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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2016 BlueTec, took delivery on Nov. 2015. Did DIY engine oil change on Nov. 2016 using Valvoline 5W-40 MST.

Had a first CEL with fault codes P229F, P2201 in Aug. 2017 at 6.4K miles. Took to dealer, replaced both NOx sensor under warranty. Last week, had the CEL with the same fault codes again, now at about 7.4K miles.

Plan to take to the dealer again later this week, but how can a replaced NOx sensor went bad in just 2 months/1K miles? I wonder if this sensor issue is masking some root problems. I don't want the dealer to just replace the sensors again and call it done. Any suggestion on what might be the root cause? What direction shall I point the dealers to fix the root cause?
 

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2008 E350 4Matic, 2011 E350 4matic
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No idea, but doesn't your car call for 229.52 oil? I believe that Valvoline is only 229.51 which is the older spec. It's not on the 229.52 approved list. I wouldn't think the wrong oil would cause your problem though, probably just more wear as the newer oils protect better than older ones.
 

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2011 E350 Bluetec
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Owner's manual only mentions 229.51 though.
Might want to read this blog...

Mercedes-Benz & Sprinter BlueTec Diesel Issues/Problems | Stephens Service Center - Sacramento's Best Mercedes-Benz Service & Repairs

Not sure, though, if the 4 cylinder Bluetec engine has the same problems as the 6 cylinder Bluetec engine. I had to replace both my NOX sensors as well but it’s not under warranty. I did the work but it took some time to find both. One was up towards the top of the exhaust right before the DEF spray nozzle. The other was at the other end before the mufflers. I did not expect it to be so far back. I’ve also replaced the rear main seal and the oil cooler seals. The 6 cylinder diesel runs hot. And city driving is not my friend. Everything else has been just normal wear and tear and routine services, which I have done most of.

Since your car is under warranty, I would stick to MB service schedule. If you keep the car after the warranty is up... depending on where you live, I would reconsider the oil you use, the oil change interval, using an engine flush for the oil and using diesel fuel additives to help clean the particulate filter. Not to mention, making sure the engine air filters don’t get too dirty. The 229.51 and 229.52 oils are what’s recommended for my car but I have been using Mobil 1 15w50 for the summer and will be switching to Mobil 1 ESP 0w30 in about another week or two. Once you read the article, you’ll understand why.

I love my car though. Drives fantastic and gets great mpg on the highway. I commute 130 miles a day so I need a car that can pack on the miles.
 

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Might want to read this blog...

Mercedes-Benz & Sprinter BlueTec Diesel Issues/Problems | Stephens Service Center - Sacramento's Best Mercedes-Benz Service & Repairs

Not sure, though, if the 4 cylinder Bluetec engine has the same problems as the 6 cylinder Bluetec engine. I had to replace both my NOX sensors as well but it’s not under warranty. I did the work but it took some time to find both. One was up towards the top of the exhaust right before the DEF spray nozzle. The other was at the other end before the mufflers. I did not expect it to be so far back. I’ve also replaced the rear main seal and the oil cooler seals. The 6 cylinder diesel runs hot. And city driving is not my friend. Everything else has been just normal wear and tear and routine services, which I have done most of.

Since your car is under warranty, I would stick to MB service schedule. If you keep the car after the warranty is up... depending on where you live, I would reconsider the oil you use, the oil change interval, using an engine flush for the oil and using diesel fuel additives to help clean the particulate filter. Not to mention, making sure the engine air filters don’t get too dirty. The 229.51 and 229.52 oils are what’s recommended for my car but I have been using Mobil 1 15w50 for the summer and will be switching to Mobil 1 ESP 0w30 in about another week or two. Once you read the article, you’ll understand why.

I love my car though. Drives fantastic and gets great mpg on the highway. I commute 130 miles a day so I need a car that can pack on the miles.
Sounds like you're on top of things until you got the part about doing engine flushes. I don't think any manufacturer recommends engine flushes and the most wear happens at startup. Normally with a flush, you're basically running the engine without oil as the flush isn't an oil. Regular oil should have enough detergents to keep it clean. Basically a flush might make sense for a car that hasn't been maintained, but if you're doing regular oil changes with a quality oil, you should never have to do a flush.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The dealer says the NOx sensor replaced 2 months ago are not "taught", they just "taught" both sensors today, and cleared the codes and called it done. Any one had to "teach" their replacement NOx sensors? Good thing I still have quite some time left in warranty, will see if the issue comes back.
 

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2011 E350 Bluetec
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Sounds like you're on top of things until you got the part about doing engine flushes. I don't think any manufacturer recommends engine flushes and the most wear happens at startup. Normally with a flush, you're basically running the engine without oil as the flush isn't an oil. Regular oil should have enough detergents to keep it clean. Basically a flush might make sense for a car that hasn't been maintained, but if you're doing regular oil changes with a quality oil, you should never have to do a flush.
I have read that some do not recommend an oil flush but I put it in before I do an oil change. Run the engine for about 5 minutes, then do the oil change. I have been using Gunk Motor Flush. With previous cars, I never bothered with engine flushes. After reading about the issues on the 3.0L Bluetec engines, I started to look for possible preventative maintenance. I use a heavier weight oil for the summer (it get’s hot in TX), then switch to lighter weight or the recommended oil once it gets cold. Even though using the heavy oil (I use 15w50) is suppose to be better for viscosity with diesel being mixed In the combustion process, it’s not good with keeping ash or soot at the level MB recommends so that the particulate filter does not get too dirty. Newer Diesel engines go through a regenerative process to clean this out but I doubt this can last forever. With colder temperatures, I think the recommended equivalent of 229.51 or 229.52 will be ok but the diesel dilution through combustion has convinced me that I should change the oil sooner than 10,000 miles... but I probably will not use the flush once I switch the oil since it is the recommended weight. I have not heard or read of many owners of the E250 Bluetec having issues with their engine like E350 Bluetec owners... makes me wish I had spent a bit more to get the E250...
 

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What 15w50 oil are you using? I don't see any 15w50 oils on MB's list that meets 229.51 or 229.52. And your motor flush is basically solvent and kerosine, not exactly a great lubricant. Also my guess on the E250 is that it's too new to have many problems show up, that usually happens after it's been around for 3-5 years and people have racked up a lot of miles on it. The other issue is that they sold so few, not that many people even have them to report any problems about it and if they're under warranty, they don't really care as it's all covered by the dealer. If you follow the scientific method, let's see some evidence that what you're even doing makes sense. They don't call them snake oils for nothing.
 

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2011 E350 Bluetec
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The dealer says the NOx sensor replaced 2 months ago are not "taught", they just "taught" both sensors today, and cleared the codes and called it done. Any one had to "teach" their replacement NOx sensors? Good thing I still have quite some time left in warranty, will see if the issue comes back.
“Taught”... interesting... i guess I got lucky with replacing mine and clearing the code myself with my OBD2 device. Since it’s under warranty... take it to them for everything and anything. I hope there’s someone who is more knowledgeable on this to explain this. I thought that if you clear the code the car’s computer would determine if the NOx sensor is working properly... or not.
 

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Most of these problems are related to Mercedes and Bosch causing it to begin with.

Mercedes and Bosch are going to lose more the a few billion dollars. They are going to lose their reputation, customer trust and confidence in their product and services.

Mercedes is obligated to modify/fix majority of the BlueTec cars and vans plus 5 years of warranty after the fix.

Here is the link for the settlement information:

Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC Clean Air Act Civil Settlement | Enforcement | US EPA

Here is the link for class action settlement:

$700 Million Mercedes Diesel Emissions Class-Action Settlement Details Announced | Hagens Berman (hbsslaw.com)

Here is the link for DOJ for the clean air ACT lawsuit:

The U.S. Reaches $1.5 Billion Settlement with Daimler AG Over Emissions Cheating in Mercedes-Benz Diesel Vehicles (justice.gov)

Here is the link for a website that is not populated yet as of 12/12/2020 by Mercedes for providing information and instruction:

https://www.mbbluetecsettlement.com
 

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“Taught”... interesting... i guess I got lucky with replacing mine and clearing the code myself with my OBD2 device. Since it’s under warranty... take it to them for everything and anything. I hope there’s someone who is more knowledgeable on this to explain this. I thought that if you clear the code the car’s computer would determine if the NOx sensor is working properly... or not.
What ODB2 device did you use for cleaning the code.
 

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Most of these problems are related to Mercedes and Bosch causing it to begin with.

Mercedes and Bosch are going to lose more the a few billion dollars. They are going to lose their reputation, customer trust and confidence in their product and services.

Mercedes is obligated to modify/fix majority of the BlueTec cars and vans plus 5 years of warranty after the fix.

Here is the link for the settlement information:

Daimler AG and Mercedes-Benz USA, LLC Clean Air Act Civil Settlement | Enforcement | US EPA

Here is the link for class action settlement:

$700 Million Mercedes Diesel Emissions Class-Action Settlement Details Announced | Hagens Berman (hbsslaw.com)

Here is the link for DOJ for the clean air ACT lawsuit:

The U.S. Reaches $1.5 Billion Settlement with Daimler AG Over Emissions Cheating in Mercedes-Benz Diesel Vehicles (justice.gov)

Here is the link for a website that is not populated yet as of 12/12/2020 by Mercedes for providing information and instruction:

https://www.mbbluetecsettlement.com
2020-03-25-mercedes-bluetec-opinion.pdf (hbsslaw.com)
 

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What ODB2 device did you use for cleaning the code.
Honestly, I think I might have gotten a bit lucky, comparatively speaking. I’ve been using an inexpensive $100 OBDII scanner that I purchased primarily for servicing the transmission on my car (722.9 transmission). Back when I originally added my comments to this post, I was having issues with the rear NOX sensor but I also had recently had an independent shop replace the oil cooler seals and the rear main seal. Around this time I also ignorantly let the DEF tank go too low. When I added more DEF, the warning message never went away and I subsequently got the “infamous” countdown warning.

I took it to the shop that did the seals but he directed me to another shop that uses the Star Diagnostic. I distinctly remember him explaining that this would be the easiest and expensive service as the car would just sit there getting it’s computer “updated” with the servers at Mercedes in Germany. How true that was, I don’t know but they had the car for 2 days. Got the car and it worked fine up until about January or February of this year. That’s when everything with the emissions system went weird. Fortunately, I was not driving as much so I was able to slowly work on the issues myself. I replaced the DEF Pump, DEF Injector, DEF Heater and 2 NOX Sensors. Despite this I still kept getting an error code. I took it to a few different shops... some were helpful others were not. One shop wanted to charge me almost $3000 to remove all the emissions components I had replaced.

I ended up taking to a independent shop that work’s primarily on German vehicles that uses the Star Diagnostic. They got the same code I would get on me cheap scanner and recommended I change the 2 NOX sensors I already replaced. I told them that the sensors were new and to put the old ones back on since I happened to have the old ones in the trunk. They asked me if I wanted all the codes cleared (which I thought was an odd question) and I said yes, clear all the codes. I got the car back after several days thinking I need to send back the NOX sensors I replaced but I have not had the Check Engine light come back. In this time, I read about a recall on the DPF so, rather than get another set of NOX sensors, I’ll wait for the recall notice on my car to have MB replace the sensor... they’ll be doing the DPF.

As this has unfolded I would look into all the error codes I got when I was doing the work... I felt like I was chasing a gremlin somewhere in the emissions. Ironically, the car ran fine, even with the check engine light coming back for different emissions issues. While at this last shop, I also found on a Sprinter Forum someone commenting that Mercedes has hidden their function to clear emissions related codes if using any diagnostic that is not theirs. I don’t know if this is true but, I did take the car to several different shops and it is odd that 3 of the 5 independent shops could not clear the emissions codes but the 2 shops that I have used that use Star Diagnostic have been able to clear emissions related codes. Maybe it’s just my luck?...good and bad...

Either way, it makes little difference now. I’m just waiting for the recall letter... which will probably take a while...
 

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Honestly, I think I might have gotten a bit lucky, comparatively speaking. I’ve been using an inexpensive $100 OBDII scanner that I purchased primarily for servicing the transmission on my car (722.9 transmission). Back when I originally added my comments to this post, I was having issues with the rear NOX sensor but I also had recently had an independent shop replace the oil cooler seals and the rear main seal. Around this time I also ignorantly let the DEF tank go too low. When I added more DEF, the warning message never went away and I subsequently got the “infamous” countdown warning.

I took it to the shop that did the seals but he directed me to another shop that uses the Star Diagnostic. I distinctly remember him explaining that this would be the easiest and expensive service as the car would just sit there getting it’s computer “updated” with the servers at Mercedes in Germany. How true that was, I don’t know but they had the car for 2 days. Got the car and it worked fine up until about January or February of this year. That’s when everything with the emissions system went weird. Fortunately, I was not driving as much so I was able to slowly work on the issues myself. I replaced the DEF Pump, DEF Injector, DEF Heater and 2 NOX Sensors. Despite this I still kept getting an error code. I took it to a few different shops... some were helpful others were not. One shop wanted to charge me almost $3000 to remove all the emissions components I had replaced.

I ended up taking to a independent shop that work’s primarily on German vehicles that uses the Star Diagnostic. They got the same code I would get on me cheap scanner and recommended I change the 2 NOX sensors I already replaced. I told them that the sensors were new and to put the old ones back on since I happened to have the old ones in the trunk. They asked me if I wanted all the codes cleared (which I thought was an odd question) and I said yes, clear all the codes. I got the car back after several days thinking I need to send back the NOX sensors I replaced but I have not had the Check Engine light come back. In this time, I read about a recall on the DPF so, rather than get another set of NOX sensors, I’ll wait for the recall notice on my car to have MB replace the sensor... they’ll be doing the DPF.

As this has unfolded I would look into all the error codes I got when I was doing the work... I felt like I was chasing a gremlin somewhere in the emissions. Ironically, the car ran fine, even with the check engine light coming back for different emissions issues. While at this last shop, I also found on a Sprinter Forum someone commenting that Mercedes has hidden their function to clear emissions related codes if using any diagnostic that is not theirs. I don’t know if this is true but, I did take the car to several different shops and it is odd that 3 of the 5 independent shops could not clear the emissions codes but the 2 shops that I have used that use Star Diagnostic have been able to clear emissions related codes. Maybe it’s just my luck?...good and bad...

Either way, it makes little difference now. I’m just waiting for the recall letter... which will probably take a while...
I hate to make this longer but I think this topic/discussion was started before there was a separate area just for Mercedes diesels... you’ll find more people posting on Bluetec there.
 
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