Question about 1984 Mercedes-Benz 190

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My 1979 Mercedes, 240D is racing wildly as I drive

I began to lose oil recently and last night the car started to buck and the engine began to feel strange. I pushed in the clutch because it felt like the engine was taking off and it began to rev like crazy. I pulled over and waited for the engine to pop and it just settled back down. It did this several more times over the course of an hour drive. I began to use the tranny to bring the engine revs down, which worked to get me home on Christmas eve, but there is something really wrong. The other strange thing I noticed is the brakes seem really hard and at the top of the pedal stroke. I'm going to go snoop around to see if I can see anything wrong. I'm looking forward to any help here.

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  • marcgizzi Dec 25, 2008

    No, there is no turbo on this vehicle. It's a 4 cylinder with fuel injection.

  • marcgizzi Dec 25, 2008

    Signing up for the temp account, there were no choices for either 1979 or 240D model so I chose 84 and 190. The car is actually a 79 240D. I went out and stuck my head under the hood this afternoon. It actually looks like I blew my head gasket. There was what looked like oil spray coming from under the head on the rear, passenger side.

    As far as your guesses go, the pedal didn't stick down when the racing happened so I don't know about the stuck throttle. I was still able to feather the pedal, but with no effect, while the engine raced.

    As far as the vacuum problem, as you know everything is hooked into the vacuum system on this car. When I've had vacuum leaks in the past, the first thing to fail was the door locks stopped working automatically. This is not the case now. The locks are still working so I'm doubting the vacuum answer. (No disrespect. I really appreciate the help).

    So, how does head gasket figure into the symptoms I mentioned? I may replace my whole drivetrain as I've got a line on some other cars possibly or I may just do the head job after I talk to a local mechanic that my nephew knows. Another idea that came up today was a product called "Seafoam". Appearently it's a blue liquid that costs $70 a bottle. You remove your thermostat and pour it in there and run the car for about 45 minutes and it will seal you up. I was told I may possibly get another 8,000 miles out of that temp fix. That would get me clear of winter, which would be great to not have to deal with this thing now.

    Anyway, thanks for the help. I'm open to ideas and input.

  • John Weathers
    John Weathers May 11, 2010

    If this is a 190 with a M102 4 cylinder gas engine then I'd say you have a vacuum leak and its probably in the main line to the brake booster. 
    If this is a 240 D with a OM616 4 cylinder diesel engine you could have a sticking throttle linkage and a vacuum pump problem.
    This post says 1884 190 and 79 240D which is it.

  • Marvin
    Marvin May 11, 2010

    is this a diesel with a turbo?



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The reason I brought up a vacuum problem is because you said the brakes were hard. A vacuum problem would not make the engine tach up but it could and will make your brakes hard. I don't think any kind of sealant will work on that high compression ratio diesel engine and I'd hate to see you waste 70.00. Is the car running OK now? Are you sure the oil is coming from the head gasket and not the valve cover gasket. I am very familiar with the OM616 Mercedes engines and I would like to help you out. Did you manually open the throttle linkage by hand under the hood and watch it return to its stop?? Check the linkage manually and make sure it goes stop to stop.

Posted on Dec 25, 2008


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