OEM Mercedes-Benz 560 SL Parts & Accessories

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What are Some Common Problems with Mercedes-Benz 560 SL?

Your 560 SL is the roadster you always wanted -- a standout in the 107 (R107) series and unmistakable among SL-Class cars: a real Mercedes-Benz classic of the mid- and late 1980s. It wasn't without issues during its career, though. Here's a few to watch out for, and what to do about them; stay on top of them, and the car should run for decades and hundreds of thousands of miles.

Faulty Oil Systems

If you smell smoke, and that smoke smells like oil, there's a good chance that the valve cover gaskets have been damaged by exhaust manifold heat, and oil's dripping from the camshaft onto the exhaust manifold, down the back of the engine block, and onto the crossover pipe. (This is because of a known issue with 560 SL models where oil can leak from everything from the valve cover gaskets and head gaskets to the rear main oil seals -- most often, from the back corner of the head gasket on the left side.)

To figure out if that's happening, check under the engine; you find black residue on the pipe, you've got an oil leak. Also telling: you smell burning oil while the car's idling. You'll have to replace any damaged or bad parts.

Failed Engine Mounts

If you start the car and it vibrates, chances are that the motor mounts have collapsed; their rubber components have worn out, often from no more than use and age. Check the subframe; you find a gap between its bolt/washer and the frame itself, one of about 3/4 inches, then most likely, the mounts have collapsed. They'll need to be replaced. If you're not sure what to do, as with any service, contact an authorized Mercedes-Benz service center; the pros can take care of things.

Bad Timing Chains

The original timing chain in 560 SL cars is a double-width chain, and it can break down from age. If you hear a metallic noise around the engine during startup, then either the tensioner's bad, the chain has stretched enough to start rattling, or both. It breaks, and the engine pistons will smash into the valves on top of the cylinder chamber, causing catastrophic engine damage. Replace them ASAP, and be sure to inspect the chain at 60,000 miles and regularly afterward.

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