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  #31  
Old 04-28-2003, 08:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by suginami
It's not really important that your coolant and brake fluid look clean and full.

Mercedes requires coolant to be replaced at 3 year intervals.

Mercedes requires brake fluid to be replaced at 2 year intervals.

Coolant not only raise the boiling point and lowers the freezing point, but it also inhibits rust / corrosion. When coolant gets old, it loses its ability to prevent rust, and actually becomes corrosive.

Brake fluid loves to absorb water (hygoscopic ??). Water build-up in your brake fluid is a bad thing. It decrease your braking performance, it allows the fluid to heat up faster, and it could allow your broke cylinders to rust.

These are the only two maintenance items that occur in time intervals instead of mileage intervals, and they cannot be neglected.
OK, sounds fair. I will change the brake fluid and coolant, hopefully it's not too complicated. Can't be that different from any other car right?

One question though, how come in my Acura I don't have to change the coolant or brake fluid until 100,000 miles or 5 years? Is the fluid in Mercedes poor quality that the brake is gone after 2 years and the coolant after only 3?
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2001 Acura CL 3.2 Type-S (Silver)
2005 Jaguar S-Type 4.2 (Black)
1998 Mercedes E320 Sedan (Black)
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  #32  
Old 04-28-2003, 08:11 PM
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suginami

Could'nt have said it better myself, but I didn't want to scare the crap out of the guy.
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  #33  
Old 04-28-2003, 08:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Technique

One question though, how come in my Acura I don't have to change the coolant or brake fluid until 100,000 miles or 5 years? Is the fluid in Mercedes poor quality that the brake is gone after 2 years and the coolant after only 3?
I've always wondered the same thing. Mercedes has the most aggressive brake fluid replacement policy that I have always heard of. Every car I have ever owned has never recommended brake fluid replacement. I have done it anyway.

Regarding coolant replacement, I have always performed it annually, and I consider three years on the looooong side.

I know that GM, Acura and others have coolant with very long replacement intervals. I have heard up to ten years. I just don't feel comfortable with it.

I do know that Mercedes has the most complete and comprehensive maintenance schedule of practically any car on the road, which is surely one of the reasons why the cars hold up so well.

I would just trust the Mercedes engineers, and if they require coolant change intervals at three years, then that's what I feel comfortable following.
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2001 E430, Bourdeaux Red, Oyster interior.
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  #34  
Old 04-28-2003, 08:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Technique
OK, sounds fair. I will change the brake fluid and coolant, hopefully it's not too complicated. Can't be that different from any other car right?
Your car has ABS, so I think it is different than what you're used to.

You might try the search function as this has been discussed before.

Thomaspin has done this on his 1990 560 SEL, which has ABS, and posted a DIY pictorial on his website:

www.pindelski.com
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2001 E430, Bourdeaux Red, Oyster interior.
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  #35  
Old 04-28-2003, 09:05 PM
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Technique,

For what ever reason Mercedes does not use the 5 year antifreeze. I don't know about the type of brake fluid that Acrua uses, but I have never heard of 5 year brake fluid. I just got into the habit of 3 year coolent changes and 2 year brake fluid changes. The coolent and brake fluid changes are similar to other makes of cars. I pull the drain plug on the engine to drain the coolent from the engine block.

Based on the recent maintenance you did, I recommend that the pollen filters (located behind the glove box) be replaced every 15K miles. I recently replace my pollen filters and at 15K miles they were dirty but not filthy dirty.

You can save more $ by ordering your parts through FastLane instead of the dealer.

Also Mercedes recommends replacing the fuel filter every 60K miles.
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  #36  
Old 04-28-2003, 09:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by rjnonnie
Technique,

For what ever reason Mercedes does not use the 5 year antifreeze. I don't know about the type of brake fluid that Acrua uses, but I have never heard of 5 year brake fluid. I just got into the habit of 3 year coolent changes and 2 year brake fluid changes. The coolent and brake fluid changes are similar to other makes of cars. I pull the drain plug on the engine to drain the coolent from the engine block.

Based on the recent maintenance you did, I recommend that the pollen filters (located behind the glove box) be replaced every 15K miles. I recently replace my pollen filters and at 15K miles they were dirty but not filthy dirty.

You can save more $ by ordering your parts through FastLane instead of the dealer.

Also Mercedes recommends replacing the fuel filter every 60K miles.
Ya, I actually changed the pollen filters in the glove box (both of them) the week I got the car. Guess I should have mentioned that. I posted that in the dust filter thread.

I guess I'll change the brake fluid and coolant, you guys have convinced me to listen to MB's 2 and 3 year rule, respectively. Thanks for the advice everyone, I'll post the results. I actually took a second look at the coolant and it is a tad brown.

I will buy the mercedes brand coolant and brake fluid and probably the pads for the front discs since I suspect they need replacing (might as well do it all at one right?). Hopefully the mercedes brand brake fluid and coolant isn't absurdly expensive... Oh, I get my parts at a 20% discount from the local dealership so that's why I don't order from fastlane, although I send my friends to fastlane since I can't get them my discount.

As far as the Acura, I believe the official (Honda) maintenance schedule says the antifreeze is 10 year/100,000miles and the brake fluid is 60,000 or 100,000 miles, no time specified. However, 5 years for each is what most dealers will do if you don't hit the miles first. Go figure...
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  #37  
Old 04-28-2003, 10:10 PM
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suginami

FYI, my VW specified a brake fluid flush & fill every two years.
Don't know about BMW, but it would'nt surprise me if they require the same.
As far as 10 year coolant goes, I view this with the same scepticism as 100 k mile sparkplug changes.
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  #38  
Old 04-28-2003, 10:28 PM
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Quote:
I will buy the mercedes brand coolant and brake fluid and probably the pads for the front discs since I suspect they need replacing (might as well do it all at one right?).
There are sensors that indicate when the brake pads are worn. I believe that a message appears on the dash. Mercedes recommends replacing the sensors when replacing the brake pads (they are cheap to replace).
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  #39  
Old 04-28-2003, 10:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by manny
suginami

FYI, my VW specified a brake fluid flush & fill every two years.
Don't know about BMW, but it would'nt surprise me if they require the same.
As far as 10 year coolant goes, I view this with the same scepticism as 100 k mile sparkplug changes.
Ya, I'm in the same boat as you. Although I will say this, I checked my spark plugs at 38k on my acura and they are still clean and perfect, although I just can't fathom NOT replacing them once I hit 60k. I will say this, I think that many people prematurely replace parts on their new cars, although it doesn't really hurt, it's sorta like putting super unleaded gas in a car that only needs regular. What I'm referring to are people who change their spark plugs every 15k miles, etc...

On a similar note, I change the oil in my acura every 15k (honda recommends every 7500) with mobil 1, and it comes out clean and the filter is as well. I strongly suspect I could easily go 20k miles. I've even sent it in for chemical analysis once (costs less than $50) and the oil is still in great condition. I guess what I'm saying is I don't always take the owner's manual as the word of God, I tend to believe my own eyes over what's printed in a manual.

That being said, I believe you guys more than my own eyes cause I can't see water buildup in the brake fluid.
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  #40  
Old 04-30-2003, 03:09 PM
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technique, did you ever end up doing the coolant flush? i'm not to handy around the engine aby, but theres no way in hell i'm gonna pay someone to do something this simple. got a question for you if you did do it. is there a plug somewhere on the bottom of the radiator to flush ou the coolant, or should i use a topsider to suck it out?

and about this harmonic balancer issue, is it only for the v6 or are the v8 models affected also.
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  #41  
Old 04-30-2003, 03:39 PM
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The harmonic balancer rubber problem is the same for V6's and V8's, and it also includes the 2.8 liter V6 in the C280 from 1998-on.

Benzmac started a thread on this the other day:

Crankshaft Balancer Failure! UPDATED
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  #42  
Old 04-30-2003, 04:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by genome408
technique, did you ever end up doing the coolant flush? i'm not to handy around the engine aby, but theres no way in hell i'm gonna pay someone to do something this simple. got a question for you if you did do it. is there a plug somewhere on the bottom of the radiator to flush ou the coolant, or should i use a topsider to suck it out?

and about this harmonic balancer issue, is it only for the v6 or are the v8 models affected also.
I have not actually done the coolant flush yet, but I'll tell you how to do it. I checked this forum and looked at my car and there are two bolts to remove to drain.

Yes, you want to remove the drain plug on the radiator (as you suspected) AND you also want to remove the drain plug on the engine block which is on the passenger side under the exhaust manifold. This will ensure that you drain out ALL the old coolant.

I will probably do this by the end of the week and I can take some pictures if you want and post them.

I will also do the brake fluid change and perhaps even a brake pad change this week too(although there are already pics in the DIY section of the pads).

I must admit, mercedes is a pain in the ass to work on, but it has a strange rewarding feeling because the car is so solidly built it makes me feel good to know it has nice clean fluids and parts under the hood. I can't explain it...

OH, by the way, I didn't mention this in my write-up, but when I took the plugs out of the engine, they were difficult to remove from the boots and in fact, two of them BROKE in half. The plugs were right around 5 years old since the car was manufactured in Feb 98 and sold in June 98. So just under 5 years of use but over 5 years old. I will say that the electrode and plug itself were dirty, but still in good condition, they certainly could last 100,000 miles, but not more than 5-6 years...
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  #43  
Old 05-08-2003, 05:46 PM
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OK, here are the pics to prove that I actually went out and took your collective advice:

I got part # Q-1-03-0002 Antifreeze
and also a jug of brake fluid part # 989-08-07-10



Total cost $20.00 with my discount at the dealership ($8.50 for coolant, $11.50 for brake fluid). Not bad I guess... I think it will be a decent amount of labor doing the brakes... The coolant change should be easier, just two drain plugs and a flush...

Thanks again for twisting my arm into buying the MB brand, I feel warm and fuzzy now.
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Last edited by Technique; 05-08-2003 at 06:25 PM.
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  #44  
Old 05-08-2003, 06:09 PM
Bud
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Just to add a point or two.

The coolant lubricates the water pump. Changing it is so cheap and easy that it's something I do every year.

In the future you might want to compare dealer prices with various Web based parts suppliers or with Caliber Moters (1-800-252-6877) Caliber Motors is a MB dealer in California which sells parts at a good discount (for a dealer).
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  #45  
Old 05-09-2003, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bud
Just to add a point or two.

The coolant lubricates the water pump. Changing it is so cheap and easy that it's something I do every year.

In the future you might want to compare dealer prices with various Web based parts suppliers or with Caliber Moters (1-800-252-6877) Caliber Motors is a MB dealer in California which sells parts at a good discount (for a dealer).
How long does it take you to change the coolant? I think I will stick with every 3 years. Or maybe, I'll do it every 2 years (at the same time I change the brake fluid).

I guess I'm just "new fashioned" and I don't believe in changing stuff too often (I changed the oil in my 1990 accord every 20k miles with mobil 1 and it was just fine when I sold it at 190k miles). Or maybe I'm just lazy, who knows...

As far as prices, I checked the web and I believe $8.50 out the door at my delaer for the coolant is a great deal, but I'm not one to penny pinch, I generally just buy from wherever is closest/easiest. But I'll check caliber motors from now on as a point of reference. Thanks for the tip!
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