'92 400E, Radiator Issues - Mercedes-Benz Forum

 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-07-2011, 11:41 AM Thread Starter
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Exclamation '92 400E, Radiator Issues

yesterday my car [1992 400E] broke down, over heated and had no coolant in it. i managed to get it home with some help, and i refilled it with coolant. i drove it around last night and it was fine. this morning before i left for school i checked and there was no wet spots so i assumed no leaks. but on my way to school the warning light for low coolant came on. i stopped and checked, everything seemed fine, went on to school. this is unsettling though because i don't want to drive it around if there's a issue. i get out of school soon and i will check for wet spots, pop the hood and look around before i go anywhere. does anyone have any suggestions, maybe a leak? i'm not to smart with cars but would me living in Texas with the heat make a difference? Thanks!
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-07-2011, 11:49 AM
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First check visually that you do indeed have coolant, which it appears you've already done. Only use genuine MB coolant or Zerex G-5 mixed 50/50 with distilled water. Using anything else is asking for trouble.

If the low coolant light still comes on despite having enough coolant in the reservoir, you may have a bad float (the sensor in the reservoir). Also make sure your radiator cap is good.

If you are unsure of the age/condition of the reservoir and cap, replace the whole assembly (reservoir, tank & float).

Most importantly, you need to find out why your car overheated (bad thermostat, bad fan clutch, bad electric fan, etc.).

Last edited by sbaert; 09-07-2011 at 11:52 AM.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-07-2011, 11:51 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by sbaert View Post
First check visually that you do indeed have coolant, which it appears you've already done. Only used genuine MB coolant or Zerex G-5 mixed 50/50 with distilled water. Using anything else is asking for trouble.

If the low coolant light still comes on despite having enough coolant in the reservoir, you may have a bad float (the sensor in the reservoir). Also make sure your radiator cap is good.

If you are unsure of the age/condition of the reservoir, replace the whole assembly (reservoir, tank & float).

Thanks, I will check that.
although i put what coolant i had which i believe was some generic coolant. i will run over to napa and get some MB coolant.
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-07-2011, 02:50 PM
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Your issue is most likely a pressure loss issue, then once air was introduced it spouted out the rest. Always check the easy stuff first. Almost fill system then run with radiator cap off and burp the system to get air out of the block and pump area. Then put cap back on expansion tank and it will vent some fluid as the seam is about the "fill" line for expansion. Know that the overflow tank is in the fender well where you cant see, so water will spill out of it when the cap pops to let fluid out. Thats why you dont see a steaming mess when your out of fluid like in american cars. Usually the pressure leak is a hairline crack in the expansion tank where the small line connects to the radiator or the radiator line to the expansion tank (from my experience) If you have no leaks do a search on Aux fans for troubleshooting, and viscous fan troubleshooting, if those operate then thermostat and water pump. I found with mine it was all leak issue. Even when my aux fans froze up with no pressure loss in my cooling system my car never over heated.

Good luck.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-07-2011, 07:47 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by macdrone View Post
Your issue is most likely a pressure loss issue, then once air was introduced it spouted out the rest. Always check the easy stuff first. Almost fill system then run with radiator cap off and burp the system to get air out of the block and pump area. Then put cap back on expansion tank and it will vent some fluid as the seam is about the "fill" line for expansion. Know that the overflow tank is in the fender well where you cant see, so water will spill out of it when the cap pops to let fluid out. Thats why you dont see a steaming mess when your out of fluid like in american cars. Usually the pressure leak is a hairline crack in the expansion tank where the small line connects to the radiator or the radiator line to the expansion tank (from my experience) If you have no leaks do a search on Aux fans for troubleshooting, and viscous fan troubleshooting, if those operate then thermostat and water pump. I found with mine it was all leak issue. Even when my aux fans froze up with no pressure loss in my cooling system my car never over heated.

Good luck.
thanks for all your input!
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-07-2011, 08:24 PM
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Check your oil and make sure there isn't any coolant getting mixed into it. If you don't park on clean concrete, try putting a peice of cardboard under the engine and cooling parts overnight. As hot as it is there, it may be drying enough to not see on a dirty surface, but it will stain the cardboard even if it dries.
Try taking it for a short drive to get it up to temp after you top off the coolant to the seam on the tank, and then park it with the engine still running and trace the overflow hose mac is talking about to see if there is anything coming out the end or if it is wet. Also wiggles the tank a little to see if you hear a hissing noise to make a microcrack more apparent.
If all that checks out, and you still lose coolant, check your plugs for signs of water inside the cylinders.
Hope you get it tracked down.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 09-07-2011, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for all of your input. I have done all of these things.
I appreciate all the help, i'm new to the automotive world but i want to know everything i can and i would like to keep my car in best shape possible.

I haven't had any issues after this morning that one time. I shall keep you posted over the next few days, again thanks!
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