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  #1  
Old 11-13-2001, 02:09 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Los Angeles, CA/ Hilo, HI
Posts: 92
Rotten eggs smell on 400E

I 've done a search on this and found quite a bit of usefull info.
I still have a number of questions though. Perhaps somebody can help me out here.
My 92 400E with 118k miles down is producing this rotten egg like smell, mostly when I punch it a bit harder at an intersection going up a steep hill or after I come home climbing up a mountain side. I don't notice it during in-town-driving on parking lots.but I'm gonna keep an eye, well... nose, on it from now on.
It does not do it after start up at idle or after being at idle for a while or even after reving it up to about 4500 in neutral.
There also is a more or less thick black deposit on the tailpipes and I think the oil smells a bit like gasoline too.
I recently changed the plugs (looked worn but OK in terms of deposits etc), o2 sensor, distr. cap and rotors and yet have to do the fuel filter.
I understand that the 92 400E's are running a bit on the rich side and that the 500E's have a similar issue.
My questions:
Is my problem a problem at all or normal, or something that I definitely should have looked at by a MB tech? My local dealer charges $85/hour and there is really nobody else here on this island who can work on these cars, which is why I normally do everything myself.
Am I damaging the new o2 sensor with this condition or other parts?
Since fuel quality came up as a part of sulfur content causing the smell, is there any brand in particular that can be recommended and lower in sulfur?
Could an older fuel filter cause be related to this?
Also, I will be moving back to California next year and am a bit worried about passing the smog. Is there any real reason to be worried, judging from my description?
The car runs beautifully and is in great condition, beside a few fluid leaks otherwise and I would hate to cause any damage to other parts. Any help is greatly appreciated.
Thanks a lot in advance.
Sincerely,
F.J.
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F.J.
81 300 SD grey/palomino 168K miles
84 190E 2.3 black/grey 64K miles (wrecked)
85 190E 2.3 maroon/palomino 92K miles
88 300E desert red/palomino 204k miles
(made to look like a '94-95)
92 400E desert taupe/creme beige 120K miles
(converted to 94-95 E420 looks)
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  #2  
Old 11-13-2001, 04:32 PM
J.HIDALGO's Avatar
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Location: Jax, FL
Posts: 1,785
Lightbulb Rotten eggs smell?

It is associated with a bad cat. Does yours have one?
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J.H.
'86 300E
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  #3  
Old 11-13-2001, 04:41 PM
MIKE FREEMAN
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rotton egg smell

THe smell you describe is typical for 92 400E,During full throttle acceleration or climbing steep hills the fuel management is going to run richer and the cat. will smell.
Regarding black deposits in tailpipe;The same exhaust by-product responsible for the smell is painting the tail pipe black.
MF
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  #4  
Old 11-13-2001, 04:43 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Los Angeles, CA/ Hilo, HI
Posts: 92
Thank you for your reply.
Well, it has a cat, two of them actually. I don't know if both or one of them is bad, though. How do I check?
Thanks!
F.J.
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F.J.
81 300 SD grey/palomino 168K miles
84 190E 2.3 black/grey 64K miles (wrecked)
85 190E 2.3 maroon/palomino 92K miles
88 300E desert red/palomino 204k miles
(made to look like a '94-95)
92 400E desert taupe/creme beige 120K miles
(converted to 94-95 E420 looks)
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  #5  
Old 11-13-2001, 04:49 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Los Angeles, CA/ Hilo, HI
Posts: 92
Hi Mike,
thanks a whole lot for your input. That bit of info makes me feel a lot better. I guess I don't have anything really to worry about then. Would you suggest I have the cat checked nontheless?
I'm still a bit worried about passing the smog inspection in CA.
Would you know anything about how federal version cars do on that test as compared to CA versions? I guess there has to be a difference otherwise they would not go to the lenght and have the emission control system modified??
Thanks again.
Sincerely,
F.J.
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F.J.
81 300 SD grey/palomino 168K miles
84 190E 2.3 black/grey 64K miles (wrecked)
85 190E 2.3 maroon/palomino 92K miles
88 300E desert red/palomino 204k miles
(made to look like a '94-95)
92 400E desert taupe/creme beige 120K miles
(converted to 94-95 E420 looks)
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  #6  
Old 11-14-2001, 09:40 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Florida
Posts: 272
Just an question. Why is there gas smell in your oil? I also have a 400 E and there is definately no smell no matter the load or acceleration.
Brian
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  #7  
Old 11-14-2001, 11:19 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Los Angeles, CA/ Hilo, HI
Posts: 92
The oil smells a a bit like gasoline especially after about 2-3k miles when I check the oil with the dipstick and then smell it.
As I was informed through another thread, that gasoline is penetrating the rings and diluting the oil when a car runs rich.
Check out this thread:
"Any fanatics religiously change oil @ 2_5K intervals or less"
Does anybody else have an explanation?
F.J.
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F.J.
81 300 SD grey/palomino 168K miles
84 190E 2.3 black/grey 64K miles (wrecked)
85 190E 2.3 maroon/palomino 92K miles
88 300E desert red/palomino 204k miles
(made to look like a '94-95)
92 400E desert taupe/creme beige 120K miles
(converted to 94-95 E420 looks)
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  #8  
Old 11-14-2001, 11:28 PM
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Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Florida / N.H.
Posts: 8,777
It is common for oil/gas delution if the vehicle is constantly used for short trips.
The reasoning for this is the fuel system is set to run rich at cold temps and with short runs, the engine temps never get to the point for the sensors to lean out the a/f mixture.

This may not be your case, but for anyone that it is, frequent oil changes should be done on these engines.
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  #9  
Old 11-15-2001, 03:27 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Los Angeles, CA/ Hilo, HI
Posts: 92
Thanks for the explanation Arthur. Makes a lot of sense. What frequency for oil changes would you suggest in such a case in terms of miles?
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F.J.
81 300 SD grey/palomino 168K miles
84 190E 2.3 black/grey 64K miles (wrecked)
85 190E 2.3 maroon/palomino 92K miles
88 300E desert red/palomino 204k miles
(made to look like a '94-95)
92 400E desert taupe/creme beige 120K miles
(converted to 94-95 E420 looks)
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  #10  
Old 11-15-2001, 07:37 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Florida
Posts: 272
I'm not convinced about this gas thing in the oil. The gas would thin the oil and you would loose the lubricating qualities. I have a hard time understanding MB designing this in. And I add again mine does not do this. The only experience I have with gas in my oil was onboard my boat and the marine tech told me absolutely that the problem causing the condition must be repaired wich was done. Anyway guy just my experience.
Good luck
Brian
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  #11  
Old 11-15-2001, 12:56 PM
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Posts: 613
Are you running synthetic oil in your 400E?
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1993 500E
http://2phast.com/500e/500e-sig.jpg
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  #12  
Old 11-15-2001, 01:02 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Los Angeles, CA/ Hilo, HI
Posts: 92
Brian.
thanks for your continued contribution. I have to admit you are getting me quite a bit worried so I'll look into it further.
By the way, I just checked and the dipstick only smells like gasoline when I pull it out initially and smell that oil an a tissue, after that the smell dissipates and the oil I get out of the pan no longer really smells like gasoline. Same from the fillercap only less pronounced. Could I be looking at a cylinder loosing compression or something?

2phast.
I am currently using regular oil, Penzoil 10W40 with a bottle of Slick 50 for high milage engines added per oilchange. Nice car, by the way!
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F.J.
81 300 SD grey/palomino 168K miles
84 190E 2.3 black/grey 64K miles (wrecked)
85 190E 2.3 maroon/palomino 92K miles
88 300E desert red/palomino 204k miles
(made to look like a '94-95)
92 400E desert taupe/creme beige 120K miles
(converted to 94-95 E420 looks)

Last edited by F.J.Lahme; 11-15-2001 at 01:30 PM.
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