Check Coolant Level - Coolant Color is brown - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 11:12 AM Thread Starter
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Check Coolant Level - Coolant Color is brown

Car is 2011 E350 base model with 95,750 miles.
Last night I got the warning to 'Check Coolant Level See Operator's Manual'. I waited until this morning when the engine was cold to check. The fluid inside the reservoir was a light brown/greenish color. The level was nearly to the top so I'm not sure I actually needed to add more fluid but clearly there is something wrong with the fluid that's already inside.
The gauge in the dash of the car hovers above 80 C now but not close to the red 120C area. The warning light for overheating has never come on either.
Just got an oil change last week. Seems like oil and coolant is getting mixed somewhere. Hoping I don't blow any head gaskets or cause serious damage. Any ideas or recommendations before taking it to the mechanic??
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 12:03 PM
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Twist paper towel sheet into a wick. Dip it for few seconds then lay it flat on something not absorbent. Take a picture.

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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 12:22 PM
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My friendís Ď14 smelled bad, warm. Have the coolant changed, was my suggestion. Not sure if he had it done...
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
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Left side of paper towel is from coolant reservoir. Right side is oil from oil dipstick. 2nd pic is coolant reservoir when engine is cold
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 12:50 PM
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Your ATF heat exchanger broke inside radiator.
Stop driving the car as you have coolant in your transmission.
Once you get new radiator, you can flush ATF.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by 2011E350 View Post
Left side of paper towel is from coolant reservoir. Right side is oil from oil dipstick. 2nd pic is coolant reservoir when engine is cold
It does not look like you have any oil contamination. Just nasty old stuff. Possible someone added non compatible coolant. Flush it with distilled water. Use coolant from sheet 325.0 in 50/50 mix.

https://bevo.mercedes-benz.com/bevolisten/325.0_en.html
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 01:42 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks...would you say tow it or drive 5 miles to the mechanic?
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 03:10 PM
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Miami doesnít get cold. (Hmmm). Ever bring it somewhere it gets freezing cold? (Thanks for updating your location)!
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 04:25 PM
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Thanks...would you say tow it or drive 5 miles to the mechanic?
Since possible ATF contamination was thrown in the gears. Tow it. I do not see any evidence of it, but better save then sorry.
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 04:49 AM
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Check Coolant Level - Coolant Color is brown

When it happened to our W201, the independent shop who diagnosed and fixed the issue mentioned that the transmission fluid goes into the coolant, and not the other way. (This kind of made sense to me, I guess one system is run at higher pressure than the other, so I tried to take the advice to heart).
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