(LONG) Super frustrated. Need some encouragement. - Mercedes-Benz Forum
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-17-2015, 01:19 PM Thread Starter
BenzWorld Junior Member
 
Date registered: Nov 2014
Vehicle: 1995 E320 Wagon
Location: Tulsa, OK
Posts: 38
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
(LONG) Super frustrated. Need some encouragement.

Hey guys-

So, Iím pretty down on my new-to-me í95 e320, and was hoping for some encouragement, words of wisdom, whatever. Hereís my story to this point:

My wife and I wanted to be out from under the payment on our 2012 Volvo S60, and have always been wagon fans. After a bit of discussion, we decided to look for a clean W124 wagon. Iíve owned and maintained a steady succession of VW, Volvos, and BMWs, with two W123 Benzes in the mix years ago, so I felt like I was up for the challenge, assuming I made the proper selection.

Fast-forward to a remarkably clean example showing up out of the blue on Dallas CL in November. A smoke silver í94 in immaculate condition, two-owner with records from new, priced at $5k (near the top of my budget). I talked to the owner, who was a bit of an oddball. He assured me the car was 100% and ready to go. I hooked up a trailer and headed south on I35.

A few hours later, I arrived at the sellerís house. He proved to be every bit as odd in person as heíd seemed on the phone, and seemed genuinely surprised that I wanted to drive the car and look it over thoroughly before I handed him the cash. But he showed me to the garage, opened the door, and there was, indeed, a beautiful e320 wagon that looked very nice. He fetched the folder of maintenance records spanning the previous 17 years (more on that later), showed me the tag for the updated wiring harness, etc. etc. On closer inspection, it wasnít quite as immaculate as the owner had described, but it was still well above average. Took it for spin, and ascertained that it started, ran, and idled as it should. Climate control functions as it should, cruise control works, everything is pretty ship-shape. Popped the hood after we returned, noted a clean and tidy engine bay, and didnít see any drips under the car.

A brief perusal of the records showed a good deal of major maintenance had been performed on the car within the last 12k miles or so. New front-end parts, new struts, rear accumulators, cooling system update, fuel pressure regulator, HVAC service, and much, much more. The car and the records looked good, Iíd driven four hours to get there, so I paid the man his money and loaded it up.

Iíve already rambled on too much, so Iíll try to keep the rest brief. The car was dripping oil on the garage floor by day two, and the CEL was illuminated by day three. The blinky-light codes were 4 (air pump), 5 (EGR), and 26 (2nd-gear shift delay), and the oil leak was (of course) the head gasket. I flirted with the idea of driving back down to Dallas, dragging the PO out of his house and throwing him a severe beating, but in the end I have nobody to blame but myself.

Since there were no corresponding running problems, we continued to use the car pretty much daily through the end of December, until my year-end bonus provided me with funds to take the car to our local MB specialist for the needed repairs. They replaced the head gasket, cleaned the EGR tube, and serviced the trans, along with a few other small maintenance items, to the tune of just over $2k. We got the car back last Wednesday.

Two days later, the EGR code was back, and I noted this morning that weíve still got an oil leak. Which takes me back to the whole point of this post. I have a beautiful car that I love driving, but I feel like Iím floundering about with a litany of small issues that are keeping me up nights. Again, the car car itself runs and drives beautifully, save for the accusatory ďcheck engineĒ light that refuses to stay unlit for more than a day or two at a time.

I realize that Iím dealing with a 20yo German car, and that thereís always going to be something that needs attention. I guess Iím just not sure what I should worry about first. At this point, Iím into the car for $7500, and I know that thereís no way to bail at this point without losing a good chunk of that. I really donít *want* to bail, but Iím just not sure what to do next. How do you guys deal with triaging this stuff? What would you do in my situation?

If you made it this far, sorry for the long post, and thanks for letting me vent.
DeluxeOKC is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-17-2015, 01:47 PM
BenzWorld Elite
 
R.P. McMurphy's Avatar
 
Date registered: Dec 2010
Vehicle: 1984 300dt 1985 300 dt 1992 300e just added another 92 300e 1994 e420 1993 300te 4matic
Location: seattle!
Posts: 2,506
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 272 Post(s)
...i read your whole post and found it well written and not too long at all. welcome to benzworld. you didnt say, how many miles on the car?

id suggest you search in the "search this forum" tab for answers to the egr issue. also look thru the diy sticky thread.

it looks like you and your mechanic both assumed the oil leak was the head gasket? im assuming so because the head gasket has been done and you still have an oil leak. where is the oil hitting the garage floor? front, left rear?

the previous owner must have known the head gasket was fubar, he should have been up front about it, hes a jerk for not being honest. btw you want to make sure youre using the proper coolant zerex g-05 and nothing else unless your mechanic used mercedes coolant from the dealer.




post a pic of her if you can
R.P. McMurphy is offline  
post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-17-2015, 01:56 PM
Moderator
 
Jayare's Avatar
 
Date registered: Jun 2005
Vehicle: 86 190E 2.3L 16V, 2 95 320TE's, 02 S500
Location: Seminole, FL
Posts: 12,534
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Quoted: 1102 Post(s)
Lifetime Premium Member
JJ

Any indication in the records about the O2 sensor being replaced? If not, then replace it. Useful service life of the sensor is 60-80K miles. As for the oil drip, clean the motor and determine the source of the leak first. Once that is identified, we can offer suggestions for repair. Also, if the service records don't indicate that the OVP relay has been replaced, do that as well. Only buy a MB or KAEler replacement.

Welcome to the club and good luck
Jayare is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-17-2015, 02:00 PM
BenzWorld Elite
 
oefvetw124lover's Avatar
 
Date registered: Dec 2008
Vehicle: 92 300CE/1996 mustang cobra (supercharged)/12 Civic/15 F150/04 F150 mud truck
Location: Upstate , NY, USA
Posts: 8,068
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Quoted: 1680 Post(s)
Garage
Send a message via AIM to oefvetw124lover Send a message via Yahoo to oefvetw124lover
you have to stay the course.
Komrade 124 likes this.
oefvetw124lover is offline  
post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-17-2015, 03:17 PM
Lifetime Premium Member
 
Date registered: Jun 2009
Vehicle: 99 BMW R1100RT, 05 MB C230, 07 Silverado CC Z71, 10 Chevy Tahoe LT
Location: DFW
Posts: 5,787
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Quoted: 1075 Post(s)
Lifetime Premium Member
Sorry to hear about all the issues you are having, OP.

As you've probably already figured out, there's nothing more expensive than a cheap Mercedes. Well..., in your case it wasn't actually too cheap to begin with, but anyway... Especially if you have to take it to a shop every time something needs done. For a DIYer, they are pretty easy to work on.

As suggested, clean the engine and underside as well as you can and then see where it starts leaking and post here and search and I'm pretty sure you'll find something.

Also, didn't see anything mentioned whether the valve cover gasket was changed or not. I guess it should've been changed when the head gasket was done, but might want to verify. What about the upper timing chain cover? Pretty common cause for oil drops. Could also be rear main seal.

1999 BMW R1100RT
2005 MB C230K Sport
2010 Chevy Tahoe LT
2007 Chevy Silverado CC Z71
TexFinn is offline  
post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-17-2015, 03:25 PM
BenzWorld Elite
 
R.P. McMurphy's Avatar
 
Date registered: Dec 2010
Vehicle: 1984 300dt 1985 300 dt 1992 300e just added another 92 300e 1994 e420 1993 300te 4matic
Location: seattle!
Posts: 2,506
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 272 Post(s)
...i would think a "mercedes specialist" would have been able to pin point the leak originally and the timing chain cover gasket probably done during the head gasket. even a pro can make a slight mistake and the valve cover gasket could not be seated right. you should be able to find out where its coming from tho.


how many miles on the car?
R.P. McMurphy is offline  
post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-17-2015, 04:08 PM Thread Starter
BenzWorld Junior Member
 
Date registered: Nov 2014
Vehicle: 1995 E320 Wagon
Location: Tulsa, OK
Posts: 38
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
Thanks for the replies, guys. Just to clarify a couple of points, the VCG was indeed replaced during the headgasket campaign, and they also replaced a leaky oil pressure sender. The current leak appears to be at the passenger side front, somewhere above the alternator. Might be the timing cover?

And lest I sound like a "just pay the shop" sort, I'm definitely a hands-on, DIY sort with a good selection of tools and a lot of experience wrenching on other stuff Ė As someone who's daily-driven elderly BMWs and aircooled VWs for a number of years, you pretty much have to be! I paid to have the HG done because it was just a bigger project than I wanted to bite off at this particular point in time, and the other stuff fell under the umbrella of "while they're in there, they might as well..."

As for the car itself, it's got just under 127k miles on it, which was another big selling point for me. It's got very few bumps and bruises, but has never been wrecked and has beautiful factory paint. It's obvious that it's been garaged its entire life. I'll try and post a pic below, taken shortly after I brought it home.

DeluxeOKC is offline  
post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-17-2015, 04:39 PM
Lifetime Premium Member
 
Date registered: Jun 2009
Vehicle: 99 BMW R1100RT, 05 MB C230, 07 Silverado CC Z71, 10 Chevy Tahoe LT
Location: DFW
Posts: 5,787
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Quoted: 1075 Post(s)
Lifetime Premium Member
Passenger side front definitely sounds like the timing cover.

Time to start wrenching on the small stuff. Daily driven older MB is no different from daily driven older BMW. Need some TLC to keep them running.

1999 BMW R1100RT
2005 MB C230K Sport
2010 Chevy Tahoe LT
2007 Chevy Silverado CC Z71
TexFinn is offline  
post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-17-2015, 04:44 PM
BenzWorld Elite
 
R.P. McMurphy's Avatar
 
Date registered: Dec 2010
Vehicle: 1984 300dt 1985 300 dt 1992 300e just added another 92 300e 1994 e420 1993 300te 4matic
Location: seattle!
Posts: 2,506
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 272 Post(s)
...first confirm for yourself that it is the timing chain cover and once youre able to do that take it back to the guy you already paid to fix it as part of the head gasket job. its not that big of a job for a tech but i think youve paid for a new gasket that wasnt properly installed.
R.P. McMurphy is offline  
post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 01-18-2015, 09:10 PM
BenzWorld Member
 
Date registered: Mar 2014
Vehicle: 1995 E300 Diesel
Location: North Ga/Phoenix AZ
Posts: 137
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
@DeluxeOKC - I feel your pain. There is a thread here that is my long, long fight with my 95 e300d, and failed injection pump - brutal battle. I love this car, and live the debt-free life of a bachelor, so I understand your concerns about not knowing what to do. Mine was down for 3 months, and I had 3 mechanic shops just flat refuse to mess with it. I came within a hair of selling it for parts, and taking a huge loss.

FWIW - I stayed the course, put a little $ into my car, and now have a very reliable, fuel efficient highway cruiser that does exactly what I need it to do. I can't be a lot of help on your motor, I'm more of a diesel guy, unless it has two wheels and comes from germany or italy, but I will tell you that these W124's are insanely well engineered, and do everything a car is supposed to do. Stick with it, buy tools as you can afford them, and learn your car. I love bombing through the desert in it to LA or Vegas or New Mexico, and grin every time I set the cruise at 80 and just glide....

An average shop charges, in my area anyway, about $95/hr for shop time. In my world, thats $130ish per hour you have to earn pre-tax to cover that. I will gladly shove off a client for a day or two in order to complete a large job on my car, or something small during lunch or a weekend.

Keep it. There are far, far worse things to spend money on, like interest payments, bad whiskey, and I could keep going, but this is a PG-rated environment.
OneTooMany is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply

  Mercedes-Benz Forum > Mercedes-Benz Sedan Forums > W124 E,CE,D,TD Class

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Mercedes-Benz Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in











Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 

Title goes here

close
video goes here
description goes here. Read Full Story
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome