Turbo / engine ? help needed

dtr

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Hi,

I got into a deep trouble pit partly by my poor luck, partly by incompetent mechanics servicing my car, and partly by my lack of knowledge (only 2nd car).

The problem developed as follows.

The car used to drive really well just a couple weeks ago. It was serviced by one of the Reading independents in April or May, so they should have flagged up anything major, but they didn't. I used to check oil level fairly regularly and it never got down too low.
Then I noticed slight slight lack of power accelerating on low fuel tank, but wrote it down to cheap asda fuel.
A couple longer journeys later, and some uphill driving in Exmoor (couple 17% inclines) it really lost power and had oil light. AA took the car back 'just to be on the safe side'.
A visit to the local garage resulted in a litre of oil added and an advise to think about new turbo, but suggested I might still drive around for a bit as long as the oil level is OK.
A few days later, and the car accelerates like a cheap french car (I had to take it round for some very important business).
To my horror I noticed thick black cloud when flooring the accelerator (while parked)

Please advise me what I could do to sort this out under budget or with a minimal loss. I wouldn't mind a new car sooner or later so this is an important factor of the equation.

The three options are:
1. Try to fix (affordable garage recommendations please in Bristol, and where to source the turbo from). Any takers?

2. Just sell as in need of repair or perhaps even trade in. This would be the least painful, but stressful for the valet. At least I could concentrate on the work more the very next day.

3. Sue the business I bought if from (a bit over 6 months). It could be problematic finding space to keep the car off the road - we have hedge all round our garden.
Could reading independent mercedes mechanics be seen as liable for failing to deal with - presumably - a very serious developing fault?
Then I need a stop gap car - a 20-year old E class or a Volvo or Toyota or Honda? Is that even more silly considering I am not a mechanic?

Thank you for help and advise.
 
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nick.ged

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black smoke in the exhaust usually indicates too rich a mixture, ie fueling issue, the burning of engine oil usually results in white smoke.

you say the car has recently consumed more oil than usual and a lack of power? sounds like the turbo seal.
 
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dtr

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black smoke in the exhaust usually indicates too rich a mixture, ie fueling issue, the burning of engine oil usually results in white smoke.

you say the car has recently consumed more oil than usual and a lack of power? sounds like the turbo seal.

Probably it is a seal, and could be a few bearings as well - it doesn't take long before they go when low on oil (memories from cycling days). So how bad would it be in terms of repairing?

The smoke is black, but could it be also white/blue as well, just black overpowers it.

It was always had some black smoke (but nothing of that sort like today), but the mechanics told me it was normal for any diesel car.
 

englishdas

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I wouldn't have thought that, these days, with the amount of emission controls in place, you should be seeing any black smoke at all, so i doubt the mechanics are correct.

The only time I've experienced clouds of smoke is when impending doom is about to hit the engine somewhere. I'd guess at major turbo issues, and the longer it goes unfixed, the bigger the chance of major catastrophe.

Book it in to somebody reputable, like Olly. If he lived near me I'd be his number 1 customer.
 
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dtr

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I wouldn't have thought that, these days, with the amount of emission controls in place, you should be seeing any black smoke at all, so i doubt the mechanics are correct.

The only time I've experienced clouds of smoke is when impending doom is about to hit the engine somewhere. I'd guess at major turbo issues, and the longer it goes unfixed, the bigger the chance of major catastrophe.

Book it in to somebody reputable, like Olly. If he lived near me I'd be his number 1 customer.

Who is OLLY please?

Mine doesn't have DPF, so perhaps there might be some smoke, I am not so sure.
How do I stand legally with the Reading service if they actually failed to diagnose this coming problem?
 

GP801

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Olly is BlackC55 otherwise known as PCS in Horndean north of Portsmouth. Very highly respected Indie.
I think it would be very difficult if not impossible to prove anything against the people who did the service unless there was something obvious at the time that you had reported to them.
 
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dtr

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Olly is BlackC55 otherwise known as PCS in Horndean north of Portsmouth. Very highly respected Indie.
I think it would be very difficult if not impossible to prove anything against the people who did the service unless there was something obvious at the time that you had reported to them.

Thanks, he is sadly too far from me. It would really have to be in Bristol this time. As much as I'd love to go to Portsmouth area I doubt the car would make it there without further damage (or expensive towing bill).
 
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Deleted member 37751

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Why would you try to sue someone for an 11 year old car that you have had for more than 6 months?

Do you expect a car to never need anything doing to it during your ownership?
 

duncanh

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Contact Avantgarde Automotive, a well respected independent MB mechanic based in Martock, Somerset. He (Steve) lives in South Bristol. You may be able to leave your car with him in Bristol. I have used him a couple of times and have been very impressed by his knowledge and skill. He can be contacted on 01935 829461 or 07917 177011
 

englishdas

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sweetpea said:
Why would you try to sue someone for an 11 year old car that you have had for more than 6 months?

Do you expect a car to never need anything doing to it during your ownership?

It could be still under some sort of warranty (says, clutching wildly at straws). I would suspect its the same mentality I had, assuming Mercedes ran forever until.the day dawned and I realised it would squeeze every spare cent I had outta me.

I like how you got straight to the point though sweetpea, no foreplay or anything. BTW, work calms down in the coming weeks, will take you up on the offer of a tour round the 211 soon.
 
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I like how you got straight to the point though sweetpea, no foreplay or anything. BTW, work calms down in the coming weeks, will take you up on the offer of a tour round the 211 soon.

No bother pal, whenever you're ready. You've got my number. :thumb:
 

blue gnome123

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I'd also suugest to the OP that they spend the £200 on fix the turbo on their A class before putting up for sale in the classifieds here. £2.5K is probably top-whack dealer price for an immaculate A170 of this age/condition. No-one in their right mind is going to pay that for a car with a turbo not working?
 

crisc204

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op

I'm not sure your going to get to far with claiming they should have spotted the fault. It was likely/probably barely there back in April.

It may help you understand what generally goes on IME
If we follow the idea the turbo has failed, as it sounds like that from the discription the lack of power ect
The turbo may have finally failed due to lack of oil. Ironically a situation which it will have caused by burning it away.

It was likely on it's way out as it was losing oil through the seals which is common failure with all turbos. Once the seal/bearings wear and they get too much play allowing the turbine shaft to move and straining the oil seal


Not exactly sure how a 170CDi does it's thing but the previous small puffs of black smoke from the car sound like it was over fuelling
As the turbo was beginging to fail it could not push as much air through and this lack of pressure causes the symptoms of the black smoke

This sort of thing could be drivable on Monday with a few little puffs here or there and fail totally on Tuesday with very little warning (to give an example).
One thing is certain continued use of the car without repairs will likely damage the engine.

(Long post possibly you may know this already but done in good faith)
 
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dtr

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I'd also suugest to the OP that they spend the £200 on fix the turbo on their A class before putting up for sale in the classifieds here. £2.5K is probably top-whack dealer price for an immaculate A170 of this age/condition. No-one in their right mind is going to pay that for a car with a turbo not working?

Blue gnome, Offers are welcome - and I think new gearbox does make up for a bit higher price, and I will gladly spend £200 and some more - the trouble is I am going to spend that on just getting the car in and inspection :doh: at MB specialists. If I only had the ramp, I swear I would give it a go personally.

I am going to investigate it as far as I can - and the point of listing it w/o the fix was that someone would probably do it easily in an afternoon at home on a ramp.
Please be assured that I had seen no 'abnormal' black smoke prior to listing it, - why would I post it here now?
 

Howard

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A new gearbox won't cut the mustard if the engine fails the next day.

Really , for top price ( £2.5k for a 2001 car ) you need it together and working properly , otherwise its £1500.

Sorry.
 
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blue gnome123

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dtr - just trying to add a dose of releaism. There are plenty of cars for sale out there and no-one is going to pay your price for a car without a working turbo. As Howard says the new gearbox becomes irrelevant if the rest of the car isn't working.

Fixing the turbo car sometimes be very straightforward (leaking boost pipes) or can be highly complex/costly - new turbo. Fix it and then you might sell it. Don't fix it and you will get hardly anything for it.
 
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dtr

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OK - it will be looked at next week, and I do hope it is a simple case.

One day I will need to lear to do these things.
 
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dtr

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Update. Another garage looked at it. They cleared computer and it got much better. Turbo certainly works at the moment. No more nasty smoke either. It was in a limp mode.

We'll see if anything comes up again on computer.

The lesson is don't trust the first mechanic and seek out another advice. I think he may have tried to pull a quick (and expensive) one.

Regardless of that I am going to change cars anyway - due to style and space issues - now thinking about Toyota Avensis D4D T3-X.
 

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