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Help with 2012 GL350 Oil Leak but don't think it is the oil cooler

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GL Class (X164) 2007-2012: GL320CDI, GL420CDI, GL450, GL550

Help with 2012 GL350 Oil Leak but don't think it is the oil cooler

 
Old 02-02-2019, 01:16 PM
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Help with 2012 GL350 Oil Leak but don't think it is the oil cooler

Looking for some advice as to where to start. I have a 2012 GL350 with a pretty bad leak. It was first diagnosed by my local mechanics as the infamous oil cooler leak (not a Mercedes shop, but I've used them forever and I trust they would not intentionally steer me wrong). They indicated they were not too excited about taking that on. I have some experience turning a wrench so I spent a weekend and did the cooler seals. When I got into it I found the cooler already had the purple seals. I installed the new ones anyway. While I was in there I also replaced the timing chain as I was starting to get the startup slap.

Oil is still leaking pretty bad though. The leak is evident below the vehicle slightly to the driver side of the vehicle about inline with the front tires, while another lesser drip is just slightly to the passenger side of center also in line with the front tires. From what I understand the oil cooler leak usually presents back of the engine so the marks it is leaving does not seem consistent with an oil cooler leak.

Visually inspecting from the top I see a fair amount of oil on the lower rails by the front driver side. the top of the pan along the front middle of the engine has oil on it, and the alternator area on the front passenger side has evidence of oil on it. I suspect something is getting onto one of the pulleys and getting thrown around.

Attached are a few photos. The oil is not as east to make out in the photos as with the naked eye.

Wondering if there is something else I should be looking into? Any help is appreciated.










Last edited by ccrobin; 02-02-2019 at 01:39 PM. Reason: Re-sizeattachments
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Old 02-02-2019, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by ccrobin View Post
Looking for some advice as to where to start. I have a 2012 GL350 with a pretty bad leak. It was first diagnosed by my local mechanics as the infamous oil cooler leak (not a Mercedes shop, but I've used them forever and I trust they would not intentionally steer me wrong). They indicated they were not too excited about taking that on. I have some experience turning a wrench so I spent a weekend and did the cooler seals. When I got into it I found the cooler already had the purple seals. I installed the new ones anyway. While I was in there I also replaced the timing chain as I was starting to get the startup slap.

Oil is still leaking pretty bad though. The leak is evident below the vehicle slightly to the driver side of the vehicle about inline with the front tires, while another lesser drip is just slightly to the passenger side of center also in line with the front tires. From what I understand the oil cooler leak usually presents back of the engine so the marks it is leaving does not seem consistent with an oil cooler leak.

Visually inspecting from the top I see a fair amount of oil on the lower rails by the front driver side. the top of the pan along the front middle of the engine has oil on it, and the alternator area on the front passenger side has evidence of oil on it. I suspect something is getting onto one of the pulleys and getting thrown around.

Attached are a few photos. The oil is not as east to make out in the photos as with the naked eye.






Wondering if there is something else I should be looking into? Any help is appreciated.
It could be quite a few things. I suggest you clean up everything as much as you can then get yourself some dye and put it in. Drive around and then go to town with a black light. You will be surprised- often the leak source defies splatter logic

Last edited by alx; 02-02-2019 at 01:34 PM.
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Old 02-02-2019, 01:41 PM
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That sounds all CSI, great idea. Never done anything like that. Can I get the dye from a regular auto parts store?
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Old 02-02-2019, 10:09 PM
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Could there be an oil leak here?

Originally Posted by alx View Post

It could be quite a few things. I suggest you clean up everything as much as you can then get yourself some dye and put it in. Drive around and then go to town with a black light. You will be surprised- often the leak source defies splatter logic
So I added some dye, cleaned everything up, and let it run a bit. While cleaning I started suspecting it may be the oil filter housing gasket, leaking onto the serpentine belt and thus being flung all over. I didn't find any glow with the uv light anywhere near that though. Also, the leak didn't seem to be dropping. I suspect all the cleaning I did it may need to run a while more. I did, however, find a glow with the UV light on top of the fuel filter. It appears there is a bit of fluid (looks like diesel) on top of it, but can figure out why the dye would be there. Is there something that could be leaking oil at this spot, or does diesel just glow under UV? See photo attached.



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Old 02-03-2019, 12:30 AM
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Originally Posted by ccrobin View Post
So I added some dye, cleaned everything up, and let it run a bit. While cleaning I started suspecting it may be the oil filter housing gasket, leaking onto the serpentine belt and thus being flung all over. I didn't find any glow with the uv light anywhere near that though. Also, the leak didn't seem to be dropping. I suspect all the cleaning I did it may need to run a while more. I did, however, find a glow with the UV light on top of the fuel filter. It appears there is a bit of fluid (looks like diesel) on top of it, but can figure out why the dye would be there. Is there something that could be leaking oil at this spot, or does diesel just glow under UV? See photo attached.


A bit early to tell, you might need to drive a bit more. However, You are most likely steaming/ misting oil from the air intake seal where it mates with the turbo or the smaller egr seal on the side... and it puddles in the fuel filter top. Without removing the plastic intake- Check right under the turbo inlet- is it wet with oil? Does it glow? (Put your fingers under the Y- pipe where it mates with the turbo- do they glow?) That is very common. Seals need to be replaced. Make sure you get the orange ones. Also, check your turbo shaft for play- if you are throwing oil your turbo seals might be going.

Last edited by alx; 02-03-2019 at 12:37 AM.
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Old 02-04-2019, 10:41 PM
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Leak Location

Originally Posted by alx View Post



A bit early to tell, you might need to drive a bit more. However, You are most likely steaming/ misting oil from the air intake seal where it mates with the turbo or the smaller egr seal on the side... and it puddles in the fuel filter top. Without removing the plastic intake- Check right under the turbo inlet- is it wet with oil? Does it glow? (Put your fingers under the Y- pipe where it mates with the turbo- do they glow?) That is very common. Seals need to be replaced. Make sure you get the orange ones. Also, check your turbo shaft for play- if you are throwing oil your turbo seals might be going.
I have a 2011 and have had all of the common leaks. The leak you show in your first pics is 95% likely the oil filter housing to block gasket OR the intermediary oil filter housing gasket. Mine leaked at the intermediary gasket (which is not available by itself) and dripped a little on the serpentine belt which flung it everywhere. It even caused my belt to slip.

I bought a new oil filter housing/block gasket and it fixed it for this area. I have had oil cooler leak, oil filler cap gasket leak, intercooler hoses/orings oil leak, turbo intake gasket (orange donut) leak.

I have been leak free for about 30k miles now!
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Old 02-09-2019, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by KrustyKustom View Post
I have a 2011 and have had all of the common leaks. The leak you show in your first pics is 95% likely the oil filter housing to block gasket OR the intermediary oil filter housing gasket. Mine leaked at the intermediary gasket (which is not available by itself) and dripped a little on the serpentine belt which flung it everywhere. It even caused my belt to slip.

I bought a new oil filter housing/block gasket and it fixed it for this area. I have had oil cooler leak, oil filler cap gasket leak, intercooler hoses/orings oil leak, turbo intake gasket (orange donut) leak.

I have been leak free for about 30k miles now!
Well, I think I also have the intermediary housing leak,and you answered my question as I was unable to find that gasket. Looks like I will be looking for a new housing. See attached photo.

How difficult was it to replace? I'm not finding any videos or how-tos on it.
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:25 AM
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Thats exactly where mine leaked. The housing was not difficult to replace, there is a little bracket at the top that bolts on close to injection pump that is a little tricky. Jut plan on a good clean up when you are done, you have to remove the tensioner unit and I would replace any Serpentine belt that has had oil on it.

After I had my housing off the vehicle i think you could use a really good form in place gasket maker (Toyota brand FIPG sealant is my favorite) and make it work. They do sell the housing to block gasket. Its funny how predictable the points of leakage are on these motors, but I guess thats a good thing when you own a couple of them.

Clean, degrease, replace and roll on down the road......
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Old 02-13-2019, 11:07 AM
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New Oil Filter Housing should be arriving today. I will try to ge to it this weekend and post my results.
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Old 02-18-2019, 11:33 PM
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please post your results. I am looking at possibly leak in same area.

where did you order the housing?
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Old 02-19-2019, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by speed2much View Post
please post your results. I am looking at possibly leak in same area.

where did you order the housing?
Shipment had been delayed and is actually on the truck for delivery today. I purchased from a popular e-commerce site named after a South American Rainforest for $108 new. Not sure if it comes with the needed gasket so I ordered one of those as well for $12.

I will definitely post the results. I sure hope this is it because I'm tired of leaving a puddle that looks like an automobile homicide every time I park. Also tired of adding a $12 quart of oil every other day.
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Old 02-20-2019, 08:53 AM
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Update: Parts received yesterday. The filter housing did indeed come with a new gasket so it was not necessary for me to purchase one separately. Oh well, only out $12.

In case anyone else needs to order this part, it is MB part# 6421801410.

I'll get this installed in the next few days and post some photos and an update.
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