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nestorb98 12-20-2008 04:18 PM

1995 E320 Wagon Overheating
Just got my wagon back after a $2,700 repair bill (wiring harness, acccelerator cable, trans svc, etc all at a top notch Benz Dealer.). One of the last things I was told "the vehicle is overheating, your radiator is plugged, $600 more..."

This is my fifth Benz I've done this before, so I ordered a radiator and new hoses and in less than two hours and for under $200 replaced same.

Started car leaks, tight all around... drove out and the temp shot right back up to 120 and only when I turned on the internal heater did the temp come down to about 100. Drove around the neighborhood and same thing, always shooting up towards the 120 mark.

Both fans are working fine. What could I be missing? :confused::confused::confused:


riorust 12-20-2008 04:53 PM

Thermostat ?

nissanzx1 12-20-2008 06:26 PM

Was the thermostat changed when you installed the radiator?

I would try a new one before anything else...

If you can install your own radiator, you could have installed an engine wiring harness and done a trans service yourself. Both are pretty basic items. But, I am happy your car is on its way back to health.


nestorb98 12-20-2008 08:20 PM

Pegged at 90 degrees!
Thanks guys!:) It was the thermostat. I just ran the engine for twenty minutes and was relieved to see the gauge staying at 90. So thanks again for your advice.

That said I cannot believe that one of the most prestigious Benz shops in our area could not have done the same. Instead they (and I have it in writing) told me flat out I needed a radiator because mine was plugged. Not cool.:rolleyes:

TylerH860 12-20-2008 08:46 PM

Mistakes happen. I hope you weren't running around too much with 120 degree operating temperatures. :eek:

nissanzx1 12-20-2008 11:55 PM

I'm not sure there is such as thing as a "prestigious" Benz dealer--they'll all steal your money :)

Just because a T-stat fixed your problem, doesn't mean the old radiator was good. I would bet good money as part of the $600, they would have included a new T-stat. Have you ever had to replace the head gasket on this car? A bad head gasket is one reason the radiator can gum-up.

Glad your Benz is back...


riorust 12-21-2008 12:42 AM

I guess by now, you understand that when you replace a radiator, you need to replace the thermostat. Now would be a good time to drain and replace your coolant, as well as flush the cooling system to get rid of whatever "plugged" your old radiator.

Ferdman 12-21-2008 09:06 AM

nestorb98, if I were you now I would ask the MB dealer how they determined the old radiator was plugged ... actually I would have asked that before replacing the radiator. Many young techs lack the diagnostic skills of the seasoned veterans and simply throw parts at a problem. If their electronic diagnostic machine can't tell them what electronic module to replace they're lost. With overheating situations always suspect a malfunctioning thermostat first. Within the past year I replaced the thermostats in our 1992 300CE and 1995 E320 because the engines were running hotter than normal. It's always best to try the simplest, most economical fix first then proceed from there. Presumably you used MB coolant when you refilled the cooling system.

Arthur Dalton 12-21-2008 10:07 AM

<<overheating situations always suspect a malfunctioning thermostat first.>>

Always..Always ..Always.. !!!!

If the fans are coming ON , next step is thermo.
Simple device that is hard to diagnose and simple to change...and don't buy a crap one , either...Behr is the best.
Odds are you could put that old "Plugged " radiator right back in there.

michaelscooots 01-07-2009 09:38 PM

It was the thermostat
Hey guys,

Thanks for all of your help. After having a hard time figuring out what I would do with the drained coolant, and between a few diaper changes for my two little ones...I decided to take her in to a new indie I found. He took her for a spin with me and watched the temp gage. Then opened her up and checked the fins. Then he thoroughly inspected the car on the lift.

The thermostat replacement and complete radiator flush ran me $100 plus tax. And I found a GREAT new mechanic that is local (Foreign Motor Works in Quincy, MA). My car is back to running like new again :)

I appreciate all of the help. If I didn't have two little ones I would have tackled this. At the very least I have a better understanding of my vehicle.

Thanks again,

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