Cost to replace/repair head gasket leak? - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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#1 (permalink) Old 03-12-2007, 06:53 PM
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Cost to replace/repair head gasket leak?

I have a leak that I think is a head gasket leak, resulting in oil on the block and burning and smelling bad. Any guestimates of what it might cost to get head gasket replaced, if that is what it is? This is not a job for me...
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#2 (permalink) Old 03-12-2007, 07:54 PM
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I can’t give you a true cost (mucho dollars) but I encourage you to test and eliminate all other possible sources before paying to have it replaced. I just pulled my head and it took me 10 hours going at a cautious pace.

Clean the old oil from the engine with degreaser (try to avoid rubber parts), rinse, and look for new evidence. If it is a head gasket it will show below the exhaust manifold. If higher than exhaust manifold, suspect the valve cover gasket.
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#3 (permalink) Old 03-12-2007, 08:26 PM
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I will prob have to wait until the weekend to check it out. I know from looking over the service records, there were leaking head gaskets noted and replaced in the past. I don't remember if they were last observed leaking or last replaced, but thx for reminding me to check that out. I'm planning to take it to a good shop soon to get a check-up. On a positive note, I was looking in the spare area today and saw the original toolkit by the spare. I think, even taking into account it has 107k miles, this car is a close to a great specimen as I will ever get on my budget.
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#4 (permalink) Old 03-13-2007, 06:17 AM
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If the leak is not serious, learn to live with it. These engines have a tendency to leak oil past the head gasket...

Current: 1989 300E
Past: 2001 SLK320, 2001 C320, 1979 450SL
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#5 (permalink) Old 03-13-2007, 07:48 AM
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I had 2 quotes for the drivers side head gasket. ! for $3500 and another for $600. I went with $600 and am happy with the results. No more burning oil smell.
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#6 (permalink) Old 03-13-2007, 10:07 AM
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Mischief you got a deal I think. I just called an indep. and he said that he would not want to just replace the head gasket but would also want to do a valve job while in there since the car is above 100k. This guy has a 560 also. The price, without seeing it, would be $4000 to replace BOTH head gaskets, do a valve job and replace the timing chane, tensioners, etc. The price would go down some because I told him the chain, etc. had just been done. I had just called teh MB dealer and they said the same about the valve job and said approx. $5000 for it all.
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#7 (permalink) Old 03-13-2007, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by page62
If the leak is not serious, learn to live with it. These engines have a tendency to leak oil past the head gasket...
I really like that idea! How much is too much to leak to live with it? The only way I knwo to measure it is how much ends up on the floor since much of it burns off on the motor. I do get a wet spot on the concrete, but it soaks in pretty fast, so it's not just leaking alot I guess. It does smell with the A/C or heat on and when you get out of the hot car, you can sure smell it burning in the garage. Are most of you gusy living with it or having it fixed. It seems like a lot of $$$ for something that doesn't prevent the car from running and being driven.
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#8 (permalink) Old 03-13-2007, 10:48 AM
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Are you sure its not the valve cover gasket? I thought if you had a leaking head gasket you would have coolant and oil mixing together. It sounds like more like a valve cover gasket issue. I had the same problem of having a smell of burning oil as oil dripped from the valve cover onto the exhaust manifold. Had the valve cover gasket changed and the problem was solved.
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#9 (permalink) Old 03-13-2007, 11:28 AM
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I'm going to check out the valve cover gaskets first. The reason I think it is the head gasket is that 2 years ago(but only 300o miles ago) the prior owner had it in the shop for service it was noted on the work order that the mechanic noted the head gasket was noted leaking in rear. 5 months later, he had it in a different shop and they did brakes, new timing chain and replaced valve cover gaskets. Why would they replace valve cover gaskets if a different shop had noted the head gasket leaking? Wouldn;t they replace both while they were that deep into the motor? See svc records:

104,930 NEW SOFT TOP 1000 WISHEN MOTORS ATLA 1/25/2005
104,930 HEAD GASKET NOTED LEAKING IN REAR WISHEN MOTORS ATLA 1/25/2005
104,930 COOLANT FLUSH WISHEN MOTORS ATLA 1/25/2005
104,930 NEW RT VISOR NEEDED 350+L WISHEN MOTORS ATLA 1/26/2005
N/A MATS 103 acc 2/10/2005
83,056 OIL/FILTER 40 JIFFY FL 3/9/2005
105,996 REPLACE TIMING CHAIN 1417 MARTIN MOTORS ATLA 5/6/2005
105,996 NEW BATTERY MARTIN MOTORS ATLA 5/7/2005
105,996 CHASSIS REPAIR MARTIN MOTORS ATLA 5/8/2005
105,996 REPLACE VALVE COVER GASKETS MARTIN MOTORS ATLA 5/9/2005
106,531 REPLACE REAR BRAKE PADS 264 MARTIN MOTORS ATLA 12/21/2005
106,531 REPAIR RADIO MARTIN MOTORS ATLA 12/21/2005
107,059 NEW MICHELINS 800 BUTLER GA 6/16/2006
107,117 OIL/FILTER 63 JOSEF'S MB SVC ATLA 6/20/2006

This is my summaryization of the service record detail that came iwth the car. Also, if I find the valve cover gaskets are leaking, with the aluminum block, I cannot just tighten them down without doing damage can I?
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#10 (permalink) Old 03-13-2007, 11:57 AM
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Changing the timing chain is not that "deep" into the motor. Head gaskets is a huge job. I wouldn't just tighten the valve cover gaskets. I would change them with new crush washers and check the covers for deformation.

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