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We have a 2005 C240 with 80k miles. For the past two years we have had a persistent smell in the cabin. I think burning oil, my wife thinks exhaust. Had both valve cover gaskets replaced in 2010 after noticing small leak. Had right side replaced again in 2011. Smell has gotten worse, most noticeable when the engine is warm and car is sitting still. Have had it to three shops, cannot find an oil or exhaust leak anywhere. All of the shops can smell the odor. Causes my wife's eyes to tear it's so strong at times. Going to have to get rid of the car if we can't find it. Help!
Bryan
 

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if it were burning oil you would probably see it smoking when you look at the engine while running and you pop the hood. find a shop with a smoke machine and see where the smoke leaks out from the exhaust system. if you partially block the tailpipe with a towel you may hear it also (have shop put it on lift).
 

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Coupe/Convertible Forums Moderator
CURRENT: 2011 SL550, 2011 C300 FORMER: ML350, CLK550 Cabriolet, C240, ML320, 300TD
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Ours does the same thing. I replaced the valve cover gaskets, too, and we still get the odor. I have been unable to find the source. I do see tell-tale signs on the right exhaust manifold. I used Victor Reinz gaskets, and I have heard complaints that these leak, so one day when I'm bored, I'm going to replace them with MBZ.
 

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2002 C240
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You need to turn off the engine to see the smoke (if there's any). Otherwise radiator fan will blow the smoke away and you won't notice it.
 

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CURRENT: 2011 SL550, 2011 C300 FORMER: ML350, CLK550 Cabriolet, C240, ML320, 300TD
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19,447 Posts
OJ< I got bored this past weekend so I replaced the Victor Reinz valve cover gaskets with original MBZ gaskets. I tried to take some photos to show the comparison, but it didn't work. Basically, the VR gaskets are just too thin to fill the groove in the valve covers and thus they leak. I could easily see how the oil was seeping around the gasket and dripping down the head onto the exhaust manifold. The Genuine MBZ gasket had a much thicker rounded edge to fit more tightly into the valve cover's groove. When I originally replaced the gaskets with e VZ brand, I even had an issue with them not staying seated when I installed the covers. With the MBZ brand, this was not an issue.

VERDICT: Avoid the Victor Reinz valve cover gaskets. They leak!
 

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2008 C300 4Matic
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26 Posts
I am getting the same thing but it started after one of my resonators went bad. I think I am just going to have both of them removed. I see a lot of users have done the same thing with theirs.
 
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