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Discussion Starter #1
Hello Everyone:

I am a newbie here. Please accept my apologies for any mistakes I make with postings and photos I place on here.

Since I don't have the capacity to replace the exhaust system myself on my beloved Mercedes, is it less costly and okay to have it replaced by a reputable body shop that works with police vehicles? Or should I take it to a speciality place that deals with Rolls Royces and Mercedes (I don't think they will use Mercedes parts)? Or should I even attempt to take it to the Mercedes dealer? I think they would be super expensive and would laugh at me. Plus, I called once a while ago and they wanted some sort of registration of purchase from a Mercedes dealer? I did not purchase the car from a Mercedes dealer. It was from a non Mercedes dealer, although I am the second owner of the vehicle.

Below are photos of what I could take of the under part of my car. It looks horrible and smells horrible after I had some engine work done last March at the recommendation from at my domestic car repair mechanic, whom I love dearly. The recommended repair place was a FOREIGN CAR REPAIR PLACE in business since 1954 (they didn't use Mercedes parts, they conned me for a hefty price, cosmetically damaged my car in the process and I was lied to as well, plus they conned a lot of other clients a year later and damaged their car in the process as well). The work should have been done under the the car and not under the hood.

The engine smell came through the air vent at every stop after the engine work was done and that prompted me to look under the car. That's when I saw damage. I don't think it has a heat shield covering anything now. The smell isn't terrible, it's noticeable, but most of it is probably going through the holes. It certainly isn't going to pass emissions now, that's for sure. Any ideas?

Thank you,

SmoothRider



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1990 SEC
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Sorry to hear about your problems finding an honest place to have your car attended to. If you provide us with your location, the community may have some recommendations for you.

As far as the exhaust is concerned you have to consider the emissions rules for your area. Was your car equipped with catalytic converters from the factory? Do your local emissions rules require annual inspections? Are catalytic convertors required to pass emissions testing?, etc.

Any competent muffler shop can fabricate a new exhaust system for you, with or without catalytic convertors. Mercedes replacement parts may no longer be available (I haven't checked), but are probably going to be very expensive and an aftermarket stainless steel system is probably the way to go.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi Alex:

Very good point. I didn't think about that. I had that issue with the a/c a long time ago with the freon. Now it doesn't seem to be an issue any more for some reason. There is a sticker on the engine from a now defunct car repair service saying it was retro fitted or something odd like that.

Now this. It will change again. The engine is different from the little dribble of yellow oil from years of having a pan under it when I had it stored and the guys that were "watching" it drove it and all the gas was gone in the car, it had mud all over it and there was a huge scratch on the hood and the dash was melted with a thumb print on it where they tried to "repair" it. I decided to take it with me after that.

This time some imbecile squeezed his motorcycle next to it to park it for free and scratched the molding, people sit on the hood or put their footed bags on it and scratch the paint or put their cups on it. I can't seem to win. It's not a table and it's not their car for heaven's sakes.

I have to move into a closed private garage where my cars are safe and sound and find a good mechanic that I trust. I found a great domestic car mechanic for my everyday car. Now to find one for my Benz.

Thank you again. I appreciate your help. I learned another new piece of information.

SmoothRider
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Sorry to hear about your problems finding an honest place to have your car attended to. If you provide us with your location, the community may have some recommendations for you.

As far as the exhaust is concerned you have to consider the emissions rules for your area. Was your car equipped with catalytic converters from the factory? Do your local emissions rules require annual inspections? Are catalytic convertors required to pass emissions testing?, etc.

Any competent muffler shop can fabricate a new exhaust system for you, with or without catalytic convertors. Mercedes replacement parts may no longer be available (I haven't checked), but are probably going to be very expensive and an aftermarket stainless steel system is probably the way to go.

PS I will look at my owner's manual to my Benz and see if it has a catalytic converter. It came with EVERYTHING and more. She's really special. I love her to pieces.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Oh, Alex
Sorry to hear about your problems finding an honest place to have your car attended to. If you provide us with your location, the community may have some recommendations for you.

As far as the exhaust is concerned you have to consider the emissions rules for your area. Was your car equipped with catalytic converters from the factory? Do your local emissions rules require annual inspections? Are catalytic convertors required to pass emissions testing?, etc.

Any competent muffler shop can fabricate a new exhaust system for you, with or without catalytic convertors. Mercedes replacement parts may no longer be available (I haven't checked), but are probably going to be very expensive and an aftermarket stainless steel system is probably the way to go.
:
Sorry to hear about your problems finding an honest place to have your car attended to. If you provide us with your location, the community may have some recommendations for you.

As far as the exhaust is concerned you have to consider the emissions rules for your area. Was your car equipped with catalytic converters from the factory? Do your local emissions rules require annual inspections? Are catalytic convertors required to pass emissions testing?, etc.

Any competent muffler shop can fabricate a new exhaust system for you, with or without catalytic convertors. Mercedes replacement parts may no longer be available (I haven't checked), but are probably going to be very expensive and an aftermarket stainless steel system is probably the way to go.

Oh, Alex:

Would you have an idea what "very expensive" would be?

I looked up costs and I found something like $11,000.00. Does that sound about right?

I'm thinking a bit more. It's ALWAYS MORE. ALWAYS.

Err on the side of more is what I always think.

Thanks,

SmoothRider

PS The guy who worked on the car said she was in the 90 percentile of excellent, but he didn't know that I have extra special things that I took out of the car prior to him breaking things on her. Glad I took them out, the jerk. He doesn't know anything about the car, obviously, like opening the hood! Using pliers to open the hood when the latch is under the dash! Which reminds me, I have to get the 3M? heat resistant adhesive to spray on the interior of the inner hood liner. It's coming super loose.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Another Q:

Anyone working in the field of repairs would know the rules of the emissions testing in the state I assume, unless they want to take advantage of my bank account, which has happened. I would bring it up to the mechanic and business owner, plus I'd several opinions and say I'd check with the state regarding their business practices. Perhaps it will light a fire under them not to lie or take advantage of a potential client.

Plus, I'm going to review my manual regarding the catalytic converter. If it had one or needs one I will bring it up. I will inquire about it with my regular domestic vehicle mechanic. He's pretty good and reliable. He's a licensed emissions and safety testing with the state, so he would know.

He and I started off not so well at first, but we've gotten along quite well since I have two aging vehicles. He doesn't work on foreign vehicles unfortunately, however he does work on my domestic vehicle and he's been keeping it on the road for a few years now. It's 14 years old.

I keep a bottle of oil, antifreeze, kitty litter, windshield wiper fluid, paper towels and two funnels in the car with me, just in case and I've argued with his mechanic about the oil and the air in the tires. My dad was a mechanic and I'm a female. They think I don't know anything about cars and have accused me of some really retarded things such as the lift gate has nothing to do with oil, duh. I let it slide and have their yuks. Whatever. Their eyes lit up when I brought my Benz around, especially when the owner's grandson saw the her. He began to wear his Benz jacket in the "office" :).

I'll be posting on the photos board (need to wash my tar/oil/grit covered :-( baby to get the dust off her and I need to dress up and stand next to her in my red drape dress with a fancy etched glass filled with champagne with freshly polished finger and toenails and my handsome little nicely groomed dog in hand to match my ever so gorgeous car... she is so beautiful... in my eyes, I LOVE HER TO PIECES, she's been so good to me and everyone stares at me when I'm driving her... sigh, dreamy, dreamy).

Again, thank you SO much, Alex. I love both of my cars and I take very good care of everything I own, especially my vehicles. Without them, I couldn't survive. Plus, without the help of everyone here, I don't know what I'd do. The answers even apply to my minivan, which I love very much as well.

SmoothRide

PS Everyone LOVES my minivan too. She has 103,000 miles on her and no one believes she 14! Everyone thinks she's in WONDERFUL CONDITION! Everything works on her. Her body is a little beat up with scratches and door dings. I've considered getting her a facelift, but all of her sliding doors work, her lift gate works, all of her lights work inside and out, I have both keys, her video player even works, amazingly, her CD player works, everything. The A/C, heater, all works. The navigation head sets come with her and I have the manual too with the black booklet cover. Oh, and the eight speakers work and the stereo is ROCKEN AND LOUD, ESP THE BASS! Didn't add anything either! So proud of my vehicles. I wash them in the touches car wash.
 

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I had a similiar issue with my exhaust when I purchased my 560 SEL last year. A forum member here pointed me to a guy in North Carolina (one state away) who was parting out a southern 560 (never saw snow or salt from what I could tell) that had a stock exhaust with zero rust. Had it shipped to me and all was good. However, in hindsight, finding a good muffler shop would also most likely yield results of having them fabricate some pipes with bends and finding a suitable muffler. For a classic car ((age), quite possible that in your state, you dont even need the cats anymore.
 

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If you need a cat, let me know by sending me a PM. I think the local shop that did my install still has mine in their attic. I can sell to you for a fair price. Came off of my car with only 67k miles at the time. (I have 68k miles now).
 

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Discussion Starter #9
If you need a cat, let me know by sending me a PM. I think the local shop that did my install still has mine in their attic. I can sell to you for a fair price. Came off of my car with only 67k miles at the time. (I have 68k miles now).
Hi Les:

Like your name. Sentimental reasons :).

Thank you for LMK. I'll check my manual and get in touch with you either way.

Please give me a little time, if you don't mind. Have a few things going on right now, but I do have to get this going.

The car is going to have to pass emissions testing next year and the exhaust is going to have to be repaired by the time the emissions testing paper comes around. Hopefully, the van passes and I don't have to do anything this time around.

Two years ago the van had issues. Some EVG thing? The Benz never had any issues ever. But, I'm worried this coming year. I paid every two years for both my vehicles.

Will chat soon and thanks again.

SmoothRide
 

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Let's hope you find a good mechanic soon. Exhausts are straightforward on these and I would think most aftermarket outlets would cope fine with the cat.

Unfortunately it's the same over here, I know an awesome little mechanical garage that I've used for many years. It's run by a woman, and whenever I hear of crap places treating women badly and making stuff up (happens a lot) I try and get them to go there. There must be someone decent somewhere for you to use.
 

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What model car is it. And where do u live


Aftermarket simple exhaust should be 500 bucks or so. If u want stainless is the same design as mb. Call timevalve in Florida. They can help.
 

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I have talked to the folks at Timevalve (www.timevalve.com) in Melbourne FL about eventually replacing my exhaust system. they seem professional and knowledgeable.

I repeat to the point of exhaustion that it would be helpful to restore member's location to their messages. Meanwhile if can be provided on the signature line. as below.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Let's hope you find a good mechanic soon. Exhausts are straightforward on these and I would think most aftermarket outlets would cope fine with the cat.

Unfortunately it's the same over here, I know an awesome little mechanical garage that I've used for many years. It's run by a woman, and whenever I hear of crap places treating women badly and making stuff up (happens a lot) I try and get them to go there. There must be someone decent somewhere for you to use.
A lady motorcar repair business owner? WAY KOOL! See, chicks can own a mostly male driven business of the past.

I have a male friend. He's really nice, but he's a bit chauvinistic. He doesn't believe a woman can live alone or take care of herself. Bless his heart, he's always telling me that I can't walk alone after dark on a certain side of the street. I'm so tired of him acting like he's my father.

He's telling me to get rid of my Benz. I am holding my tongue trying not to give him a tongue lashing. I love him to pieces, but there's going to come a time where he's going to get it from me.

We were watching television and BROKE BACK MOUNTAIN came on and he really wanted to see it. I tried to warn him what it was about without giving away too much. I'm not really sure if he quite understood what he was getting into by keeping it on, but we endured the whole movie and he didn't flinch or make rude comments.

On August 19 he just celebrated his 93 birthday and he is a WWII vet. He's a very good friend of mine and he keeps telling me that I don't know much about cars and that I can't handle being alone and that I can't mow a lawn and that I can't walk after dark and that I have to walk on the side of the street with the lights on it. Sigh... I guess he thinks he has to protect me.

And he tells me THAT I HAVE TO SELL MY BENZ. I have no intention of selling my Benz. Not now, not tomorrow, not next year, not ever. Period. I love my dear friend, but I'm not letting go of my Benz :love:.

Thanks for listening to my story and I hope to find a really good mechanic for my beloved baby that I have no intention of selling.

SmoothRider
 

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It's the same for all of us. We either need to know how to fix it ourselves, or know someone that does. So your friend is onto something in a way.
Get yourself a tool kit maybe.
Or maybe someone can suggest a good place for you to try.

Where are you in the US roughly?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hi Everyone, Hi Lesguy and thanks for the welcome:

Sorry for the absence. I got a little busy doing some detective work looking for equivalents to recommended "liquids" for my vehicles. I have to order them bc they are not in stock at any local stores, unfortunately. PHOOEY!

Currently, I reside in the MidWest. That's "currently." I AM a female, that is NOT going to change, LOL. I'm not a transgender, either, LOL!

I looked up "BEST MUFFLER SHOP" city, state and I found a 4.9 star out of 5! GREAT ADVICE HERE! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU everyone!!!!!!

NEVER WOULD I HAVE THOUGHT ABOUT "EXHAUST" coming from a muffler shop! Plus, it's a LADY/FEMALE OWNED business with WONDERFUL REVIEWS!!!!! I guess women find mufflers exciting! Oh, I decided to check the business out on the BBB website and it gets an A+ rating with one complaint in three years. Someone is going to complain. It's been in business for over 30+ years.

Many reviews mentioned that other business quoted replacement or repairs for over $1,000 and this place charged $200 or $300. I expect my repair to be more, but at least I don't think I'll be gouged. Of course I think I should get a few quotes and compare, but 4.9 out of 5 is very good, 24 reviews is pretty good and one complaint in 3 years on the BBB.

A MULTITUDE OF THANK YOUS TO EVERYONE HERE FOR ALL THE KNOWLEDGE! Hopefully it will all work out and I won't get taken as I did in the past. I did not do any background research though and that was my fault. Other people were taken as well. I did get a nice new engine part, however I did want to keep my old engine and just repair the leaks if possible. Nothing was mentioned to me about replacing half of it. There was no communication about not knowing how to open the hood either. I need to post photos of the scratches. It's very noticeable. I was MORTIFIED. I thought they were PROFESSIONALS! Sigh. Live and learn.

Oh, my vehicle is a 1990 560 SEL. I love her to pieces. She rides so smoothy, hence my name. She rides like glass and she "GOES UP TO 11" like nothin.

I was watching vids of Hell Cats and I was looking at Demons (speed demon)... A 19 yo kid car jacked a Hell Cat and out ran the cops. He was a pretty good driver weaving in and out of heavy traffic. I kept thinking he was going to hit something or someone, but he didn't. He had to ditch the car bc he ran out of fuel and couldn't gas up.

Any thoughts about the Demon or Hell Cats? My domestic car mechanic looked at my Benz and said, "You like speed don't cha?" YES, I DO! I was looking and dreaming of the V-12 Benz. Saw only one in my life and saw that someone had the luck of possibly purchasing one online, but... I love my 560 SEL V-8. Classy with muscle. She's been good to me and has helped me out in many a jams, including speeding away from unwanteds. My first car was a muscle car :p

BTW, her cooling and heating system isn't so great. The blower is weak, but still works, however the heating and cooling is messed up since the last guy who touched her. He messed things up. She blows both hot and cold at the same time intermittently. The temperature gage doesn't work. Sigh... the radio doesn't work either (Becker...). Not sure if the cassette player works. I don't have my cassettes with me, all in storage.

One thing at a time?

Thanks for reading and THANK YOU FOR THE MUFFLER SHOP RECOMMENDATION! BTW, I couldn't fit under the car to look at the exhaust with the cardboard bc the Benz is so low and my boobs got in the way. Figures. I used my smartphone and my selfie stick. Vanity has its advantages. I thought the suction cups with the little knobs on it to hold with broken window up was kind of a brilliant idea until the window could be repaired. The selfie stick with the camera on it is kind of a good idea if you don't have the car ramp to get your car up and you can't get under the car. It's not fool proof, but you gotta think if you are in an apartment situation, what can you do? Plus, ask for ideas here! Everyone here has been great! THANK YOU AGAIN!

SmoothRider

PS. The stretch limo MOVED, IT'S GONE! I don't know where it is now! It's not in the parking garage any more :unsure::cry:!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Hello Everyone:

Sorry for being absent. I took my beloved beauty to the five out of five star, female owned, muffler shop for an estimate on exhaust replacement. The employee took a look at her while she was on the car lift and only found the heat shield rotten. Everything is GOOD! I asked about replacing the heat shields and was told they only come in the exhaust replacement kit. My baby was cleaned where the heat shields were and I was good to go... home.

She's going to pass emissions another year, but WHAT IS THE EXHAUST SMELL THAT COMES THROUGH THE VENTS SINCE THE ENGINE REPLACEMENT/UPDATE, WHAT EVER WAS DONE TO HER LAST YEAR? I asked about it and was directed to another shop, which is privately owned and got a great recommendation from the muffler repair shop.

I suppose I will be patronizing at least three privately owned auto shops. But, this is GREAT NEWS! No exhaust repair as of yet! YAY! Now for the ashtray and later on a few other major things, heating/cooling, radio... :)!

SmoothRider

PS. She vibrates when taking turns at highway speed, I saw she needs tire rebalancing, will check to see if muffler shop offers that service, they do oil changes, which my lovely needs, THANK YOU AGAIN FOR ALL OF YOUR HELP, EVERYONE, I could have gotten ripped off again as I did with the engine work had I not found all of your great advice.
 

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Keep up the good work. No idea why it would smell of exhaust through the vents. Maybe where the exhaust attaches to the left engine has a slight leak? That area is called the exhaust manifold.

Vibration only on turns? Is it caused by braking, or happens without any application of the brake pedal?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks Ian:

I appreciate the encouragement. It's a learning experience for me and everyone here has been extremely helpful.

The muffler shop gave me reference to another mom and pop mechanic who may take on the basics of working on my car. The tre' expensive engine "repair" was with a foreign "vintage" specialized car service (over $5,000.00). So, perhaps for the basics, my beloved beauty can see a regular mechanic and not a specialized repair shop.

She still has the old phone connected to her, although the covering is chipping off. It's large, bulky and funny looking considering it was cutting edge back in the day. I'll take a photo of it and post it here for everyone to see. I wonder if it still works? It made a loud screeching noise when the on button is pushed.

The hidden radar detector works great. The heat and air have issues as well as the OLD BECKER RADIO, what a pain that has been but, the vibration when turning at a high speed is more of a concern at this point. I'll have to pay attention to braking or not. I think I am braking when I take the curves, but I'm not 100% positive.

Also, regarding the exhaust smell coming through the vents, I'll have to ask the mom and pop place about that (manifold) when I make an appointment with them.

I purchased a foaming degreaser, no rinse, but wipe off. I'm going to try it under the car and in an inconspicuous area where there is paint and see how it works. It reads it removes tar, grit, dirt, oil and it's safe for metal, paint, plastic, etc. I spilled clean motor oil all over the engine of my minivan (not much light and I only have two hands to hold the oil container and funnel and no other hand to hold a flash light) and I purchased several degreasers to remove it. I figured I'd try it on my Benz to hopefully remove all that glistening oil and tar and bits of grit that is all over her from a drive TO THE CARWASH of all places! Oh, I'm so angry about that.

Anyway, I have some really neat photos to post on the brag board :).

Thanks so very much again and will be in touch. It's nice to have a mentor who can help me navigate the world of my lovely Benz.

SmoothRider

PS. I also purchased the high heat resistant 3M 08090 spray adhesive to reattach the falling inner lining hood pad. Haven't tried it yet. No straw came with the one I purchased (someone said a straw is supposed to come with it), however if a straw came with it, wouldn't it get clogged up from the adhesive? A nice controlled spray would be nice, but a straw would get sticky inside and not work very well after the first use.
 
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