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I've got the next few days off of work and figured I'd try and tackle a pesky oil leak. My problem is, I'm not sure how to figure out where it's coming from. I've looked from the top (can't see any leaks) and I've looked from under the car (I can't see where the leak is coming from, but I see the aftermath). I've taken some pictures and I am hoping someone might be able to point me in the right direction. Is there a leak commonly associated with the areas the leaked oil is landing/spreading to? I've tried to outline in red where I see the wettest/most oil. I rebuilt my hydraulic cylinder (front of roof) last weekend with the help of this site, so I'm feeling pretty DIYish confident right now haha!!
 

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Get under the car and get the engine bay nice and clean. It is easier to trace an oil leak when it is clean.
 

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Thanks! I actually started doing that last night :) This car sat undriven for quite some time before I bought it and a lot of the wires, etc. are kind of brittle looking. So I started at the top and I'm cleaning everything by hand and not spraying any water. I'd be hesitant to use water even if everything was in pristine condition. Is there a way to clean up all that oil from under the car so I can see the oil leak better without having to use water?
 

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Thanks! I actually started doing that last night :) This car sat undriven for quite some time before I bought it and a lot of the wires, etc. are kind of brittle looking. So I started at the top and I'm cleaning everything by hand and not spraying any water. I'd be hesitant to use water even if everything was in pristine condition. Is there a way to clean up all that oil from under the car so I can see the oil leak better without having to use water?
You can use brake cleaner but be sure to only use it on the metal.
 

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You can use brake cleaner but be sure to only use it on the metal.


OK, this brake cleaner stuff....is UH-mazing! I think I'll go back and buy their entire stock LOL!


I got everything nice and clean and haven't noticed anymore leaking (so far). I'll keep a check on it and hopefully it will make itself known so I can get her fixed up. I'm pretty sure this site has turned me into a DIY monster :grin: I never want to take my car to a mechanic ever again for anything, LOL!
 

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OK, this brake cleaner stuff....is UH-mazing! I think I'll go back and buy their entire stock LOL!


I got everything nice and clean and haven't noticed anymore leaking (so far). I'll keep a check on it and hopefully it will make itself known so I can get her fixed up. I'm pretty sure this site has turned me into a DIY monster :grin: I never want to take my car to a mechanic ever again for anything, LOL!
Good luck :tu:

Ever since I started doing things myself I have only taken my cars to the shop to have a tire alignment done because unfortunately I do not have the tools required for that. Keep it up! :Beer:
 

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Administrator 2009 SLK 55 AMG/Founding Member 2006
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u can edit your posts. i did it 4 u
 

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Thanks! I actually started doing that last night :) This car sat undriven for quite some time before I bought it and a lot of the wires, etc. are kind of brittle looking. So I started at the top and I'm cleaning everything by hand and not spraying any water. I'd be hesitant to use water even if everything was in pristine condition. Is there a way to clean up all that oil from under the car so I can see the oil leak better without having to use water?
Since you mentioned the car had been sitting for some time without being driven, you may luck out. I certainly hope you are lucky. While she was sitting, gaskets and seals dried out. When you started everything circulating again, it took a while for the oil get back in certain places. Sometimes they manage to seal back up with absolutely no leaks.

I have owned an old 56 bird for a number of years now. If I drive it on a regular basis, and by that I mean once a week or two, It manages to hold all it's liquids quite well. During the winter however everything dries out, and when I roll it out in the spring, I have to add several quarts of trans fluid. I know I should force myself to get it out so It won't leak so badly but bad weather and old age makes it more and more hard each year.
 

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You might like to take a look at a recent thread of mine about an oil leak in a similar location, see here.

It took me a while to find the source, as oil was being sprayed everywhere, at one point I was convinced it was automatic transmission fluid, as it dripped from those pipes you see in your photos.

But in the end it was the crankshaft oil seal. Like yourself, I am trying to fix things myself, but in this case I was chicken and took it to a garage. They did it in under 2 hours. There are descriptions of how to do it on this forum here.

Good luck.
 

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Good luck :tu:

Ever since I started doing things myself I have only taken my cars to the shop to have a tire alignment done because unfortunately I do not have the tools required for that. Keep it up! :Beer:
I've taken it to the shop twice now since I got it in October. I'm not good at diagnosing, but once I know what it is, and with this help of this site, I'm willing to attempt anything (as long as I have the tools or can get them at an auto parts store as a loaner). The first time I took it in, my window wouldn't roll all the way up. It lacked about an inch. Otherwise worked fine. So I swung by a German shop and the guy rolled my window up and down twice and says "Yep, you need a new window regulator. Bring it in tomorrow and I'll put it in." I called BS on him (tactfully, of course), and I came home, took my door apart, and adjusted the window a bit. It worked like a charm! Take that Mr. "Certified" MB Mechanic :)

The next time I had to take it, my car had started dying while I was driving down the road and was happening frequently. I couldn't for the life of me figure out what it was. So I took it to a guy that works after hours (for a WAY discounted rate) at the Mercedes dealership and he diagnosed it as the K40 relay. Since he was able to get me the K40 relay for his cost, I told him to just go ahead and order me a new one rather than re-soldering the joints and pop it in for me. When I got the car back, everything was hooked up properly, but he didn't even seat it back in there right. He had just shoved it in, paying no attention to the goldish colored clip that actually holds it in place.

I am with you on the DIY. You save so much money! And you learn SO much! I've had pretty much every one of the widely known "problems" with this car and all my friends are always asking me why in the world don't I just sell it. They just don't get it hee hee.
 

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I've taken it to the shop twice now since I got it in October. I'm not good at diagnosing, but once I know what it is, and with this help of this site, I'm willing to attempt anything (as long as I have the tools or can get them at an auto parts store as a loaner). The first time I took it in, my window wouldn't roll all the way up. It lacked about an inch. Otherwise worked fine. So I swung by a German shop and the guy rolled my window up and down twice and says "Yep, you need a new window regulator. Bring it in tomorrow and I'll put it in." I called BS on him (tactfully, of course), and I came home, took my door apart, and adjusted the window a bit. It worked like a charm! Take that Mr. "Certified" MB Mechanic :)

The next time I had to take it, my car had started dying while I was driving down the road and was happening frequently. I couldn't for the life of me figure out what it was. So I took it to a guy that works after hours (for a WAY discounted rate) at the Mercedes dealership and he diagnosed it as the K40 relay. Since he was able to get me the K40 relay for his cost, I told him to just go ahead and order me a new one rather than re-soldering the joints and pop it in for me. When I got the car back, everything was hooked up properly, but he didn't even seat it back in there right. He had just shoved it in, paying no attention to the goldish colored clip that actually holds it in place.

I am with you on the DIY. You save so much money! And you learn SO much! I've had pretty much every one of the widely known "problems" with this car and all my friends are always asking me why in the world don't I just sell it. They just don't get it hee hee.
As far as the window issue goes, it seems like you did a better job diagnosing it than the mechanic did and good thing because you would have paid for a window regulator for nothing.

I do not understand why mechanics take short cuts and do not put things back together properly. It is their job to put it together correctly.

Saving money is such a huge part of being able to DIY along with the learning. Haha your friends certainly do not get it.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Since you mentioned the car had been sitting for some time without being driven, you may luck out. I certainly hope you are lucky. While she was sitting, gaskets and seals dried out. When you started everything circulating again, it took a while for the oil get back in certain places. Sometimes they manage to seal back up with absolutely no leaks.

I have owned an old 56 bird for a number of years now. If I drive it on a regular basis, and by that I mean once a week or two, It manages to hold all it's liquids quite well. During the winter however everything dries out, and when I roll it out in the spring, I have to add several quarts of trans fluid. I know I should force myself to get it out so It won't leak so badly but bad weather and old age makes it more and more hard each year.

That would be absolutely wonderful!!! I'm not sure how long it sat, but from looking at some of its maintenance records, I suspect well over a year. It had dirt, leaves, debris, and dust in places that no car should EVER have any of that stuff! I even found a bullet shell under the hood trapped near a heat shield haha! I checked the trunk for a body, but fortunately, I found nothing LOL! I will knock on wood that I have the luck you had with your '56!
 

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oil ? where ? what's going on ?

can someone help me ? i do not know what the bottom of a car suppose to look like and can't tell if this is the material or if this is oil i am seeing that looks black underneath my SLK350... or maybe water ?
 

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iChris's suggestion above is a great place to start. Get under there, remove your plastic engine tray and use a few bottles of brake cleaner and get all that old oil off (wear eye protection!!!). If it's anything like mine, old oil had blown all over the place and it made it impossible to figure out where the leak was actually coming from. Once the old oil is cleaned off, it should make it much, much easier to identify the area it's coming from. Then report back :)
 
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