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Old 11-26-2001, 01:33 PM
Donna W
Posts: n/a
300 TE fluid leaks and stereo

I bought a used '92 300TE w/144k on it approx. 6 wks ago from a used luxury dealer in the city where my folks live. Dad has been a MB owner for the last 20 yrs and both he and his mechanic checked it out. Dad bought his most recent MB from this dealer, they are reputable, the car had all service records, and the most recent owner had it for 7 years and traded it for a new one. Here are my questions:

Windshield wiper fluid leaks out enough to trigger the low sensor w/in 1-2 days of being refilled. Do I need a new reservoir, and how much do they run?

I'm leaking brake fluid--they filled it at the dealer when I bought the car, and after letting it sit for 5 days over Thanksgiving, I had a 4" x 6" puddle on my garage floor. Is this a severe leak, and does it indicate that I need a new blake fluid reservoir?

I also had to fill my coolant up yesterday, so think I am probably leaking there, as well.

Is this normal on this age of MB to experience leaks in all of the reservoirs, or is it more likely some type of gasket issue? I have a good mechanic that will work on it, but I'm looking for some guidance as to what the problems might be and the cost?

Also, how in the heck do you set the presets on the stereo (standard stereo)? I have no book on it, and it's not in the regular owners manual. I managed to set one, I think using the asterisk button, but I was driving as I was doing it, so am not sure which button I pressed in which order.

Glad I found this site!
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Old 11-26-2001, 03:05 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Plano, TX
Posts: 2,476
The windshield washer leak should be simple and inexpensive to repair. I can't tell you the problem - there's no one way in which they all fail. Just get a flashlight and look for a trail of moisture.

The washer tank on my wagon was ~$20 mail order. You'll also need some small rubber grommets to seal the washer pumps and such. They're less than a buck each.

Are you _certain_ it's leaking brake fluid? If so, this is a really scary problem. Do yourself a favor and don't drive the car until this is repaired! The brakes are the most important safety system on the car! You'll need to have a good mechanic look over the brake system to find the leak and replace the offending part(s). Again, it should be easy to locate - at the rate it leaks it should be very obvious where the problem lies. Could be as simple as a brake hose - about $20 parts and an hour labor - or a caliper or master cylinder - those will run a few hundred for parts & labor.

I have no idea how to set the presets on the radio - the first thing I did was yank it out and install a decent CD player.
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Old 11-26-2001, 04:30 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 115
Regarding the radio presets:

1) Tune to the desired station
2) Hold down the desired preset button until you hear that station.

Hope this helps,


'88 300E 265K
'91 300TE 155K
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Old 11-26-2001, 08:43 PM
engatwork's Avatar
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Soperton, Ga. USA
Posts: 11,234
The windshield washer should be an easy one. Look for a little pump mounted into the side of the reservoir somewhere. There is a black rubber gasket that goes between the pump and reservoir body. It should either be that gasket or the hose connection to the pump. Look around there real good with a really, really bright light. Either of these are cheap/easy fixes.

I wonder about your brake fluid leak. How do you know it was brake fluid? What color was it? Where was the puddle in relation to the parked car - if it is a leak at a brake cylinder it should be underneath the car on the ground inside the area at that particular tire. If it is the reservoir then you should be able to see it dripping/seeping underneath the brake master cylinder. Unfortunately, if this is where it is leaking from you will see the paint missing. Brake fluid will remove paint!!. Did you see the level in the reservoir get "lower" by any amount? Maybe just a line loose. Worst case if it is leaking underneath the master cylinder and the lines are not leaking then a new master cylinder is in order which is not too bad $$.

Worst case leaking $$ is if the fluid were red or black in appearance and underneath the rear of the engine/front of the transmission area. Tranny seal or rear main seal replacement time - do them both while you are in there. Be REAL particular when changing/adding oil to this car. If you overfill the oil it WILL cause the rear main seal to leak. Last rear main I did took 3 six hour days but it was my first one and I was not in any real big rush.
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Old 11-27-2001, 01:53 PM
Donna W
Posts: n/a

Thanks for the assistance.

The fluid under the car is clear in color. I or my hubby will have to determine where the brake fluid reservoir is and see if that's it. The puddle is never near any tire, it's more "southeast" of the engine, as you're sitting in the driver's seat, if that makes sense.

thanks for your help.
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Old 11-27-2001, 03:10 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Plano, TX
Posts: 2,476
Sounds like condensate from the air conditioner - that's where it drains from these cars. Put your fingers in the fluid - brake fluid is thin, oily, and slimy. Betcha this is just water - it may have a little bit of oil mixed in because things can get a bit grimy in the engine compartment.

The brake reservoir is under the hood, directly in front of the driver. Look for the translucent plastic reservoir sitting atop an aluminum pipe with two thin steel lines screwed into it. That's the brake master cylinder & reservoir. It's almost directly over your feet when driving the car.

If you were losing that much brake fluid, I'm pretty sure the brakes wouldn't be working anymore. Plus you'd notice odd behavior, such as the brake pedal going to the floor, but the car not slowing down...

- Jim
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Old 11-27-2001, 04:14 PM
Donna W
Posts: n/a
thanks jim

Thanks for the info, the oil/condensate thought may be what it is. I talked to my dad about it and he highly doubts that there's anything major wrong, as the previous owners spent $4500 on it in the 3 months prior to trading it in. I did find the brake fluid reservoir and it's full. I did notice today that there's nothing under after driving it this morning. The brakes are working fine, so maybe it's the oil mixing with the a/c cond.

Thanks for your help!
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