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1998 Mercedes-Benz e430 (104k miles)
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12 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I took my 98 E430 in for it's first oil change (104k miles) and asked simply to look for leaks (I know it has some because of my garage floor) and for a non-synthetic oil change. I eventually want to start doing my own changes once I can get set up a bit better in the new house. My father in law had always gotten the oil changed at a shop with Pennzoil 5w/30 non-synthetic, so I figured I'd just go with that.

He came back later and was like "wow, that was expensive." I thought he was joking until I saw the $100 bill! "We put synthetic in there anyway because that's what is recommended." They used PGP 5w/30 synthetic. So obviously I'm annoyed that they'd just ignore what I asked for, but also I didn't want to switch to synthetic because of the existing leaks. Couldn't they get worse now? I thought there was a risk going from non to synthetic at this point in the car's life? They also said there were multiple leaks but they'd have to call me later (What? Why don't I just talk to the guy now?). Ughh... anyway, what should be my course of action?

a. Just roll with it and switch to Mobile1 0w/40 next time
b. Stay awake at night worried about additional leaks and cry some
c. Take it back to the shop and ask them to actually give me what I asked for
 

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2001 W210 E55
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9 Posts
Stick with synthetic. Unless your car is pissing oil all over the place, I wouldn't stress too much about losing a bit of oil; just make sure you regularly check it and top up as needed. Synthetic will be much better for your engine.

Now, regarding your oil leaks, the common culprits are: oil cooler gaskets, oil filter housing gasket, oil pressure port gasket, valve cover gaskets, breather cover gaskets, breather hoses (they can crack over time) and believe it or not, oil cap. I am by no means a mechanic but managed to do these myself, so look at this forum, YouTube videos etc and give it a go.

Other sources of oil leaks are rear main seal, oil sump (not too common) and oil level sender (again, not too common).

- Chris
 

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E320/E250 Bluetec Ford F350 6.7l
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36,327 Posts
Those engines were build to run on dino oils, but technology changed A LOT since there and US LAWYERS forced using synthetics in this country.
$100 is not high bill for oil that should last you 13,000 miles.
Welcome to the forum.
 

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1998 Mercedes-Benz e430 (104k miles)
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12 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
@Kajtek1 I actually said "Well, at least this will last for 10k now instead of 5k" and he said "No, still 5k. I don't know if the filter is meant for over 5k." Was he just trying to get me in for more business or is that legit? I highly doubt I'd hit 10k in a year... so I should at least do it once a year right?
 

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E320/E250 Bluetec Ford F350 6.7l
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36,327 Posts
FSS usually gives 13k between oil changes on those cars and your MY doesn't have the 1-year timer newer models do.
I used to drive 1998 ML320 (same engine) and back then, (before US lawyers changed the oil recommendations) the truck was run on dino oils with 20 months before we hit 13k and computer called for oil change.
 

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1999 E320, 2003 E320 Wagon, 2005 C230K SS, 2010 Accord LX w Eibach & Koni FSD's
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2,657 Posts
@Kajtek1 I actually said "Well, at least this will last for 10k now instead of 5k" and he said "No, still 5k. I don't know if the filter is meant for over 5k." Was he just trying to get me in for more business or is that legit? I highly doubt I'd hit 10k in a year... so I should at least do it once a year right?
I would change it at 5K and switch over to 0W40 Mobil 1 at that time. Chances are they didn't put in a "fleece" oil filter.

If you want to save money and have the peace of mind that's it done right, you need to learn how to DIY. W210s are relatively easy to work on. Lots of information in the "Stickies", Youtube and of course this Forum. You will need some basic tools and essential they will be paid for with the amount of money saved. A DIY oil change will cost you about $50-$60 in parts.

When I got my first Benz, I knew how to do only basic maintenance and repairs. With the help and information from this Forum and the internet, I've now done motor mounts, transmission service, A/C work and even coil springs replacement! A challenge at times, definitely rewarding when job is accomplished.
 

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W210 Moderator
99 E320
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5,042 Posts
heck, I'd try to get a free oil change out of it for the future...but leave it synthetic for now.
had you gone back to contest the fact that they ignored your request (we know what's
best for you) you might have gotten the redo dino oil change anyway. so if you push
back a little, you may get future oil change free or at discount, and they get a potential
return customer. you still have the option to learn to perform your own oil changes
 

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E320/E250 Bluetec Ford F350 6.7l
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36,327 Posts
The legal situation is on shop site. Since the lawyers forced MB USA into synthetic oils, no US shop can put dino without owner liability release.
I had the same situation with putting H-rated tire on ML, who being US model- was governed at 115 mph.
 

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W210 Moderator
99 E320
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5,042 Posts
don't they at least have an obligation, if not professional courtesy, to contact
the owner to alert them before taking on the job, ie ask for waiver/release?
we're not on top of all the legal hoop jumping so if the service provider has
insight on these types of issues, I feel they should at least disclose their
intent to perform the job contrary to instructions or understanding. you
KNOW damn well they would do so if we asked them to disable the seat
belt warning chime, or SRS light etc...but I digress..
 

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1999 E320, 2003 E320 Wagon, 2005 C230K SS, 2010 Accord LX w Eibach & Koni FSD's
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2,657 Posts
All shops are required to get an approval for jobs that cost more than the estimate............at least in California.
 

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1998 Mercedes-Benz e430 (104k miles)
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12 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
I think that's what bothered me the most, that they just did it anyway and didn't at least run it by me.

I would change it at 5K and switch over to 0W40 Mobil 1 at that time. Chances are they didn't put in a "fleece" oil filter.

If you want to save money and have the peace of mind that's it done right, you need to learn how to DIY. W210s are relatively easy to work on. Lots of information in the "Stickies", Youtube and of course this Forum. You will need some basic tools and essential they will be paid for with the amount of money saved. A DIY oil change will cost you about $50-$60 in parts.

When I got my first Benz, I knew how to do only basic maintenance and repairs. With the help and information from this Forum and the internet, I've now done motor mounts, transmission service, A/C work and even coil springs replacement! A challenge at times, definitely rewarding when job is accomplished.
I actually love working on cars, though I'm no expert. I've done timing belts, water pumps, pullies, strut assemblies, and most of the basics. Never done any auto trans work or opened up the engine for anything before. I think I'm just burnt out from work and moving (and 3 kids under 5) and need to wait to get some energy back before hopping back in, especially so I can enjoy it and not hate it.

Also, how did you do motor mounts? Do you have to have an engine lift? Mine needs new mounts and one shop so far quoted $419 for labor, blah.
 

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1999 E320, 2003 E320 Wagon, 2005 C230K SS, 2010 Accord LX w Eibach & Koni FSD's
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2,657 Posts
Wow........if you can do struts, timing belt and water pump, you're advance! It's just cost vs time then.

Motor mounts on W210s are pretty straight forward. Can be fiddly, but very doable. Helps to have the offset wrench for motor mounts. Lots of info in the "Stickies". No lift required. You're lucky.........E430 does NOT require A/C compressor to be unbolted (no big deal if you have to though)!

Parts will be around $140 including transmission mount from online source. Use only OEM parts.

I was a little apprehensive doing my first trans fluid/filter change. Afterward, I asked myself "what's the big deal?". Only six bolts.
 

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1996 SL500, 2000 E430
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3,670 Posts
"Those engines were build to run on dino oils, but technology changed A LOT since there and US LAWYERS forced using synthetics in this country.
$100 is not high bill for oil that should last you 13,000 miles.
Welcome to the forum."


NO! The M112/M113 were designed with FSS to run factory approved synthetic oil ONLY. The problem was when they first came out some dealers were refilling with dino oil and the FSS still took it out to 12,000-13,000 miles. Resulting in sludge and some engine replacements. There was a class action suit IIRC.

As far as the OP and the synthetic the other problem is that is many of these shops that aren't MB oriented, they use just a paper filter - not designed to go 13,000 miles.

The way people like to sue these days I can't blame a shop for strictly adhering to factory requirements. Like putting on the original speed-rated tires that came from the factory.
 

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E320/E250 Bluetec Ford F350 6.7l
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The oil -related class action suit in US happen about year 2003. All US dealers used dino oils on those cars before.
Funny part, our ML run on dino for 5 years and turned to be the most reliable MB ever with $350 spend on failed parts in 13 years.
From what I read in Europe, they still use dino or dino blends even on newest models. The blends often have better recommendations than pure synthetics.
 

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1996 SL500, 2000 E430
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3,670 Posts
Of course they can run on dino oils just don't pay attention to the FSS and change your oil/filter much sooner. But from a shop's point of view I can see them putting in dino oil at the customer's request then in 13,000 miles havinkg an irate customer come back
 

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Outstanding Contributor , SDS Guru
1998 MB E300TD, 1997 MB E36 AMG, 2001 MB E55 AMG
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3,519 Posts
$100 oil change full synthetic is pretty damn cheap. Just be happy that you got full synthetic and go with it.
Last I checked, my cost was around $75 for 8 quarts of full synth + filter, plus $10 for oil recycling fee, so really my profit is $15 after all that....which doesn't even pay for the utilities.
 

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1998 Mercedes-Benz e430 (104k miles)
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12 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Thanks for the all the advice guys. And also sorry to bring up the whole "oil" debate once again, totally not my intention :)

The part callout for the filter is M8153. No idea what that actually was, and I've never heard of a fleece filter before. I'll probably run it to 5k and change it myself anyway.

@260e crusier You're gonna end up convincing me to do all my own work, methinks 😁
 
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