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Old 07-10-2001, 01:13 PM
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EricSilver EricSilver is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Fairfax, VA
Posts: 1,209
Thought I'd share a recent experience:

Back in November, I bought a new air filter for my 89 260E and when I tried to replace it I discovered that one of the air filter housing nuts had seized and I could not unscrew it. So I left it alone and decided to take care of it "later."

Months when by and "later" never came, and during that time I noticed the following:

* My engine temperature was always well below 80

* I would spew a bit of black smoke on hard acceleration

* I would occasionally notice a rotten egg smell when lifting my foot slightly off the accelerator

* I was constantly buying gas -- mileage had dropped to about 12 mpg -- and spending an extra $20 per week on fill-ups.

* The car had a general feeling of sluggishnessness, and the engine would rev and strain a bit too much, and too
loudly, on standing starts.

I did not consider the air filter connection until this past weekend when after the fuel needle indicated "empty" for the second time in about four days I decided enough is enough and pried the offending nut loose.

The filter was incredibly dirty, and I cleaned out the metal housing (sand had accumulated in some areas) and intakes, replaced the filter and noticed the following:

* My engine temperature was back to just above 80 -- where it belongs.

* I do not see any more black smoke.

* I smell no more rotten eggs.

* My mileage is back up to 28-30 mpg (highway) and my wallet is very happy!

* Driving is once again spirited and energetic, with no strain on standing starts. The car can breathe again.

Evidently, my car was suffocating and these were all side effects -- the worst being the approx $700 wasted on unnecessary fuel because I did not take care of that seized bolt right away.

It's amazing how something as seemingly trivial as air filters can have such profound effects, and I recommend keeping yours as clean as possible. ($40 every couple of months is a lot cheaper than $700!)

Eric Silver

[Edited by EricSilver on 07-10-2001 at 01:19 PM]
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