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Old 08-04-2003, 06:26 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 3
Angry W220 ABC Issues/Problems

My 2002 S55 AMG has been misbehaving in its ABC system for a while now. Problem is that the car leans either towards the driver or passenger side front wheel after it has been parked for 2 to 3 weeks. Sometimes, the lean is so bad that the outside of the wheel well partially obscured the top of the tire. So far, the car always levels itself on the first motion forward. It stays level during drving. This problem was first detected last summer (2002). And, the car has been to the dealer 3 times for this problem. Initially the service department recalibrated the ABC. On the second visit (October 2002), a leak was uncovered at one of the ABC actuators/pumps, and this was replaced. During the last service visit for this problem (mid June this year), one of the front hydrualic shocks was detected to be be leaking down and replaced. However, the problem persists. I just noticed it again last week. Car has been sitting in my garage since then. Dealer is supposedly consulting with MB. But, I haven't heard from them yet.

My concern is that this problem will progressively get worse to the point that the inside of the wheel well actually touches the top of the tire, or the chassis won't level out on the first motion forward. An even more drastic scenario is for the ABC to cause the leaning to one wheel to occur during motion, or some other erratic behavior.

Please advise. Let know any of you, MB techs and owners, has expeienced the same problem or symptoms. Thanks.
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Old 08-04-2003, 07:45 PM
DR.DIESEL's Avatar
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Puget Sound, Washington St.
Posts: 522
Lightbulb ABC

There is a MB Service Bullitin on this "slumping issue".
I won't lie to you, these ABC cars are a PITA to diagnose.
The first step is to completely flush the 14L of pentosin the
ABC system uses as well as change the filters. They will also
need to preform the "RODEO" program and make the car cycle
all of it's valves to self flush and work the struts.
Then the car must be parked level and checked overnight
for slumping.
If this occurs, the level control valve blocks will need to be
replaced because of intenal bypassing or leaking.
If your dealer has been in contact with the MB help line,
they should allready be aware of these things.
Good Luck.
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Old 08-04-2003, 08:11 PM
Gilly's Avatar
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Evansville WI
Posts: 9,616
That Rodeo program is a riot, ain't it? Yee Haaaaa!

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Old 08-05-2003, 05:58 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Nov 2002
Posts: 3

Dr Diesel or Gilly:

Thanks for letting me know about this MB bulletin. I went back and reviewed the work orders the dealer generated for the past service visits concerning the ABC "slumping" problem. Nothing was mentioned about draining the Pentosin, or the "rodeo" program. Thus, I am not sure if the local dealer knows about this bulletin.

I like to point out this bulletin to my dealer. So, please let me know reference number for it.

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Old 08-05-2003, 07:17 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: South Eastern, MA
Posts: 1,743
Please keep us informed with your results letinthesun.

I'm guessing this must be a common problem, last week I noticed a CL sitting at a dealers lot doing the exact same thing.

Good luck getting it resolved.

02 C32 AMG

92 500E
84 190E 2.3 5 Spd
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Old 08-05-2003, 10:48 PM
blackmercedes's Avatar
Just a guy
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: St. Albert, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,492
I've seen lots of W220 cars at the dealer sitting on the ground. Sounds like another "they all do it, but I've never seen one do it" story beginning to form...
John Shellenberg
1998 C230 "Black Betty" 240K
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