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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have a 98 e240 with about 18500 miles on the clock. Every 3000 or so miles the FSS beeps telling me to service the car. The last service was about 3500 miles ago, but as the FSS likes to tell me, the last service was about 200 days ago. So i have put aside some money to service the car (nothing big, a new airfilter and oil change).

Changing the oil every 3000 miles seems stupid

However the car has never had its spark plugs changed and at £120 for the plugs its no suprise why. However i dont want to drop a plug and destroy the engine.


Question: what would you do. a plug change or more oil?

BEEP, Lamp defective. This is driving me bonkers. It turns out ( i think) its a loose fitment in the rear left brake assy . Short of super gluing the fitment to the lamp assembly is there a cost effective way to fix this problem?


Goo on the manifold: There seems to be a candle wax type of deposit on the right bank manifold cover. Is this a smoked head gasket? should i get a compression test done, IF you suggest i change the plugs?

BTW are the spark plugs platinum efforts? at £10 a plug, i now know why there are 12 in a V6

Rear clunking: This happened about 20 times over three days ONLY. When driving off or reversing there was a clunk, i think from the diff. I had the diff oil checked about two years ago. all was rosy, and there is no oil on the driveway.


Electric window. The drivers side electric window, used to jam. I re-programmed about 40 times, but it would still jam and i would have to pull the window up, to get it to shut. In the end i sprayed WD40 in the door space and this seemed to sort it. However the window is slowing up again. What is the right lube to use? I dont want to strip the door apart to lube the rails. Is there a spray lube i can use?

Thanks for your help. Im on disability benefit and money is tight. I need to spend it in the right areas.
 

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Hi, Wuzoo.

I'm going to guess you mean 185,000 miles, not 18,500. :)

If you run conventional oil *and* drive a normal variation of highway and city miles, then 3,500 is a good average for oil changes. If you drive mostly highway you can extend that a bit, if you drive mostly city, shorten it. Or you can convert to synthetic and drive up to 10,000 miles between changes, but you also have to use the fleece oil filter, and the synthetic oil is much more expensive. Were it my car I'd keep up the oil changes one way or the other.

Re: spark plugs, you won't literally drop a plug. Ultimately it will start misfiring if you continue to let it slide. I can't tell from your profile, are you in Europe with the E240? Since you reference 12 spark plugs and the pound symbol for money, I'll guess you are and have the little v-6. It's expensive to do plugs because they are a true pain to get to. You can continue to let this slide if you have to make a choice, the odds of you really hurting the engine with old plugs is remote. However, once it starts to misfire and run poorly, you'll want to change them as soon as possible to prevent other, more expensive problems. The stock plugs should be Bosch platinum, there are lots of alternatives. I went with ND iridiums; they're pricey little friends, to be sure (they made the Bosch platinums seem cheap!)

Re: the Lamp Defective warning, there is a post that has a rework for the rear taillights; apparently there is a recurring issue with the contacts that trips the message. There are some cheaper fixes, read the thread for the details. (It might be stickied, otherwise search for it.)

I've not heard of goo on the manifold. If you've cleaned it off and it recurs, have the engine checked for proper crankcase ventilation; it's possible it's a blow-by sort of issue. Goo atop the engine only in one location on one side would be an odd symptom for a blown head gasket, usually you get water in the oil or vice-versa.

Rear clunking: if it recurs, I'd suggest looking at the u-joints; it's also possible it's a transmission/engine mount. Odd that it came and went quickly, though. Did you search for this? Seems like I read something about it on the forum somewhere.

Re: the window, again, were it my car I'd pull the door panel and do a proper inspection. Spraying lube down in there strikes me as asking for trouble given the electronics, etc. and the odds of actually getting the lube where you need it without emptying several cans seems unlikely. Also, there may be something loose (screw or rivet, for example) or broken that is causing a misalignment and lube isn't going to fix that. Personally I've always used lithium/white grease to lube window tracks.

Last, please don't take this personally, but since you mention that you're on a limited income and money is tight... Clearly, these are not inexpensive cars to own and maintain; if things aren't going to improve it soon it might be worth considering selling the E and getting an applicance-car (toyota, honda, etc.) that is far cheaper to drive, insure and maintain.

Wish you the best, wuzoo.

Take care and enjoy the ride,
Greg
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks greg.

The car has 18,500 miles on the clock not 185000 miles. Why do you think my car has 185k ??

The oil used, as always, is fully synthetic shell double helix. I asked about the spark plugs, as i knew a bloke who had a spark plug blow out from the cylinder head, penetrate the bonnet and lodge there. If a tiny fragment wound up in the cylinder then the piston & cylinder would be fried.

I appreciate your kindness in suggesting i buy a utility, or as you termed it 'appliance' vehicle. I do not take offence. Its a good idea. Thats why i bought a w210 benz.

wishing you the best

wuzoo
 

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Now *that's* low miles!

Wow, wuzoo. I had guessed wrong on the mileage because I couldn't imagine a car that's almost 9 years old only having 18,500 miles. That's only an oil change a year, I thought you were driving it a LOT which would help explain the frustration with the frequency of oil changes. That said, so long as the shell synthetic meets the MBZ 229.5 spec, you run the fleece filter and you do a normal combination of city and highway miles, I think you'd be fine going to 9 or 10K between changes. If you mostly do short trip/city driving, personally I'd be changing every 5K; that's the hardest life a car will ever have. (However, if you have the FSS, then it is actually calculating oil change intervals based upon your driving habits, and if it's coming up at 3K then that would suggest lots of short trip/city driving.)

You can ignore the plugs probably for at least another 40,000-50,000 miles. The only time I ever saw one blow out was because someone hadn't properly tightened it, luckily it was an old iron head, so it didn't even ruin any threads. Anecdotally the only time I've heard of it otherwise was in an artificially-aspirated engine (either super- or turbo- charged). In the old days (like pre-1950s-60s) plugs would sometimes come apart, but technology has improved so much since then I don't think it ever happens unless there is already an engine issue that leads to the plug problem.

So my opinion, in answer to that part of of your question, do the air filter at 30K, do the oil at 5-10K (depending on driving habits) and ignore the plugs for some time to come. And since you drive so little, don't think of the appliance/utility vehicle; I wouldn't have even suggested it if I realized you were only doing about 3K per year.

Take care and enjoy that low-mileage ride,
Greg
 

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I drove 2k miles last year. FSS says 8k miles till next service, however, it has been a year. I faced a dilemma of whether to have the oil changed or not and have decided to do so.
 
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