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Hilary Bennett ASKED THE GUIDE

R350 blowing smoke

When accelerating, say from traffic lights, my 2011 Mercedes-Benz R350 blows heaps of black smoke. The Mercedes dealership says it's within "acceptable levels", but I disagree. A modern well-engineered car should emit virtually none. What do you say?

I agree, it shouldn’t emit any black smoke. There’s definitely something wrong with it, take it back and have the dealership check the fuel system. If they object go straight to Mercedes-Benz and talk to the company’s customer assistance people.