2003 S430 Purchase - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019, 03:11 PM Thread Starter
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2003 S430 Purchase

I bought sight unseen a 03 S430 with 175,000 miles. The car is in mint condition having been garaged since new, BUT it has a engine noise in which I need some advice. I bought the car sight unseen from the original owner who sent me a video of the noise. My mechanic said he was sure it was a bad tensioner. I changed the tensioner which was bad, but the noise is still there. The noise seems to be on the right bank at the top. The "ticking" increases in rhythm when accelerating. Here's the noise:


Any advice is much appreciated!

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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-26-2019, 03:43 PM
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My goodness, that sounds like a collapsed lifter... Definitely sounds like a valvetrain noise.

It's time to go poking around with a stethoscope and narrow down the location. I suspect it will be under a valve cover and that its component replacement time...
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-27-2019, 02:02 PM
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My '03 S430 used to do that, too, though not quite as loud. In my case, the solution was two-fold.

1.) I did engine oil/filter changes every 5,000 miles, and with each oil change, I'd put in a quart of Marvel Mystery Oil. The first three oil changes went like this (I got the car at 139,000 miles and change). The last one that I did, about 1,200 miles ago, was straight engine oil. Not sure if the MMO actually did help any; maybe it did, maybe it didn't.

2.) On a business trip two years ago, I asked if there was the option to drive, realizing that the S430 hadn't yet had a road trip. Boss said yes, just keep your receipts. So, I did an oil change the morning before departure and then used that car for the trip. It was a 1,600-mile round trip, and the car seemed to really like it.

That engine started getting quieter after the second oil change. It continued to gradually quiet down as time and oil changes went on. Now, there's still a very slight tick, but nowhere even close to what it had been earlier. It is also considerably cleaner under the valve covers than it had been. Part of that last bit is some work with kerosene and a toothbrush when I did the valve cover gaskets. Part of that is regular oil changes.

It appears that following the dashboard "A service" recommendations may not be the best idea, long-term, for the engine.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-27-2019, 05:17 PM Thread Starter
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I took the car to my dealer retired MB mechanic this morning. I should know his verdict in a few days. He is thinking it is a lifter. He did say it was one of the nicest S430 he had seen. With that and the fact I bought the car for $700, I wouldn't mind spending more to get it right. I will definitely update when I know more!
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 06-27-2019, 06:19 PM
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Lifter ticks can often be cured with some treatment products , cleaning and hard driving
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