Oil in 2003 Mercedes....

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Friends new Mercedes C240...not only does it NOT have any visibility under the oil filler cap (there's a black grate there), but there's NO dipstick!!! Apparently, the computer on the dash checks the oil level and tells you when and how much to add (if needed). The owner's manual doesn't even say what oil to use (grade or otherwise)...only to use M-B approved oils specified by the dealership. How are you supposed to know if these oils are working? How do you do an UOA?? Any other cars now w/o a dipstick?
 

Patman

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You could do a UOA the same way that most of us do it, when draining the oil. It has to have a drain plug, even if there is no dipstick. I'd love to have a car with no dipstick, but only if the digital readout would show precisely how much oil is in there. I'm a glutton for digital gadgets, I heard Brita came out with a digital readout for it's new water filter jugs and I definitely got to get me one of those! [Smile] As far as oils go, the new Castrol SLX 0w30 will probably work very well in this car, since it passes Mercedes Benz's 229.3 test.
 

Patman

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quote:
Originally posted by Jay: No dipstick--no MB. Thanks for the warning.
But what if you found out it had a 7 or 8 quart oil capacity, and the digital warning told you to add oil when it was down by a quart? I'd still feel safe. Call me super anal, but I worry about checking the oil too often, and that I might be introducing contamination to the oil everytime I pull out the dipstick and put it back in. What if some microscopic fiber from the shop rag gets in there for instance? (see what I mean, I worry about everything!) [Smile]
 
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Check out this site for everything you need to know about recommended oils for a Mercedes. For all new MBs with the Flexible Service System, MB requires a synthetic oil that meets their 229.3 spec. The only commonly available oil in the US that meets MB 229.3 (and 229.5) is Mobil 1 0w40.
 

Patman

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quote:
Originally posted by G-Man II: Check out this site for everything you need to know about recommended oils for a Mercedes. For all new MBs with the Flexible Service System, MB requires a synthetic oil that meets their 229.3 spec. The only commonly available oil in the US that meets MB 229.3 (and 229.5) is Mobil 1 0w40.
I guess you haven't spotted the German Castrol 0w30 in your area yet? I know someone in the US mentioned it last week but nobody else has found it so it might be only in one local Autozone.
 
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that 229.5 does allow for 10,000km extra, but it is also fuel conserving--a whopping .8% over the 229.3--the other oils are xw-30 (mobil 1 is always a bit thin).
 
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Location
Washington St.
quote:
Originally posted by G-Man II: Check out this site for everything you need to know about recommended oils for a Mercedes. For all new MBs with the Flexible Service System, MB requires a synthetic oil that meets their 229.3 spec. The only commonly available oil in the US that meets MB 229.3 (and 229.5) is Mobil 1 0w40.
Schaeffer #703 10W-30, #701 5w-30, and #705 20W-50 are MB229.3 and ACEA A3-02...and about $3.25/qt. Ken
 
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quote:
Originally posted by Ken2: Schaeffer #703 10W-30, #701 5w-30, and #705 20W-50 are MB229.3 and ACEA A3-02...and about $3.25/qt.
Note I said "commonly available." I have yet to see any Schaeffer oil at AutoZone, which is where you can get the Mobil 1 0w40.
 
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I understand. The only place I've found M1 0W-40 here in the Seattle area is at car dealers for $7.95. We don't have Autozone, the other chain auto parts stores don't list it in their sources, and the distributor wants $35+ for a sixpack to a local small-time dealer. Ken
 
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Vermont
quote:
Call me super anal, but I worry about checking the oil too often, and that I might be introducing contamination to the oil everytime I pull out the dipstick and put it back in.
Patman, you're super anal. [Wink] P.S. Should super anal be hyphenated?
 
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Vermont
If the oil level sensor was accurate to .1 quart or better, and if I could read it while driving my car, I would trade the dipstick for it.
 

Jay

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Idaho Falls, ID
The dipstick allows you to see the oil. You can see water contamination. You can smell fuel contamination. It's also the best way to pull an analysis sample. I can even see overheated oil with a dipstick. I see no advantage, and several disadvantages, to not having one. A dipstick is much less likely to give an erroneous reading than an electronic sensor. [ April 21, 2003, 05:45 PM: Message edited by: Jay ]
 

Dr. T

Thread starter
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The capacity is 8 liters. The oil level sensor seems to be accurate to .5L...ie. it will tell you you're .5, 1, 2 or 2.5 liters low. And my point was, how do you know the condition of the oil before draining it? Do you just go by the computer? It currently says to change the oil at 14900km...the car has 100km. And how does one do a UOA without draining the oil?
 

Patman

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quote:
Originally posted by Dr. T: The capacity is 8 liters. The oil level sensor seems to be accurate to .5L...ie. it will tell you you're .5, 1, 2 or 2.5 liters low. And my point was, how do you know the condition of the oil before draining it? Do you just go by the computer? It currently says to change the oil at 14900km...the car has 100km. And how does one do a UOA without draining the oil?
You can just loosely remove the drain plug like Brian does for his LS1 synthetic oil study, or get a Fumoto or Fram Sure Drain which will both allow you to just drain out a small bit and then close it back up.
 
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Dixie
Dr T, Mercedes uses a simple algorithm to determine when the oil should be changed. They are working on a diaelectric sensor embedded in the pan that gives you a rough idea of contamination levels. I find it hard to believe this engine doesn't have a dipstick - most of these mercedes are set up so you change the oil by suctioning it out from under the hood. The Amsoil 0w-30/5w-30/10w-30/10w-40 all meet the MB 229.3 spec, as does the Series 3000, 5w-30. I'd probably run their 0w-30 or 5w-30 year round up in Canada. With the large sump capacity of these MB engines, the oil stays in pretty good shape. The Castrol SLX, 0w-30 would also be a good oil for this application, it's ACEA A3/B4 rated as well. As GMan II pointed out, you could also run Mobil 1, 0w-40 in this motor. Up in Canada there may also be other European oils available, such as Lubromoly or Motul that meet the MB 229.3 specifications in a 0w-40 grade ... TooSlick
 

Dr. T

Thread starter
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2,480
Yeah, great suggestions....my first choice would be the Syntec 0-30...I have some sitting right on the shelf. My next step is to find out what the dealer uses...as maintenance is free for the first couple yrs.
 
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Dr T, If you look at the link that GManII posted, you'll see the Castrol SLX, 0w-30 shows under the list of approved DB 229.3 oils. It's way down at the bottom of that link, so you have to scroll down a bit. Most of the better ACEA A3/B4 oils in the 0w-30/5w-30/0w-30/5w-40 grades are going to meet that DB spec. TooSlick
 
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Another option for oil sampling: Drain it all out into a *clean* container, replace the drain plug, and pour it back in the filler cap. It is my understanding that all of the newer Mercedes engines have a top-mounted cartridge oil filter, and that the MB official oil change procedure is to evacuate the oil using a vacuum pump via the dipstick tube, change the filter, and refill with oil. Not sure how this would work without a dipstick--perhaps the tube is inserted via the filter container somehow. This way, the mechanic can do an oil change without putting the car on the lift. Also, I believe that the oil level sensor will detect overfilled oil as well.
 
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