So, my ML500 had what I thought was a rear main seal/plate oil leak. The local M-B dealership diagnosed it and told me it was going to be about $1700 to repair. I bought original M-B parts (rear plate, seal, special M-B sealant, and a torque converter front transmission seal) and took it to a third party garage (one where their M-B specialist used to work for the stealership for 30 years thought he knew what he was doing) and had them do the job. They charged 8 hours labor by the book at $95 = $760. I picked it up last thursday morning and drove it about 100 miles and put it up on ramps last night and low and behold, the oil pan/transmission joint is soaking wet with oil again. I felt up inside the two torque converter inspection windows and it feels really good and dry up inside there, where it was wet inside there last time (could be wind pushed some oil inside there). But where the oil pan and the transmission bellhousing bolt together and the two inspection windows are located its soaked with fresh liquid oil.
Is there any thing else under there that could be leaking?? I'm at a loss now. The only other thing that I can see under there is maybe the upper oil pan is leaking where it mates with the bottom of the engine block. The lower oil pan is in the front of the vehicle and that seal to the upper oil pan seems extremely dry. With it up and ramps and with a flashlight, I can look up the rear of the engine beside the transmission on either side and see the rear of the cylinder heads where the valve covers mate and that gasket looks nice and dry too. Nothing is leaking up there and running down the engine block and collecting on the bottom of the engine. Through process of elimination I'm thinking its the oil pan. But before I undertake that massive job, I wanted to check and get other opinions and areas to look for leaks. The passenger side of the engine is easier to examine because there's no drive shaft there and it is completely dry everywhere, it looks really good. so, I'm guessing its leaking from the driver's side and from the rear. As I remove the under engine compartment cover and look around up under there its all pretty good and dry too. I'm guessing that just leaves the rear drivers side area, unfortunately its really hard to see in there because of the front differential is on that side and the front driveshaft and exhaust pipe are all crammed in that tiny area. Makes inspecting it darn near impossible.
At least with the oil pans, there are no gaskets to buy, just another tube ore two of the Locktite 5970 sealant.
I must say that I'm extremely disappointed in the mechanic didnt look around while he had the exhaust and tranny out of there doing the rear main seal, he apparently didnt examine anywhere else for other leaks or problems.
I'm also getting tired of this ML, its been nothing but trouble since I bought it. Front diff and driveshaft were bad, I rebuild the front diff and replaced the front driveshaft. Now at least those are good. And had the rear main seal replaced and transmission fluid changed at the same time. Now there's still another oil leak and the steering rack is now leaking. UGH. What a piece of junk M-B built with these ML's. Shoulda bought a japanese car, an infinity or lexus, for reliability.
But, any pointers or ideas you guys can offer would be much appreciated!!