CLS500 and its many many oil leaks :( - Mercedes-Benz Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-07-2018, 06:57 AM Thread Starter
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Unhappy CLS500 and its many many oil leaks :(

Hi everyone! Newbie here.

I am chasing down an oil leak in my 2006 CLS 500 (that is 5.0, not the 5.5 one) and figured I could you use some advice and perhaps help others in the same strange situation...

Short summary - recently purchased a great looking CLS with 100k miles on the clock. Shortly after that, I went on a wedding trip with my wife and we discovered it has quite a bit of taste for oil. This taste equaled to 4 liters of oil for a journey of about 4k miles. When I got it in a workshop the usual leaks for that engine showed up - rear crankshaft main seal, valve covers, and the breather. A workshop took care of those.

That was all well until I noticed again the smell of burnt oil coming from under the front doors after a drive. Oil level was also still decreasing. Went back to the workshop and this time my mechanic had another conclusion - head gasket. Now I know this is not common for those engines unless severely overheated, but performance wise the car runs and feels great. I've seen occasionally blue smoke when on a hill but that quickly goes away and under heavy acceleration, there is zero smoke of any color.

Now, oil is gathering on the top of the engine block (in the middle between the two sides of the "V") and this did lead my mechanic to the conclusion it's leaking from the head gasket.
Could that be the case or am I missing anything else that might bring oil there?
Also, a blown head gasket should indicate severe damage and yet all of the miles so far were flawless. Shouldn't it feel somehow if the engine has such level of wear?

Here are some pics.
Any ideas are warmly appreciated.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-07-2018, 06:17 PM
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Hi MCFaraon,

Welcome to the forum! Please take a moment to complete your profile in the User Control Panel so that you include your exact make/mode/year and your location. This will then appear on the left panel of all your posts and will make it easier for others to help you.

I seriously doubt this i coming from the head gasket(s). When the shop replaced the valve cover gaskets, did they use genuine MBZ parts or aftermarket? The aftermarket valve cover gaskets are almost always too thin and will leak immediately. The genuine MBZ gaskets are thicker and permanently fix those leaks. Also, did they clean the breather covers and their hoses thoroughly so they are clear and "breathing"? If the crankcase is not properly ventilated, the pressure can cause leaks to appear on otherwise good gaskets.

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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-08-2018, 04:08 AM Thread Starter
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Hi rudeney,

Profile fixed!
I'll have the chance to examine the cover gaskets and breather hoses tomorrow.
So you think that might be some old oil from more leaky days..?
Cause the mechanic is trying to convince me that it will only be there if it was coming from the head.

On the other hand, it still smells of oil when I get out. It still sips from beneath where engine block and gearbox meet, only less.
This is where my confusion comes from - I can still see oil leaking out, and my mechanic started talking about engine swap... it doesn't feel right.

Thank you for your thoughts.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-08-2018, 08:23 AM
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Oil leaking from the valve covers can definitely run down under the intake manifold into the engine's "V". Generally, bad head gaskets don't have oil leaking externally, but instead the oil leaks into the coolant (check the coolant for milky/foaming substances) or into the cylinders where it is burned. Although it can happen, head gasket failure on this engine is very rare. If you do have head gasket failure, it's often caused by overheating which warps the block and/or heads. In that case, it would be best to replace the engine. Even if by chance it was just a defective head gasket, you would still want the block and heads checked, which means engine-out, and by the time you deal with all that labor, you might as well just swap engines.

But again, I doubt it's s head gasket. Do ask him what gaskets he used for the valve covers. If they aren't genuine MBZ, I can almost guarantee they are still leaking. I went through this on my C240. I save $25 buying the Victor Reinz aftermarket gaskets and they leaked within a week. I then replaced them with genuine MBZ gaskets and those never leaked again. Many other owners across the forums with the M112/M113 engines have experienced the exact same thing. I wish that I had take a photo of the Victor Reinz vs. MBZ gaskets as it was a very noticeable difference in thickness.

The leak underneath seems like the rear main seal. That is not uncommon, and requires dropping the transmission to access. Once you have access to the seal, it;s a very easy replacement. Of course dropping the transmissions is a job, but for a skilled mechanic with a lift and transmission jacks, etc. it's a 4-6 hour job.

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-11-2018, 06:56 AM Thread Starter
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I already had the main seal replaced.

Something new came along and might potentially be the reason why all the gaskets were covered in oil.
Also, the car had another strange symptom - heavy blue smoke going down a steep hill. Few seconds after being on a leveled ground - zero smoke.
At this point, I shall test the latest repair and post an update afterwards so that I don't jinx myself.

Thanks, rudeney.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 06-08-2019, 08:36 PM
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any update?
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