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Old 03-19-2000, 12:34 AM
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I am considering purchasing a 1991 190E 2.6. The car has all service records up to 64,000 miles that were maintained at a dealer. From the 64,000 miles the car has been serviced at an independent specializing in German Imports. All work such as water pump, minor trans line leak, brakes, muffler, etc have been performed in addition to regular oil changes. Aproximately 3000 miles ago (January) the owner was advised that the head gasket has developed a minor leak. The work has not been done and has been factored into the price. The car runs strong, exhaust is clean, and the engine runs and idles great. It appears that any oil that is leaking is coming from the valve cover gasket. The owner advises that the oil level between oil changes 3000-3500 miles is never low, but is down a bit. I plan on checking the spark plugs to see how they are burning tomorrow. The questions I have are:

(1) Is it normal for the head gasket to have to be changed out at 94,000 miles,

(2) How long can you safely drive the car without damaging the motor. The car currently is driven approx. 20 miles per day city driving.

(3) Am I correct in assuming that while in the process of changing out the head gasket, to change the valve cover, camshaft gaskets and the timing chain at this point & mileage.

(4) Any other advise you could provide and potential problems that result due to driving the car with a leaking head gasket, although minimal would be appreciated.


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Old 03-19-2000, 06:35 PM
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: kapolei,hawaii usa
Posts: 9
an external oil leak on the 103 engine if seeping,leave it.if you see an oil accumulation on the floor after driving this would be reason to replace.if the so called leak is from the front pass. side of the cyl head it could quite possibly be just the cyl head front cover leaking which is very common.if this has been resealed 2x's replace head gasket.if the oil leak is from the pass rear side of the head and just seeping,monitor at this time.use your timing chain repl. is needed the 103's are very strong,but if the head comes off have them check the tensioning rail for wear.

[This message has been edited by Webmaster (edited 03-19-2000).]
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Old 03-19-2000, 07:19 PM
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Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Suwanee, GA, USA
Posts: 4,712
I have seen the valve cover gasket leak misdiagnosed as a head gasket leak, but a head gasket leak would not be uncommon. If there, go ahead and do the valve guides. Just be sure that a good tech does it that has done many before.

1981 280GE SWB
1987 16V

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Old 03-24-2000, 12:00 AM
Posts: n/a
Is replacement of a head gasket on the 190E 2.6 a job for a competent home mechanic? Are there special non-intuitive procedures to be aware of? My 2.6 is leaking more oil than is tolerable and it appears to be from the rear passenger side of the head gasket. In case this is a job for a tech, do you recommend anyone in the Santa Barbara, CA area?
Matthew Clarke

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