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Old 08-16-2002, 08:55 AM
McLaren McLaren is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Princeton, NJ
Posts: 44
'88 560 SEL - Nagging issues - please help?

A month ago, I bought a '88 560 SEL as my second car. Since, I have replaced ball joints, belts, front brakes, new V rated tires, and oil change as well as FI cleaner.

I did pass NJ inspection and the like before the above.

Per my mechanic - the suspension - front and rear are fine, need a tune up ($600), valve cover ($200) and my A/C need to be fixed - it was working then I sprung a leak from the hose that runs along the condensor in the front right hand side of the car!.

I have searched this site for answers but have either gotten confusing take aways or not specific to my issues. This is quite long, so, I will apologize in advance as well as thank you for replying, helping me out. I am reasonable savvy about cars in general - not a novice but clearly not an expert.

Within the last two days, the car has begun this shaky idle - when I am at a light, it will give this shudder ..... I am going to replace the fuse in the over load protection relay today .... but, this engine was running like a dream when I bought it (one of the biggest reasons for the purchase!) - dunno what happened and how I can fix.

I inspected the self leveling reservoir, there is little oil in it and will be filling that up to today. The rear left of the car is lower than the rear right and all in all the top of the rear wheels are below the wheel fender - is this the correct ride height? Also, with the oil this low, I hope I have not blown anything - how can I check that? Upon reading some threads, I read that you should see the fluid flowing when the engine is on - the container is a milky white and whit age, you cannot see anything through it - I am unsure about keeping the container open witht he engine on ...

The ABS light is on - it wasn't when I first drove it, after the brake job, the light is on and he wants 40 bucks to check it as he claims "replacing the brakes have nothing to do with the ABS light coming on!" - BS in my opinion, but ..... how can I fix this myself?

A/C - can I order the part from here (about 20 bucks) and change it myself and go get it charged with R12? Is this a DIY?

The rear seat do not move - the motor hums and works fine. I cleaned out the back and the cables seem to be rotating too - am stumped as to what it can be - I asked the dealer for these cables and said he did not have them! Suggestions? The bronze colored gear seems pretty solidily placed in the grooves on both sides - can I turn these manually to get them started? I did spray some WD40 to loosen things up.

Once in a while, there will be an intense white smoke that pours out of the exhaust - if I am at a light and I move along, the "cloud" can get pretty huge at times. THis however comes and goes - it is usually absent. We had some 90+ degree days here - dunno if that was it? THoughts?

The fan in front of the condenser - I guess the AUX fan - when does that come on? With my A/C not charged, I had the A/C on but the fan did not kick in....?

The outside Temp gauge is hooked to the frame of the front license plate, when I go through a car wash - the display in the instrument cluster comes on and the temperature gradually starts moving up - eventually it dies and goes blank - is it the sensor - how do I replace that, fix that? Is it a DIY?

When I go over potholes, there is a "ghadak" kind of sound - in my Audi, I did not feel such a jar or hear a sound like that - it seems the bushing - as the mechanic did say the suspension was fine in the front - it almost feels a bit soft - I drive a S2000 daily so it will be softer, I realize that, but - - - ? How can I be sure all is well and what should I expect next from a cost perspective?

Lastly - any advice on winter driving in this car - I hear sand bags is a must in the rear - advice?

Thanks much for reading and taking the time to write back. It is not like I have the knowkledge myself or a trusted mechanic who does not want my first born. I really like this car - have always liked it and I want to build it back up to it's fullest again. Your help and insight is much, much needed and appreciated.
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