Advice needed

I have a 1991 190E 2.6 with 200,000 miles on it. I have just been told I need a new air pump, radiator, and water pump, which will cost me over $2000. I have no choice but to fix, but my question is what to do about the
car after that. I am fond of it and have taken meticulous care with it over the five years I had it, and so did the previous owner. Is it time to part ways with the car and cut my losses? Or can I run the car to 300,000 miles, with a few painful repairs here and there? Thanks for any thoughts. Victoria
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Victoria, first ask yourself. Is the car leaving pools of water on your driveway? If not, then I wonder why you need a radiator and/or waterpump. The reason I ask is because of the 'air pump' that you need. No such thing on your car AFAIK.
-regards, Guenter

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Thanks for responding Guenter. The car is making a grinding noise from the engine compartment. I was told that the noise was from the bearings in something called the air injection pump {?]which has to do with the emission system (part $1100, repair $1250). The car was also getting very hot in idle. I was told that is because the water pump is leaking in the back ($720), and that the radiator is plugged up ($690). I had recently had the fan clutch and sensor and thermostat replaced. I never noticed any pools of water.
Victoria
wrote:

the
over
part
miles,
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Gunther has a good point here.
When a water pump leaks, it leaks water, and while driving unless its real bad is not very obvious. However when you stop it will dribble onto the ground, for at least some time.
A small leak will sometimes stop when the engine cools down, as it takes some pressure to force out the water.
Might be wise to take it to a shop well away from your usuall haunts, tell that guy whats happening and get a 2nd opinion. DONT tell him that you have had it to another mechanic.
The grinding noise could well be the water pump, they get a bit growley, when the bearings start to go. They usually have a little hole in the pump to let water getting past the bearing leak out to let you know.
Might even be wise to get a male friend to take it, some people will try to exploit a womans lack of mechanical knowledge. I may be a sexist old pig myself, but I dont try to profit from it.
V. Stafford wrote:

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I can save you a good bit of money here by telling you how you can you can fix your air injection pump in only a couple of minutes. Ask the mechanic to show you shich belt drives the air injection pump and ask him if that is all that belt does (I'm 99% sure that IS all that belt does). Then get a sharp knife and cut that belt and take it out of the car. That thing is useless. Also, radiator plugged up? How plugged could it be? When was the last time the coolant was flushed? If the answer to the last question is I don't know or more than 3 years, have it flushed (should cost too much, even at a dealer). How hot is the car getting at idle? Did this start after or before the thermostat was replaced? Get a guy, not only that but a grizzly looking guy to take the car in (to a different shop so that they won't recognize the car) and have him ask what you need. They will be more likely to tell the truth that way. Richard
wrote:

I
about
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A 91 190E 2.6 USA car most certainly does have a air pump. And yes, the pulley bearing is the weakest part of it. But unless it has cut into the aluminum snout of the pump, all you need to replace is the clutch assembly. A lot cheaper then the complete pump. The clutch assembly is around $300. Labor should only be about 1/2 hour more than replacing the pump, since you still have to r&r it to replace the clutch assembly.
And NO, you CANNOT cut the belt that runs the air pump. You only have ONE serpentine belt to run every thing.
wrote:

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serpentine belt to run

Dang, I wasn't sure when Benz went to serpentine but I didn't think it was with the 190E. Richard, who likes his 380SE, even with its problems, because he can cut belts
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    all right, sorry, I stand corrected. What does this 'air pump' do? Why does my 1993 190 2.3 get along without one. I take it this is some kind of turbo charger then??
- regards
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The air pump runs during the first few minutes of a cold start to help the engine warm up faster. Basically it just pumps warm air into the engine. This was also to help emissions during those first few minutes. Richard
wrote:

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Well, the only way the car was leaving the shop was for me to pay $200 for the "diagnosis" only, or replace the pump for $1300. So I replaced the pump. :( No one told me I could replace the clutch assembly only. I hope the clutch assembly is not the same thing as the fan clutch assembly, which I just replaced a few months ago.
I decided, by necessity, to hold off on the radiator and water pump (despite the $60 for the diagnosis) and take your advice and get a male friend to bring it elsewhere to see if they give the same advice.
Ignorance is not bliss but money when it comes to cars.
I still wonder if it's time to part ways with this car, or not.
Victoria
wrote:

I
about the

over
part
miles,
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I think it's time to part ways with your shop. If my mechanic finds something wrong (on the rare occasion that I feel the problem is serious enough to warrant a pro) with the car and it's too much money for me, I tell him so, and unless it took him hours upon hours to find the problems, it's no charge. Where the heck are you taking this thing? Richard
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If this car gets to 250K without a major repair (engine and / or transmission overhaul) I suggest you sell it and move on to a newer car. Old cars are fine for DIY owners but get terribly expensive when they need to be professionally repaired.
The useful life of your car is simply less than a car owned by a DIY owner who doesn't pay the DIY labor cost of the inevitable repairs.
Take it to a local radiator shop and have the radiator cleaned - inside and outside - before the hot summer weather.
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