What IS the correct way to check roof pump fluid level? - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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#1 Old 10-03-2013
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What IS the correct way to check roof pump fluid level?

I have been told that checking the roof hydraulic pump fluid level isn't as straight forward as 'opening the trunk and making sure the level is between the upper and lower level'. Is it? I have a colleague at work that owned an R170 and said that the correct way is to start opening the roof using the switch and stopping it when the trunk is fully open but before the roof starts to move. THEN, open the trunk and check/top up.

Is this correct, or, even necessary? What does the service manual say? Whilst I am on the subject, what is the correct fluid to use.... mine is on the lower level, and that is BEFORE using the method above (which I believe drops the level from upper to lower limits just by opening the trunk).
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#2 Old 10-04-2013
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Originally Posted by PaulRUK3 View Post
I have been told that checking the roof hydraulic pump fluid level isn't as straight forward as 'opening the trunk and making sure the level is between the upper and lower level'. Is it? I have a colleague at work that owned an R170 and said that the correct way is to start opening the roof using the switch and stopping it when the trunk is fully open but before the roof starts to move. THEN, open the trunk and check/top up.

Is this correct, or, even necessary? What does the service manual say? Whilst I am on the subject, what is the correct fluid to use.... mine is on the lower level, and that is BEFORE using the method above (which I believe drops the level from upper to lower limits just by opening the trunk).
I don't know where he got this from but checking fluid level is very very simple. When the top is up, simply open the trunk, pop the side plastic cover on the passenger side and check if the fluid level is between the lines. That's it! Even if you think logically, when you start operating the roof, the pump fills the hydraulic lines with the fluid from its plastic reservoir and it will get lower. Besides imagine your trunk retracted with the help of roof switch then how can you "open" it to check the fluid level??? Even with contortionist moves one can't really get into the pump area Besides there exists a risk of injury, since the trunk stays open only for about 7 minutes an then starts closing. You can hurt yourself pretty badly if not even die if your neck gets in the way and the hydraulic pressure squeezes you preventing from breathing. MB engineers are not stupid and wouldn't like watching everybody swearing while checking fluid level in the contortionist position
If your level is not between the lines, then you have a leak. The most common problem is leaking roof locking actuator. Check your headliner towards the front of the car for any oily residue, bubbling or wrinkling.
See This thread for pictures.
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#3 Old 10-04-2013
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The hydraulic level doesn't change dependent on the top position. The fluid stays the same no matter what position the top is in. As the cylinders move to lower the roof, the fluid on the other side of the piston is returned to the reservoir, thereby maintaining the same level in the pump. (Providing there wasn't any air in the system)

And, JaysonM, you are absolutely correct that the top should be in the raised position and locked to check the fluid.

I use the fluid form Mercedes. You don'[t need much of it unless you are doing a complete draining to send the cylinders out for a rebuild. I am guessing that the quart I bought will last the whole time that I own the car, since I rebuilt the cylinders and hopefully won't have any more leaks.
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