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  #1  
Old 09-27-2007, 09:19 AM
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Newbie looking for direction...

First post...MB virgin, be gentle with me.

Background: '87 300E, 137k, sat motionless in a driveway for 4 months before i bought it at the beginning of september. no leaks on driveway when purchased and no leaks until last week.

Problem: Fluid collecting in drip pan under engine and then dripping off back of pan. 1 drop every 2-3 seconds when engine is hot and ignition is turned is off. Stops dripping eventually - haven't hung around long enough to see how long. Fluid feels, smells and looks like either transmission fluid or steering fluid. Level of fluid in steering pump reservoir appears to be holding at about 2" below top. Drip pan appears to be too far forward for it to be a transmission leak however transmission is clunky and i'm not sure if it's changing up at correct engine speed - seems to be too high. Have not checked transmission fluid level when engine is hot and don't understand markings on dip stick yet anyway!

Question: where do i start looking?

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  #2  
Old 09-27-2007, 09:30 AM
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Welcome,

There are 2 rubber hoses at the bottom of the radiator for the auto trans cooler, very common leakage point. You could get a can of engine de-greaser & go to car wash & pressure wash that area to see exactly where the fluid is comming from.
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  #3  
Old 09-27-2007, 09:40 AM
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Thanks for the welcome and the suggestion - passenger side or drivers side of radiator? And if that's where the leak is coming from, is it a regular hose that i can buy at Autozone, etc.? Could this also explain a slight whiff of antifreeze?
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  #4  
Old 09-27-2007, 09:52 AM
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They are on both sides of the radiator. One is connected to a metal line adaptor, in & out. They are crimped fittings so OE parts are easier.

Antifreeze smell has nothing to do with cooler hoses.
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MERCEDES Benz Master Guild Technician (6 TIMES)
ASE Master Technician
Mercedes Benz Star Technician (2 times)
44 years foreign automotive repair
27 Years M.B. Shop foreman (dealer)
MB technical information Specialist (15 years)
190E 2.3 16V ITS SCCA race car (sold)
1986 190E 2.3 16V 2.5 (sold)
Retired Moderator
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  #5  
Old 09-27-2007, 10:47 AM
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Oh well - wishful thinking on the curing the source of the antifreeze smell at the same time...

There doesn't appear to be any leaks at the radiator so I guess it must be at the transmission end. I'll report back later after I've crawled under the car - hope i can see the problem without having to pull off that drip pan.

Thanks again!
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  #6  
Old 10-05-2007, 10:29 AM
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not the cooling hoses leaking...

OK - I finally crawled under the car today after driving it only a few feet. The 2 transmission hoses are fine but it looked like the passenger side tube from the hose was leaking just at the mating flange between the engine and the transmission (bell housing?). I slid the clip aft that secures the tube to the side of the transmission and the tube is not leaking either. The leak is somewhere above that tube and was as persistent as it was the first time i noticed it - the engine/transmission had hardly any time to warm up. Is there an hydraulic line (pressurized?)above this cooling tube - it is really hard to see back there because the engine is so close to the firewall and i just can't tell?

Stupid question of the day - is the bell housing filled with transmission fluid and could be leaking past whatever seal is between it and the back of the engine?
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  #7  
Old 10-05-2007, 12:49 PM
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Location: DFW / Collin County Texas
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Sounds like it could be tranny front seal, but hard to be sure. Maybe other experts here can speak up.
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  #8  
Old 10-05-2007, 01:54 PM
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ooh - that sounds expensive. Can't believe the leak came on so quickly though - one minute not a leak on the ground - the next minute its a drop every 2 or 3 seconds. I felt sure it must have been a hose or a fitting...
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  #9  
Old 10-05-2007, 04:50 PM
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If it is the front seal of the transmission that is leaking, the first quote i got from a transmission shop was $795 - does that sound about right?
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  #10  
Old 10-05-2007, 05:30 PM
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...and if it is that front seal, will any of the aftermarket transmission sealers work for the time being? Anyone got a particular brand they can recommend or one that I should definitely not use?

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