing (when removing the central rubber hose that connects the air boxes
to the main intake, make sure you push the upper tab (what you can see) and the lower tabs outward before trying
to pull it out or you'll break the tab(s)). You'll also remove the left-side breather hose as well (it's connected to the
main rubber intake tube)
Install in reverse order, ensuring the catches (#7) do not break off when fitting on to the throttle valve actuator
(#M16/6), as the catches can be sucked into the engine.
Remember to moisten the sealing ring, throttle valve actuator and retaining rubbers with liquid lubricant (Part # A
000 989 01 60).

Valve Cover Gasket Replacement

Leaking valve cover gaskets in areas such as this, is typical and can usually appear in a few spots.

Remove engine front trim panel (#1) - (just lift up)

Remove engine intake ducts (#3)

Remove air filter housing (#2), carefully lifting and removing crankcase bleed hose (#4) from fitting (#5) on intake
line (#6)

NOTE : when removing the air filter housing, make sure that the intake lines (#6) are not twisted. If
removed incorrectly, the steel ring in the intake lines can become deformed and work itself loose when the
engine is running. Remove air filter housing (when removing the central rubber hose that connects the air boxes
to the main intake, make sure you push the upper tab (what you can see) and the lower tabs outward before trying
to pull it out or you'll break the tab(s)). You'll also remove the left-side breather hose as well (it's connected to the
main rubber intake tube)

Remove each coil pack by removing the bolt on each (label each coil pack with masking tape so you know what
goes where as you'll be removing them)

Pry spark plug connector off the spark plugs using open-end wrench
Swing the coils and plug wires up to rest them on top of the engine (no need to unplug the harness).

Remove the valve covers (they come off with very little effort)

NOTE : there is a braided fuel line going to the fuel rails, which you need to disconnect, before you can
remove the left-hand-side valve cover. Undo it slowly (have a towel underneath it) and unless the car has
sat for a while, there will be some fuel under pressure.
Clean up the valve cover (some elbow grease and a soft wire brush will work)
The bottom of the valve cover has a groove cast into it so the new gasket will seat in and hold.

Remember to reseal the vent chamber on top of the valve covers (there is no rubber gasket for it; just clean off the
old liquid gasket and apply new liquid gasket)
NOTE : make sure the aluminium tube on the very right of the cover gets poked back into the grommet in
the supercharger plenum, otherwise it will throw a code. Its the tube that runs along the side of the body of the
car parallel with the valve cover on the left-hand-side and it turns into and goes under the intake plenum area near
the throttle body. Just don't pull on anything and you'll be alright. You need a mirror to see where it would fit back in

to the plenum but if you just poke it in there, you should get it in first time. As well as throwing a code, it will also
cause a bad idle. The reason why it comes off, is because you have to remove the bracket that holds it which is
bolted down on the corner of the valve cover, so make sure you plug it back in.
Bolt the valve covers down to spec (72 in/lb.)

The valve covers have letters on them such as A and B for which cylinder they go in and corresponding A and B on
the coils and plug leads (any other letters like G K H or L would be the different lengths of wires).


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, its 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). Its 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 Chevrons 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 O sensors are made by BOSH, so its very easy to find them on the internet, for around $100 each.
The O 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, its 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

Direct Injection - Why Its Great NOT to Have it!

NOTE : short version for my Port Injected car documents (explaining why its better to avoid Direct Injection)

The following information on Direct Injection does not concern your Port Injected vehicle. I felt it was an enlightening
exercise to provide Direct Injection details, in an attempt to point out its inherent disadvantages over Port Injection.
By explaining Direct Injection, in the following, I trust that you will come to realize how fortunate you are to be a Port
Injected vehicle, avoiding all the Direct Injection pitfalls.

Direct Injection Explained

Port Injection

Lets first look at the difference between traditional Port Injection engines that would never see intake valve coking
issues as long as a good top tier fuel was used. With a port injection engine the intake valves are always showered in
a fuel spray that kept the intake valves clean and deposit free :

Although this kept the intake valves clean, it was not the most efficient way to introduce fuel precisely like the direct
injection of today.

Why Was It Introduced?

Under pressure from government legislation and in their efforts to wring more power and efficiency from the internal
combustion engine, automakers have increasingly turning to gasoline direct-injection technology (also known as DI
or GDI).
Originally developed to produce more economical and quieter combustion for diesel engines, GDI is inherently more
efficient and helps generate more power than port injection. The requirements for higher fuel efficiency being
stipulated by the EPA assure direct injection will be an increasingly common technology on cars going forward. As
such, automakers will have to figure out how to make it durable and cost effective.

Direct Injection Technology Is Not New

The first vehicle with direct injection was the race-car turned production car; the 1955 Mercedes-Benz 300SL. The
usage of direct-injection is considered to be one of the key factors in helping this car reach its record breaking top
speed of 161 mph.

Two Types of Fuel Injection Used in Cars Today

Port Fuel Injection - has fuel injectors that spray into the intake ports, and the air/fuel mixture is drawn in
through the intake valve.
Direct Injection - has injectors that spray fuel directly in to the combustion chamber, so the only thing the
engine is drawing in when the intake valves open is air. The air is mixed with the fuel directly in the combustion

GDI is the new generation of fuel injection (port fuel injection replaced the carburettor somewhere back in the
80s). In a GDI engine, by squirting fuel right into the individual cylinder, the engine has the advantage of getting a
higher quality of combustion and an increase in combustion efficiency. This means that a smaller engine with directinjection can make as much power as a bigger engine without direct injection. By precisely timing and placing the
injection of the fuel into the cylinder, engineers have managed to ensure a more efficient combustion with less

Gasoline Direct Injection Adopters (as of 2014) :

Audi (early adopters)

Bentley (from 2012)
Mercedes-Benz (from roughly 2010)
Nissan (not GT-R)
Porsche (from 2009)
VW (early adopters)
and others.

GDI or Gasoline Direct Injection has been around since 2002. VW owned the patent but in the past few years the
technology has become available to all manufacturers. As more GDI vehicles come to market, we are loving the fuel
sipping feature of this engineering design, but it comes at a very high maintenance cost.
NOTE : by 2015, some manufacturers are moving away from or modifying their Direct Injection setups. Ford
are bringing out the new 2016 Mustang Shelby GT350, with the Voodoo flat-plane crank V8 and only port
injection, while Audi/VW have modified their Direct Injection engines combined with Port Injection.

GDI - Principles of Action & Downsides

GDI sprays fuel directly into the combustion chamber under high pressure, as opposed to port injection which sprays
fuel under low pressure into the intake ports in the cylinder head, thereby constantly washing oil vapour off the inlet
tracts and back side of the inlet valves.
Although admittedly, GDI increases fuel economy and power by 15 to 25 percent, there is a downside that is now
becoming apparent as time passes, mileage accumulates and warranties expire.
There has been a dark side to the GDI technology. Carbon builds-up around intake valves and, over time, this can
degrade power and efficiency, eroding the bonus GDI is supposed to provide.
While theres evidence that the most recent designs and technical enhancements have greatly reduced the issue,
carbon buildup has been a distinct and well-documented issue in some DI engines from a variety of manufacturers
over the last few years, especially VW Audi group.
The problem is carbon deposits are building up on the inlet side (top) of the intake valves. The deposits create
turbulence and can restrict airflow into the cylinders causing performance and drivability problems :

hard starting

NOTE : The thicker the carbon deposit buildup on the valves, the worse the drivability problems.

Why GDI Develops Carbon Deposits

NOTE : In the late 90s/early 2000s, TSBs related to carbon deposits on the valves, were few and far between.
There are 3 reasons why direct injection engines are more prone to carbon deposits :



The main reason (unique to GDI) is that fuel and added detergents are not hitting the back of the intake valves.
By injecting the fuel directly into the cylinder instead of at the back of the valve, the gasoline and detergents
cant clean the valve and port.
Second (applicable to port injection also, but made worse by GDI), leaner mixtures and higher combustion
pressures can make the problem worse over time. A direct fuel injection motor produces more energy from a
given amount of fuel and air than a port fuel injection engine. Todays engines operate on a ragged edge
between optimal efficiency and a misfire. There is not much room for error like hot spots in the combustion
chamber or a worn spark plug.When a hot spot or sub-optimal flame front is created due to turbulent air, the
amount of unburned fuel in the combustion chamber increases. When the valve opens during the intake stroke,
it might come in contact with these byproducts, and unlike the exhaust valve, the gases passing by are not hot
enough to burn it off.
Third (applicable to port injection also, but made worse by GDI), the intake valve goes into the combustion
chamber, regardless if it is port fuel injected or direct injected. When it does, for that small period of time, it is
exposed to combustion byproducts that can stick to the neck of the valve. If the last combustion cycle was less
than optimal, the intake valve is exposed.

Direct Injection Issues and Contributing Factors

Poor Fuel Quality :
Since 2007 fuel is no longer refined the way it used to be. The distillation process uses a lesser quality oil to start from,
thus generating a higher carbon deposit in the engine when burned. Oil companies each have their own special brew
chemical additives to try and control this, but ineffectual in GDI engines.
Poor Engine Oil Quality :
Due to GDI design, engine oil vapour becomes a serious issue. Build up occurs faster and sticks thus creating a
build up of sticky sludge. The use of Synthetic oil is recommended to combat this issue.
Long Service Intervals :
Long service intervals are not only causing carbon issues on valves, but premature engine/ring wear, premature oil
consumption, premature timing chain failure, and numerous oil sensor issues.
Change in Injector Position and No Fuel wash From Injection System :
Fuel use to be sprayed on the air induction side of the valves in a liquid vapour which did a pretty good job at keeping
them clean, now the gas is sprayed directly into the combustion chamber. This results in nothing but air hitting the
valve on the way into the combustion chamber and there isnt a chance for the deposits to wash away. The new
technology process (GDI), allows the deposits from combusted fuel, oil vapour, and exhaust gas deposits to draw
back onto the valves and pile up.
Positive Crankcase Ventilation (PCV) :
All engines (port injection and GDI) have what is known as a Positive Crankcase Ventilation (PCV) system, providing a
controlled way to relieve the positive pressure in the crankcase of all internal combustion engines. The positive
pressure is caused by a certain amount of blow-by that passes the piston rings and enters the crankcase. This is why
your oil gets dirty, as these small amounts of thebyproducts of combustion are getting into the oil while it is running.

This blow-by also causes pressure in the crankcase, that needs to either be vented to atmosphere or drawn back in
to the engines intake system to be burned off in the combustion process. The former is better for your engine while
the latter is obviously more environmentally friendly, but the byproduct of drawing the PCV air back in to the intake
system is carbon build-up (contains oil vapour, water vapour and other combustion gases).
On a port fuel injected vehicle this isnt usually an issue, as the fuel injectors are spraying inside the intake ports, on
the back side of the valves and parts of the intake ports and this effectively helps keep everything constantly clean.
However, on a direct injected vehicle, oil vapour residue continues to collect on the inside of the intake manifold, the
intake ports, and the intake valves and is never being washed off. This rapidly bakes on to the surfaces, to create a
very hard carbon build-up. 90% of the GDI carbon build-up issue, is caused by oil vapours from PCV induction.
Higher GDI Combustion Temperatures :
To compound the PCV issue, GDI combustion chamber temperatures are much higher, due to "stratified lean mode" of
air fuel mixture (30:1 to 50:1 air fuel ratios), the higher temperatures creating a much harder valve carbon deposit.
Injector Tip Deposits :
The other problem is the deposits in the combustion chamber and injector tip. The injector has a director plate on it,
creating multiple spray streams targeting the piston top. The piston top has a very specific shape so when the high
pressure fuel streams enter the combustion chamber the shape of the piston will properly distribute the fuel through
out the combustion chamber. When the deposit build up covers the injector tip, effecting the director spray pattern, and
changes the shape of the top of the piston, the engine is less efficient and less powerful. This condition can be
mitigated with the use high quality fuel tank additives such as BG's 44K (note, doesnt contact nor affect intake valves,
so only cleans injector itself).
Longevity Due to Much Higher Fuel Pressure Injection :
GDI longevity concerns, due to requiring significantly higher fuel inlet pressures than port injection (difference is
thousands of PSI). This puts a great deal of strain on every piece of the fuel delivery chain. This is not a problem on a
new engine, but 50,000 miles down the road, and it may be. Manufacturers have been relatively proactive in this
department by specifying robust, stainless steel fuel lines and connections, but that hasnt stopped fuel pump recalls
from already occurring. Some high-pressure fuel pumps, like those used with BMWs twin-turbo direct injection engine
in the 2007-2010 335i, the 20082010 135i, 535i and X6 xDrive35i, as well as the 20092010 Z4 Roadster sDrive35i
have been known to fail prematurely.
Engine Fire Risk Due to Much Higher Fuel Pressure Injection :
Much higher fuel pressure has a much higher risk of engine fires.
The Effect of Increased Percentages of Ethanol on Injector Longevity :
The percentage of ethanol in gasoline at the pumps is steadily increasing. Ethanol has a tendency to increase the
corrosion rate of the various metals used in an engine. Add the elevated fuel pressure and the fact the injector is
directly exposed to in-cylinder combustion events, then you have a higher chance of a problem or failure.
Furthermore, these in-cylinder injectors are very sensitive to fuel quality, due to outrageously tight tolerances. It is very
important to use high quality fuels and keep the filters clean.
Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) Particulates Add to the Issue :
Many advanced GDI engines also include exhaust gas recirculation, in order to lean out the combustion mixture and
reduce in-cylinder temperatures, for certain combustion modes (reducing NOx emissions). Since GDI combustion has
the ability to produce far more soot than premixed combustion (port injection), the problem is magnified.
Hardened Carbon Deposits Damaging Downstream Components :
Very alarming, is the fact that carbon deposits bake and harden over time, then can dislodge and damage other
downstream components (turbochargers, catalytic converters, etc.). As a result, there are many disappointed early
GDI adopters with large repair bills.
Especially in the area of the neck of the intake valves, excessive carbon deposits have extremely negative effects. The
successful ignition of the stratified charge depends to a great extent on the correct development of the internal cylinder
flow, which ensures reliable transport of the injected fuel to the spark plug to guarantee reliable ignition at the spark
plug. However, a coating of carbon deposits in the neck region of the intake valve may interfere so strongly with the
tumble flow that ignition failures may occur there as a result.

Under certain circumstances, however, ignition failures can lead to irreversible damage of a catalytic converter
installed in the exhaust gas tract for purifying the exhaust gas.
Furthermore, the coating of carbon deposits in the neck region of the intake valve causes flow resistance, which can
lead to significant performance losses due to insufficient cylinder filling, especially in the upper load and speed range
of the internal combustion engine.
In addition, the carbon deposits in the neck region of the intake valve may prevent correct valve closing, which leads to
compression losses and thus sporadic ignition failures. This in turn could irreversibly damage the catalytic converter.
There is the potential for small particles to break away from the coating of carbon deposits in the neck region of the
intake valve and get into the catalytic converter. These hot particles may then cause secondary reaction and
corresponding local damage of the catalytic converter. For example, a hole may be burned in the structure of the
catalytic converter."
Improper Valve and Camshaft Timing :
Some direct injection vehicles with variable valve timing can expose the valve to combustion byproducts as the valves
adjust, which creates a scavenging effect to either pull or leave behind a small amount of exhaust gases in the
chamber to control NOX emissions.
Also, some turbocharged direct injection engines will leave the intake and exhaust valves open at the same time in
order to keep the turbo spinning to reduce lag.
Some direct injection engines have bad timing. The modern engine typically has variable valve timing and even
cylinder deactivation. The engine management system can control when, how long and, in some cases, how deep the
valve goes into the combustion chamber. If an intake valve is dropping into a combustion chamber with
combustion byproducts or unburned fuel, the valve might be exposed to the precursors that cause carbon
Valve Guide Seal Leaks (Lower Viscosity or Non Synthetic Oils) :
Intake valve deposits form as a result of oil slowly seeping past the intake valve guide seals and down the valve
guides. A tiny amount of oil is necessary to lubricate the guides, but when oil reaches the hot surface of the valve, it
can stick and burn forming heavy black carbon deposits that gradually build up over time. The higher the mileage on
the engine and the greater the wear in the valve guides and seals, the faster the accumulation of black carbon
deposits on the intake valves.
Low viscosity motor oils (such as 5W-20 and 0W-20) may make the problem worse because they are thinner (to
reduce friction) and flow more easily down the valve guides.
Conventional motor oils also have a lower flash point than synthetic oils, which can also increase the formation of
deposits over time.
NOTE : The reason these aforementioned issues have slipped through to production, is that they wont show
up in a 500,000 mile torture test. These types of issues will simply appear after years of short trips (preventing
the engine from reaching operating temperature), bad batches of fuel, etc.
As we approach the efficiency limits of the internal combustion engine, the engines themselves (and associated
support systems) have become more complex. As with the transition from carburettors to electronic fuel injection, there
will be some overlap between relatively bomb-proof port injected engines and the unproven, first-generation GDI

Various GDI Carbon Build-Up Examples

A sample of the massive carbon build up and an image of carbon coating the intakevalve :

BMW 335i after 40,000 miles :

Audi 2.0T after 28,000 miles :

Porsche Cayenne after 30,000 miles :

Symptoms of GDI Carbon Fouling

Carbon deposits create turbulence and can restrict airflow into the cylinders causing performance and drivability
problems (more likely to show up after 30,000 miles) :

gradual decline in performance will be noticeable

throwing misfiring codes
hard starting
significant performance losses
sporadic ignition failures
and potentially, holes burned in the structure of the catalytic converter (should bits of carbon break from the
valves and pass though the combustion chamber).
increased exhaust emissions
reduced gas mileage
drivability problems
engine knock

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 usede-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 doesnt 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 worthit.
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 Ferraris 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 doesnt get quite as cold, the R134 system typically uses more Freon.
Many manufacturers didnt 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 shouldnt be used to guess the
amount of Freon in the system, as its 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 its easy to overcharge if youre 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 dont 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, its 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, youre 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.
Dont 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 youve 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, youve got to work out how youre going to do that and still keep it looking good. You can lovingly wash and wax it,
but what about whats going on underneath the car, andhow 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, its waterproof, so rust doesnt 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.)

Ive 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
its difficult to remove once its on there.
reapplication isnt 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

its 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
Ecklers, 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
youll 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 wont 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 sides 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 roofs 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 hasnt
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 (its 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 youll 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) :

Lets 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 dont 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 - its 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 anhngerkupplung anhngevorrichtung
mercedes r230 attelage
mercedes r230 trekhaak
mercedes R230 trkstang
mercedes R230 anhngertrk
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 havent 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 dont 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. Its 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 wellonly 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 outeroperation 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 thedoor handle, just get them fixed as they pop offor get stiff.Its better than beinglocked 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 its 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

Youll see a small white plastic pin on left side (I think theres 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 youll 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. Its 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. Dont 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 vehicles 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 circuits 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 cant 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. Its quicker and smarter to routinely check a circuits voltage drop than it is to memorise long lists of symptoms. If
experience has taught us nothing else, its 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 wont 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 wont work properly, because
there is a voltage drop in the circuit somewhere denying the load the power it needs.

It isnt 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 its only for engine starting, and quickly replaces any lost
charge, as soon as its 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 CLs (after that, it was an option on the CL550s)

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
(0.43in) between the speeds of 60160km/h (3799mph) 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 systemsare 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 its 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 its 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 Pentosinl (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 System Troubleshooting Guide

This section with thanks to Darren B
Trouble Shooting Summary :
Here is a cheat sheet to help determine the cause of a problem and what action to take. If you aren't interested in how
the system works and just want to know what to do, this table should suffice.

The remainder of this document goes into more detail on how each component of the system works, how to recognise
when they fail, and what courses of action to fix them. There is also advice on how to reduce the ownership costs
related to the ABC system, how to maintain it, and other valuable information.
In most cases, I trip to a MB dealer or Independent (Indy) workshop with the STAR / SDS system will be necessary. Be
prepared to pay $100-150 for a "diagnostic fee", since it is necessary to get the error codes to know what action to

ABC System Overview

The ABC system can be found predominantly on the following Mercedes models :
R230 SL Class (2003-2012 : SL320, SL500, SL550, SL55 AMG, SL600, SL65 AMG)
W215 CL class (2000-2006 : CL500, CL600, CL55 AMG)

The system consists of the following components: The exact location will vary on whether you have an CL or an SL
series. But the design is the same as well as the part numbers.

ABC System Design

Pictured below is the schematic for the hydraulic portion of the ABC system. I've found this diagram to be the most
informative of any of the diagrams out there on the ABC system. Taking time to understand this diagram is key to
understanding how the ABC system works, and will prepare you to have an intelligent conversation with the repair
technician and tell if the tech understands the ABC system or not.

Going on a brief tour of the diagramthe ABC fluid starts its travel at the fluid reservoir(2). From the reservoir it is
drawn into the pump(1). The pump pushes the fluid to an assembly(52) containing a pulsation dampener(52a) that
reduces vibration, a check valve (52b) that regulates the pressure at 190 bars, and a pressure sensor (B4/5) that
reports the pressure to the control module. From there the fluid travels to the front and rear valve blocks(Y36/1 and
Y36/2) which manage the amount of fluid in the struts(40,41). Accumulators(4,14) are attached to each valve block to
store fluid and pressure for filling the strut. The control module commands the valves to open or close which allows
fluid to enter or leave the struts. When the fluid leaves the struts, it travels through a temperature sensor(B40/1), and
then through the oil cooler(9) and back to the reservoir(2). An accumulator (53) helps even out the spikes in the return
side pressure caused by the struts letting out fluid.
There is also the electronics side of the design.

The control module monitors all the sensors in the system and decides how much fluid should be in each strut. It
reevaluates 10 times per second.
All these sensors and valve solenoids are wired to the ABC control module. Failure of any of these sensors will disable
the ABC system, causing an "ABC Drive Carefully" or "ABC Visit Workshop" message on the dash. The message will
be in white or red depending on the severity. The error condition will also get logged for later viewing by diagnostic
tools. Electronic issues with the ABC system are rather rare. The majority of issues are hydraulic related.
Driving the car while the ABC warning message is on the dash can be very dangerous, especially at highway speed.
Hence the "Drive Carefully" message. The system is in limp mode allowing you to get the car do the workshop. It is not
to be ignored.

Should the ride height of any of the 4 corners of the car fall to an unacceptable level, the ABC system will display a
"Too Low" warning. You should pull over immediately or risk damage from the tires coming into contact with the wheel
wells, not to mention a possible accident that might occur from that happening. It is better to deal with the
inconvenience of having the car towed rather than incur expensive repairs to the car.
Mercedes dealerships and other workshops that work frequently on Mercedes vehicles will have the STAR Diagnostic
System, referred to as SDS or STAR. It is software that runs on a laptop along with various interface cables. It was
developed by Mercedes for their vehicles. It connects to the various control units on the car (like the ABC system), and
can retrieve error codes, examine the current values of sensors, execute diagnostic routines, calibrate sensors, view
the error history logs, etc.
The major ABC componentstheir purpose, how they fail, and what to do.

The power steering and ABC pump are integrated into one unit, referred to as a Tandem Pump. Although the two
pumps share the same pulley and shaft, they are separate components otherwise. It is possible for the ABC pump to
fail but the power steering pump is fine (and vice versa). But if one fails, both have to be replaced since they are one
The pump is lubricated by the fluid, so it is important it never run dry. If you are having fluid leaks be sure to keep a
close eye on the fluid level in the reservoir. Should the fluid run dry the pump will be destroyed, and it will shed debris
with sharp edges into the ABC system. This will generate problems with downstream components for years to come.
There seems to be some consensus that the average life of a pump is around 60-80K. Like any component, some will
fail sooner and some may last much longer. Pumps cost around $2,500 to replace.
Integrated into the pump is a suction restrictor(Y86/1) or throttle valve. It is wired to the control module and open and
closes based on the voltage supplied to it. The opening and closing of this valve controls the rate of flow from the
reservoir into the pump.
The pump may fail one of two ways.

It goes completely and cannot generate any pressure.

The pump wears and cannot maintain steady pressure as it did before. It progressively gets worse, making
error messages on the dash more frequent and more persistent.

The pump failing completely should be pretty obvious to diagnose. The ABC "visit workshop" or "drive carefully"
message will appear shortly after the car is started, and the message will stay on. The car will not raise on command
either. SDS error codes will indicate inadequate or no pressure.
It is important to remember that when the ABC warning message stays on the dash, the ABC system is disabled,
effectively in "limp mode". The valves to the struts are locked closed, allowing you to drive to the workshop. The quality
of the ride is often described as a "tuna boat" ride, depending on what height the struts were locked at. The switch to
raise or lower the ride height will also be disabled.
If the pump is weak, you should also get ABC "Drive Carefully" and "Visit Workshop" messages, but they will be
intermittent in nature. If the pressure drops too low at any point, the ABC system disables itself and displays the
message on the dash. It stays disabled until the car is shutoff and restarted. In many cases you can restart the car and
the system will pressurize successfully, and the error message will clear. The car works normally again for a while.
There will also be pressure related error codes logged as well.

Some owners report the ABC system operates fine when the car is cold, but the error messages start appearing after
the car has warmed up. The reverse also seems to be reported. Temperature does seem to be a factor.
It is also suggested the suction valve may be the culprit, and not the pump itself. But unfortunately the valve is not sold
separately, it comes with the pump. Check to make sure +5 volts or more is present at the suction valve if the pump is
not producing pressure in order to rule out wiring or control module issues.
Some owners report a grinding or growling sound the pump goes bad.
It should also be noted that low pressure codes do not necessarily mean the pump. Accumulators can fail leading to
intermittent low pressures (when hitting bumps). The suction restrictor valve could be malfunctioning. The pressure
check valve could be malfunctioning. The pressure sensor itself could be malfunctioning.
There is a SDS diagnostic test to measure the health of the accumulators (pressure reservoirs). Before replacing a
pump, always run this test to rule out the accumulators being the cause of intermittent pressure problems.
The best way to know for sure if the pump is bad is to monitor the pressure while doing a rodeo. The rodeo will stress
the system, and even a good pump will see about a 1/3 pressure drop at times. So if the car can get through the rodeo
successfully, then the pump is probably fine. If there are still pressure related codes being generated after passing a
rodeo, I would recommend investigating some of the other possibilities mentioned earlier.
Pulsation Dampener / Pressure Check Valve / Pressure Sensor Assembly

These three components are grouped together into the same assembly. They are the first set of components
immediately after the pump.

There is a pulsation dampener(52a) attached to the assembly, part number 2203270215. It is a black sphere. It is
similar in design to the other three accumulators in the system (nitrogen gas behind a rubber membrane), but much
smaller. Since the fluid flow from the pump is "choppy" given the nature of its design, something is needed to smooth
out these waves or vibrations in the fluid. This is the job of the dampener. Air behind the rubber membrane acts as a
cushion and evens out the pressure, much like a gas shock absorber removes road vibration.
There is also a check valve (52b) integrated into the assembly. It is a passive device, not actively controlled by the
control module. It will open when the pressure exceeds its designed limit (~190 bars), allowing any excess pressure to
be bled off. Its job is to regulate the system pressure.
Lastly, there is a pressure sensor (B4/5) attached to the assembly, and it is wired to the control module. A resistor
inside the sensor alters the voltage passing through the sensor based on the amount of pressure applied to it. At zero
pressure the voltage is around 0.6 volts. At full pressure it is at 5 volts. The control module monitors this voltage, and
infers the system pressure from it.
There is a inverse relationship between the voltage from the pressure sensor and the voltage supplied to the pump
suction valve. Then the voltage from the pressure sensor is low (the system needs more pressure), the voltage to the
suction valve will be high (open up the valve and give me more), and vice versa.
So what can go wrong with these components?
1) The pulsation dampener could fail. The rubber membrane inside of it eventually breaks down, and the dampening
ability is lost. You will hear a humming sound caused by the fluid vibration. The ABC system will function normally
though, although the vibrations will stress the system if not addressed. I don't believe the control module will notice
this, so no error codes or warning messages will appear. Just a loud annoying hum.
2) The check valve could be opening at too high a pressure. The control module should detect the overpressure and
shut the ABC system down and display an ABC error message on the dash. It should also log the error.
3) The check valve opens at too low a pressure. I don't think it is a likely scenario but it is theoretically possible. In this
scenario the control module will sense the need for more pressure and tell the suction valve on the pump to open up,
and meanwhile the check valve will constantly route all that extra fluid back to the reservoir in an endless loop. If the
pressure that this is occurring at is below the acceptable pressure to operate the ABC system, the control module will
shutdown the ABC system and display a warning on the dash. If this endless loop is occurring at a pressure above the
minimum but below the ideal, then the system will operate normally but the pump will be working extra hard. I'm
guessing the control module would not notice this situation. It won't be able to tell the difference between a weak pump
and a check valve letting off pressure too soon. But a constant 5V at the suction valve would indicate the pump is
working full throttle all the time.
4) The pressure sensor is not working correctly. It could fail. There could be a loose connection between the sensor
and the control module. It could be sluggish in responding to pressure changes. Or it could just be wrong about the
pressure it is sensing. The control module should be able to detect a loose connection or a completely failed sensor
and log an error code to that effect. That leaves the sensor reporting the wrong pressure. If the sensor is reporting
higher then normal, then the control module will be seeing what it thinks are overpressure situations, and will shut
down the ABC system and give a dash warning and log error codes. If the sensor is reporting lower pressure than
actual, then either 1) in extreme cases the control module will think the system is below normal operating pressure and
will shutdown the ABC system along with dash warnings and error codes. It could mimic a pump failure. 2) if a minor
case, the normal drops in pressure will be more exaggerated from the control module's perspective, leading to
intermittent "drive carefully" messages and occasional ABC system shutdowns.
5) Occasionally the o-ring that provides the seal for the pressure sensor will fail, causing a fluid leak. There is a repair
kit available (part number A2203201158) for approximately $80. Don't let the workshop convince you that you need to
replace the entire assembly, a $1,250 part. If the kit is not available, the shop should be able to improvise something
with a similar sized sealing washer (like those used for oil drain plugs).

The accumulators (#4,#14,#53 on the hydraulic diagram above), are often referred to as a "air cell" or "nitrogen ball".
They are black spheres that contain nitrogen gas (air) trapped behind a rubber membrane. Hydraulic fluid is allowed
to travel in and out of the sphere based on the pressure differential between the rest of the system and the air on the
other side of the membrane. The compressed air in the accumulator pushes back against the fluid and can either
absorb pressure or supply pressure.
There are three accumulators placed strategically in the system. The two larger ones(4 and 14), part number 220 327
01 15, are attached to each of the two valve blocks and they provide the pressure necessary to add fluid to the struts
when the valves open. The pump's job is just to keep these two accumulators topped off. These two are the most
critical ones that will cause problems when they fail. The third accumulator(#53), part number 220 327 04 15, is often
referred to as the "center" or "return" side accumulator. It is smaller than the other two and it's job is to smooth out the
spikes in pressure that result when fluid is being let out of the struts. These accumulators are often overlooked since
many techs do not understand their true function in the system. They are much more than just fluid repositories.
The pulsation dampener(52a), part number 220 327 02 15, is arguably an accumulator as well. The design is the
same. Its size and position in the system has it serving a different purpose though. It is to even out the vibrations in the
fluid from the pump. When it fails you get this classic humming sound.
These accumulators wear out. Like any sort of wear part, how fast depends on a lot of factors. 60K-80K miles seems
the norm from what I read. Your mileage may vary based on the age of the car, driving conditions, how clean the ABC
fluid has been maintained, and so forth.
So, what can we take away from all this?
1) The dampener and return accumulator are important in that they smooth out the system pressure. Keeping those
healthy will reduce stress on the system.
2) If the two larger accumulators(4 and 14, P/N 220 327 01 15) that provide pressure to fill the struts were to weaken
or fail, then there will be momentary drops in system pressure. It will be most noticeable when the car hits a bump or
drop in the road, which requires fluid to be added quickly to the struts to compensate. The control module is monitoring
system pressure and when it sees the pressure drop, it puts the "Drive Carefully" warning on the dash. When the
pump catches up moments later the message goes away.
Shop techs who hookup the SDS tool and see "low pressure" codes in the logs often conclude that the pump needs
replacement, when in reality one of the main accumulators have failed.
So how do you tell if your accumulators are in good shape?

There is a SDS diagnostic test for them. It charges up the accumulators and then measures how long to takes to
discharge. The workshop tech may not be aware of this test, or think to run it because he doesn't understand their
function in the system. Always run this test to rule out accumulator problems before replacing a pump.
Observing the dip stick levels. If an accumulator has failed, the accumulator will fill with hydraulic fluid and the air will
eventually work its way out. The fluid level in the reservoir will then drop. Now if you attempt to top off the ABC fluid,
the reservoir will start to overflow each time you shut the car off. The reason being the blown accumulator is causing
the ABC system to use more fluid to operate than normal. So the takeaway is that a sudden drop in fluid level (with no
leaks anywhere) may indicate an accumulator has recently blown. And if you can successfully manage your ABC fluid
levels at the correct marks on the dipstick, you accumulators are probably fine.
Visual inspection. The front accumulator is easily accessible and removable. The rear one on the R230 is rather
difficult as it is in the rear wheel well and the assembly holding the valve block and accumulator is rather difficult to pull
out. I believe the rear accumulator on the W215 model is more easily accessible. If you are pulling the valve blocks for
any reason, it is a good idea to inspect the associated accumulators. If they are good, the rubber membrane should be
near the entrance to the sphere. If they are bad or "blown", you can reach a considerable distance into it. Be careful
and don't use anything pointed that could damage the rubber membrane. Of course pulling any part in the system
does introduce risk of contaminants getting into the system. The risk/reward decision is up to you. And given how
relatively inexpensive the accumulators are (~ $150-200) relative to the labor involved, you should consider just
replacing them anyway as a maintenance investment if you have the opportunity.
There is a test being advocated on the internet that involves pushing down on the bumpers and making sure there is
minimal movement. But it is bogus. Even when working correctly the front will be stiff and the rear will have a lot of
movement to it. The reason why the test is bogus is that that when the car is shut off or the transmission is in park, the
shutoff valves are engaged, preventing any fluid from entering or leaving the struts. The struts are isolated from the
rest of the system, including the accumulators. I've seen more than one owner mistakenly convinced they have a bad
rear accumulator because of this bad advice.
To recap, there are two common symptoms that point to your accumulators failing. The brief "ABC Drive Carefully"
messages on the dash, and the reservoir overflowing a few minutes after the car is shut off.
Here are some DIY resources :
Valve Blocks
The valve blocks job control the amount of fluid in each of the 4 struts. There are two valve blocks, one for the front
struts and one for the rear struts.

For each strut, there are two valves :

The main control valve (y1 in schematic, lower valve in picture) is a 3-position valve. In the outer position it allows fluid
to enter the strut, in its center position it closes off the strut, and in the inner position it allows fluid to leave the strut.
When the ABC system is active, this valve is doing all the work.

The other valve (y2 in schematic, upper valve in picture) is the shut-off valve that sits between the main control valve
and the strut. It's purpose is to lock the struts at their current fluid levels when the ABC system is not in operation.
When the car is not running or the transmission is not in gear, this valve is closed. When the car is put into drive or
reverse, the valve will open and allow the fluid levels to be managed by the main control valve. If the control module
senses a malfunction and disables itself, it will also close this shut-off valve for safety reasons.
So each valve block has 4 valves in it in total. These valves open and close based on voltage being supplied to them
by the ABC control unit.
These valve blocks rarely fail outright. What happens is that contaminants in the hydraulic fluid builds on the seat of
the valves, or the o-rings in the valve deteriorate. Either way, the valve no longer makes a good seal. As a result, fluid
slowly escapes past the shut-off valve (y2) and the main control valve(y1) and returns back to the reservoir. This
causes the strut to lower and the corner of the car to sag while parked.
It is important to remember that the car sagging after a couple of weeks is completely normal, according to
Mercedes. The tolerances in the design of the valve block will allow some leakage to occur over time. The height
should return to normal when using the ride height button.
It is possible (although rare) the car sagging is a fluid leak, such as the line between the valve and the strut, or a leak
in the strut itself. If the leak is severe enough to cause noticeable sagging while parked, there should be obvious signs
of the leak such as puddles on the garage floor.
When the car is running, the control module will compensate for any leaks in the valves. It is constantly monitoring
levels and adjusting as necessary. The sagging would only occur when the car is parked and shut off.
If you are having issues with a corner of the car not being a the correct level when running, or exhibiting other odd
activity, then you probably have a sensor issue or calibration issue.

Sometimes a "C1531"suspension strut moves although locking valve is closed" error code will get logged..most likely
while is stop and go traffic or idling at stop lights. It generally indicates the valves are sticking or jamming from being
held still too long. 2007+ model years have a software update to periodically move the valve a little to reduce this. So
you probably shouldn't get too concerned about these errors in your logs unless it is creating problems. Using the ride
height button may help in this situation to force the valve to move.
Unless the sagging problem while parked is severe, it is not an urgent problem that you have to rush to the repair shop
for. You can monitor the situation over time and decide when it has reached the point you want to fix it. In the
meantime be careful not to let the corner sink all the way down while parked, as the wheel well may come into contact
with the tires. Be sure to park with the wheels oriented straight ahead to avoid wheel well damage, and to start the car
periodically to pump up the strut.
You should also be sure to keep an eye on the reservoir fluid levels. If too much fluid leaves the struts, it may overflow
the reservoir. Then when you start the car and the struts are pumped back up, the system may be extremely low on
fluid, which may cause pressure problems and/or damage the pump. It would be wise to carry a spare quart of ABC
fluid in trunk for this situation.
If and when you have to fix the valve blocks, you options are to:
1) Filter the fluid (requires two filters) and perform a rodeo (a test that exercises the system) . Cost would be around
$200-300. If the cause is debris rather than an o-ring, then it may dislodge some debris from the valves, but the results
will be marginal and probably temporary. Sort of like trying to clean a fry pan by just running water over it. If the ABC
fluid is older that 40K miles, many on the forum would suggest replacing the fluid as well (about $250+labor).
2) Overhaul the valve assembly. This is not an approved MB procedure. Many members have reported success in
pulling the valves and cleaning them. Replacing the o-rings is also a good idea, but it may take some research to find
suitable replacements since there are no MB part numbers for them. There are also DIY write-ups and a youtube video
as well. Your local Indy shop may be willing to do this for you, with no guarantees of course. Parts cost would be
minimal and labor cost around $1,000.

3) Replace the valve block assembly. This will run you around $2,000. If saving money isn't a concern then this is the
best option to fix the problem.
Anyway, valve blocks leaking is a very common problem and is also the easiest component to diagnose. If the car
sags when parked, and there are no signs of fluid leakage, then you have a leaky valve block. There aren't any other
I've read numerous reports where repair shop told owners they need new pumps or struts to fix this issue. If you are
told this go to another repair shop since the tech clearly doesn't understand the design of the ABC system and is
grasping at straws(at your expense).
Here are some DIY resources :

So, if the reservoir overflows, the possibilities are :


It is a common to mistake the dipstick marks as "minimum" and "maximum" levels, especially since the marks
are labeled in German. So owners (and sometimes workshop techs) fill the fluid to the top mark by mistake

while the car is running, or they top off the fluid too soon after shutting the engine off (remember it it takes a
few minutes for the system to fully depressurize and the fluid to return). The end result will be the fluid
overflowing the reservoir. It won't hurt anything, but it will make a mess of the engine compartment.

An accumulator membrane has blown completely, releasing its nitrogen gas into the system. Then the system
depressurizes and the gas expands, pushing fluid into the reservoir and overflowing it.

The accumulator membrane is still intact, but much of the gas opposing the fluid has permeated the
membrane over time. As a result, it takes more volume of fluid in the chamber to reach the same pressure as
before. When the car is shut down and the system depressurizes, the accumulator dumps its fluid and the
volume exceeds what the reservoir was designed for.

So the take away is that the reservoir overflowing fluid out the dip stick cap is a pretty clear sign of one or more bad
accumulators. If you also find you need to keep your fluid levels somewhat below normal to keep the reservoir from
overflowing, it indicates your accumulators are worn out and will likely go soon.
Now if the level of fluid gets too low in the reservoir, the pump will start ingesting small quantities of air along with fluid,
leading to a loss of pressure and ABC warnings on the dash. The pump is lubricated by the fluid, so this will put
increased wear on the pump if not corrected. If you let the pump run dry, it will be destroyed in quick order.
So another takeaway is your first action on a ABC warning should be to verify you have adequate fluid levels to protect
the pump. Pull over immediately (seconds count) and check to make sure the dash message is not the result of losing
fluid. If the pump runs dry, it will be destroyed in a manner of minutes! Quick action can save you a $2,500-3,000
repair bill.
Here are some DIY resources :

There is a considerable amount of hoses and piping traversing the vehicle. Each connection point presents an
opportunity for a leak to occur. Keep in mind the plastic panels under the car can mask many fluid leaks. A typical hose
leak repair will cost you $500 - $1000.
The exception is the high pressure expansion hose that runs from the pump underneath the engine just below the
crankshaft pulley, where it then double backs and heads to the pressure dampener/sensor/check-valve assembly. To
replace the hose requires disconnecting one of the engine mounts and jacking the engine up a couple of inches to get
it out. Due to the extra labor and it being a specialty hose, it is a more costly repair...around $1500. Unfortunately it is
also a common failure point. Some MB models had a recall on this part. Be sure to check if your car was part of the
Some people like to speculate that a hose blowing will cause the car to drop suddenly onto its wheels and cause a
crash. This is highly unlikely. The control module has to energize the shutoff valve for each strut to allow fluid to enter
or leave the strut. If the control module senses anything wrong (like a pressure drop), or the control module itself
would fail, then the voltage to the shutoff valves will be interrupted and the valves will close, locking the fluid in the
struts. Conceivably the line between the valve and the strut could fail, or the strut itself could fail, but I suspect these
parts are designed not to "blow" altogether, just develop leaks.

The Control Module

Now if the control module senses inadequate pressure to operate, or if any of the sensors provide in-plausible data,
the system will shut itself down for safety reasons. The offending sensor will be logged for later retrieval by the SDS
Loose connections can happen - sometimes corrosion builds on the connectors, so pulling the connectors and
cleaning the contact points may help. In one case, an owner had an issue with a broken solder point. Bad sensors or
loose connections will often result in an error code with "fault in component" as part of the description. Values of 255
from a sensor generally mean "no reading" or "bad input".

Mercedes says this system is maintenance free. But nearly everyone on the message boards agree that the ABC fluid
should be replaced on a regular basis. How frequently is a subject of debate.
My personal opinion is that the fluid and filter should be replaced every 20,000 miles or 2 years, which ever comes
first. Or as another owner suggested, have the fluid changed with every other oil change. It will cost around $200-300
dollars to purchase the 10 pints of Pentosin CHF 11S fluid, and about $50 for a new filter.
There are DIY write-ups on the web on how to change out the fluid.
Here is an excellent description (message #6 of this thread) on why the fluid should be kept clean:
It is somewhat biased in that it is from a company that sells a filter with a magnet in it, but I agree with their
conclusions. They concern themselves more with metal shavings, but the rubber debris that all the rubber components
shed over time also contributes to the eventual failure of components. The fluid also absorbs moisture over time which
will lead to rust accumulation within the pump. Ignore what the MB dealer tells you and flush this ABC fluid regularly!
You should check the fluid levels periodically since it may be your first indication of a hydraulic leak. Just because
there are not any drops of fluid on your garage floor means you don't have any leaks. The panels on the underside of
the car tend to collect leaked fluid and may mask leaks.
It is extremely important to keep contaminants out of the ABC fluid. Wipe the area around the dipstick clean, and use a
lint free cloth to check the fluids.
The fluid when new is light green and clear. If the fluid has turned brown, it should be replaced. If it has become black,
it is extremely dirty and it will lead to costly repairs. The valve blocks will develop leaky seals and the car will start
sagging overnight. The pump bearings will also be experiencing excessive wear and will lead to the pump failing
sooner than normal.
For checking the fluid levels, I recommend the following: 1) Take the car for a short drive to warm it up and purge any
air that might be in the system. 2) With the car running, check the fluid level on the dipstick. 3) Shut the car off, wait 10
minutes, and check the level again. Make sure the ride height is at the normal setting (no lights on the switch) when

taking the measurements. Note the two fluid levels and the distance between. If the difference between the two is
more then the distance between the two level marks on the dipstick, then you may have one or more worn
accumulators. If so keep a close eye on it. Letting the fluid level get too low will risk damaging the pump.
You should also drive the car regularly, at least once per week if not more. The reason being is all the hydraulic orings and seals do not do well with prolonged inactivity. Seals dry out faster. The o-rings in the valves become
deformed from being held in the same position for extended periods of time. Gunk gets the opportunity to settle and
harden. I understand that this is often the 2nd/3rd/4th car for many and only driven during summer months. Just
understand there is some "cost" to leaving the car sit over the winter. The most likely impact being corner sagging
issues will visit more frequently, in my personal opinion.

Purging air from the system

The system will purge itself of air in the system over time. If you were doing some work and want to get the air out
immediately, you can do so by using the ride height button. Cycling through the levels about 15 times is sufficient to
get most of the air out of the system. The air escapes through a pinhole in the dipstick cap. The rest will work its way
out over time. A rodeo procedure can help speed the process along, but it is NOT necessary.
Also, some shops or techs are under the mistaken impression that rodeos and/or flushes are necessary after replacing
components in the ABC system. It is not the case. Cycling through the ride height levels and adding back any lost ABC
fluid is all that is necessary.
Some message board owners have made a good point that doing a rodeo is rather stressful on the system.
Sometimes a hose will burst or a strut will fail during the test. It can be argued that the rodeo helped you find a
component that was about to fail anyway, but who really knows for sure. My point is use this procedure sparingly.
Costs of Ownership of the ABC System
This is a costly system to repair. Most of the components in the system have a useful life of around 70,000 miles or so.
Purchasing a car with 70,000 miles and owning it to 120,000 miles will be a costly proposition. It is likely you will have
to replace the following during this period of the car's life :

But there is some good news. With the exception of the pump, the other components of the ABC system (the valve
blocks, accumulators, and struts) are in easy to access locations, and replacing them requires only basic mechanical
skills. There are do it yourself write-ups and videos on the web, and support forums where other owners can provide
So if you are the adventurous type that doesn't mind getting his hands dirty, then you have lots of options to cut down
your repair costs. And you really don't have much to lose other than a tow bill and eating a little humble pie. If you don't
succeed, just put things back the way they were and get the car to a good Indy shop and have them do the
repair...hopefully with your supplied part.

Conversion to Standard Coil-Over Struts

NOTE : this is detailed further below
Another option is to replace the ABC system altogether with an aftermarket set of coil struts. Strut Masters sells a
conversion kit. It consists of 4 standard struts and an adapter that you connect to the car to fake out the system to
thinking the ABC system is OK.
Cost will be around $3,000-4,000 to have installed. Assuming you wait until an expensive ABC repair bill comes up,
then the net cost becomes considerably less. You can also sell your used ABC components on ebay to other owners
having failures, and recoup much of this cost.
Of course installing this kit eliminates the advantages of the ABC system. The ride will be a little harsher and the
handling not as tight. You also will not have any anti-sway bars, so if you are an aggressive driver on corners, the car
will have a greater tendency for over-steer(the rear end swinging out). Odds are you would never notice the difference
unless you drive as if you are at the track.
Having the ABC system replaced is an option to consider if the fear of future repair costs keeps you up at night. I
strongly recommend doing your homework first on what the ride and handling quality will be like by seeking out other
owners on the forums who have performed this replacement.
Finding a repair shop.
As you can see, this is a highly complex system. And you will find that it is very hit and miss on finding a shop
(including MB dealerships) that are knowledgeable about the ABC system. It is very common for the workshops to
misdiagnose the problem. For example, I had a problem with intermittent "Drive Carefully" messages on my dash. The
MB dealership first though it was leaking hoses ($1,000), then they tried the pressure sensor($1,500), and finally
replace two accumulators, which was the problem ($1,000). This experience is typical from talking to other owners on
the message boards. It also seems that shop techs are too quick to assume the pump is the problem, when the
accumulators or other components might be the cause.
The shop having a SDS system is a requirement for troubleshooting and working on the ABC system. If the shop you
go to for ABC work doesn't have one and tries to convince you it isn't necessary, go elsewhere! The ABC system will
log any problems it has in the form of error codes, and these codes are necessary to correctly diagnose most
problems with the ABC system. These codes cannot be read using standard OBDC scanners. But keep in mind these
codes only provide clues, not answers. It is all too common for techs using this system to swap out the wrong part
because of errors they see in the logs.

Regular Rebuilt 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
toConventionalSuspension without the Sway/Ant-Roll Bars asthis is verydangerousand 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 wont touch an SL500, but it sure isnt a
slacker unlike the SL280 and SL320 / 320SLs of the previous generation R129 SLs.
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 didnt 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 SLs are cruisers at heart. SL350 up
to SL65 AMG, theyre 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 :
RebuildMaster 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, professionalinstallationmay be required.

It will take a minimum of 15hr labourand 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'sOEMdesign 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 forinstallationof the KIT (no corecharge; 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 handle the power of the SL55 AMG.
NOTE : All parts below are available through Mercedes-Benz dealer network or can be purchased as kit above.
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)
Front Conversion Parts

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
N 910 143 008 010
N 000 000 005 272

- front damper/shock absorber strut

x2 approx. $276 ea
- 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
x2 approx. $40 pair
- front lower sway/anti-roll/torsion arm ball joint
x2 approx. $20 each
- Screws for torsion bar
- Hexagon nut (torsion bar to rod and rod to spring control arm) x4

Rear Conversion Parts

A 230 326 09 00
A 230 324 02 04
A 230 326 00 64

- rear damper/shock absorber strut

- rear coil spring
- rear strut mount


approx. $250 each

A 230 320 05 11
A 211 320 33 89
A 005 466 40 01
N 000 000 000 437
N 913 023 012 002
A 140 990 06 51
N 913 023 010 002

- rear sway/anti-roll/torsion bar

- rear sway/anti-roll/torsion bar rod link stabilizer
- SL350 single PS pump (tandem pump A 005 466 09 01) x1
- Screws for torsion bar
- Nuts for torsion bar
- Hexagon nut (torsion bar to rod)
- Hexagon nut (rod to spring control arm)

approx. $40 pair

approx. $350

NOTE : in above parts list, it appears that H&R lowering springs were supplied with new struts?
Front Conversion Parts
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


N 910 143 008 010

N 000 000 005 272

- Screws for torsion bar

- Hexagon nut (torsion bar to rod and rod to spring control arm)

Rear Conversion Parts

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 (left and right) - A 211 320 33 89 (same as front)


N 000 000 000 437

N 913 023 012 002
A 140 990 06 51

- Screws for torsion bar

- Nuts for torsion bar
- Hexagon nut (torsion bar to rod)


N 913 023 010 002

- Hexagon nut (rod to spring control arm)

SL350 Power Steering Pump (single, not tandem ABC) - A 005 466 40 01
Note : # 10 is single SL350 pump, while # 75 is ABC tandem pump.

Additional parts if Installing Torsion Bars from SL65 Black Series :

Front :

A 230 320 23 11
N 910 143 008 010
N 000 000 003 279
A 230 333 02 50
A 230 323 00 17

- Torsion bar
- Screws for torsion bar
- Hexagon nut (torsion bar to rod)
- Bushing
- Torsion bar linkage left and right

A 230 320 22 11
N 910 105 012 012
N 913 023 012 002
N 913 023 008 003
A 230 320 07 89

- Torsion bar
- Screws for torsion bar
- Nuts for torsion bar
- nut (torsion bar to rod)
- Torsion bar linkage left and right

Rear :

Deleted ABC Components



Caster is the measure of how far forward or behind the steering axis is to the verticle axis, viewed from the side. An
example of caster in action is the front wheels on a shopping cart. They run a large amount of positive caster to make
the cart track straight without wandering. However, the method that the cart uses (displacement caster) is different
than how your car develops its caster angle (angled pivot), but the effect is the same.
Positive Caster is when the steering axis is in front of the verticle. In a road car, this would mean that the top of the
coilover would be pushed towards the rear of the car. Positive caster creates a lot of align torque (the force that
straightens the steering wheel when you go forward) which improves straight line stability of the car. Due to the
geometry of positive caster it also will increase negative camber gain (a good thing) when turning. As you increase
positive caster the steering will get heavier also, but with modern power steering systems this is rarely a problem.
Generally you want as much positive caster as you can reasonably get so long as the car is equipped with power
Negative Caster is when the steering axis is behind the verticle. This is generally only found on older vehicles due to
tire technology, chassis dynamics, and other reasons. Modern vehicles do not use negative caster. It will lighten the
steering effort but also increases the tendency for the car to wander down the road.
NOTE - Regardless of what caster setting you use, make sure that your caster is symmetrical. Running a
different amount of caster on one side will cause the car to pull towards the side with less caster.


Toe is the measure of how far inward or outward the leading edge of the tire is facing, when viewed from the top. Toe
is measured in degrees and is generally a fraction of a whole degree. It has a large effect on how the car reacts to
steering inputs as well as on tire wear. Aggressive toe angle will cause the tire to develop feathering across its

Toe-in is when the leading part of the tire is turned inwards towards the center of the car. This makes the tires want to
push inward, which acts to improve straight line stability of the car as its traveling down the road, particularly at high
speed (highway).
Toe-out is when the leading part of the tire is turned outwards away from the center of the car. This makes the tires
want to separate from each other. This improves turn-in response considerably but again, at the cost of tire wear.
Running toe-out in the rear is generally not recommended since it will make the car want to pivot (oversteer) at all
steering angles, but in the right setup it can help (auto-x / technical tracks).
NOTE - Due to the small amount of angle ran you have to take into account the dynamics of your particular
car. For instance, under acceleration and steady state driving a RWD car will be pushing the front along, this
means that when the bushings deflect in the control arms that the tire will want to toe-out. A small amount of
toe-in in the front will allow the tire to zero out. For a FWD car, the front wheels are pulling and the opposite
occurs. The bushings are compressed in the opposite direction and the tires will tend to toe-in, so a small
amount of toe-out is necessary to zero the angle. In an AWD car this gets complicated since the front is
pulling and the rear is pushing. Generally speaking a much milder toe deflection should be realized in this
situation, requiring virtually no change.
Rear Toe - Net Zero, maybe a touch of toe-in if you want a tamer straight line.


Negative Camber is when the top of the tire tucks inwards. For a road going car you typically want to maintain a slight
amount of negative camber (1 2 Degrees) to improve road handling. Camber improves handling by allowing the tire
to apply even loading when the body rolls going into a corner. Without negative camber the tire would load the outer
portion of the tire which would reduce overall grip.
Downsides to negative camber are increased inner tire wear since during normal driving conditions the tire will apply
more load to that portion of the tire. Large amounts of static camber will also generally reduce overall grip during
braking and straight-line acceleration.
Race teams will know how much camber to dial into their car from thermal tire data and driver feedback. At proper
camber settings the tire will exhibit stable and symmetrical temperatures across the tire surface during cornering.
Excessive heating on the inner or outer third of the tire can be indicative of improper camber angle.
Positive Camber is when the top of the tire extends outward, and the base of the tire tucks inwards. This is rarely ever
seen on a road car since it will reduce road handling capability. In special situations, such as NASCAR, positive
camber will be applied to handle heavy amounts of track embankment. If you are running a positive camber figure on
your street car then its highly recommended that you inspect your suspension for damage and/or adjust the camber to
a slight negative figure.

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 (theyre 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 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 (dont 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 Andrettis 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.

Buyers 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 its 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 (its easy to fill the service book with oil changes but never do the more expensive
maintenance jobs).

My Buyers Checklist
Car & Seller Info
Sellers 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 Youve 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)