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Old 04-07-2004, 08:11 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 2
Unhappy 1993 E320 5spd with low compression!


My father in law has a 1993 E320 5 spd with only 45,000 miles on it. The car lost power and he took it to the dealer. They say that the compression is very low and they're recommending a full rebuild to the tune of $ 6,000 dollars!. This is a lot of money considering all this is happening in Ecuador, South America where labor is very cheap.

The car is in perfect shape and doesn't have any leaks. I think they're taking advantage of him since he's a senior citizen. He's a heavy-footed driver but takes the car religiously to the dealer for services. He maintains it with an open check book attitude. I'm the one making him wait until I can get some guidance from the forum. He was ready to give the go-ahead to the dealer.

Even though is the authorized Benz dealer for Ecuador, the business practices down there are quite different and one has to be careful.

I'm a true fan of this forum. I've read all the problems that the head gaskets, valves, etc in this particular Benz present at low milleage.

Would a bad head gasket result in low compression?

How about the valve guides?

Does it sound that he just needs to rebuild the head? What are absolute "musts" when this job is done as far as up-to-date parts?

Thank you very much for any adivce on this matter.

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Old 04-07-2004, 08:58 AM
Posts: n/a
When a car loses power all of a sudden it usually does not indicate the need for a rebuild. Compression loss due to wear that is extreme enough to require overhaul happens gradually over a very long period of time unless something catastrophic occurs like running without oil or something.

Additionally these engines if properly maintained will go many, many miles without need of overhaul. What is more typical is that a head gasket will blow or maybe will become in need of a valve job. The bottom of the engine does not just wear out overnight. The bottom is very durable.

There are a number of things that could cause a sudden loss of power but it is difficult to troubleshoot all those things over the internet especially with the owner not being the one doing the troubleshooting.

Best of luck,
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Old 04-07-2004, 11:32 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 2
Thanks for your prompt response. One more thing, do you think a blown head gasket will cause a big drop in compression?


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