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Replacing Your Purge Valve on your Mercedes-Benz
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Pelican Technical Article:

Replacing Your Purge Valve on your Mercedes-Benz

Steve Vernon


30 minutes30 mins






Flathead screwdriver

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz 280SE (1972-73)
Mercedes-Benz 280SEL (1972-73)
Mercedes-Benz 300SEL (1970-73)
Mercedes-Benz 380SE (1984-85)
Mercedes-Benz 380SEC (1982-83)
Mercedes-Benz 380SEL (1981-83)
Mercedes-Benz 420SEL (1986-91)
Mercedes-Benz 450SE (1973-76)
Mercedes-Benz 450SEL (1973-80)
Mercedes-Benz 500SEC (1984-85)
Mercedes-Benz 500SEL (1984-85)
Mercedes-Benz 560SEC (1986-91)
Mercedes-Benz 560SEL (1986-91)
Mercedes-Benz R107 (1972-89)
Mercedes-Benz W111 (1970)

Parts Required:

New Purge Valve, Charcoal Canister

Hot Tip:

Take your time!

Performance Gain:

Pass a Smog Test

Complementary Modification:

New gas cap

If you live in a State like California that does not have a rolling exemption from smog checks you can find yourself trying to get an older automobile through a new smog check. One of the items that can cause you to fail a smog check is a non functioning purge valve. A purge valve sends collected fumes from the gas tank to the engine to be burnt.

Luckily they are not expensive and easy to replace.

Open the hood and the purge valve and charcoal canister are located on the left side of the radiator in the engine compartment. The charcoal canister just sits inside its bracket and is held in place by friction only. You can just lift it straight out.

The purge valve is connected to the canister by three hoses, two are friction fit and the one going into the canister has a hose clamp. Loosen the hose clamp off the valve and just pull the other two lines off.

Installation is the reverse of removal

This photo illustrates the charcoal canister where it sits in its mount (red arrow) and the location of the purge valve (yellow arrow).
Figure 1

This photo illustrates the charcoal canister where it sits in its mount (red arrow) and the location of the purge valve (yellow arrow).

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Comments and Suggestions:
Rhonda Comments: We have a 1985 500sel that is accelerating constantly. It will take off and you can hardly stop it with the brakes. It even spins in the gravel with your foot on the brakes. It seems more aggressive in reverse!! Help where do we start?
October 3, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would check for a jammed open throttle or a large vacuum leak. Check the brake booster hose to see if it is detached. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
ants Comments: I have a Mercedes Benz 450sel, how can I put my engine on top dead center to install my distributor

June 27, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: What year? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Tara Comments: I have a 79 450 slc with a terrible gasoline smell inside the car and the trunk. It happened all of a sudden after I filled up the gas tank. I've replaced the gas cap. My husband recently replaced the fuel pump, fuel filter and hoses. There are no apparent leaks. He just replaced the O-ring on the top of the gas tank. Smell remains. We noticed that the purge valve for the canister has a hole on the bottom, but it's difficult to tell whether is supposed to have a vent hole or if it's defective and needs to be replaced. Does that purge valve have a vent hole?
January 6, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I would check that the lines are all OK, vent and fuel. Then check that the O-ring is sealed. You may have to have the fuel system smoke tested to find the leak. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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