Look in the coolant reservoir for signs of oil. If you have MB coolant you'll be able to tell if there is oil mixed in with the coolant. You can also feel the coolant to see if it appears to have oil in it.
If there is oil in the coolant, it's the classic symptom of the head gasket problem on these cars. You should have the problem repaired because oil in the coolant will damage the hoses in the coolant system.
I recently had a 300E head gasket changed by a Mecedes dealer in Scottsdale, AZ. The charges were:
- $1,140 labor
- $148.52 gasket set
- $17.00 coolant
- $18.70 cleaning compound (to rid system of oil).
The head was checked when it was off and no additional work was required.
While they have the head off they should replace any worn parts such as the serpentine belt. They should also replace any parts that are difficult to replace such as the short hose to the water pump.
I was given a free rental car and a 12 month warranty backed up by the resources of a large dealership.
The cost could be more than what I paid if the head is warped, the timing chain needs replacing or valve work is required. Otherwise, the price I paid should be about what a dealer in a large metro area would charge.
Last edited by Bud; 10-28-2003 at 12:21 AM.