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1997 SL320
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Discussion Starter #1
Two days ago, I was driving home late at night. I was supposed to do a left turn but I ended up jumping into the median in a 6 lane road, 3 incoming 3 ongoing. And the median was a full lane’s worth, about 6 or 7 feet wide so the car landed with all tires on the median. I didn’t notice anything so I shut down the car and hopped out. There was the smell of some type of oil but I just assumed it was maybe the gas or maybe a oil leak, but no. I hopped back in the car noticing that I had no passenger mirror lens so I started it up and went 200 feet where I could do a u turn and continue going home. Then as I was doing the U turn the oil light came on the dashboard, so I shut off the AC and rolled my windows down. No noise except a low groan so I continued cautiously. Then I saw that the usual 3 bars of pressure on the dashboard were falling down to 2 and I realized what had happened. By the time that I stopped the car it still had 1 more bar of oil pressure and it was leaking oil the whole entire time while I waited for the tow, and it leaked oil on the tow truck, and it leaked oil when it stayed overnight at my mechanic’s shop. Probably 3-4 quarts. The rest must have disappeared in the hit.
My mechanic didn’t put it up on the lift, he didn’t bother doing anything but telling me the price ($1500) and that he wouldn’t even recommend trying to fix it due to the fact that I’d drove it after the oil leak happened.

The car was due for an oil change in about 50 miles, but now I don’t know if I should scrap it or salvage it, but I don’t want to save it only to find out it’s grinding metal in there.
No engine light came on and no weird vibration happened between the time the incident happened and I shut off the car, and knowing this car, I think it could be saved.
2659391
2659392
 

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1997 SL320
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87 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
I forgot to ads, between the 2 bars of pressure to 1 bar of pressure I had traveled about 750-1100 feet
 

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Registered
1999 ML320, 1998 SL500
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1,019 Posts
It looks like you need a new pan. The one in the picture seems to have some leaks.

About the time to next oil change, etc., none of that is important. The fact that you apparently had at least some indicated oil pressure up until you shut it down the last time seems so say the engine is O.K.
 

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1995 SL 500 2017 AMG GLC 43
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996 Posts
Two days ago, I was driving home late at night. I was supposed to do a left turn but I ended up jumping into the median in a 6 lane road, 3 incoming 3 ongoing. And the median was a full lane’s worth, about 6 or 7 feet wide so the car landed with all tires on the median. I didn’t notice anything so I shut down the car and hopped out. There was the smell of some type of oil but I just assumed it was maybe the gas or maybe a oil leak, but no. I hopped back in the car noticing that I had no passenger mirror lens so I started it up and went 200 feet where I could do a u turn and continue going home. Then as I was doing the U turn the oil light came on the dashboard, so I shut off the AC and rolled my windows down. No noise except a low groan so I continued cautiously. Then I saw that the usual 3 bars of pressure on the dashboard were falling down to 2 and I realized what had happened. By the time that I stopped the car it still had 1 more bar of oil pressure and it was leaking oil the whole entire time while I waited for the tow, and it leaked oil on the tow truck, and it leaked oil when it stayed overnight at my mechanic’s shop. Probably 3-4 quarts. The rest must have disappeared in the hit.
My mechanic didn’t put it up on the lift, he didn’t bother doing anything but telling me the price ($1500) and that he wouldn’t even recommend trying to fix it due to the fact that I’d drove it after the oil leak happened.

The car was due for an oil change in about 50 miles, but now I don’t know if I should scrap it or salvage it, but I don’t want to save it only to find out it’s grinding metal in there.
No engine light came on and no weird vibration happened between the time the incident happened and I shut off the car, and knowing this car, I think it could be saved.
View attachment 2659391 View attachment 2659392
Get another mechanic or do it yourself. For $114 how can you go wrong? 94-97 MERCEDES R129 SL320 ENGINE OIL PAN BOWL LOWER BOTTOM OEM GENUINE 072220B | eBay
 

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1997 SL320
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87 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
It looks like you need a new pan. The one in the picture seems to have some leaks.

About the time to next oil change, etc., none of that is important. The fact that you apparently had at least some indicated oil pressure up until you shut it down the last time seems so say the engine is O.K.
That’s what I told myself too. I’ll get a new pan and have someone haul out the engine for me
 

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1997 SL320
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87 Posts
Discussion Starter #6

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1995 SL 500 2017 AMG GLC 43
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996 Posts
I’ve heard rumors of this being the most secured oil pan ever, should I buy the bolts/nuts necessary to secure it? If yes, can you please help me out and tell me what type I need to get?
Just let the new mechanic (or the MB dealer) use the existing bolts. They'll know what to do. Take a deep breath and relax. This is no big deal.
 

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1999 ML320, 1998 SL500
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1,019 Posts
Pulling the pan is a 5 minute job, at least on my 1998 SL500. Some time ago a quick oil change shop stripped my drain plug threads while using a motorized wrench. The owner took the pan off and took it somewhere. He came back with it 30 minutes later, reinstalled it. I have no idea what he did about the stripped threads.

It has been on for several changes since that event, but at another place. There I supply the oil and filter and the labor is $19.95.
 

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1997 SL320
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87 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Pulling the pan is a 5 minute job, at least on my 1998 SL500. Some time ago a quick oil change shop stripped my drain plug threads while using a motorized wrench. The owner took the pan off and took it somewhere. He came back with it 30 minutes later, reinstalled it. I have no idea what he did about the stripped threads.

It has been on for several changes since that event, but at another place. There I supply the oil and filter and the labor is $19.95.
Yeah, the V8’s have a shorter oil pan than my 1997 SL320, Inline 6 engine. Apparently the sub beam can’t come out and I must lift the engine just to slide the pan off.
 

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1997, Mercedes SL320
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5 Posts
Not sure if they would, but depending on the type of insurance you have on the car, there might be some coverage by them for the repair.

Enjoy,
 

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2002 Black SL500, 1998 Red sport SL500, 2005 Silver (A209) CLK500
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1,075 Posts
Put on a new pan, oil, start it up and monitor for some time watching the oil guage. If no knocking, no unusual noises...seems it might be ok. Drive it around...not the freeway...in case you do break down....and see what happens...
 

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1996 SL500, 2000 E430
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3,953 Posts
On my late 300E I once valve cover gasket and had a terrible leak - there was a moon-shaped indentation on the gasket in the back and if you didn't align it in the hole it would leak like a sieve.

Took it for a short drive and noticed the leak.,

Must have leaked up to 4 qts -

If you didn't hear any bad noises and you still had pressure, as others said, the risk is on your side to replace the pan and see...
 

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Moderator
1995 Mercedes S420, 1995 SL320, 2000 Land Rover Discovery II, 1985 Lotus Turbo Esprit
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1,959 Posts
I'll chime in here too and say you don't have anything to really worry about.

As others have said, as long as you still saw some oil pressure, didn't hear anything bad, and maintained good temperatures, you're fine.

I'll also add that this is why it's worth paying extra for good oil. For 99% of situations, any oil will do the job. But in that 1% emergency situation where it really counts, premium oils with high film strength and thermal endurance can be the difference between an easy repair and a blown engine.
 

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Moderator
93 SL500, 95 SL320, 96 S320, 98 S500, 2002 E320 4Matic Wagon & A little 91 5.0 FORD Mustang
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8,263 Posts
Here's the deal:

Your mechanic does not want to fix it as he wants to give you some kind a warranty, but what happens if you change the pan and the engine is shot? From your mechanic's point of view it is safer to put another engine.

If you DIY, I'd say go for it and change the pan and it is costing you a "penny a hour" for your time. If it works fine than that is all good. If it does not work, it is all good too...

I had zero compression on one cylinder on a M112 engine a year ago, yet most said do the heads, but what happens if the rings are shot? Just wiser to replace the engine.. That is what I did. Replaced the engine. Used engines are $400 or so.


or get one your self for $150 to $200



Replace the engine, and replace the rear engine seal. Re seal the pan or pans. Change out the torque converter(TC) seal seal since you are there too-that is the mistake most mechanics forget to do on any engine swap/removal is to replace the TC seal...

Ahh update your profile as where do you reside?

All the best,

Martin
 

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1999 E430; 2005 ML500
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1,820 Posts
In this case definitely better to replace the pan first (cheaply, not for $1500) and go from there. The oil pressure is a good sign, but pretty obvious that oil was dumped quickly. Replace the pan and see if pressure comes back. If it does, you dodged a bullet. If it doesn’t you wiped some bearings.
 

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1997, Mercedes SL320
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5 Posts
Worse case, here's a long block engine, 6-month warranty, free shipping. 1995 MERCEDES SL320 3.2L ENGINE MOTOR WITH 109,770 MILES for only $699.84.


I had no idea you could get a M104 at that price. The M103 cost $$$
 

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1997 SL320
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87 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Thank you all. I’ve already bought the oil pan and all that’s left to do is for it to arrive. I’ll be on the look out for any premium oils that I can pour in there. Any suggestions or prayers would help out tons as I’m still below 21 and I’m not looking to do a whole engine transplant due to the VIN coding on these things.
I appreciate the helpful tone that you all had and I’ll keep you posted.
 
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