Leaking Valve Cover (gasket) SLK 350 - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum
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#1 Old 12-31-2009
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Leaking Valve Cover (gasket) SLK 350

SLK 350 is leaking oil, I noticed oil on the garage floor the other day and found the drivers side valve cover gasket leaking oil. Bummer. The car warranty ended 12/4/2009. Talked to my local mercedes dealer, they want $300 bucks to change it. They won't cover it out of warranty honor and said I can try to talk to mercedes usa, but they are very strict about warranty stuff and dates/mileage. The car only has 45,800 miles on it. This is the first car I have ever owned (most expensive car too) that has had an oil leak this soon. I wonder about longevity of this car. Yes I do drive it into the triple digit speeds quite often, but it is a sports car in theory designed to handle it.

It was at the dealer in October for a leaking oil pan gasket which was covered under warranty cause the car was covered at the time. I have this feeling the dealer missed it.

So anyone do this job themselves? Looks pretty straight forward and easy to get to, can anyone post a Do it yourself? Any info would be helpful. Thanks.
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#2 Old 12-31-2009
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Ask the service advisor to call MBUSA and ask for "goodwill" from MBUSA. The car has low mileage and it's within 30 days of the warranty expiration and sometimes MBUSA will allow it under "goodwill". Or bargain: I pay for parts, MBUSA pays for labor (the more expensive part).

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#3 Old 12-31-2009
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It could be simple

My car I replaced this disc shape cover which sounds like the same leak. If so this is going to happen again. I bought extras and leave them in the trunk. All you need is a flat head screw driver. There are two small ones and One bigger one located at the back of the valve cover. Cheap 20 bucks in total. Use the screw driver to remove them. Just do the one that is leaking and wait for the others. Use your hand or palm to insert it. thats it. good luck
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#4 Old 12-31-2009
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Perhaps a photo of the aforementioned "discs" would help. Any parts nos.?

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#5 Old 12-31-2009
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If warranty doessnt work for u and u can't do it itself, buy the part and take it to an outside Mercedes technician, labor will be cheaper. It will most likely cost you half of what MB dealer quoted.
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#6 Old 01-01-2010
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Thanks for the info MrDougie. Any pics would be great as ETYU mentions.
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#7 Old 01-01-2010
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Thanks for all the feedback, MrDoughie I think I know what you are talking about. It is leaking at the rear of the valve cover and I can't be 100% sure it is the valve cover gasket, but it is coming from that area, I rub my hand on the back and it gets oil on it and I can see it burning off the exhaust. Picture would be very helpful - tough angle for a camera. So it is just a screw driver to pop them out and push them in. I see them on the back side. Do you have part number and did you get from the dealer?
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#8 Old 01-01-2010
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This may seem obvious, but the first step in dealing with a leaking gasket is to make sure that the bolts or screws that attach the part to the engine are tight.
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#9 Old 01-01-2010
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expansion plugs

New to getting pics on this site, hope they show. If not the part #'s are
000-998-56-90 the bigger one ($3.90). 000-998-55-90 smaller one (3.00). The driver side will have a big one and small one, the Bigger one is visible and the smaller one is lower and closer in the direction of the tire. A mirror will aid in removing and install. The passenger side, not sure. Parts department said there is a small one.
Must say when I was getting the parts they where not sure of what I was talking about. They looked at my car then at diagrams to locate the parts. Then it came to there surprise that they sold so many and had a lot of stock. There is a problem. Good thing is it's easy to do yourself. Passenger side is unknown. Get an extra's.
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#10 Old 01-01-2010
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Thank you much for the photos of the caps. It looks like there's a molded rubber ring (similar to o-ring) on the large and small caps/covers. A light coat of engine oil on these rings before you install them will help the rubber seal better.
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#11 Old 01-01-2010
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Originally Posted by mrdougie View Post
My car I replaced this disc shape cover which sounds like the same leak. If so this is going to happen again. I bought extras and leave them in the trunk. All you need is a flat head screw driver. There are two small ones and One bigger one located at the back of the valve cover. Cheap 20 bucks in total. Use the screw driver to remove them. Just do the one that is leaking and wait for the others. Use your hand or palm to insert it. thats it. good luck
This is the more likely culprit.

EPC suggests "See DTB S-B-01.30/23a regarding oil seepage from back of cylinder head."

Just for fun ... "valve cover" is such a grating term and reminds of smallblock chebbies or things of that ilk. On a nice DOHC engine like this maybe "cam cover" sounds better.

Actually Mercedes calls it "cylinder head cover" and there is NO GASKET. Rather sealant (Loctite 5970) is used.

WIS Procedure AR01.20-P-5014VA, "Removing/installing the cylinder head cover," is the relevant procedure (for left side) and FWIW there are 16 steps listed prior to loosening the bolts and prying the cover off.

You REALLY want the leak to be from the plastic plugs.
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#12 Old 01-01-2010
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Thank you, to all of you who provided great information especially mrdougie. After I saw the pictures I went out and checked and 100% the large plug is the one leaking, so thats a good thing (not really but compared to the alternative, much better than the Cam Cover). I will try to use the new terms but my first car was an AMC Gremlin then upgraded to a Pinto (is than an upgrade?), so Valve Cover is near and dear.

Anyway, it is not the cylinder head cover, but I won't ask the question on a car of this caliber why is there a hard plastic plug in my engine, I am sure there is a good reason from those Mercedes Engineer's.

I have included a couple of picture of where the plugs are located.

Again thanks to everyone, great forum!
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#13 Old 01-01-2010
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note on install

Thanks Eddy to the note on the light coat of oil on the plug. There is a seam on the plug due to the manufacturing process. I installed the seam at 3 and 9 o'clock just in case it was the cause of the leak. I might of used a little grease instead of oil, don't remember.
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#14 Old 11-16-2011
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I guesse its the 05 and 06 models only, since after then the number has changed.
Let's call it work in progress...

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#15 Old 11-16-2011
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I've changed mine because of leaks
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#16 Old 11-16-2011
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Great post, I didn't know where all this freaking oil was coming from, found the large plug seeping like crazy, and the smaller one right besides seeping a little less, just on top of the gearbox and right cat...

Ordered them (x3) and will change them in a few days...

Thanks guys...
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#17 Old 01-21-2012
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Is this the same as the "rear cam caps" are leaking?
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#18 Old 03-24-2012
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Awesome! helpful post. I have the exact same problem with my 2006 SLK 350, I saw a white smoke came off the grating at driver side and burning smell when I started my car after two days of being off. then I checked the engine and I saw little bit of oil under large expansion plug. I took the car to independent dealer for checking and he said valve cover gasket and exp plugs needs to be changed and 600$ quote for me! he didn't mentioned anything about changing plug and torquing the bolts and as next step changing valve gasket if it doesn't work. anyway I am going to buy expansion plugs and check/torque the bolts myself. does anyone has required torque numbers and procedure to change expansion plugs?
Let me share this feeling with you too, every-time I look at my SLK 350 nose I whisper HOW WONDERFUL YOU ARE!
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#19 Old 03-24-2012
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Welcome aboard Shawn. Jeff will be along shortly with some check-in suggestions.


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#20 Old 12-27-2012
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Just have my car back from MB service, more oil leak were discovered:
3 CAM PLUGS leaking oil
ENGINE BREATHER FLANGE leaking oil
RIGHT CAM SENSOR leaking oil
Total for parts and labor for 2hrs $867.96
Car has only 45k miles, this scarey to keep this car any longer.
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