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Don't recall anyone posting this before, but I believe I have found a "hidden" menu that shows the amount of engine oil in 10ths of a quart. To get to it, use the same sequence as previously posted for the Dynomode (turn the key to the first accessory position, make sure the dash display shows the odometer, press the odometer reset button 3 times rapidly, and the display will show a digital voltage reading). Press the up arrow on the left side of the steering wheel once (pressing it twice will take you to the ESP dynamometer test as previously posted), and then turn the ignition to the "on" position (don't start the engine). On my car the display reads 7.7 quarts. Given that the oil capacity is 8.5 quarts, I assume this means I'm 0.8 quarts down? Anyone ever notice this before? How many quarts of oil does the display indicate on your cars? Note that I have a '55, not sure if the '350 has the same feature. Also, note that if you start the engine, the indicated amount of oil drops by about 1.5 quarts. I assume that this is the amount of oil being pumped through the engine, and therefore currently not in the crankcase and therefore not being measured. Guess I should go out and buy a quart of Mobil 1 so I have it when I reach 1.0 quarts down?...I assume that I will get a message at that point that the car is down a quart of oil?
 

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Steve, I think it really is quarts in my car, see the attached photo. I'm curious to know what the readout in your car says given that you are in the UK.
 

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I will check this on my car today and get back to you, my measurements should be in Metric, extremely useful display though! Definitely with the reported problems, this should be a god sent!
 

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shark22 - 5/1/2005 11:21 PM

Steve, I think it really is quarts in my car, see the attached photo. I'm curious to know what the readout in your car says given that you are in the UK.
Well my car isn't being built until the second dekade of June. Am I getting excited? YES! It will show litres, since we don't use those quaint old measurements any more [:)] The US is the only place left where quarts have any meaning, AFAIK. Oil has been sold in litres here for 25 years. 1 quart = 1.06 litres, so they aren't so different. Also you should make sure that the car is on absolutely level ground, and that you have waited 15 minutes from switching off the engine before it will be accurate. I've found with my E320 that even a slight incline can affect the oil level readout.

Back to your original question as to whether this shows that your oil is low, compared to the capacity, that depends what it represents. If it only shows the oil in the sump, then of course there is still some oil in the rest of the engine. It depends what it is supposed to measure.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yes, it could be that 7.7 quarts is the amount in the oil pan, and that the other 0.8 quarts are in the filter and the engine, and that my oil level is "full". As more people report, hopefully we can figure this one out. Obviously the most telling would be if someone can tell us what their display says just after they get the "1.0 quart low warning message" (or perhaps immediately after an oil change, but that assumes that whoever does the oil change fills the engine to the exact specification). Yes, my car is on level ground (in my garage), and was sitting for a couple of hours before I read the measurement. BTW, my mileage is 1600, and I have not added any oil to my engine since it was new.
 

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shark22 - 4/30/2005 2:23 PM

Don't recall anyone posting this before, but I believe I have found a "hidden" menu that shows the amount of engine oil in 10ths of a quart. To get to it, use the same sequence as previously posted for the Dynomode (turn the key to the first accessory position, make sure the dash display shows the odometer, press the odometer reset button 3 times rapidly, and the display will show a digital voltage reading). Press the up arrow on the left side of the steering wheel once (pressing it twice will take you to the ESP dynamometer test as previously posted), and then turn the ignition to the "on" position (don't start the engine). On my car the display reads 7.7 quarts. Given that the oil capacity is 8.5 quarts, I assume this means I'm 0.8 quarts down? Anyone ever notice this before? How many quarts of oil does the display indicate on your cars? Note that I have a '55, not sure if the '350 has the same feature. Also, note that if you start the engine, the indicated amount of oil drops by about 1.5 quarts. I assume that this is the amount of oil being pumped through the engine, and therefore currently not in the crankcase and therefore not being measured. Guess I should go out and buy a quart of Mobil 1 so I have it when I reach 1.0 quarts down?...I assume that I will get a message at that point that the car is down a quart of oil?
This must be an SLK55 thing as I cannot get the oil display to come up on my 350. Any other 350 owners have any luck?
 

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Mine reads 9.0qt. and dropss to 7.5qt.

Thanks, shark22! Excellent -- I've really wanted to know more than just "Oil Level OK", particularly when I'm driving on the track. I made a dipstick as I've posted before, but this readout is really helpful.

I've made sure that my oil level is topped up, but not above the level where some needs to be removed. Thus, I'm reading 9.0 which is probably just below the level where the remove oil level would be displayed. The readout dropped to 7.5qt after about 45 seconds of idling.
 

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You guys are awesome. After 3 weeks and 600 miles my 55 SLK reads 8.0 quarts. So I quess, with all assumptions being equal, 1/2 quart has been used.

No wonder they want you to come in the first 1000-3000 miles!

I'm not sure if this is anything more than the "Break-In?"

I'll be monitoring the usage a lot more closely given some of the recent posts as well.


Keep the good work.

Richard M Orlan MD
 

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OK, my car has not been started in 24 hours. Sitting on flat surface. 1400 miles. I went to check the oil. Wiped off the dipstick, reinserted it, and when I pulled it out the oil was above the max level. Thinking that maybe I did not wipe it off well the first time, I dried it thoroughly and checked again. Still above the max level! I have not added any oil.

Is it possible that some cars got too much oil and others did not get enough at the factory? Could this be the reason for the smoke that comes out of the exhaust when i start it?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Gordon would you guess that at 9.0 you are 1/2 quart above the "full" mark if we had dipsticks? Also, thanks again for the tip on mounting the front license plate, looks great.
 

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There seems to be some inconsistent data on the volume of oil for SLK55. The U.S. manual states it is 8.5 quarts, the same as for SLK 350. On the other hand, the online European manual (see http://www3.mercedes-benz.com/e/cars/slk/betriebsanleitung/vertiefen/technischedaten.html; scroll to page 296) indicates the oil "Replacement amount" at 8 litres for SLK350 (approx. 8.45 quarts) and 9.2 litres for SLK55 (approx. 9.72 quarts). If so, 9 quarts is still well below the max. mark.
 

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Here is correct link for my previous message http://www3.mercedes-benz.com/e/cars/slk/betriebsanleitung/vertiefen/technischedaten.html
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks, Mark. The prospect of the owner's manual showing the wrong engine oil capacity is scary. Gordon, if I recall you changed your own oil. How many quarts did it take to refill it? Also, I just checked my level again, now says 8.0 quarts, although the egnine is warm (was driven 30 minutes ago). The 7.7 quart reading was when the engine was dead cold.
 

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shark22 - 5/1/2005 6:18 PM

Gordon, if I recall you changed your own oil. How many quarts did it take to refill it?
Yes, I did change it (and the filter) by drawing oil out through the dipstick tube. My recollection is that I added almost 9 quarts and I had to draw out a pint or so to eliminate the "Remove Oil" message and return the oil level on my home made dipstick to the level that I previously had established as MAX.

BTW -- I was able to buy the fleece oil filter (P# 000-180-26-09) from the Colorado Springs MB dealer so I plan to replace the paper filter with this at least once before my 10,000 mile service.
 

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So are we supposed to have 8.5 or 9.2 qts in the 55 SLK?.

Now that I'm able to measure it, my level is staying between 8.0 and 8.2 qts.

Where do I go from here?
 

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For normal street driving:

If you have a convenient way to suck out some oil via the dipstick tube (with an oil extractor suction pump), I suggest that you add oil until the "Remove Oil" message appears. For example, start by adding 8 qt. then add a pint at a time until this mesage appears, then back off a half or full pint. As shark22 has suggested you can monitor the 10th of quart as you do this so you know where the level is.

If you don't have an easy way, I'd add a pint more than the amount mentioned in your manual (8.5 qt, p 422) and not worry about it as long as the "Oil Level OK" message appears.

On the track:

There you might experience sustained and frequent high lateral forces which could lead to a starved oil pickup -- then I'd be more concerned and make sure that you are indeed at the high end of the acceptable range. Get a suction extractor and make sure the oil pan is filled near max level. Yes, there is some risk of a slight loss of power due to the crank slapping into the oil, but it is not worth the risk of starving the pickup for a few horsepower. If you were really running a race car, you'd use a separate oil reservoir dry sump.

After a 1600 mile trip including about 30 miles of track time at PPIR (and not adding any oil), mine still reads 9.0 qt and "Oil Level OK." It's possible that this varies slightly from engine to engine, but I am glad to have my oil level at the upper range and still be OK.
 
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