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98 E-430 (W210)(RIP) 96 S600 (W140)
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Discussion Starter #1
i was sitting, waiting in my car, at a parking lot.... A/C blowing, power-steering fluid mysteriously low, when all of a sudden, my engine started to sound funny. I lowered the music a little and turned off the A/C, and still, it was vibrating.

Finally, when i did that, i herd a very loud noise under the hood of my car. It kinda sounded like a high pressure hose leaked out some steam. very loud and a lot of steam under the hood of my car. I walked outside and it either smelled like antifreeze or A/C coolant.

Had no idea where it leaked from and for what reason.
It was on the drivers side under the hood somewhere.

Please, any help would be helpful. Im kinda scared to drive my car now.
 

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2001 E320 - Brilliant Silver/Ash: 107,000+
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DO NOT drive it! I think it is probably a coolant system high pressure hose. Have it towed, preferably on a flat bed, to your trusted dealer or Indy shop.
 

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Lots of stuff here - need more input. What color fluid leaked? A/C is gas so you will not "see" anything? Did you notice any fluid on the ground? If it was steam all over under the hood, it's coolant - you just busted a hose. Any overheating? Do you still have power assist in your power steering - is it hard to turn with engine running and you're not moving? If climate control system is working fine, rule out A/C. My guess is either pwr steering or coolant and I guess by now you have figured that out.
 

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1996 210.020
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Darkmann, I beg to differ. I've been in a car when the AC had a catastrophic discharge, and there was quite a lot of vapor escaping, which looked like steam.

Check the coolant level, and you'll know which it was. The stench of any petroleum fluid (PS, AT, engine oil) will be quite different. The AC is lubricated with glycol, which does smell somewhat like coolant.

If the AC let loose, it could be because the auxiliary fan is inoperative.
 

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98 E-430 (W210)(RIP) 96 S600 (W140)
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Discussion Starter #5
thanks!!

Matt L said:
Darkmann, I beg to differ. I've been in a car when the AC had a catastrophic discharge, and there was quite a lot of vapor escaping, which looked like steam.

Check the coolant level, and you'll know which it was. The stench of any petroleum fluid (PS, AT, engine oil) will be quite different. The AC is lubricated with glycol, which does smell somewhat like coolant.

If the AC let loose, it could be because the auxiliary fan is inoperative.
Yes, on top of all of this, my fans were inoperative. including the one big one...
From what you have said, i believe it was a discharge.
For everybody elses input, my power steering works, no fluid leaks, no overheating (slightly becuase of the inoperative fans, but nothing dramatic)
The stench was similar to a coolant stench, with a steamy discharge under my hood.
on top of all that, it sounded more like a discharge rather than a busted hose because of the sudden, consant, halt to the... persay.. "discharge". It did not slowly hiss to a stop... as a mater of fact, it was quite sudden as if it intended to stop.

Other than that, i took it for a test drive, toped off the power steering, and everything seems fine. no overheating.
 

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1996 210.020
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I'd have to check to be sure that your compressor still has one, but they all used to have high-pressure release valves. However, the high-pressure switch (yours actually has a transducer) is supposed to turn off the compressor before you get to that point on any 134a system.

The problem now is that oil has surely escaped with the refrigerant... but how much?
 

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My Two Left Feet
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to be honest. Ive had a very bad experience with my two previous cars and for some reason I noticed after using the AC alot of things went wrong with my coolant system, so now I just roll down the windows. It may be a little bit much, but in the 6 months owning my 98 W210 I've used the AC once for less than a minute. I do use the heat some times to cool the engine in traffic, but turn it off as soon as it cools. The overall system puts alot of stress on the front end parts for some reason, but this is after I've replaced entire systems for two cars, radiotors, hoses, ressy, the works.
 

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99 E430 Sport
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You know what i just realized, after towing your car to an indy shop, many of them are going to screw you over. they know your stuck so your going to probably pay them whatever they quote you for, of course, at a reasonably high price area.
 

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Totalfixation said:
You know what i just realized, after towing your car to an indy shop, many of them are going to screw you over. they know your stuck so your going to probably pay them whatever they quote you for, of course, at a reasonably high price area.
I fully agree. I had my one of my cars loose an 02 sencor, little piece right on the top of the car, did not know this at the time. They towed me to the nearest Machanic which was in this very very rich part of town, this guy wanted to charge me an arm and a leg to look at the car, I told him, I am not from this area and he needed to come down in price because I was towed here and need to get back on the road. Fortunately some Good Person heard me talking to the machanic and payed to have it looked at, I didnt know this till he passed me the bill and said some one payed it must be your lucky day. I ended still having to tow car down to my machanic 25 miles away, but man, I was surprised to see that this machanic didnt care that I was stranded in a city I other wise would have driven right through, and because I didnt have cash on me at the time didnt want to help me.
 

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Matt L said:
Darkmann, I beg to differ. I've been in a car when the AC had a catastrophic discharge, and there was quite a lot of vapor escaping, which looked like steam....
Ouchhh!!! Yes you're absolute correct - there's gas and lubricant in there, and at some point in the cycle, there's some fluid. There will be something "steamy" at the gas hits the hot engine parts, but I never realized it'd be that much. Besides, will it not cause the cooling system to not function properly?
 

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98 E-430 (W210)(RIP) 96 S600 (W140)
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Discussion Starter #11
Darkmann said:
Ouchhh!!! Yes you're absolute correct - there's gas and lubricant in there, and at some point in the cycle, there's some fluid. There will be something "steamy" at the gas hits the hot engine parts, but I never realized it'd be that much. Besides, will it not cause the cooling system to not function properly?
Basically, what happened was....
I was waiting in my car, while it was running, fans inoperative, and A/C running. My engine started to sound funny, as if it was about to stall. A few seconds later, i hear a loud screeching noise and then a cloud of steam following after. Lasted about 3 seconds, and stoped all of a sudden. I went to check my fluids.... coolant level was fine and everything seemed fine.... A/C still blowing cold air. so i asume it was a small dischage.

Other than that, my car runs just fine.... kinda keepin a close eye on it though... that kinda stuff happens very randomly.
 

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From the description very likely the engine coolant started to boil and opened pressure valve on the tank. The discharge is probably under the engine that's why there is no residue on the engine. Coolant level might look correct, but likely there were steam pockets in the system, that raised the level.
Double check the coolant level when cold.
 
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