Something's Leaking - 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG Long-Term Road Test

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG Long-Term Road Test

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2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG: Something's Leaking

March 12, 2014

2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG

It was only the second time I drove our long-term 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG. Not 10 minutes after I got to my desk, somebody stopped by to tell me something was leaking from it in our parking garage. At this point I've taken to calling it the Silver Plague.

I went down to the garage and yes, it was certainly leaking some green fluid from the driver side front corner. My assumption was coolant.

I popped the hood to see what was going on and I found a fine spray of the green stuff all over that corner of the engine bay and hood. Ugh. Here we go again. After a little discussion, I drove it over to our local dealer service center.

As it turns out, there's no coolant reservoir in that corner, and the Mercedes hydraulic fluid is green, not red. I'll give you one guess what the problem is.

Stay tuned for the prognosis and cost.

Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor


  • "At this point I've taken to calling it the Silver Plague. " So far it seems to be living up to the reputation of a high dollar MB out of warranty. I guess there is a reason for the massive depreciation.

  • kirkhilles_ kirkhilles_ Posts:

    I'm sure it'll be "just" a grand. Maybe two.

  • evodad evodad Posts:

    any reason why not using an independent shop on this car? Is it because of it's specialized nature (not every mechanic sees a v12 on a regular basis) or is it under the assumption someone paying 35K on an out of warranty amg would likely also take their car to a dealer for service versus an independent shop (although if they wanted the bargain of a cheap AMG i'm guessing they'd also want the reasonably priced labor rates that are had at an independent shop versus a dealer?)

  • cjasis cjasis Posts:

    Engineered like no other car in the world. Sorry, couldn't help myself.

  • mdm080333 mdm080333 Posts:

    Oh goody. This is gonna be fun!

  • mercedesfan mercedesfan Posts:

    This is vindication for mieden. He told you to replace all pressure hoses for the ABC at the last visit. A piecemeal approach does not work for air suspensions. If you are going to replace something, you need to replace it all. I can't really blame the car for this one.

  • ttopjohn ttopjohn Posts:

    Is the reservoir itself leaking? So, are we going to get a good writeup on what it takes to run though the whole ABC hydraulic suspension this time around? Not that you'd need to replace everything necessarily, but at least it seems like time for a more thorough inspection than the first time you brought it in for the hose burst. Otherwise the ABC system is going to drive y'all crazy for the rest of this test. I'd be taking this thing to one of several very good Dallas indepenent shops. I'd use a dealer if I lived somewhere where "65" cars are rare and indepenent shops have never seen one. However, I suspect Orange County is not such a place.

  • stovt001_ stovt001_ Posts:

    How appropriate that the hydraulic fluid is the color of money.

  • To be expected?

  • noburgers noburgers Posts:

    You guys are so lucky. You get to drive some interesting older cars and Edmunds pays for all the repairs.

  • ajac03 ajac03 Posts:

    @mercedesfan I think you're literally the only one defending this car. Problem after problem after problem..

  • so... is Edmunds still diggin on that Newport Beach dealership that only fixed the one thing instead of properly going through the system? It is quite amusing that Edmunds researched this less than a civilian with google would have.

  • mercedesfan mercedesfan Posts:

    @ajac03, Firstly, this car has had remarkably few problems (far fewer than I expected it to have). So far they have had a bad pressure hose for the ABC and a freak no-start incident after a hard day of track testing that wasn't replicated and could not be

  • hybris hybris Posts:

    +1 mercedesfan these cars tend to be "replace effected SYSTEM" not "replace effected part". Overall I like the car and its one of the few cars in the fleet that I want to see more posts of.

  • I have a feeling that every time you notice something wrong on this car, it'll be at least $1000 bucks. That being said, I'd love to drive it!!! But I'd never own it... not without an extended bumper to bumper MB DEALER warranty. I wonder how much those are for a car of this caliber. Anyone know?

  • ajac03 ajac03 Posts:

    @mercedesfan Oh yeah I totally agree, an unexpected $2600 repair is a very minor problem. I wasn't really expecting a positive response from a guy with the username mercedesfan.. lol. Even if they are "minor" problems, this car has low miles a

  • mercedesfan mercedesfan Posts:

    @ajac03, I can tell you have never owned a German car if you think a $2600 repair is expensive. A run of the mill 3-Series or C-Class will cost you roughly $1000 every time something goes wrong once you are out of warranty. That is simply the cost of Germ

  • ajac03 ajac03 Posts:

    No you're right, I've never owned a german car, but that was my whole point, is that they're expensive to own and maintain, end of story.

  • iloveyogapants, do they sell a MB Dealer warranty on a 9 year old car?

  • "I can tell you have never owned a German car if you think a $2600 repair is expensive" -- I think the point isn't that it is expensive in comparison to other 'exotics' but that it is just expensive. And Edmunds did not buy a $180,000 car they bought a used car for $34,000 with 54,000 miles on it. That is used, yet loaded, G37 money. I think the purpose of buying this car is to see if it is a viable way to get into a more exotic car and finding out if the $34,000 price was a bargain in the long run. -- To me saying that it isn't more expensive that should be expected is nothing more than a different way of saying what all the other people are saying "we told you it would need a lot of money poured into it"

  • mercedesfan mercedesfan Posts:

    @zimtheinvader, I never said the CL65 wouldn't be painfully expensive. Even used, this is still a $180K car with the maintenance/repair costs to go along with it. It is going to be a massive money pit. I would personally set aside at least $8k/year for up

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