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Smoke after acceleration- what have I done?

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E-Class (W212) 2010 - 2016: E 350, E 550

Smoke after acceleration- what have I done?

 
Old 05-04-2014, 09:33 AM
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Smoke after acceleration- what have I done?

Yesterday I had a disturbing experience with my CPO 2010 E550 (52,000 mi. + extended MB warranty) and I'm hoping that I don't have serious problems.

Yesterday I had to pass someone at high speed on the freeway and I admittedly got a bit too close to redlining (I used my paddle shifters and wasn't paying close attention to the tachometer)

As I completed the maneuver I noticed grey smoke from the exhaust - fairly heavy at first but then it stopped after a while. Now I can smell it on the exhaust manifold and am worried that I caused serious damage. It clearly smells like oil on the exhaust manifold.

I checked the oil and all seems good (just had service A done last week at dealership). The water temp is in the proper range and I haven't had any other "symptoms" - and now I'm really nervous about driving my car. Could it have been some oil pressure relief mechanism or something similar? I have not been able to reproduce the smoke (although I have been very cautious not to rev it higher than normal driving).

Any thoughts or recommendations?
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Old 05-04-2014, 10:20 AM
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Have you noticed any oil spotting on the ground? On another car years ago, they didn't tighten the drain screw enough and had a small amount of leaking. At highway speeds, any leaked oil could run back to exhaust manifold and burn off which you would likely smell in the car.

You should also ask a friend to follow you to see if any smoke comes out your exhaust when you accelerate. It's easier to see from behind than out the rear view especially if it is a small amount.
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Old 05-04-2014, 10:39 AM
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Stop by and talk to the shop foreman/service manager. This can do two things ...one, get to know them AND for them to see that you're not just another customer, and they might be able to do a quick inspection for oil droplets that might be pooling somewhere that doesn't hit the garage floors.


Be honest, tell them exactly what you did and what happened. You didn't do anything that the E class shouldn't do and they need to get to the bottom of your concerns.
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Old 05-04-2014, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by mdreef View Post
Yesterday I had a disturbing experience with my CPO 2010 E550 (52,000 mi. + extended MB warranty) and I'm hoping that I don't have serious problems.

Yesterday I had to pass someone at high speed on the freeway and I admittedly got a bit too close to redlining (I used my paddle shifters and wasn't paying close attention to the tachometer)

As I completed the maneuver I noticed grey smoke from the exhaust - fairly heavy at first but then it stopped after a while. Now I can smell it on the exhaust manifold and am worried that I caused serious damage. It clearly smells like oil on the exhaust manifold.

I checked the oil and all seems good (just had service A done last week at dealership). The water temp is in the proper range and I haven't had any other "symptoms" - and now I'm really nervous about driving my car. Could it have been some oil pressure relief mechanism or something similar? I have not been able to reproduce the smoke (although I have been very cautious not to rev it higher than normal driving).

Any thoughts or recommendations?
This car has systems in place that prevents over revving the engine even when using the paddle shifters but things can happen...

What I would do is check oil level at least every time you fill up. I do as the German cars can burn some oil but mine does not. I have oil changed every 5000 miles and the level does not go down at all. Oil level and engine temp are the two things to look at.
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Old 05-04-2014, 03:19 PM
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maybe some seafoam? .. a few bottles over the next few fill ups?
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Old 05-04-2014, 07:08 PM
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I think you're probably fine, but you sound concerned. With a warranty, why not have it checked for peace of mind. White smoke can be water vapor, coolant, carbon (i.e. after a top end clean), or my guess, burning off a little carbon/oil that made past the PCV to the intake during WOT.

I haven't dug into the M273 yet, but with the LS1 in my Corvette it's telling me to run a little Seafoam through the intake. I never installed a catch can, and LS1's are notorious for oiling up the intake near/at WOT.

Let us know how it goes!
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Old 05-05-2014, 10:35 PM
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Thanks to you all for your input and support. I haven't been able to reproduce the smoke and I no longer smell any oil. Yesterday I took off the engine covers and thoroughly cleaned the areas I could reach (no chemicals - just a clean rag) and I inspected the manifolds. The engine looks new and I couldn't see any evidence of any oil anywhere, so I feel better about it - especially since I no longer have burning oil smell.
Hopefully it was just a one-time issue, but I will definitely swing by my shop to have it "blessed". Thanks again you guys!
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Old 05-05-2014, 10:39 PM
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It could of happen if you havent floored it for a while.. I think its a possibility
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Old 05-06-2014, 12:57 AM
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Kind of an "Italian tune up" in a roundabout way - maybe you burned something/blew something out of the exhaust.
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Old 05-06-2014, 08:17 AM
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You simply aired it out. No problem to worry about.
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Old 05-06-2014, 07:06 PM
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This happened to me last May about 2 weeks after i bought my 550. I opened it up on the highway and floored the pedal to pass. In my rear view mirror I saw two long trails of grey/bule smoke a and assumed I blew a gasket or worse. No lights came on, and the car didnt skip a beat. No oil leaks to be had, and It has never happened since. I've just assumed I just cleaned out my exhaust. Like others have said, don't worry to much about it.

Last edited by stale-bread; 05-06-2014 at 07:09 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 05-06-2014, 08:17 PM
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Just floor it more often!
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Old 05-06-2014, 10:53 PM
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I often floor it, more often than my wife would like, so the fact that my car decided to release some smoke scared me.

But since it's been fine and I haven't been able to reproduce it, and with your responses, I feel much better about it. Now I'll be able to tell my wife that I'm flooring it in the best interest of the car!

thanks guys!
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Old 05-06-2014, 11:48 PM
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Just a thought in case it pops up again......water in the gas produces steam that can be misdiagnosed as smoke. It doesn't smell like burning oil but you could have just been thinking/imagining the smell. Or not. Low fuel level in tank with a higher % of water is usually when it happens. Lots of short trips where it doesn't remain at temperature long is usually the culprit but don't rule out bad gas (although rare these days as all stations regularly check for water). A puff of smoke/steam when starting out can be a sign of water in the gas as well. The bigger the throttle opening the more chance of it happening.
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Old 05-13-2014, 10:28 PM
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So I smelled burning oil again and thought I'd look under the car again when I noticed oil dripping onto the exhaust pipe. I immediately took it to the dealership the next day. It turned out to be a transmission oil pan leak at the gasket, which was repaired under warranty. I wonder if it was coincidental or if it got blown out during the original acceleration event.
The guys at Mercedes Greenway in Houston are really awesome! I have bought three cars from them and suspect will continue to do so in the future!

Thanks to you all as well for your input.

MD
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Old 05-13-2014, 10:34 PM
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Good catch. Hope that fixes it for good.
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