SL350 R230 Vario Roof Problematic.

Nile Griffith

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Hi Kids!!

Hope someone might be able to help.

OK first day of BST and who'd have thought it, the sun was shining. So seeming as the sun was out and the temperature was in double figures, I thought it fair game to put the roof down while running around doing a little shopping.

Now the last time the roof had been own was last November the 1st so although the car has been driven on occasion, the roof hasn't been operated until today.

Well as expected on operation the roof stowed snuggly away first time. On arrival at our first shoping destination (about 30 mins later), the roof faultlessly returned to its raised position, the car all secure while we shopped (again about 30 mins). We set off again, only a short hop down the road this time but she who must be obeyed insisted on reacting the roof, again the whole process operated faultlessly.

At our second stop, the roof once again completed it party piece emerging from the boot and locking in place without concern.

So here is the rub. On returning to the car I loaded up the boot with our shopping (a dozen or so boxes of Easter eggs). I made sure that nothing was proud of the Load cover as once again I intended to stow the roof for the journey. In the car pressing down on the roof button/lever didn't provide the expected response. The side windows dropped, but the roof failed to perform its usual ballet. I got out the car and checked the boot and the load cover. the left hand load cover lug had come out of the clip, but not the right, so i reinstated the lug into the clip and tried again.

Again the windows dropped but no movement in the roof. tried three times more but no success. Conscious of time we got going, roof up.

On arrival home and unloading the boot of our Easter Eggs. I gave it another try. On this occasion the boot raised a couple of inches, with the dash showing that the roof was in operation. However this became the steady state, the boot lid remaining raised by about three inches. Even when turning of the ignition and removing the key then restarting the dash would return to the roof in operation display but the boat remained unmoved (unlike my temperament). Leaving the car and locking the doors, the side windows remained down, only returning to their raised position about five seconds after locking the car. However because we still had one more shop to visit we transferred to another car and I came back to my SL about an hour later.

I took the decision to park up my car in its usual spot and throw its cover over. So being ever the optimist I decided to give it another go. This time the boot lid returned to its closed and locked position (wooooo hoo). However another rush of blood to the head and a wave of optimism prompted me to try and raise the roof again.

This time the roof panels stowed neatly into the boot, however the boot lid itself would not close past about forty five degrees, Bugger!!! But miracle of miracles, on closing the roof all went according to plan. Roof up and locked in place and boot lid closed and shut tight......... Throw the cover over and step away from the vehicle came the cry from 'Er Indoors!!

So kids any thought. Have I managed to get the whole sequence of opening and closing out of whack? Is their a factory reset of the roof system? Or should I bite the bullet and succumb to open wallet surgery at my nearest dealer without benefit of anaesthetic and clergy???

Answers please on a stamped addressed twenty pound note too.......

Many thanks in advance for the help.

Nile
 
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Nile Griffith

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Forgot too mention my car is a 2009 SL350..... Man thanks again.
 
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Nile Griffith

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Have you checked the hydraulic fluid levels?
Hi Lost Kiwi and thank you for your reply.

I did check around the roof pump for signs of leaks, but must admit that I don't know where or hydraulic reservoir is and how best to check it. Must admit it was something that went through my mind. Any pointers on how to check the level would be very welcome.

Many thanks.

Nile.
 

LostKiwi

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sl500_roof_pump.jpg The reservoir is built into the pump. Markings are on the reservoir but to fill it you need a filling kit (syringe and pipe).
Check level with roof closed.
 
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Nile Griffith

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View attachment 42230 The reservoir is built into the pump. Markings are on the reservoir but to fill it you need a filling kit (syringe and pipe).
Check level with roof closed.
Hi LostKiwi!

Thank you again. I'm back home tonight so I'll give it a good look over. I suppose the worry is that if there is a drop in level, that might suggest some sort of leak somewhere....... Bugger. I certainly didn't pick up on anything when I looked at the pump briefly yesterday and hydraulic fluid tends to be a bit whiffy at the best of times.

I presume I can get fleeced at my local dealers for the fluid should it be needed.

Big thank you again.

Nile
 

LostKiwi

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Hi LostKiwi!

Thank you again. I'm back home tonight so I'll give it a good look over. I suppose the worry is that if there is a drop in level, that might suggest some sort of leak somewhere....... Bugger. I certainly didn't pick up on anything when I looked at the pump briefly yesterday and hydraulic fluid tends to be a bit whiffy at the best of times.

I presume I can get fleeced at my local dealers for the fluid should it be needed.

Big thank you again.

Nile
If fluid is low you may have a leaking cylinder as opposed to the pump.
Rather than use a dealer use a reputable MB specialist. ACMS or MSL in the midlands or Avantgarde in Cleveden near Bristol.
Steve@avantgarde is very well respected and a regular on here and would be worth the drive.
 

Flyinspanner

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If you check levels, and they are ok, it maybe a sticking/failing micro switch - it may be best to find an independent MB specialist near you, who can get it on STAR to diagnose the system.

Fairly sure there will be an ecu of sorts, which controls each step of open/close and a duff switch will stop operation as a safety mode.
 
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Nile Griffith

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If fluid is low you may have a leaking cylinder as opposed to the pump.
Rather than use a dealer use a reputable MB specialist. ACMS or MSL in the midlands or Avantgarde in Cleveden near Bristol.
Steve@avantgarde is very well respected and a regular on here and would be worth the drive.
If fluid is low you may have a leaking cylinder as opposed to the pump.
Rather than use a dealer use a reputable MB specialist. ACMS or MSL in the midlands or Avantgarde in Cleveden near Bristol.
Steve@avantgarde is very well respected and a regular on here and would be worth the drive.


View media item 2836

Might be having a bit of a "Numpty" moment, but couldn't locate any markings to denote what the fluid level should be, looking end on the reservoir seems half full (or half empty for the pessimistic). That all said my own pump looks the same as the one in the photo you kindly posted. Any advice???

Many thanks again.

Nile.
 

LostKiwi

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If the fluid level is ok it may be (as suggested) a sticking microswitch. If thats the case a diagnostics session should pinpoint it.
 

flowrider

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Hi Kids!!

Hope someone might be able to help.

OK first day of BST and who'd have thought it, the sun was shining. So seeming as the sun was out and the temperature was in double figures, I thought it fair game to put the roof down while running around doing a little shopping.

Now the last time the roof had been own was last November the 1st so although the car has been driven on occasion, the roof hasn't been operated until today.

Well as expected on operation the roof stowed snuggly away first time. On arrival at our first shoping destination (about 30 mins later), the roof faultlessly returned to its raised position, the car all secure while we shopped (again about 30 mins). We set off again, only a short hop down the road this time but she who must be obeyed insisted on reacting the roof, again the whole process operated faultlessly.

At our second stop, the roof once again completed it party piece emerging from the boot and locking in place without concern.

So here is the rub. On returning to the car I loaded up the boot with our shopping (a dozen or so boxes of Easter eggs). I made sure that nothing was proud of the Load cover as once again I intended to stow the roof for the journey. In the car pressing down on the roof button/lever didn't provide the expected response. The side windows dropped, but the roof failed to perform its usual ballet. I got out the car and checked the boot and the load cover. the left hand load cover lug had come out of the clip, but not the right, so i reinstated the lug into the clip and tried again.

Again the windows dropped but no movement in the roof. tried three times more but no success. Conscious of time we got going, roof up.

On arrival home and unloading the boot of our Easter Eggs. I gave it another try. On this occasion the boot raised a couple of inches, with the dash showing that the roof was in operation. However this became the steady state, the boot lid remaining raised by about three inches. Even when turning of the ignition and removing the key then restarting the dash would return to the roof in operation display but the boat remained unmoved (unlike my temperament). Leaving the car and locking the doors, the side windows remained down, only returning to their raised position about five seconds after locking the car. However because we still had one more shop to visit we transferred to another car and I came back to my SL about an hour later.

I took the decision to park up my car in its usual spot and throw its cover over. So being ever the optimist I decided to give it another go. This time the boot lid returned to its closed and locked position (wooooo hoo). However another rush of blood to the head and a wave of optimism prompted me to try and raise the roof again.

This time the roof panels stowed neatly into the boot, however the boot lid itself would not close past about forty five degrees, Bugger!!! But miracle of miracles, on closing the roof all went according to plan. Roof up and locked in place and boot lid closed and shut tight......... Throw the cover over and step away from the vehicle came the cry from 'Er Indoors!!

So kids any thought. Have I managed to get the whole sequence of opening and closing out of whack? Is their a factory reset of the roof system? Or should I bite the bullet and succumb to open wallet surgery at my nearest dealer without benefit of anaesthetic and clergy???

Answers please on a stamped addressed twenty pound note too.......

Many thanks in advance for the help.

Nile
if you PM your email address I can provide a roof diagnostic guide that may help.
 

flowrider

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Did this issue get sorted?
 
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Nile Griffith

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Did this issue get sorted?

Hi there Flowrider!

Not as yet. The car is booked in with a local Benz specialist for an hour on their Star diagnostics kit tomorrow as it happens.

Interestingly the other day I gave the roof another go (sun was out and it looked as if it was going to be a dry day.........just in case!!!!). Opening the roof did the same trick again. Stopped at about two or three inches. So closed it up and tried again. This time the boot opened fully, roof panels packed away, but then the boot lid stops half way to closing. However, another pull back on the switch to "open" the roof rather than close it all back up saw the whole roof stowage process completed and no worrying messages on the dash.

So not looking to waste a bit of sunshine and the opportunity of some open top motoring, I took the car out for a run (local'ish you understand........ Just in case). On getting home about an hour later, parked the car up on the drive, pressed down on the roof switch and about ten or so seconds later, roofs up all snug and secure.

I am wondering, if as suggested, it is either a micro switch fault or as I can feel in my water, more likely an ECU fault. Hopefully being plugged into the correct diagnostics might help.
 
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Nile Griffith

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As an update:

Took the SL along to a local(ish) indy Mercedes specialist for a quick intravenous of STAR diagnostics.

The report back was that they couldn't find anything wrong. STAR reported three items back in the error log. (forgive me if I have repeated these incorrectly they didn't write them down for me or give me a print out as such). Firstly there was a "Crash" reported for the load assist button. Secondly a "Short" reported for the rear offside window and the third I just really can't remember now, so I'm hoping it was startlingly unimportant.

The consensus was to take the car home and when the weather improved see how the roof performed and if any further problems let them know.

Why do I feel like my problem hasn't been resolved?????
 

alexanderfoti

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Next time it gets stuck, see what the light the roof button is doing, it will flash in a certain way. My feeling is that a limit switch is playing up and the ecu is waiting for a switch to tell it the lid has moved but not seeing it.

The switches have to be actuated in a certain order correctly.
 
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Nile Griffith

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Next time it gets stuck, see what the light the roof button is doing, it will flash in a certain way. My feeling is that a limit switch is playing up and the ecu is waiting for a switch to tell it the lid has moved but not seeing it.

The switches have to be actuated in a certain order correctly.

Hi Alexander and thank you for the reply.

Forgive me if I'm being a bit slow, but which and where is the light that I am looking for. My roof switch itself (if I recall) doesn't have a light as such.

Many thanks
 

Mike350

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Nile, I've just bought a 2004 350 SL, and have had slightly similar issues to yours. Sometimes the roof opens, and sometimes it doesn't (when it's hot and sunny!) the dashboard indicator saying that the consumables are off line, after a run of about 30 mins all works normally. So I took it to an independent specialist in the Club handbooks list, and also emailed the SL Marque Captain of the Club who advised that you need to get a CTech battery conditioner to keep the aux batt fully topped up, as if the system detects a voltage drop then it all shuts down apparently.

When I took the car to the indy specialist, he advised that the aux battery was inadequate as it was just a normal starter batt, the aux needing to be a deep cycling heavy duty AGM type (which I ordered and he installed) to cope with raising the roof. moving the seats etc., which seems to have cured my woes, so far as the roof opened immediately today, having had the battery on charge overnight.

Good luck, they're really great cars but so complex!
 
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Nile Griffith

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Nile, I've just bought a 2004 350 SL, and have had slightly similar issues to yours. Sometimes the roof opens, and sometimes it doesn't (when it's hot and sunny!) the dashboard indicator saying that the consumables are off line, after a run of about 30 mins all works normally. So I took it to an independent specialist in the Club handbooks list, and also emailed the SL Marque Captain of the Club who advised that you need to get a CTech battery conditioner to keep the aux batt fully topped up, as if the system detects a voltage drop then it all shuts down apparently.

When I took the car to the indy specialist, he advised that the aux battery was inadequate as it was just a normal starter batt, the aux needing to be a deep cycling heavy duty AGM type (which I ordered and he installed) to cope with raising the roof. moving the seats etc., which seems to have cured my woes, so far as the roof opened immediately today, having had the battery on charge overnight.

Good luck, they're really great cars but so complex!


Hi Mike!

Thank you for the reply. Interesting info on the accessories battery and certainly something that I hadn't considered. That said I don't think (but I could be wrong!!) that was the cause of my troubles. I'd checked the battery over a few weeks previous and all seemed OK and as mentioned in my OP at the start of our travels the roof opened flawlessly (a point when I'd have expected the battery to be low), though like most on here I guess. I only operate the roof with the engine running. It was only after a couple of open and close operations while driving between destinations that the problem happened.

As an update, since having had the car plugged up to a STAR diagnostics system at a local independent specialist, the roof has worked pretty much 100%. It did have a senior moment the other day where it hesitated on opening. Again engine running, however my car was five days over its scheduled B service and I hadn't cleared the message on the dash. Whether this was enough to make the roof ECU think about things I don't know, but with the message cleared a subsequent pull back on the roof switch sent the roof of packing...... if you'll pardon the pun.

I guess potentially it could be a slightly low charge on the accessory battery and what is needed are a few moment of engine idling to add enough push to the battery so to speak. I've certainly never thought to try operating the roof on purely battery power. Might be a test for a guaranteed sunny day!!!!!!!!!
 
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Nile Griffith

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Not sure if this may help given you said you’d had to put a bit back on ... something less than optimally tight perhaps ?

https://mbworld.org/forums/sl-class...rking-might-your-trunk-flap-easy-fix-diy.html


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Hi GKinghorn!

Fortunately my flappy things don't flap so to speak and sit snug to the underside of the boot lid. The loose (well loose'ish) part I wa referring to, was the liner to the underside of the boot lid. It had come loose by about a half inch at the far end of the boot lid.

But thank you for the link. Well worth remembering for potential future problems.
 


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