Help! What is this part leaking? Seal? Bushing? - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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#1 Old 12-01-2009
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Help! What is this part leaking? Seal? Bushing?

I took the following pictures of my SLK230. The leak is directly behind the rear differential. I'm hoping someone can help tell me what this part is and whether I might be able to replace it. There are apparently two of these (seals, bushings?), but only one is leaking (left a few oil spots on the garage floor). Thanks much for any help!
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#2 Old 12-02-2009
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#3 Old 12-02-2009
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#4 Old 12-03-2009
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Thank you Tslick! I'm really confused about this oil leak. The oil is coming from a rubber mount? Are the rubber mounts oil filled? The differential is not leaking anywhere. This seems strange to me. I doubt I can change the mount without dropping the differential. Hmmmm.... Thanks again Tslick!
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#5 Old 12-03-2009
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Anyone possibly know when the warranty expires in the United States? I'm thinking I'm outside the warranty coverage at 43,000 miles. I hope these mounts are not only good for 40K miles.
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#6 Old 12-03-2009
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I don't think you have a problem. It looks like the rubber bushings are used to support or protect the metal plate. It looks like a hex headed bolt is in each. My guess is that the oil leak is really some lubrication of them.

You don't appear to have any leaks at the third member and the rubber cover on CVJ is intact. BTW, on my previous cars, it was recommended these covers be coated with a silicone spray to protect them.
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#7 Old 12-03-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ejnordby View Post
Thank you Tslick! I'm really confused about this oil leak. The oil is coming from a rubber mount? Are the rubber mounts oil filled? The differential is not leaking anywhere. This seems strange to me. I doubt I can change the mount without dropping the differential. Hmmmm.... Thanks again Tslick!

I tend to agree - but I'm not a R170 expert. Is there anything about the bushings that could be leaking onto them?



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#8 Old 12-03-2009
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Originally Posted by UK-C200 View Post
I tend to agree - but I'm not a R170 expert. Is there anything about the bushings that could be leaking onto them?
Can you check WIS and determine if the two bushings or stops have lube points. I have the uneasy feeling someone used a grease gun trying to stop a squeak.

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#9 Old 12-04-2009
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Thank you VivreBien, UK-C200, & Tslick! Two more oil drops last night....I couldn't find any lube points on the bushings, and there haven't been any squeaks since I've had the car. An elderly lady had it new to 37,000 miles, and I've had it since then and it has 43,000 miles. If you guys recommend taking it to the dealer I will see what they say; I just hope there isn't a huge diagnostic charge.

Tslick - Forgive me, how do I check the WIS?
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#10 Old 12-05-2009
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Well the problem is getting worse. A big spot was left this morning (4-5 drops I assume). See picture. I also took a picture of the bushing without raising the car. Another drop is getting ready to fall. Hopefully I can get to the dealer next week, but they are open when I'm at work. I also added a picture of the other healthly bushing (one not leaking).
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File Type: jpg spot.jpg (24.3 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg leak.jpg (22.3 KB, 16 views)
File Type: jpg DSC01407.JPG (105.3 KB, 12 views)
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#11 Old 12-05-2009
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Alright 5 more drops in the last two hours without driving the car. This is really strange. I moved the car 5 inches since the last post (3 hours ago) to see how much was dripping. Something is leaking significantly.
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#12 Old 12-05-2009
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my 2˘
Is it worth the $100-$200 to take it to MB and find out exactly whats leaking.
If its something you can do yourself, you pay MB for the diagnosis, buy the parts and fix it yourself.
if its something more complicated then you may have to fork out some $ for MB or another Mechanic to fix it.
Regarding your warranty 4 years or 50,000 miles which ever comes first
extended warranty 5 years 100,000 miles which ever comes first.
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#13 Old 12-05-2009
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I've taken a closer look at those pics. First you do have a leak. When you start getting that many oil spots, you have a problem. Also the color of the oil suggests it came from a gear box.

I notice that the 3rd-member is directly behind the plate with the rubber bushings. Also there are bolts going through the bushings which probably screw into the housing and support the differential. Try to determine how the differential is supported in the car's chassis. You might take a look at how the plate is anchored at its ends. Is it a rigid attachment like welded? Likely it's bolted to allow removal.

What I suspect is the differential has a cover plate, and its gasket is leaking oil. The oil is finding its way to the support plate and dripping down. I don't think this is too serious. Can you find the fill hole/plug for the unit? If you can, unscrew it and check the level inside. It probably uses a common type of gear oil which your manual will identify. If needed, you can add oil.

Replacing the gasket wouldn't be a difficult job if you're handy. You would remove the support plate and then the cover and replace the gasket. Not a big deal but it would be expensive at MB labor rates. I suggest you find an independent shop.

Anyway, this is conjecture on my part. I am often wrong.
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#14 Old 12-06-2009
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Thank you leapyfish and VivreBien! Leapyfish - The car only has 43,000 miles and the leak started at 42K. So the miles warranty has not past, but it is 5 years old. I will try to speak to a manager at MB about it tomorrow. VivreBien - I agree that it looks like gear oil. The plate that the bushings are anchored in is bolted to the frame and can be removed. It appears to be some sort of stabilizer bar. I consider myself fairly handy with less fancy cars. I don't have the equipment or the experience with this car. I would like to learn though. I need a 14mm hex bit socket just to check the oil in the differential (which I don't have yet).

Oddly, there aren't any new oil spots this morning, and I drove the car 10 miles yesterday afternoon. The leak is intermittent. I raised the car and checked to see if oil is somehow leaking from the differential backplate onto the housing, and I have to say no. The top of the leaking bushing is completely dry (I ran my finger over it several times). I have an appointment at 12:30 at Merchant's tire today, and we'll see what they say. I called and they are intrigued.
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#15 Old 12-06-2009
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I'd be real hesitant to get information on anything but tires at Merchants.
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#16 Old 12-06-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ejnordby View Post
Thank you leapyfish and VivreBien! Leapyfish - The car only has 43,000 miles and the leak started at 42K. So the miles warranty has not past, but it is 5 years old. I will try to speak to a manager at MB about it tomorrow. VivreBien - I agree that it looks like gear oil. The plate that the bushings are anchored in is bolted to the frame and can be removed. It appears to be some sort of stabilizer bar. I consider myself fairly handy with less fancy cars. I don't have the equipment or the experience with this car. I would like to learn though. I need a 14mm hex bit socket just to check the oil in the differential (which I don't have yet).

Oddly, there aren't any new oil spots this morning, and I drove the car 10 miles yesterday afternoon. The leak is intermittent. I raised the car and checked to see if oil is somehow leaking from the differential backplate onto the housing, and I have to say no. The top of the leaking bushing is completely dry (I ran my finger over it several times). I have an appointment at 12:30 at Merchant's tire today, and we'll see what they say. I called and they are intrigued.
When you drive the car, the gears inside the differential throw the oil around which finds its way onto the plate. When the car sits, the oil isn't disturbed, and so you don't get any leaks.

I suggest you get yourself a basic set of hand tools like a set of 3/8" sockets and a rachet at Sears (many sales). As an owner it pays to be able to perform minor check like in this case the differential oil. Also I see no reason for the average handy person to have to pay exorbitant MB labor rates for stuff like changing filters and doing a general examination of the vehicle.

To be able to do these tasks, one must first become acquainted with the Owner's Manual. Next they need to read all the good advice on the forum which I'm in the process of doing.
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#17 Old 12-06-2009
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Thanks again VivreBien and sokoloff. I do have some good hand tools to work on American cars and Honda's, but outside of that I'm stuck.

I took the car to Merchant's and the shop manager was helpful (Merchant's was the only place open today). He's convinced the leak is coming directly from the bushing. He thinks the bushing is hydraulic filled. I don't know how to confirm this, but I will continue searching this site and the internet. With the car lifted up, we couldn't find any leaks on the differential. The repair to replace the bushing looks simple, but I'm sure it would be expensive at MB. Thanks again for your help.
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#18 Old 12-06-2009
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Originally Posted by ejnordby View Post
....... Tslick - Forgive me, how do I check the WIS?
WIS is MB's workshop information system. UK-C200 (John) has access.

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#19 Old 12-07-2009
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you need to try an indie shop. call any mb shop and ask them on the fone if the bushing is liquid filled. if not start tracing the leak. this is just a car. if you work on hondas you can work on these.
also harbour freight has a small adpter set with the 14 mm hex for under 20$
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#20 Old 12-07-2009
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Thank you 320 dreamer. I just got back from the dealer (and another shop they sent me to that was less expensive). Turns out the bushing is filled with hydraulic oil, and that is what is leaking. The gear oil is not leaking out of the differential. The dealer said it is a "comfort of ride issue" and much less serious that the differential leaking. To replace the bushing though requires 11+ hours of labor they said as the differential must be removed in order to use a puller to remove the bushing. I went by a local autohaus shop which will send a quote between 3-4 hours of labor. I might just clean up the bushing real well and watch it closely before doing anything. If anyone has suggestions I'm all ears.

Thanks to everyone who replied and enjoy your holidays.
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