Is my engine seized (HELP!)



i have 1982 mercedes wagon (diesel) last night it died on me while driving. no clunk. no huge noise. just sort of died and wouldn’t start again. i checked the oil and found out that it was dry (!!!) turns out i was leaking and didn’t know it.

so, like i said, the car won’t start - but it does turn over (which isn’t something a seized engine typically does right?). so obviously i’m worried. any thoughts?


You can find out how many quarts low the engine oil is by counting the quarts as you put oil back in. When the oil level gets to the FULL mark, the number you put in is the number of quarts it was low.
An engine can be ruined without being seized. There could be other reasons for it to stall and not re-start. Let a mechanic check it out before you declare it seized.


have it towed to a reputable mercedes shop. it doesn’t neccesarily mean a dealer, but only some shops specialize in mercedes.


As mentioned previously, the wagon should be towed to a service center. Have the mechanic do a compression check. if the compression is within spec reinstall the injectors, bleed the lines, and try a start. If it starts, watch the lube oil pressure. If the lube oil pressure is okey, only time will tell if you have damaged the cylinder walls and rings. If the mechanic has the capability, he could borescope the cylinders to see if there is any signs of galling on the cylinder walls.


I would think that you would have bearing damage before you would have cylinder wall damage. You can drain the oil and inspect it for small particles of bearing material(it will look like alumium particles) and do a oil and filter change if none is found. If it is found then you most likely have damaged the bearings. Just my opinion.


It isn’t seized. But perhaps you tore the cylinder walls to shreds and/or destroyed the rings (overheating them like that by running them without lubrication could kill the spring tension…especially on a 26 year old car), and you no longer have enough compression to heat the air enough to get the fuel to combust. Diesels don’t use spark plugs, they use compression to create the necessary heat energy for combustion.

I agree to get the compression checked and then you’ll have some information to make a decision with.


Your engine holds 8 quarts, and the dipstick only “sees” the top 2-3 quarts. If it’s turning over, it’s not seized. It may have stopped running for some other reason. Determine how much oil it takes to refill and let us know.

Did you lose oil pressure? Did it overheat? What was your fuel level? When was the last time you replaced the fuel filters? Do you have any fuel leaks?