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1991 Mercedes 300TE
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay. It's kind of a long story, but we made the mistake of taking our 1991 300TE to a chain shop for a transmission repair. They tried to charge us double what we'd been told and took 6 weeks longer than they should have.

Anyway, we got the car back. I hopped in to go to the store, made it nine miles before the transmission went back out and I couldn't get past 30 MPH. So I turned around to go home and, on an on-ramp, the power-steering cut out without warning.

So, we took it back to the shop and they fixed the transmission again, but said they couldn't fix the power-steering ("not our fault, but we'd be happy to take a look at it for you...") and we're stuck now without working power-steering.

I took it to a Mercedes mechanic to check out the power-steering and he popped the hood, and said, "Well, here's your problem. Your power-steering fluid is completely empty." He topped us off, no leaks were apparent, and he sent us home with us both in agreement that the transmission shop had mistakenly drained it an then never filled it up.

Got home, popped the hood to see if the fluid level had changed, and it was lower, but the hydraulic oil reservoir had popped it's top and was overflowing now. So now, every time we drive, the power-steering fluid level goes down, and the hydraulic oil level goes up.

What's causing this? Is it the transmission shops fault? Did they put something back together wrong?

I should note that we've yet to see any P.S. fluid in our driveway other than the fluid overflowing out of the hydraulic oil reservoir and dripping down the body metal. :crybaby2:
 

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1922 Ford T no OBD, no ECU, no SCN
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37,854 Posts
You are talking hydraulic oil for leveling the station wagon? Filling up info in the profile would be very helpful here.
PS and leveling system are independent system, where one if I remember correctly is powered directly from the engine and the other by serpentine belt.
The only possibility for mixing the fluids is if the shop crossed the rubber return hoses. Take it to independent mechanic to confirm that and if my suspicious is correct, get the bastards by their balls. Both systems need now very good flushing.
 

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1991 Mercedes 300TE
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2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes--that hydraulic oil. Sorry. At least, I think that's what it is. The reservoir in the front driver-side corner that looks like this:

http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x202/emjokedz/hydraulic_oil_reservoir.jpg

It is VERY possible this chain shop put the wrong hoses back. When they gave us the car back, they said they'd topped off all of our fluids, but then we got a phone call on our drive home from the guy saying, "Uh...I think the guys may not have known where the reservoirs were on your car, so we may not have filled them all up."

Is this something that (if it is, in fact, what they did) could cause REALLY serious problems in either system? Or is it something a good cleaning/flushing will fix?
 

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1922 Ford T no OBD, no ECU, no SCN
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37,854 Posts
PS is a modified hydraulic fluid. Years ago lot of cars used ATF in all hydraulic application, so I wouldn't worry too much about crosscontamination. But since MB advise different oils for the application, to get them in order they need to be well flushed.
Personally I have no idea how to flush closed end of leveling system. but repair manual should have that info.
This way, or another you have real dilemma how to deal with the transmission shop.
It reminds me the dilemma on W163 forum, where young member used his friend for oil change only to end up with 18 quarts of oil in crankcase and empty transmission.
That could be real test on the relationship.
 

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1984 300D 375,000 miles 1996 e300d 266,000 miles 1983 300SD 174,000 miles Ascot Grey
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453 Posts
hey- you should check out the 124 forum. lot's of info on this. the power steering pump is a "dual" pump, unlike the ones on non-wagon 124 cars. the pump pumps both fluids, but they don't mix. anyway, just go the the 124 page and type "sls". can't wait to here what some of the 300te guys will say. i have had some misery with my sls system, and have done much reading on this lately. good luck.
 
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