December 28

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL55 AMG, ABC Tandem Pump Replacement

Auto Repair, Mercedes


Mark: Hi it’s Mark from Top Local Lead Generation, we’re here with Bernie Pawlik of Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. We’re going to talk about a 2005 Mercedes Benz CL55 AMG. Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver are Vancouver’s best auto service experience. How’re you doing Bernie?

Bernie: I’m doing pretty well this morning.

Mark: So, we’re going to, as I said a CL55 that had an ABC tandem pump replacement, what was going on with this sports coupe?

Bernie: So this vehicle came in with a few issues, but one of them is that the ABC warning light was on on the dash and there was an issue with the suspension system, so that was the main concern that the vehicle was brought in for.

Bernie: So the ABC warning light, basically stands for Active Body Control and what it is is Mercedes fancy suspension system, it’s hydraulic so it uses fluid, there are hydraulic struts on all four corners of the vehicle, there are some valve units that control within a hundredth of a second to make the re-adjustments on the suspension system, there are level and height sensors and also there is the pump, which is the unit that went bad with this vehicle. The pump is integrated with the power steering pump, it’s called a tandem pump, it’s actually two pumps in one. So one of the functions is to operate the hydraulic suspension system.

Mark: So what’s the ABC light all about?

Bernie: The ABC light basically, it’ll come on if there’s a problem with the suspension system. So our diagnostic procedure, as we say so many times, we hook a scan tool and computer up to the vehicle, access the trouble code see where, see what’s going on and then we can perform our tests from there. What we found was that the, from our tests, the pump wasn’t working, there was no pressure being developed in the system.

Mark: Ok, sounds expensive and complicated. What was wrong with this pump?

Bernie: Basically the pump had just died. We don’t normally take them apart to fix them, we replace them but yeah, everything on these suspension systems is expensive. First of all, it’s amazing, you can go around a corner and the vehicle doesn’t lean, the control is amazing but when things go wrong with it and they do, it costs a lot. The pump, it depends where you buy it, a rebuilt pump is about $700 bucks, brand new and from Mercedes is a bit under $2000 dollars plus there’s a fair bit of labour to put it in, so that gives you an idea of one end of the spectrum. The hydraulic struts, they can be bought re-manufactured, good quality re-manufactured units are $1200 bucks or more a piece. You can buy them new or rebuilt from Mercedes, they’re $2500 bucks, so there’s a lot of expensive pieces. There are four struts, there are valve units that are a couple thousand bucks, you could spend $20 or $30 thousand bucks fixing this thing, if everything happened to blow at one time, which it won’t but that’s kind of what you’re up against if you own one of these cars.

Mark: Don’t jump your Mercedes CL55 over big obstacles.

Bernie: Yeah, it’s not meant for jumping things that’s for sure, but on the road, it works fabulous.

Mark: So how did things work after you got the pump replaced?

Bernie: Really well. The warning light was off immediately, pump worked great, the whole suspension system was right back to where it’s supposed to be. So yeah, it worked really well. I’ll share a couple of photos while we’re at it. So here is our CL55, beautiful car. Unfortunately weI didn’t have a chance to wash it before I took this photo, it’s Vancouver, it’s salty roads and it doesn’t look as pretty as it could, but that’s the car, very beautiful vehicle, powerful. There’s the pump, the old pump that we replaced. So yeah, I mean, it doesn’t look much more than an old grungy pump but that’s the unit that’s a couple thousand dollars from Mercedes, but other than that it’s, there’s our piece. I’ll just close our photos here and I’m back.

Mark: So was anything else required for this repair?

Bernie: Well the other thing we did was we did a flush on the hydraulic system, it uses a special fluid, it’s a Pentosin CHF 11, it’s a special hydraulic fluid that is actually commonly used in a variety of European vehicles for power steering pumps and hydraulics. It’s an expensive fluid about $30 bucks a litre or so. But we did a flush on the system and this holds quite a bit of fluid but we flushed the system out, the fluid gets dirty over time and it’s actually, I strongly recommend if you own a vehicle with a Mercedes with a hydraulic suspension system, flush the fluid every probably three to four years. It’s a worthwhile service, the fluid gets dirty, it gets dark, it works hard and anything you can do to keep costs down on repairs for this vehicle is well worth it.

Mark: So I know you have one of these AMG’s, I don’t know what year yours is and you have a convertible model, how are these AMG cars over all?

Bernie: Well, they’re awesome and if you won one, you can expect that you are going to spend an awful lot of money to fix it. The finicky, complicated cars, there’s a lot to them, so if you want one I mean they’re amazing cars but be prepared to spend a lot of money to fix it. I sort of budget myself, I don’t know $5 to 10 thousand dollars a year for repairs which is an awful lot of money when you consider an average car is probably a couple thousand. But there’s a lot that can go wrong, you know they have big tires and they’re expensive and there’s a variety of those kinds of things but if you kind of keep that in mind before you buy one of these cars then you’ll know what you’re looking at. And some years you may not spend even a thousand bucks but you just never know. But the one thing is they tend to depreciate quite quickly which is why I own one, because after they’re 10 years old they tend to not be worth a huge amount of money so you can actually get an incredibly fancy car for not a lot, but you’re just going to pay a lot of money to fix it. So, but yeah, there’s a lot to them. It’s a good mechanics car, which is why I think the price goes down so much. If you have the money to buy one new, then you may as well buy a new one.

Mark: So great car with caveats.

Bernie: Yeah exactly. Great car with caveats, just be prepared to spend a lot of money on repairs.

Mark: So there you go, expert opinion from Bernie Pawlik at Pawlik Automotive and if you want Pawlik to look after your Mercedes or any other vehicle basically in Vancouver, these are the folks to call 604-327-7112 to book. They are busy you have to book ahead or check out their website couple years of hangout videos on there talking about all different kinds of cars. Thanks Bernie

Bernie: Thanks Mark

About the author 

Bernie Pawlik

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