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Old 11-22-2000, 02:02 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Posts: 107
I recently purchased a 1994 E420 with just under 100,000 miles. Although I had the car inspected by a reputable service facility prior to purchase, it continues to have a persistent oil leak. There were also two other leaks involving one of the transmission cooling lines and the power steering resevoir. On Monday, I plan to have the mechanic put the UV dye in the oil to see if that shows where the leak is coming from. It leaks about one tablespoon of oil from the time I park at night and the next morning. I went with the E420 over one of the six cylinder models since I had heard that they were less prone to oil leaks, particularly at the head gasket. Nonetheless, I had also heard that most German cars, including Mercedes, are prone to some oil seepage/leaks. I don't really understand why Honda can build a $15,000 car that probably won't leak oil for at least 150,000 miles, but the German cars obviously have their advantages as well. Is there a particular gasket which has proven to be troublesome in the 4.2 liter engine? Also, as part of the purchase, I had the front rotors and pads replaced, and they continue to emit a nasty squeal some 1200 miles later. For some reason, the mechanic does not like to use the sticky compound on the back of the pads, but I seem to have used this product on other cars without a problem. Is there something about the product which is detrimental to the E420? I plan on insisting that he at least try using it to see if the squeal goes away. Thanks in advance for any replies.
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Old 11-22-2000, 11:28 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Posts: 107
In addition to the oil leak and brake squeal question, I would also appreciate some advice regarding the longevity of other components, such as the timing chain, suspension components, steering, etc. Is there a FAQ which provides some guidelines regarding expected longevity? Thanks.
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Old 11-22-2000, 11:49 AM
Steve Wengel
Posts: n/a
I have a '93 400E with 87,000 miles -- it's essentially the same model as yours. My mechanic said I have some seepage from the left bank of cylinders, but I haven't seen any oil on the ground nor does my oil level seem to drop between changes. I have had some seepage from somewhere in the power steering system, had a few hoses replaced, and still have to top off the PS reservoir every 6 months or so.

While mine was still under an extended warranty, the dealer overhauled the fuel pump(s), replaced the water pump, and replaced the starter. Off the warranty, I had my evaporator replaced (probably the biggest Achille's heel of the W124 series) to the tune of $1800.

I too have asked the kinds of questions you are asking, such as why such a well-engineered vehicle should need repairs like I've described. I don't have any good answers, but, knock on wood, I hope for a long spell of no major repairs for a while.

FYI, I did switch to Mobil 1 synthetic at 85,000 miles, having read such good things about it on this and other lists. I'm hoping to preserve my valve train as long as possible, and the same with the timing chain. I haven't had any problems with leaks even after the change to Mobil 1, despite some of the horror stories you hear when higher-mileage, older engines are swithed to synthetic.
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