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Oil Burning Mercedes

Q. I have a 1983 Mercedes 380 SEC that smokes when you start it up and other times when you punch it. Sometimes it will not smoke at all like after it is warm, it is a rather large cloud of bluish smoke and only consistently smokes after it has been sitting, if it is warm it almost never smokes, if it has been running and idles it may start smoking again. I was told that one valve seal was leaking but that was from the guy I bought it from??? So, my valve seals might need work. I am thinking around $2,000 or is it a smaller job if I only need one.

Am I destroying the car by driving it? On the highway? Around town? And will it leave me because of this problem? Does that mean I need a ring or valve job also? And if I fix it will I get a faster car or is that only from better compression? Could it be something else? It seems to have burned 1/2 a quart in 800+ miles around town. It is a great car and in perfect shape otherwise.

Thank you very much,

A. You didn't mention the milage but since it is a 1983 I'm going to assume it is fairly high.

I just had the same question asked by a Lexus owner. Since the same answer applies in your case, you can read Oil Burning Lexus and I believe it will answer most of your questions.

Since you own a car with that nice shiny star on the hood and eight cylinders, you can expect to pay a somewhat higher price for the repairs. Probably in the $800 to $1,000.00 neighborhood. As I have explained, a wet and dry compression test will tell the extent of the problem although your car is displaying classic valve seal symptoms. No one replaces just one valve seal. If you're going to do it, you will need to replace all of them. It's just economic sense.You'll pay $400.00 to $500.00 to replace this one, then next month do it again when another one starts to leak and again until they are all replaced.

You're not really hurting the car, but it's not going to get better. When the spark plugs get so oil fouled they won't fire, you will get a large performance loss and put additional strain on the engine. Replacing the valve seals will have no effect on the way the engine runs.

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