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1985 500sel and 500sec 2012 E63 1989 Porsche 911
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5,340 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
so, i almost always drive with the EC button on, just cuz i like some air in the car and the windows closed
but recently now, after i get going and drive for a mile or so, and come to a light to stop, i get a smokey rubbery burning smell from the vents, and sometimes i can see like a misty smoke....it goes away, car drives fine, and then when i stop again, like if i get off freeway, it occurs again...getting kinda worried about it.....freaking problems never end it seems....
 

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'88 560 SEL , 01 540i
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301 Posts
I have the same issue, can't use the A/C without having it on REC mode. In my car this is caused by the typical leaking head gasket on the passenger side of the block. The air intake for the HVAC is located in the same area, and sucks the smell of burning oil into the cabin.
 

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1985 500sel and 500sec 2012 E63 1989 Porsche 911
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5,340 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
yeah but why do i get the smell only when the car comes to a stop. never when driving

my AC works fine and i always have my passenger side vents closed bc no one sits there..

ill turn the whole sytem off and see what happens
 

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1993 300TE, 1995 E320 Wagon
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1,895 Posts
Hey vdub--

I'd wager that you're getting a little oil/hydro/some kinda fluid leak low down on the engine, such that the drips get blown back to the exhaust. The smoke gets blown under the car when moving, but at a stop it rises up along the false firewall and over the lip into the air intake-- on the passenger side that is. I had similar issues with my high pressure hydraluic (SLS) line dripping and blowing back oil onto the cats-- no smell at speed, but I could always smell it again when I got into my driveway. There's only one intake (all air gets mixed, no matter which air vents into the cabin are open), so it won't matter whether you have the passenger vents closed or not.
 

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1985 500sel and 500sec 2012 E63 1989 Porsche 911
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5,340 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
your probably right, cuz i do know i have a tranny leak deep down in the system that when i had my tranny flushed i did not have them fix because it was another 250 bucks just to seal it, and apparently my Gear box is leaking, not sure tho...maybe seeping is a better term

whatever it is, its essentially at the level of the gas pedals would be for the driver, imagine from that point, to underneeth the car...
 

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1985 500sel and 500sec 2012 E63 1989 Porsche 911
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5,340 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
OK so this smell in vents while stopping with EC on has persisted.....whats wierd is that if its happening and i get out of the car, stick my face under the car, or open the hood, i dont smell it...
its just in side with EC on

when i turn the AC on, its fine

so MR MB motors is walking distance from me so i guess ill take it in there and see what he says..
i know he will notice my PS fluid leak and my leak i n tranny , both of which i have had for yrs and are small....

oh and the ohter day i tried to check my tranny fluid level, had car on, and tried to pull out the dip stick but i couldnt get it out, i even twisted it to try to unlock it... still couldnt do it...it was hot as hell but still stuck
 

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1985 500sel and 500sec 2012 E63 1989 Porsche 911
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5,340 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
just wondering if anyone had any other possible differential diagnoses for what might be going on , before i head to the shop
 

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13 Posts
Mine, '88 560SEL, did the same thing. Big puff after start-up. Check the rear of the right-side valve cover gasket dripping onto the exhaust manifold.
 

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1985 500sel and 500sec 2012 E63 1989 Porsche 911
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5,340 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
is that something that is laborous/expensive/ to fix???

is tehre anythign else that should be checked on the way down while fixing that
 

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1988 Mercedes 560 SEL
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18 Posts
Agreed re the valve/rocker cover gaskets - I've just replaced mine because of exactly the same symptoms, and the fact I could see they were weeping too.

You'll probably have the job done within a couple of hours, and the new gaskets were cheap from Mercedes too.
 

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1985 500sel and 500sec 2012 E63 1989 Porsche 911
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5,340 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
so heres the news

before i went to MR MB, i noticed by my work, there was another really small mercs place...
Van NUys Sports car service owned by Rene Luteraan
He basically works on 300sl, and gullwings....awesome, he had an SL on the rack

I guess his shop has been there for 50 yrs , and he was quite impressed with the condition of my car but also gave me the bad news with my car...more so about it being a Euro and being in california how its basically always gonna be a money bank if i wanna keep it going, because things at my milage eventually all start leaking and ofcourse the smog test issues etc

he said that the few people who had euro cars, he would have to run them so lean just to pass smog or use US mercs parts and switch them to the euro just to make them pass and it ruins the drive of the car....basically becomes a many thousand dollar problem....

back to my problem...about the smell in vents...he said it would take a deep diagnosis to figure out where it may be leaking...but he thinks that yes, there is something dropiing on the exhaust and causing the smell...

he said he hadnt worked on a w126 for a while and is busy on the gullwings. he is the only person who works there i guess...but he did say if i wanted to do basic service stuff, oil change etc, i could sorta apprentice with him and learn to do these things with him...coool.

ok so then i went to MR MB, and he was busy, mentioned my problem and said to comeback on wednesday and he will rack the car and gimme an idea...

i hope that when the tranny leak that we know we have is noted , its not just the obvious place of leak, i mean i dont them to just assume thats the palce thats causing the issue...it might be...fine...we will see
 

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1985 500sel and 500sec 2012 E63 1989 Porsche 911
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5,340 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
yeah i just dont know how much money i want to keep putting in to this car....its never ending....

the thing is...weve had the car since i was 7, im 33 now....its aesthically well maintained inside and out....runs well...
if i sold it, i probably wouildnt get a few hundred or low thousands for it..but thats what its worth...could sell it to someone here who cares about them but i need to teach my 3 yr old daughter to drive soon now dont i....

in regards to my tranny leak...ive had mine too before the smell issue, so maybe it is something else leaking and landing on the exhaust causing the smell

ian, do u just top off fluid as needed with your system
 

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SuperModerator
1986/1990 W126
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14,137 Posts
Yeah, i reckon its very likely your valve cover gaskets so i wouldnt get too worried. Can you not see any seepage anywhere around there? Lets hope its that. It would only take a drop to make plenty smell.

Yeah my leaks have been patched up as best they can, it was almost pouring out at one time. Now just needs constant topping up. I'm saving hard for a rebuild so it'll all get done then..

Dont sell it, its lovely, and you'll get practically nothing for it.
 

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1985 500sel and 500sec 2012 E63 1989 Porsche 911
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5,340 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
oh yeah , forgot to mention, rene at the first shop o went noted that have a camshaft knocking sound too...not sure what that means but somethin to add to list
 

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Premium Member
560SEC, 190E, Frontier, 240Z
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1,329 Posts
My SEC was getting burned oil smell in the cockpit.
Shut down the engine and opened the hood - staring at the back of the engine.

All of a sudden *PoooF* ~! A bit puff of white smoke from the right rear of the engine.
I happened to catch a drop of oil fall from the rocker onto my exhaust.
Tightened the rocker cover a bit until my new valve cover gaskets get here.

Tj
 

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1985 500sel and 500sec 2012 E63 1989 Porsche 911
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5,340 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
wouild anyone be kind enuf to show a pic of the area of the rocker ( i assume this is the same as the valve cover

also, is there a DIY for changing the gaskets.????


thanks
 

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1985 500sel and 500sec 2012 E63 1989 Porsche 911
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5,340 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
i stopped by mr mb this morning for him to have a look at the car....he peaked under the hood, noted the white smoke coming from the passenger side of engine bay near battery....i guess everyone was right....gaskets

he recommended doing both sides...said it would cost me 160-180

i have no idea if this a good price...curious what u guys think
 
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