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Old 08-15-2007, 03:42 PM
JamesDean's Avatar
Electrical Engineer
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: NE Ohio
Posts: 5,034
w201 m103 questions...

hey everyone,

I have a few questions for the experts:

I really havent driven my 2.6 a whole lot this summer (maybe 250 miles total). I put gas in it back in may and a few gallons here and there when needed but not a full tank since may. I've noticed some spots on my driveway. they appear fairly dry when i notice them. Not oily at all and dont have much of a smell to them. I think they might be coolant somehow. I checked the reservoir and it appears about 1/4" below the mark. I filled it up to slightly above the mark, ran the engine and I might have been wrong..I uncapped the tank and the level was pretty high almost to the cap and overflow let off area. So I imagine that if the engine gets to 100C (a/c stop n go traffic) that it can get up to there and let some into the overflow tank.

That still does not explain these marks. Oil is right where it should be in the middle of the two marks. The coolant (as far as I remember) has always sat so its is just barely visible by looking down the hole.

Another thing was after I let the engine run until it was at 80C..I put my hand to the exhaust and after a short time my hand was (obviously warm) a little moist. No smell but just moist. The past oil changes have always been just that oil. Here is a sample of the coolant I took today after the 80C run.

I dont see any oil in there. It just looks exhaust tips are somewhat bend downward from an accident so maybe rain could have entered into the tips. I dont know. The engine has 204k on it.

If it is the headgasket, I know the gasket itself is ~50. What would you think a decent shop would charge? With the head off what else should be done? Valve stem seals, chain, guides, tentioner, port & polish? What do you think all that will run me?

Thanks Guys,


EDIT: maybe i should send a sample of my oil to one of those lab places?
EDIT2: I believe the marks to be oil. I just hosed down the area my car sat in because as I was adding coolant to the tank I spilled some. The marks are oil as the water just pooled on top of them and didnt wash them away. It doesnt appear to be a major oil leak. I have two 617s that spot the drive way quite a bit.

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Last edited by JamesDean; 08-15-2007 at 04:06 PM.
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Old 08-15-2007, 04:30 PM
the tenor man's Avatar
Registered User
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 152
Just a few thoughts....

First, are you sure the spots are coming from the 2.6? Place a large piece of cardboard under the car and park it there after a short drive...then you'll be sure.

I think that the coolant looks fine because it appears that there is no oil in it, but look in the tank and see if there is any oily residue at the level of the coolant...if not try this...

Get a radiator pressure tester and put it where the cap goes, then let the engine warm-up and see what the pressure gauge shows...if it's really high, then a bad head gasket may be the problem...

You may want to check all of the coolant hoses including the heater hoses...a small leak may be the problem.

Sometimes this engine will have a bad head gasket, and the oil will leak out along the side of the engine and blow towards the back of the car...check the firewall and see if it has oil spots on it also.

Just my 2 worth...

The Tenor Man

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