Just changed the oil, now there's a leak, help! - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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#1 (permalink) Old 09-17-2009, 09:17 AM
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Just changed the oil, now there's a leak, help!

Before the oil change, there was no leak and the car runs fine. I just purchased this car from a friend who has 7 other cars and only drives this car once or twice a month. It's 1991 with 21k miles. I did an oil change and filter, transmission oil change and spark plug replace yesterday. After that, I took it for a run and noticed some burned smell. This morning I found a small puddle (about 2 ounces) of oil on the passenger side. I took it out for 20 mile run on the freeway. When I got back to my driveway, I could see smoke coming out of my engine bay and going into the vents. I openned it up and saw a couple drop sprayed on top of the engine. There were some but not a lot of oil at the bottom near the oil filter. I looked on the ground there was oil dripping from near the transmission. Oil pan and plug totally dry. I crawled under the car and could only see drips of oil here and there like it had been splattered. By the way, the oil is definitely motor oil and not any transmission or any other oil.
What do you guys think it could be? My guess is the oil filter was probably on wrong or something. I took the oil filter cap off and it looks fine to me. I will wait for the engine to cool down and retighten the oil filter, but any recommendation here would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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#2 (permalink) Old 09-17-2009, 11:38 AM
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Ok, I took out the oil filter, and put it back CAREFULLY. I drove it around for about 5 miles at various speeds. It is about 85 degree here, and when I got back to the driveway, the oil pressure at idle is between 1 and 2, which is good. Before, it was at 1 and near the red bar at the bottom. I opened the hood and there was minimal smoke and looked at the bottom, and can still see some leaking....a dozen drops or so streaming onto the bottom of the transmission and dripping down. I jacked up the car but cannot see where this is streaming from. So it is better now, but there is still a leak somewhere. The oil filter area and oil pan is totally dry and clean. Any opinions?
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#3 (permalink) Old 09-17-2009, 06:48 PM
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If car was not leaking oil before, then the oil cap is lose or bad.
Regards.
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#4 (permalink) Old 09-17-2009, 07:46 PM
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The weird thing is that it is totally dry where the oil cap is. I think there was a leak before that I did not notice. Looking up from below, it looks like any leak is flowing near the driver side of the engine but toward the middle a bit. I cannot see any specific place where there is leaking.....just that the oil is dripping down somewhere and coming to the transmission.
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#5 (permalink) Old 09-18-2009, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by tranesq View Post
Ok, I took out the oil filter, and put it back CAREFULLY. I drove it around for about 5 miles at various speeds. It is about 85 degree here, and when I got back to the driveway, the oil pressure at idle is between 1 and 2, which is good. Before, it was at 1 and near the red bar at the bottom. I opened the hood and there was minimal smoke and looked at the bottom, and can still see some leaking....a dozen drops or so streaming onto the bottom of the transmission and dripping down. I jacked up the car but cannot see where this is streaming from. So it is better now, but there is still a leak somewhere. The oil filter area and oil pan is totally dry and clean. Any opinions?
I'm not sure if the 500SL is like the 300SL (I own) but you need to replace with new, and lube, the rubber "O" ring on the filter housing. Also pack rags around the filter housing before you unscrew the filter. You should also replace the copper washer on the drain pan.


And don't over tighten the filter!

1991 3oo SL
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#6 (permalink) Old 09-18-2009, 04:39 PM
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Replace your valve cover gaskets, and the breather hose.
Regards.
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#7 (permalink) Old 09-19-2009, 08:04 AM
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How hard is it to do these changes by myself? I am pretty handy, but have never done this on any car. I don't even know where the valve covers are or the breather hose. I think it is exactly that. Right now, I can still see some leaks (an ounce or two), but looking at the engine bay, I cannot see any leaks. However, after driving, I can see smoke at the bottom of the car running into the mufflers.
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#8 (permalink) Old 09-19-2009, 08:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tranesq View Post
How hard is it to do these changes by myself? I am pretty handy, but have never done this on any car. I don't even know where the valve covers are or the breather hose. I think it is exactly that. Right now, I can still see some leaks (an ounce or two), but looking at the engine bay, I cannot see any leaks. However, after driving, I can see smoke at the bottom of the car running into the mufflers.
Tran,

With due respect to the other posters who have suggested changing things, I would urge you to first get help in diagnosing exactly where the oil leak is.

A good neighbor who works on cars can show you how to wipe things down and place shop rags around the suspect areas to stop the spraying and allow you to determine just where the leak is coming from after another test drive. There are a lot of places oil could be coming from and some of them could result in a real bad day for you- like the oil cooler setup and hoses.

I will also mutter softly- cross threaded B nut -as another pesky candidate but you still have to find it.

Regards,

George
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#9 (permalink) Old 09-19-2009, 09:59 AM
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George is right, get more help.

You see we all went with your description.
No leaks before.

Then leaks after your work.

So how much wrong can the repairs you did do?
Now I believe that the car was leaking from before but you didn't know it.
Oil on the exhaust pipes can also come out from the steering gear box.

Like George has suggested get more help to see what is the real problem.

Don't feel bad we are all learning one way or other.

Regards.
aam.

Last edited by aam; 09-19-2009 at 10:05 AM.
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#10 (permalink) Old 09-19-2009, 01:34 PM
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Thanks, guys. I agree with you. The leak was probably there but I did not notice until now. However, let's say I don't fix it, it doesn't really matter since the leak is so minor, right? We talking about a couple leak the size of a nickel on the floor in the morning.
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