Seeking guidance: What is the best choice in MBZ 229.3 or 229.5 oils for these particular circumstances?

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What a fantastic resource this site is! I’ve been reading a lot, but am still not clear on what would be an excellent choice for my application and circumstances… other than a generalized “as long as it meets the specs”.

I’ve used Mobil-1 for many years, but decided to look at others too. I’d love to get your recommendations for a widely available oil which meets Mercedes 229.3 or 229.5 specs. It is for use in several early 2000’s Mercedes cars with the M112 and M113 engines, all of which have anywhere from 174,000 to 243,000 miles on them. (Three 3.2 liter V6’s plus a normally aspirated AMG 5.4 liter V8.) Despite the high mileage, none of the engines display any signs of significant oil burning.

Driving conditions are winter temperatures as low as the mid 30’s, (Fahrenheit) and oftentimes reaching 110+ during summers. Maybe 25% of the miles are short (less than 10 mile) trips, and the remainder are highway trips of 25+ miles, allowing for moisture to be burned off. Cars may sit for several weeks unused. Due to fairly low mileage accumulating on any one car, OCI’s are based on time, not mileage. (Does having the highest possible TBN benefit this scenario?) My driving style is best described as “spirited”, although I allow time for fluid temps to fully rise before doing anything that requires a passenger’s mouth to be duct taped.

I would love your opinions! Last year, I switched two of the E320’s to 0w-40 Castrol Edge because (unless I am mistaken) it is made with a group IV base stock, whereas the 5w-40 is group III. (Is that still true???) Call me a dinosaur, but I think I’d be more comfortable with a 5w-40 oil. It seems like the 0w oil is quicker to bleed down from the timing chain tensioners, as there seems to be a little more chain rattle for the first 2-3 seconds during a cold start.

So what will provide the most long term wear resistance possible, and allow for long drain intervals with relatively low accumulated mileage between changes? I’m stumped on what to choose. Maybe something that still has a dash of ZDDP? High calcium? These cars don’t require low SAPS / modern emissions compliance oils... and whatever detriments (if any) those type oils may have in comparison to earlier spec oils. But are those still better candidates due to helping the catalytic converters last longer?

Thank you in advance for any & all recommendations!
 
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Is this available in your area?


It'll be hard to find an oil that can be objectively proven better...
 

Ignorant1

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Thank you, I appreciate your input. It seems nobody else wants to pipe in here about alternatives to M1. I've used M1 for many years, but since reading about how Mobil went with lower quality base stocks a few years ago, I was hoping that there may be a better choice... especially for my cars' specific usage profile.
 
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Thank you, I appreciate your input. It seems nobody else wants to pipe in here about alternatives to M1. I've used M1 for many years, but since reading about how Mobil went with lower quality base stocks a few years ago, I was hoping that there may be a better choice... especially for my cars' specific usage profile.
They did? And what is your specific usage profile that makes Mobil 1 inferior?

Doesn’t it still meet the Mercedes-Benz approval?
 
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So the temps in the winter are around just 35f so not that cold and they're all out of warranty and also all SFI and not GDi without too much oil consumption i presume.

I personally wouldn't worry about the base stock change too much as group 3 is pretty up there but pao is still better all round especially when the price wasn't adjusted or lowered in this case to compensate so i perfectly understand the interpretation of being cheated.

I think the engine will be fine if you stick to a euro rated oil but i'd give pennzoil platinum 0w-40 a whirl if you badly want to stay in the spec. https://www.walmart.com/ip/Pennzoil-Platinum-Euro-Full-Synthetic-0W-40-Motor-Oil-5-Quart/245761151

But if you want my recommendation I'd go with a diesel rated oil like delvac extreme or rotella t6 in the 15w or 5w grades but its not cold enough to where a 15w is insufficient. Walmart available as well.

I just bought some cheaper supertech 15w-40 to replace the 5w-40 stash and I've ran it before with up to 11k intervals with no issues. It's a known fine oil and i wouldn't be afraid to put that in those engines if i had them.

But a full syn 15w-40 is gonna protect better in spirited drives with a higher hths and has a higher kv100 than a 0/5w-40 so it could burn less as well. Specs do matter but to a certain extent.

That engine isn't lspi prone or an oil burner so saps isnt an issue but does need protection characteristics at least similar to the spec but it's not bad to go beyond spec in areas where it couldn't hurt the others.
 
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Any MB229.5 approved oil. It doesn't matter if it's 0W-30, 5W-30, 0W-40 or 5W-40.


If I were you I'd stay with M1 or M1 FS. Too simple?
 
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Thank you, I appreciate your input. It seems nobody else wants to pipe in here about alternatives to M1. I've used M1 for many years, but since reading about how Mobil went with lower quality base stocks a few years ago, I was hoping that there may be a better choice... especially for my cars' specific usage profile.
The business end of the oil is the additive package, the base oil is more of an additive diluent and hydrodynamic facilitator. All the expensive parts of the engine that you're trying to stop from wearing are being protected by the additives so don't panic about base oils.
 
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MB 229.5 oils I like Castrol Edge 0w30/0w40 and M1 0w40 because of the price I can pick them up for. I also recently picked up a bunch of Motul 5w40 Xcess Gen 2 from bimmers.com (motul webpage referred site) for 28.95 for 5L jug and free shipping on orders over 99$. Hard to beat! Cheap for Motul. Both oils carry plenty of euro approvals, especially the Motul Xcess Gen 2.
 
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Any MB229.5 approved oil. It doesn't matter if it's 0W-30, 5W-30, 0W-40 or 5W-40.


If I were you I'd stay with M1 or M1 FS. Too simple?
Agreed. those engines were built with 5-40 in mind. I'm sure the 0-40's would work well also. I've looked for years and cannot find a better oil than Mobil 1 0-40. And not because of price from Walmart.
 
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Pennzoil Euro in either 0W-40 or 5W-40
Same oil is bottled as Quaker State Euro, and a few others…

Maul-Mart has both, the Quaker has been $14 and change, but may be sold out in your area…
 
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Top of the line are Castrol Edge 0W40 and M1 0W40.
ZDDP levels in those oils are at or above 1000ppm. M1 didn’t cheap out on their stocks. It is still PAO, bit of Esters and majority GTL.
Castrol is around 50% PAO, rest is Group III. It is extremely stout package. Edge 5W40 is just Group III and at KV100 thinner than 0W40.
Motul GEN2 is another latest greatest thing, Pennzoil Platinum Euro 5W40 is also state of the art oil (better than their 0W40 product).
I used this year Castrol Edge 0W40 on the track in the really challenging conditions and UOA was better than using Edge 0W30 in the winter but not on track.
So, your choice. But any of mentioned 0W40 oils or Motul 5W40 or PPE 5W40 are definitely not a mistake.
 

Ignorant1

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Thank you for your replies – I truly appreciate when you guys explain your reasoning and rationale in coming to your recommendations. That really helps to educate & inform people like myself and others!

Maybe I’m a Luddite / dinosaur, but I still (unnecessarily?) resist the idea of 0w-xx oils in older, high-mileage engines… but I tried to have an open mind and gave the 0w-40 a trial run. The increased timing chain rattle at cold starts makes me a bit unnerved though, and (please correct me if I’m wrong) I’d like to go back to at least a 5w-xx oil. Maybe even a 10w or 15w due to local temperatures almost never dropping below freezing? I don’t really care about losing 2-3% in fuel economy, and I’m always easy on the engines until temps come up.

But if you want my recommendation I'd go with a diesel rated oil like delvac extreme or rotella t6 in the 15w or 5w grades but its not cold enough to where a 15w is insufficient. Walmart available as well.
Funny you should mention that: I was previously using M1 “Turbodiesel Truck” 5w-40 because of how good diesel rated oils are. The reasons I (experimentally) switched away was because that oil isn’t labeled as meeting MBZ 229.3 or 229.5 specs and it is harder to find locally nowadays at a decent price since Walmart stopped carrying it. (Plus, IDK if the higher zinc levels, which while great for the engine, may not be so good for catalyst life???)

The business end of the oil is the additive package, the base oil is more of an additive diluent and hydrodynamic facilitator. All the expensive parts of the engine that you're trying to stop from wearing are being protected by the additives so don't panic about base oils.
Now that you’ve pointed out that base stocks aren’t as important as they were in the past, the only thing of remaining concern would be a lack of MBZ certification. BUT, if an oil has even better wear reduction capabilities (as demonstrated by a high HTHS rating?) then what detriment would there be in using it?
Top of the line are Castrol Edge 0W40 and M1 0W40.
ZDDP levels in those oils are at or above 1000ppm. M1 didn’t cheap out on their stocks. It is still PAO, bit of Esters and majority GTL.
Castrol is around 50% PAO, rest is Group III. It is extremely stout package. Edge 5W40 is just Group III and at KV100 thinner than 0W40.
Motul GEN2 is another latest greatest thing, Pennzoil Platinum Euro 5W40 is also state of the art oil (better than their 0W40 product).
I used this year Castrol Edge 0W40 on the track in the really challenging conditions and UOA was better than using Edge 0W30 in the winter but not on track.
So, your choice. But any of mentioned 0W40 oils or Motul 5W40 or PPE 5W40 are definitely not a mistake.
Great info, thank you! Because I'm leaning towards a (minimum of) 5w-xx, other than the Motul or PPE (or perhaps M1 FS 5w-40???) what are your thoughts in regards to something like a 10w-xx or even M1 15w-50? Overkill? Unnecessary? Diminishing returns due to increased cold start wear?

Thanks again everyone - I truly appreciate your help!
 
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Welocome. For many years I didn't like Mobil 1. Why I don't know? But, after joining this site. Mobil 0W40 suits me very well. Castrol is a good oil. As long as it meets your OM spec....Best of luck!
 
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Maybe I’m a Luddite / dinosaur, but I still (unnecessarily?) resist the idea of 0w-xx oils in older, high-mileage engines… but I tried to have an open mind and gave the 0w-40 a trial run. The increased timing chain rattle at cold starts makes me a bit unnerved though, and (please correct me if I’m wrong) I’d like to go back to at least a 5w-xx oil. Maybe even a 10w or 15w due to local temperatures almost never dropping below freezing? I don’t really care about losing 2-3% in fuel economy, and I’m always easy on the engines until temps come up.
You’re still way off base on what the winter rating means and what it does not mean. Plot them out yourself using the Widman calculator and this will illustrate your gross misunderstanding.

If you like to be educated as you say (and not be ignorant) then this is a good opportunity.
 
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Mobil1 5W40 FS is excellent oil.
Going 10W40 or 15W50 is absolutely unnecessary. First of all, you don’t need it. Second, they are not approved for MB use. Third, they are not as sophisticated as oils we mentioned and you already complained about base stocks. M1 15W50 is at most 20% PAO, rest is Group III, and bunch of polymers. It has its purpose, but not in your engine.
 

Ignorant1

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Mobil1 5W40 FS is excellent oil.
Going 10W40 or 15W50 is absolutely unnecessary. First of all, you don’t need it. Second, they are not approved for MB use. Third, they are not as sophisticated as oils we mentioned and you already complained about base stocks. M1 15W50 is at most 20% PAO, rest is Group III, and bunch of polymers. It has its purpose, but not in your engine.
Thank you for sharing such a clear, concise, and knowledgeably formulated answer! That's VERY helpful information... and deeply appreciated.

You’re still way off base on what the winter rating means and what it does not mean. Plot them out yourself using the Widman calculator and this will illustrate your gross misunderstanding.

If you like to be educated as you say (and not be ignorant) then this is a good opportunity.
Thank you for your response, but:

May I kindly remind you that ignorance is simply a lack of information, whereas stupidity is an inability to utilize or understand information? I (as self stated) am ignorant in this arena, and do seek out information to facilitate learning. However...

Just as an individual does not need to understand the specific hydrocarbon blends which result in the octane rating of their preferred gasoline, it does behoove that same individual to understand the implications of octane ratings. A broader conceptual overview is needed, whereas plumbing the deepest depths of technical white papers is an exercise in futility for a person without the requisite background to understand those nuanced details.

If I wanted to (pointlessly) beat my chest on the internet to prove intellectual superiority, I could easily do so with deeply esoteric information in my area of technical expertise… to which you would stand ZERO chance of understanding due to lack of context and prerequisite knowledge. And yes, due to your reply, I did look up threads pertaining to Widman calculations. Perhaps I am actually quite stupid in addition to being ignorant, (and am therefore just a shining example of the Dunning-Kruger effect?) but I fail to see how your response helps me (and others who will see this thread in the future) foster an understanding or answers to the questions posed in this thread.

In regards to my “gross misunderstanding”, perhaps you may like to elucidate us/me upon how knowing the attributes of viscosity blending characteristics of two or more differing oils helps to add to the (less esoteric, i.e., more useful) information that other people here have been so kind and helpful to share and explain? And please do tell me where that “opportunity (to learn)” lays, as I am obviously far too stupid to figure it out for myself.

Thank you, and have a nice day!
 
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I think you found yourself oil if you prefer 5W40, and that is M1 5W40FS.
It is old fashion oil. Huge amount of additives, good KV100 and HTHS probably 3.7-3.8. It has a lot if SAPS but your engines are port injected, so not a problem there.
It probably has bit less PAO and Esters than 0W40 FS, but that is not a problem.
It is cheap, readily available, so what is not to like?
 
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Thank you for sharing such a clear, concise, and knowledgeably formulated answer! That's VERY helpful information... and deeply appreciated.


Thank you for your response, but:

May I kindly remind you that ignorance is simply a lack of information, whereas stupidity is an inability to utilize or understand information? I (as self stated) am ignorant in this arena, and do seek out information to facilitate learning. However...

Just as an individual does not need to understand the specific hydrocarbon blends which result in the octane rating of their preferred gasoline, it does behoove that same individual to understand the implications of octane ratings. A broader conceptual overview is needed, whereas plumbing the deepest depths of technical white papers is an exercise in futility for a person without the requisite background to understand those nuanced details.

If I wanted to (pointlessly) beat my chest on the internet to prove intellectual superiority, I could easily do so with deeply esoteric information in my area of technical expertise… to which you would stand ZERO chance of understanding due to lack of context and prerequisite knowledge. And yes, due to your reply, I did look up threads pertaining to Widman calculations. Perhaps I am actually quite stupid in addition to being ignorant, (and am therefore just a shining example of the Dunning-Kruger effect?) but I fail to see how your response helps me (and others who will see this thread in the future) foster an understanding or answers to the questions posed in this thread.

In regards to my “gross misunderstanding”, perhaps you may like to elucidate us/me upon how knowing the attributes of viscosity blending characteristics of two or more differing oils helps to add to the (less esoteric, i.e., more useful) information that other people here have been so kind and helpful to share and explain? And please do tell me where that “opportunity (to learn)” lays, as I am obviously far too stupid to figure it out for myself.

Thank you, and have a nice day!
I never used the word stupid nor did I imply that you were. Nor was I beating my chest.

And my use of the word ignorant was entirely in reference to your user name “Ignorant1”.
 
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Thank you for your replies – I truly appreciate when you guys explain your reasoning and rationale in coming to your recommendations. That really helps to educate & inform people like myself and others!

Maybe I’m a Luddite / dinosaur, but I still (unnecessarily?) resist the idea of 0w-xx oils in older, high-mileage engines… but I tried to have an open mind and gave the 0w-40 a trial run. The increased timing chain rattle at cold starts makes me a bit unnerved though, and (please correct me if I’m wrong) I’d like to go back to at least a 5w-xx oil. Maybe even a 10w or 15w due to local temperatures almost never dropping below freezing? I don’t really care about losing 2-3% in fuel economy, and I’m always easy on the engines until temps come up.


Funny you should mention that: I was previously using M1 “Turbodiesel Truck” 5w-40 because of how good diesel rated oils are. The reasons I (experimentally) switched away was because that oil isn’t labeled as meeting MBZ 229.3 or 229.5 specs and it is harder to find locally nowadays at a decent price since Walmart stopped carrying it. (Plus, IDK if the higher zinc levels, which while great for the engine, may not be so good for catalyst life???)


Now that you’ve pointed out that base stocks aren’t as important as they were in the past, the only thing of remaining concern would be a lack of MBZ certification. BUT, if an oil has even better wear reduction capabilities (as demonstrated by a high HTHS rating?) then what detriment would there be in using it?

Great info, thank you! Because I'm leaning towards a (minimum of) 5w-xx, other than the Motul or PPE (or perhaps M1 FS 5w-40???) what are your thoughts in regards to something like a 10w-xx or even M1 15w-50? Overkill? Unnecessary? Diminishing returns due to increased cold start wear?

Thanks again everyone - I truly appreciate your help!
She's a high-quality thing so use with "fit and forget" level of confidence.

You could cover 500000 miles in identical engines with the fs 5w-40 and one running Castrol, get your measuring tools out and not be able to identify a difference. Viscosity and performance spec are the most important things to match when selecting an oil. Short drain interval, sympathetic warm-up phase and high-quality filtration will ensure a very long engine life.

This product has the following approvals:
MB 229.3
MB-Approval 229.5
 
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