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.