190E 1.8 Head Gasket

Discussion in 'Engine' started by ianaddyadams, Jul 13, 2017.

  1. ianaddyadams

    ianaddyadams New Member

    Jan 29, 2014
    Kia Sorento
    Looking for some advice; I have a 190 1.8 which I bought unseen off EBay last November, a nice car on the face if it. Was 6 months until I got round to looking at it, head gasket gone. I had the head skimmed and head gasket done by a local garage, still seems to be losing coolant.
    Questions is, do I sell it as spares or put a new engine/gearbox in? I have read a thread about sticking a W124 engine and gearbox in. I don't want to throw good money after bad though.



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  2. grober

    grober MB Club Veteran

    Jun 22, 2003
    Perth, Scotland
    W204 C200CDI Estate
    You need to ascertain the reason for the coolant loss. Is it the gasket again? has the head gone porous, is the car overheating, is the water pump leaking, is the cooling system depressurising due to a leak- radiator /header tank pressure cap is a favourite for coolant loss. A quick check is to remove the spark plugs and examine them. Then have a look down the plug holes at the top of the pistons. If any plug or piston looks black and oily it can indicate water getting into the cylinder. Coolant loss may also show up as white smoke or condensation from the exhaust when th engine warms up.
  3. Dizz

    Dizz Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Jun 4, 2017
    CLK320 (w209)
    If coolant is leaking into the oil ways (via head gasket) you will get a creamy yogurt like build up on the inside of the oil filler cap and neck, visible when you take the cap off.

    Does it run hot or overheat? as that could be an air lock in the coolant system resulting in coolant being blown out of the header tank via the cap.

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    Last edited: Jul 14, 2017
  4. Will

    Will MB Club Veteran

    Jan 21, 2003
    GL63 AMG / 190E 2.5-16 / Porsche 911
    Quite a few of the 8-valve M102s that have been left with leaking head gaskets for some time suffer corrosion on the alloy cylinder head, usually on cylinders 3/4 (near the back).

    You'd either need a replacement cylinder head or the old one could probably be repaired by cleaning up, welding and skimming back (I'd look for another head though if this was the case)

    Usually oil gets in to the coolant before coolant gets into the oil, cooling system runs around 1bar, oil prsssure a little higher. Header tank is the highest point in the system, and oil floats.

    It's still possible that the coolant is leaking somewhere else though. You need to identify the leak - as per Graeme's post, before considering any other options.

    Maybe ask the garage that did the work for their advice, they may be able to pressure test the cooling system for you? :)
  5. 190

    190 Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Mar 4, 2015
    2009 W204 C180K
    One of several reasons why I decided to part with my 190e after 21 years was a small amount of coolant loss into No 4 cylinder. The early symptom beside coolant loss was starting became less reliable. When I removed the plugs the visual difference with No4 plug was obvious as it had quite a build up of contamination which was causing a misfire. Pure water in small quantities actually cleans up a combustion chamber but presumably the chemicals in the coolant leave behind deposits. A compression check confirmed No4 to be suspect and as I heard this was a common enough fate for the M102 engine at high mileage I called it a day before it got worse.

    Back to your problem. As already mentioned the coolant loss could be something else including a leaking water pump gland which I had at one point. Before condemning the cylinder head take a look at the plugs and have a compression test done.
  6. rorf

    rorf Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Jul 23, 2011
    Cape Town, South Africa
    2000 SL320 v6, 2001 CLK320
    When ever I buy a second hand car the first thing I look at is the coolant, if dirty and brown I dont bother looking any further.

    85% of all vehicle breakdowns is coolant related.
  7. optimusprime

    optimusprime Hardcore MB Enthusiast

    Dec 29, 2013
    Kidderminster Worcestershire UK
    Mercedes W124 260E M103
    Make sure it leaking first .Get a pressure test on it I had a problem after replacing my
    water pump .Water was driping down from rear of engine . From the area that holds the back lifting eye, just at the rear the cylinder head .And inside of it sits this O ring .The o ring was perished .But it was a hard job to remove it as the allen bolts had corroded very bad . Why do you think the head gasket is shot?

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