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'14 CLS63 AMG S, '10 GLK350, '03 SL5000
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Subtitle: When saying, “OK� is just not enough.


Why MB did not include an oil dipstick with the AMG engine is a mystery to me. As I described in a previous post, I want to know where the oil level really is -- especially when driving on a track where high-g forces may slosh the oil away from the oil pump pickup point.

I ran some tests adding and removing oil to see how sensitive and accurate the stock Oil Level Sensor System is and found that the oil level can vary by as much a 2 quarts (1 quart high to 1 quart low) and the System will display “Engine Oil Level OK.� There is no indication for 0.5 quart high or low. Sorry, but that’s not good enough for me.

All you need for a dipstick is about 30 inches of 14 gauge wire or the equivalent. I tried several different items, including a thin brass rod, but found the best solution to be a thin freebie coat hangar from the local dry cleaner. It the wire is thicker than this, it will not go into the tube which is located at the rear of the engine next to the firewall. Pull out the red-handled short dummy dipstick.



Sand off any paint on the hanger and make a small loop in one end for your finger. Then trim off the other end so that it is 23.5 inches from the bottom of the loop to the end of the wire. I flattened the end somewhat with a hammer and then roughened the surface a bit by putting a file on the wire and tapping the hammer against the file. This created small pock marks on the end to capture oil and make it easier to see the oil level. I painted the wire with a thin coat of white epoxy spray paint. The dipstick tube is curved -- you can give it a slight curve, but it will gradually take on a curvature after a few insertions.

Distances for oil level marks may vary from engine to engine, but for my engine, I determined that a notch 2 inches from the bottom of the wire (21.5 in. from the loop bottom) represents a level about a pint below the maximum level. Another notch 1 inch from the bottom of the wire represents the point of about where the sensor will start to display the message to add 1 quart.

I had the MB garage in Las Vegas do an oil and filter change at 2500 miles after the on-track time that I’ve described. They did fill the pan to the upper notch.

BTW -- they claim that the fleece oil filter designated for the AMG engine is not yet available and that the filter originally installed at the factory was a paper filter. Yet my invoice shows the number for the fleece filter, but I know they had none of these because I tried to buy one. The parts dept. confirmed the fleece filter is not available, at least this garage could not get one yet. They claim that the paper filter provides an acceptable flow rate, does not filter as well as the “soon-to-be-available� fleece filter but is OK to use. And I am really surprised how small the MB filter is -- roughly 1/3rd the size of a typical BMW filter. Hmm -- all the more reason to do an early oil change.

Fleece Filter Number: 000 180 26 09
Paper Filter Number: 000 180 28 09

Please let me know if anyone is able to find the real fleece filter.
 
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