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Last post - getting rid of the POS

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Old 11-09-2017, 07:58 AM
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Last post - getting rid of the POS

Well, the POS finally blew an ABC line or something somewhere. Driving home I saw white smoke coming from the rear of the car and the red ABC light came on. I parked it, called my bank and told them to pick it up. I'm done.

This car, by far, has been the most unreliable piece of crap I have ever owned and I've owned 16 cars. No car, especially one that sold for $170k should EVER have these problems at 85,000 miles. Mercedes should be embarrassed to have sold such a lemon. Normal maintenance is one thing, these issues are far beyond that. I've pumped too much money into this pile of crap and will not spend another dime on it.

I appreciate the members who have helped me before. I wish you all the luck on these cars.

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Old 11-10-2017, 08:59 AM
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Who do you bank with that you can just call them and tell them you're done and they can pick it up? Wouldn't that fall under a repossession on your credit history?

Originally Posted by VinnyT View Post
Well, the POS finally blew an ABC line or something somewhere. Driving home I saw white smoke coming from the rear of the car and the red ABC light came on. I parked it, called my bank and told them to pick it up. I'm done.

This car, by far, has been the most unreliable piece of crap I have ever owned and I've owned 16 cars. No car, especially one that sold for $170k should EVER have these problems at 85,000 miles. Mercedes should be embarrassed to have sold such a lemon. Normal maintenance is one thing, these issues are far beyond that. I've pumped too much money into this pile of crap and will not spend another dime on it.

I appreciate the members who have helped me before. I wish you all the luck on these cars.

V
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Old 11-11-2017, 01:06 AM
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Originally Posted by VinnyT View Post
Well, the POS finally blew an ABC line or something somewhere. Driving home I saw white smoke coming from the rear of the car and the red ABC light came on. I parked it, called my bank and told them to pick it up. I'm done.

This car, by far, has been the most unreliable piece of crap I have ever owned and I've owned 16 cars. No car, especially one that sold for $170k should EVER have these problems at 85,000 miles. Mercedes should be embarrassed to have sold such a lemon. Normal maintenance is one thing, these issues are far beyond that. I've pumped too much money into this pile of crap and will not spend another dime on it.

I appreciate the members who have helped me before. I wish you all the luck on these cars.

V
I bought my 2006 S65 a year ago with 72,000 miles from the original family. They had most of the service records and it had had very good care. I purchased an extended warranty for 24 months/24,000 miles that is almost bumper-to-bumper coverage for $3,700. In the first 11 months and 11,000 miles the warranty company ponied up right at $15,000 in repairs (all at the Mercedes dealer). I've spent another $3,000 myself for maintenance and things not covered by the warranty.

Shortly after the warranty expires I'll take it out of daily service and slip it into the permanent collection. I really enjoy driving the car, but these things are ticking time bombs.
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Old 11-11-2017, 07:39 PM
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I wonder if that 65 motor is just too much for the W220 chassis. Are W221 chassis 65 cars having the same amount of trouble? It’s an interesting science question, although I consider it no coincidence that the W221 chassis is much bigger and heavier, and probably stronger. That would permit a larger engine bay for cooling, less driveline induced stress on ABC lines, more robust ABC struts, etc. I mean, the 55 is a lot in this car (almost too much, actually), so I wonder if the 65 is just a step too far.

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Old 11-12-2017, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by 1of427 View Post
I bought my 2006 S65 a year ago with 72,000 miles from the original family. They had most of the service records and it had had very good care. I purchased an extended warranty for 24 months/24,000 miles that is almost bumper-to-bumper coverage for $3,700. In the first 11 months and 11,000 miles the warranty company ponied up right at $15,000 in repairs (all at the Mercedes dealer). I've spent another $3,000 myself for maintenance and things not covered by the warranty.

Shortly after the warranty expires I'll take it out of daily service and slip it into the permanent collection. I really enjoy driving the car, but these things are ticking time bombs.
Where did you get an extended warranty from? Everyone I called said "nope" when I told them it was an S65. I bought mine with 55k on the clock. Now have about 61.5k miles. Had to do a lot of the work myself. Only used a shop twice for some things I couldn't or didn't have the tools to do. Saved a bunch on labor, but a lot of my time was spent fixing things rather than just enjoying the ride.
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Old 11-12-2017, 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted by amstel78 View Post
Where did you get an extended warranty from? Everyone I called said "nope" when I told them it was an S65. I bought mine with 55k on the clock. Now have about 61.5k miles. Had to do a lot of the work myself. Only used a shop twice for some things I couldn't or didn't have the tools to do. Saved a bunch on labor, but a lot of my time was spent fixing things rather than just enjoying the ride.
I got it through my insurance company, USAA, but the company that actually underwrites it is Assurant Solutions. The car has to be no more than 10 years old and have no more than 100,000 miles.

When I was at the dealer service department about 6 weeks ago, they said they think the aftermarket warranty companies are now shying away from the V-12 Mercedes. Actually, on my car, the bulk of the repairs have been with the ABC.
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Old 11-12-2017, 10:28 PM
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Thanks Jim. Well, my car is now more than 10 years old as it was manufactured back in May of 2006 so no luck there. But thanks for the tip on USAA. Might get a quote from them; they keep sending me letters but I keep ignoring them as I've been with Geico for years. If/when I decide to move up to W221 or maybe something else with a 65 or 63 AMG in the moniker, I'll look into aftermarket warranties in more detail.
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Old 11-13-2017, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by 1of427 View Post
I bought my 2006 S65 a year ago with 72,000 miles from the original family. They had most of the service records and it had had very good care. I purchased an extended warranty for 24 months/24,000 miles that is almost bumper-to-bumper coverage for $3,700. In the first 11 months and 11,000 miles the warranty company ponied up right at $15,000 in repairs (all at the Mercedes dealer). I've spent another $3,000 myself for maintenance and things not covered by the warranty.

Shortly after the warranty expires I'll take it out of daily service and slip it into the permanent collection. I really enjoy driving the car, but these things are ticking time bombs.
They are ticking time bombs. I hate bashing them, but they are seriously unreliable as a daily driver. I wouldn't even trust it as a 'pleasure' car. Even if I had had the $6000 to repair the line and ABC pump, another line could blow. Basically, I would have to replace the ABC pump, ALL the lines, accumulators, etc. That would be at least $8000+. Sorry, not worth it.

Question, are these hydraulic lines metal or rubber? I'm guessing rubber which would be idiotic, especially at the PSI they are running at. Another thing that is idiotic is that there is no safety shutdown of the ABC pump. Once the line blows, the fluid sprays everywhere, draining the reservoir within seconds and BOOM goes the pump. Very BAD design.

I'm sorry, but no car foreign or domestic should have these issues at 85000 miles, period. I find it fascinating that so many of these cars have major issues around the same mileages. Hmmm.

EDIT: Seems like the ABC lines are a combination of metal and rubber. Rubber...on a 3000psi line. LOL

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Old 11-13-2017, 09:38 AM
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Originally Posted by maw1124 View Post
I wonder if that 65 motor is just too much for the W220 chassis. Are W221 chassis 65 cars having the same amount of trouble? Itís an interesting science question, although I consider it no coincidence that the W221 chassis is much bigger and heavier, and probably stronger. That would permit a larger engine bay for cooling, less driveline induced stress on ABC lines, more robust ABC struts, etc. I mean, the 55 is a lot in this car (almost too much, actually), so I wonder if the 65 is just a step too far.

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Hey maw. The S65 is close to 5000lbs, so in my opinion, too much for the ABC system.
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Old 11-13-2017, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by VinnyT View Post
Hey maw. The S65 is close to 5000lbs, so in my opinion, too much for the ABC system.
Yeah, that's kind of where my head is, and has always been on the 65 cars. When I looked at the extra power, the extra weight, and the extra stress and maintenance the extra weight would mean, I decided the 4300lb 55 model was probably best. No need to push, pull, carry and turn an extra 700lbs around for just a bit more power and just a bit more luxury.

Your points about these components wearing in 85k miles are well taken. But keep in mind, in the auto industry standard parlance "lifetime" means 7 years and 100k miles, literally. So whatever is designed to last a life time, is designed to last 7 years and 100k miles. At 12years old and 120k miles, my 55 has been fine. But owning a 25year old 500E tells me not to expect that to last forever. Changing the ABC fluid every 30k, keeping it garage kept, not a daily driver, summer car, cool dry-ish climate, mostly highway, less than 5k miles per year, no stop and go traffic, etc., etc., certainly helps. But inevitably the struts and lines may go, and maybe I'll need a tandem pump rebuild, depending upon those circumstances. But the car has served me well.

A safety shutoff for the pump, an aux pump, etc., are all fine ideas, but they add weight and complexity (computers to run the backup system, struts that can auto seal upon warning conditions, etc.). And at the weight and complexity of the 600/65 cars, there's just no more room for either -- weight and complexity are already maxed out. So I just think those V12s are one step too far, and time is bearing that out. Unless you want to treat it like NASCAR where the thing stays being fixed until it's driven for a few hours, it just doesn't work long term. When you look at similar V12 monsters -- Bentley, BMW, Ferrari -- and notice that the AMG's are the best of the breed, it starts to sink in. As bad as these may be, they're light years better than anything else with 12 cylinders.

Cheers,

maw

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Old 11-13-2017, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by maw1124 View Post
Yeah, that's kind of where my head is, and has always been on the 65 cars. When I looked at the extra power, the extra weight, and the extra stress and maintenance the extra weight would mean, I decided the 4300lb 55 model was probably best. No need to push, pull, carry and turn an extra 700lbs around for just a bit more power and just a bit more luxury.

Your points about these components wearing in 85k miles are well taken. But keep in mind, in the auto industry standard parlance "lifetime" means 7 years and 100k miles, literally. So whatever is designed to last a life time, is designed to last 7 years and 100k miles. At 12years old and 120k miles, my 55 has been fine. But owning a 25year old 500E tells me not to expect that to last forever. Changing the ABC fluid every 30k, keeping it garage kept, not a daily driver, summer car, cool dry-ish climate, mostly highway, less than 5k miles per year, no stop and go traffic, etc., etc., certainly helps. But inevitably the struts and lines may go, and maybe I'll need a tandem pump rebuild, depending upon those circumstances. But the car has served me well.

A safety shutoff for the pump, an aux pump, etc., are all fine ideas, but they add weight and complexity (computers to run the backup system, struts that can auto seal upon warning conditions, etc.). And at the weight and complexity of the 600/65 cars, there's just no more room for either -- weight and complexity are already maxed out. So I just think those V12s are one step too far, and time is bearing that out. Unless you want to treat it like NASCAR where the thing stays being fixed until it's driven for a few hours, it just doesn't work long term. When you look at similar V12 monsters -- Bentley, BMW, Ferrari -- and notice that the AMG's are the best of the breed, it starts to sink in. As bad as these may be, they're light years better than anything else with 12 cylinders.

Cheers,

maw
The drivetrain on these beasts are practically bulletproof, that was the good news. It seems that many European automakers have trouble with suspensions. The car before this was a Jaguar XJR. It was an air suspension system and the compressor would struggle when below 30 degrees.
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Old 11-13-2017, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by VinnyT View Post
The drivetrain on these beasts are practically bulletproof, that was the good news. It seems that many European automakers have trouble with suspensions. The car before this was a Jaguar XJR. It was an air suspension system and the compressor would struggle when below 30 degrees.
You hit the nail on the head. The issue is sports car handling in a car over 2 tons, and everybody struggles with it. The obvious solution is drive a smaller, lighter car if you want sports car handling. But MB AMG made its name doing the exact opposite with the Red Pig -- in a 24 hour race, no less. Any 24 hour race is a test of what doesn't break when driven at the limit for hours on end. So they're the best at it. I mean, the very concept of a "Sports" button in a car this size is a complete anathema to virtually any other automaker -- it's a borderline joke, but AMG pulls it off well, IMO.

For cars that heavy, you either have air hydraulics or fluid hydraulics, and fluid is stronger than air. Pentosin in a line, or air in a line, Pentosin will control more weight with less pressure. And MB have been doing fluid hydraulics since the 60's, in everything from windows to suspensions.

I have an Audi Allroad with an air hydraulic system in a 4300lb car (similar to the W220 S500, same components actually), and it's much more trouble than these ABC systems. But (1) the components are not as expensive; and (2) you don't have to "change" the air. That second point is all important when it comes to the ABC system (and I say it continually), change the fluid every 2 years or 30k miles.

But the Bentleys (Continental Sports or Supersports) will break you, whether you drive the car or not, no matter how you drive it. Same with the Ferraris. The BMW V12's just don't ever work; period. At least these you can drive. And maintained properly they'll last with fairly light maintenance actually. The problem that plagued all of these cars was MB's call for "lifetime fluid." That was a lie, that still persists, that is giving all of these cars a black eye. Everything else on the car is, as you say, fairly bulletproof.

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Old 11-13-2017, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by maw1124 View Post
You hit the nail on the head. The issue is sports car handling in a car over 2 tons, and everybody struggles with it. The obvious solution is drive a smaller, lighter car if you want sports car handling. But MB AMG made its name doing the exact opposite with the Red Pig -- in a 24 hour race, no less. Any 24 hour race is a test of what doesn't break when driven at the limit for hours on end. So they're the best at it. I mean, the very concept of a "Sports" button in a car this size is a complete anathema to virtually any other automaker -- it's a borderline joke, but AMG pulls it off well, IMO.

For cars that heavy, you either have air hydraulics or fluid hydraulics, and fluid is stronger than air. Pentosin in a line, or air in a line, Pentosin will control more weight with less pressure. And MB have been doing fluid hydraulics since the 60's, in everything from windows to suspensions.

I have an Audi Allroad with an air hydraulic system in a 4300lb car (similar to the W220 S500, same components actually), and it's much more trouble than these ABC systems. But (1) the components are not as expensive; and (2) you don't have to "change" the air. That second point is all important when it comes to the ABC system (and I say it continually), change the fluid every 2 years or 30k miles.

But the Bentleys (Continental Sports or Supersports) will break you, whether you drive the car or not, no matter how you drive it. Same with the Ferraris. The BMW V12's just don't ever work; period. At least these you can drive. And maintained properly they'll last with fairly light maintenance actually. The problem that plagued all of these cars was MB's call for "lifetime fluid." That was a lie, that still persists, that is giving all of these cars a black eye. Everything else on the car is, as you say, fairly bulletproof.
Didn't know about the Audi. Darn, seems like the Europeans SUCK with suspensions. LOL. I guess my biggest beef is the major issues with the car that was $172000 new and it only now turned 85k miles. If this was an isolated incident, that is understandable. But the amount of people experiencing these problems is terrible. I now understand why the resale is awful on them.
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Old 11-13-2017, 05:17 PM
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Every up-market car has their weak points. On V12TT's it's the ignition and ABC. Comparable cars don't have those problems, but they have other problems instead, and they're generally MORE serious!

We're used to the MB world, and we know all about the bad thing because that's what people talk and complain about. Then we look across the web and see BMW's and Audis and Porsches and Ferraris and Bentleys and wish that we were driving those instead, because they're better built and more reliable.

WRONG! If you read all their websites in detail, you will hear people with just as many grievances, wistfully wishing they had a Mercedes instead.

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Old 11-13-2017, 05:23 PM
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By the way, my car handles like a sports car (well, a sports saloon - as good as any other saloon or coupe) and I drive it daily. It wasn't always so, but now it's a delight.

I fitted rear wheels and tires at the front, replaced all the ABC hoses in the engine compartment, and fitted heat shields around all of them. Made sure all the ball joints and bushes are good (essential!), inspect everything every year, and replace the oil and filter every other year.

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Old 11-13-2017, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Welwynnick View Post
By the way, my car handles like a sports car (well, a sports saloon - as good as any other saloon or coupe) and I drive it daily. It wasn't always so, but now it's a delight.

I fitted rear wheels and tires at the front, replaced all the ABC hoses in the engine compartment, and fitted heat shields around all of them. Made sure all the ball joints and bushes are good (essential!), inspect everything every year, and replace the oil and filter every other year.

Nick
Hi Nick. May I ask the mileage you have on yours?
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Old 11-13-2017, 06:53 PM
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164,000 miles.
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Old 11-13-2017, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Welwynnick View Post
164,000 miles.
Now with my car, I would expect issues like what I'm dealing with at that mileage. Not sure how much you have done to yours. I'm just very disappointed in the reliability in the S65.
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Old 11-13-2017, 11:51 PM
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Maw,
gotta disagree with you on the BMW V12.......I have daily driven either a M70 or M73 E31 or E38 (currently) for years and NEVER been left stranded.....grated I overhaul all the typical PM items when I get the car whether it needs it or not and they have been great and utterly reliable. Now on the S55......different story, major PM done on all systems and it still finds something to break every few weeks....this week both engine mounts and tranny mount.....for $125k the long term reliability sucks and it cant be trusted on a long drive. Motor and tranny are pretty bulletproof tho.....pity since I love the car and it gets compliments everywhere.
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Old 11-14-2017, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by pumpedTSI View Post
Maw,
gotta disagree with you on the BMW V12.......I have daily driven either a M70 or M73 E31 or E38 (currently) for years and NEVER been left stranded.....grated I overhaul all the typical PM items when I get the car whether it needs it or not and they have been great and utterly reliable. Now on the S55......different story, major PM done on all systems and it still finds something to break every few weeks....this week both engine mounts and tranny mount.....for $125k the long term reliability sucks and it cant be trusted on a long drive. Motor and tranny are pretty bulletproof tho.....pity since I love the car and it gets compliments everywhere.
How many miles on yourS55?
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Old 11-14-2017, 09:19 AM
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Engine and trans mounts are time items, not mileage. 10 years with an engine sitting on them, is 10 years with an engine sitting on them. If the only thing that went wrong on the W220 AMG cars were chassis rubber after 10 years, NO ONE would complain.

ABC systems without regular fluid flushes are a nightmare, on both the 55 and 65. The CPS will leave you stranded on either, so we all keep one in the glove box. That’s where the problems with my 55 (120k on it) stop, and I’m not calling those problems -- I've had regular ABC fluid / filter services and no CPS issues.

But the list on the 65 — extra weight, heat and complexity — keep going, and they’re all expensive. The ABC system is always working harder with the extra weight, the transmission is always working with the extra power, and the ignition system seems to always go bad. On top of that, people are convinced they can change things to get more power without sacrificing reliability, essentially thinking they can out-engineer MB AMG. That’s a nightmare scenario that I avoided and sadly others didn’t. Nick seems to be one of the most savvy owners, which is why he’s had his for 165k miles and isn’t dead.

I'm curious to know, Nick, why you only changed the ABC lines in the engine bay. Is that where most of the failures are, owing to the heat? Do you think heat would be as much of an issue on a V8 car?

Now I’ve never owned a V12 (for these reasons), so dismiss all my nonsense with a grain of salt if you feel so inclined. And yes PumpedTSI, the non-forced induction V12s from the 90s and prior fare much better than these TTV12s I'm talking about. A MB R129 600 car is still on my list, but if I'm going to live with a V12 and only get 400hp, I may as well just "stomach" the AMG (is the way I think about it). So if I do buy a V12 it’ll probably be an AMG, just because I think they’ve finally sorted out the ignition systems on the W222, and ABC now has a well known “fix” in fluid changes. And because all of the AMG 65 problems together don’t add up to a $15k maintenance on a V12 Ferrari, or the $5k annual maintenance on a Bentley. Finally, because these cars have such a terrible reputation, they have horrible resale values. If only someone can find a fix for the ignition systems (coils and modules) on the W220/W221 65 cars, I'd probably pull the trigger on one. I can handle the ABC issues. The ignition issues, not so much.

maw

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Old 11-14-2017, 09:55 AM
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I'm glad to see others' opinions on this. Seems like the ABC system is in fact faulty and dangerous as well. Not to mention other faulty parts of this vehicle. Again, I have no problems when a vehicle needs major parts replaced when there is high mileage. However, NOT before 86000 miles. That is a horrible reflection on Mercedes and the poor quality of some of their systems. I have contacted a lawyer, just a feeler, on a potential class-action lawsuit against MB. Could be all for naught, be thought I'd give it a try.
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Old 11-14-2017, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by VinnyT View Post
I'm glad to see others' opinions on this. Seems like the ABC system is in fact faulty and dangerous as well. Not to mention other faulty parts of this vehicle. Again, I have no problems when a vehicle needs major parts replaced when there is high mileage. However, NOT before 86000 miles. That is a horrible reflection on Mercedes and the poor quality of some of their systems. I have contacted a lawyer, just a feeler, on a potential class-action lawsuit against MB. Could be all for naught, be thought I'd give it a try.
The system may not be faulty. MB's instruction of "lifetime fluid" that doesn't need servicing definitely was. Be sure to point that out to your lawyer, that nowhere in the manual is there a maintenance spec to change that fluid. May not change the outcome, but it should be easier to show that hydraulic fluid needs servicing.

GL,

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Old 11-14-2017, 01:15 PM
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Is everyone here still running Pentosin or have you moved to a less hygroscopic hydraulic fluid?
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Old 11-14-2017, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by amstel78 View Post
Is everyone here still running Pentosin or have you moved to a less hygroscopic hydraulic fluid?
I'm still on Pentosin but am wondering if there's a "better" fluid, and have been thinking about it a lot lately, for this and my M3 SMG system (same fluid, same "lifetime" spec, same problems).

My suspicion is "better" may prove tricky, when it comes to how the fluid interacts with the seals, hoses and such. I find it odd that Pentosin hasn't been improved upon in 12 years. But on the other hand, if the system was designed for Pentosin, why not just use Pentosin? But treat it like Pentosin, not some magic potion that lasts forever under constant heat and stress in all driving conditions. I mean, isn't it the inside of the rubber hoses that disintegrates into the fluid, causing it to soil? Someone mentioned stainless steel lines as a "fix" for this, but that would add a lot of weight. I think this is another Nick question, as he's thought a lot about this.

So far, I've been content to just get the old fluid out every so often (30k miles). If it was designed for "lifetime" (100k miles), 30k is probably over doing it. But it's not expensive stuff and widely available, so why not?

That said, I'm all ears...

maw

Last edited by maw1124; 11-14-2017 at 01:34 PM.
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