SLK32 Possible Hydraulic Pump Failure - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

SLK R170 General Discussion SLK 200, SLK 230K, SLK 320, SLK32 AMG

LinkBack Thread Tools
#1 Old 08-04-2015
Registered Users
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Orlando, FL
Vehicle: 2002 SLK32 AMG
Posts: 43
Chats: 0
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
(Thread Starter)
SLK32 Possible Hydraulic Pump Failure

Hey all,

After over a year without a single problem with my vario roof, a problem presented itself tonight that I can't seem to find an answer for, but I'm worried that the vario roof hydraulic pump may be on its way out.

I own an SLK32 AMG with re-built hydraulic top cylinder. Pump fluid level check shows full. Tonight, I parked at a gas station in a questionable part of town, so I figured I'd better put the roof on. While putting it up, I thought it seemed to go a little bit slowly, but it completed the process and didn't seem to have a problem, then went back down again just fine when I got back into the car.

I get home and I'm putting the roof back up...I thought I sensed a little delay in the trunk lid opening, then as the roof bit came up, it slowed down as the arms reached the 90* position, then slowly locked back into place.

With the roof closed, I quickly ran and checked the pump fluid level to find that it was just fine. I (stupidly) cycled the roof back down and it again went down a little slowly. I went to put it back up again and the trunk lid opened an inch then the pump seemed to go quiet and sounded strained and no more movement happened. I gave it about a five-minute break then tried again. The pump came on, the trunk lid tried feebly to raise another 1/2 inch then same result.

Since my roommates were asleep I ended up taking off my shoes and I did a "stand on the seat, hold the switch with my toe, manually pull the trunk lid open" acrobatic. Thinking maybe it could be a trunk lid problem, I watched as the roof pieces feebly tried to lift and I had to manually pull them, too. Once the roof was past the 90* part the system completed the process without any more drama. The roof lock locked, the trunk lid came down, but the pump still sounded like crap.

To answer all the normal diagnosis questions and re-iterate, hydraulic fluid level is fine, no apparent leaks anywhere, and most importantly, no indications from the switch light whatsoever. No light, no blinking, just off.

Has anyone had this problem? I skimmed through the vario roof diagnostics chart posted on the form before posting this. I really hope the pump itself isn't bad....

In about an hour or so, I'm going to go back outside and give it a go again and see what happens. I'll post what happens then.
paulmb is offline  
Sponsored Links
#2 Old 08-05-2015
Registered Users
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Houston, TX
Vehicle: Mercedes SLK 230 2003
Posts: 1,613
Chats: 0
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 44 Post(s)
Thanks: 226
Thanked 378 Times in 265 Posts
SLK32 Possible Hydraulic Pump Failure

Sounds like my problem too. I still didn't get a chance to investigate since I'm out of country.
Other members suggested their might an air leak somewhere since the fluid level stays OK. I'm afraid my pump is going south... While it still works I had to give my trunk an push with my hand while it was opening.
You can try to release the pressure from the system - unscrew the side pressure release screw with the supplied hex screwdriver and screw it back in.

P.S. When you get this sorted out, get a smart top :-) this way you don't need to be a contortionist to hold the switch. Simply click the switch and release, the roof cycle will complete automatically :-)

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
JaysonM is offline  
#3 Old 08-05-2015
Registered Users
El_Toro_33809's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Lakeland, Florida
Vehicle: 1999 SLK230 (sold); 2001 SLK320
Other Toys: 2003 SL55, jet boat & PWC's
Posts: 712
Chats: 0
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 86 Post(s)
Thanks: 16
Thanked 78 Times in 76 Posts
Our roof has operated slowly if the temperature is hot.... It may thin the fluid. We are in central Florida as well and with all the rain, it hasn't been that warm though. Try it again when it's cooler in the morning. If it's not any better, check the cylinders for leaks. If all is good there, it's probably pump related.

Good luck,

Last edited by El_Toro_33809; 08-07-2015 at 06:51 AM.
El_Toro_33809 is offline  
#4 Old 08-05-2015
Registered Users

ichris93's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Vehicle: 05 C240; Sold-2001 SLK 230 6 Speed
Posts: 469
Chats: 0
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 89 Post(s)
Thanks: 64
Thanked 62 Times in 48 Posts
I have not seen a confirmed pump failure, though I have not searched for it. On the other hand, I have seen a lot of seal failures so I believe that is more probable.
ichris93 is offline  
Sponsored Links

  Lower Navigation
Go Back   Mercedes Benz SLK Forum > Mercedes Benz R170 SLK Class Cars > SLK R170 General Discussion


Quick Reply
Upload your files to MEGAUPLOAD
Upload your images to ImageShack

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mercedes Benz SLK Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
r170 roof troubleshooting question: hydraulic pump silent silver99slk230 SLK R170 General Discussion 10 02-14-2019 10:43 PM
Roof Hydraulic Pump Draining . . . lilred320SLK SLK R170 class DIY 25 12-06-2018 10:00 PM
How to replace water pump R171 SLK55 thirteendog AMGs 22 02-26-2015 11:21 AM
Another IC Pump Install rfourt AMGs 4 05-13-2012 01:00 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome

Clubs, Garage Plus vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.