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Old 04-19-1999, 08:33 PM
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I really need some help. After years of ratty old VW diesels (good car, but mine were always on last legs) I finally get my dream car, a 95 E300D. It has about 120,000 miles on it.

Sunday, out of the blue, as I pull away from a light it just dies. I never had a diesel quit without warning before. I managed to get it restarted and limp it the few miles home, but it had no power, even getting up a slight incline killed it, and it was laying down massive amounts of smoke.

I decided to check a few things, such as the return lines for cracks or air leaks, but that did not help. I checked the fuel return to the tank, which seemed to be clear. The filter seemed fine, as both had recently been changed. I was half way through a tank of fuel and the car ran fine for the first 350 miles on this tank, so I don't think it was a fuel quality issue. No detectable fuel line leaks.

Any way, after going over all this and refilling the filters with clean fuel, I tried restarting. Again, no power, a LOT of smoke. I also noticed that the the air intake on the right front fender was real loud. It almost sounds like a boat engine. I have never experienced loud sounds through an air intake.

I have torn apart VW diesels, but I realize this is far more sophisticated. Does any one have any clue as to what this could be? Should I take it to a shop? I'd prefer not to, as I may have to sell the car to pay them!!, but I don't want to do any damage either.

Is it possible to have damaged the fuel system, catalyst, or engine by using an additive like ATF in the fuel? I always did that with my VW, and started with this one fairly recently.

I am really at a loss and would appreciate any advice. I am afraid of the cost, but with all the elctronics, i fear i may be over matched. I thank any and all of you in advance for any insight you may have.

Tony B.
Old 04-19-1999, 09:58 PM
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Your car has a timing chain , Possibly the chain has stretched & has jumped out of time. There is a Service Infomation about this problem on early 1995 models. Also the use of ATF in the fuel can damage the catalyst!!

Old 04-19-1999, 10:17 PM
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Don't try to drive it!! Tow it to a shop! If the timming did jump I hope you didn't crash the valve train with the pistons.


[This message has been edited by Benzmac (edited 04-19-99).]
Old 04-20-1999, 09:48 PM
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Thanks to all who responded. The car will be delivered to the shop ASAP as per your advice. When I got this car, I knoew it needed some body repair but I NEVER thought it would be going in for engine work for a long, long time. My Dad had a '72 220D that he sold after 250,000 and it was still running strong. I ran my old Rabbit diesel to 285,000 before rust put the drivers seat thru the floor. Needless to say I am quite disappointed. Oh well, nothing to do ow but wait and hope for the best. I may be posting news about a charity fund raiser soon! Any way, thanjs for the help. I'm sure I'll be back.

Sincerely Tony B.

Tony B.
1995 E300D
Old 04-21-1999, 11:27 AM
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Tony...You are correct. The diesels (in my
opinion) began to decline in reliability
beginning with the 1986 model years +. MB
removed diesels from the market 1988 and
1989. The came back in 1990 with the 350SDL.
I have owned a 87 300SDL and a 91 350SDL.
Both cars were low mileage dealership cars
with perfect records. Both were much more
troublesome than my other diesels (from 85
back). I sold them;I bought a 1984 300SD
with low miles. So far in 3 years, no repair
cost. This was true with other diesels as
well (82 300SD, 78 300D, 77 240D, 75 300D).
It concerns me that MB is having more a product line.
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