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  #1  
Old 03-06-2002, 08:55 PM
CafcoTX
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Unhappy Oooh Oooh That Smell...

The last couple of times my bride has taken her 1986 300E out and about she has returned with the car just reeking of rotten egg/sulfuric odor . Me thinks it is the catalytic converter but I'm not 100% sure.

Any clues?

Also - how easy is this to change out if this is indeed the culprit of that heinous odor?

TIA--
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  #2  
Old 03-06-2002, 09:13 PM
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I would check the fuel mixture and see if it is on the rich side.
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  #3  
Old 03-06-2002, 09:23 PM
bhorne
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Check that the battery is not over charging. When it is over charging it vents right next to the heater intake. Mine did it due to a faulty a regulator. I was on a road trip when it happened. The Canadian tire guy said I would be O.K. until I got home. WRONG. It ended up causing a power surge and frying the stereo, power antenna and every light bulb in the car. Get the problem checked out ASAP.

Bill
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  #4  
Old 03-06-2002, 09:23 PM
CafcoTX
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That would cause this odor?

The smell is seeping into our house and I am about to gag...

Next question - how to check fuel mixture?!?
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  #5  
Old 03-06-2002, 09:28 PM
CafcoTX
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Thanks bhorne-

That does lean me to another "issue"... when driving at night the headlights did seem to surge from a dim to bright condition. Also - I just replaced almost all of the rear lights as they were burning out one-by-one... as well as the headlights as the bright beams were gone.

Since I replaced the bulbs (and the headlights) everything has been A-OK though (just confirmed with my bride on that) and not been surging.
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  #6  
Old 03-06-2002, 09:50 PM
bhorne
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It sounds like exactly the same problem I had before regulator was replaced. i.e. many burnt out bulbs and surging lights. I also had a flaky power window switch replaced and SRS brushes cleaned a couple weeks before the regulator problem. All of them of them traced back to the regulator problem.

Bill
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  #7  
Old 03-07-2002, 11:22 AM
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bhorne is right,

I had the same exact problem with my 190 which ended up destroying two new batteries before I finally realized what was happending. The alternator regulator goes bad and starts overcharging your battery, if this happens it will boil the acids in your batter thus creating that nautious smell. Its an easy DIYS fix so definitely check it out.
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  #8  
Old 03-07-2002, 12:50 PM
CafcoTX
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Great! Thanks for the information.

Just to be clear - is this the voltage regulator or the alternator that needs the attention??

Any hints on how difficult? Expense? Time?

Thanks again!

Oh - I almost forgot. Last night after reading your posts I went out and sniffed the battery and I do believe that's where the odor is coming from... I also sniffed the exhaust pipe area (car was NOT running) and it smelled 'normal'... of course my dog was outside watching all of this and is now totally confused by me

Thanks again!
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  #9  
Old 03-07-2002, 01:10 PM
bhorne
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It is likely a problem with the regulator rather than the alternator; however the the alternator may be weak at the same time. The regulator is on the back of the alternator. Two bolts and it is out. The new regulator is sort of tricky to get back in since the brushes on it are spring loaded and have to be sort of compressed to get it in. In total the job took me about 20 minutes to do.

The regulator is a $30 fix, as oppose to $300 fix for the alternator. You should check the output from the alternator after a new a regulotor is installed to see if it is still good. I believe it should put out about 13 V.

Bill
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  #10  
Old 03-07-2002, 01:11 PM
CafcoTX
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OK - I went ahead and ordered a new Voltage Regulator from the good folks at the Mercedes Shop website store (ordered it for overnight - hopefully it'll be shipped out today ::hint hint:: ) so I can install it tomorrow.

I hope this does the trick!

In the future (or for when I take off the old piece) how will I know when this thing is going/gone?

I'll post our findings on this later.
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  #11  
Old 03-08-2002, 08:19 PM
CafcoTX
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Crossing My Fingers

Thanks to the great service of The Fast Lane/Mercedes Shop my Voltage Regulator magically appeared on our front porch this afternoon!

I did take the old unit out and replaced it with the new one. I suppose it went OK as the bolt holes lined up nicely

Question: How will I know if this does the trick (apart from the aforementioned horrid stench)?

How do I know that the old part is bad?

Judging from the old part I pulled out - the two spring-loaded contacts were quite worn compared to the new model. Also the little resistor on the part looks like a newer (better?) version.

I hope this does the trick!

Thanks again for your thoughtful responses!
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