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Old 06-07-2009, 03:59 PM
ljsense ljsense is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Madison, Wis.
Posts: 66
Sudden, massive exhaust smoke from M104

Exhaust smoke and M104 isn't turning up much in the archives, so I hope you can help.

I just got back from an unnerving trip. White, billowing smoke suddenly started pouring from the exhaust of my 95 E320 wagon, almost entirely clouding the rear view. At first, I thought it was dust being kicked up, because at that moment I was driving by construction.

But it kept up -- the amount of smoke that draws universal stares. I was a mile away from home, drove straight home, and got out of the car to smell the smoke once I pulled into the driveway. Not much odor to it at all. Faint chemical smell that I can't really place. But definitely not, to my senses, anything oily or blue. The smoke was white and not obviously noxious.

The car had been acting a little strangely. The a/c seemed not to be working, and the car one night overheated -- the needle rose just about to the read line, maybe 118 C. I limped home without it getting into the red.

So I took it to the dealership, which has a very good reputation in Madison, Wis., and they said the a/c was actually fine. And they didn't see the overheating problem develop. I had put some distilled water in the coolant tank, though, the night before, to protect against overheating as I drove to the dealership. They said that they saw no real problem, but could replace the thermostat, which they did.

Anyway, when I got the car back, the idle seemed a little uneven. And today, when I took it out, it was iddling higher than I had. Minutes later -- the massive smoke, and the temperature again climbed high before it backed back down.

After I shut the car down, it wouldn't restart immediately afterward. Engine cranked, just never got firing. Some more white smoke at the tailpipe. I didn't try again.

One thing that I do know is that I've got the old wiring harness, which hasn't been replaced. But could this play any role in what I've described?

Thanks for your help. (And sorry for the long post -- like I said, my nerves are kind of shot . . . I really like this car, but I keep seeing these things that make me think the worst.)
1995 E320 (2009 - current)
1985 300TD Turbo black (2007-current)
1983 300TD Turbo red (2008-2009)
1972 280SE (2004-2007)
1977 300CD (2003-2004)
1976 240D (1999-2003)
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