Is it the end? - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-27-2017, 08:11 PM Thread Starter
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Date registered: May 2017
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Angry Is it the end?

I have a 97 E320 104 Inline 6 and around 8 months ago had to have the dreaded head gasket replacement kit and kaboodle done at the dealership.
My car has 178,000 on the clock.
One owner before me and with service history and i have always been fanatical with maintenance as i love this car.
I thought an oil change would be mandatory with this repair as i can also see the oil filter has been itemised on my receipt.
( had an oil filter changed before this 12 months previously).
About 2 months after new gasket car starts leaking oil again, i take it back to the dealer.
They confirm the gasket was leaking and guarantee the new leak is fixed.
6 months on i see a new very slight oil patch under the car, i am over it.
Off to the dealer again, this time they physically look underneath and reckon it is nothing.
In the meantime I am driving around for the next few months , no warnings on the dash , keeping an eye on oil levels etc, then driving along one day on a straight stretch doing 60km i hear a slight rumble in the engine like something loose yet i thought maybe some stones had hit underneath instead.
Hear it again not until at least 3 weeks later. O.K.
Noticed when the car is totally warmed up it is random yet now on start up i have this strange flapping noise and cannot pinpoint where it is coming from.
Everyday it is like a dull bap,bap,bap like a flat tire sound and now every red light it is starting to hesitate when i need to put my foot down. It has never stalled.
It is sluggish and i call the dealer and the morning i take it up to have it diagnosed.
The tech was in the car with me when he heard the worrisome sounds.
It was hard to tell at this point.
2 weeks later we have a diagnosis, i need a new steering pump.
I said really?, "It was leaking alot of pump fluid", oh, i thought the steering was fine no whining symptoms or signs yet i am not the expert here and said go ahead. There had been no signs of pump fluid that we could previously see.
Now they were having trouble finding the part/kit and i had been without a car for nearly 3 months for the gasket and not going thru this again, wanted a second opinion.
My indi mech used to work for Mercedes and I told him the diagnosis.
He went over it and couldn't find anything wrong with the steering checked for leaks No leaks but heard the dull tapping from inside the car, BTW Wasn't the pump leaking?
Checked oil again it was very sludgy all of a sudden and just under .
Now there is a constant ticking under the hood and can hear that slight rumble again right at the front where the belt is PLUS the bap.bap.bap.bap.
Valve train fine, but haven't checked the fuel pump yet but can now smell a strong smell of fuel on start up. Tapping can be heard in park and when into gear goes faster.
We fill it with oil and give it a new oil filter first.
Still flapping yet car has slightly improved on performance and torque is still excellent.
Can feel vibration a bit thru the wheel and under the acceleration pedal feels like i can feel the road but has onl had rotors and disks new break pads done 12 months ago.
Could be vacuum leak yet seems fine but i have heard this water like swish on the passenger side sometimes and it hasn't been raining.
So sorry for the encyclopedia but could this all lead to the power steering pump?
Seems like to me the engine has damage from obviously great lack of oil , i am mortified yet car was great when the gasket was leaking a little before it was done, i wish i hadn't had it done.
My mech was worried and to get to the source of elimination obviously a strip down to find out exactly where we are headed here, even then he thinks that maybe it is time to give her up?! I am a chick BTW.
I would appreciate your expertise and honest opinions as to WTF has gone on here , i look after my cars our fam all have these models and now of gasket issues yet MB told me it would give the car new life instead it seems the opposite.
Thanks guys
Inny 6
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-27-2017, 11:54 PM
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The tapping sound could be the serpentine belt. I say this because you said you hear it when the car is just sitting and when you start driving it gets louder right? I would start the car and open the hood and get close to the belt and listen to see if that's where the sound is coming from. It's also possible that the belt is rubbing on something. So it's a good idea to check.

I don't think your power steering pump needs to be replaced. If it was leaking a lot of fluid, the pump would be very loud and the steering wheel would get very heavy. Just open the cap on the steering pump and check the fluid yourself.

The hesitation sounds like a possible vacuum leak.. Maybe the dealer didn't put the vacuum hoses on correctly or maybe they are just brittle and they need to be replaced. Have your indy mechanic inspect all vacuum hoses. The hesitation could also be from a failing maf sensor. But it's hard to know without getting any info from the ecu.

Don't be discouraged. Sometimes cars are great for months at a time and then all of a sudden a few problems pop up at the same time especially on older cars. I don't know if you should just give up on the car, that's up to you and how much money and time your willing to spend.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-28-2017, 01:59 AM
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Post Same Car, Same Team

I bought my 97 E320 with 179K 8 years ago. It now has 246K. There is probably something stuck in the path of the engine fan like a broken shroud or dead cat. That engine is bullet proof and I wouldn't think you'd be dealing with catastrophic engine failure with that low of miles and a new head gasket. Good Luck.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-28-2017, 05:40 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy

Thank you guys for your positive advice i feel alot better.
I actually took it out today and apart from a slight vibration now the engine sounded just like it used to, no tapping, hesitating , no ticks could not believe it!
Then , I thought to myself i will take it out again and fill the tank up to the top.
Ecstatic get back in the car and start the engine.:
Straight away the that dull flapping came back and and right on cue at the next set of lights so did the hesitation to take off.
It has got be a fuel problem maybe the pump but am getting it looked at tomorrow at least these 2 sounds seem to be pointing to one cause (i hope).
Funny thing i thought i may mention i always use the best petrol on the market here and about 3 months ago moved house and had to change brands of petrol as i am travelling in the opposite direction kinda weird maybe just a coincidence.
Thanks again and will let you know how i went !
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-28-2017, 06:20 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice , as i am from Oz there are few enthusiasts here that appreciate the more mature MB's with a ride and an engine that cannot be compared.
Unfortunately it is also a bit of a problem here for a mech to be experienced enough to work on these cars anymore and we always get told the same thing over, "the car's too old ", time to upgrade!".
i would rather "upgrade" to an earlier model benz than purchase a new one any day ,mostly new MB's around here and apart from the new AMG's many of them are sort of becoming like flies.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-28-2017, 01:33 PM
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Maybe when they changed your gasket, they didn't put your timing chain back on correctly?
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-28-2017, 01:47 PM
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dont give up. you can always fix whats broken
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-28-2017, 09:20 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Carl!
It certainly isn't my beloved Ben'z fault , and is getting a diagnosis shortly and this company has just confirmed it is certainly not the steering pump!
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-28-2017, 09:22 PM Thread Starter
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This is exactly what i thought of straight away as it sounds really out of wack.
We'll soon see, still cannot get over that the oil had not been done with project!
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-01-2017, 08:31 AM Thread Starter
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Still Waiting....

Hi guys just an update, well not really.
No one could diagnose the situation just yet, so it is going back to our Service centre (not the dealership this time), on Monday.
the tapping sounds like it is coming from the rear am wondering if it is the exhaust?
Would this give the car poor acceleration such as hesitating on take off?
Thanks so much in advance
Inny6
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