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88 560SL - 01 C240 - 02 W210 4matic Wagon - W212 4matic wagon
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1,090 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Had the oil changed on the wagon Wednesday at 104k: M1 0w-40 at just under 12k -- service indicator said I had another 1400 miles before it was needed. I'm doing car maintenance this week so it went in -- plus the oil to my eye was very dirty and thickening. I'm surprised how dirty the oil is today after maybe 100 miles.

I have a Porsche SUV with a similar change interval -- same engine oil capacity and same M1 oil - car is a V8. While it is dirty by the time I change it... it is not as bad as this wagon. I noticed this the first time I had the oil changed on the wagon -- and I mentioned this to my local independent that did the change and he assured me that they let it drain out.

As another example: I installed M1 extended performance 5w-30 in one of our Lexus vehicles ... as a test ... car is now at 82k with 12k on the oil and it is unbelievably clean ..... in fact all three of out Lexus vehicles remain so clean it really is unbelievable -- we have one with almost 250k .. that still uses no oil in 5k.

Why is the MB so dirty.
 

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'99 E430 '98 C230
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57 Posts
The oil condition is influenced by driving conditions.Short trips,dusty roads will get oil dirty quick because the contaminates do not have a chance to be burnt off especially in the case of short trips where the car does not warm up to full operating temp. Dusty driving conditions can clog up air filters allowing more dirt in the oil.If your car is operated in the above conditions keep the air filter changed around 30k max and change oil around 8k.
 

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1999 E55, 2001 E320, 1990 560 SEC, 2004 ML350, 2001 ML55, 1995 S500, 1998 SL500, 2010 E550 Sport zoo
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7,035 Posts
I guess some people have the talent to make judgements based on looking at a dipstick.... you really think this is a brand characteristic ?
 

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88 560SL - 01 C240 - 02 W210 4matic Wagon - W212 4matic wagon
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1,090 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Well actually fabbrisd1 I do have the talent - and I'm not speaking about the brand -- I'm talking about my wagon and obviously the particular MB V6.

I don't understand the reason ... or tone ........of your post.
 

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W220, W210 x2, R170
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203 Posts
I've done about 20 oil changes on my W210's (at 10-12k) and they have all been black. Much more than my old W126 (380sel) that stayed remarkably clean with 5k mile changes. I don't look at the oil between changes (relying on the low oil sensor) so I don't really know when it gets so dirty. When MB went to the extended changes with synthetic I talked to my indy and he also noted how black the oil was compared earlier models. The only difference between what you are seeing is the oil consistency. If anything I would say that the used oil is very thin, but mine is usually pretty hot when I change it. I wouldn't worry too much. I've also switched to changing every 10k and this has always been less than what the FSS says.
 

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'04 W211 E240, MY10 W204 C300
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825 Posts
I also changed the oil in my W210 M112 engine last week.
The old oil came out was definitely tinged with a "red" colour.
According to the service book the last change was Mobil 1 0 -40W.

I put a new filter in, top draw oil suction (I did open up the sump plug to get the last drops out) and installed new Mobil 1 0 - 40W.

After 200 kilometres oil has a distinct red tinge to it


Note bottom drop is brand new Mobil 1
upper drop is 200 kilometre out of the engine.

I use semi synthetic Valvoline in my W124 M103. It never gets this dirty so fast - stays relatively clear for at least a couple of thousand K's

The W210 has 120,000 kilometres up (70,000 miles) and has had dealership service up until 105,000 k's. (First four services used Shell Helix according to the service book)
 

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'99 W210 E320 100 Kmiles
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61 Posts
yeldogt,
Perhaps your engine has some sludge and the oil is dissolving it. This could also explains that your oil was thick.

Just my 0.02
 

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1997 E320, 1997 S320
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2,946 Posts
oil color means nothing. in a diesel right after oil change the oil turns pitch black in 50 miles and is still good for another 15k miles, while dino oil in my m104 looks still clean at 8k miles and is probably shot.
 

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2000 E320 88K
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49 Posts
Just last week I Had this conversation with two former dealer mechanics that now have their own shops. I won't wade into the color debate (Seems like there could be multiple reasons) But, both guys said no way on waiting 10-12K for changes. Recommendation was 7500. One added "Mercedes went to 10 K when they started offering covered maintenance for new cars" insinuating that it was a front end cost saving measure for the dealerships.

As a side note, when I purchased my Used 320 from the dealer; they told me 13K. It just doesn't seem right! I'm sticking with 7500.
 

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1959 220S cabriolet, 1983 240D original owner, 1999 E300 turbo diesel, 1988 560SL, 2003 SLK320
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3,513 Posts
Just last week I Had this conversation with two former dealer mechanics that now have their own shops. I won't wade into the color debate (Seems like there could be multiple reasons) But, both guys said no way on waiting 10-12K for changes. Recommendation was 7500. One added "Mercedes went to 10 K when they started offering covered maintenance for new cars" insinuating that it was a front end cost saving measure for the dealerships.

As a side note, when I purchased my Used 320 from the dealer; they told me 13K. It just doesn't seem right! I'm sticking with 7500.
Sorry, but those mechanics don't know more than the engineers at Mercedes and you are most likely wasting money changing the oil sooner than the 10 - 12K interval. The ONLY way you can know the condition of your oil is to do an oil analysis. I have had my oil analyzed after 8K and 10K intervals and there was little difference and both reports indicated that there was a whole lot more miles that those oils could still go and be safe.
 

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E320/E250 Bluetec Ford F350 6.7l
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36,717 Posts
There are several rules about inspecting oils, but 2 apply to the topic for sure
1. Never, ever judge the oil condition by its look
2. Don't judge change intervals by the mileage, but by the fuel burned between

BTW the same engines in Europe have 40,000 km intervals. But they don't have lawyers making the rules in mechanics.
The 1972 manual for my Detroit diesel gives it 100,000 miles intervals. Those were the years when engineers had more to say on the topic than the lawyers.
Try to figure out who is paying the lawyers?
 

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2001 E320 - Brilliant Silver/Ash: 107,000+
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17,193 Posts
Ditto to Len Sokoloff. I had my oil analyzed after 10k and 13k and both showed the oil was not worn out. It was close after 13k, but still good.
 

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2006 E320 CDI
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386 Posts
Here's a good place: Tests / Price List
$25 for a standard test.
Skippy
If you plan on doing an Analysis for every oil change interval I would just opt for a change at a 7500 or shorter interval and save myself the trouble of extracting the oil, preparing it for shipping and the shipping cost on top of the $25 fee for the analysis. Oil and filter for my car is $65 or less and I do all my changes which take no longer than collecting the test sample and shipping it.

I know, part of the reason for the analysis is the fun in collecting, shipping the sample and then getting the results.
 

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E320/E250 Bluetec Ford F350 6.7l
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36,717 Posts
MB keeps telling that our cars do test the oil, while I was always skeptic about it as nobody ever show a sensor on the engine and while using our ML 320 (same engine) for heavy towing the FSS never shorted the intervals.
MM says that his car adjust FSS for big oil addition, but that might be just software program as well.
Bottom line - if those engine car run 40kkm or 25k miles on oils in the rest of the World, we are absolutely safe changing the oil at 13k FSS gives us in US.
Other story is time limit. Our 99 model had FSS with no time limit and for years we used dealers for changing oil every 18 months. In 2000 the software added 12 months time limit to FSS and is pushing oil change even if the car made only 1000 miles. Oil doesn't age in 1 year and again - the software for the rest of the World gives the oil 2 years.
 

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1959 220S cabriolet, 1983 240D original owner, 1999 E300 turbo diesel, 1988 560SL, 2003 SLK320
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3,513 Posts
If you plan on doing an Analysis for every oil change interval I would just opt for a change at a 7500 or shorter interval and save myself the trouble of extracting the oil, preparing it for shipping and the shipping cost on top of the $25 fee for the analysis. Oil and filter for my car is $65 or less and I do all my changes which take no longer than collecting the test sample and shipping it.

I know, part of the reason for the analysis is the fun in collecting, shipping the sample and then getting the results.
Oil analysis about $13 from George Murphy - George Murphy <[email protected]>

You don't need to do an analysis every oil change. Do one at 10K miles to prove to yourself that your oil is still okay and then do one every few years to continue to convince yourself.
 

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2001 SLK 320(217K Miles), 2002 E320 Special Edition(183K Miles)
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3,467 Posts
MB keeps telling that our cars do test the oil, while I was always skeptic about it as nobody ever show a sensor on the engine and while using our ML 320 (same engine) for heavy towing the FSS never shorted the intervals.
MM says that his car adjust FSS for big oil addition, but that might be just software program as well.
The MB FSS system have a sensor that measures oil quality by monitoring the oil's dielectic strength. As the oil ages and becomes contaminated it becomes more conductive, so dielectric strength is a good measure of oil quality.
 
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