Date registered: Sep 2004
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RE: Oil be damned !
The 1998-style FSS system allows oil change intervals up to 22,500km's or about 14,000 miles depending on driving style and cold starts. However, MB was the loser in a class action suit in the US that connected the long intervals with engine sludging.
Here's where it gets tricky. Do I extend the change interval and put an $8000 engine at risk, or do I "do what worked in the past" and change my oil before the manufacturers required interval?
For those of us that have driven several, or many, cars to ridiculous mileages, we tend to equate our rigorous oil changing and short intervals to the long engine life we have attained.
There is an argument to be made that if we greatly extend the life of the engine (one of the most expensive parts on the car) we extend the life of the car as a whole and reduce the number of 3000lb+ cars headed to the land fill and also reduce the number of cars we buy, reducing overall long-term auto ownership costs.
But, what is that ideal interval that balances engine life with oil consumption? Does anyone really know? Is there a real hard number, or was the FSS the right idea, altering it depending on oil quality and driving style? For those of us that have invested a great deal of money in our cars, we tend to be risk averse when it comes to maintaining them, and I'm sure that most on this site err towards short intervals, myself included. Probably only due to uncertainty.
I'm really trying to see things from your perspective, but I'm having trouble getting my head up my ass