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Old 04-14-2004, 04:13 PM
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Location: Durham, NC
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1995 C280 Differential Oil Leak

Today I was looking underneath my 1995 C280 and noticed oil dripping from the rear differential case. I could not really determine the source of the leak but was wondering if anyone knew what the most probable cause was and if it is something that would need to be addressed fairly quickly. Also, what kind of cost of repair am I looking at?

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Old 04-14-2004, 09:47 PM
Ali Al-Chalabi's Avatar
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Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Knoxville, TN
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Check the seals at the drive shaft and the side seals where the two half shafts come out. I would first make sure that the oil in the differential is at the proper level. How big is the leak? If it is just damp, not that much has probably come out. If it is a large leak, I would be more concerned about the fluid level.
Ali Al-Chalabi

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Old 04-15-2004, 07:44 AM
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I've read that a clogged breather can cause oil leaks. Check that the breather is functioning properly.
Fred Hoelzle
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Old 04-15-2004, 07:46 PM
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Location: Durham, NC
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Crawled underneath the C280 today to examine the oil leak. Seems to be only seepage since all oil on the outside of the differential is old and dry. Interesting since the dealer at last service indicated that this needed to be addressed within the next 3 months. They indicated it would take 6 hours of repair time at a total cost of $550!!! Very interesting since it does not look as if this needs to be addressed at this time. They also indicated it needed a head gasket which it does not since it is hardly even seeping at this time.

Some of the crap that Mercedes gets for frequency of repair I think is promoted by dealers who are out to make money for unnecessary repairs. Just my 2 cents worth.
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Old 04-15-2004, 08:04 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: St. Albert, Alberta, Canada
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That $550 price better be to change all three seals!

If the seals are sweating, I'm not sure what alternative the dealer should give you. If you want it corrected, there is nothing to do but change the seals. Otherwise, you can just live with it unless it gets worse.

Since the car is out of warranty, I'd probably leave both the final drive seals and the head gasket, monitor both conditions, and if they get to the point where action is required, then take it.
John Shellenberg
1998 C230 "Black Betty" 240K
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Old 04-16-2004, 08:56 AM
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I presume this price was to include all three differential seals. I will continue to monitor the head gasket since this is not a criticial issue (even they said I could let this go indefinitely) but am concerned about the differential seals. They indicated that I could let this go 3 months but definitely not longer than 6 months. What is your opinion blackmercedes? I trust your opinion based upon your other input on this board and would hate to damage the differential.

Last edited by BenzBob; 04-16-2004 at 09:03 AM.
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