Hmmmmmm.....

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8,937
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SC
The part of the story they didn't mention: It's true that when MB introduced the FSS in the U.S. the owner's manuals didn't specify "synthetic" oil. But they DID specify that the oil must meet the MB 229.1 spec. There are no conventional oils on the US market (then or now) that meet this spec. A few synthetic blends meet 229.1, but it's mostly full synthetics. Most MB drivers are typical in that they assume the oils available at Quick Lube places or on the shelves at WalMart are the "best in the world," and therefore MUST meet everyone's requirements. In other words, if they even bothered to look at the manual and the requirement for 229.1, they just assumed any "good quality" oil on the market would meet that spec. When MB became aware of this problem, they started notifying owners to use synthetics, because they knew that virtually any synthetic on the market would meet 229.1. Mercedes now spells out "synthetic" in the manual and that the oil must meet 229.3, and only full synthetics meet this spec.
 
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Schaeffers's #705: Supreme 7000 Racing Oil SAE 20W-50 meets and exceeds the following specifications and manufacturers’ requirements: MIL-46152E, CID A-A-52039B, API Service Classification SL, Ford M2C153-G, ESR-M2C127-B, ESR-M2C179A, SSM 29011-A, General Motors, ACEA A1-02, A2-96 Issue 2, A3-02, A5-02; Daimler Chrysler 229.1, 229.3, MS9767; JASO JIS K2215
 
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quote:
Originally posted by uconn1150: Schaeffers's #705: Supreme 7000 Racing Oil SAE 20W-50 meets and exceeds the following specifications and manufacturers’ requirements: MIL-46152E, CID A-A-52039B, API Service Classification SL, Ford M2C153-G, ESR-M2C127-B, ESR-M2C179A, SSM 29011-A, General Motors, ACEA A1-02, A2-96 Issue 2, A3-02, A5-02; Daimler Chrysler 229.1, 229.3, MS9767; JASO JIS K2215
Actually, all grades of Schaeffer's 7000 meet 229.3. That was my mistake. I think this is the ONLY oil available in the US that meets this spec that isn't a full synthetic.
 

Al

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19,154
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Elizabethtown, Pa
I agree somewhat with G-Man. Most people need the 2 dozen warnings on step laders so they don't get hurt physically or financially. One the other hand Mercedes took a page out of Ford's book-like the time they had a problem with their cam-shafts failing and then came out with a letter (when the damage had been done) saying [Embarrassed] BTW you may want to use Ford's "new/improved" oil in your ford product for better (actually mandatory) service". Of course that was in the late 70's when companies could screw the consumer with total impunity. And that was on the same 3.3L engine which had too tight of clearances on the Main bearings. Ask me how I know [Roll Eyes] I'm not ragging on Ford, actually, its just that this was near and dear to my heart [Smile] .
 

68redlines73

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308
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SF/Bay Area, CA
I get all sorts of angles that are quite pertinent to discussions on this board:
  • If the MB owners would have gone by the "standard" 3,000 mile oil change interval and ignored the FSS, they wouldn't have had any problems, right?
  • I'm not sure what the FSS was analyzing but it sure didn't pick up on sludge. I wonder how the FSS system compares to other oil analyses found elsewhere on this board?
  • This is a great example, to me at least, where synthetics shine - if you want to go to extended drains, you're much safer with a synthetic. Otherwise, stick with Dino and shorter intervals.
  • Any ideas on what oil change interval FSS was recommending? How does it compare with oil analysis on this board?
My mind is reeling with questions!
 
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2,480
G-Man, good points however, I've always been flabbergasted that both in my parents 1997 CL600 and the 2003 C240, the owner's manuals DO NOT spec oil grade or standards required. All it says is to use "Mercedes-Benz apporved oils found at M-B dealership". It says nothing about 229.1/3/5 or whatever. In fact, the 2003 doesn't even give the tire pressure in the owner's manual! You need to look on the fuel filler door...weird. Heck, it doesn't even come with a dipstick. So, when I call the local stealerhip, they say "we use M-1 5-30 in all the cars". Well, M-1 5-30 does NOT meat M-B oil spec...they knew nothing about this. I think it's both 1. manufacturer's conspiracy...they know what's required, but don't ensure that it's carried out...and 2. stupid public and dealerships/mechanics to ensure the proper lubricant for the job. In either case, both are out to SELL NEW CARS, not oil, nor the BEST lube for 1 mil. wear-free miles.
 
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Loveland, Colorado
I figgerd this is why the new Saab 9-3SS Owner's Manual says "use oils meeting GM-LL-A-025" three times before it lists the viscosity requirements, & then a fourth time in the viscosity requirements. Of course, either one or the other is all that's needed, since only full syn oils meet either this "enviro-spec" or the 0W-30/0W-40 vis requirement.
 

68redlines73

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SF/Bay Area, CA
I should've read the article more closely... "the system begins with a minimum interval of 10,000 miles and adjusts upward as it detects favorable conditions, such as extended highway travel. Documentation brought forth during the case indicated that intervals ranged up to 20,000 miles, with the average being 12,000 miles." Wow...
 
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SC
quote:
Originally posted by 68redlines73: I should've read the article more closely... "the system begins with a minimum interval of 10,000 miles and adjusts upward as it detects favorable conditions, such as extended highway travel. Documentation brought forth during the case indicated that intervals ranged up to 20,000 miles, with the average being 12,000 miles." Wow...
These number are in keeping with what MB requires of an oil before it will meet 229.3 and the 229.5 requirements are even higher. Here is the page out of the M class owner's manual regarding oil selection. Note the specs.  -
 
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4,478
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Southern California
Is there even a recommended oil change interval on current MBs? The model brochures I've seen indicate that an illuminated dash legend will advise that a required service is coming up and what that service is. Also, don't MBs include "free"* routine oil and filter changes (when indicated per above) for the duration of the warranty? *Nothing's free. MB owners simply pre-paid up front when they bought into the mystique of the three-pointed star.
 
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The question then becomes...is this out of a U.S. or European Brochure??? Because on the 2 cars that I've personally seen, it says NOTHING about the grade or type of oil to use, other than to go to M-B dealership.
 
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63
Location
Toronto, Ontario
Did I understand this thing right? MB has to pay for oil changes and repairs because owners didn't read the manual or ignored it. The manual clearly states what standard the oil must meet to be used in their vehicles. What the sense in that?
 
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4,478
Location
Southern California
quote:
Originally posted by Dr. T: The question then becomes...is this out of a U.S. or European Brochure???...
My post was in reference to sales brochures mailed to me by Mercedes Benz of America and printed in the U.S. I have the respective brochures for the "C" and "E" class sedans.
 
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2,480
OK, then can please post what page in the `03 C Class owner's manual it mentions anything about 229.1/3/5 because I couldn't find it? Thanx.
 
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San Jose CA
quote:
Originally posted by 68redlines73: [*]I'm not sure what the FSS was analyzing but it sure didn't pick up on sludge. I wonder how the FSS system compares to other oil analyses found elsewhere on this board?
There is a sensor in the pan to detect acid levels. The computer also keeps track of the number of cold starts and some kind of ratio of short trips versus longer trips. I also have read that the baseline is adjustable, but the default is 10K miles.
 
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2,480
Yes, if you change the oil ev. 3k there may have not been an issue. But that isn't the point. In fact, the previous service interval was 12k km...(7k mi.) which wasn't too bad...but, I still saw sludge increase with M-1 5-30 TS. The new interval is roughtly 15.5k km (10k mi.) which is definately a stretch for non-ACEA A3/4 / 229.1/3/5 oils.
 
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