What would you guys do re: M-B without a dipstick???

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2,480
Like I posted before, 2003 M-Benz C240 does not have a dipstick. How you see the condition of the oil?? What intervals to use? Would you guys trust the dash interval of 15k km? How to tell visually if one oil is doing a better job than the next if you can't see it's condition?
 
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98281
I just sold my C230 and will probably never buy another. They have steadily changed over the years and they definitely are doing everything possible to stop owners working on their cars. I am a retired mechanic and have owned three Benz's. My last encounter with them was an arrogant German that told me over the phone," We don't want people like you touching our cars" This was when I phoned up to complain as to why they refused to sell or publish a shop manual for my new C230 ( by that time 5 years old ) Never again.
 

Patman

Staff member
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21,990
Location
Oakville, Ontario
quote:
Originally posted by Dr. T: Like I posted before, 2003 M-Benz C240 does not have a dipstick. How you see the condition of the oil?? What intervals to use? Would you guys trust the dash interval of 15k km? How to tell visually if one oil is doing a better job than the next if you can't see it's condition?
You shouldn't be using the visual look of the oil to tell how it's doing anyways, that's what UOAs are for. Run a 10,000km interval, do a UOA and see if it looks good to go to 15,000.
 

Kestas

Staff member
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The Motor City
Dr. T, you should search the archives on Mercedesshop.com for useful information to answer some of your questions. MB has gotten a lot of heat from owners where the FSS oil change system has failed to perform. In fact, some engines have been damaged by trusting this system. Most owners received a letter from MB stating that cars with this system have their warranties extended to 150,000 miles. All this aside, and in the absence of subscribing to oil analyses, you should probably have at least one oil change done (6000 miles) with specified synthetic oil between the scheduled dealer oil changes.
 
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161
Location
Bellingham, WA
quote:
Originally posted by Nosmo King: This was when I phoned up to complain as to why they refused to sell or publish a shop manual for my new C230 ( by that time 5 years old ) Never again.
I was under the impression that it was a Federal law that they make manuals available. I could be wrong. Did you tell them these were not their cars, you payed for the MF ,it was yours. CRW
 
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69
Location
MA
Ummm... they manufactured a car without a dipstick?! What if you develop an oil leak? How do you tell how much to add?! I would sell the vehicle on that principle alone.
 
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8,711
Location
Nothern USA
quote:
Originally posted by guitargeek: Ummm... they manufactured a car without a dipstick?! What if you develop an oil leak? snip....
You take it to the dealer and have it fixed, dumbkoff. And they knock my Cavalier because you can't check the manual transmission.
 

Dr. T

Thread starter
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2,480
The dash computer (when called upon) does a readout of the oil level and tells you if you're 1/2, 1, 1.5 or 2 qts. low. However, although I agree that ultimately a UOA can give you an appropriate oil change interval...if the oil's coming out in sludge chunks because 15k km was over-extended, it's a little late for a UOA. In either case, how would one gather oil in this case for a UOA? Drain plug? Oil filter perhaps?
 

Patman

Staff member
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Oakville, Ontario
Yes, from the drain plug! Like I said, run a 10,000km interval, which should be pretty safe, then drain it and take a sample. If it looks good, go to 15,000km on the next interval. Problem solved.
 
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Chattanooga, TN
Slightly similar are vehicles with no ATF dipsticks. Fortunately, unless you have a leak you should not have to worry about ATF being consumed but a pain to check and change also. As I look at new cars now I look at the easy of routing maintenance, what fluids they use (normal OTC stuff versus Honda or Toyota only fluids) weight of oil etc., does tranny pan have a drainplug, is it dexcool, the green stuff, Toyota Red or Honda Brew. I already have too many bottles on the shelf.
 
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89
Location
Niagara Falls, Ont.
quote:
The dash computer (when called upon) does a readout of the oil level and tells you if you're 1/2, 1, 1.5 or 2 qts. low.
Wow, a digital dipstick!! What'll they think of next?! [Roll Eyes] I wonder how it's calibrated? How often it needs to be calibrated (if ever)? What is it's percentage gauge error? I think I'd rather have a dipstick...
 
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89
Location
Niagara Falls, Ont.
quote:
I am a retired mechanic and have owned three Benz's. My last encounter with them was an arrogant German that told me over the phone," We don't want people like you touching our cars"
Should've told him, "Watch it, remember what happened to you guys the last time you pissed us off."
 
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233
Location
Midwest
I would not worry about the level, the system know how much oil is in there and will give you a warning light. The warning light is designed to light when a specific amount is needed and never lets you get even close to being too low on oil unless you ignore the light for a few months. If the light goes on, add exactly the amount the manual or dealer says. As for intervals, 15K KM is about 9K miles and I will assume that MB is using synthetic oil with these auto-intervals and again I would not worry because they designed it with a HUGE safety margin. There is a reason manufacturer are going to the no-maintenance cars and it is too keep "unknowledgable" people for screwing them up. For every informed person here, there are 20 dummies out there. Do what MB says and you will sell that car WAY before you have an oil related problem and I'm sure the car never will anyway. [ November 07, 2003, 01:34 PM: Message edited by: dagmando ]
 
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2,095
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IL
And what about the person that wants to keep this car 20years? They are supposed to pay the replace this oil sensor when it goes bad several times? I don't even want to know how much that costs. The level sensor for my car is >$200 and it only tells you if low...not how low! (I didn't replace my sensor, as my car has a dipstick! What a concept!)
 
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4,478
Location
Southern California
quote:
Originally posted by dagmando: The warning light is designed to light when a specific amount is needed and never lets you get even close to being too low on oil...
Yeah. The "light" being part of an electrical system known for bizarre problems for the past two years. I realize the "typical" upscale Mercedes owner wouldn't think of lifting the hood let alone actually checking fluid levels (probably why Mercedes went to the FSS [probably really stands for Friggin' Stupid Slobs] in the first place). All well and good, but intentionally removing the most reliable method of keeping tabs on oil level by aware owners as a backup should be a federal crime. The best way for a C-240 owner to check the oil level and condition? Take the car to a BMW dealer and trade it for a 325i which has an oil dipstick. [ November 07, 2003, 02:42 PM: Message edited by: Ray H ]
 
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116
Location
Fleming Island, FL
quote:
Originally posted by Nosmo King: My last encounter with them was an arrogant German that told me over the phone," We don't want people like you touching our cars"
Funny - that's exactly what I tell my dealer when they want me to bring the car in for service. [Mad] - Arved
 
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124
Location
west chester PA
My uncle bought this car a month ago, don't remember if it's a 230 or a 240 but its a "sport" kompressor. i looked over the manual and it lists the oils that should be used , all synthetics inlcuding Quaker State, M-1, Syntec ( 5W-40) and few others. this oil checking system isn't unique to Mb, other german cars use it too. in few decades, the oldest piece of technology in future cars will be the combustion engine [Big Grin]
 
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