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2015 GLK-350
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All---new to this forum, but figured it might be helpful to seek out the knowledge of others.

I purchased a CPO 2015 GLK-350 in the late fall of 2018. Almost instantly following purchased, I noticed a smell in my garage--a faint smell of burning plastic/rubber. At first, I wasn't entirely sure where the smell was originating--I couldn't place it; I wasn't sure it was my vehicle and not the ancient garage itself. It wasn't until I noticed the same smell in an empty parking lot upon exiting the vehicle that I realized the smell was coming from the front end of the GLK. Sticking my nose to the hood sealed the deal--the smell was overwhelming.

I took it into the dealership in February of 2019---initially, techs could not replicate the smell. Eventually, one was able to and discovered an oil leak on the front of the engine. It was noted that the driver's side front cover was leaking oil---it was resealed. Despite this resolution, the smell persisted---after a call to the service department, I was told the smell may persist until the oil had burned off.

I continued to wait for the smell to "burn off"---by July of 2019, I gave up, and took the car in again--I switched from the dealership I purchased the GLK from to a service department closer to my home. This time, issue was noted to be the engine front timing cover leaking oil, as well as the cam magnets leaking oil. Both leaks were addressed and fixed.

Despite that fix, the smell continued to persist. I returned the car in November of 2019 to have the issue addressed, again. Yet another oil leak was discovered, this time from the front right cylinder head cover. Additionally, there as a coolant leak from the coolant line, resulting in coolant dripping onto the serpentine belt. The cylinder was resealed, and the coolant o-ring and serpentine belt were both replaced.

You may be shocked to know....but, the smell. It is still there. There's nothing quite as pleasant as burning rubber when you step outside of your $30,000 vehicle. Just really sends the message that you've made a solid decision in purchasing the car.

So...back to the shop it went yesterday--were now in February of 2020. Supposedly, the issue now is that there are or were rodents in the intake manifold---and they had chewed threw the seals, resulting in---you guessed it--another oil leak. This repair, however, will not be covered under warranty--understandably so, assuming there are or were indeed rodents (of this, I have no proof).

For a solid year, this vehicle has smelled of burning plastic/rubber. I have allotted a considerable amount of time following each "repair" to allow residual oil to burn off of whatever parts it may have leaked upon. Each time I have returned, there has have a new problem--a new leak---a new cause. But never a complete solution and eradication of this smell.

Can anyone think of something that is being over looked? I'll likely move forward with the current needed repairs, and then--if the smell continues, which I believe it will given the track record--I will be returning to the car market, tail between legs, utterly disappointed that this experience with Mercedes has been worse than past experiences with lesser vehicles.

W163 Crash Test Driver
2008 ML350 (Me!), 2010 GLK350 (Wife), 2003 ML-350 (Deceased)
1,479 Posts
The fact that is never goes away tell me that something is continuing to leak and drip onto a hot surface, as otherwise it would have long burnt off by now.

If you can't say for sure that it smells like burning oil, or rubber, or coolant, you will have to be Toucan Sam and "follow your nose". Something can only burn/smoke it it touches something hot so that narrows your search down to the really hot surfaces. Exhaust manifold/pipes, engine block, etc. Start up the car cold some Saturday morning and observe while it's warming up. Look for light smoke (oil on a hot surface) or anything that could be touching hot parts.

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