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1990 190E 2.6

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I am about to buy a 1990 190E 2.6L with 100K miles. The car runs very well but wanted to here from the group what I should lookout for in order to determine the over all health of the car?

Thank you for you input.

WAE
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'85 2.3-16 '99 C280 '11 GLK350
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The most expensive part of the 2.6L W201 is the engine and drivetrain, so have that checke...

The most expensive part of the 2.6L W201 is the engine and drivetrain, so have that checked out by a good MB mechanic. Piston chamber compression should be verified, oil comsumption or oil in coolant checked for, ask when/if the timing chain tensioner was serviced or replaced, as well as the serpentine belt tensioner. Check to see that fluids, including the transmission oil and differential oil were changed regularly. Although the W201 is pretty rust resistant, the known problem areas are around the jack holes, the trunk under the carpet and the doors, at the inside lower edges (if the rubber seals fail, water accumlates low in the door).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
190 E 2.6L

MTI,

Thank you for the follow up. I will take the car to a MB mechanic for a full check up. What are the Timing Chain and Serpentine Belt Tensoners? Function/location?

The 190E is a California car so fortunately it has not been exposed to those rust producing elements.

Thanks,
Adam
 

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The serpentine belt is commonly refered to as the "fan belt" but the single belt drives th...

The serpentine belt is commonly refered to as the "fan belt" but the single belt drives the alternator, a/c compressor, and water pump. The belt tension is controlled by a tensioner and guide which pushes on the belt. It is user adjustable, but once the spring wears out, it can no longer be made to keep tension on the belt.

The timing chain is located at the front of the engine under the timing chain cover which is behind the serpentine belt. Like the belt tensioner, the chain tensioner maintains proper tension on the timing chain. The timing chain drives the camshafts from the crankshaft and also powers the oil pump. A symptom that the timing chain tensioner needs to be replaced is a rattle sound from the engine at start up, which stops when the oil pressure builds. From a cold start, in a quiet location, start the car and listen for the chain rattle before you see the needle on the oil pressure gauge hit 3 bar.

Given the 2.6L's length, working on either the belt tensioner or the timing chain will likely require removing the radiator and a/c condensor and the upper front support member. If you do need to change out the timing chain tensioner, it would be a good idea to get a new oil pump installed at that time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
190E 2.6

MTI,

Thank you for all the clarification I am happy to report that there is no rattling.

On a different note, I called two MB mechanics here in SF to conduct an inspection. After a series of questions relating to the car, they suggested that I buy the car based on the "phenomenal track record" of the 190E 2.6. To tell you the truth, I was a bit shocked that two different mechanics declined the opportunity to make some $$. Is that a testament to MB mechanics? Nevertheless, I will find a mechanic to do the inspection.

Just a couple of things that I actually noticed this morning when driving around the city.

When diving up hills, granted fairly steep SF hill, the car did not want to shift into a lower gear and the Economy gage was pined to RED. Is this a large repair waiting to happen?

When I turn of the car, I hear a POPing sound from beneath the passenger dash. Is this a concern?

The temperature gage, when idling and driving around the city, remains mid-way between 80 and the next dash mark. On the Highway it remains at 80. If the car were to begin over heating, (which it has not) what is the typical remedy...water pump, radiator...?

Thanks,

Adam
 
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