Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

1978 Mercedes 240D faint white smoke NOT from engine

i have a Mercedes 240D in which the window wiper stopped working. it emitted a burning smell. Some silly guys at nearby gas station started fiddling with the fuses and didn’t solve the problem but blew out the fuse to our radio. The car was running okay but now we have a little bit of smoke coming from the glove compartment area. I opened the car hood and couldn’t find the source anywhere. Any ideas?

Also, we have a growing squeak when we release the clutch. My bro-in-law thought it was a bust ball-bearing in the belt system. Could the smoke be coming from there? It’s a faint white-ish smoke and not very much of it. BTW- when we looked under the hood, there was NO smoke.

is it still driveable? I’m broke but need to get somewhere tonight.

It’s not a good idea to drive your car. The something that is causing the smoke can also cause a fire. You need to disconnect your battery before you leave. The clutch squeak is probably the clutch mechanism or the throw-out bearing. Call a friend or family member for a ride. Driving your car could put both you and your vehicle at risk. If you were to hit a good bump the minor short could turn into a major one.

Does the white smoke smell like anything? Kind of sickly sweet by any chance?

The one thing I can think of that’s likely to get white smoke behind the glovebox is a leaking heater core, which has nothing to do with any of the other problems you’ve mentioned, but it is an old car and sometimes problems do just come in clusters.

I would second the sentiment that you need to get the myriad of problems fixed before you drive the thing around and also add that this is absolutely NOT a car you should be driving if you’re broke. These old Benzes can provide very good reliable (but not cheap) transportation if you keep up on maintenance, but they very quickly devolve into expensive basket cases if you don’t keep up with the periodic maintenance and fix everything when it breaks. Since it is still valuable, I would strongly suggest you sell it to someone who can afford to take care of it and you should be able to buy a more reliable and cheaper to run newer used car with the proceeds.