Date registered: Dec 2006
Vehicle: 1997 E320, 1997 S320
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Quoted: 1 Post(s)
i don't think you got a lemon, what you have is a used 13 year old car. regarding brake master cylinder being the cause of very soft brakes the dealership is right, if you bled the system correctly and there is no air trapped in the system than most likely it is a bad master cylinder. bmaparts has it for around $100, which is not bad.
regarding the cooling system, i don;t think you are supposed to drive for days with the prestone flush cleaner in it, if i'm not wrong if it's "prestone cleaner flush" than you need to run it with water for only 15-20min, and if it is just "prestone cleaner", not flush, than you need to run it with water for only 2 hours. so you driving it for days instead of 20min might explain the milkshake you saw. i would completely drain all of the water with cleaner in it, flush good with water hose for a little bit, than run it with just water a few days, drain, flush again with water, than refill with 50/50 mb approved coolant.
regarding tranny, can't tell you much regarding moving from D to 4, but i wouldn't move it back and forth until you have an idea what's wrong. i'm sure someone from here will help you with that. also you might consider replacing tranny fluid/filter if it hasn't been done in the last 40k miles/3 years.
the leak from around the oil filter could be as easy as an o-ring not installed properly. start with removing the filter cap and seeing if it has the o-ring in place. also don't overtighten when putting back.
and don't forget that a car that did cost close to $60k 13 years ago won't be trouble free 13 years later. you can make things a lot cheaper if you do most of the work yourself.