Parts Catalog Accessories Catalog How To Articles Tech Forums
Call Pelican Parts at 888-280-7799
Shopping Cart Cart | Project List | Order Status | Help

Go Back   PeachParts Mercedes-Benz Forum > Mercedes-Benz Tech Information and Support > Tech Help

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-20-2001, 03:53 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Oakland, CA USA
Posts: 221
Yesterday when I arrived home from a friends house I noticed that there was smoke coming from the beneath my car (1987 560SEL). I popped the hood and everything looked fine, no smoke, no nothing. It was a hot day (for Northern California, maybe 80 or so), and I had the AC running. The engine temp guage wasn't excessively high, oil pressure was just under 2...basically everything (except for the smoke coming from under my car) was normal. I got down and looked for the source and it looked like it was coming off of the exaust pipes (not out of them, more like if you poured water on hot metal and steam came off the metal). So, what's the deal? Can I safely drive to my shop or should I have the car towed? Thanks in advance for any help!
Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2001, 04:25 PM
Ali Al-Chalabi's Avatar
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Knoxville, TN
Posts: 1,837
Any visible leaks? Are all the fluid levels correct? Is the transmission overfilled? ATF might be coming out the vent and spilling onto the exhaust pipes.

[Edited by Ali Al-Chalabi on 06-20-2001 at 03:36 PM]
Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2001, 04:29 PM
G-Benz's Avatar
Razorback Soccer Dad
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Dallas/Fort-Worth
Posts: 5,711
Any odors from the smoke?

I have had a couple of occurrences where a piece of trash blowing about on the street would attach to the hot catalytic converter or other exhaust component, and subsequently, melt or burn. Some would leave a residue that would have to be scraped off, while others burned off by itself.
2009 ML350 (106K) - Family vehicle
2001 CLK430 Cabriolet (80K) - Wife's car
2005 BMW 645CI (138K) - My daily driver
2016 Mustang (32K) - Daughter's car
Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2001, 04:39 PM
MikeTangas's Avatar
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: So. Cal
Posts: 4,430
Or even leaking valve cover seals.

Mine were getting bad on the 4.5 before the valve adjustment. At a stop light I could see tendrils of smoke coming from under the car. After doing the valve adjustment and replacing the seals there is no more smoke. Closer inspection of the pipes showed that oil seeping past the seals was slowly dripping onto the pipes from the rear of the head.

I think the oil dripping was the catalyst to get me to adjust the valves. Find the source, oil or transmission fluid dripping onto hot pipes could be a fire hazard.
Mike Tangas
'73 280SEL 4.5 (9/72)- RIP
Only 8,173 units built from 5/71 thru 11/72

'02 CLK320 Cabriolet - wifey's mid-life crisis

2012 VW Jetta Sportwagon least its a diesel

Non illegitemae carborundum.
Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2001, 04:50 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Oakland, CA USA
Posts: 221
Thanks for the quick replies! There was no odor from the smoke, even when down on my hands and knees looking under the car I didn't smell anything unusual. My engine oil and ATF levels appear to be okay, however if there is a leak somewhere, I suppose that only a few drops on the exhaust could cause smoke, but not a noticable drop in level. If this problem is "just" a fluid leak somewhere, I suppose it would be okay to drive to the shop, rather than towing. I'll go check for drips under the car...
Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2001, 06:04 PM
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Gainesville FL
Posts: 6,844
You undoubtably have an oil leak. (Could have be a plastic bag, though) The answer is definitely to get it in the air and see.

Usually the leaks accumulate on the outside of the pipe where it goes to the center of the car. These pipes are insulated to keep the heat in and often don't get hot enough to do anything but bake the oil. After a longer high speed run they will get hot enough to smoke the oil. I would pay attention but I don't think you will have any problem driving it in, if the speed is kept down and your fluids are OK.
Steve Brotherton
Continental Imports
Gainesville FL
Bosch Master, ASE Master, L1
33 years MB technician
Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2001, 12:31 PM
elau's Avatar
Registered User
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: MD.
Posts: 1,725
Have you work on the tranny lately? Or filled the tranny oil? That happened to me before and it was the tranny fluid was filled too much. When the car reached operating temp and the fluid expand and leaked. By the time I stopped the car and got down on hands and knees, the leak stopped. A quick check on the stick (from advice of this forum) cured the problem. Good luck.

95 R129
98 W163
Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2001, 03:44 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 387
I like the comment about "trash". I've had this happen to me twice, and I've seen it many, many times. Those plastic grocery sacks are a BIG problem...
Bill Streep
San Antonio
'57 190SL (toy)
'08 S5500 (mine)
'09 CLK550 (wife's)
'06 SLK350 (daughter's)
'11 GLK350 (daughter's)
'03 CLK310 (spare)
Reply With Quote
Old 06-21-2001, 07:08 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Oakland, CA USA
Posts: 221
Well, the car has been parked overnight, and I don't see any drips on the ground. So either this is a VERY small leak, or I am the victim of a plastic grocery bag. I guess I'll take it in just to be safe. Again, thanks for all the help.
Reply With Quote
Old 06-22-2001, 02:39 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Memphis, TN
Posts: 129
Maybe condensation from your AC is dripping down and splashing off your exhaust pipes.

'57 190SL
'86 560SEC AMG
Reply With Quote


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Good wax for not so good paint? Elripster Detailing and Interior 16 04-29-2006 06:56 PM
good fun...and no overheating Alexis Mercedes-Benz Performance Paddock 12 08-09-2003 02:36 PM
Good Source to find a good Audi garage? sflori Off-Topic Discussion 4 05-04-2003 02:26 AM
Good news in Atlanta... mikemover Off-Topic Discussion 78 01-23-2003 12:27 AM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:06 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2018 Pelican Parts, LLC - Posts may be archived for display on the Peach Parts or Pelican Parts Website -    DMCA Registered Agent Contact Page