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Old 05-31-2003, 02:26 PM
hedpe's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 507
smoke coming from the 500E

Alright, so I drove the 500E from pittsburgh to baltimore this weekend. After driving about 2 hours straight with the windows up, AC on, and going between 65-75mph on average and hitting up to 85 when passing, i hit the first toll boothe. I was at the booth when i noticed smoke starting to come up from under my car and a smell to it.

I don't know how to explain the smell, it didn't smell electrical, if anything it smelt like burnt rubber or warm brakes. That could have been what I was smelling, but smoke was coming from underneath the chassis. It was coming from the middle section underneath the car. I don't know the names of everything to explain to you guys.

The engine was running hot, i'd say around 105C, the aux fans were on high. The smoke coming from underneath the car was extremely warm, just laying next to the car i was breaking a sweat, it was extremely hot.

It was white smoke, nothing harsh looking. There was alot of condensation underneath the car.

The smoke seemed like it was coming from around where the exhaust pipe is run. It was seeping from a little bit of everywhere.

Was something too hot and boiling? Any ideas? Thanks guys.

2013 C300 4matic
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2001 E320 Sport
1992 500E
1989 300SEL
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Old 05-31-2003, 06:35 PM
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Southern California, U.S.A.
Posts: 8,538
White smoke would suggest water.

Maybe you have a coolant leak from a heater hose or something, that is dripping on the engine or the exhaust manifold, thus the white smoke.
Paul S.

2001 E430, Bourdeaux Red, Oyster interior.
79,200 miles.

1973 280SE 4.5, 170,000 miles. 568 Signal Red, Black MB Tex. "The Red Baron".
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Old 06-01-2003, 03:39 AM
Posts: n/a
I have a 1994 E280 and it did the same thing. It was hot and I was driving full bore up a very steep hill. Later on smoke was coming from under the car. I got out and it smelt like burnt rubber. I drove off and it was fine. I got it checked out and found out that it was a leaking transmission hitting the exhaust.
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Old 06-01-2003, 09:12 AM
klaus kallas's Avatar
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Clayton, NC
Posts: 491
Are you sure it was smoke? My 300TE will sometimes admit steam as a result of A/C condensation dripping onto the drivetrain and exhaust. I'm not familiar with the 500E layout, but it might be similar. The condensation may have puddled somewhere while cruising, then when you came to a stop shifted forward and dropped a bunch of water at once. Might be a stupid idea, but just a thought....... Klaus
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Old 06-01-2003, 06:11 PM
BenzMatic's Avatar
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: OC S. California
Posts: 120
I lived with this problem for couple of weeks, it turn out to be leaking transmission, the transmission oil will dripp over the exhaust pipe and will produce white smoke and you can smell the burned smell in the cabin. And the funny thing was the Oil will not drip when car is in idle, it would drip and smoke after I drove couple of miles. After installing and reinstalling Trns. pan numorous time, changing the pan gaskit, I narrow it down to the metal seal under the neutral safty switch.
You might be having similar problem, check underneath the Tranny Pan for any leaks.
I sure hope it will help, keep us posted.


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