View Full Version : Car troubleshooting on the quick-

08-08-2008, 08:37 PM
I've got a busy weekend coming and my son's 1987 Mercedes 190e just had a breakdown. He got about 300 feet from home when as he describes it- the car started shaking like a washing machine in an earthquake! (gotta love it) he got it off to the side of the road where it stalled out. I went out later and it started right up, engaged in Reverse and engaged in Drive. The noise and shuddering appear when you begin to move. Seems like it could be a wheel bearing or a brake break(yeah, I know). I just want to assess it as quickly as possible. I suspect one of the front wheels, it's rear wheel drive. Should I jack up one side then the other and see if the wheels will spin w/ the car in neutral? and if not?...

Gary E
08-08-2008, 08:48 PM
Jacking up each corner or each side and shaking the wheels should show you if that's the problem... Also look for a broken Universal joint. If your going to crawl under it, dont depend on the jack to hold the car up, get some wood blocking under there.

Domesticated_Mr. Know It All
08-08-2008, 09:28 PM
Sounds like the driveshaft or u-joints.
"Earthquake" is a good discription.

08-08-2008, 09:31 PM
Motor mounts. Until the torque of engaging the drive shaft happens it just sits there and moans.

The Bigfella
08-08-2008, 10:06 PM
Open the hood - stand to one side - have someone start the car - if all OK, have them move forward while observing the engine. If its OK, close hood, and observe rest of car as they move forward. Think safety.

08-08-2008, 10:09 PM
If you even think that it motor mounts please don't crawl under the car unless everything is double secured. That is how I lost my Dad.


The Bigfella
08-08-2008, 10:14 PM
If you even think that it motor mounts please don't crawl under the car unless everything is double secured. That is how I lost my Dad.


Ouch. The Merc will have a set-up that won't allow the engine to drop though - if its anything like the Mercs that I have swapped engines in (2 of them). Just grabbing the engine at the top and shaking it should tell.

Or - just look at the mounts from the top

08-08-2008, 10:25 PM
Check the tires, if one has blown a belt it will feel like the steeringwheel will be torn from your hands.

08-08-2008, 10:31 PM
May be a flex disk in the drive shaft.


The Bigfella
08-09-2008, 02:23 AM
and the results are .......

08-09-2008, 05:11 AM
Rear tranny mount?

08-09-2008, 05:16 AM
...the results are that it's 6:00 in the morning, this ain't the Olympics! I'm still thinking that it's a wheel bearing. I was able to back the car up last night to get it into the yard. It ran OK, but I felt great resistance and a grinding kind of noise. I think the thing to do is see if the front wheels are free spinning in Neutral. I respect jacks, good advice.

...and Mr. Domesticated- your line "The revolution won't be televised" When I first heard that song I came up with the obvious line- "De-evolution will be televised!"

08-09-2008, 06:43 AM
Hard to say from a distance. I suppose a bad wheel bearing could give those symptoms. If completely shot, as in semi-frozen, they'll give a wicked wheel hop that could cause that vibration, but it sounds unlikely that soon out of the driveway if it was going OK the last time it was driven.

I'm leaning toward something in the drive train. A motor mount sounds as good a guess as any, although the grinding noise when you put it back in the drive? A mount in the drive shaft let go, maybe? The "grinding" noise could be the shaft rubbing where it shouldn't, and if the shaft is free to wobble it could cause the vibration. A UV joint is another place to look, but they don't usually fail without some warning, CLUNK when the car is put in gear. And why would it vibrate so?

I'd have a gander at the motor/drive shaft mounts first.

It could be several things that just happened to visit all at once. Oh goody! :)

08-09-2008, 10:02 PM
Rock or piece of metal jammed between the brake drum and the disc.

08-10-2008, 08:15 AM
Survey said?............... C'mon! It's been a whole 24 hours now! C'mon!!!!

The Bigfella
08-10-2008, 08:23 AM
I think he may have put a match to it.

08-10-2008, 08:34 AM
I think he may have put a match to it.

Turned it into a dog, did he?