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E320 CDi ( W211 ) 2005; E320 (W210) 1996 ; V230 (W638) 1997
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Discussion Starter #1
When starting the engine (particularly when cold) there is a disturbing rattle or rather a clatter. The noise disappears after a minute or so, when the engine warms up. The engine has done just over 200K and still covers approx 1K a week without a problem.

I have been advised that the rattling noise is coming form the hydraulic valve lifters. What can be done to resolve this problem? Can any remedial work necessary be carried out by the 'home mechanic' ?

Does the type of oil used make any difference ? I normally use 10/40 fully synthetic oil and change it every 10K miles.

As usual, any advice or maintenance procedures would be appreciated.

Best regards,

K :)
 

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96 E-320, 91 190E, various and sundry Euro and American vehicles
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12,141 Posts
Seems unusual, and I assume you are sure the oil level is up (never overfill these cars, however).
With synth I don't have a solution without opening it up. For isolating the sound you use a stethoscope or (my favorite) a hollow pipe up to my ear. On regular oil, I have used an additive cleaner (Marvel Mystery Oil), and run it a short time. About 50-100 mi, and dump it out. Replace with new oil, filter and all. I have not done this on my E320, but just did to my 190E and it worked. Cleaned the gum out and now it is quieter.

BUT with synth, I am unsure of the outcome.
 

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E320 CDi ( W211 ) 2005; E320 (W210) 1996 ; V230 (W638) 1997
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Discussion Starter #3
Seems unusual, and I assume you are sure the oil level is up (never overfill these cars, however).
With synth I don't have a solution without opening it up. For isolating the sound you use a stethoscope or (my favorite) a hollow pipe up to my ear. On regular oil, I have used an additive cleaner (Marvel Mystery Oil), and run it a short time. About 50-100 mi, and dump it out. Replace with new oil, filter and all. I have not done this on my E320, but just did to my 190E and it worked. Cleaned the gum out and now it is quieter.

BUT with synth, I am unsure of the outcome.
Thanks for the post "aardvark"

I have been advised by several MB mechanics that this ' rattling' from a cold start is common on higher mileage E320 straight 6 engines. Apparently the oil recommended by MB ( Mobil 1 ) is too thin and is not retained by the hydraulic lifters and other parts at the top of the engine. Using a thicker oil apparently resolves the problem by providing better retention / adhesion to the moving parts

I always change my oil and filter every 10K miles and the oil is never allowed to get low. I am just curious whether any other owners of early E320 (W210) cars have had similar problems with cold start rattles ?

Best regards,

K
 

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96 E-320, 91 190E, various and sundry Euro and American vehicles
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12,141 Posts
Well I use Dino oil, not synth, and I am not so sure in 1996 synth was called for. As an option? I would suppose. I've got 150K mi.

Good luck,
And welcome to the site.
 

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1997 E300D
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508 Posts
It sounds like your check valves in the lifters are leaking, allowing them to lose oil overnight. They fill up again when the oil pressure extends them. This is not a serious problem but I can understand that it can attract unwanted attention. If it were my car, I would switch to 20W50 oil and add a bottle of detergent additive made for mixing into oil. The thicker oil will slow the leak down, and the detergent will dissolve any deposits that might be compromising the check valves. If Wales gets significantly below freezing, 15W50 might be a better choice, but in a car with your mileage I think 20W50 is what I would use.
 

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E320 CDi ( W211 ) 2005; E320 (W210) 1996 ; V230 (W638) 1997
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Discussion Starter #6
It sounds like your check valves in the lifters are leaking, allowing them to lose oil overnight. They fill up again when the oil pressure extends them. This is not a serious problem but I can understand that it can attract unwanted attention. If it were my car, I would switch to 20W50 oil and add a bottle of detergent additive made for mixing into oil. The thicker oil will slow the leak down, and the detergent will dissolve any deposits that might be compromising the check valves. If Wales gets significantly below freezing, 15W50 might be a better choice, but in a car with your mileage I think 20W50 is what I would use.
Thanks for the post 'nelbur'.

Very useful information, I will try the detergent oil additive and change to a 20W/50 oil on the next oil change.

The only remaining question is whether to use mineral or synthetic oil? MB specify Mobil 1 10W/40 full synthetic oil for the W210 E320. 20W/50 ' multigrade' oils were typically specified for high performance cars such as pre 1980's Aston Martins, Jaguar E-Types, Alfa Romeos, Lotus Esprit, etc.

Should I use a mineral, semi synthetic or full synthetic 20W/50 oil ?

Best regards,

K..............
 

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1997 E300D
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It might be hard to find 20W50 in a synthetic, as their winter ratings tend toward the low side. But I use 15W50 Mobil 1 in my Mercedes, and 20W50 mineral in my Ford Bronco, but don't let the Bronco know I am favoring the Mercedes. I would guess the mineral oil would be less likely to leak out of your lifters, but the synthetic would likely give better engine life.
 

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1997 E320, 1997 S320
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i wouldn't run a 20w50 in winter or any other 50 weight oil synthetic or not, most likely you are causing more damage that way than running a 0w30 synthetic and lifters ticking. you can try running a 10w40 mineral oil during winter, but i wouldn't run anything heavier if temperatures go near or below freezing. in spring you can try 20w50. as a matter of fact i have always heard a tick-tick lifter sound in cold mornings for the first 4-5 seconds, than goes away, than again for another 2-3 seconds after rpms go down (~25 seconds after start). i always thought it was the air pump, but could be lifters. i have over 200k miles on my m104 and i run 15w40 hdeo may-october, than 10w30 hdeo nov-april. you want an oil that flows easily during the first few seconds, 20w50 will be like honey in freezing temp. if the lifters tick for 1 min or less they are not causing any damage at all, now if you can hear them constantly after car is fully warm up and your car sounds like a w123 diesel, than i would start to worry.

also you can try adding an additive made to quiet lifters, i think liqui moly has an oil additive that supposed to quiet ticking lifters, it's called Hydro-Stößel-Additiv. you should be able to find it easily in uk, check their site Products - Hydro-Stößel-Additiv
 

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1997 E300D
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I respectfully disagree that 20W50 will be like honey at freezing temps. The idea behind multivis oils is to allow the use of one oil year around. The 20W part means it will have similar viscosity to 20 weight oil at winter temperatures and 50 weight viscosity when hot. 20W oil at freezing temperatures just looks like motor oil. We are talking about a well worn engine that could likely benefit from thicker oil. The 50 weight will give increased oil pressure and, in my opinion, longer engine life, at a slight reduction in MPG due to the viscosity.

I did mention that if temperatures get significantly below freezing, 15W oil might be better. Mercedes' approved oil list ('95 version) shows 15W oil being used down to 5 degrees F on new engines.

I do agree on using any additive said to quiet lifters, unless it appears to be an oil thickener, which will give an unknown viscosity.
 
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