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1985 380SE
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37 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys

My 380SE likes to whistle when it's cold; i.e. when I first start the engine- more often during colder days. The whistling comes from the engine compartment; my friend said it might be a vacuum leak.. although I find it to be something else as the car has very little power on a whistling startup and will occasionaly die and shut off.

This other guy says that it might be a plugged cat; which would makes sense (whistling noise from backflow & dieing engine). Although, I just put a new cat in about a month ago to pass emissions, and the engine seems to run fine after it warms up (which it will then stop whistling), and runs strong and not die.

The other possible culprit is maybe a belt issue? Squeaky belt anyone?

I am also leaning towards a plugged cat.. although as I said the car runs fine once the whistling goes away..

Quite a puzzle.. Any ideas? It's not very fun to drive by people and have them stare at the most annoying car in the parking lot.:rolleyes:

Thanks
Pete
 

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2005 W220 S500 4Matic / 2008 W211 E350 4Matic
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997 Posts
A one-month-old cat should not clog. Try removing it if you must, and replace it with a straight pipe. You only need the cat for emissions testing, so if you save it for use during tests, you'll be okay. The whistling would be more like brake-lockup-induced tire squeal if it were a belt issue. It sounds more like a bearing is going, possibly a main bearing. Worth checking out before you do a lot more driving. Try running the engine without each belt removed, one at a time, to see if one of your accessories has the bad bearing. If not, it may require a big trip to the shop. A vacuum leak would potentially whistle, and should do so at all times, not just startup. It could cause power loss as well. Check all of your vaccuum lines, and don't forget to check at the brake vacuum booster.
 
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