Leaking oil cooler or oil coolers seals in '07 R320 - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-19-2013, 11:53 AM Thread Starter
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Leaking oil cooler or oil coolers seals in '07 R320

I was told that there was an oil leak in the back of the engine, not the kind that leaks on the ground. The mechanic investigated more and said it is likely either an oil cooler or oil cooler seal leak, and that it would be around $1000-$1300 to fix. He rated this leak a 6 on a scale of 1 to 10 in terms of urgency, and said it will only get worse.

Has anyone had experience with this before? Thanks.

Edit: I should add that my concerns are the cost and the "hidden" aspect of this leak. I'm used to oil leaks showing themselves as drips on the ground.

Last edited by kumarp; 06-19-2013 at 03:01 PM. Reason: clarity
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-20-2013, 07:08 PM
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There have been previous reports of oil cooler seal leaks on the forums. How much oil is being lost? How much do you need to add over what range of miles?

If the leak is not apparent, and you don't need to add much oil, probably not a lot to worry about at this point. it might just be a bit of seepage noticed by the mechanic.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-22-2013, 04:16 AM
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"It doesn't leak on the ground" is code for "weepage".... . Basically the leak is so slow that it weeps down the engine and then as you go down the road, the droplets are blown away. As it gets worse, it still may not hit the ground but rather start to coat the underbody. I have driven old Alfa Romeos that weeped and would coat the entire undercarriage in a thin film of oil (we called it rustproofing...). We never repaired these small leaks as you could drive yourself crazy (and empty your bank acct) trying to track them down and fix them. Never had a problem letting them go and would only fix if I started to see puddles on the driveway. I also have a newer BMW and Mercedes C230 with weepage (but no puddles) and have let them go for years with no issues.


The key is to monitor your dipstick monthly to make sure don't drop too low. My "weeping" C230 goes 3000 miles between top-offs (i.e., these are SLOW leaks).

Once you start losing significant amounts of oil at the oil cooler, it will show up on the ground; do the repairs then (and get a second opinion).

Last edited by ptbowman; 06-22-2013 at 04:23 AM.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-22-2013, 09:32 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for these replies. They are very helpful.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-02-2013, 10:33 AM
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First, I highly doubt any shop can fix oil cooler leaks for under a thousand, there is reportly 12 hours of labour involved by an experienced mechanic, lots more for a first attempt! It is a difficult job...
Second, replace the turbo intake seal and crankcase breather hose seals first, they are always leaking on the OM642 engine and lots of compliants on the forums about it, no real fix using Mercedes parts, just constant seal replacement. There are other things that can be done if you search around like a catch tank etc.
Third, replace those two seals mentioned above and then thoroughly clean out the intake valley with degreaser etc and wash, flood the entire valley area with cleaners to rid the oil build up. Then decide if you need an oil cooler resealing or not. It is very hard to determine the source sometimes.
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-20-2013, 12:39 PM
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houseofdiesel hit the nail on the head.

The turbo intake seal is the most common cause of oil leaks so far on this motor. It seems that this seal needs to be replaced every time the fuel filter is replaced because it gets disconnected in the process and is very prone to failure and/or installation problems. You can see the seal (part # A6420940080)here.

-Robert
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 10-21-2013, 08:06 AM
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Do not buy any Mercedes Benz with an OM642 diesel engine. You will be spending at least $2400 for oil cooler related repairs every 80K miles. The engine design is flawed. MB knows about it but suppresses the statistics on how frequently they are getting these engines in for repair at 80K miles.
Need a good lawyer for a class action lawsuit for this lemon engine. For shame!
Since the 1979 300SD with the rubber oil cooler hoses that burst and dump your oil out to the new OM642 diesel engine they want to put in MLs, E320s, E350s, Sprinters, Chrysler 300s, Cherokees, Mercedes Benz engineers still haven't figured out how to do oil cooling right.
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-28-2014, 06:47 PM
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I just had this looked at and repaired. The MB dealer said that because I was changing the oil every 6500 miles with an extractor that I never would have picked up the oil cooler failure. The car has 142100 miles the cost for that repair was $2400 I also had a front passenger seatbelt sensor go ? That is why I originally brought the car in $500. for the seatbelt with new sensor.... It caused the SRS to fault. All total with some other recommended trans and brake bleed $3,599... that was after my 100,000 mile customer discount. I hope my oil changes every 6 to 7k pays off with another 140,000 miles of care free miles. The tech said that there was 50 lbs of oil that had soaked into the bottom engine cover???
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-28-2014, 07:21 PM
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50 lbs of oil is like 6 or 7 gallons of oil. What kind of cover is he talking about??? The underbody cover that shields from road debris or some other engine componenet??? And does the R500 have one of these covers???
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-29-2014, 05:37 AM
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I know? I was not there the wife picked up the car. She said that he made it sound like a sponge...I would just keep sopping it up?
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