1987 300D Runs hot - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-02-2008, 07:35 PM Thread Starter
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1987 300D Runs hot

My 1987 300D runs hot in stop and go traffic, as well as up steep hills. Is it normal for a diesel to run so hot it almost goes into the red? Is there anything I can do? Gets a bit nerve wracking in traffic.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-02-2008, 07:59 PM
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My 1987 300D runs hot in stop and go traffic, as well as up steep hills. Is it normal for a diesel to run so hot it almost goes into the red? Is there anything I can do? Gets a bit nerve wracking in traffic.


Do you have an electric or mechanical cooling fan? I'm not very familiar with oil burners but mechanical is mechanical. There are a lot of things that can cause it to run hot.

If you have an electric fan, is it working? If not, when you move, you get air flow over the radiator fins but at slow speeds, you don't. There is often an extra fan for when you use your a/c. This will come on anytime you turn on the a/c.

You could have eroded fins inside the water pump. This means the engine will only cool when engine speed is kept up.

A partially clogged exhaust system can cause an engine to run hot. If it was a gasoline engine, you could check this with a vacuum gauge but diesels don't really draw any vacuum.

A worn timing chain might cause this but I'm not sure how diesels would be affected by this.

Lastly, you might have a partially clogged radiator.

My money would be on either the fan or an eroded water pump. When the engine is hot (really, really bad with a diesel) you should hear the fan running. If not, you'll need to find out if you have a bad switch, sensor or the fan itself is bad.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-02-2008, 08:33 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the reply. As far as the fan goes, I don't have a clue. I am trying to get opinions before I take it to a mechanic...I have had quite a few crooks work on other cars. I love this car and hope to keep it in great shape.
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-02-2008, 09:18 PM
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On car that old I would suspect radiator build up. Having several antique cars I've been replacing radiators on them sooner or later.
Get infra-red thermometer and check the temperatures in several radiator spots.
If the outlet (at lower hose) is hot, that means radiator is not efficient.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-03-2008, 04:17 AM
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Thank you for the reply. As far as the fan goes, I don't have a clue. I am trying to get opinions before I take it to a mechanic...I have had quite a few crooks work on other cars. I love this car and hope to keep it in great shape.



The NPR radio program CarTalk has a web site. On it, they have a section called the "Mechanics files". Head over to cartalk.com and when you find that part, type in your zip code to find a mechanic near you and see what other posters have to say about him or her. I do most of my own work but my niece used to live 200 miles away and I found a good shop near her to look at her car. I ended up driving up there with a car caddy as she managed to blow both heads on the engine but at least I knew what the car needed before I went up there.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-20-2008, 06:13 PM Thread Starter
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300D STILL hot

I week later, and many, many mis-diagnosis, my car is back in the shop. I have picked it up 3 times now, and each time the heating situation is WORSE.

This time I had the radiator and thermostat installed, and picked up my car this morning. It was running hotter than I am used to seeing, so I took it back and they said that it was "normal" (temp went to about 100 in stop and go traffic in about 10 minutes).

Was driving to a meeting, and tried to turn on my air conditioner, and found the fan is dead. Called, and they said bring it back in. Meanwhile, a friend looked at my car to see if maybe a fuse was blown, and he noticed the radiator was leaking. So, the brand new radiator is defective, now my air conditioner is broken, and it still runs hotter than it should, and i don't have a car.

My car has 3 fans, one that runs all the time, one that runs when it gets hot, and one that runs the air/heat. When I asked the mechanic if the big fan, that is supposed to turn on when the car gets hot, had not been checked, he said no. That was probably the only problem to begin with as the car never overheated on long stretches, only up hill and in stop and go traffic. It is so frustrating to have to be a diagnostic detective, to tell them over and over again what the problem is (which they do not listen to) that was what I paid them for in the beginning.

As a female, I tend to get ripped off a lot. I have paid them $700.00, so at this point it is their time and up to them to replace all the parts so I left it with them again.

My question is, if they do not get this fixed, do you know what recourse I have besides small claims court and reporting them to AAA?
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-20-2008, 07:23 PM
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You're less likely to be ripped off by a Mercedes dealer than an independent mechanic, but the charges will be higher by definition.

Any independent mechanic you take a Mercedes to should be able to demonstrate prior Mercedes dealer experience and training. Otherwise, they're guessing, as Mercedes aren't like other cars.

BTW, diesels significantly cool down when idling.

Kent Christensen
Albuquerque
'07 GL320CDI
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-20-2008, 10:55 PM
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That's terrible to hear katz, I can't imagine what you have spent 700 on for a heating issue, even with a new radiator.

Where are you located at? I'm a mechanic up in the Portland, OR area, but I know some folks down in LA and the Bay Area if you happen to be there that I could refer you to.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-20-2008, 11:11 PM
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My 1987 300D runs hot in stop and go traffic, as well as up steep hills. Is it normal for a diesel to run so hot it almost goes into the red? Is there anything I can do? Gets a bit nerve wracking in traffic.
Similar topics discussed on the R129 forum.
http://www.benzworld.org/forums/r129...e-problem.html
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-21-2008, 07:16 AM Thread Starter
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Hi Digitalmocking - I am in the Long Beach, Ca. area. A referral to a qualified and honest mechanic would be great. Thank you.
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