BenzWorld Junior Member
Date registered: Jan 2010
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I have a 98 ML 320. Shortly after purchasing it about 6 months ago, we noticed that it had an oil leak. However, it seemed like the more I used the vehicle, the less it leaked. Someone ventured the possibility that a gasket could have dried out if the car hadn't been used for awhile and now more constant use had sealed it once again. Indeed, I never did need to add any oil to it.
Everything was fine until this past weekend. I had to make a trip back to see my Dad, about 350 miles away. Before taking off, I decided I better get the oil changed so I took it to a JiffiLube. They told me that they had to use synthetic oil because that was what Mercedes recommends. I had found two quarts of oil in the back of the vehicle that were regular oil so I hesitated but they refused to do it unless I went for the synthetic. They also charged me extra because it requires 7.5, not the usual 5, quarts of oil. And they also told me the oil pan gasket was leaking.
I made the trip over to see Dad just fine but I still had about 150 miles to go before I got home when the oil light went on. I got off at the next exit and headed right for a filling station. I checked the oil and sure enough, it was right at the low mark. The book told me that when it got to that point, it was 2.1 quarts low. The gas station had no synthetic oil but directed me to the Car Quest right around the corner. Those guys were fantastic! They not only researched the right weight of oil ... they put it in for me!!!! Wow! You don't find that kind of service very often anymore. They felt that I had a leaking valve cover gasket.
I made it home just fine, thank goodness. I had someone check the oil for me the morning after I returned and they thought it might be a quart low. Now, it's been sitting for about 36 hours. Looking under the vehicle, it's hard to tell old stains from new ones but if there are new spots, they aren't very big.
Now, I'm trying to figure out what to do. I was told that synthetic oil is thinner and that may be why it leaked more. I also have heard many horror stories about mistakes made by Jiffi Lube so perhaps they didn't put enough oil in. I've also wondered if the longer trip vs. the usual short jaunts I take didn't perhaps stress the engine & gaskets more and caused it to leak more.
Of course, I'll be watching the oil level closely from this point on and at some point, I have to get whatever is leaking fixed. But in the meantime, I was wondering if any of you have any ideas or comments on the theories I've already heard. Also, does anyone have any clues as to how much those repairs might cost? Any information y'all can give me would be greatly appreciated.