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  #1  
Old 03-08-2000, 07:02 PM
bradfordro
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I've got a 89 190E 2.6 with 115k.

Today I checked and topped off fluids. When I checked my trans. fluid it was low - I topped it.

When I checked my radiator over flow, it was also low - I topped it, BUT when it settled, ATF came to the top! It was thick and didn't seem diluted at all.

HELP! Would this explain the strong smell when I turn the heat on?
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  #2  
Old 03-08-2000, 08:22 PM
Deezel
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Oh Brad!

Deep dark depression and excessive misery! What have you done to bring this on? The cohabitating of fluids is not good. You have an internal leak in your radiator. If you look at the bottom of the radiator, you will see that there are a couple of metallic lines entering, these are from your transmission. Since transmission fluid is an oil and the radiator fluid is water based, much like vinegar, the two will never mix or dilute. Please do not put this stuff on your salad! Not only will it taste bad, but the glycol will kill you (or any pets that drink the spillage in your drive way when you work on this)!

Secondly you mentioned a strong odor in the car with the heat on. Normally you would think with transmission fluid dumping into your radiator, that it would be overfull? I think you have a separate and unrelated problem. Sounds like a coolant leak, probably from your heater core, the little radiator inside your dash. I would suggest you do a pressure test and confirm this prior to replacing the core. This pressure test can also confirm the internal leak. If you disconnect the transmission lines before you pressurize the system, you should find coolant leaking out the oil line fittings. I sounds like a small leak, so this make take time, and the presence of two problems may compound this.

When you do the repairs, I would suggest flushing the coolant system and doing a filter and fluid repalcement on the transmission. Note other posts on this BB to get the fluid out of the torque converter when you do the filter change.

Good luck and may I suggest that you buy some new car mats as an offering to make up for the errors of your ways that brought this on?

------------------
Deezel
87 300TDT
150,000 miles

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  #3  
Old 03-09-2000, 12:49 PM
bradfordro
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Is there any other place that ATF can enter the cooling system besides the radiator?
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  #4  
Old 03-09-2000, 06:17 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: New Bedford, MA USA
Posts: 1,583
Nope, just the radiator...Unless...someone poured a quart of ATF into the wrong hole. (Believe me when I tell you that this has happened).

------------------
Jeff L
1987 300e
1989 300e
1987 BMW 325
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  #5  
Old 03-09-2000, 11:36 PM
Deezel
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Brad,
I guess the key here is how long youhave owned the car and how you have maintained it. Since you are checking fluids, this is a good sign, but have you loaned it out or possibly had inexperienced people work on it? Is the transmission leaking? Since there is the wrong fluid in the radiator, it should be addressed, and a leak check is in order anyway for the odor in with the heat on. A little patience and trouble shooting may avoid replacing the radiator! But something must be going on either with the transission, radiator, or heater core, or ??? Adding fluid to either of these systems on a regular basis is not good. Stay after it and you will find the answer!

Good luck

------------------
Deezel
87 300TDT
150,000 miles

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  #6  
Old 03-10-2000, 10:05 AM
hamish
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DO NOT USE THE CAR UNTIL IT IS FIXED!!!!
sorry to scare you but if water gets into the auto box it will destroy it by virtue of the fact that the clutches are glued on with a water soluable glue.if your transmission fluid is still red and not a pink you should be okay.
HAMISH
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  #7  
Old 03-10-2000, 02:30 PM
LarryBible
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hamish is right. Antifreeze is POISON to the clutches in your automatic transmission. In fact the Allison transmission people make a big deal about not using the same funnel to put in ATF that you use to put in antifreeze. The tiniest trace of antifreeze, even the tiny amount from a well wiped off funnel can ruin an Allison automatic transmission.

It's very possible that the same holds true for other transmissions.

The glimmer of hope here is that the pressure in the transmission cooling lines is much higher than the pressure in the radiator. This may keep the antifreeze out of the automatic transmission.

Good Luck,


------------------
Larry Bible
'84 Euro 240D, 516K miles
'88 300E 5 Speed
Over 800,000 miles in
Mercedes automobiles
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  #8  
Old 03-10-2000, 11:55 PM
bradfordro
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Thank you for the replies BUT I read your warnings a little too late. I drove around today looking for a new radiator - now I borrowed my sisters car.

Anyway, found one and new hoses also.

Any advice for me, I'm changing the radiator, hoses, trans. fuild, and coolant hoses Monday? Any additives, etc...
Thinking about throwing in a new thermostat. Is it necessary?

I know to turn the engine and drain the torque converter, anything else?

Thanks again.... Benzmac, I'm still learning!
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  #9  
Old 03-11-2000, 08:35 AM
Deezel
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I am not big on additives, but there are several threads on this BB that recommned a waterpump lubricant from Redline called Wetter. I beleive it is sold by this site in the PartsShop.

I am not a 190 expert. Usually these are very easy to change, so Ipersonally would not bother with the thermostat, but others might disagree. It is easy to change during this work or at any other time. If the 190 thermostat is unusually hard to get to, you might want to reconsider.

I would recommend changing the "fan" belt(s) while you have all the radiator stuff out of the way. AT 115K, it is due. If it has already been changed, consider doing it again, especially if they have accumulated 30-50K. I am not sure how the 190 is set up, but my 87 300TDT has a serpentine belt. If it is like mine, the belt tensioner should be changed as well (in my opinion), since the belt tensioner pulley/bearings tend to wear out. You might want to put a post up with this specific question if no one jumps in on this thread.

What about the odor in the car? I would still suggest a pressure test to confirm/deny the need to change the heater core.

Lastly you say you are new to this, so I will give you my safety speech:

Antifreeze is taste sweet and deadly to animals and children.

Let the cooling system cool and depressurize before opening the system. It can bite you!

Working under a car can kill you! Buy good ramps, jack stands, floor jacks and work on stable ground (concrete). Set brakes, chock wheels, and have an assistant around at all times that knows how to use the jack to exstricate you should the car fall, roll on top of you. Sounds impossible, but it happens ALOT. The money you save doing it yourself will easily pay for this equipment.

Have fun!

------------------
Deezel
87 300TDT
150,000 miles

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  #10  
Old 03-11-2000, 08:35 AM
Deezel
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Posts: n/a
I am not big on additives, but there are several threads on this BB that recommned a waterpump lubricant from Redline called Wetter. I beleive it is sold by this site in the PartsShop.

I am not a 190 expert. Usually these are very easy to change, so Ipersonally would not bother with the thermostat, but others might disagree. It is easy to change during this work or at any other time. If the 190 thermostat is unusually hard to get to, you might want to reconsider.

I would recommend changing the "fan" belt(s) while you have all the radiator stuff out of the way. AT 115K, it is due. If it has already been changed, consider doing it again, especially if they have accumulated 30-50K. I am not sure how the 190 is set up, but my 87 300TDT has a serpentine belt. If it is like mine, the belt tensioner should be changed as well (in my opinion), since the belt tensioner pulley/bearings tend to wear out. You might want to put a post up with this specific question if no one jumps in on this thread.

What about the odor in the car? I would still suggest a pressure test to confirm/deny the need to change the heater core.

Lastly you say you are new to this, so I will give you my safety speech:

Antifreeze is taste sweet and deadly to animals and children.

Let the cooling system cool and depressurize before opening the system. It can bite you!

Working under a car can kill you! Buy good ramps, jack stands, floor jacks and work on stable ground (concrete). Set brakes, chock wheels, and have an assistant around at all times that knows how to use the jack to exstricate you should the car fall, roll on top of you. Sounds impossible, but it happens ALOT. The money you save doing it yourself will easily pay for this equipment.

Have fun!

------------------
Deezel
87 300TDT
150,000 miles

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  #11  
Old 03-13-2000, 08:59 AM
LarryBible
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Deezel,

This is the second time I've seen your lecture on undercar safety. We all thank you. I've been under cars alot over the years, always with the right equipment and careful. But, you're warnings will help us to not take these operations for granted.

Safety reminders never hurt.

Good Luck Bradfordro,


------------------
Larry Bible
'84 Euro 240D, 516K miles
'88 300E 5 Speed
Over 800,000 miles in
Mercedes automobiles
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  #12  
Old 03-13-2000, 01:09 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Surrey, Beautiful British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 750
well said deezel and larry. would 4 2-ton
floor jacks be safe enough to lift a 300e
in the air. thanks.
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  #13  
Old 03-13-2000, 05:30 PM
bradfordro
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Fortunately, as a military member, I'm able to work a post work garage. They have excellent tools, lifts, etc... All the personnel are retired machanics who have alot of experience and are helpful to do-it-yourselfers.

If any of you are near a military base, it might be worth while to look into visiting the shop. Civilians are welcome.
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  #14  
Old 03-13-2000, 06:14 PM
LarryBible
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bradfordro,

4, 2ton floor jacks would get it in the air just fine, but I wouldn't get under it.

I never get under a car on a floor jack, even though you have four of them, it would only take one to have a hydraulic leak or an accidental trip. Find some jack stands and use them. If you don't have jack stands, ramps or a lift, buy some good jackstands, how much are your limbs or your life worth?

Good Luck

------------------
Larry Bible
'84 Euro 240D, 516K miles
'88 300E 5 Speed
Over 800,000 miles in
Mercedes automobiles
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