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CLK-Class (W209) 2003 on: CLK 270 CDI, CLK 200K, CLK 200 CGI, CLK 240, CLK 320, CLK 350, CLK 500, CLK 550 [Coupes & Cabriolets]

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Old 08-06-2012, 06:20 PM   #1
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what's the DUMBEST thing you've done as a MB owner? I can beat that....

I've been thinking about this thread for a few days now, ever since I consulted my car's original window sticker, which I have done many times since my September 2009 purchase.
Click the image to open in full size.
I was checking to see if my differential is "limited slip" (I still don't know) and I notice that my car's paint color is 775 Iridium Silver. In the 3 years I've owned this car, I've purchased and installed the JB Speed spoiler, which I specifically ordered in 744 Brilliant Silver, and I have always thought it matched perfectly. I even have 744 touch-up paint, which I've also used with self-satisfied results. Oh, and I've checked the tire pressure recommendations on the door jamb repeatedly and never noticed the paint code right next to it. This is my third silver Benz.

And, worse than that, I just ordered new batteries online for my smartkeys. I did a quick Google rather than RTFM, and I got CR 2032, and ordered 10. When 2 of them wouldn't fit inside my old-style plastic smartkey, I noticed the old batteries were thinner CR 2025's. Turns out I have 3 or 4 spent CR 2025's on the very desk I was sitting at when I ordered the CR 2032's

At least I have found that I can combine one of each into my plastic smartkey, and I may get a bit of a power boost, as the 2032 is 240 milliamp/hour while the 2025 is a 170 milliamp/hour battery. They go side-by-side in my E Class's chrome smartkey so I crammed them in. I've had 5 Benzes and changed these batteries a dozen times at least.
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Old 08-06-2012, 10:30 PM   #2
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OK, here's my dumb story. I was loading lumber into my W163 ML. They were 16ft long 2x8's (building a deck). I was resting them on the dash, and the tops of the seats. I was being incredibly careful and I had a towel on the dash to protect it and the windshield. But on of the planks had a staple on the end of it and it stuck out just enough to go through the towel and touch the windshield, and it was just sharp enough and with just enough force that I cracked the glass. I actually heard the glass begin to crack and all I could do was stand there and watch the cracks spread across the glass.
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Old 08-06-2012, 10:37 PM   #3
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Rodney, I pray that this thread outlasts "How old are we W209 owners?" Thanks for your help!
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Old 08-06-2012, 11:36 PM   #4
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It will all depend on how "honest" people are willing to be!
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Old 08-06-2012, 11:39 PM   #5
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I will let you know in a few days I am going to take my cluster out and start taking it apart and changing the faceplate to white,Looks simple in the pictures .

Will keep you posted if belongs in the dumbest thing I have done.
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Old 08-07-2012, 09:54 AM   #6
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I will let you know in a few days I am going to take my cluster out and start taking it apart and changing the faceplate to white,Looks simple in the pictures .

Will keep you posted if belongs in the dumbest thing I have done.
that's a mod I once hoped to get an MB tech to tackle on his own time for a fee; then I couldn't get the guy to return my calls when I wanted him to install my aftermarket headlights.
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Old 08-07-2012, 01:24 PM   #7
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Well this dumbo in his youth had a long string of Alfa's. Changed the oil on my heavily modified "1750" Giulia & forgot to replace the sump plug. Result was 9 litres of oil on my Dad's driveway & I was standing in it.

Dad's remarks were enough to blister paint.

Sorry ~ I know this is supposed to be a Merc thread!

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Old 08-07-2012, 11:22 PM   #8
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I will let you know in a few days I am going to take my cluster out and start taking it apart and changing the faceplate to white,Looks simple in the pictures .

Will keep you posted if belongs in the dumbest thing I have done.
Here's my W203 cluster tear-down. It might help:

http://mercedesml.info/203cluster/
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Old 08-08-2012, 03:54 AM   #9
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The dumbest thing I have done as a benz owner was buying a w203 instead of a w209 :.
Also paying the stealer ship $1000 to replace my rotters and brakes when I first bought the car would be up there in stupidest moments
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Old 08-08-2012, 12:33 PM   #10
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(Read last paragraph for summary)
Edit: sorry if this is difficult to read- I typed it on my phone. I'll revise it when I get to a computer.

Upon purchase of my car I decided to perform all routine maintenance items to make sure everything was up to date. One item on my list was to service the transmission, which included fluid and filter replacement. Easy enough- its just like any other vehicle...or so I thought. Please keep in mind that I had just purchased the vehicle when this was done- I only drove it two miles at that point (car was shipped)- and I was not at all familiar with any of the features of the car, let alone the maintenance procedures. Especially the type Mercedes doesn't want you to perform. Prior to working on the car I did a bit of research and knew that the fill point was at the back of the engine, passenger side. So after countless hours of meticulous work I finally finished everything on my list (including other work) and got to the point where I must refill the transmission. I carefully fill it at the rear of the engine bay with exactly the same amount as removed, and also replace the other fluids at the same time, such as engine oil. Upon startup and putting it into drive, I notice it's very hesitant. Much more so than I'm accustomed to, but since I didn't have any experience at that point with driving the vehicle I figured that it may be normal- at least for a few minutes- since I did just service the transmission. So I drive it. Ver slowly (idle speed) for a half mile since I live on a dirt road and didn't **** it to get dirty. Once on the highway I depress the accelerator and it accelerates. Shifts to second, continues accelerating, and then goes into limp mode. Puzzled, I figure maybe it's extremely sensitive and is doing that due to the six ounces or so that I spilled. I return home, add some fluid, test drive it, and find that it's still in limp mode. Still puzzled (since I measured everything precisely), I call the dealership for advice. They tell me not to worry and to just add a little fluid and drive it. They said it is extremely sensitive to fluid level and that if it's even a tiny bit low it will act that way. So i decide to order the dipstick so I can check it. When it arrives I give it a try (dipstick tool) and find that it's reading high. Thinking that I am just using it wrong coupled with the fact that I can't get the fluid up to operating temp I give up and tow the car to the dealership. Well, that afternoon the dealer calls (I wasnt expecting good news since it got worse and I had trouble driving the car off the trailer at the dealership). Transmission is toast. I ask how, and they reply "overheated, cooler inadequate". I think that's almost impossible- I couldn't get it to temp when testing and I only drove it a couple miles. Maybe a mile at a time. So they are like "yeah whatever, $9k please".

After having the transmission replaced (oddly, they replaced the transmission and had it ready the next morning after dropping it off. About five business hours. But when it was discovered that the top was no longer operational after cycling perfectly at the service department upon drop off, it took threes months. Cause? Bent cylinder from "pushing on it to close the cover". ??? Worked perfect I front of the advisor the day of drop off. But that's another story...) I drove home and got a message for the engine oil being overfilled. Again, I thought it was unusual as I know exactly how much was in it- I just replaced and filled it. So next time I drove the car I brought it back to the dealership where they diagnosed a faulty oil level sensor and replaced it along with the oil. I didn't think anything of it after that. But I was always puzzled about the transmission failure. I know it didn't overheat as the dealer said- it felt as though there was no fluid flow. I eventually just felt as though it may have been caused by an air pocket in the cooler causing the system not to prime, and effectively faint to pump fluid through the system and burning the clutches.

Fast forward three years where I decide to use a vacuum pump to change the oil instead of going the traditional route by getting under the car. So I look for the place where the dipstick would be so I can insert the tube. I know it's near the back of the engine, so I remove the engine cover/filter. I find it easy. I also inspect the transmission tube, and something seems out of place. That's when it all clicks- the tubes for the engine and transmission are close together and are not labeled. Although now im familiar with each, when i got my car i wasnt. I also never used the dipstick tube for the engine (or so i thought) because i drained and filled it the traditional way.

I realize at that moment that I may have, all those years ago, filled the engine with transmission fluid instead of the transmission. That would also explain why the level sensor for the engine oil read high. If that is what happened I'm never telling anyone I know, ever! I've taken complete cars apart and rebuilt every detail, but I screwed up by filling the engine with transmission fluid and burni g the transmission up to the tune of a $9k bill to fix it. Well, at least I figured out the mystery as to why the transmission overheated....

Last edited by Nealgobert; 08-08-2012 at 12:38 PM.
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Old 08-08-2012, 02:03 PM   #11
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I scratched the sh*t out of my brand new painted front bumper the DAY after I got it painted.

SIGH...
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Old 08-08-2012, 02:18 PM   #12
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I realize at that moment that I may have, all those years ago, filled the engine with transmission fluid instead of the transmission. That would also explain why the level sensor for the engine oil read high. If that is what happened I'm never telling anyone I know, ever! I've taken complete cars apart and rebuilt every detail, but I screwed up by filling the engine with transmission fluid and burni g the transmission up to the tune of a $9k bill to fix it. Well, at least I figured out the mystery as to why the transmission overheated....
well, it's early in the competition but I think we may have a winner!!
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Old 08-09-2012, 12:20 AM   #13
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Yep, my vote is for Neal. Sorry, Neal, but that is worse than broken glass, scratches and paint colors.
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Old 08-09-2012, 03:05 PM   #14
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My $1900 Peel out / Left turn.
///Preemptive cool story bro...

On Cinco De Mayo, We were leaving a bar...
As I peeled out into a left turn this street divider JUMPED in front of my car. It wasn't more then 15ft away so I must have hit it at 20-30mph.

Blew out 2 tire and bent the suspension components on my rear right wheel. I ended up buying 4 new tires [Dunlap Direzza DZ101 $522 installed out the door]and paying out of pocket [~$800] as losing my good driver discount was more expensive then the repair. Had I lowered the car I'm sure woulda lost the bumper. Tires weren't a big deal as I need new ones anyways. The repair was the bummer.

The funny/scary part after the hit was the car lit up like a Christmas tree.
Roll bar engaged, dash was screaming SOS, and the poor car was trying to phone home on an non-existent analog network.

Lesson Learned: I'm too old to drive the car like a stupid teenager. and watch out for obstacles before conducting a burn-out test.
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Old 08-09-2012, 08:09 PM   #15
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I was checking to see if my differential is "limited slip" (I still don't know) and I notice that my car's paint color is 775 Iridium Silver.
The only clk that is equipped with an LSD from the factory is the black series
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:08 AM   #16
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(Read last paragraph for summary)

I realize at that moment that I may have, all those years ago, filled the engine with transmission fluid instead of the transmission. That would also explain why the level sensor for the engine oil read high. If that is what happened I'm never telling anyone I know, ever! I've taken complete cars apart and rebuilt every detail, but I screwed up by filling the engine with transmission fluid and burni g the transmission up to the tune of a $9k bill to fix it. Well, at least I figured out the mystery as to why the transmission overheated....
Did the same thing....

Well, I should be qualified at least as a runner up as I knew/know the difference between the engine and transmission dipstick tubes (having performed maintenance few times before).

Transmission Problem

In my case the saga continues as I am still investigating any possible "damage"

sorry for posting to an old thread, but couldn't resist....

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Old 03-12-2013, 03:22 PM   #17
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I did this a long time ago. 10 years ago.

It was a 1998 W210 E320 4-Matic Wagon. I changed a flat tire on my front passenger side in my driveway in 2003. The driveway in that house then was sloping. My parking brake was not stepped fully. The jack lifted the car off the driveway. I removed all the lugs off the wheel just fine. Then the car rolled forward and came down on the wheel. The wheel remained on the studs but the wheel was at an angle. I busted the bodywork on that fender. Thankfully, the suspension wasn't affected and the wheel assembly remained intact. Insurance took care of it and the MB dealer tried their best to keep a straight face, but I didn't know where to hide my face. It was a long day.

That was the most bonehead thing I have ever done on a car. Not proud.

My dad filled his 1977 W123 200 (E Class) with diesel The car had to be towed from the gas pump to the garage for siphoning and cleaning. lol

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Old 03-12-2013, 09:42 PM   #18
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I guess I should have owned up months ago. But since this thread has new life...

In our W251 R320CDI; Just before a 150 mile trip I checked the engine oil level. Needed a little over 1/2 qt. Nice, doesn't use much oil. So I added, checked the level, and screwed the filler cap back on.

That afternoon at our destination wife asked why there were oily splotches all over the tailgate. I said it was probably from the fresh asphalt road section we hit. Cleaned it off, thought no more.
Got home the next day and tailgate was oily again. Odd, we didn't take the same route home. Cleaned it off, didn't think anything more.

Later the wife was out with the car and I see an 8" diameter puddle of black oil on the garage floor. Called wife, told her to take it to our indy immediately! Paced the garage puffing a cigar, fearing the worst.

Now, over the years I've screwed filler caps back on maybe 1000 times. This time I guess the engine cover messed up my fingers and only one of the cap tabs went into the slot. Hell, it felt right.

Indy kept a straight face when he told me that the engine wasn't damaged, that I lost maybe 1/2 quart at the most. And only charged me 2 hours labor to clean the now-well-lubricated engine and compartment. I spent another 4 hours cleaning little black residual spots on the white engine compartment. Wife won't let me live that down, and makes funny noises when she sees me under the hood. Not fair. It felt right.
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Old 03-13-2013, 12:22 AM   #19
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Jerry, I did that same thing once on the C240. I was teaching the kid to drive, and before we left the house, I had to show her how to add oil, change a spare tire, etc. Of course the whole time she's telling me how she'll just call MBZ Roadside Assist or AAA, and how when she becomes a lawyer and then a judge (her goal in life, go figure) that she'll pay someone to check and change the oil. Anyhow, we got three miles down the road when smoke began to billow from the engine. Like you, we lost very little oil, but it sure made a mess! Now, whenever I remove the filler cap, I always double check that I have it in place correctly.
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Old 03-13-2013, 05:03 AM   #20
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In high school......
1. Pulling my 1969 firebird onto ramps for service....... Pulled it up and over the ramps crushing the front quarter panels!!!!
2. Same car after my 1st DIY drum brake job.... Pull car in garage and guess what no brakes........ Fortunately had my friends entire apt contents in the back of the garage to break the impact!!!!
I'll stop there to save some dignity )
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Old 03-13-2013, 11:14 AM   #21
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Neal's story still takes the cake but I'll participate. When I was a teen, I backed the car out of the garage... with the garage door closed! Haha, luckily Dad wasn't too upset as the door took most of the damage and not the car. Also... he had done the same before. The windows on the garage door were at eye level while in the car so if you just looked in the rearview mirror to back out, it looked open!
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Old 03-13-2013, 07:43 PM   #22
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Another one:

Same high school car 69 firebird f-body:::

Bought the car as a stock 1bbl carb single exhaust 350ci daily driver. Ran out of gas...... While putting fuel in the carb on the side of the road managed to drop the wing nut for the puney stock carb into the carb!!!!! Start car and wing nut embeds into top of piston!!!!!

What to do????? I'm 16 with a large motor problem and a small budget???!!!!

My neighbor sees this 16 yr old staring at my motor wondering what I'll do to get back on the road.

Fortunately for me my neighbor is a street racer gear head Pontiac guy with connections..... So on my 300 budget pull the heads off , and start collecting parts from his contacts::::

Holley double pumper ----- free from one shop
Hooker longtibe headers ---- 100$ mail order!!!!!
Custom ground rair4 cam ---- brought the machine shop a case of beer for the custom cam!!!
Wieand dual plane intake---- 120 mail order....

One weekend and a tiny budget this 16 yr old kid has transformed the bird into something pretty stout for 1985......, prob a 14 sec car but it was plenty at the time.
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:21 PM   #23
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Another one:

...managed to drop the wing nut for the puney stock carb into the carb!!!!! Start car and wing nut embeds into top of piston!!!!!

---------- Dumb.

Holley double pumper ----- free from one shop
Hooker longtibe headers ---- 100$ mail order!!!!!
Custom ground rair4 cam ---- brought the machine shop a case of beer for the custom cam!!!
Wieand dual plane intake---- 120 mail order....

One weekend and a tiny budget this 16 yr old kid has transformed the bird into something pretty stout for 1985......, prob a 14 sec car but it was plenty at the time.

------ Not Dumb.
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:56 PM   #24
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^ +1 - Great story, Betrezra!
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Old 03-15-2013, 02:48 PM   #25
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The 320CLK is the wife's car. It's her dream car and a sign to her that she has "made it". She's very proud of it. Anyway, She has it a couple months and is backing out of a rental house she owns, admiring the colors in her front garden.

Bang.

She backs into a telephone pole right next to the driveway. gouges the heck out of her bumper and causes the rear seat head rests to pop up. Hence, the top wont come down.

I tripped the head rests so the top workeded again & the bumper was fixed at the body shop.
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Old 03-15-2013, 02:48 PM
 
 
 
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