Very dark oil immediately after change ('74 240D) - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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#1 (permalink) Old 06-17-2007, 07:26 PM
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Exclamation Very dark oil immediately after change ('74 240D)

Still messing with my dad's '74 240D project, destined to run on biodiesel from waste vegetable oil. Currently still on pump dino-diesel.

The oil was very black when we got the car, so I changed it and my dad has driven it some since then. I checked it again last week, and it was black again. Just working some of the old crud out from the previous owner, right?

I changed the oil again, backed the car off the ramps and had lunch. When I checked the oil level, it was very dark already! I suspect the engine has quite a bit of blowby, but it shouldn't be this dark after just letting the engine run for 2 minutes, should it?

Any guesses as to what's causing this? Is it picking up sludge from the oil pan or front mounted oil cooler? I know engine flushes can pretty much kill an engine, but is there some safe type of flush or cleaning agent I can run? Thanks.

Jason
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#2 (permalink) Old 06-17-2007, 07:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FieroGT42
Still messing with my dad's '74 240D project, destined to run on biodiesel from waste vegetable oil. Currently still on pump dino-diesel.

The oil was very black when we got the car, so I changed it and my dad has driven it some since then. I checked it again last week, and it was black again. Just working some of the old crud out from the previous owner, right?

I changed the oil again, backed the car off the ramps and had lunch. When I checked the oil level, it was very dark already! I suspect the engine has quite a bit of blowby, but it shouldn't be this dark after just letting the engine run for 2 minutes, should it?

Any guesses as to what's causing this? Is it picking up sludge from the oil pan or front mounted oil cooler? I know engine flushes can pretty much kill an engine, but is there some safe type of flush or cleaning agent I can run? Thanks.

Jason
You can drop the oil pan and see or next time you drain the oil get a small wire and make a loop and put it in the drain hole (trying to bend it down on the oil pan bottom) and then pull out and see if you get a lot of sludge/crud on it.
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#3 (permalink) Old 06-17-2007, 07:52 PM
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Engine flushes are pretty much a damned if you do or don't scenario. Lots of cases like yours that the engine really needs it but, what do you do?

I got the same thing with my 99 ML430. Change the oil and one trip in it and the oil was tar black. I thought after 2 years of 3000 mile oil changes, I'd worked it all out but it didn't. My vehicle consumed 1 1/2 to 2 quarts of oil per month and rattled every morning on cold crank-up for about 5 to 10 minutes! I had enough. I got some GUNK motor flush and warmed the engine for about 4 minutes and then shut it off, poured the stuff in and then cranked her back up. I let it run about 10 minutes afterward. I drained the crud out (and it was alot!) and refilled with Mobil 1 10W40. It hasn't used a drop of oil since, no rattles and the oil stays clean.

Now, don't think this will be everyone's result because I've seen engine flushes go bad as well. A Pontiac Parisienne filled the valve covers full on a friends car. There was so much crud it stopped up the drain back ports. It was a god awful mess, too. He had me help him remove the valve covers and oil gushed out down the side of the engine. It took a coat hanger and nearly a case of WD40 to clear out the drains on one of the heads. I found out that he poured the motor flush in a COLD ENGINE and then cranked it up. I don't know for sure if the results would have been different had he warmed it up first, but I think it would.

If you do decide to flush, be aware it could do this. Be prepared to take off valve cover and deal with a huge mess if it doesn't work out. If it were mine, I'd do the flush but only on a warm engine but that's me. There are just as many here who would be adamant about NOT flushing it.

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#4 (permalink) Old 06-17-2007, 08:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FieroGT42
...

The oil was very black when we got the car, so I changed it and my dad has driven it some since then. I checked it again last week, and it was black again. Just working some of the old crud out from the previous owner, right?

I changed the oil again, backed the car off the ramps and had lunch. When I checked the oil level, it was very dark already! I suspect the engine has quite a bit of blowby, but it shouldn't be this dark after just letting the engine run for 2 minutes, should it?

Any guesses as to what's causing this? Is it picking up sludge from the oil pan or front mounted oil cooler? I know engine flushes can pretty much kill an engine, but is there some safe type of flush or cleaning agent I can run? Thanks.

Jason
Black oil is normal for a diesel. This was when I stop changing oil after getting it all over myself the first time.
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#5 (permalink) Old 06-18-2007, 07:01 AM
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Very normal.

- Brian



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#6 (permalink) Old 06-18-2007, 07:57 AM
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Ditto. When I got my first diesel I got hysterical because the oil was always black! A good friend of mine who was an MB tech for 35 years said it's because you can never really FULLY drain all of the oil out. About a half a quart remains in the oil cooler and lines and when you start the car up after the change it mixes with the new causing the black


Don't worry about it.

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#7 (permalink) Old 06-18-2007, 08:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FieroGT42
Still messing with my dad's '74 240D project, destined to run on biodiesel from waste vegetable oil. Currently still on pump dino-diesel.

The oil was very black when we got the car, so I changed it and my dad has driven it some since then. I checked it again last week, and it was black again. Just working some of the old crud out from the previous owner, right?

I changed the oil again, backed the car off the ramps and had lunch. When I checked the oil level, it was very dark already! I suspect the engine has quite a bit of blowby, but it shouldn't be this dark after just letting the engine run for 2 minutes, should it?

Any guesses as to what's causing this? Is it picking up sludge from the oil pan or front mounted oil cooler? I know engine flushes can pretty much kill an engine, but is there some safe type of flush or cleaning agent I can run? Thanks.

Jason

That is just the way it is, no problem, normal. Not a good idea to flush a diesel.
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#8 (permalink) Old 06-18-2007, 11:09 AM
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Ok then, thanks. I won't let my dad get the engine flushed, but I think I'll drop the oil pan next change and clean any sludge, maybe blast something through the oil cooler to make sure the passages are clear.
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#9 (permalink) Old 06-18-2007, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FieroGT42
Ok then, thanks. I won't let my dad get the engine flushed, but I think I'll drop the oil pan next change and clean any sludge, maybe blast something through the oil cooler to make sure the passages are clear.
Overkill. Not necessary - the only reason you'd have a sludging problem is if previous owner either never changed the oil or rarely changed it w/ non-Diesel rated oil.

If you insist on going overboard, you can run a full synthetic oil which has some solvent/detergent-like properties. But even that is really unnecessary on an old robust car like you're dealing with.

Matt in Atlanta

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299K and laid up right now

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1992 400E, smoke silver-on-mushroom, sold at 168K
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#10 (permalink) Old 06-18-2007, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CalifSLK
Black oil is normal for a diesel. This was when I stop changing oil after getting it all over myself the first time.

agree as above...diesel oil will turn black

vijay
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