Advice re dealer sevice error....

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Active Member
May 14, 2006
Guys, I have not posted for a while but need advice please.

My car was dealer serviced today. E280CDi V6 diesel.

When I next climbed a hill, the car revved out control went past the redline for a while until I reached the top of the hill (very quickly.....). On levelling out, I was able to stop it. The smoke behind me put "Clarkson versus tank" to shame....:eek:

My first thought was the runaway was a blown turbo seal. Mobilo arrived and we both dipped the oil and saw it was massively overfilled (2 inches over full).

Also, the fact the runaway stopped pointed away from the turbo as they normally run until they blow or use all the oil.....

So, fast forward, recovered to the servicing dealer, they confirmed the error and plan to fit a new turbo, FOC, "just in case" it was damaged by the runaway.

My question to the specialists on here is what else should be checked/cleaned/replaced given the passage of a lot of engine oil through the entire intake from breather to cylinders AND the time the engine spent well beyond the end of the revcounter?

The car has no DFP but I'm also wary of the effect of the soot (and presumably very high exhaust gas temperature) on the Cats.

Any advice guys please?


I can't help on the technical side, but given that it is a clear 'at fault' error on the dealer part, and that you have not asked (or at least not mention having asked) for any compensation for your wasted time while dealing with this totality unnecessary incident, I would try to get them to throw-in some sort of 1-year mechanical breakdown cover for peace of mind.
Hi, I hear you Markjay but I'm taking this a step at a time and working out what they must change right now and then worry about compensation once the car is satisfactorily repaired.

I doubt it will have damaged the turbo but it will have spat oil down the exhaust. This may have damaged the CATS.

I would be asking for new cats too as well as a warranty on all engine parts as DERV's are not supposed to rev past 4k ish.

It is the damage you can't see that may arise in the future I would be worried about.

Very slack from a main dealer.
At least the dealer held up their hands and didn't try to weasel out of it. It does enter a difficult "what if" territory---- as an owner you don't want be driving in a "breakdown waiting to happen" and the dealer won't want to spend "more money than reasonable" on the "off chance" something might go wrong in the future if nothing is apparent at the moment. One thing which may help is to get the cars emissions checked [ a la MOT test ] by a mutually acceptable third party which might indicate damage to the cats? That might remove an element of speculation with facts? My guess is that they may not be prepared to do any precautionary replacement work beyond the turbo but you never know. I think your best approach if they are "sticky" is to list the potential problems that might arise and ask for an extended warranty making sure all the "at risk" components are covered [ including the cats] If they object just say to them-- You just told me everything is OK now so what's the problem? negotiate! ;)

ps It would also be useful to get something in writing about this as a record for the future. If the repair work is invoiced /documented this might serve as a record.
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Any advice guys please?

I wonder if your incident would cause similiar damage to the turbo actually going? Probably would, given Mercedes are willing to fit a new one in case it was damaged.

Reason for asking is that when my turbo went, 200 yards from the MB dealers after a "B" service, the smoke from the exhaust was unbelievable, just like yours. Because of all the oil going where it ain't supposed to go, as well as a new turbo, I required a new intercooler, new cats and all the inlet pipework replaced as it was impossible to clean the oil out of everything. This was all done under warranty and the car returned to me.

For the next week I noticed smoke from the exhaust on start up, just like the valve stem oil seals had gone. I returned the car twice to Mercedes who said it was only residual oil in the system and both times they returned it saying they had cleaned it out and it would settle down. Never did though. I then noticed that where previously the car had never used any oil between services, it was now getting a litre top up every 1000 miles.

This was the tricky bit, Mercedes claim a litre every 1000 miles is within limits, but I claimed that it used zero oil every 10,000 miles before the turbo went. I argued that it was now using oil because of damage due to a blown turbo and I wanted it returned to me in the same condition it was before, after all it was still under warranty.

Thankfully, they agreed to raise a claim and MB agreed to replace the valve stem oil seals. The car was returned and no longer requires oil between what is now 13,000 mile service intervals.

Whatever agreement you come to with the dealer, please feel free to quote my tale of woe when deciding what may go wrong in the next year or so.

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Just thinking about this versus turbo failure....

The turbo is still working so no "metal bits" will have been inhaled BUT oil will have hit the pipework, intercooler, the dreaded swirl flaps in both manifolds and then the inlet valves.

After (partial) combustion it will have overspun/overheated the turbo and covered the Cats.

Then, separately, there is the issue of engine over-revving for about 45 seconds or so (past the end of the revcounter so >5,500rpm).

I will have the dealer write me a document stating how they will address both issues, on the understanding that I will have their plan vetted by a 3rd party.

Just thinking about this versus turbo failure....

The turbo is still working so no "metal bits" will have been inhaled BUT oil will have hit the pipework, intercooler, the dreaded swirl flaps in both manifolds and then the inlet valves.

Exactly the same as mine, turbo intact, no metal, only oil damage.

Shouldn't the electonic oil level sesnor have given you a over-full warning?

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