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Premium Member
MY96 S500 & MY96 S600
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3,169 Posts
As you know I've had all the valve covers & timing chain covers off, everything checked out. I havn't documented oil usage but it seems on par with every other engine I have owned relative to displacement of course.

Regular oil changes with the correct grade fully synthetic oil (this one has had regular servings of of Mobil 1 according the the service records at least) & being sensible about warming up the engine before high performance usage are both key. Mercedes use quality metals and it sure helps it's not a highly strung high revving performance engine.

BTW 320,000kms at an average of 65kph is a touch under 5,000 engine hours.
 

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1997 S500 Coupe & 1994 S500 Coupe
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846 Posts
Nice Joe! Yep, warm em up. There's no need to rev that high in these cars anyway, except to avoid collisions and accidents.

Today I cursed for 2 hours until I got the MAF out of the 94 coupe. I ended up purposely breaking the ROCK HARD intake boot rubber, put up a hell of a fight. The manifold looked real dirty around the edges so I cleaned that up a bit but didn't get to finish since it started raining and I was working outside. Even though the MAF's out, I'm still cursing the guy that designed that almost impossible to get to tightening belt/screw. Can't wait till the new boot comes in to replace it.
 

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1997 S500 Coupe & 1994 S500 Coupe
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846 Posts
Happy day! Sorry double post, but I finished cleaning the MAF and Throttle body, car idles so smooth while in drive can't tell it's on anymore. In park I feel tiiiiiny tiny stumbles, that I'll investigate later. Power is back too. The throttle body didn't look dirty, but the outer edges were clogged for sure, a thin tiny black ring. After a towel and tooth brush, realized how gummy and sticky the darn deposits are! Disassembly took 3 hours ... reassembly 10-15 mins... Worth it.
 

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1999 ML430; 1998 S420
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206 Posts
Spent yesterday afternoon installing an OEM disc changer in the back, and replaced all the taillights. The CD changer was easy, as the cars are pre-wired. I was glad I did the install, as I removed the trunk liner and noticed I could see the ground through the trunk, in the area where the CD changer goes. A rubber plug, the size of a quarter was missing, letting in quite a bit of water. I went to Pick-n-Pull and picked one up to solve the problem. CD changer works perfectly.
The taillights are another story. This is my third attempt. I previously tried a cheap aftermarket set, but hated the look. I've been scouring junk yards for parts that look good, and thought I had a good set, but after getting them on I'm not happy at all. I've heard people say DEPO has a good version, but I cannot find them anywhere. Any info on where to get them would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Premium Member
MY96 S500 & MY96 S600
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3,169 Posts
Depo W140 tail lights are not perfect like MB OEM, the leading edges are not quite right particularly one side that sticks out a touch. Can't notice it unless you really look tho. The 3 sets I have bought & installed on different cars are all the same.
Got mine from ebay. I keep my OEM lights aside for a later time or resale, if I get bumped in the rear I lose cheap Depos, not MB tail lights. They do look factory MY97+ from a small distance, imperfections visible up close to the trained eye.
 

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'97 CL600
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2,856 Posts
After calling AAA twice in two days, I installed a new Interstate battery. The puzzler was that I was using a "trickle charger" and it said the battery was fully charged. While it may have been at 12.2 volts, it wasn't putting out the cranking amps.
Anziani
 

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1994 S500 and S320 W140
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176 Posts
Anziani and others

FYI-If you are in the US and you need a battery call the MBUSA emergency number (800)222-0100 they will send out "the battery person" and he/she will come to you and replace you battery with an OEM Mercedes one. the cost is cheaper than going to the dealer.


At one point I was told this service was only available to S class owners however I believe this has changed. Also I have my vehicle on file with them so all I have to provide is my name, make, year and my additional information is available to them. They will also arrange a tow to the nearest MBZ dealer for no cost. I have used them.
 

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M20
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4,794 Posts
Anziani and others

FYI-If you are in the US and you need a battery call the MBUSA emergency number (800)222-0100 they will send out "the battery person" and he/she will come to you and replace you battery with an OEM Mercedes one. the cost is cheaper than going to the dealer.
Is this a fact? I would assume that atthis point they can charge whatever they want. I picked up a new battery late last year from thr stealer for $168.


At one point I was told this service was only available to S class owners however I believe this has changed. Also I have my vehicle on file with them so all I have to provide is my name, make, year and my additional information is available to them. They will also arrange a tow to the nearest MBZ dealer for no cost. I have used them.
I heard years ago they only do it free if you do get the car serviced at the dealer. This applies to some degree for the loaner cars as well
 

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'95 S600
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420 Posts
Just sold it to my father, still have to work on it for him but i will still get to drive it when needed and don't have to spend anymore $ on it, win win
 

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Premium Member
MY96 S500 & MY96 S600
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3,169 Posts
Damn, can't be much more left to do to yours NZJay. BTW I'm lending my CL600 to my father to enjoy for a while. Good cars to have in the family. If you let a good one you you will regret it, if you're a car guy at least.
 

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'95 S600
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420 Posts
i think there is always something on old cars like these but front control arm bushings again, front timing cover reseal, and tidy up the bumper would be main ones.

Ive always and always will respect the 140 but i haven't 20+ BMW for nothing haha. Need a 6 or 8 cyl manual in my life again.
 

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1997 S500 Coupe & 1994 S500 Coupe
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846 Posts
Replaced the throttle accelerator cable today. Cursed so many times because I didn't have the car lifted and worked through that 1-2 inch gap from the top. Accelerator smooth, and tight :)
 

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1994 S500 and S320 W140
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176 Posts
Is this a fact? I would assume that atthis point they can charge whatever they want. I picked up a new battery late last year from thr stealer for $168.




I heard years ago they only do it free if you do get the car serviced at the dealer. This applies to some degree for the loaner cars as well
As for the battery I paid about that much for it and the person installed it as well. As for the tow I had my car towed to a dealer and ended up not having the work done there I still wasn't charged for the tow.

When I have had worked done with the dealer I have been provided with a loaner vehicle. With the exception of insurance repairs my insurance provides for a rental.
 

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95 S500
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158 Posts
Replaced fan clutch today.
It wasn't too bad. took about an hour or so.
Having all the instructions from this forum made it much easier. Also, suggested by a member, I purchased a Park tool bottom bracket wrench.
It worked perfectly.
It turned out that the metal piece responding to temperature change was completely shattered somehow.
the "roar" is back when started the car!!

Jayk
 

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1999 S600
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214 Posts
Dropped her off at a top Independent MBZ specialist in the area for a tip-to-tail inspection of EVERY system in the car.
Vacum, mechanical, suspension, bushings, mounts, brakes, climate, seats, air bladders, trunk release, headrests, etc.

3 days / $350 and i'll have a comprehensive list of what it needs in the short, medium and long term.
It'll nice to have as an addendum to the service records I have going back to the original purchase in 1998.

What's impressive is that I gave them the 3 inch thick stack of records and service history and they combed through it before even touching or looking at the car. I love that kind of attention to detail.
 

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1999 S600
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214 Posts
Dropped her off at a top Independent MBZ specialist in the area for a tip-to-tail inspection of EVERY system in the car.
Vacum, mechanical, suspension, bushings, mounts, brakes, climate, seats, air bladders, trunk release, headrests, etc.

3 days / $350 and i'll have a comprehensive list of what it needs in the short, medium and long term.
It'll nice to have as an addendum to the service records I have going back to the original purchase in 1998.

What's impressive is that I gave them the 3 inch thick stack of records and service history and they combed through it before even touching or looking at the car. I love that kind of attention to detail.
Here's what I got back....


Hi Rob,
Thanks for allowing us the time to thoroughly examine your V12. We have the following information that we would like to pass on to you.....

1. We recommend replacing both the front seat belts. The internal spring tensioners are worn out & can not be adjusted (we tried). You are better off replacing them. They are currently on back-order through Mercedes-Benz & their response is to place the order & wait to see if their vendors can fill the order. No estimated time is given.

2. Water entering the trunk - What we did was clean out the drain passageways in the trunk & also take your car next door to the body shop to have them align the rear trunk lid for us. That way we were able to continue testing to see if any water was still entering the trunk area. So far, after performing this adjustment, no water was entering the trunk.

3. Trunk release on remote & on remote key fob working intermittently - after the trunk adjustment, it works every time. We did, however, while we were troubleshooting the front seat bladders, notice that there is a fault code for the PSE pump turning off because it continuously operates. Your PSE pump (the pump that operates the door locks & trunk opening) are showing signs of wear and may need to be replaced in the future. So far, though, so good.

4. Front seat bladders do not inflate & when working, do not stay inflated - The bladders have leaks in them which is why they work that way. Unfortunately they are no longer available & we recommend looking for new seats if you really want them fixed.

5. Fuel gauge does not always work - We were able to verify your complaint & have traced the problem down to an intermittently faulty fuel level sensor (the one that is in the fuel tank). The good news is that part is still available. The cost of replacement is $ 540 (parts & labor). This is the first step as we need to eliminate the possibility that it is an instrument cluster issue. So far it does not appear as the instrument cluster is faulty but we must start replacing parts and this one is the most inexpensive to replace.

6. In-car heater & air conditioner are always hot or always cold, but nothing in-between. We verified this complaint, and during this process found the climate control blower would randomly stop working. We installed a known good quality blower regulator & continued testing. After further testing, we found that the old blower regulator would cause the climate control module to short out causing only all-heat or all-cold air to come out of the air vents. We recommend replacing just the blower regulator. The one that is in your car (Behr brand) has given us problems in the past & we recommend replacing it with the Kaehler brand (which is the Original Equipment Manufacturer). The cost of this is $ 590 (parts & labor)

7. The driver seat clicks when moving forward-backward. We greased the seat tracks & the noise got quieter. However, to fix it you will need a new seat track assembly. No longer available, but we would need to source one used.

8. Rear head rests do not release & go down. There is an internal issue as we checked the switch operation & the head rest functionality. Unfortunately in order to continue we will need to remove the rear seat & rear hat tray / rear dashboard to take the system apart & see what is wrong. We recommend leaving it alone unless you really want it fixed.

9. Squeaking sound heard from the right-rear area outside the car. This is due to the lower control arm knuckle bushings wearing out causing metal-to-metal contact. We recommend replacing both sides as it is less expensive (overlapping work) & they both have a tendency to wear out at the same rate. The cost of this is $ 895 (parts & labor), and we are able to get it done in 1 day.

10. On the subject of suspension, we also noted that both front lower control arm bushings are cracked causing the front wheels of the vehicle to move forward-and-backward slightly when applying the brakes. We recommend replacing both front control arm bushings and having us perform a vehicle alignment after doing so. The cost of this is $ 1695, and takes about 2 days to perform. We send the alignment out to a different shop that has an alignment rack. We can get our work done pretty quickly, however, we can not control their work flow which is why we ask if we may hang on to your car for 2 days.

11. During the vehicle inspection, we noted the front motor mounts are worn causing the car to vibrate/shake at a stop. We recommend replacing both of them as well as the transmission mount at the same time. The aftermarket world has stopped making motor mounts for this car, so we would need to go with Genuine Mercedes-Benz parts to do the work. The cost of this is $1350 (parts & labor).

12. Large oil leak coming from both engine valve cover gaskets & the oil cooler seals located under the intake manifold. The oil is dripping onto the gravel shield under the car which is why you may not see it on the ground. Note - your cylinder head gasket is starting to seep coolant (it is not a drip yet, but so far looks okay). To repair the oil leaks, we ask that you allow us to hold on to the car for about 2-3 weeks. We will pull the engine and reseal the entire engine as well as change the PCV piping that comes out of the heat exchanger under the intake manifold. As far as price, we would like to give you a range as some of the parts that we would need require us to search really well. The cost of this repair is between $ 6500 to $ 9500, parts & labor. If there are any savings (or we get the car completed earlier), we will definitely let you know.
 

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1999 ML430; 1998 S420
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206 Posts
Ouch. That’s thousands of dollars of work. Seats were only $25 last weekend at picknpull and there was a beautiful silver 98 there last weekend with perfect interrupt. As to water in your trunk, mine was due to a rubber plug being missing. If you remove the left and right inside panels, you’ll see a rubber plug on each side on the bottom (the left is near where the CD changer goes.). Mine was missing and it let in a lot of water. Found one at the junk yard and no more leak.
 

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1994 S600 Coupe, 1995 S600 Coupe
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1,728 Posts
Here's what I got back....





Hi Rob,

Thanks for allowing us the time to thoroughly examine your V12. We have the following information that we would like to pass on to you.....



1. We recommend replacing both the front seat belts. The internal spring tensioners are worn out & can not be adjusted (we tried). You are better off replacing them. They are currently on back-order through Mercedes-Benz & their response is to place the order & wait to see if their vendors can fill the order. No estimated time is given.



2. Water entering the trunk - What we did was clean out the drain passageways in the trunk & also take your car next door to the body shop to have them align the rear trunk lid for us. That way we were able to continue testing to see if any water was still entering the trunk area. So far, after performing this adjustment, no water was entering the trunk.



3. Trunk release on remote & on remote key fob working intermittently - after the trunk adjustment, it works every time. We did, however, while we were troubleshooting the front seat bladders, notice that there is a fault code for the PSE pump turning off because it continuously operates. Your PSE pump (the pump that operates the door locks & trunk opening) are showing signs of wear and may need to be replaced in the future. So far, though, so good.



4. Front seat bladders do not inflate & when working, do not stay inflated - The bladders have leaks in them which is why they work that way. Unfortunately they are no longer available & we recommend looking for new seats if you really want them fixed.



5. Fuel gauge does not always work - We were able to verify your complaint & have traced the problem down to an intermittently faulty fuel level sensor (the one that is in the fuel tank). The good news is that part is still available. The cost of replacement is $ 540 (parts & labor). This is the first step as we need to eliminate the possibility that it is an instrument cluster issue. So far it does not appear as the instrument cluster is faulty but we must start replacing parts and this one is the most inexpensive to replace.



6. In-car heater & air conditioner are always hot or always cold, but nothing in-between. We verified this complaint, and during this process found the climate control blower would randomly stop working. We installed a known good quality blower regulator & continued testing. After further testing, we found that the old blower regulator would cause the climate control module to short out causing only all-heat or all-cold air to come out of the air vents. We recommend replacing just the blower regulator. The one that is in your car (Behr brand) has given us problems in the past & we recommend replacing it with the Kaehler brand (which is the Original Equipment Manufacturer). The cost of this is $ 590 (parts & labor)



7. The driver seat clicks when moving forward-backward. We greased the seat tracks & the noise got quieter. However, to fix it you will need a new seat track assembly. No longer available, but we would need to source one used.



8. Rear head rests do not release & go down. There is an internal issue as we checked the switch operation & the head rest functionality. Unfortunately in order to continue we will need to remove the rear seat & rear hat tray / rear dashboard to take the system apart & see what is wrong. We recommend leaving it alone unless you really want it fixed.



9. Squeaking sound heard from the right-rear area outside the car. This is due to the lower control arm knuckle bushings wearing out causing metal-to-metal contact. We recommend replacing both sides as it is less expensive (overlapping work) & they both have a tendency to wear out at the same rate. The cost of this is $ 895 (parts & labor), and we are able to get it done in 1 day.



10. On the subject of suspension, we also noted that both front lower control arm bushings are cracked causing the front wheels of the vehicle to move forward-and-backward slightly when applying the brakes. We recommend replacing both front control arm bushings and having us perform a vehicle alignment after doing so. The cost of this is $ 1695, and takes about 2 days to perform. We send the alignment out to a different shop that has an alignment rack. We can get our work done pretty quickly, however, we can not control their work flow which is why we ask if we may hang on to your car for 2 days.



11. During the vehicle inspection, we noted the front motor mounts are worn causing the car to vibrate/shake at a stop. We recommend replacing both of them as well as the transmission mount at the same time. The aftermarket world has stopped making motor mounts for this car, so we would need to go with Genuine Mercedes-Benz parts to do the work. The cost of this is $1350 (parts & labor).



12. Large oil leak coming from both engine valve cover gaskets & the oil cooler seals located under the intake manifold. The oil is dripping onto the gravel shield under the car which is why you may not see it on the ground. Note - your cylinder head gasket is starting to seep coolant (it is not a drip yet, but so far looks okay). To repair the oil leaks, we ask that you allow us to hold on to the car for about 2-3 weeks. We will pull the engine and reseal the entire engine as well as change the PCV piping that comes out of the heat exchanger under the intake manifold. As far as price, we would like to give you a range as some of the parts that we would need require us to search really well. The cost of this repair is between $ 6500 to $ 9500, parts & labor. If there are any savings (or we get the car completed earlier), we will definitely let you know.
Here's what I got back....





Hi Rob,

Thanks for allowing us the time to thoroughly examine your V12. We have the following information that we would like to pass on to you.....



1. We recommend replacing both the front seat belts. The internal spring tensioners are worn out & can not be adjusted (we tried). You are better off replacing them. They are currently on back-order through Mercedes-Benz & their response is to place the order & wait to see if their vendors can fill the order. No estimated time is given.



2. Water entering the trunk - What we did was clean out the drain passageways in the trunk & also take your car next door to the body shop to have them align the rear trunk lid for us. That way we were able to continue testing to see if any water was still entering the trunk area. So far, after performing this adjustment, no water was entering the trunk.



3. Trunk release on remote & on remote key fob working intermittently - after the trunk adjustment, it works every time. We did, however, while we were troubleshooting the front seat bladders, notice that there is a fault code for the PSE pump turning off because it continuously operates. Your PSE pump (the pump that operates the door locks & trunk opening) are showing signs of wear and may need to be replaced in the future. So far, though, so good.



4. Front seat bladders do not inflate & when working, do not stay inflated - The bladders have leaks in them which is why they work that way. Unfortunately they are no longer available & we recommend looking for new seats if you really want them fixed.



5. Fuel gauge does not always work - We were able to verify your complaint & have traced the problem down to an intermittently faulty fuel level sensor (the one that is in the fuel tank). The good news is that part is still available. The cost of replacement is $ 540 (parts & labor). This is the first step as we need to eliminate the possibility that it is an instrument cluster issue. So far it does not appear as the instrument cluster is faulty but we must start replacing parts and this one is the most inexpensive to replace.



6. In-car heater & air conditioner are always hot or always cold, but nothing in-between. We verified this complaint, and during this process found the climate control blower would randomly stop working. We installed a known good quality blower regulator & continued testing. After further testing, we found that the old blower regulator would cause the climate control module to short out causing only all-heat or all-cold air to come out of the air vents. We recommend replacing just the blower regulator. The one that is in your car (Behr brand) has given us problems in the past & we recommend replacing it with the Kaehler brand (which is the Original Equipment Manufacturer). The cost of this is $ 590 (parts & labor)



7. The driver seat clicks when moving forward-backward. We greased the seat tracks & the noise got quieter. However, to fix it you will need a new seat track assembly. No longer available, but we would need to source one used.



8. Rear head rests do not release & go down. There is an internal issue as we checked the switch operation & the head rest functionality. Unfortunately in order to continue we will need to remove the rear seat & rear hat tray / rear dashboard to take the system apart & see what is wrong. We recommend leaving it alone unless you really want it fixed.



9. Squeaking sound heard from the right-rear area outside the car. This is due to the lower control arm knuckle bushings wearing out causing metal-to-metal contact. We recommend replacing both sides as it is less expensive (overlapping work) & they both have a tendency to wear out at the same rate. The cost of this is $ 895 (parts & labor), and we are able to get it done in 1 day.



10. On the subject of suspension, we also noted that both front lower control arm bushings are cracked causing the front wheels of the vehicle to move forward-and-backward slightly when applying the brakes. We recommend replacing both front control arm bushings and having us perform a vehicle alignment after doing so. The cost of this is $ 1695, and takes about 2 days to perform. We send the alignment out to a different shop that has an alignment rack. We can get our work done pretty quickly, however, we can not control their work flow which is why we ask if we may hang on to your car for 2 days.



11. During the vehicle inspection, we noted the front motor mounts are worn causing the car to vibrate/shake at a stop. We recommend replacing both of them as well as the transmission mount at the same time. The aftermarket world has stopped making motor mounts for this car, so we would need to go with Genuine Mercedes-Benz parts to do the work. The cost of this is $1350 (parts & labor).



12. Large oil leak coming from both engine valve cover gaskets & the oil cooler seals located under the intake manifold. The oil is dripping onto the gravel shield under the car which is why you may not see it on the ground. Note - your cylinder head gasket is starting to seep coolant (it is not a drip yet, but so far looks okay). To repair the oil leaks, we ask that you allow us to hold on to the car for about 2-3 weeks. We will pull the engine and reseal the entire engine as well as change the PCV piping that comes out of the heat exchanger under the intake manifold. As far as price, we would like to give you a range as some of the parts that we would need require us to search really well. The cost of this repair is between $ 6500 to $ 9500, parts & labor. If there are any savings (or we get the car completed earlier), we will definitely let you know.
They don't seem to know that there isn't an oil cooler or heat exchanger under the intake manifold on an S600. There is the breather pipe, but since the car is a 99, it is the late model design, and shouldn't have to be replaced.

Gears to replace broken ones on the seat tracks and other seat adjustment gear boxes are available aftermarket.

You can do a self test on the instrument cluster to rule that out as the source of your fuel level issue. New sending units may be NLA. You have have to sourcesce one from a wrecking yard.

The reason the PSE is timing out is because of the lumbar bladders. If you set those to zero, you eliminate that leak. It is routine to change just the motor in the PSE, not the whole pump. W220 bladders can be adapted to work if you have the orthopedic seats. Chances of finding W140 seats that have good bladders are slim to none.

There are two plugs in the side of the oil filter adapter that have orings that harden and leak. One bolt holds a plate that retains them. Takes maybe half an hour to replace both o rings.

Yes, the intake manifold has to come off the change the valve cover gaskets. It is a PITA to do it. Unless the leak is really bad, and/or the sparkplug wells have oil in them, I'd hold off. Big leaks come from the o rings on the plugs described above, and the oil level sensor. The lower oil pan has to come off to change the level sensor seals, but it's not hard.

For $1700 to replace the lower front a-arm bushings, and do an alignment, I ought to go into business. On a lift, it should take around 3-4 hours. The a-arms don't have to come off to do it. I've done it on two cars without a lift, and with aftermarket Mercedes style bushing tools and spring compressors, it's not that hard of a job.
I got an excellent 4 wheel alignment locally for $125.

Unfortunately they are correct about the engine mounts. A year ago, you could still get Lemforder/Sachs/Boge mounts. Now the only source for good S600 mounts is Mercedes. I found one side on eBay, but the other side came from the dealer.

If you are mechanically inclined, these jobs aren't that difficult. Use the money to buy the bushing tools you'll need, and save a bundle.
 

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1997 CL600
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12. Large oil leak coming from both engine valve cover gaskets & the oil cooler seals located under the intake manifold. The oil is dripping onto the gravel shield under the car which is why you may not see it on the ground. Note - your cylinder head gasket is starting to seep coolant (it is not a drip yet, but so far looks okay). To repair the oil leaks, we ask that you allow us to hold on to the car for about 2-3 weeks. We will pull the engine and reseal the entire engine as well as change the PCV piping that comes out of the heat exchanger under the intake manifold. As far as price, we would like to give you a range as some of the parts that we would need require us to search really well. The cost of this repair is between $ 6500 to $ 9500, parts & labor. If there are any savings (or we get the car completed earlier), we will definitely let you know.
My CL600 was just in the shop for this same issue and it only cost me $1,400 with parts and labour. The engine doesnt even need to be pulled out.
 

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1994 S600 Coupe, 1995 S600 Coupe
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1,728 Posts
My CL600 was just in the shop for this same issue and it only cost me $1,400 with parts and labour. The engine doesnt even need to be pulled out.
Correct. There is absolutely no reason to pull the engine to do any of this. Based on what they've said overall, I'd run far away from letting them touch my car. The price you paid was reasonable considering the work involved to pull the intake manifold to get to the valve covers and other seals in the area.
 
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