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miguelsamonte
Pit Crew

PLEASE HELP: 2000 Mercedes Benz E320 4Matic Station Wagon slow leak

Hi Collectors,

 

I'm not sure how to mitigate the situation properly. I have white floors in my garage an am noticing the following symptoms with my 2000 Mercedes Benz E320 4Matic Station Wagon:

 

  1. There is a frequent small leak on my floor right underneath where the engine is, and the color of the leak is brown but it does not appear to be thick oil.
  2. The AC does not blow cold air unless it is cold outside but the heater works properly.
  3. When I tried to recharge the AC system, the pressure was too high roughly 88psi on the low-pressure side so I decided not to move forward with the refrigerant.

 

My gut and Google Search is telling me these issues may be all related but I don't have the credibility to back up that sentiment.

 

I have zero mechanical knowledge beyond how to change oil, change out headlights, and this is the only only car I own that actually has a spare tire so I don't know how to unmount tires either as I never needed to. On the R210, I see a few videos YouTube on how to replace the compressor but I am not sure if this is what’s wrong with the vehicle, what needs to be repaired or if I should try a few other checks and thoroughly diagnose the issue.

 

I came to a realization I need to know the ins and outs of my cars because one dealership charged me $334 for a rear fog light on the right side of the Mercedes. I soon discovered when I read the Owner's Manual one evening, there's only 1 rear fog light for my vehicle and it's on the left side. Normally I would be rather displeased but I kept my mouth shut and called it a fair trade as I took their loaner vehicle on a road trip far far away and paid less than $0.20 per mile I drove.

 

With all of the above being said, your comments and advice is greatly welcomed.

3 REPLIES 3
Sajeev
Community Manager

When A/Cs leak, the stuff normally turns into a gas and disappears instantly, so the brown leak is engine oil. Gaskets go bad over time and a 21 year old vehicle likely has a few gaskets that need attention. 

 

The A/C issue sounds like you could have a bad electric fan (especially if you have a second fan that only activates with the A/C turned on), the fliter in the liquid line (often called a drier) could be plugged up, or maybe the system is just overpressurized. No matter, you will need the fancy A/C recovery tool to evacuate the system to test and help diagnose the problem. It's not worth throwing parts at a problem, you will need an A/C specialist to help. 

miguelsamonte
Pit Crew

Hi Sajeev,

 

Thanks for replying. For the oil leak, my instinct is telling me to remove the beauty cover, conduct a steam clean and spot check for leaks. Or would you recommend a different approach and to just try and reseal whatever I can Google or find in a  Youtube video for my chassis? With steam cleaning, the hiccup I've encountered is in my area steam cleaning engines are becoming a rare service provided because of the environmental hazards it presents and the added expense the shop has to properly dispose of the waste.

 

As for the A/C issue, do you have a recommended A/C Recovery tool I can look into or do you think I can easily find one if I rented a garage to repair my vehicle inside of. Don't they usually have tools? Maybe a CarCierge question?

 

I simulated an invoice replacing a few parts and I came up with roughly $500 in parts for the A/C if need be. This would be an aftermarket condenser, an OEM A/C Hose, a new Receiver Drier, and an OEM A/C Compressor, and new filters in and out. On my end, replacing parts seems easier than diagnosing the old parts but I have fairly limited knowledge in this.

 

What's your take if I diagnosed the issue and evacuated a plug v. replacing parts? Would it be more cost efficient? Is there a likelihood I would damage my own vehicle? Could there be another hose that's plugged up? I really wouldn't know. I just googled A/C Hoses compatible with my car and added them to the cart to see how it would look.

Sajeev
Community Manager

For the oil leak you might not need to steam clean to find it, but steam cleaning is a great idea (if you protect electronics). 

 

You do not want to buy an A/C recovery tool, as they are thousands of dollars and huge. This is why I mentioned you need an A/C specialist, i.e. a trusted local mechanic to help. Don't waste your time trying to diagnose it, you need an expert to do the following. 

  1. Evacuate the system
  2. Test it to see if it holds vacuum (probably does) 
  3. refill it, possibly with a dye to check for leaks