Well, so there I am feeling pretty good about life, having just turned 100,000 miles
, when an ominous smell of gasoline begins to pervade the otherwise luxe
interior which defines the 560SEL.
This is clearly a job for a top-of-the-line odor detector, so I immediately pulled out Bert, the Border Terrier
and instructed this sophisticated tool to put his schnozzer
to work and detect the source of aforesaid leak.
Bertie instantly pointed to the air filter cover so, after I had removed it as instructed, he honed in on the Electro Hydraulic Actuator valve located on the left rear of the fuel distributor, as viewed from the driver's seat.
Being a frugal Border, he suggested that once I had used a T20 Torx screwdriver to remove the two retaining screws, I should try replacing the two green rubber O rings between the EHA and the distributor. After all, even at the extortionate cost of $6.18 for two charged by my local dealer, Park Avenue Motors in Palo Alto, CA, when the mail order cost is $1, it's cheaper than replacing the EHA.
Impressed by the way Bert was looking out for his guide and master, I proceeded to replace the O rings and charged myself at the rate $200 per hour, in the Park Avenue Mortors spirit, for the 10 minutes of work involved. I also threw in $1,000 for rental of the exotic T20 screwdriver.
It was, however, not to be, as the foul stench of high test continued, so it meant a mail ordered EHA ($140) plus I loaned myself the fire extinguisher from the garage at $2,000 per day.
Carefully replacing Bertie on his snuggle ball (I was taught to look after my tools as a child), I installed the new EHA after two nervous days of driving about with odor and fire extinguisher.
Replacement was another twenty minutes, so I charged myself another $200, rounding up to the nearest hour, throwing in another $1,000 for diagnosis. Not cheap, I agree, but I reasoned that's a whole lot less than the new engine the average dealer would have sold me.
Now, the quiet interior of the 560SEL is once more joined by the delicate aroma of the skins taken from a herd of Schwabian Bulls (I quote from the mid-80s MB S Class brochure).
So, if you have a gasoline smell and a Border Terrier to help with diagnosis, this is one place to look. The electrical feed is a keyed, two prong connector. It locks in place, so give its sides a good squeeze to remove.
(With apologies to all the great dealers out there).