I have a sad story to tell about the C240 that I used to own
prowdly. I was driving on the west side highway by 95th street (NY
City) when I ran into a puddle of water; I would estimate a few inches
at most. Every other vehicule went though the same puddle and made it
home, I didn't. After hitting the puddle, the car stalled and wouldn't
start again. The lights and radio worked but the car would just not
start. It wasn't even trying to start...
I had the car towed to Mercedes in Long Island City NY. They
tell me that the engine is blown due to water entering into the engine.
They said that this was my problem and it would NOT be covered under
waranty. I than called my insurance company to proceed with a write off
as the total bill came to over 10 000$.
I have been waiting 5 weeks now and I am not any closer to
getting the car back. Apparently the parts are back ordered and will
have to come from Germany, they won't arrive until December or January.
Guess what? The insurance company only covers rental cars for the first
30 days from the date of the claim. I must now rent a car at 35$/day
which is 1085$ /month. Even when I get the car back I will be scared to
take it out in the rain! Allstate didn't make it easier as they decided
Has anyone else had these issues with this car? The air intake
is on the bottom of the bumper to maximise performance. However they
neglected to use an Air Bypass valve to prevent water from entering
into the engine. '
I have made repeated calls to Mercedes to no avail, I am just
getting the run around saying the they will get the parts...
Disgruntled Mercedes Owner
There's plenty of rain in Germany where this model was designed. This
smells like old fish, IMHO.
Water entering the air intake would have to gush through the duct and
through the air filter and on into the engine. If you hit a two foot
deep puddle at speed that could happen but doubtful otherwise, IMHO.
Did Allstate examine the car as part of their adjustment process? Was
Allstate satisfied that the engine is, in fact, ruined?
If I was convinced that the engine is ruined (you can hire an inspector
to determine that) then I'd put pressure on Allstate to either total the
car and pay me of get things moving on its repair.
A further thought, for what it's worth:
Newer fuel injected engines have an air flow meter - it's called the
Mass Air Sensor - and meters the air entering the engine. This device is
located after the paper air filter and is VERY delicate. It's a critical
input to the engine's computer and if it were to get wet the engine
won't run, period. The air sensor consists of some wires in the air
stream and it measures the air flow simply by the temperature difference
between these wires. A bit of dirt on a wire causes the "check engine
light" to come on so a bit of water might just shut down the engine.
I would NOT rely on the dealer's honesty in this matter - too much money
is at stake. Yes, they WILL install another engine, that's not the
honesty issue, the question is whether that's at all necessary. If this
were my car I'd want to be convinced of that need.
The more I think of it the more convinced I get that water hitting the
Mass Air Sensor will absolutely stop the engine - the reading would be
off the engine computer's scale.
You wrote that afterward it wouldn't start. The engine is not wrecked if
hmmmmm my friend (a mechanic) drove his 90's Jetta into and got stuck in a deep
puddle. He went back to the shop, opened the valve
cover and cranked the engine and water shot all over the garage; what happened
to you shouldn't have caused any mechanical
The whole thing sounds pretty strange to me. Event the insurance
part. I'd be very surprised that a normal auto insurance policy would
even pay off on this kind of thing, given their ability to try to
weasel out of stuff that they are clearly responsible for. As others
have suggested, I'd take the car elsewhere for a second opinion. The
cost of towing could even be offset by getting the work done at a more
reasonable price elsewhere.
I seriously doubt that the engine was "destroyed" with a small amount
of water. The filter would block most of it and I think the engine
would stall before enough water could enter the cylinder and bend a
rod (through the magic of hydraulics).
Heck, before electronics, we used to clean the carbon off the top of
pistons by spraying water (just a small trickle) from a hose into the
intake with the engine running! There were some that recommended you
use trans fluid to do the same, boy did that make a lot of smoke!!
All the best to you,
Bob 95 S320
On 14 Nov 2005 15:33:19 -0800, email@example.com wrote:
Yes, the good ole days....... I hate to think of the toxic fumes or
hydrocarbons we were releasing.......The county used to spray the old
oil from the vehicle maintenance department on the dirt roads to keep
the dust down back in the 60's and 70's here near Orlando, FL!!
On Tue, 15 Nov 2005 18:50:03 GMT, John Schofield
Let me offer answers to some of the "parts" of your story as well as to some
of the comments of your "well wishers".
The main issue at hand is "taking in water through the intake system". This
is very possible in many vehicles, unfortunately it also includes M-Benz
vehicles. I know, I am in the business. First of all, merely driving over a
small puddle should not cause problems, that of course depends greatly on the
speed you are driving at. Yes, water could be sucked up into the intake
system, past the air filter and eventually past the "AIR MASS FLOW SENSOR".
At this time the engine more than likely stalls. If only a small amount of
water enters the cylinders [very small amount] you may get lucky. Plugs are
to be removed, cylinders dried out. Replace air filter and very possibly the
mass flow sensor. Reset engine parameters.
Now, if you have too much water enter the cylinders your engine "HYDROLOCKS"
and it becomes next to impossible to crank, water cannot be compressed in the
engine. Yes, connecting rods are bent, possibly valves [in some engines], and
I have seen where a rod breaks and punches a hole on the side of the block.
As far as the recommended repairs go, it all depends on how much damage was
done, and what parts are currently available from M-Benz. Based on the going
labor rate at most dealerships, it is sometimes less expensive to replace the
"short" or "long block" rather than attempt repairs. A new long block carries
a 4 year factory warranty. Also, storm damaged areas of our country have
placed great demands on parts suppliers. Prepare to experience delays in
You have another option to try and get your car back sooner. Unless it is a
new car, you may want to consider a used engine from a salvage yard. These
can also come with a warranty. Also, consider "monthly rental" vs "daily
rental" [you may be able to deduct some of your losses at the end of the year]
In the good 'ol days we may have added a water "spray" through the carburator
to break down carbon deposits., but it was a "water spray" not a running
faucet. Also, we did'nt have mass flow sensors, catalytic converters or
oxygen sensors then.
Hope you have a good insurance company with a small deductible, because as
you were told, "it is not a warranty issue".
Think of the bright side, you're safe! Good Luck! God Bless!
And on the new 112 and 113 engines, you CANNOT get 1 piston from MB by itself.
You need 1 piston?
You get a bare block fitted with pistons.
I believe his story 100%. The rods bend unbelieveably easy. Everything is
lighter in weight to
increase fuel economy. The days of 15 lb. connecting rods are long gone. It is
all about CAFE,
Corporate Average Fuel Economy. The higher the average, the bigger the tax
credits. How do you think
Ford can sell those gas-guzzling SUV's? By off-setting them with the POS Focus.
Read about it here:
You seem to be quite familiar with the Mercedes Benz
procedures. Have you seen many other Mercedes that have had these types
of "HYDROLOCK" issues? As for the car, Allstate inspected it and it
they also concluded that the engine was gone. I have also gotten a
monthly rental from Enterprise. Hopefully I'll have it back in January!
I am glad to have been of some help. As "Phat Boy Slim" indicates...any
"combustion" engine can "hydrolock". However, with the question you now ask
me, it is not a matter of wether all or some M-Benzes hydrolock or not, but
rather- which ones are more prone to "hydrolock".
The response: any of the modernday US bound sedans or coupes can hydrolock a
lot easier than will the SUV's [ML class & G-wagon]. Inherent design
[placement] of intake system, that's all. Only time will tell about the new R-
Make sure you keep service records on your new engine in case warranty
issues crop up.
PS- If you ever get a new "SLR' don't drive in the rain! :)
Thanks for your support Karl.
Message posted via CarKB.com
Must be the post-merger Chrysler influence. I remember how, back in
the Seventies and Eighties, I used to see disproportionate numbers of
Chrysler vehicles that were stalled in the rain or after driving into
(Another, contemporary observation I made about Chrysler products was
that old people always seemed to drive them. Today's crop of American
crumblies now seems to favor Buicks.)
"Many of the same people who cry 'No blood for oil!' also want higher
gas-mileage standards for cars. But higher mileage standards have
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