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
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.
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
69 230 /8 60k mi
83 240D 255k mi
91 190E 1.8 170k mi
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
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!
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