Hello Everyone... its been a while since I've posted....
Not to get too far off topic, but in response to the gentleman who brought up the valid point of Toyota's 3 million car wide oil sludging problem:
A car (late model toyota camry) came into the shop 2 months ago, for a rear seal to be replaced. I decided that I was better equiped to pull the engine than to drop the transaxle because I lacked a transmission cradle. While I had the engine out,I noticed that the oil pan gasket also looked suspicious, and pulled the pan off... Wow was I surprised! The incredible amounts of sludge found in this engine was unbelievable... on the counterbalance assembly, the crank shaft and rods, I pulled the valve cover and saw ALL of the holes that allowed oil to drain back out of the head were clogged, the valve train was CAKED in carbonized oil, and the leaks that occured around the entire engine were caused by the positive crankcase ventillation system being completely plugged, causing excess pressure in the crank case... what a friggin mess on a 4 year old car... ( with good service records!)
To prove it, I have a 36 exposure roll of pictures that I took, both out of amazement, and also to be able to show the customer and future customers... Needless to say, he spend a bit of extra cash at the shop having the carbon and sludge removed.
MB has its problems, I believe most stem from complexity... and the cost of dealer service. I still think they are beautiful cars, and would purchase a used one, mainly because I can get a number of parts at this site, that are not stocked by my wholesaler. Really, this site makes it alot easier for all of us to own MB's and I'm thankful that I could refer to it on a number of occasions.
BTW, The Snapon man just showed me the cartridge and scanner ends/pigtails that can be used on latemodel MBs... Looks like I wont have to rely on generic OBD II... I figure I'll pick it up in a few weeks.
Glad to be back!
BTW... I managed to pass ASE A1 (Engine Assembly), A6(Electronics Diagnosis), and A8 (Engine Performance) last may... hopefully I'll find an opening at a dealer soon, this independant thing gets alittle old (lack of dealer/factory info while troubleshooting drivability problems)