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Old 09-25-2003, 05:27 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Indianapolis
Posts: 109
M103 oil pump longevity (loud valvetrain on startup)

Our 89 300TE (190K miles, Mobil 1 since 60K, original valvetrain) gives me pause on startup. Oil pressure gauge goes to 1 bar, and then it's 2-3 seconds until it reaches 3 bar on fast idle. You can hear the valvetrain clicking until oil pressure gets above 1 bar. Runs perfectly after that.

This is my first vehicle with this kind of mileage - any thoughts/experience on longevity of oil pump or other causes of this?


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Old 09-25-2003, 09:22 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Southern California
Posts: 2,010
Make sure you use the correct Bosch or other quality replacement oil filter with a built in anti-drainback valve. Filters without them will fit, but the oil can drain out, even overnight, and it will take a few seconds for the oil pump to refill them and achieve full oil pressure.

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Old 09-25-2003, 10:57 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 3,726
The first thing to check is the sending unit, which is not only the likely problem, but also cheap compared to everything else it could be.
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Old 09-25-2003, 11:54 PM
blackmercedes's Avatar
Just a guy
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: St. Albert, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,492
Possible noises:

Lifters that have bled down.

Timing chain tensioner that needs pressure.

Timing chain itself.

You may need some top end work, or simply a new timing chain and tensioner. If never done, I'd bet the chain and tensioner are done.
John Shellenberg
1998 C230 "Black Betty" 240K

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Old 09-29-2003, 08:38 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 71
Mine just had timing gear replaced and it has a similar problem. after a few seconds, it quiets down. How would one know if the oil sender is not working?
currently just 1989 300SE 185k miles
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