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Old 01-05-2002, 11:57 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Bay Area, CA
Posts: 51
Angry 560SL inspection story

So I am not so bright. I bought a 1987 560sl, 91K miles, THEN found this site.

I had the car inspected at an independent mercedes mechanic before purchasing it. The inspection noted slight leak in the valve cover gasket, seeping at the steering box, a slightly rough idle and a number of other items. Compression was stated to be fine.

Repaired most of the items identified other than the slight gasket leak and seeping steering box (e.g., new brake caliper, muffler).

NOW, the car smokes a ton (white) especially after driving downhill. Turn uphill or drive level, the smoke stops. From the board, looks like a valve stem seal problem. I hope so, will find out next week. There is some oil on the floor of the garage.

My question: did I blow the inspection? The smoke would not have been seen in a test drive on level roads (I didn't see it; the mechanics didn't either). I haven't gone back to the inspectors; they were a garage in a town where the car was purchaed, not where I live. I am kicking myself but wonder if I am the victim of sloppy inspection practices, or worse.
John C
1987 560SL 109,000 miles
2001 E320 103,000 miles
2007 E350 32,000 miles
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Old 01-06-2002, 10:44 AM
MikeTangas's Avatar
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: So. Cal
Posts: 4,430
Something to think of, based on your description of smoking downhill only. When going downhill, foot off the throttle, the engine is pulling great vacuum. A transmission modulator going south might only be leaking ATF under great vacuum. A little ATF will smoke a lot.

Just a guess.

As for a little oil on the floor, replacing the valve cover gaskets could cure that. Leaky valve cover gaskets can lose a couple quarts between oil changes.
Mike Tangas
'73 280SEL 4.5 (9/72)- RIP
Only 8,173 units built from 5/71 thru 11/72

'02 CLK320 Cabriolet - wifey's mid-life crisis

2012 VW Jetta Sportwagon least its a diesel

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