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1983 300 SD; 2000 E320
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1,099 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a slow head gasket leak in my 300SE. I get a burnt smell in the air from the heat or a/c and there is water dripping from my tailpipe. The coolant reservoir edges down ever so slowly. I am not burning oil however.

Otherwise, the engine drives well except for hard starting when cold - sounds like sticky lifters.

So, my question is, as long as I watch the coolant level so the car never overheats, how long can I expect to the "nurse" the engine along without any work (car's not worth putting money into) or could the whole gasket just "blow" any day?

thanks!
 

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Looking for V8 W140
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96 Posts
I have a slow head gasket leak in my 300SE. I get a burnt smell in the air from the heat or a/c and there is water dripping from my tailpipe. The coolant reservoir edges down ever so slowly. I am not burning oil however.

Otherwise, the engine drives well except for hard starting when cold - sounds like sticky lifters.

So, my question is, as long as I watch the coolant level so the car never overheats, how long can I expect to the "nurse" the engine along without any work (car's not worth putting money into) or could the whole gasket just "blow" any day?

thanks!
Are you sure you have blown headgaskets? Water is a byproduct of combustion. Make sure it is not just water but rather colant. Check the radiator for presence of exhaust gases. How's your oil? Any presence of coolant (milkshake)?
 

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1985 500SEL with a 560 V8
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645 Posts
Definatly need to do a Co2 check in the coolant. Really simple. But it sounds like you may have a leaking heater core instead... You wouldn't smell a leaking headgasket. does the coolant have a funky odor to it?
 

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CH4S Admin , Outstanding Contributor
1985 500SEC, 1991 190E 2.6.
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40,738 Posts
I had similar symptoms with a leaking heater core / busted small water pump next to heater core.
 

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Registered
1983 300 SD; 2000 E320
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1,099 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
How do I confirm whether it's water or coolant? By doing a CO2 check? I'm not familiar with that.

I thought you could smell a headgasket because things burn in engine compartment and then those gases are sucked into intake and into the HVAC system.

I will however, check out the heater core. Is it hidden behind dash/firewall?
 

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1983 300 SD; 2000 E320
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1,099 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
likely cause of suddenly stuck window

took my SD out of storage ytd. Started like a champ after 6 mos. of sitting.

I left all my windows cracked open a bit for ventilation. When I went to close them I noticed the passenger front wasn't moving. The motor didn't appear to make a noise either. It was working when I parked it, and I didn't see a failed fuse. What is the most likely cause?

Thanks
 

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Looking for V8 W140
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How do I confirm whether it's water or coolant? By doing a CO2 check? I'm not familiar with that.

I thought you could smell a headgasket because things burn in engine compartment and then those gases are sucked into intake and into the HVAC system.

I will however, check out the heater core. Is it hidden behind dash/firewall?
There are test kits to check for exhaust in coolant. A radiator shop can do that for you too. They also can do aa pressure test to see where the coolant goes to. Take it to a mechanic you trust and never mention headgasket first.
 

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1985 500SEL with a 560 V8
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645 Posts
There are test kits to check for exhaust in coolant. A radiator shop can do that for you too. They also can do aa pressure test to see where the coolant goes to. Take it to a mechanic you trust and never mention headgasket first.
Unless you know and trust your mechanic. Had buick century come in today and another shop told the owner that it needed head gaskets and the heads needed to be sent out... We checked it out, turned out it was a manifold gasket that failed for much less money. But there is a tool and test fluid that you sniff the radiator for and it'll change colors indicating CO2 in the coolant which would mean a blown headgasket to you.
 

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1965 220S, 1999 Volvo V70 (wagon), 2006 Ford Crown Vic Police Interceptor, 72 350SL 4 Speed
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1,830 Posts
My 300SE has a leak out of the rear passenger side of the head gasket. I'm going to pull the head this weekend, take it into class and replace the valve stem seals, and then replace the head gasket. It will be a good time to overhaul all the vacuum stuff.
 
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