2005 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S600 from North America


Active body control (ABC) = expensive.

Coil packs (misfire) = expensive.

Passenger seat SRS sensor.

Tire pressure sensors.

Pneumatic door closing mechanism.

Trunk struts.

General Comments:

This car has been essentially a bad marriage for me. It's like I married a rich girl who wants you to maintain her wealthy lifestyle, and your job pays well but you're certainly not rich. Gimme, gimme, gimme is all hear! I just can't keep up. Seems like it's never enough. The owner before me did not do any of the maintenance, so it all fell on me ... one system after another ... and I'm ready to be DONE! He pretty much bamboozled me. I'd like to slap him to be frank.

The issues started with a leaking ABC up front. Once I repaired that the tire pressure sensors went. And then the ABC in back needed fixing, and that was followed by a loss of the pneumatic door closing system. SRS light for passenger seat comes on intermittently. It needed new tires too, which is to be expected. And most recently I fired it up and felt an instant vibration and the check engine light came on. F***!!!

Based on my research, this generation of S Class has a ton of sensors, and their failures give owners headaches. I feel like this is by design so you have to roll into the stealership so they can tell you what's wrong with your car. Lo and behold it's a sensor ... easy fix ... that'll be a $1000.

So I did some homework and this car has two major failures that occur on a consistent basis. The ABC goes out like clockwork due to the MBz using cheap O-rings. However, if you have an indie mechanic it can be done fairly cheap as the parts cost $70 (online); it's the labor that can be spendy. Some people recommend doing a flush every 40,000 miles, but you really just need to change out the old O-rings for new better quality material O-rings.

After the ABC the coil packs go out like every 30,000 miles. Each coil pack costs a little over $1000. At the stealership it's $1095. So before they even pop the hood you are looking at shelling out 2-4K, and then you'll need 24 spark plugs. OMG.

On the flip side this is an awesome automobile. It is fast, comfortable and stylish. When it starts up it rumbles on. And it eats up miles. You'll get there faster and more comfortable than any other car. Absolutely no one will beat you on the road. This car is fast and pulls very smoothly! Feels like it can pull forever and never get tired.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 17th April, 2020

9th Mar 2022, 04:59

Better late than never! I forgot to mention a common transmission issue with the S600. These cars have TREMENDOUS torque, and since Chrysler took over, the cheap b*****ds skimped on parts, so the torque converter goes fairly regularly. This is a 4K repair. This results in really hard down shifts when you slow down. This is most common in city driving where you'll speed up and then as you approach a stop sign and take your foot off the accelerator to slow down, whether you brake or let the car decelerate on its own, it will shudder really hard as it shifts down. This makes for very uncomfortable, and embarrassing driving, in town. It hurt too much to keep driving like this. This rich beeyotch did me dirty. So I traded the S600 for a Lexus GS 300. The GS300 didn't even last a year. I gave it away. In all I lost like 15K on this car. Oh well.

BTW ... I don't seem to learn my lesson. I am now 13K into a 1998 BMW 740i. And looking at 1998 MBzs' a S320 or a S420. Pray for me.

9th Mar 2022, 18:57

Consider Audi.

9th Mar 2022, 19:10

Flooring it off the line around town to enjoy the torque will wear out parts prematurely, including the torque converter.

9th Mar 2022, 23:10

The fact that you think Chrysler "took over" Mercedes Benz raises questions about the veracity of your advice.

7th Aug 2022, 00:25

I didn't mention Audi becomes it didn't seem relevant. But my daily driver is a 2003 A8L. Love it. Fast. Comfortable. Reliable.

7th Aug 2022, 00:34

I think you may have taken me a bit too literally friend. Anywho, in 1999-2000 Mercedes transitioned into a new S Class. A lot more sensors and cheap plastic parts. Someone, management/ownership, had to sign off on this because prior to these years MBz used quality parts. Not cheap sh**. So whoever was "in charge" knowingly employed parts that compromised quality. So whether they were acquired, or not, quality in build suffered. Who was in charge matters less than the fact the Mercedes Benz had quality issues with the S Class starting in 2000. Just my two cents. You don't have to believe me. But I'll tell you this, I researched and lived the stuff I post.

7th Aug 2022, 00:37

This issue with the torque converter is a well known fact. The torque monster S600 rips up the cheap part used. Once rebuilt at 4K the issue is addressed, but a car with this original price tag should not have such a break down in performance that is so consistent.

7th Aug 2022, 18:36

So which manufacturer makes a torque converter which is designed to handle the accelerator being floored each time from a stop?

2005 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S500L 5.5L V8 from Australia and New Zealand




Suffered damage while on display at motor-show, otherwise faultless.

General Comments:

Quite simply, an astonishing car.

My previous car (S350) was a fantastic car, which I bought as a little gift to myself for over 40 years of hard work. I had high expectations for the new generation of S-class, all of which were met... and shattered.

The car was purchased from the Melbourne motorshow, in metallic black with AMG styling kit and 19" AMG wheels.

The ride comfort is incredible, performance is amazing for a car of its size (0-100km/h in 5 and 1/2 seconds)

The car is just as nimble as an SLK, yet feels as solid as a tank, all the time disguising its just on 2 tonnes of weight.

Although it is only early days, the car has been absolutely outstanding, does everything you ask it to do, in style, with ease.

If you are fortunate enough to be able to afford one, it's a decision few will regret.

Of course the running costs on a Aus$300K plus car won't be cheap, but if that's an issue then this isn't the car for you.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th April, 2006

2nd Aug 2006, 00:47

I found Lexus to be better. They haven't resorted to cost cutting from the mid 90's.

The JD Power Survey awards speak for themselves.

Don't buy a car based solely for the badge.

10th Aug 2006, 05:31

Buying a car is all about choice. You like the Lexus, I prefer the Benz. I DROVE the S-class before buying it, as well as the 7-series and LS430, and while the other two are fantastic cars, they were nothing in comparison.

In reference to your comment about the Power survey awards, I have never heard of them, but having searched on the internet, I figure I must add a Mini Cooper to my shopping list.

One final comment, a re-badged Toyota with Sat Nav hardly qualifies as a luxury car in my eyes, but there is always the saying about opinions and armpits!

You enjoy your Lexus, and I will enjoy the S500.

Safe motoring.