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Mercedes Home > Mercedes-Benz Technical Articles  > Mercedes-Benz R129 Technical Articles
   Mercedes-Benz SL-Class R129 (1990-2002) Technical Articles
SL300 - SL320 - SL500 - SL600

Welcome to our Mercedes-Benz R129 Technical Articles section. We've gathered a vast collection of useful articles to help you perform many repairs and upgrades on your Mercedes-Benz. Save money by doing your own work and perform the repairs using the information we've provided here. Can't find what you're looking for? Try our Search Engine at the top of the page, or hop over to one of our Technical Bulletin Boards - focusing on repairs for all Mercedes-Benz! If you'd like to support the site and submit your own Technical Article, contact us here!

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 Basics & Essentials
Engine Air Filters Removal
A clean air filter improves performance and increases fuel economy.
     Applies to: 500SL (1990-1993) SL500 (1994-2002)
Cabin Air Filter Replacement
Mercedes Benz recommends replacing your cabin air filter once a year or every 15,000 miles and here is how to do it.
     Applies to: 300SL (1990-93), 500SL (1990-93), 600SL (1992-93), SL320 (1994-02), SL500 (1994-02), SL600 (1994-02)
Engine Oil and Filter Change
You engine oil needs to be changed at regular intervals, here's how.
     Applies to: 500SL (1990-1993) SL500 (1994-2002)
Jacking Up and Supporting Vehicle
To perform most service work you will have to get the vehicle off the ground safely.
     Applies to: 300SL, SL320 (1990-2002) 500SL, SL500 (1990-2002) 600SL, SL600 (1992-2002)
Lower Engine Splash Shield Removal
Too get at components underneath the car you will need to remove the lower cover.
     Applies to: 300SL, SL320 (1990-2002) 500SL, SL500 (1990-2002) 600SL, SL600 (1992-2002)
Battery Removal
Don't want to be left stranded on a cold winter day. Replace your battery if it is 5 to 7 years old.
     Applies to: 300SL, SL320 (1990-2002) 500SL, SL500 (1990-2002) 600SL, SL600 (1992-2002)
Drive Belt Removal
A slipping drive belt will squeal and a broken one will leave you stranded. Check your drive belt.
     Applies to: 500SL (1990-1993) SL500 (1994-2002)
Drive Belt Tensioner Removal
A broken drive belt tensioner is just as bad a a broken accessory drive belt.
     Applies to: 500SL (1990-1993) SL500 (1994-2002)
ABS Brake Sensor Removal
If your ABS light comes on while you are driving you may have a bad wheel speed sensor.
     Applies to: 500SL (1990-1993) SL500 (1994-2002)
 Water Cooling
Mechanical Cooling Fan Removal
Is your car running a little hot in traffic? Your cooling fan may be the problem.
     Applies to: 300SL, SL320 (1990-2002) 500SL, SL500 (1990-2002)
Thermostat Removal
A stuck close thermostat will create over heating and if it is stuck open the engine will run too cool.
     Applies to: 500SL (1990-1993) SL500 (1994-2002)
Coolant Pump Removal
If your overheating and one coolant pipe is hot and the other is cold you may have a bad coolant pump.
     Applies to: 500SL (1990-1993) SL500 (1994-2002)
Radiator and Hoses Removal
A clogged radiator can cause overheating and a broken hose can leave you stranded.
     Applies to: 500SL (1990-1993) SL500 (1994-2002)
Coolant Expansion Tank Removal
A cracked coolant expansion tank will cause overheating and possible engine damage.
     Applies to: 500SL (1990-1993) SL500 (1994-2002)
 Engine
Air Pump Removal
Have you failed a smog test? Maybe the air pump is not working. Here is the repair.
     Applies to: 500SL (1990-1993) SL500 (1994-2002)  
Crankshaft Position Sensor Removal
If your engine does not start and you have no spark start here.
     Applies to: 500SL (1990-1993) SL500 (1994-2002)
Camshaft Position Sensor Removal
Do you have a P0340 or related code? Here is the fix.
     Applies to: 500SL (1990-1993) SL500 (1994-2002)
Alternator Removal
An alternator that is not charging will eventually leave you stuck with a dead battery. Check your charging system.
     Applies to: 500SL (1990-1993) SL500 (1994-2002)
Distributor Cap Rotor and Wires Removal
If your engine is running rough and misfiring you may need to change your cap, rotors and wires.
     Applies to: 500SL (1990-1993) SL500 (1994-2002)
Valve Cover Gasket Removal
If your valve cover gaskets are leaking we will show you how to replace them.
     Applies to: 500SL (1990-1993) SL500 (1994-2002)
Intake Manifold Gaskets Replacement
Engine running lean/rough. Maybe you have a vacuum leak.
     Applies to: 500SL (1990-1993) SL500 (1994-2002)
Ignition Coil Removal
If you engine is only running on one bank of cylinders you may have a bad coil.
     Applies to: 500SL (1990-1993) SL500 (1994-2002)
Spark Plug Removal
Your spark plugs ignite the mixture in your engine. Keep them new to improve the combustion process.
     Applies to: 500SL (1990-1993) SL500 (1994-2002)
Lower Oil Pan Removal
If you have a leak from your lower oil pan you can fix it yourself and it won't take much time.
     Applies to: 500SL (1990-1993) SL500 (1994-2002)  
Engine Compartment Covers Removal
To get access to components and wiring you're going to need to remove the engine covers.
     Applies to: 500SL (1990-1993) SL500 (1994-2002)
Starter Replacement
When you try to crank your engine do you only hear a click? You could have a bad starter motor.
     Applies to: 500SL (1990-93), SL500 (1994-02)
 Brakes
Brake Bleeding
Mercedes Benz recommends flushing your brake fluid every 2 years, here is how!
     Applies to: 300SL (1990-02), 500SL (1990-93), 600SL (1992-93), SL320 (1994-02), SL500 (1994-02), SL600 (1994-02)
Brake Caliper Removal
If your car is pulling to one side you may have a bad brake caliper.
     Applies to: 300SL (1990-02), 500SL (1990-93), 600SL (1992-93), SL320 (1994-02), SL500 (1994-02), SL600 (1994-02)
Brake Lines Replacement  
Here is how to replace your leaking brake lines.
     Applies to: 300SL (1990-02), 500SL (1990-93), 600SL (1992-93), SL320 (1994-02), SL500 (1994-02), SL600 (1994-02)
Brake Master Cylinder Removal
If you brake pedal is sinking you may have a bad master cylinder.
     Applies to: 300SL (1990-02), 500SL (1990-93), 600SL (1992-93), SL320 (1994-02), SL500 (1994-02), SL600 (1994-02)
Brake Pad and Rotor Checking
How do you know when you should service you brakes? We'll explain in this article.
     Applies to: 300SL (1990-02), 500SL (1990-93), 600SL (1992-93), SL320 (1994-02), SL500 (1994-02), SL600 (1994-02)
Brake Pad Replacement
Are your brakes low? Let's replace those pads!
     Applies to: 300SL (1990-02), 500SL (1990-93), 600SL (1992-93), SL320 (1994-02), SL500 (1994-02), SL600 (1994-02)
Brake Rotor Replacement
Don't let your steering wheel shake while you are braking, replace the rotors.
     Applies to: 300SL (1990-02), 500SL (1990-93), 600SL (1992-93), SL320 (1994-02), SL500 (1994-02), SL600 (1994-02)
Parking Brake Adjusting
If your car can't be held still on a hill then lets try adjusting the parking brake.
     Applies to: 300SL (1990-02), 500SL (1990-93), 600SL (1992-93), SL320 (1994-02), SL500 (1994-02), SL600 (1994-02)
Parking Brake Shoes Replacement
Have you checked your rear brakes but you still hear a grinding noise? Check the parking brakes!
     Applies to: 300SL (1990-02), 500SL (1990-93), 600SL (1992-93), SL320 (1994-02), SL500 (1994-02), SL600 (1994-02)
 Body
Tail Light Assembly Replacement
Cracked tail light lens? It is a pretty easy fix!
     Applies to: 300SL (1990-02), 500SL (1990-93), 600SL (1992-93), SL320 (1994-02), SL500 (1994-02), SL600 (1994-02)
Right Side Lower Dash Panel Removal
Under the driver side of the dashboard are many important electrical connectors and wiring. In this tech article we will go over the necessary steps to remove the right side lower dash panel.
     Applies to: 300SL, SL320 (1990-2002) 500SL, SL500 (1990-2002) 600SL, SL600 (1992-2002)
Steering Wheel Removal
If you are replacing a blown airbag or torn steering wheel here is how to do it.
     Applies to: 300SL, SL320 (1990-2002) 500SL, SL500 (1990-2002) 600SL, SL600 (1992-2002)
Power Window Removal
Wouldn't it be nice to just lean out of the window to pay a toll again?
     Applies to: 300SL, SL320 (1990-2002) 500SL, SL500 (1990-2002) 600SL, SL600 (1992-2002)
Door Panel Removal
Need access to something in the door? Here is the first step.
     Applies to: 300SL, SL320 (1990-2002) 500SL, SL500 (1990-2002) 600SL, SL600 (1992-2002)
Headlight Switch Removal
If your headlight switch fails then driving at night is not an option so lets fix it.
     Applies to: 300SL, SL320 (1990-2002) 500SL, SL500 (1990-2002) 600SL, SL600 (1992-2002)
Power Seat Removal
Do your seats need to be re-upholstered? Well lets remove them first.
     Applies to: 300SL, SL320 (1990-2002) 500SL, SL500 (1990-2002) 600SL, SL600 (1992-2002)
Side View Mirror Removal
Wouldn't you like to see who is trying to pass you on the left or the right? Lets fix the mirrors.
     Applies to: 300SL, SL320 (1990-2002) 500SL, SL500 (1990-2002) 600SL, SL600 (1992-2002)
Instrument Cluster Bulb Removal
Tired of not seeing the gauges at night? Here is how to replace your bulbs.
     Applies to: 300SL, SL320 (1990-2002) 500SL, SL500 (1990-2002) 600SL, SL600 (1992-2002)
Washer Fluid Reservoir Removal
Want to clean your windshield while driving but the fluid keeps leaking out? Here is the fix.
     Applies to: W129 (1990-02)
 Suspension
Differential Fluid Change
Often forgotten about until you hear that constant whining from the rear. Maintain it.
     Applies to: W129 (1990-02)
Front Coil Springs Replacement
Cracked spring? We'll show you how to change it.
     Applies to: W129 (1990-02)
Front Shock Absorber Removal
You car should not continue to bounce after you go over a bump. Replace your shock absorbers
     Applies to: W129 (1990-02)
Tie Rod End Removal
If you have a shake in the steering wheel or scalloping tires check your tie rod ends.
     Applies to: W129 (1990-02)
Power Steering Fluid Reservoir Replacement
Do you have a leaking power steering reservoir? Here is the fix.
     Applies to: 500SL (1990-1993) SL500 (1994-2002)  
Power Steering Pump Removal
Is your power steering noisy even through the fluid level is up? Maybe you have a clogged filter.
     Applies to: 500SL (1990-1993) SL500 (1994-2002)
Front Sway Bar and Bushings Removal
By replacing your front sway bar you'll go a long way towards eliminating body roll.
     Applies to: 500SL (1990-1993) SL500 (1994-2002)  
Front Wheel Bearings Removal
Your wheel bearings are some of the hardest working parts on your car. Replace them to get your car rolling down the road smoothly.
     Applies to: 500SL (1990-1993) SL500 (1994-2002)
Rear Shock Absorber Replacement
You car should not continue to bounce after you go over a bump. Replace your shock absorbers
     Applies to: 300SL (1990-02), 500SL (1990-93), 600SL (1992-93), SL320 (1994-02), SL500 (1994-02), SL600 (1994-02)
Center Link Replacement
Do you have a steering wheel vibration. Check your center link.
     Applies to: 300SL (1990-02), 500SL (1990-93), 600SL (1992-93), SL320 (1994-02), SL500 (1994-02), SL600 (1994-02)
Idler Arm Bushing Replacement
If you have a knocking noise when you change steering direction check your idler arm bushings
     Applies to: 300SL (1990-02), 500SL (1990-93), 600SL (1992-93), SL320 (1994-02), SL500 (1994-02), SL600 (1994-02)
Lower Control Arm Replacement
Uneven tire wear can be caused by many things and a worn front outer ball joint is one of them. It's part of the lower control arm and here is how to change it.
     Applies to: 300SL (1990-02), 500SL (1990-93), 600SL (1992-93), SL320 (1994-02), SL500 (1994-02), SL600 (1994-02)
Steering Dampener Replacement
If you feel a slight shudder in your steering wheel over bumps you may have a worn steering dampener
     Applies to: 300SL (1990-02), 500SL (1990-93), 600SL (1992-93), SL320 (1994-02), SL500 (1994-02), SL600 (1994-02)
Rear Forward Lower Link Replacement
Do you hear a knocking noise from the rear suspension when you apply the brakes or accelerate? Look for a worn rear forward lower link
     Applies to: 300SL (1990-02), 500SL (1990-93), 600SL (1992-93), SL320 (1994-02), SL500 (1994-02), SL600 (1994-02)
Rear Forward Upper Link Replacement
If you hear a clicking noise from your rear suspension when changing directions check your rear forward upper link.
     Applies to: 300SL (1990-02), 500SL (1990-93), 600SL (1992-93), SL320 (1994-02), SL500 (1994-02), SL600 (1994-02)
Rear Lower Control Arm Replacement
Is the inside of your tire worn down more than the rest of the tread? Check that lower control arm bushing.
     Applies to: 300SL (1990-02), 500SL (1990-93), 600SL (1992-93), SL320 (1994-02), SL500 (1994-02), SL600 (1994-02)
Rear Rearward Upper Link Replacement
Uneven tire wear and unusual handling in turns can be caused by worn suspension links. Check your rear rearward upper link.
     Applies to: 300SL (1990-02), 500SL (1990-93), 600SL (1992-93), SL320 (1994-02), SL500 (1994-02), SL600 (1994-02)
Rear Sway Bar Links Replacement
A light clicking noise from your rear suspension over bumps can be the result of worn sway bar links.
     Applies to: 300SL (1990-02), 500SL (1990-93), 600SL (1992-93), SL320 (1994-02), SL500 (1994-02), SL600 (1994-02)
Rear Toe Adjustment Link Replacement
If you have an unusual scalloped wear pattern on the outside tread of your tires you may have a worn toe adjustment link
     Applies to: 300SL (1990-02), 500SL (1990-93), 600SL (1992-93), SL320 (1994-02), SL500 (1994-02), SL600 (1994-02)
Rear Coil Springs Replacement
Is your rear ride height lower than normal or do you want to install lowering springs? Well follow this procedure to do it yourself.
     Applies to: 300SL (1990-93), 500SL (1990-93), 600SL (1992-93), SL320 (1994-02), SL500 (1994-02), SL600 (1994-02)
Rear Sway Bar Bushings Replacement
As these bushings wear out you can develop a squeaking noise as the sway bar twists inside the bushings. This article will show you how to change them out.
     Applies to: 300SL (1990-93), 500SL (1990-93), 600SL (1992-93), SL320 (1994-02), SL500 (1994-02), SL600 (1994-02)
 Transmission
Transmission Fluid and Filter Change
Want to extend the life of your transmission then change the fluid and filter.
     Applies to: 300SL, SL320 (1990-2002) 500SL, SL500 (1990-2002) 600SL, SL600 (1992-2002)
 Fuel
Fuel Pumps Removal
Are you lacking power or will the engine not start and you have no fuel pressure?
     Applies to: 300SL, SL320 (1990-2002) 500SL, SL500 (1990-2002) 600SL, SL600 (1992-2002)
Fuel Filter Removal
You should replace your fuel filter about every 10,000 miles or so. This technical article shows you how.
     Applies to: 300SL, SL320 (1990-2002) 500SL, SL500 (1990-2002) 600SL, SL600 (1992-2002)
Fuel Rail with Injectors Replacement
Leaking injectors are dangerous. Replace the seals with this tech article
     Applies to: 500SL (1990-1993) SL500 (1994-2002)
 Electrical
Steering Column Switches Removal

Would you like your turn signals and wipers to work again?
     Applies to: 300SL, SL320 (1990-2002) 500SL, SL500 (1990-2002) 600SL, SL600 (1992-2002)

Windshield Wiper Motor Replacement
If when you turn on your windshield wipers nothing happens you may have a bad windshield wiper motor.
     Applies to: 300SL (1990-93), 500SL (1990-93), 600SL (1992-93), SL320 (1994-02), SL500 (1994-02), SL600 (1994-02)
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