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M-Class (W164) 2006-2011: ML280CDI, ML320CDI, ML420CDI, ML350, ML500, ML550

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Old 03-13-2012, 08:22 PM   #1
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Oil leaks on 2007 ML 320CDI

Anyone have oil leaks on their CDI? We had an oil leak last year that was repaired under warranty. Recently we noticed more "spotting" in the driveway. Since it was almost time for the annual service, we brought it to the dealer. I had hoped the spotting might be from the old leak and covered under warranty, but the dealer reports two new oil leaks, one of which has fouled the serpentine belt. Total cost, including the annual service, will be about $2,500.
The car is just under 5 years old, out of warranty since last June, and has about 48,000 miles.
Has anybody else had this amount of oil leaks on a CDI? This is three major leaks within a year on a car with less than 50,000 miles. Makes me concerned about the future.
Wifey loves the car and, except for the oil leaks, it has been reliable and trouble free.
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Old 03-14-2012, 06:21 AM   #2
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That sounds pricey, I would get a second opinion. There is a seal near the turbocharger inlet that is known to go bad, and this will cause the the oil to run down the back of the motor and drip all over your driveway. To the untrained eye, one may think it is a rear main seal leak, but it is actually a simple fix of replacing that inlet seal. Mine was replaced at around 90K miles, during other service, and I wasn't charged.
As for the leak that ruined the belt, that I have never heard of, but not saying it couldn't happen.
Keep us posted.
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Old 04-09-2012, 08:48 PM   #3
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Def check around the air intake pipe to the turbo, mine was also mis- diagnosed at a dealer for a rear main seal, it needed two seals around the turbo, it is blow by vapours escaping and filling up the intake valley. Also inspect the intercooler piping, there are orings that can be easily changed and are frequently damaged when replacing the belt. I have not seen one actually leaking engine oil yet, just crankcase vapours.
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Old 04-09-2012, 09:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by houseofdiesel View Post
Def check around the air intake pipe to the turbo, mine was also mis- diagnosed at a dealer for a rear main seal, it needed two seals around the turbo, it is blow by vapours escaping and filling up the intake valley. Also inspect the intercooler piping, there are orings that can be easily changed and are frequently damaged when replacing the belt. I have not seen one actually leaking engine oil yet, just crankcase vapours.

Ditto. Try and find an Indy to take a look at it. Do you belong to the MBCA in Ct? If so, check around with other members for opinions on local independent shops.
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Old 04-10-2012, 04:55 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by houseofdiesel View Post
Def check around the air intake pipe to the turbo, mine was also mis- diagnosed at a dealer for a rear main seal, it needed two seals around the turbo, it is blow by vapours escaping and filling up the intake valley. Also inspect the intercooler piping, there are orings that can be easily changed and are frequently damaged when replacing the belt. I have not seen one actually leaking engine oil yet, just crankcase vapours.

Was this the green o ring???? Might be the same problem I had, when you rev the car you could hear a second whistling noise and not the normal whistle from the turbo spooling up. Mine was a cracked o ring and they replaced it.
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Old 04-10-2012, 01:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgiturbo View Post
That sounds pricey, I would get a second opinion. There is a seal near the turbocharger inlet that is known to go bad, and this will cause the the oil to run down the back of the motor and drip all over your driveway. To the untrained eye, one may think it is a rear main seal leak, but it is actually a simple fix of replacing that inlet seal. Mine was replaced at around 90K miles, during other service, and I wasn't charged.
As for the leak that ruined the belt, that I have never heard of, but not saying it couldn't happen.
Keep us posted.
I just had mine on the lift this past weekend for the CPS and my mechanic said its the rear main seal.I will have him check around the turbo charger first.Thanx for the post and the heads up.
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Old 11-01-2012, 01:18 PM   #7
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I do have the same kind of problem with my ML 320 CDi (2008)... oil leak. The dealer replaced tubes/hoses behind the turbo, over the transmission, rear engine/crank seal, and transmission seal... lucky that everything was done under the warranty.

I don't remember they have changed any seal around the turbo.

Last time was 6 months ago. Today I went to my mechanic for pre-winter maintenance.... guess what the oil leak it still there!?!!!? As the car is still under the warranty, I'll bring it back to the dealer. This will be the 6th time I go back to the dealer for the same problem... oil leak and I'm starting to worry about the quality of the mechanics at the dealership. I'll talk about the turbo seal / o-ring to the dealer to see if it will ring bells to them.

My question now... Is the turbo seal problem might also explain some unusual noise that seems to come from the turbo. When the car accelerate, right after it changed gear, I can heard a "grounding" sound that last for no more than 2-3 seconds (when revs are between 1900-2100 RPM). The sound isn't present if the car isn't running, and it's even not present if the engine is running at a constant RPM / cruising speed.

Any comments or suggestions for me?
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Old 11-01-2012, 05:02 PM   #8
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aforget, after the dealer replaced my inlet seal, the issue returned a few months later.
I eventually stopped my leak by
1) again replacing the large inlet oil seal,
2) the breather to inlet hose seal, (goes in the sensor that sits 90 degrees to the turbo inlet duct)
3) the actual hose itself (from rear of pass valve cover to the sensor mentioned above, and
4) used black silicone to seal the hairline crack in the inlet duct. The hairline crack was on the bottom of that large T shaped air intake inlet duct where the hose clamp snugs down on the turbo.
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Old 11-02-2012, 06:16 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by dgiturbo View Post
aforget, after the dealer replaced my inlet seal, the issue returned a few months later.
I eventually stopped my leak by
1) again replacing the large inlet oil seal,
2) the breather to inlet hose seal, (goes in the sensor that sits 90 degrees to the turbo inlet duct)
3) the actual hose itself (from rear of pass valve cover to the sensor mentioned above, and
4) used black silicone to seal the hairline crack in the inlet duct. The hairline crack was on the bottom of that large T shaped air intake inlet duct where the hose clamp snugs down on the turbo.
If you go to dealership for this problem, you are going get answer 'it is normal'

I think EVERY owner get to this problem turbo seal - some of them took care of it and some not.
As you mentioned, we need change inlet (turbo) seal more often to reduce problem.
I am wondering if you can put some picture where to look for solution (4).
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Old 11-02-2012, 08:47 AM   #10
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Thumbs up Nice suggestion

Quote:
Originally Posted by zemun1234 View Post
If you go to dealership for this problem, you are going get answer 'it is normal'

I think EVERY owner get to this problem turbo seal - some of them took care of it and some not.
As you mentioned, we need change inlet (turbo) seal more often to reduce problem.
I am wondering if you can put some picture where to look for solution (4).

This is a nice suggestion from zemun1234. Someone can work and share with us a "Howto" replace seals, hoses, and other problematic (and weak) parts next to the turbo on a ML diesel. It might already exist, please share the link with us.
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Old 11-12-2012, 09:47 PM   #11
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Here are a few pictures. Just replaced my air and fuel filters, and saw where the larger seal developed a rip. Will just have to get another one and replace every 20000 miles I guess. The grey area on the ductwork is where I sealed the hairline crack. (Solution 4)
This really is a silly design to use plastic ducts next to a hot turbo, pipe breather oil through the entire thing, and seal it with materials that breaks down when exposed to oil.
Attached Thumbnails
Oil leaks on 2007 ML 320CDI-seal-leak-area.jpg   Oil leaks on 2007 ML 320CDI-underside-duct.jpg  
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Old 11-26-2012, 02:38 AM   #12
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Extra mile for complete oil leak fix.

Hello all, new member to the forum.

I have the R320 CDI along with a 2007 Grand Cherokee with the same diesel engine. Fixing the seal at the turbo isn't enough for me. I went the extra step and rerouted the Crankcase ventilation (its the tube that goes into the intake right before the turbo) to a paint can and put a filter on it for the return into the intake pre air filter..

Here are some pics. The reason is all that oil goes into your intercooler and plumbing along the way and makes a mess!!! It can leak at other junctions throughout the plumbing like both ends of tube from the intercooler hence why your serpentine belt and alternator get coated.

I hate hate hate oil on my engine it stinks makes a mess and screws up all my clothes when I am doinking around with my car.

This diesel engine is great so long as you can stop the oil from gumming everything up. On my Cherokee I did the fix at 10,000 miles when I first bought it and have had no issues what so ever with oil now at 60,000.

For my R320 I just bought it with 56,000 miles on it and the guy I bought it from had the dreaded swirl motor problem luckily he was under warranty and had it fixed, they even replaced the turbo! But I could see oil leaking from the intake system at other points due to the oil being recirculated.

I did the fix about a week and a half ago and with just 231miles since the fix, you can see a good puddle of oil collecting in the paint can. Now every couple thousand miles I just pop the paint can open and toss the oil out.

You can get the cans and fittings from home depot the filter from autozone along with the tubing and right angle fitting. Don't forget gasket sealer to seal off the holes you cut in the paint can for the fittings.

I also buy one of the those rubber plugs from the hardware isle at home depot (in the drawers by the metric screws) to plug the hole from where you take out the plastic connector from the intake. I then wrap a zip tie around it to hold it in place. Make sure you get a large enough plug you do not want that getting sucked into the turbo!!!. They are cheap buy like 3 or 4 sizes I think I used 3/4 inch one.

Hope this helps somebody I am always perusing the boards figure its time I should contribute.
Attached Thumbnails
Oil leaks on 2007 ML 320CDI-img_20121125_230731.jpg   Oil leaks on 2007 ML 320CDI-img_20121125_230750.jpg   Oil leaks on 2007 ML 320CDI-img_20121125_231011.jpg   Oil leaks on 2007 ML 320CDI-img_20121125_231042.jpg   Oil leaks on 2007 ML 320CDI-img_20121125_231132.jpg  

Oil leaks on 2007 ML 320CDI-img_20121125_231152.jpg  

Last edited by dieselfanatic; 11-26-2012 at 03:06 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 11-26-2012, 02:44 AM   #13
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Here are the rest of the pictures couldn't get them in one upload. Just imagine how much oil must be sitting in that intercooler and plumbing system after 50,000 miles. So Glad I did this early on my jeep now the R320 can be oil free too
Attached Thumbnails
Oil leaks on 2007 ML 320CDI-img_20121125_231028.jpg   Oil leaks on 2007 ML 320CDI-img_20121125_231337.jpg   Oil leaks on 2007 ML 320CDI-img_20121125_231343.jpg   Oil leaks on 2007 ML 320CDI-img_20121125_231404.jpg   Oil leaks on 2007 ML 320CDI-img_20121125_231427.jpg  

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Old 11-26-2012, 06:46 PM   #14
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That is an excellent setup!! I think I may have to follow your lead here.
One question, can you post pics or explain where you routed the return hose from the catch can back to the intake system, and where you attached it.
Thanks.
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Old 11-27-2012, 05:19 AM   #15
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Thank you, in the 5th picture on the first post near where the flashlight is shining I take the smaller output hose and snake it between the front cowling (can push it between the rubber) and straight down the right intake about 2 feet. So its all before the air filter.

On my jeep I cut a hole in the air box before the air filter and insert the hose through a fitting. On the R320 I didn't feel like spending a lot time on it so I just snaked it down into it. The air boxes on these are a pain.

Eventually I will run it directly into the air box on a fitting but for now its good enough. It will make a slight oil mist spot overtime on your air filter but nothing major. On my jeep I have a K&N and when I clean it that spot comes out plus it needs to be oiled anyway and on the other side of the filter it is squeaky clean, no oil anywhere.




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Old 12-12-2012, 03:13 PM   #16
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I just put a water pump in mine Monday. There was a large amount of THICK oil sludge in the intake track near where the EGR pipe discharges. Between the throttle and the actual manifold about .5 centimeters thick. Small oil pools were also in the intercooler hoses and fittings. Cleaned as much as I can, but I can't believe how bad it was in there.
Now I am really motivated to fabricate a catch can to stop this madness.
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Old 06-28-2013, 12:33 AM   #17
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Hey guys. I just bought an ML320CDI, and it looks like I have this problem too. Anyone happen to have the part numbers for the seals I have to replace?

Is there a good place online to order them?

Sorry. I'm kind-of a "newb" at the who Mercedes thing. I wasn't really expecting problems right off the bat.
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Old 06-28-2013, 07:12 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgiturbo View Post
I just put a water pump in mine Monday. There was a large amount of THICK oil sludge in the intake track near where the EGR pipe discharges. Between the throttle and the actual manifold about .5 centimeters thick. Small oil pools were also in the intercooler hoses and fittings. Cleaned as much as I can, but I can't believe how bad it was in there.
Now I am really motivated to fabricate a catch can to stop this madness.
Please keep us updated with installation of catch can ...It seems that I am waiting to problem before I do any action ...

By the way, is change of water pump part of your regular maintenance routine or you got some problem which it triggered you for change
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Old 06-29-2013, 12:28 PM   #19
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I thought I'd add to this thread. I have a 2009 ML Bluetec that was in for 60,000 mile service. Dealer called and said the oil cooler seal was leaking oil on the top of the engine. I didn't notice any drips on the garage floor nor any abnormal usage after 10,000 miles since the last oil change. (The oil on the dipstick was down maybe 3/4 a liter after 10K.) He quoted a $2200 repair but that since it was still less than 4 years old (purchased in Sept. 2009) MB will perform a goodwill repair. I'm glad they are covering it but I'm disappointed that these oil leaks are so expensive to repair. I am sure if I had to pay for it I would shop around or maybe (depending on the size of the leak) choose not to repair it. I bought the diesels to run for years but the cost of the oil leak repairs especially out of warranty makes me reconsider owning one out of warranty. Good thing MB stepped up and my dealer went to bat for me.
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Old 06-29-2013, 01:51 PM   #20
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So, I got the parts to change the turbo inlet, and the PCV seals, and installed them last night. I'm thinking that these seals were at least part of the problem because the PCV seal was visibly backed out of the intake, and the area under it is coated with oil. Now, I guess I need to hose down the engine, and see if I get anymore spots on the driveway...
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Old 07-04-2013, 02:37 PM   #21
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after 3 tries the dealer found mine. also anoil cooler leak. oil cooler had to be replaced. no small job.
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Old 07-06-2013, 05:03 PM   #22
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I just took my 08 to the dealer to check a power steering leak I found when changing my oil. They said its the top main seal of the rack, plus they found oil leaking from my oil cooler seals. I've had no garage oil spots, but did notice I had to add a little oil after long trips. They quoted $700 parts plus 13hrs labor. Glad I bought a warranty thru Usaa.
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Old 11-16-2013, 03:55 PM   #23
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I have the same problem

Hi, I just bought a Ml320 CDI 2008 with 200000K. the car look like new and an all maintenance has been made by Mercedes. at the inspection, they told me that I have 2 oil leaks. one from the trans. intercooler and the other one from the turbo. both will cost around 500.00. I plane to do it my self. I'm waiting to received the service manual that I bought on e-bay. it seems to be a general problem with those car.
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Old 03-05-2014, 08:22 PM   #24
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We purchased our 2009 ML320 bluetec in November. It had roughly 85k on it. No real problems (back hatch issue) but purred and gets decent fuel economy. Issue is oil leak. Local high-end mechanic shop (BMWs, MBs, Lexus, etc) diagnosed at the 90k service B visit. $200 to diagnose. Said they found evidence of leak at the turbo charger (as others have reported here) and also a lot of oil pooling in the "valley of the engine" suggesting it was likely an oil cooler gasket leak; they would not quote repair but referred me to the dealer who is approx. 70 miles away. I haven't made it down there yet as it's a hike and not sure a loaner is available. It happens that the oil leak seems to have stopped (at least I have no drips on drive). I have not noticed a leak or drip spots since the oil change at 90k (we are now at nearly 95k). Could it be the leak was at the turbo all along? I understand from reading posts that oil drips down back of engine with this kind of leak--could it also be pooling in the "valley of the engine"? I thought it might either be disassembly/reassembly stopped the leak at the turbo charger, or that the fresh oil doesn't leak so much, and I might expect the leak to resume as the oil wears (say around 8k miles on the oil). Any advice?

Last edited by BenzXYZ; 03-05-2014 at 10:25 PM.
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Old 03-06-2014, 04:55 PM   #25
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Had the dreaded oil cooler leak fixed by dealer almost two months ago. Parts were cheap but labor to take everything off the top of the engine and put it back was a killer. Dealer knocked $1000 off to get the bill to somewhere around $3500.

Apparently the seals in the oil cooler fail due to high temperatures. Parts guy said new coolers have improved seals but that might be BS.

My 2010 diesel had 90,000 miles on it when the leak started. Drove it for three months with the leak. It was just messy on the garage floor in the beginning but it got worse.

Ordered a new gasser when I picked up my repaired vehicle. I am keeping the diesel as a beater though.

Good luck!
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Old 03-06-2014, 04:55 PM
 
 
 
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