3,000 Mile Oil Change Myth is a Lie! - Mercedes-Benz Forum

View Poll Results: Do you change your Oil at 3,000 Miles or wait for the FSS?
I faithfully change my oil at 3K no matter what! 6 26.09%
I wait for the FSS to remind me to change my Oil 17 73.91%
Voters: 23. You may not vote on this poll

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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-17-2008, 12:38 PM Thread Starter
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3,000 Mile Oil Change Myth is a Lie!

According to a recent study by the California Integrated Waste Management Board, 73 percent of California drivers change their oil more frequently than required. This same scenario no doubt repeats itself across the country. Besides wasting money, this translates into unnecessary consumption of $100-a-barrel oil, much of it imported.

Using 2005 data, the Board estimates that Californians alone generate about 153.5 million gallons of waste oil annually, of which only about 60 percent is recycled. Used motor oil poses the greatest environmental risk of all automotive fluids because it is insoluble, persistent, and contains heavy metal and toxic chemicals . One gallon of used oil can foul the taste of one million gallons of water.

It’s been a misconception for years that engine oil should be changed every 3000 miles, even though most auto manufacturers now recommend oil changes at 5,000, 7,000, or even 10,000 mile intervals under normal driving conditions.

Greatly improved oils, including synthetic oils, coupled with better engines mean longer spans between oil changes without harming an engine. The 3000 mile interval is a carryover from days when engines used single-grade, non-detergent oils.

For several years, automakers like General Motors, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz have installed computerized systems that alert drivers via an instrument panel light when it’s time to change oil. As an example, the General Motor Oil Life System (GMOLS) analyzes the engine temperature, rpms, vehicle speeds, and other driving conditions to calculate the rate of engine oil degradation. Then, software calculates when the oil needs to be changed. Other systems work similarly.

Because of the many external conditions and parameters that have to be taken into account, calculating the precise maximum service interval using mathematical models alone is difficult. Now, Daimler AG has developed a more direct and precise way to monitor oil quality directly on board a vehicle.

Daimler uses a special sensor integrated into the oil circuit to monitor engine oil directly. Oil doesn’t wear out, but rather dirt and impurities cause oil to lose its ability to lubricate properly, dictating the need for a change. Daimler uses the oil’s “permittivity,” that is, the ability to polarize in response to the electric field. If the engine oil is contaminated by water or soot particles, it polarizes to a greater extent and its permittivity increases.

To evaluate the quality of the oil, permittivity is measured by applying an AC potential between the interior and exterior pipes of an oil-filled sensor to determine how well the oil transmits the applied electric field.

Because not all impurities can be measured with sufficient precision via the electric field method, Daimler also measures the oil’s viscosity to detect any fuel that may have seeped into the oil. Daimler researchers measure viscosity while the vehicle is in motion by observing the oil's side-to-side motion in the oil sump. The slower the oil moves, the higher its viscosity. This movement is registered by a sensor and the viscosity is calculated on this basis.

A single sensor, along with the information already monitored by on-board computers, is sufficient to determine the various parameters of the engine oil. Daimler will likely use the technology first on its commercial vehicles. Here, large oil reservoirs mean larger quantities of oil can be saved. Plus, a predicted 25 percent increase between service intervals and reduced downtime will be of interest to fleets, and thus justify the added cost of installation
.


Another reason I strictly use Synthetic Oil in my MB, Motorcycles, Boats, Aeroplanes and Guns.

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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-17-2008, 12:54 PM
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I frequently change my oil, mostly becuase my driving habits scare me. Also delinquency with oil changes in the past have caused me to lose a car entirely. Along with this article, and a discussion I had with a benzworld member last week, I'm thinking I may change my habits.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-17-2008, 01:08 PM
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The "oil change 3000" have been a scam for me for the last 30 years.
I was changing oil every 10,000 miles even at the times when oils had SD grade. Who's here know the grade of the oil in his engine?
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-17-2008, 04:27 PM
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I do

The E-class has MB 229.5

The GL has MB 229.51

These are the ONLY important considerations.

Kent Christensen
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-17-2008, 05:03 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Kajtek1 View Post
The "oil change 3000" have been a scam for me for the last 30 years.
I was changing oil every 10,000 miles even at the times when oils had SD grade. Who's here know the grade of the oil in his engine?
I do know the grade of Oil I use in my Car or Bike but the specification is at most times not on the cans of Oil.

ie-I use Mobil 1 Synthetic and I don't recall seeing
MB Spec 229.....
But I have seen the MB Authorized Oils and this and many other brands
of Oil have passed that specification.

I think the 10,000 Mile mark is great. Some folks, including myself, will not get
to the 10K mark because the computer robot who samples the Oil says it needs
changing earlier. 7,500 miles or so. That's because of the weather conditions down here and my personal driving habits.

But changing your Oil at 3,000 miles is so old school it's not funny.
Heck, my 1969 Dodge Charger had her oil changed every 3K.

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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-17-2008, 06:15 PM
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I change the oil every 3000 on my 1991 Toyota Camry (manual says oil every 3750 and filter every 7500) and on my 1994 Plymouth Acclaim. What I never followed was the "3 months or 3000 miles", I always went with the mileage. I follow the FSS almost exactly on my 2001 E320.

Another point that has been bantered about on here is changing oil too often is about as bad as not often enough. I don't remember those particulars, but fresh oil does not lubricate as well as it does once it has some miles on it. I think it has to do with the higher detergent levels in the new stuff.

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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-17-2008, 07:00 PM
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Not just detergents MM but especially chemical antidotes that come in fresh oil in order to balance engine acids. Too many chemicals in constantly changed oil will eat the engine faster, than it will wear out working. It is like putting your underwear in the bleach every day. How long it would last?
And BTW MBoFlorida. Each oil bottle have the grade stamped in at least 2 places. It's been like that from..... 100 years?

Last edited by Kajtek1; 06-17-2008 at 07:03 PM.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-17-2008, 07:04 PM
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Not just detergents MM but especially chemical antidotes that come in fresh oil in order to balance engine acids. Too many chemicals in constantly changed oil will eat the engine faster, than it will wear out working....
Thanks Kajtek1, that sounds familiar to me now. If I remember my chemistry correctly, your antidotes sound like they could be buffers.

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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-17-2008, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Mercedes Benz of Florida View Post
...I use Mobil 1 Synthetic and I don't recall seeing MB Spec 229.....
The Mobil1 "Fully Synthetic" 0W40, formerly called European Car Formula, bears the MB 229.5 specification and it is on the label. "FS" is in quotes because that is redundant; plain Mobil is conventional oil, whereas Mobil1 signifies fully synthetic. I have seen other Mobil1 oils that do not meet the MB specs. As far as the SD, SE, SF etc., I don't know which of those designations it has either but they should be on there somewhere.

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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 06-17-2008, 07:18 PM
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The "oil change 3000" have been a scam for me for the last 30 years.
I was changing oil every 10,000 miles even at the times when oils had SD grade. Who's here know the grade of the oil in his engine?
I agree.

I also think rotating tires is mostly about dealers' pension plans. No proof that its cheaper overall than if you replace the driven pair a bit earlier and the other pair last a bit laterr. But definitely, you get the pleasure of buying 4 at once.

Manufacturers also like rotation - they don't want you driving a front wheel driver's tires to death and claiming under the mileage warranty.
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