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Mercedes-Benz ABC (Active Body Control) Hydropneumatic Suspension Problems & Solutions.

Posted by RMT Technical Support on May 9th 2016

 Twelve thousand five hundred and fifty-five dollars... Let me repeat that so you know I didn't make a typo. Twelve thousand five hundred and fifty-five dollars. That's how much it costs to get that whining sound to stop on your SL 500 every time you put your foot on the gas to accelerate. I get calls all of the time from customers who are blown away from sticker shock when they take their car to the dealership to get a diagnosis. The service adviser stares at them with a discerning look as if to say, “You bought a Mercedes, did you think it was going to be cheap?” “If you couldn't afford it, why did you buy it”? Now as he is playing the staring contest with you, you think the logical thought, “I only bought this used car for $15,200. Why would I pay that much for a repair and what are they doing for that kind of money?” You tell the service adviser to stuff it and burn rubber out of the shop with that whine louder than it was before you got there.

Let me Quentin Tarantino this story and go to the beginning... The suspension systems on the SL and CL models for Mercedes Benz is called ABC, AKA, Active Body Control. Instead of springs or air, the suspension uses hydraulic oil, a specialized pump, and a bunch of hydraulic valves to actuate the suspension and handling of your car. Over time, these parts begin to wear out causing small debris to flake off of the interior of the lines that are used to move this oil all over the underside of your car. When this happens it causes build up, clogs, and failures to this system. The whining you are hearing is the hydraulic pump failing and burning out. Just as a bonus, this pump also powers your steering system as well which can cause issues which are just as dangerous. Now the logical question is why don't I just replace the pump. Good question, I'm glad you asked. The reason you can't just replace the pump is that after the lines begin to degrade it sends debris all over the system and no matter how much your tech charges you to flush the systems its too late. So you bring your car into the dealership to get another diagnostic and they throw out the number to fix and starts to play eye chicken that started this rant.

Now, you love the car but what do you do? There are two answers to this question. If the pump is quiet and the issue is just that one or more of the struts have collapsed or began to leak oil we have developed the ability to rebuild the front and rear ABC struts. Just like with rebuilding the Air suspension struts our technicians are able to disassemble your failed suspension component, rebuild, and refinish them to like new condition. These struts have a ***Limited Lifetime Warranty***.

If the struts are not leaking the answer is the same as the missionaries of the new world. Conversion, conversion, conversion.

We ran into this problem with clients for years and have finally come up with the most advanced system to resolve any and all issues with the ABC system. In our facility we manufacturer a full conversion system to change your suspension to the same design as the SL65 Black Edition. The same race inspired design that gives it the feel of an actual race car can now be used in your daily driver. All of the hydraulics are deleted and the coil over design is responsive and comfortable. It actually has been noted that there has been a jump in horsepower after installation.

Give us a call at anytime to explain your options, pricing, and how you can win the staring contest with your service adviser.