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1994 Mercedes SL500
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Hello All,

About to do oil change. Just wanted to ask if 5w-40 synthetic is recommended. That is what the engine has in it right now. Also if you ave any tips to get the right amount of oil in after draining it. Thanks.
 

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1998 Red SL500, 2002 Black SL500, 2014 Black E550 Cabriolet
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Every oil change we have had.....2 SL's...for decades....be it dealership, indy or self....6 quarts. Including filter.
Additional dip stick check done in the morning after the car has been parked all night.
5W 40
0W 40
Depending on your climate, winters...
Others will chime in...
 

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1999 SL600 | 2001 SL500 (sold)
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1,219 Posts
I'm using a 229.5 synthetic too 5W40. Trying to figure out this one minute chattering from cold start though. I'm starting to think M119 and M120 need 10w40
 

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Depends on what the actual chattering is as a thicker when cold oil might be a backwards step and 10W40 does tend to be a lesser semi synthetic .
 

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1996 SL500, 2000 E430
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4,327 Posts
Hello All,

About to do oil change. Just wanted to ask if 5w-40 synthetic is recommended. That is what the engine has in it right now. Also if you ave any tips to get the right amount of oil in after draining it. Thanks.
what does your owner's manual say?
 

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1998 Red SL500, 2002 Black SL500, 2014 Black E550 Cabriolet
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1,228 Posts
what does your owner's manual say?
While the owners manual is good..it's also...what....from 1999.....technology has evolved....
 
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1996 SL500, 2000 E430
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Well it gives you it’s viscosities. But here’s where I stand. At least what I have done.

My M119 is from 1996 and I have used the mobile 5W-40 for sometime.

This viscosity is available only through Mercedes dealers in the US as mobil does not sell it under their own label.

The original owner, and previous owner, always used Mobil 1.

Sometimes 15W-50 but most of the time 10W-40 or 0W-40.

Outside the viscosity range of the manual.

If you were to open the valve cover you would find it immaculate.

You would think at 219,000 miles it is a brand new engine.

However twice I have gotten an error code.

It has to do with the camshaft advance solenoid.

And both times it was a hot summer day and I was descending a mountain; the last time pikes peak

I suspected this is from the heat which makes the oil even thinner, and the low viscosity.

So maybe the engine isn’t quite designed for this low viscosity but it has served me well.

What also bugs me is the 7500 mile change interval. On my 2000 W210 with FSS, it generally goes about 12,000 miles. on the same oil.

The big weak point in the M119 for this kind of interval is the conventional paper filter.

So I change it on the SL anywhere from 7500 miles to 9000 miles.

Years ago I believed Mobil’s claim of 25,000 miles for Mobil 1, and drove my Toyota Celica to that interval.

Oil was getting as black as can be. And one day on the freeway the engine just seized.

I am convinced it was the paper filter disintegrating and blocking the oil pick up.

But there you have it



093C8987-28F3-4473-894D-91CA70B85964.jpeg


Edit:

Twice this code has appeared in 100,000 miles, and both times I reset the code with the OBD II reader. And I read that the oil is a probable cause of triggering this error. Since both times it was 90 degrees +, and I was descending 1000s of feet at low RPM.

So I don't consider this to be an issue but probably triggered by the thin oil at high temperature and low RPM.
 

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'96 SL 500
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I use a 10W-40 synthetic that the manufacturer says meets the MB 229.5 specifications. I'm in a temperate climate. Never below freezing but rarely very hot. I change once a year with filter which is about every 2500kms.
 

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1999 SL600 | 2001 SL500 (sold)
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I use a 10W-40 synthetic that the manufacturer says meets the MB 229.5 specifications. I'm in a temperate climate. Never below freezing but rarely very hot. I change once a year with filter which is about every 2500kms.
What is this brand? Only 10w40 synthetic (and I mean a real full synthetic group 4 or 5 base stock) I know of is redline but they're mad expensive.
 

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'96 SL 500
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What is this brand? Only 10w40 synthetic (and I mean a real full synthetic group 4 or 5 base stock) I know of is redline but they're mad expensive.
An Australian brand, Penrite. The specific stuff I use is unlikely to be in the same league as the redline oil. Maybe more of an 'economy' full synthetic if that exists.
 

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2000 SL500, 2001 S600, 2004 E320
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I personally don’t believe that using synthetic oil in the old engine, that was designed for (and ran on) mineral oil is a good idea. Potential risk can very much outweigh (perhaps) debatable benefits.

Synthetic has superior lubricating properties and is more resistant to contamination, hence longer service life. But it also acts as a detergent on the engine that has sludge from mineral oils. Removing that sludge can introduce leaks, it may not happen but if it does, that would be very expensive to fix.

94 SL500 was filled at the factory with mineral oil, I would stick with the same formula.
 

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1992 CE 300-24
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221 Posts
What is this brand? Only 10w40 synthetic (and I mean a real full synthetic group 4 or 5 base stock) I know of is redline but they're mad expensive.
There are a fair few 'downunder' oil
brands Nulon/Penrite/Gulf Western
which do market 10w40 FS oil.

Not likely sold in stateside, but
what of Castrol Edge? Liqui-Moly?

There are many FS 10w40 oils
sold for bikes, (high zinc) too.
 

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1992 CE 300-24
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Well it gives you it’s viscosities. But here’s where I stand. At least what I have done.

My M119 is from 1996 and I have used the mobile 5W-40 for sometime...


The big weak point in the M119 for this kind of interval is the conventional paper filter.

So I change it on the SL anywhere from 7500 miles to 9000 miles...

Pretty sure M-B does not recommend a paper element oil filter
in their cartridge oil filter cars, a proper felt type is indicated.

Both a quality filter & oil are cheap compared to replacing
engine internals due to long change intervals/poor filtration.

I replace mine when the look/feel/smell as shown on the
dipstick shows it has done its job, & that's always before
any supposed mileage interval.
 

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1992 CE 300-24
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I personally don’t believe that using synthetic oil in the old engine, that was designed for (and ran on) mineral oil is a good idea. Potential risk can very much outweigh (perhaps) debatable benefits.

Synthetic has superior lubricating properties and is more resistant to contamination, hence longer service life. But it also acts as a detergent on the engine that has sludge from mineral oils. Removing that sludge can introduce leaks, it may not happen but if it does, that would be very expensive to fix.

94 SL500 was filled at the factory with mineral oil, I would stick with the same formula.

Good quality oil is key, synthetic or no.

Flat cam-follower/hydraulic lifters need
a certain % level of zinc anti-wear lube,
incorporated in the oil, which is why both
diesel & motorcycle oil (which still has it)
are also used in M-B engines of this era.

A point about leaks which may be missed
is that a vacuum should be pulling on the
interior of the engine, & poor sealing in the
PCV system - ( via say, a hard old O-ring on
the dipstick handle) can contribute to oil
leaks elsewhere - from seals & gasket faces.
 

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1996 SL500, 2000 E430
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Pretty sure M-B does not recommend a paper element oil filter
in their cartridge oil filter cars, a proper felt type is indicated.
Other than the filters designed for FSS they are all paper-based. When FSS first came out (1998?) there was a problem with customers not using the proscribed factory fleece filters, and shops would just put in a paper-based filter. Sometimes that got into problems with the extended intervals FSS allowed.

I can pretty much guarantee that any "quick lube" place today will install a paper filter in an FSS car.
 

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97 E-420 (180K miles), 97 SL500, (93K miles) 2015 GMC Sierra Denali 2500HD CC/SB/4x4 Duramax(55K)
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Every oil change we have had.....2 SL's...for decades....be it dealership, indy or self....6 quarts. Including filter.
Additional dip stick check done in the morning after the car has been parked all night.
5W 40
0W 40
Depending on your climate, winters...
Others will chime in...
ah, M119 take 8.5 qts. (maybe 8 but NOT 6) and the M119 recomended oil at least through 97 is 20W40 or 20W50 for most climates. Later engines use the lower weight oils, but the M119 was designed before the push for lightweight oils for economy and since oil pumps are constant volume with pressure relief, other oils can lead to low oil pressure especially when hot. I suspect it's not as much the 0W or 5W but a /20 that could cause low pressure when hot.


I use Valvoline full synthetic 20W50 which also being of higher viscosity still is allowed to have the high zinc level that lower viscosity oil's must reduce for emissions compliance.
And at least through 97 the filter is paper NOT fleece. I think they change to a fleece filter in 98 or 99.
 
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