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Old 03-18-2002, 05:22 PM
Provo Spain?
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 656
Oil leak at front of C280

Hi. I just bought a 94 c280 with 54 k miles. I did my best to get a one owner with all service records. Which I did. Then I had my Benz Tech take a look over it, and he gave it the green light before purchase. Today I see an oil leak the size of a half dollar coin under the front end of the car. (I've had this thing one week) As you can imagine I'm a little frustrated here. What seal am I looking at here? Timing chain maybe? Any estimate on labor time for a front seal problem? thanks.


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Old 03-18-2002, 06:00 PM
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Gainesville FL
Posts: 6,844
Unfortunately, the common front engine leak is due to the retraction of the two sealing masses at the point of convergence between the block, the head, ant the upper/lower timing covers.

It usually soaks the alternator and air pump. If you have time, take it all apart and clean it up and watch it closely. You will find that the only way to tell whats leaking, if its in that area, is to replace the upper cover seals; and then, the head gasket and seals when it doesn't work. If you look at the new head gasket FROM Mercedes you will see inserts in the affected areas that would make one think that there is a difficiency in the original gaskets. I think they are receeding under the head which leaves a gap or reduced contact at that critical junction.
Steve Brotherton
Continental Imports
Gainesville FL
Bosch Master, ASE Master, L1
33 years MB technician
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Old 03-19-2002, 04:25 AM
David C Klasse's Avatar
CheFrac is Back!
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Mission Hills in the City of San Diego
Posts: 2,352
How bad is the leak?
If it's just a small leak, who cares?!

But if it's bad... then that's another problem.

Maybe the dealer will take care of it? Is the car starmarked (if bought in 2001... *7 years).
2006 E350 w/ 155k miles (Daily Driver)

1993 300E 3.2L Sedan w/ close to about 300k miles
2003 E500 Brilliant Silver (Had 217k miles when totalled!)
1989 300E with 289,000 miles (had for <1 yr while in HI)
03 CLK 500 cabrio (Mom's)
2006 C230k (Dad's)
1999 S420 (Mom's/Dad's)
2000 C230k Sport sedans
2001 CLK320 Cabrio (Mom's)
1995 C280 My First Mercedes-Benz... (155k miles. EXCEPTIONAL AUTOMOBILE. Was Very hard to let go of!)
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Old 03-19-2002, 02:25 PM
Provo Spain?
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 656
Small leak, but I don't like any leaks on my cars. I like to take care of them right away. My tech seems to think it's a timing chain cover. Says he does them all the time on the 202. He says no big deal. I'm bringing it by this Thursday, and see if he's right. I felt around but couldn't seem to see exactly where it was coming from. Very light film of oil on the left side of engine block. Generator is not covered in oil, or air pump. Oil isn't milky and I'm going to look at the coolant today. Thank you for your input.

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