Question about 1995 Mercedes-Benz S-Class

3 Answers

I have a 89 300e Mercedes and i blew a head gasket (oil into the water), took it to a shop that did a complete valve job (new valves), camshaft, rockers and new lifters, etc...All cylinders are with 160 compression, timing is correct...problem is, there is now a rattling / knocking noise, towards the rear of the motor, upper end...Even when the oil was in the water, there was NO rattle/knocking noise...The noise stays consistent at about 2100 rpm (soounds like something is just floating around)...no misses, runs GREAT, plenty of power...doesn't have the sound of a rod knock...any help would be greatly appreciated...How can i determine for sure it isn't a rod knock and how would it just appear after a valve job and new head gasket????

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  • 12 more comments 
  • Michael Conard Apr 02, 2011

    A previous expert stated something about piston ring being to small, the pistons were never taken out, just the upperend was worked on...Head was pressure tested, magnafluxed, etc...Lifters were replaced new yesterday and the noise still appears...

  • Michael Conard Apr 02, 2011

    Please note ALL valves, lifters, camshafts, rockers have been replaced...Mechanic has removed the renewed head and has checked ALL valves, seats, etc...carbon has been removed from the top of the pistons and oil pressure, cylinder compression has tested fine...upper end has been replaced...can an injector cause a tapping noise that could be taken as pinging???

  • Michael Conard Apr 02, 2011

    Hello, the car is still in the shop from doing the work...I picked it up 2 weeks ago and the noise seemed to appear couple miles after picking it up...upon me returning it to him (he thought it was a pinging),, he heard the noise and immediately checked all timing, compression and oil pressure...once they checked out fine, he removed the head and had the machine shop check all the valves, lifters, etc...They appeared to be all within desired tolerances (per mechanic), before putting the head on, he replaced ALL lifters and the noise does still remain...

  • Michael Conard Apr 02, 2011

    Did you receive my comment on the time frames and what he did after i discovered the noise????

  • Michael Conard Apr 02, 2011

    The car is still with the mechanic, I discovered the noise a few miles after picking the car up...I returned it the next day and he commenced the checking it out...he checked all timing, compression, oil pressure and all was fine...he sent the head to the shop that did the head work and they checked all tolerances, parts and all seemed to be fine...replaced all lifters and the noise still appears...at 2100 rpm, it sounds like something if floating, i suggested maybe the injectors, what kind of noises can they make? what are some things to do to determine if it is a rod knock ( i am not thinking it is a rod but just need to eliminate that) what is a test for that? Thanks

  • Michael Conard Apr 02, 2011

    The car is still with the mechanic, I discovered the noise a few miles after picking the car up...I returned it the next day and he commenced the checking it out...he checked all timing, compression, oil pressure and all was fine...he sent the head to the shop that did the head work and they checked all tolerances, parts and all seemed to be fine...replaced all lifters and the noise still appears...at 2100 rpm, it sounds like something if floating, i suggested maybe the injectors, what kind of noises can they make? what are some things to do to determine if it is a rod knock ( i am not thinking it is a rod but just need to eliminate that) what is a test for that? Thanks SORRY FOR DUPLICATES, NEW TO THIS SITE...

  • Michael Conard Apr 02, 2011

    I do appreciate any help you can supply and would be willing to rave about you on comments and sorry you will only get $5.00...there is NO exhaust noise, it sounds like a valave is floating which is why he had the head torn apart and relooked at...the car runs like a raped ape, no misses, starts right up, no hesitation, just the noise...

  • Michael Conard Apr 02, 2011

    I put my foot on the brake, with car in gear and accelerated a little and did not get louder nor did it make a deep knocking sound so i am assuming it isn't a rod...is that a good way to check? i am familiar with 350 chevy, but the mercedes seems to be a different monster

  • Michael Conard Apr 02, 2011

    When i put my foot on the brake and accelerated, the noise was not very prodominate, i would say just sped up and got louder...

  • Michael Conard Apr 02, 2011

    The noise gets very noticable at about 2100rpm going down the road and going through the gears (automatic trans), the noise sounds like a lifter noise in a small block chevy (new lifters)...Have you ever heard a small block chevy when you over rev it and the valves start to float, it resembles that sound...

  • Michael Conard Apr 02, 2011

    I dont see my response so i amtyping again so you won't be waiting...The sound was very loud during the foot on the break test, seemed to speed up and at 2100rpm going down the road, it sounds like a small block chevy when it is overrevved and valves float...ever hear that sound??? the mechanic doesn't think it is a rod...how much should injectors cost for a 89 300e mercedes???

  • Michael Conard Apr 02, 2011

    Let me ask, would injectors make real loud noises like the "chevy floating valve" noise...i went back and read some notes and the mechanic did say the noise changed when he disconnected the injector on the 6th hole...

  • Michael Conard Apr 02, 2011

    Ok, one last question...if the injector is NOT performing well, could it cause a pinging that would sound like the sound i describe??? i am just trying to cover bases...I can't figure out why a rod knock would appear after a valve job

  • Michael Conard Apr 02, 2011

    Was very happy with answer, KAComstock went beyond what was expected to answer my questions...

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HI there! As a mechanic there is a few things i can think of that may cause this obnoxious noise you have. I will list a few things that i think could be causing the problem and my advice to resolve said issue.

  1. Incorrect adjustment of valve
  2. Spring, seat, rod, retainer, retainer sleeve, locks, ect. are not correctly installed (many little parts in the valve train could cause this)
  3. Something got left inside the valve cover (socket, debris, screw, bolt, locks, retainer, ect.)
  4. Exterior bolt on part loose
Also how long ago did you have the shop do the work and how long after the work was completed did this noise start happening? I really dont like to suggest people take their cars into a shop because i like to help people to save money by fixing their own cars, but...an issue like this may be covered under a warranty. If you cannot find anything external that could cause this and you do have a labor/ parts warranty dont take the valve cover off because the shop may say that will void it. There is a really good chance that the shop made a mistake, every mechanic does some time or another, I know I have before. Let me know what you think.

Posted on Apr 02, 2011

  • 11 more comments 
  • Kelly Comstock
    Kelly Comstock Apr 02, 2011

    Oh and another thing i forgot to mention is that fuel injectors do naturally make clicking noises. If the injector is bad it can make some pretty loud clicking.

  • Kelly Comstock
    Kelly Comstock Apr 02, 2011

    Hahaha i just realized that you just mentioned the injector. As i mentioned, yes that could be it. BUT human error never fails. Did they open up the valve covers sisnce you have noticed the noise?

  • Kelly Comstock
    Kelly Comstock Apr 02, 2011

    A good way to check the injectors is if you dont have a mechanics stethiscope you can use a long screwdriver and put the end of the grip to your ear while the metal end is on the injector. Do this with the engine on to every injector. They will all make clicking sounds, but if there are any bad ones they will be much louder and/ or have a different sound to them. I hope this helps you out, please rate my solution if i have. Thank you and have a great day!

  • Kelly Comstock
    Kelly Comstock Apr 02, 2011

    Let me know if you have any more questions or if there are any other symptoms that you can think of.

  • Kelly Comstock
    Kelly Comstock Apr 02, 2011

    Gosh i think this is one of the tougher ones i have dealt with :) I like a challenge! There are so many thigns that can cause a pinging sound, heck even bad fuel can do that. It could even be something unrelated to the valve train. Sometimes noises originating in one location can resonate to another making it had to pin down the culpret. Even exhaust issues will do this. My Dodge Ram you see in the picture has a tiny exhaust leak in the catylitic converter that sounds like its comeing from the back of the engine. It drove me nuts for weeks untill i found the problem. I will keep on doing research because i would like to help you out and (hehe) possibly get the $5 if i can help you and you enter the question as solved :)

  • Kelly Comstock
    Kelly Comstock Apr 02, 2011

    Read my comment on the stethiscope or screwdriver trick. That is a really good way to find the locations of a bad noise.

  • Kelly Comstock
    Kelly Comstock Apr 02, 2011

    Hahaha i am new to this site too and didn't realize that a bunch of the comments were collapsed. Didnt see the button to uncollaps it till now.

  • Kelly Comstock
    Kelly Comstock Apr 02, 2011

    Hahaha yeah they dont pay much for solutions but money is money and i like to help people by sharing my knowledge of car repair. This is a tough one and I am running out of ideas...I don't want to give up but unless I have the car in my garage with my tools in hand i'm not sure what else i can do. :( Let me think for a minute longer

  • Kelly Comstock
    Kelly Comstock Apr 02, 2011

    Did the sound get a faster frequency as the RPM's increased? Or did the noise keep the same tempo even as the RPM increased?

  • Kelly Comstock
    Kelly Comstock Apr 02, 2011

    I know exactly what you mean on the sound of the floating lifters. I dont know... like i said before, since its not in my hands i dont know what else i can do. I think it is something in the valvetrain. Maybe even the crankshaft but i think that would make a louder sound. Im sorry i cant offer any better explaination. If you don't want to accept this solution you can wait 4 hours for ours to time out and someone else can try, or you can accept the solution and repost it. either way someone else may be able to help or wait to see what your mechanic says. Have a good day and sorry i could be of more help. :)

  • Kelly Comstock
    Kelly Comstock Apr 02, 2011

    I know they can make a good racket but they usually wont get too loud and have the motor run at the same time. So if the injectors were so bad they were making a real loud noise, they wouldnt be supplying the proper amount of fuel. not 100% sure on the cost but many places have remanufactured injectors from $80-$150. Depending on the type.

  • Kelly Comstock
    Kelly Comstock Apr 02, 2011

    It sure could sound like that if the injecto was not performing properly. There is a little "piston" in the injector that can make a hell of a racket. Also if the mechanic accidentally installed something wrond or damaged a rod while doing tha valve job that could be the cause. I hope that you dont have injectore problens because those little things can get spendy.

  • Kelly Comstock
    Kelly Comstock Apr 02, 2011

    Later on down the road after the cause has been determined can you post it back on here if the site lets you? I really want to know what is making that noise :)

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Welcome to Fixya

Excess engine noise is due to excessive clearance between two metal parts that should have little to no clearance. This clearance can be due to several things from a broken valve spring to a valve lifter sticking. Identify where the engine noise is being generated, with the engine running try to isolate where the noise is coming from in the engine, either the upper half, lower half, front half or rear half. Listen from above the engine or below the engine as this will help determine where to start looking for the cause of the noise.

Tapping Noise (lower and upper engine noise) - Check the engine oil level, your engine depends on clean engine oil to lubricate the internal moving parts, if the engine oil level is low or the oil is dirty it can cause internal engine parts to malfunction. For example: a valve lifter is responsible for holding valve train clearance to a minimum, if the oil level is low or dirty it can cause the lifter to malfunction which will allow excess valve train clearance creating engine tapping or clicking noise. In extreme cases or when your engine has run out or close to out it can cause one of the many bearing surfaces to fail causing permanent engine damage and noise until repairs have been made. If this condition is left unattended the engine will suffer permanent damage and fail. If your engine is making a noise change the engine oil and filter with the manufacturers recommended weight (viscosity) oil first, if that does not make a difference engine repair work is needed.

Knocking Sound (upper engine noise) - If you hear a lighter tapping noise from the upper half of the engine, shut the engine off and remove the valve covers. A camshaft is commonly used to operate poppet valves in a piston engine. A cylindrical rod is situated in the cylinder block or cylinder head that has oblong lobes or cams which push open the intake and exhaust valves. This force is applied on the valve directly or through an intermediate mechanism such as a rocker arm, lifter (cam follower) and push rods that are used to press against the valve for movement. Each valve utilizes a spring that will return the valve to its original position (closed) after the force is removed. If a valve spring has broken or a cam lobe is worn down it will cause the engine to create a tapping or clicking sound. To test for this condition, remove the ignition coil connector, ignition system or fuel pump fuse to disable power to the ignition or fuel system. Remove the valve covers to gain access to visually inspect the valve train. Have a helper crank the engine over while you watch the rocker arms or cam lobes, make sure they are all going up and down the same amount, if one or more lobes are traveling less than the others you might have a flattened cam lob and the camshaft needs to be replaced or a hydraulic lifter/follower (where applicable) that has collapsed and will need to be replaced. Also inspect the condition of the valve springs, use a flashlight and small mirror to aid in the inspection if needed. If a broken valve spring is discovered it will need to be replaced to correct the problem. And the final check, look at the height of the valve springs and retainers when in the closed position (pressure off) they should be exactly the same height. If one valve is higher or lower something is wrong with the cylinder head, valve or valve seat and needs to be repaired.

Rattling, Knocking Sound (lower engine noise) - If a heavier noise seems to be generated from the lower half of the engine the problem can be more serious and disassembly maybe required. But, sometimes a lower engine noise could be generated due to excessive carbon (carbon is a natural by-product of the combustion process) build up on top of the piston. This noise is created when carbon is compressed between the piston and the cylinder head. If you elect to perform a de-carbon procedure start and run the engine until warm, have a helper hold the engine at about 1500 RPM. As the engine is running poor a small amount of water down the throttle body, about a cup, you are creating a steam cleaning effect to break up the carbon that will exit the engine. Don't worry if steam is generated from the exhaust during the treatment, this is normal. If noise is gone after the treatment the carbon has been removed, if the engine noise is still there lower engine dis-assembly is required.

Thank you for using Fixya!

Posted on Apr 02, 2011

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Well it cant just appear..

do the radiator test,, pop the hood

  • ope thee radiator
  • start the car
  • press the accelerator does the radiator bubble or push water out ??
if yes the the cylinder head has a micro fracture on it.. you need to replace the cylinder head have a mechanic (same shop that fixed it) look at it again..

if your answer is no then one of the piston rings are too small,, the sould your hearing is the tappit knocking, returning it to the gurage as well..


my money is on the tappit.

Posted on Apr 02, 2011

  • 1 more comment 
  • Rishi Roshan Ali Apr 02, 2011

    did you check the cam sensor or knock sensor??..

    well if you didnt change the pistosn itd surely not the rings, The tappit is the rod, but the only way I know to test is is to change it.

  • Rishi Roshan Ali Apr 02, 2011

    Sorry ,, I meant the Tappet is the lifter which you said you already replaced,

    Ok reading what you elminated ,, thigs to check

    1.cam chain guide could be slapping if its worn out or slack,, at higher speeds it would t
    tighten and run better, the the intake side wears more quicker than the exhaust side. so
    check that.

    2.) check the crank shaft bearings ,, were there metal shavings in the oil ??

    3.) the clutch basket.. see if the plates ate running loose ??

    Wjile running, use a stethoscope to narrow down where the noise is coming from..

    post back to what happens for those.

  • Rishi Roshan Ali Apr 02, 2011

    oh ,, skip the clutch basket step.. if your car int manual

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