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Mercedes-Benz SL Top Opens, Won't Close - Vario Roof

Summary

This article discusses the common components of the Mercedes-Benz SL-Class (R230) convertible plus common problems and fault codes. 

If you are the owner of a Mercedes-Benz SL-Class, you may experience a problem where the convertible top opens completely, but it gets stuck when you try to close the top. The trunk lid gets stuck and will not close. 

As shown in the video, three issues can cause the convertible top to get stuck during operation. 

mercedes convertible problem

One of the micro-switches is faulty or is not pressed. In this case, the flaps for the trunk lid were not closing on one side. The passenger side was closing ok.

mercedes convertible top trunk lid stuck open

The driver's side flap was not closing, which led to the top getting stuck and not close. There are a few micro-switches on the SL-class. Micro-switch S69/1 at the top of the windshield can also cause similar symptoms. 

mercedes convertible top problem hydraulic cylinder

Another issue is the hydraulic cylinders are weak or leaking. This is also a common problem and the way you know that a cylinder is bad because the pump runs but the top moves too slow and then gets stuck. In addition, there is a loss of convertible top fluid. If you carefully inspect the hydraulic cylinders, you will find a visible fluid leak. 

The hydraulic pump itself can fail. 

To really understand and troubleshoot the convertible top on a Mercedes-Benz and why it may get stuck or not work, you need to understand where all the components are located. 

Below you will find a table of component and micro-switch locations. 

Vario Roof Component Location

Mercedes SL-Class R230 Vario Roof Component Location
Designation Name of Cylinder
3 Front Vario roof lock hydraulic cylinder
4 Left tubular frame lock hydraulic cylinder
5 Right tubular frame lock hydraulic cylinder
6 Left Vario roof (open/close) hydraulic cylinder
7 Right Vario roof (open/close) hydraulic cylinder
8 Trunk lid hydraulic cylinder
9 Left load assist (raise/lower) hydraulic cylinder
10 Right load assist (raise/lower) hydraulic cylinder
A7/5 RVC hydraulic unit
A7/5k1 Relay
Y55/1 RVC valve block

 

Vario Roof Micro-switches

micro switch location vario roof
Switch Designation Name of Switch
S69/1 Vario roof limit switch
S69/2 Vario roof locked limit switch
S69/3 Vario roof locked limit switch
S69/10 Luggage compartment partition limit switch
S69/11 Vario roof raised/lowered limit switch
S83/10 Rollover bar raised/lowered limit switch
S117 Load assist limit switch
S118/1 Left tubular frame locked limit switch
S118/2 Right tubular frame locked limit switch
S119 Tubular frame raised limit switch
S124 Trunk lid open limit switch
S126/1 Left side flap closed / open limit switch
S127/1 Right side flap closed / open limit switch

 

The convertible top gets stuck when closing the roof.

  • Top opens but will get stuck when closing: The most common problem why this happens is because of a bad micro-switch. If the top opens fine, but then gets stuck when closing the trunk lid, the problem could be one of the following:   
    • The flap on the trunk lid doesn't close all the way. This can lead to micro-switch S69/10 not closing and top operation halting. 
    • Microstich S69/1 is faulty, or the top is not seated or latched at the top of the windshield. 
    • The trunk lid hydraulic cylinder (8) is weak or leaking fluid.
Mercedes-Benz SL Top Opens, Won't Close - Vario Roof If you are the owner of a Mercedes-Benz SL-Class, you may experience a problem where the convertible top opens completely, but it gets stuck when you try to close the top. The trunk lid gets stuck and will not close.  As shown in the video, three issues can cause the convertible top to get stuck during operation.