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Discussion Starter #1
Hi to all SLK owners!

I recently bought an SLK 200 KOMPRESSOR, with 192 HP, from 1997, with the engine M111.943. The engine itself is almost the same of the one used on the SLK 230. This is an exclusive model that Mercedes produced to some markets in Europe. After I recently changed the Water Pump, and made an oil change to a full synthetic 5W30, I start noticing oil slowly appearing on the coolant radiator. Some time ago at that oil change, I was able to inspect the car from beneath. And discover an oil leak on the passenger side of the engine. Initially I thought it was from the camshaft or the crankcase seals, an issue very common on these cars, but I start to suspect that the oil leak came from de headgasket. Firstly I thought that this issue was the oil cooler (oil in the coolant), but investigating further I suspect this type of engine doest have an oil cooler.
This way I came to ask to all the owners out there, if this is a head gasket job, or just some seals that are letting the oil in pressure go the coolant system.

In my opinion...the fact of being using a synthetic oil, might had made de already gasket leak get worst.

To first attack the problem I'll try to tight the head gasket bolts (yes I know it's not a good measure) to see if the leak into the radiator slows down. If doesn't make any difference at all, I'll try the full head gasket repair. The engine drives fine...just that issue of coolant being contaminated with oil. I already test the radiator for exhaust fumes, and there are none. That's the reason why I firstly thought it was an oil cooler problem, since this car have a manual transmission.

Hope to hear some opinions.

My best regards, Roger.
 

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Administrator 2009 SLK 55 AMG/Founding Member 2006
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Roger,

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Super Moderator UK SLK 55 AMG 2007
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Personally I wouldn't be driving the car at all until I figured out the problem. Maybe you can do a compression test to rule out a bad head gasket?
 

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You likely have one of two problems. Blown head gasket is a likely suspect. Replacing one is a pretty major project in an slk. The second possibility is it's transmission fluid. It circulates through the radiator to cool it. If the passages of the cooler crack, you'll get trans fluid in the coolant which looks fairly similar to oil.

Without giving offense, it seems that your car skills are a limited and it might be money well spent to take it to a repair shop to have it diagnosed. Continuing to drive it with either problem will lead to engine or transmission failure.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hey Roxanne7169! Yap, I'll try on a MB dealer for some diagnostic more conclusive. ;-)

Hi Mn car guy. I'd say my level of expertise in mechanics is between an average and a plus. When I started this discussion topic, was to isolate the major problem, since I have more knowledge in Toyota engines. My first thought, that took me to write this post, was the fact that this problem appeared suddenly after that water pump job, and didn't have any issues at all with overheating... or even presence of water in the oil. I'll try the local MB dealer to further testing. But to me for what I saw...the most headache part for de head gasket change on these SLK, is the timing belt part. So to all the readers who are thinking to make some head gasket repairs on an SLK R170 be very careful with the timing belt. Even some experience Mechanics get some headache changing gaskets in M111 engines, just because of the loosening timing belt procedure and reassemble. In this case I'm almost sure it's a problem on the head gasket, since it uses a manual transmission. Thank for the help. ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Mn car guy Mercedes introduced firstly the 5-speed manual in the SLK200 in some markets in Europe. This 2.0L engine is similar if not almost identical to the 2.3L engine. They made that for tax reasons, that incise over the engine litres. After a while, they introduced the SLK 230, with the same 2,3L engine global wide, and the 6-speed automatic. In my case, what had happened...almost for sure, it's the oil in pressure is travelling trough the head gasket (or other part) to the water circuit. That's the reason why in first place I'll try to re torque de head gasket bolts, and see what happens. The head gasket eventually is going to be change. The only thing that concerns me more, it's the procedure of removing and reassembly the timing belt (chain), cause I saw some online reviews, of people and experience Mechanics getting wrong the procedure, witch involves the loosening of the tensioner bolt, close to the water pump and after reassembly. I might well change the car, for a good deal on a SLK R171 or in an CLK. Some time...the better things in life is to move on, and forget the losses.
There in USA you are fortunate to have more flexible tax laws, and get some V8s. A car that I steel love, and is now very affordable there, it's the SL55 AMG. The SL55 AMG Black edition turns me on instantly while revving...still love that car. But in Europe, for the middle price sports car, we just can play more with 4 bangers, and some 6 bangers, for tax reasons.
Hope next summer go in vacations to the US, and rent an SL55 AMG to take to some speeding on the desert to Las Vegas...lol.
 

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Administrator 2009 SLK 55 AMG/Founding Member 2006
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Discussion Starter #11
So returning to the initial problem... I try in first place the more quick approach to the problem, that in some cars does work, re torquing the head gasket bolts. But i eventually give up trying that, since the valve cover was too stuck to come loose...and I would end up destroying it, even with all the bolt loosen. In my point of view the only way to open that stuck valve cover, it's to use some razor sharp thing to cut it off, and replace it after. So I'll might order the kit parts to the head gasket job.
 

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Administrator 2009 SLK 55 AMG/Founding Member 2006
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So returning to the initial problem... I try in first place the more quick approach to the problem, that in some cars does work, re torquing the head gasket bolts. But i eventually give up trying that, since the valve cover was too stuck to come loose...and I would end up destroying it, even with all the bolt loosen. In my point of view the only way to open that stuck valve cover, it's to use some razor sharp thing to cut it off, and replace it after. So I'll might order the kit parts to the head gasket job.
I moved your intro out of this thread to the
new member introduce yourself section here:

http://www.slkworld.com/new-members-introduce-yourself-here/413361-new-member.html
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for sending the link. Yes I already saw that website some time ago. The head gasket change will be made in an repair shop MB. But if I see that i can handle by my self...who knows. I think the worst part is dealing with the timing belt, that's why I'm not thinking to do the job. If it was like a brand new SLK, forget it, lol...direct to the dealeas shop to repair. Since it's an old model, some times is good to have our hands get dirty...to make the bond with the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Mn car guy, do you know where is located the oil cooler on the SLK230 engine, or if they have it?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I read a lot of posting from other owner describing leaks trough the Oil Filter Housing, where there are some seal that can be weak. It mite be a clue to me...since this problem occur after a water pump change. In my view, de loosen bolts of the water pump...that also are connected to the Oil Filter Housing, mite have loosened the weak seals. What you all think?
 

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I'm not quite sure I understand but are you wondering if the oil filter housing could be leaking and the oil gets into a poorly sealed water pump? That would be a real long shot and if the water pump was improperly sealed so oil could get in, you'd have a very visible coolant leak.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Mn car guy I'm talking about an internal seal gasket, that is just visible after removing all the front oil filter housing. This seal is behind the water pump, and near it, it's a high pressure oil gallery. Here are some links to some images of the Oil filter housing panel from a SLK230. But like you said, it's along shot in the dark.

https://www.google.pt/imgres?imgurl=http://i1237.photobucket.com/albums/ff473/german_only/1999%20SLK230%20107K/IMG_0510.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.ebay.com/itm/MERCEDES-SLK230-C230-R170-OIL-FILTER-HOUSING-ASSEMBLY-1110150901-OEM-/181044127338&docid=8jFVubPX1tnDhM&tbnid=4ID2mhhI6_nkqM:&vet=1&w=1024&h=768&bih=662&biw=1366&q=oil filter housing slk 230&ved=0ahUKEwiH0_CKxvbRAhUCthoKHXiGDL0QMwgkKAcwBw&iact=mrc&uact=8#h=768&imgrc=4ID2mhhI6_nkqM:&vet=1&w=1024
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The coolant levels are almost the same, just the oil contamination in the coolant reservoir, just after that Water Pump change, that's a reason for this theory, of a bad Oil Cooler seal. But of curse it's almost sure a head gasket problem, but who knows. One off the upgrades that I see in MB engines, it's the oil cooler design and relocation in the engine, maybe for a quicker maintenance of the seals. In the SLK230 the oil passes close to the water pump, and if you are unfortunate of having a bad seal, you have to take off all the panel with the oil filter housing attach. Newer MB engines, have the oil cooler closer to the oil filter housing, and it can be taken off individually from the rest of the panel, letting to be a easier job to replace the seals.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
One suspect cause for the oil leak into the coolant radiator...is on of the head bolts from the water pump. I decide to reseal the water pump gasket with some high temperature silicone, and discovered some oil in one of the longer bolts. So I resealed the all thing, including that bolt. Let's see what happens. That bolt passes over a high pressure oil gallery. When the water pump was changed, it might had rupture that wall, due to excessive torque or something else.
 
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