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As part of Mercedes Benz's flagship S-Class series since 1997, the Mercedes Benz S500 enjoys a long-standing reputation of safety and reliability. However, a couple of recurring problems have still been reported by several S500 owners. If you own or plan to own a Mercedes Benz S500, be sure to take note of the following common problems.
A good percentage of the known problems of the Mercedes Benz S500 involved the vehicle's electrical system. A couple of S500s have been reported to experience failure of the instrument cluster, and the inability to know the vital information provided by the instrument cluster made driving a lot more dangerous.
The S500 also had a couple of issues with the electronically controlled windows, sunroof, and trunk lid. There were reported occasions where these components have opened or closed without warning. A technical service bulletin involving the 2005 S500 has also been published. This bulletin called attention to improperly routed wiring harnesses for the electric air conditioner compressor.
Another common problem among S500s involved the vehicle's automatic transmission. Incorrect or delayed shifting has been known to occur for some models of the S500. There were a few reports of S500s that bucked after the vehicle shifted into lower gear. There were also a few reported instances of a broken gearbox in a couple of S500s that resulted in total shifting failure.
Some of the most dangerous issues of the Mercedes Benz S500 involved the car's service brakes. A couple of S500 drivers suddenly experienced total loss of brakes accompanied by an illuminated ABS warning light. As a verification, several technical service bulletins regarding this particular braking issue have been released.
Rust is also a familiar issue for the S500. In fact a recall for a couple of 2000-2004 S500 models was issued because of the tendency of the body control hose to easily corrode with exposure to humidity. This can lead to fluids leaking onto the catalytic converter and to eventual overheating. S500 owners can also have a failed crankshaft position sensor resulting in a no-start condition especially when the engine is warm.