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Old 12-26-2001, 01:27 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Bay Area, CA
Posts: 51
Question New 560sl owner--scary black smoke, briefly

I was following my wife in her new 87 560sl with 91K miles. After about a hundred miles of fine driving since we bought it, the car was stopped and sat for four hours in about 40 degree weather. Shortly after restarting, and driving and about 45 miles per hour, it started smoking a fair amount from the tailpipe, it smelled like oil, etc. The smoke and smell stopped after maybe 30 seconds. Worrying to me. Too soon to know if it is using oil heavily. Is this a "wait and see" or an "alarm" condition. The car was checked out substantially when I bought it in terms of compression, ensuring smooth idle, etc., but it wasn't tuned up particularly.

Thanks. And happy holidays to all.
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Old 12-26-2001, 05:30 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
Posts: 128
Sounds like the valve guide seals are bad. Oil leaks down past them when the car is off, then burns when running. Mine 88 560sl goes through a quart of oil every 300 miles and it has 125k miles on it. I plan to have them done at some point, but I'm told it's not a big deal and fairly common.

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Old 12-26-2001, 11:08 PM
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I had the same problem on my '86 560 Sl. I had the car checked out especially compression and everything was good. It started to use a quart of oil every 200 miles. I had the valve seals replaced as well as the timing chain and guides for $1400. and now it uses oil use. Hopefully that is your problem for the mechanic told me if that doesn't fix it it'll need a valve job in the vicinity of $4000-$5000. Hope thats all it is . Good luck.

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