Smelly 190E

I have a 1987 190E which has travelled 105,000km. Recently the cabin has a smell, which the agent asked me to describe. At first I thought it was an exhaust smell, but I've had the exhaust
checked by 4 garages, with no sign of leaks. There's no oil usage, and no coolant visibly usage. The smell is worst after the engine is hot, and on stopping at traffic lights. It's also quite strong outside the car when I drive it into my garage, on getting out, at the front of the car. My MB dealer is also at a loss, but suggests having the engine steam cleaned. Any suggestions? John
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Maybe you ran over a roadkill that was ensconced on the underbelly of your 190E? Don't laugh. It happens.
--
R Green
Tech Support
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Rotten egg smell = catalytic convertor Sweet smell = coolant
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it's possible that your valve stem oil seals are going/have gone. this would introduce (partly combusted) oil vapour into the engine bay ... not a nice smell, and not too good for your health either. the mileage of the engine suggests that this could easily be the case. because it's just vapour, you wouldn't see a noticeable drop in oil level.

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having read your post again - are you sure there's only 105,000km on the engine? it seems low for an '87 car

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had a bad smell, too...some years ago...on my 190E it was mobil1 synthetic exiting the back ob the valve cover seal and dripping onto the exhaust manifold...
got new valve cover and seal...(since cover was bent and black plastic coating came off...floating around inside my engine ;O( )
never smelled it again
alex
69 230 /8 60k mi 83 240D 255k mi 91 190E 1.8 170k mi

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I lost the gasket on my oil filler cap. Oil was leaking onto the exhaust manifold.

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Are you using the air conditioning? Bacterial and fungal build up in the air con system can produce a ghastly and nauseating stink when it is in use, or sometimes even when it's not, depending on what vents are in common on the car! This is easily cured by introducing an anti-bacterial agent into the air con system.
Alternatively, has anyone split something inside the car? I dropped a pint of milk in an old Nissan...although I carefully cleaned the spill up, the smell a few days later was awful, like living in a cheese factory. I had to use a steam cleaner in the end to get rid of it.
-- Al Bolton, G4VSQ 1990 Mercedes 500SE 130,000 miles 1988 Mercedes 260E 155, 000 miles http://www.reading-city.net/Vintage_Radios

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Thanks everyone for your help. I normally leave all my servicing to the garages/agents etc. As I said I'd taken the car in to four agents (including the MB agents twice, complaining about the smell) but the only advice I got was "steam clean the engine". When my wife and checked the car yesterday, we found the hose connecting the rocker cover to the air intake was not connected!!! It had come off at some stage., so we had been breathing in the mist from the valve cover! We took the air filter off and reconnected the tubes. No more smell. Well, as I always say it pays to do your own servicing! Regards, John
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