Oil Change: From Top or From Bottom - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-10-2012, 02:07 PM Thread Starter
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Oil Change: From Top or From Bottom

I frequent 2 dealerships and for both places, they change motor oil from extracting the motor oil from the top.

I am curious. I understand that for w209, there is a drain hole in the bottom. Isn't it more beneficial to let the old oil to fall out by the drain hole? This way, all the accumulated sludge and deposits will be drained out as well.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-10-2012, 03:13 PM
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MB had dipstick designed for top extraction for last 30 + years.
It has been discussed hundreds of times which method drains more and most report better extraction from the top. Not that 2 tablespoons of oil left in the pan would matter.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-10-2012, 04:56 PM
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Dealers love sucking oil because they're lazy and they want to spend little time and minimum work doing oil change. To drain, there's more work involved than sucking. They have to jack up the car, unscrew 4 screws to remove the noise dampening panel from underneath, unscrew drain plug, drain, screw the drain plug back in, re-install the panel, lower the car, ...
Past 48K miles, somethings's wrong with the car engine, you pay.
If you suck the oil with the car on your driveway, there will be many more than 2 tablespoons of sludge left in the pan because the driveway is inclined. The nozzle to suck only touches the top bottom of the pan.
However, draining from under the car comes with some risk such as an earthquake can arrive unannounced ...

So to suck or not to suck or to drain or not to drain, you decide.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-10-2012, 10:54 PM Thread Starter
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I always service my car in the dealership so I do not have to worry about handling of the old oil.
In all my other cars, the shop always drained the oil from the bottom so I am curious. I would think it is better theoretically to drain from the bottom. Maybe even some kind of flush to further clean the tank.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-11-2012, 02:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mis3 View Post
I frequent 2 dealerships and for both places, they change motor oil from extracting the motor oil from the top.

I am curious. I understand that for w209, there is a drain hole in the bottom. Isn't it more beneficial to let the old oil to fall out by the drain hole? This way, all the accumulated sludge and deposits will be drained out as well.
It is useless to attend this topic, it has been discussed over and over again and it is obvious that people have different opinions and don't want to change, no matter what evidence is given (I'm sure someone blames me with these same words).

As Kajtek1 says, some cars have been designed for oil change via siphoning, some are not, MBs are (with very few exceptions). In this case there is no real difference between the method regarding residual oil in the pan.

If you see how the used oil looks like when you drain it (or siphon, easier to see from a can when draining oil), you realise there is no sludge (if you find any sludge, you have something seriously wrong and draining the oil is not the solution).

Also if you look carefully how the workshops siphon oil, they do not use a narrow tube to the bottom of the pan but a big one attached to the top of the dipstick tube (you cannot do this unless the car has been designed for it). The oil flow is at least the same as it is from draining, so there is no difference if one assumes that the bottom of the pan has some sludge and that comes away when the oil flows rapidly.

Nothing wrong with draining the oil either, it just takes more time and you get hands and clothes dirty.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-11-2012, 02:36 AM
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Suction is great...if your engine was designed for it. Most aren't, but your Benz was. Every dealer and most indies do it that way, and most benz owners don't change their own oil, so if it was really bad, there would be lots of blown engines.

If you sleep better at night because you have it drained, do it that way. I drain mine because I have no place to store an extractor, but I'd sleep the same either way.

Good luck.

Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy; its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery. (Winston Churchill)
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-11-2012, 10:04 AM
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30 years ago German cars had oil filter change scheduled every 2nd oil change.
So the oil change only was 3-5 minutes job on the bays equipped with vacuum system and oil dispenser.
The customer didn't even had time to grab a coffee.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-11-2012, 02:39 PM
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Some folks will tell you that "all Mercedes" have their dip stick tubes positioned such that you can just attach to the top of them and suck out nearly all the oil. That is definitely not true of the engine in my '97 E300 D. I run a plastic tube down the dipstick tube and feel for the pan, which allows me to empty the oil, but if I am not careful, I can push in too much plastic tube which will curl up in the sump leaving a lot of oil behind. This could not happen if the dipstick tube went close to the pan.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-11-2012, 03:20 PM
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Nothing goes down the tube with the dealer equipment--rather it makes an air/fluid tight seal at the top.

BMWs are designed for this, too, as are recent VWs. Of course if it ain't German who cares anyway?

Kent Christensen
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 02-11-2012, 06:52 PM
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My point is that if you pumped from the top of MY dipstick tube, you would leave a lot of oil behind. I will have to figure out how to measure from the bottom of the tube to the bottom of the pan. Based on how easy it is to push the plastic tube past the point where it is hitting the pan, I'm guessing it might be 1 1/2" off the pan, which would leave a quart or two of dirty oil behind. Surely someone on this site has seen the bottom end of the dipstick tube on the NA diesel in the w210 and can educate me/us on how it terminates. I suppose it could end in a curve that approaches the pan.

Last edited by nelbur; 02-11-2012 at 07:03 PM.
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