Changing the Oil only Once a year instead of Twice a year? - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-11-2014, 12:48 PM Thread Starter
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Changing the Oil only Once a year instead of Twice a year?

i have heard that most car owners have to change their car's oil about Twice a year. is that normal? i have always changed my oil only Once a year? am i therefore abusing my car? or it doesnt matter? what happens if i only change the oil only Once a year regardless of mileage? will it cause major damage to the engine over time as opposed to changing the oil Twice a year on average? how often do you guys change the oil, and those benzes with 300k miles how often have they changed their oil on average? thanks
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-11-2014, 01:23 PM
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What kind of car are we talking about? That actually matters, you know. (It's helpful and courteous if you click user cp and edit details so you can easily add your vehicle and location to your profile, then people don't have to ask questions like "what car"?)

Modern MBs (since 1998) use the FSS, which nominally is around 10,000 miles, but varies depending on the algorithm. I guess if you're driving 20K+ miles a year, that would be twice a year. The FSS otherwise kicks off at 12 months, so from MB's modern perspective it would be about 10K miles or one year, whichever comes first.

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-11-2014, 02:46 PM
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Although I know nothing about your car or your driving habits, as far as I know, there are no hard and fast rules about the general frequency of oil changes. I grew up with the old rule of every 3,000 miles or 3 months, but things have changed since those days. Many manufacturers these days have oil service warning lights that light up on the dash, and often times, you can follow the percentage used/left before the next change is due (according to the manufacturer). These days, it's often as much as 10-12,000 between changes, but that's too long for me.

In our daily drivers, I change the oil every 5,000 miles and, since we are both retired and only drive about 5,000 miles a year, it comes out to about once a year. With the 107 (560SL), however, I only drive it about 800-1,200 miles per year. Despite the low annual mileage, I still change it every year.

If you're driving the average 12-15,000 miles or more a year, I feel once a year is not often enough. However, if you're using something like Mobil 1, that could also have some bearing on the frequency.

As M-B and Mobil seem to have jumped into bed together, I understand that most M-B dealerships are using Mobil 1 for their oil changes. Even so, I wouldn't go over 10,000 miles, regardless of frequency, and I will still stick to my plan of every 5,000 or 1 year, whichever comes first.


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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-11-2014, 05:11 PM Thread Starter
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i have a 95 c280 and i use regular shell 10w40
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-12-2014, 05:37 PM
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For all the cars I own, I would change the oil a bit less than the recommended interval.
Since MB recommends oil change (full synthetic) every 10k miles for my w209, I usually change it every 8-8.5k miles.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-23-2014, 12:01 AM
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I have an SLK 320 (R170). The computer tells you when a service is due. If the milage is low enough (under about 15,000km) it does not call for an oil change for 24 months! I quite understand the breakdown of oil being milage dependant but there is very little real research on the internet about the life of engine oil under low mileage-long time. If Mercedes recommend oil change for this car at 24 months why do other cars need to be done as frequently as 3 months?
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-23-2014, 08:55 AM
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Mercedes engines have 8-9 liters crankcase capacity and superior filters, what allow them to run 10k miles on dino oils or 2 years.
It is only US where lawyers forced changes to synthetic and 1 year.
I did own huge US made engines with 4.5 quarts of oil in them.
That said, I put synthetics on my Ford Diesel truck and lab test did allow it to run 10k miles even when the engine was pulling often 30,000 lb combos.
7.3 Ford diesel has 14 quarts capacity.

Last edited by Kajtek1; 11-23-2014 at 09:00 AM.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-30-2014, 05:36 AM
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A lot depends on how you drive your car. The best habit is always allow it to reach full operating temp, maybe 20 miles minimum, so that contaminants (byproducts of combustion) in the oil are burned off. Under these conditions, 10-15K miles/2 years on full synthetic oil is fine. Otherwise, unburned contaminants stay in the oil and degrade the oil properties. So all those short trips to the grocery store are bad for your oil/engine. Flexible service systems (FSS) in modern cars estimate your driving patterns and adjust oil change intervals accordingly. Stick with your manufacturer's recommendations and/or FSS. There really is no "one size fits all" to recommend.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-30-2014, 07:54 AM
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If you want to be anal on this topic

send a sample out for oil analysis. I think you will be surprised at how well your oil maintains it's essential properties over an extended interval. You can then establish your own schedule based on your unique conditions. The U.S. Navy for example does not change lubricants on schedule but instead conducts periodic lubricant analyses and changes on condition.

All that said, I change at 6000 miles using AMSOIL. Makes me feel better even though the engine doesn't care.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 12-01-2014, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by hazeak1 View Post
i have a 95 c280 and i use regular shell 10w40
So, roughly $40-50 per oil change? Is that so rich a sum that you're not willing to spring it twice (or maybe even gasp! three times) a year?

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