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12,000 mile oil changes are making me nervous.

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E-Class (W211) 2003-2009

12,000 mile oil changes are making me nervous.

 
Old 09-21-2004, 11:37 PM
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12,000 mile oil changes are making me nervous.

I have NEVER let my other diesel cars go past 3-4,000 miles before an oil change and this 12,000 mile oil change intervals that MB is recommending is a bit disconcerting.

Are my fears just an just a byproduct of the “old way” of thinking or is MB rubbing their hands together for the billions they will make when all the current diesel die prematurely?
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Old 09-22-2004, 12:12 AM
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I agree and still change my oil anf filter myself every 5,000 miles. This works out good for me as I got on a schedule where I change the oil, then the next time it gets changed under the free FSS plan (Upuntil 4 years/50k).
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Old 09-22-2004, 12:32 AM
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Late Built 2005 W-211 E-320 CDI
Early Oil Changes?



And the oil companies love you!

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Old 09-22-2004, 12:40 AM
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As does the car. AFAIK there is no harm in the car in swapping out the oil a little bit early.

Speaking of which, my car needs an oil change over the weekend. Time to bust out the gloves eh?
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Old 09-22-2004, 03:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Spartan
I have NEVER let my other diesel cars go past 3-4,000 miles before an oil change and this 12,000 mile oil change intervals that MB is recommending is a bit disconcerting.

Are my fears just an just a byproduct of the “old way” of thinking or is MB rubbing their hands together for the billions they will make when all the current diesel die prematurely?
I think MB had a problem in the past when recommended to change oil every 10kmiles, but didn't metion to use syntetic. They had to extend warranty for all damaged car to 100kmiles, so I do not think it was done with intention to get billions on engine replacement, although who knows.
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Old 09-22-2004, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Dema
I think MB had a problem in the past when recommended to change oil every 10kmiles, but didn't metion to use syntetic. They had to extend warranty for all damaged car to 100kmiles, so I do not think it was done with intention to get billions on engine replacement, although who knows.
for the early FSS models, MB neglected to mention that only synthetic must be used for the 10k interval changes. Owners / dealers were using non-synthetic and letting the cars go for 10k between changes so that produced sludge in the engines, which isn't good obviously. so after the TSB notice, MB had dealers put in synthetic for changes and warrantied the engines for 10 years / 100k miles if any engine related failure was due to the sludging problem.

as far as 10k-12k oil changes go, tests have shown that synthetic breaks down much much slower and even at 10k, it still has a good portion of life left to do it's job of lubrication of the engine and components. I don't think I have read anywhere of engine failure due to the 10k FSS/synthetic changes and there have been MB's with over 100k miles + running on the FSS system scheduled changes.
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Old 09-22-2004, 11:31 AM
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Now that the customer pays for the scheduled maint. MB is recommending the much needed 1000 mile break-in service and more frequent changes...
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Old 09-22-2004, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by RJC
Now that the customer pays for the scheduled maint. MB is recommending the much needed 1000 mile break-in service and more frequent changes...
I don't think the oil changes are more frequent...they've up'd the intervals I believe. It use to be 10k miles and now they're about 12k miles between changes...
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Old 09-22-2004, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by RJC
Now that the customer pays for the scheduled maint. MB is recommending the much needed 1000 mile break-in service and more frequent changes...
Well, the "much-needed" 1000 mile break-in service is not an oil change. The service guys at my dealer -- who are very good by the way -- said it was simply to answer any questionins and see if any adjustments needed to me made. I tell you this from personal experience because I brought my car in at right around 1000 mi because it had a faulty tire pressure sensor on one wheel. I asked them to change it and to do the "1000 mile service". They said there was nothing scheduled for 1000 miles. It was sort of a courtesy visit. There is a tire rotation provided -- before 6000 mi have elapsed from delivery. Then you're on your own. Thus, my take is that the 1000 mile service is pretty meaningless.
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Old 09-22-2004, 12:55 PM
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Spartan,

just follow the FSS to do the necessary maintenances. both my bimmer and mb use synthetic oil without having extra oil changes and they run well. I don't think you have to change oil every 5000 miles if you use synthetic oil (dealer is happy if you do so.) but for your cdi, you may need to add oil from time to time due to diesel engine eats oil.

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Old 09-22-2004, 10:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Otto
Spartan,

just follow the FSS to do the necessary maintenances. both my bimmer and mb use synthetic oil without having extra oil changes and they run well. I don't think you have to change oil every 5000 miles if you use synthetic oil (dealer is happy if you do so.) but for your cdi, you may need to add oil from time to time due to diesel engine eats oil.

Otto
I drove a Mercedes diesel for 17 years and it still got over 4K/quart when I sold it. Are you talking about the CDI or diesels in general.

Engine oil is the life blood of a diesel. Synthetic oil may not *wear out* but the additives get depleted and the oil gets contaminated with particulates on diesel engines.
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Old 09-23-2004, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by BudC
I drove a Mercedes diesel for 17 years and it still got over 4K/quart when I sold it. Are you talking about the CDI or diesels in general.

Engine oil is the life blood of a diesel. Synthetic oil may not *wear out* but the additives get depleted and the oil gets contaminated with particulates on diesel engines.
if MB felt that diesel models would need shorter service intervals, i'm sure they would set the CDI's to be changed at 5000 or 7500. I mean, it's not on MB's dollar (or Euro) anymore.

I think I read that the European CDI's go for even longer service intervals than us U.S. CDI counter-parts...
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Old 09-23-2004, 08:41 AM
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Originally Posted by GDawgC220
I think I read that the European CDI's go for even longer service intervals than us U.S. CDI counter-parts...
You are absolutely correct, 20,000 miles is a very rough guide. Every engine is different and my previous 320CDI had its very first service at approximately 24,000 miles. Commercial users of the ASSYST CDI engine absolutely love the savings. I have heard of Sprinter vans having covered well in excess of 250,000 miles still on the original engine and service intervals every 20 -25000 miles. That is a huge saving per annum on servicing charges and of course they only have minimal down time. (mechanics carry out servicing as ordered by the ASSYST computer)

Diesels eat oil
. They don't like too much fuel let alone eat oil. I cannot recall ever adding oil to the engine between services.

So now before I 'spool' up the engine I had best check the oil level??


Regards,
John
Sunny, windy Torquay
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Old 09-23-2004, 10:04 AM
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I do a lot of highway driving and I'm just getting my first service at almost 14K. I have a lot of confidence in my dealer but 14K is making me nervous too.
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Old 09-23-2004, 10:28 AM
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Talking change at 5k is a good idea

I have a 528 bmw, factory free maintence, . BMW recommendation change acccording to computer, which gets to be about 12-15 k miles, Recommnedation was change to at least once year despite milege. I"m old school I change either once a year or 5k which ever comes first. BMW use
synthetic type oil also. I have a friend who is diesel freak MB 300d 1986 and
1999 300 d, Oil is changed evey 5k. Even if you have to pay, change it every 5k , unless it a lease car and you are not going to keep it. Oil is cheap engines are not.
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Old 09-23-2004, 10:41 AM
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Originally Posted by jyg e500 maybe
I have a 528 bmw, factory free maintence, . BMW recommendation change acccording to computer, which gets to be about 12-15 k miles, Recommnedation was change to at least once year despite milege. I"m old school I change either once a year or 5k which ever comes first. BMW use
synthetic type oil also. I have a friend who is diesel freak MB 300d 1986 and
1999 300 d, Oil is changed evey 5k. Even if you have to pay, change it every 5k , unless it a lease car and you are not going to keep it. Oil is cheap engines are not.
true, while changing oil at 5k doesn't harm the engine, it can be wasting perfectly usable oil for another 5k miles. Everyone has their different views on when to change their oil and what not.

I believe MB, BMW and Audi have proven their "FSS" type systems that monitor the oil state. It lets you go for the 10-12k interval or at least once a year. If you drive less than that, the computer usually pops up and counts down days instead of miles.

Yes, oil is cheap and engines are not BUT I think if MB or BMW had a engine failure or failures due to the FSS type methods of monitoring oil change intervals, that wouldn't be good for business on their end and they'd lose a lot of money on having to re-vamp their service interval systems. I don't think anyone has heard of engine failure due to the 10-12k mile service intervals yet.

Some do 5k intervals for piece on mind, some do it for out of habit with older cars and some just follow the FSS. To each his own
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Old 09-23-2004, 11:51 AM
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FWIW, Porsche is also using synthetics with a high change interval. My Boxster does not have FSS but the recommended interval is 15K miles. I've been changing it every year since new since I only put on 10K a year. No problems but, then, a problem most likely would not appear until over 100K total miles even with the extended intervals.
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Old 09-23-2004, 04:27 PM
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I change all my cars every 3000 miles.. and sometimes when i'm lazy 5-8000 miles..
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Old 09-23-2004, 04:31 PM
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Relax and enjoy the ride.

The types of synthetic oils MB uses and recommends, the large sump capacity and the cartrdige oil filter are all designed "to be left in there" for extended drain intervals on the newer cars.

Even with the breaking in period, the oil and filter can handle it.

I did a used oil analysis on a new CLK (mine) w/ 5,000- miles of mostly city, stop and go driving and it came back fine with much, much more life left in the oil.
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Old 09-23-2004, 04:47 PM
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I'm not a mechanical engineer but a company I worked for several years ago did a lot of work for the navy helping them design and implement new maintenance plans. One of the programs involved development of improved diagnostic tests to better predict machinery failure. This was important to the navy because they wanted to perform maintenance while a ship was in port rather than thousands of miles out at sea or away from a friendly port. One of the simpler and more accurate tests was engine oil analysis by which they could assess the condition of a piece of machinery through analysis of the type, size, and number of particles in the oil. In fact, this type of analysis has been around for a long time but the instruments and technology have become much more accurate over time. I have to believe that if MB, BMW, Porsche, Audi, etc. are using synthetic oils with extended service intervals, their engineers have very carefully analyzed the oil (and engines) under a variety of conditions while putting thousands of hours on the engines.
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Old 09-23-2004, 05:12 PM
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'05 E320 CDI, '07 VW Touareg V10 TDI, 2007 Porsche GT3
Oil Analysis

I use Mobil 1 and was changing it at 3,000 mile intervals as I'd always done. Then I decided to do an oil analysis on what came out of our '98 Toyota 4Runner that I used to tow my track car. Turned out I'd been throwing away essentially new oil, so I doubled my change interval to 6,000 miles.

Oil analysis at this mileage shows there's still no problem, but I'm old-fashioned enough to have stuck with the 6K interval since. I'll probably do the same when we get our CDI.

Incidentally, I was delighted to discover that WalMart is now carrying the 0w-40 Mobil 1 that M-B specifies for the diesel-engined cars, and for a semi-reasonable $4.77/qt.
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Old 09-23-2004, 05:36 PM
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I'm curious. Were there any metal particles in the oil? While the condition of the oil and its ability to continue lubricating is important, the presence of particles will indicate whether wear is acceptable or excessive.
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Old 09-23-2004, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by khaug
Incidentally, I was delighted to discover that WalMart is now carrying the 0w-40 Mobil 1 that M-B specifies for the diesel-engined cars, and for a semi-reasonable $4.77/qt.
I'm glad to see that WalMart is now carrying 0W-40. I've been buying 15W-50 from there but thought I've have to pay a bit more at Autozone to get 0W-40.
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Old 09-23-2004, 06:27 PM
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2000 528BMW 5sp
kind of disagree M

bmw still. Mb until this year was paying for oil changes, to their advantage to change less often as they paid, AS for M-b engineers. what of sludge problems in 99 e-class cause use service indicator to change oil. Might be a little different as synthetic oils now used, But changing once a year make sense, Sense enough that BMw will pay for it under maintence ( which M-b, no longer has) once a year.
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Old 09-23-2004, 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by BoSoxFan
I'm curious. Were there any metal particles in the oil? While the condition of the oil and its ability to continue lubricating is important, the presence of particles will indicate whether wear is acceptable or excessive.
It's been 4-5 years and the details of the report have escaped my memory, but I remember that there was no sign of any deterioration or contamination of the oil that would have called for a change @ 6,000 mi.

Oil analysis isn't exactly expensive - try it yourself if it interests you. www.blackstone-labs.com will send you a sample mailer gratis if you request it, and they do a very detailed report.

For projection of engine service life, repeated oil analysis is necessary to establish a pattern. That wasn't my goal - I simply wanted to know if I was tossing good (expensive!) Mobil 1 before its time, and I was. I'm sure I saved the cost of the analysis in the first couple of oil changes I did on the extended intervals.
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