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Old 04-10-2003, 12:16 AM
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300E if a/c compressor is leaking.....

My 1988 300E a/c compressor is leaking oil. In fact it was fully charged last October after receiving a new compressor clutch from the dealer. Now the unit is not blowing cold anymore. The oil leak was pretty obvious and my independent guy said the compressor is leaking. What are my options here? Can a leaking compressor be repaired or does the whole unit have to be replaced? The compressor does work when it has juice. What are my options?

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Old 04-10-2003, 06:49 AM
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I'm not sure if this compressor can be resealed very easily. It is possible that an a/c shop might have special tools and could accomplish this.

If not, you will have to replace the compressor to repair the leak. It would be a good idea to check the system for leaks using UV dye or a sniffer before repairing or replacing the compressor. It is POSSIBLE that what you are seeing is a power steering or engine oil leak and draining over the compressor.

Good luck,
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Old 04-10-2003, 01:39 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Battle Ground, WA
Posts: 576
Question for Larry...

Hi Larry,
Hope you review this post! A question occured to me whilst reading the previous post - I've noticed that my leak detector (a Robinair model no. 16600) doesn't seem to be able to detect R134 leaks. Have you noticed anything similar? For me, it's another good reason to stick with R12. The leak detector is very sensitive to R12 leaks.

Richard Wooldridge
'82 300D/4.3L V6
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Old 04-10-2003, 11:07 PM
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another question for larry


Thanks for the info on the a/c problem. The car is at the indy shop right now. I feel a pain coming from the area of my wallet. I thought you were a software engineer by trade. Did you get an ASE certification and 609 certification as part of a career change?

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Old 04-11-2003, 08:14 AM
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I have used a sniffer only a few times. I prefer UV dye and a black light. I know that they are supposed to work for either gas, but I have no experience base to answer from. One thing I do know about them, if you get the least little bit of oil on the sensor, that sensor is toast and must be replaced. Maybe you need to check it against a known good 134 sniffer.


Yes, I still work for a software company, however, we have one foot in the grave. Even when the economy turns around I'm not sure we'll make it. We layed off 40% of the remaining workforce last November and the future is very questionable.

The particular sector of the software industry in which we are in is slipping away fast. It was new, exciting and valuable technology in the late eighties, early nineties, but we now have Jillions of competitors and the market is saturated with products from us all.

Since the market is seemingly going away, staying in the software industry will be very difficult if this company does come to an end.

It's probably no surprise to very many of my friends here at mshop that I have had my hands on wrenches all my life. Getting my certification was something I wanted to do for the heck of it, and with my current career in question I have just that much more justification for doing it.

My education is in electronics. With the cars becoming more and more computer and electronics controlled, the technicians that can deal with these issues are becoming harder to find, thus more valuable.

One never knows what the future holds, so I'm trying to be prepared in the event that my professional career comes to an end.

It's probably pretty difficult for most people to understand how a computer geek could be happy wallowing in grease, but I've never claimed to be a TYPICAL human being.

Have a great day,
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Old 04-11-2003, 01:05 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 3,097
Larry, I can understand.

I have the same multiple interests/afflictions. I am finding I am enjoying the cars more these days than the computers. I think it has to do with immediate gratification. Its great to go out and fix something on the car, have it done right, work well and enjoy the fruits of one's labor.

Often I have had this with computers/systems etc. but all too often in large projects there are so many issues, pieces and contributors that the good work seems to get lost in the mix.

'03 E320 Wagon-Sold
'95 E320 Wagon-Went to Ex
'93 190E 2.6-Wrecked
'91 300E-Went to Ex
'65 911 Coupe (#302580)
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Old 04-11-2003, 06:21 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Santa Monica, CA
Posts: 2,053

If you are/had been/will be in the "mood" for some DIY action here is an article on rebuilding your Nippondenso 10P15C.

For those with older cars and the older R4 compressor in our MB's, here's a shaft seal article of interest:
The Golden Rule

1984 300SD (bought new, sold it in 1988, bought it back 13 yrs. later)
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Old 04-11-2003, 09:06 PM
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Cool links. People actually rebuild these things. I guess its not completely a "throw away" world after all. I don't have the special tools or the time to tinker at this level. Although it would be fun to try, and alot cheaper. But I heard from the indy today and he said its not the compressor after all. Could you believe its worse than that? Turns out the a/c manifold was bad and had to be replaced, around 700 big ones. Oh well, I am now up to 3k on a/c repairs on the 300E and haven't seen a full summer in it yet. As a software engineer by trade like Larry, alot of jobs are moving off shore and mine could go there this year as well. So perhaps its a good time to learn something "cool" such as a/c repair. At least I wouldn't have to pay someone else to fix it.
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