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1989 190E
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3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My 1989 190e had it's head reconditioned in March of this year for $2,500. Initially I thought the car had radiator problems because I was losing coolant very quickly, but after a pressure test and replacement of the radiator cap it was found out the head was damaged.

Since I had the head reconditioned I had several problems with the car and many disputes with the mechanic who repaired it - mainly stalling and overheating issues. Those problems were finally fixed in July of this year. Since then I have lost a lot of coolant again. My indicator lamp keeps coming on and now I'm concerned - especially because before the head was reconditioned my radiator system was considered ok.

My question is, what could be causing this? Is it worth spending the money to investigate it? How much would that roughly cost? I live in Adelaide, Australia and have been messed around by several mechanics (maybe because I'm a young woman and they feel they can rip me off? I'm not sure). If I keep topping up the lost coolant am I damaging the car long term? I just feel that I need some kind of guidance.

Thanks in advance.
 

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1984 190D 2.2
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2,458 Posts
Can you tell if it's burning coolant, or if it's just leaking?

Look under your oil cap and check if the oil is milky, or look in the coolant reservoir to see if the coolant has oil in it.

Does your exhaust contain white smoke?
 

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1989 190E 2.6
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118 Posts
Ouch!

So the question is: Are you finding coolant on the ground? Can you smell it when you are driving?

I would suggest opening the oil cap and looking in to see if the oil is thick and whitish.

You might also pop the hood while the car is running and up to temperature. See if the overflow is allowing coolant out. If it is then you may simply need a new pressure cap.

Bad mechanics are the main reason I like to do all of my own work. I bought my 190e with a bad head, then replaced the head and nearly the entire cooling system along with the brakes, rear shocks, and a few cosmetic parts for about $1600 total including the price of the car.
 

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Feet
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21 Posts
Perhaps the thermostat housing could be cracked? They are plastic and will do this over time. There is a metal replacement available.


Tapatalk, son.
 

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several
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23 Posts
The first thing to do is to find out where the leak is . Once you find out what is bad make the decision on what to do. As far as driving with the leak, keep the coolant system full and make sure it does'nt run hot but watch it close.
 

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SLR
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1,366 Posts
When the head was redone,
Did they replace the head gasket in the process?
Was the thermostat replaced?
Was the water pump replaced?

Do you see oil in your coolant reservoir?
Does the radiator look wet or does it leak?
Does anything leak at all?
When does the car overheat? Does it overheat at highway speeds or at idle? What is the maximum temperature on your temperature gauge and what does the temp get to? It shouldn't go higher than balanced half way or slightly higher.
Does it consume coolant slowly or does it billow out from under the hood?

When your car gets warm, a sensor on the engine triggers fans to turn on to cool the engine. If a sensor, wire or fan is bad, then your car will overheat at idle.

If it's happening at highway speeds, your car is getting tons of air into the engine, but your coolant hoses may be brittle and weak. If they're weak, they'll collapse and coolant won't circulate. Another thing that may happen with the hoses is if there's oil in the coolant. If the hoses are covered in oil, coolant won't circulate. Simply make sure there's no oil in your coolant reservoir.

In both scenarios the car may overheat because of the thermostat. The thermostat opens and closes depending on coolant temperature....it's like a door for coolant. It allows hot coolant to leave the engine and cool coolant to come in. If your thermostat is stuck open or close, you'll have problems. I'd recommend that you start by figuring out if it's been replaced because it's one of the cheapest things to repair and it's often the problem.
 

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1991 190E 2.3 Blue/Cream (Present), 1975 300D Yellow/Saddle, 1974 240D Blue/Blue
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85 Posts
If you do a cylinder leak-down test and the head gasket is bad, you will have pressure building up in the cooling system. If it passes then look elsewhere.
 
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