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I'm a proud but reluctant new owner of a 2004 e320, 175k. The guy I bought it from was a perpetual liar type and most things he told me about the car were misleading or blatantly false. It currently has 9 error messages on the display but I'm going to start with the most pressing and work my way down.

I know my way around a car but am not familiar with this platform. So far I've read coolant loss can result from the following in this particular car:

Weeping reservoir tank.
Leaking AT cooler lines, where can I get a dip stick for it? Is this the tube in the front to the left of the water pump?
Head gasket, I would hope not, the car idles fine and has power, the oil is clean.

I didn't notice any leaks or anything else to imply it may be leaking until the last 12 hours. Last night in a drive through I smelled coolant in the air. This morning it sounded an alarm. It may be a recent coincidental development. I remember checking the coolant 150 miles ago when I bought the car and it was fine.

Any suggestions on where to start? I will be renting a pressure tester tonight in order to visually inspect. What else?

Thanks anyone who can lend a hand or post some stickys.
 

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Update:

I've pressure tested the cooling system and the leak is coming from near the red drain plug, perhaps an inch to the left and at the very bottom of the radiator when facing the windshield. If I had to guess it is probably at the junction of the aluminum and plastic. Does this justify getting a new radiator or is there some other feature in this area I'm unaware of?
 

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E320 leak near drain plug

Hello,

I have a very similar issue. Did you end up having to replace the radiator or is there another way to fix it?

Thank You,

David E
 

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Hello,

I have a very similar issue. Did you end up having to replace the radiator or is there another way to fix it?

Thank You,

David E
I was losing coolant but there was never any on the ground. I put coolant in the Reservoir and two weeks later it was low again. The water pump was leaking but the Serpentine Belt was slinging the coolant so it was not hitting the ground.
 

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I just had my car serviced regarding a coolant leak, my car was at about 187k -ish miles...

The mechanics I deal with are specifically a German car shop. They do a lot of Benzes.

I'm informed that these cars are known for expansion tank failure. They simply get old and just crack and explode and you have to replace it. My radiator began to leak from one of the sides.

I had them do the radiator, hoses, and expansion tank, and now I am good to go. With the milage your car has it sounds like it could be a good idea to simply do the radiator, hoses and expansion tank, and maybe even the water pump if you think its a good idea, although the mechanics I dealt with did not seem to think it was necessary given mine was working fine. Take that however you like.

But basically yes, seems to be a standard "wear" problem with that many miles. I'd just simply do the radiator and expansion tank + hoses and that should handle that problem for your car for quite some time.
 

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The M112 engine/722.6 drive tran is a great combination. You might find an independant specialist in your area- pay him a few hours to go from one end to the other. I do know, that it's common to re-seal the v/c, replace the PVC hoses (Factory stuff lasts way better), spark plug wires and the short connector set to the coil packs(amazon -bosch). Coolant reservoirs crack- replace it. My W211 one was $35 from husker. Do a trans service, bleed brakes... is the connector bushing leaking on the transmission? Does it shift properly?
Check the wheel brgs for play, ball joints, brakes....



Michael
 
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