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£4,000 to Replace SL, R230 Fuel Tank!!!

Discussion in 'Engine, Drivetrain, Fuel and Exhaust' started by BRABUS R230, May 22, 2009.

  1. BRABUS R230

    BRABUS R230 Senior Member

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    Hi All, I have recently been getting an annoying noise which sounds like something swinging like pendulum from the rear boot area of my 03 R230 SL, I asked Yoda (Malcolm) and he said it was something inside the fuel tank, on further investigation I have found out that it's not an inherent problem on 03/04 R230 SL's and depending on the country Merc repair it for free, but not in the UK, from what I have read it's the extra baffle that was added inside the tank as customers who purchased the early R230's complained of the sound of a "fuel sloshing" around in the tank, consequently Mercedes added more baffle to new fuel tanks and it transpires that this is what comes loose after some time, so people like me who buy these cars used are left with a very expensive repair bill to put it right! The other option for me is to keep the fuel tank alway filled up then the sound stops until around half a tank then the sound comes back! I have spoken to my main dealer and explained this issue, he told me that it was a very expensive job to do as the fuel tank has to be replaced and to do so the complete rear suspension has to be dropped in order to install a new tank and labour cost alone would be around £3,000.00 plus the cost of the Tank which is around £1,000.00, I asked for good will and I was told that Mercedes will only give between 20% and 25% due to the age of the car (2003), I do have extended warranty with warranty direct but I am not sure if I will be covered by a design fault of Mercedes Benz!!!
     
  2. television

    television Always remembered RIP

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  3. Alex M Grieve

    Alex M Grieve Senior Member

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    The foam fill idea is certainly a winner, if you can find someone to do it. It is used in military vehicles to reduce the risk of vapour igniting in the event of penetration by gunfire. Indeed, the absence of the foam was cited as the reason for the Hercules explosion and crash some years ago.
     
  4. television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    My car Alex does not have that extra baffle, I have always been a silence freak, just filling ever empty section makes it super quiet. SL's can never be that quiet as the boot are is open to the inside of the car
     
  5. rpe2

    rpe2 Senior Member

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    If MB are unwilling to contribute, painful though it will still be, try an independent garage. The Labour is likely to be at least half.

    Nick @ Euromerc may be able to do a deal on a tank.
     
  6. jberks

    jberks Senior Member

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    Design fault or not, a fuel tank failure is so rare that its unlikely that Warranty Direct would have though of excluding it. You may be in luck! Check your Ts and Cs.
     
  7. Dosco

    Dosco Senior Member

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    Wow Brabus that is a shock and a half. Malcolm you say you filled the boot with foam, was it means of deadening the sound? Would it be at all possible to encase the tank in expanding foam? may be totally off the wall as a suggestion just trying to come up with something to reduce the cost.

    As you have found out keeping the tank topped up might just be you best bet, after all you do need the 'go juice' Still having the knowledge that such an issue exists is such a bum.

    I think we need to have a flag day for you, as it seems to be the most expensive non-technical fault/repair I have come across on the forum;)
     
  8. television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    My car is not affected as I have the non modified tank, MB added another baffle in 2003 to stop any complaints of fuel sloshing around, and it is this baffle that has come loose.

    The tank is ½ in the boot behind the rear seat and ½ under the car.

    What would I do,, I would remove the float and pull the loose baffle out of the way or jam it with rubber piping.

    Any thing is possible, may not be the perfect answer,but at £4k who cares.

    There is no room to put any foam around the tank, the sides maybe and the top
     
  9. television

    television Always remembered RIP

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  10. Cnics

    Cnics Senior Member

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    £3000 for labour?

    Just what are they charging per hour now?
     
  11. television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    It will be interesting to see how much they quote Cycle, thats an AMG
     
  12. stumpy

    stumpy Senior Member

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    I feel your pain Brabus. If MB won't contribute (and I think it is appalling if they don't) then I would just keep it topped up or live with it. One thing that has surprised me with the 230 is how many lurking faults are starting to appear, meaning that as a used buy they are not the value they once were.

    Perhaps your baffles can't take the G-force ;)
     
  13. brandwooddixon

    brandwooddixon Senior Member

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    I reckon thatthe dealer is quoting that figure because he doesn't want the work.

    They tend to get really jumpy over health and safety when it comes to removing fuel tanks, loose fuel storage etc.

    If your warranty company wont cover it then I would either do as Malcom suggested, look for an independent to do the work or find a continental dealer who will fix it(if they really are doing it for free).
     
  14. Rappey69

    Rappey69 Senior Member

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    there is a foam that goes inside the tank too. It was designed for enduro bikes to minimise the movement of fuel within the tank which changed the balance of the bike around corners/braking etc..
    Now if you could get enough then it would stop any movement within the tank.
     
  15. television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    I was also thinking of that USA tank seal that puts a plastic coating on everything in the tank
     
  16. BlackC55

    BlackC55 Senior Member

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    Its about a 20 hour job.

    Not a pleasent one either.....
     
  17. television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    I read it all this morning, and you are right, not pleasant, thank the dear lord thats one fault that I will not get
     
  18. teddycatkin

    teddycatkin Senior Member

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    At the price for renewing --I am sure if the tank itself is removed ( I know the labour cost-but by an indy ? )--then surley it can be emptied and repaired --its not rusted into holes after all just needs sliting open -the baffle removed and re-welded?
     
  19. OP
    BRABUS R230

    BRABUS R230 Senior Member

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    £130.00 per Hour plus Vat

    £130.00 per Hour Plus VAT!!!!
    They quoted around 20 Hours to complete the work!!!
     
  20. OP
    BRABUS R230

    BRABUS R230 Senior Member

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    £130.00 per Hour plus Vat

    £130.00 per hour Plus Vat and they said it would take around 20 hours, I intend to put a lot of pressure on MB if the refuse as this is for sure a design error, from my research this problem stretches from Germany to USA, India and other parts of Europe, I think that as its so labour intensive MB try to avoid responsibility of giving good will, I have found that in America MB have no choice due to the strict state laws placed on car manufactures surrounding safety of cars and fuel and emissions!!!
     

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