I have a MB C 220 at hand that I had inspected.
The following things needs to be replaced acc to the mechanic. Could you help me figure out, what definitely needs replacements and what does not have any bigger influence, meaning if it isnt fixed it will not damage other (expensive) parts or ruin the car.
- Play in upper control arm joints and bushing torn
- valve cover gasket medium oil leak on both sides
- differential center output seal gear oil leak
- front left outer axle boot torn, replace axle boot
- purge valve noisy
- 3 third brake light bulbs burned out
- timingbelt was due 15 k miles ago and hasnt been checked
Hi, busch. If you trust your mechanic then my thoughts are below (i.e.
assuming the inspection is correct). However, if want a second opinion on any of the above check with Holland Motor Cars in San Carlos. They have a good reputation and are close to CalTrain and will take you over there so you don't need to find a ride back south.
The timing belt is significant. If it breaks you are stranded and may well damage other things.
The brake light bulbs you can do yourself. Check with the pros down in the C forums (I'm guessing you have a 202?) for tips if necessary. This is a safety and legality issue, so take care of it, but DIY.
The purge valves are often noisy...it's when they stop making noise you have to worry.
You can probably ignore that one without any dire consequences. If it starts sticking it often stores a code and trips the CEL on the cluster.
I take it you have a 4-Matic? Otherwise you don't have axle boots, although you do have rack boots. Either way if this is ignored it will result in other damage, if a 4Matic it might strand you or cause an accident. If you wait too long it will damage the joint, and then instead of a boot you're looking at an axle, lots more money. This is labor intensive, ask the shop if they can put on a universal split boot. It won't last as long, but it is very fast to install so labor won't be bad. We're also in a mild climate so they last longer here too.
The differential seal leak is fairly common as these cars age. Depends on how extreme it is. You can change the fluid yourself and that may help it a bit, but that will also show you how to top it off and if you watch it and it's not too bad, you may be able to let that one go.
Much the same with the valve cover gasket. If it is a significant leak you're damaging the environment (oil drips on street, rain washes it to the gutter, gutters drain to the ocean/bay...). You might try checking the fasteners to ensure the valve cover is tight, the bolts can loosen and that might help. Otherwise if it's not too bad and you watch the oil level you can let this one slide as well.
The A-arm is a potential safety issue, again depending on how bad it is. If it's not making noise and the car doesn't pull, shift or change directions going over bumps/railroad tracks (particularly if you hit such things at an angle or in a turn) then it may not be too bad and could be forestalled for a time. If it's already making noise (not just groaning but thuds or clunks) or if the car shifts around, then change it as soon as you can reasonably afford to.
Only you can determine if you feel the need to do the things necessary and the order and how soon. I would definitely hit the timing belt right away, check with the mechanic since some similar parts have to come off and see if he'd give you a break on the labor to do the valve cover gasket at the same time. May not be much, but everything helps, and dripping oil makes a mess everywhere.
Hope that helps, you'll probably get some more input, too.
Take care and enjoy the ride,