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1993 300 CE 98,000 miles "Honey"
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Discussion Starter #1
Can anyone identify this fluid? With the research I have done here (but in other forums) it seems to be coolant. I have tried to see where it is leaking from, but the "splash panel" hides the engine from underneath - it is leaking out the drain hole on the passenger side. I'm including two photos - one from when I went out to the car this morning, and a second from when I moved the car to see what the puddle was. I would remove the splash panel, but I'm no mechanic - can't really get under the car - and my husband would probably kill me later. And . . . last question -- how soon do I need to get this fixed? I have literally driven the car maybe 6 times.
 

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W124 Moderator
86 190E 2.3L 16V, 2 95 320TE's, 02 S500
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Is there any "color" to the fluid? Odor? Problem just start? You don't need to be a mechanic to remove the splash shield. You need an 8mm socket on a 1/4" drive ratchet. There are 6 bolts that hold the shield up. Easiest to start with removing the rear two first, then center 2 and lastly the front two.

Jayare
 

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86 300e Anke
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1,252 Posts
Please remember that, with operation of the AC, condensate will be draining from the vehicle... usually when stopped/off.
With the shroud on, I cannot say where you would find it on the ground, as I currently have mine off... and it drains pretty-much straight down at the center (L/R) of the car just before the doors (front/back)...

Otherwise Id suggest simply monitoring all levels, including power steering, for lowering levels...

Hope this helps! :D
 

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2001 C320 W203 Black on Black. 1997 E320 W210 Silver (RIP). 1995 E320 W124 Pearl Black.
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595 Posts
Would that be the residual water that drain out from evaporator after you use the air conditioning.
 

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1993 300 CE 98,000 miles "Honey"
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Discussion Starter #5
When you just glance at it there is no color - on the garage floor -- I was sure it was just water from the A/C -- but I hadn't driven the car in a couple of days and it is HOT here, so that should have evaporated. When I went to touch it, and wipe it up with the paper towel - it is yellow -- like well hydrated urine (not bright yellow) -- and it has an aroma of witch hazel - sort of -- kind of an oily smell a little -- and is definitely slimy like oil. It is almost like vegetable oil -- just not quite that dark yellow.

Husband will not let me crawl under the car to take off the shield until he gets home, which is a couple of hours, still. It's on wheels, not like it's going to fall on me, but . . .
 

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1993 300 CE 98,000 miles "Honey"
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Discussion Starter #6
and . . . I have contacted the MB service shop here -- I'm going to take it in to get the oil changed and all of the other levels checked, looked at, just so I have a "beginning point" on everything. They are running a special for August. I'm sure they will give me a laundry list of "to do's" - but this is a good starting point, I think.
 

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86 300e Anke
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If you havent started it for awhile, open up the coolant resevoir and see if it looks/feels the same... you may have a small coolant leak somewhere.

I prefer the AC explanation... :rolleyes:
:D
 

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1993 300 CE 98,000 miles "Honey"
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Discussion Starter #8
It doesn't smell like coolant, but when I opened the coolant reservoir cap, I couldn't even touch the coolant with my fingers. I had to put a paper towel down in there to get enough depth. It is definitely coolant -- just "used" coolant I guess -- doesn't have the same odor? I watch the temp gauge as I would any older auto - and it runs between 80'-under 120', using AC all the time. I never realized coolant had that sticky consistency. It does happen when it sits - after we've driven it - rather than during.
 

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W124 Moderator
86 190E 2.3L 16V, 2 95 320TE's, 02 S500
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Cold, the reservoir tank should be approx 1/2 full. You could have a bad radiator cap (common) or a small leak somewhere in the system. We could give you several pointers if we knew what model/year W124 you own. Please take a few minutes and complete your profile. It provides all of the forum members a better idea of your car, your location etc. We have forum members from all over the world and not all W124's are the same. Help us help you in a more informed manner. Surely helps minimize the "guessing" for solutions to your concerns.

Good Luck and welcome

Jayare
 

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1993 300 CE 98,000 miles "Honey"
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Discussion Starter #10
Updated - sorry - it's a 1993 300CE - I'm in Austin, TX. It was built for US. I'm the 4th owner -- first owner had it for about 50,000 miles in Michigan and Arizona -then 2nd owner brought it to Austin, for another 30,000 miles. 3rd owner was a MB salesman who drove it daily - had the cylinder head replaced at 85,000 miles.
 

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1988 "Zender" 300CE Coupe, 2009 Renault Koleos, 2007 Kia Rio Sport
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I' be checking out freeze plugs also.
My coolant level was dropping and couldn't find any leaks.
Turned out to be the last freeze plug on the block had eroded away and when under pressure was letting more water out than I expected it would.
You can only see from underneath really unless you can get a torch in there to illumiunate. On mine it was the last last at the firewall end of the block !
 

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94 E320 Cab, 93 400E, 87 300TD, 92 300CE24 Sportline, 94 SL320, 92 500E, 99 SL600R, '02 CLK55
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33 Posts
Coolant on the ground

I have had two instances of coolant leaks on my 1993 400E. Only one resulted in coolant on the ground - the radiator cracked on the left side (plastic side tank) and it was letting out a small amount of liquid coolant when it sat. Also have small leak on expansion tank that has not resulted in coolant on the ground. Radiator crack required radiator replacement, which is really not that big a deal. Good luck,

Gary
 

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1993 300 CE 98,000 miles "Honey"
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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks

I drove the car around the block before I put it back in the garage. Did not use the AC. There is no leak since then. I'll see how it is tomorrow morning. I'm trying to get a little more information from the seller, too. (I'll be surprised if THAT happens :rolleyes:) The fluid in the reservoir is lower than it should be - but I don't have the coolant recommended to fill it to the proper level. It's not dangerously low, though - I don't think. I don't think it's the cap -- I'm pretty sure I would know that -- I walk around the car and moon over it every time I put it in the garage. :p

Unless something goes worse wrong - I will be okay till the mechanic next week. I honestly think I would like to become much more educated about all things car related to this car, though - and I appreciate all the help.
 

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1993 300 CE 98,000 miles "Honey"
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Discussion Starter #14
And, while I might not be able to do the work myself (although I am not ruling that completely out someday), I don't want to be snookered getting it done somewhere, either.
 

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W124 Moderator
86 190E 2.3L 16V, 2 95 320TE's, 02 S500
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In the meantime, you can top off your coolent level using distilled water. When the time comes, use only MB coolent or Zerez G O5 and distilled water. The G O5 is available at NAPA.

Jayare
 

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1993 300 CE 98,000 miles "Honey"
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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks Jayare. I checked this morning and there wasn't any new fluid leak. I added distilled water to the fill line. It's hard to see through the "opaque" reservoir because it is so discolored. I'll keep everyone updated on the progress over the next few days. P
 

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89 300E; 00 E320
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Pretty sure it's a requirement to remove the splash panel if you own one of these old things. Time to get some grease under your fingernails....or not.

While it is up in the air and the panel is removed; whether you remove it or not, get a bunch of close up pictures and post them back here.

Take them from the front to the back and get the engine, suspension, transmission, drivetrain and differential... The more the better; good close ups and in focus.
 

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1993 300 CE 98,000 miles "Honey"
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Discussion Starter #20
Results of the Mechanic Visit

First off - I do not have pictures. Sorry. The dealership said they'd take pictures for me - but never did. My husband thinks I'm ridiculous wanting to take the splash guard off and take pictures and has "forbidden" me to get under the car when he isn't here - which is generally most waking hours (can't complain - he works very hard and has for our 28 years of marriage).

The oil change went well, previous owner said he had changed it "about 5000 miles ago", and had the radiator flushed back at 85K when the Cylinder Head was replaced.

The mechanic sad the Fuel Pump and hose are seeping, as well as the transmission - not really leaking. I have scheduled a transmission service and the fuel filter and hose replacement for early August. ($800)

The issue I specifically requested help on, however, they couldn't reproduce. (the yellow leak) They said the REAR differential was overfilled and reduced that to appropriate level (even though the leak is in the front). I had the service manager come out when they brought the car back to me and showed him where the leak occurs (since they had just washed it - the water from the wash was leaking out the same place). He said he drives the same car, and when I bring it back to have the other two items taken care of, they will put a pressure test on it. Since it wasn't leaking, he only speculated it could be coolant which is a "major" repair requiring dash removal, etc.

We drove the car last weekend about 100 miles or so -- after I added distilled water to the coolant reservoir. It's running temperature came down 20-30 degrees F and still no leak after we parked it UNTIL it sat for 3 days, then the same thing.

In order to diagnose the actual location of the leak - I am going to nag my husband to take the splash guard off and place absorbent material under the car while it is parked - this should show me accurately where it's coming from. He thinks I'm being foolish and paranoid.

One quick question -- if there is a coolant system leak, will putting pressure on it to diagnose it make it worse and require repair in order to drive it - because it's perfectly drive-able right now.

I WILL try to get pictures -- really.:eek:
 
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