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03 E320 4M Wagon & 97 E320
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3,926 Posts
Figuero and tirona offered some sound advice.

If the thermostat has been there for a while, that is the cheapest place to start. The M104 thermostat is cheaper than the rest of the W210 engines and it takes only a few minutes to change and you won't lose much coolant because it is on the top.

The electric fan should not be a factor now because it is mainly for the AC condenser.

However, the temp sensor/sendor could be an issue so Kajtek1's advice to check with thermometer is a good one.

I would just replace the thermostat first.
 

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Registered
03 E320 4M Wagon & 97 E320
Joined
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3,926 Posts
The T-stat for his car is only $14. The electric fan should not come on at that temperature. If it is the electric fan related, the more common problem is that thin belt connecting the two fans but they should not matter at such a low temperature.

The viscous fan clutch is another possibility but it does a partial coupling around 92 to 100 deg C and a full coupling above 115 deg C.

Another possibility could be the recovery tank cap. It might not seal perfectly since you mentioned you smell some coolant.

These T-stats do wear (spring gets less elastic) so it is a cheap thing to replace. Normally, the signs of a "tired" T-stat is at both ends, i.e., not be able to close 100% and not be able to open 100%. So how fast does the temp go to 100 deg C? If it takes a while, then it is another sign of a T-stat problem.
 
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