I just went over to an independent mechanic I found in the phone book, I wanted to try and find a mechanic that specializes in Mercedes for Mercedes specific problems I don't want to leave up to my normal mechanic. I went over there for him to listen to the rattling in the engine which I thought my be the timing chain (only rattles when idling in P or N, but not when idling in gear). Also for him to inspect the bushings.
I get there and I pull my car into his garage. He lifts the hood and said definitly no timing chain problem. Sounds fine he says. He said it could be a lifter problem and to try switching to 20w50 instead of 15w50. But he couldn't be sure unless he started the engine cold. (Does this make sense?)
I then told him about the popping when accelerating and thought it might be the bushings. So he got into the car, put it into drive and put on the gas, with the brake on. He said it might be differential bushings, and this was a way to test them. He then tried it in Reverse. He was doing this for about 20 seconds, both in D and R, a little tire squealing, and then there was smoking coming from the engine bay (down by the trans!!) And he told me that the trans fluid might be low, because Reverse won't engage unless the gas is applied, thus Low Pressure. SO he checked the fluid and said that the fluid's fine, but the trans is probably on it's way for a rebuild.
**note, I do notice this, about 20% of the time I put the trans into Reverse, it won't really kick in until I push the gas a little, then it catches. Only happens when car is fully warmed though**
Is this really a sign of a transmission rebuild? What is this about low pressure in the system? Is there a way to correct it?
He then raised the car to check the bushings. He showed me the Lower Control Arm bushings... and showed me how they were broken, but he said they weren't too bad. He said he would charge $250 to install, and then it would be about $225 for the parts.
What do you guys think of what he had to say? He said other than that, my car looks just fine. I wasn't too sure about the reliablity of what this guy was telling me, but there was another customer in there who told me that he had been taking his 85 Audi 5000S for him since it was new, and the car wouldn't have gone this far (303k miles!!) without this mechanic. He hasn't even had a rebuild yet. And just had a trans put in. But oil changes every 3k miles... just goes to show yoU!
Thanks for all the help everyone.