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Old 05-31-2001, 11:57 PM
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: Indiana
Posts: 206
I recently bought a 96 C280 Sport with 84K, its high mileage for the year of the car but its been kept in great condition. After driving it a few weeks I noticed that on hot days I can faintly smell oil burning after I turn the car off and let it set for a few minutes. What it looks like to me is its leaking from the transmission onto the muffler and that of course is making the smell of burning oil. I'm far from a mechanic but to me thats what it looks like. My questions are, is this a liable possibility or am I not seeing whats really happening? And, if it is whats happening how much money is it going to take to get fixed? Thanks, Brad Bannister
1986 190E 186K (For Sale)
(Maroon, Tan leather)
1996 C280 Sport 208K
(Brilliant Silver, Black Leather)
2002 CLK430 Sport 45K
(Brilliant Silver, Gray Leather , Birdseye Maple)
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Old 06-01-2001, 03:19 AM
David C Klasse's Avatar
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Mission Hills in the City of San Diego
Posts: 2,352

I had the same problem, but it only happened at consistently high RPMS. I was driving to Arizona going 90-110 mph, and the rpms were betwen 3500 and 5000. When I would stop, I noticed the exhaust smoking (right below the transmission), I therefore deduced that it must be the transmission fluid (it was).

I took it into MB of Tucson when I got there, and my fluid was overfilled.

Moral: Check and make sure your fluid is at the proper level! Good luck!
2006 E350 w/ 155k miles (Daily Driver)

1993 300E 3.2L Sedan w/ close to about 300k miles
2003 E500 Brilliant Silver (Had 217k miles when totalled!)
1989 300E with 289,000 miles (had for <1 yr while in HI)
03 CLK 500 cabrio (Mom's)
2006 C230k (Dad's)
1999 S420 (Mom's/Dad's)
2000 C230k Sport sedans
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1995 C280 My First Mercedes-Benz... (155k miles. EXCEPTIONAL AUTOMOBILE. Was Very hard to let go of!)
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Old 06-01-2001, 03:42 AM
cf cf is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 51
Dear Austin,

As David pointed out, overfilled transmission could certainly cause spilling - in fact some transmissions have a valve to release excess pressure when the tranmission is hot - idealy this is for air but if fluid level is too high it will of course come out, too. In fact if this valve is blocked it could cause excessive pressive inside the transmission casing resulting in leaks somewhere. But I do not know whether your transmission has this valve.

I suggest you go to a MB dealer to pull out what on the car had been repaired/replaced under warranty to have a better idea as a whole as well as whether your car has undergone any tranmission work before. If affirmative, fluid overfill cannot be ruled out.

Does your car have the 5 speed transmisson which has the life-time fluid and the mechanic-only dip stick? May be you could ask your mechanic to check out the fluid level and where the leak is from.

Good luck and keep us post.


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Old 06-01-2001, 12:21 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Posts: 236
C280, transmission

The '96 C280 had a 4 speed trans. while the '97 and up came with a new 5 speed auto. Its unlikely that a MB trans that is less than 10 years old would develope a leak, except if it was over filled and run at a high rpm.
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Old 04-17-2002, 09:45 PM
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: Indiana
Posts: 206
Sorry about the extreamly late reply but I thought readers might like to know the outcome if they see the problem. It turned out it was the head gasket leaking which dripped down the engine and then dripped off right at the transmission. It was about $1000 to replace. Every since then its been perfect. I cant say I liked dropping $1000 after just buying it 3 months earlier but...I should have done a little more checking in that area. Thanks for the help on this forum though. I love this place!

1986 190E 186K (For Sale)
(Maroon, Tan leather)
1996 C280 Sport 208K
(Brilliant Silver, Black Leather)
2002 CLK430 Sport 45K
(Brilliant Silver, Gray Leather , Birdseye Maple)
Reply With Quote


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