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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am doing my valve cover gaskets and I have these photos of a decent amount of sludge. I whipped some of it off with a clean shop rag. Maybe that wasn't the best idea but I just did it a little on one side. That being said I was wondering how you guys would proceed? May I continue to get the sludge off the easy to reach places. There was quiet at bit in the pockets which I got out mostly. I heard to not put in chemical cleaners. The car is a 2002 and I bought it used with 103k. I changed the oil right away and have only drove it 200 miles or so. I was thinking maybe to try some sea foam but I am leaning towards just changing the oil every 1k miles. I also heard that running different types of oil that has more detergents in it could be a a possibility. Less is more, right?

Shall I continue lightly and carefully wiping off the sludge off with a clean shop rag or other material?

Thank you so much.

Looking forward to meeting up one day!
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1998 MB E300TD, 1997 MB E36 AMG, 2001 MB E55 AMG. 2011 BMW 335d
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Honestly? You're worried over nothing. This sludge is more typical of a car that's been driven short distances without fully warming up, and even then it's so insignificant that it's basically nothing.

Just change the oil on time, use good quality oil, and keep an eye on the oil pressure gauge. That is all.
 

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1998 Red SL500, 2002 Black SL500, 2014 Black E550 Cabriolet
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2002 also...original owner and 70K range. Oil changes are done 2 to 3 times a year on all our cars whether it needs it or not. Oil changes are inexpensive insurance.
Mobile 1 always.
And that German made Liqui Moly oil additive...used since the 3rd oil change. In 2003. No issues. Not even sludge. Valve cover gaskets replaced February and looked inside the engine. Clean.
Same with the 1998.
 
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+1 on Mobil 1. No need to change oil at 1K mile. Once a year or at "maintenance minder" mileage should be fine. Main thing is to drive the car!
 

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No need to change oil at 1K mile.
Yes. Many people get hung up about oil changes and their frequency. My policy is simple, a fully synthetic MB recommended oil, every 10k Kms. Sometimes I've blown it and hit 13k but I've seen no evidence of abuse.

When the head came of my M104 engine at 417k Km, the machining marks on the bores were still visible. Something must be right!

And even better, right now I'm using MB oil that I got for about 3€ a litre. Can't complain about that.

RayH
 

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I am doing my valve cover gaskets and I have these photos of a decent amount of sludge. I whipped some of it off with a clean shop rag. Maybe that wasn't the best idea but I just did it a little on one side. That being said I was wondering how you guys would proceed? May I continue to get the sludge off the easy to reach places. There was quiet at bit in the pockets which I got out mostly. I heard to not put in chemical cleaners. The car is a 2002 and I bought it used with 103k. I changed the oil right away and have only drove it 200 miles or so. I was thinking maybe to try some sea foam but I am leaning towards just changing the oil every 1k miles. I also heard that running different types of oil that has more detergents in it could be a a possibility. Less is more, right?

Shall I continue lightly and carefully wiping off the sludge off with a clean shop rag or other material?

Thank you so much.

Looking forward to meeting up one day! View attachment 2764054 View attachment 2764059
View attachment 2764056
View attachment 2764057
View attachment 2764055
View attachment 2764058
When I asked this question back in March the consensus was to leave it be. Also, change the oil using high quality synthetic oil (I use Mobil1), then change again after 2,000 miles.
 

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use mobile 1 and I’d toss a quart of transmission fluid In to clean the gunk out, run it for a few minutes then change oil. Ya ya I know people are gonna get a sandy vagina over putting trans fluid in the oil but my engines look like new when I take them apart.
 

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R129 500 SL 1991
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Oil sludge buildup and consumption - M112 and M113 - treatments? - PeachParts Mercedes-Benz Forum

Some posts in this thread concern the M119 and are specific to the M119 not the M113.

Running oil additives is generally considered to be a no no, but I consider flushing additives to be a different matter because these don’t hang around in the engine for long. Engine flushes are generally based on kerosine with friction additives. For the short time that they are in the engine they promote the suspension of combustion products in the oil, so that more contaminants come out with the oil when it is drained. Depending on brand of engine flush, the friction modifiers make the oil more slippery so that the contaminants, once in suspension, do not stick back to the internal parts as the oil is drained out. After using a suitable engine flush the new oil will stay ‘clearer’ for longer.

AFAIK engine flushes do not remove the varnish typically caused by running dyno oils.

Stick to an ester based fully synthetic and regular oil changes. I change the oil every 6000 for general highway cars, and 3000 miles for local town trips. Brand is not so important as the compatibility with the MB specification.

@speedn_j ’s post is straight from a guy who knows and is worth its weight in gold, the friction modifiers in the AF fluid do the same thing as I described above. AF is probably a milder flushing agent than most off the shelf engine flushes. So I can’t see there would be any harm in trying it.

The most important point is don’t run the engine under load with an engine flush additive. This means don’t drive it around at all. Follow the instructions on the tin. Do not deviate, but do not drive.

You will not find any cases of black sludge in M119s, it appears to be mainly affect the M112 and M113. My M113 runs a higher crankcase pressure when cold compared to my M119 and I attribute this to the construction tolerances and piston ring design of the M113 and an increase in blow-by compared to the M119, so logically the M113 is probably more susceptible to condensation internally. If the M113 engine is run for short periods, not all the moisture is evaporated off, and carbon sludge coalesces around the hottest internal surfaces (cam shaft towers and bolts, parts remote from water jackets, ...).

The class action law suit in the above link refers to sludge and an increase in oil consumption as a threshold for remedial action, and I assume that increased blow-by is a factor.

If I had an M113 with this black sludge in the top I would drop the pan to see what’s collected down there and around the oil pick up. If in conjunction I also noticed an increase in engine oil consumption I would certainly consider using a suitable engine flush during oil changes.

Before using an engine flush I would stuff rags in the drain holes and valve recesses and use a small amount of a suitable kerosine based spray cleaner, brush and rag to remove as much of the black sludge while it is still soft.

It’s all about extending the life of your engine... because we care. :)
 

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ALL the posts in this thread so far are informative, my previous post doesn’t mean to detract from what others have already said.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Oil sludge buildup and consumption - M112 and M113 - treatments? - PeachParts Mercedes-Benz Forum

Some posts in this thread concern the M119 and are specific to the M119 not the M113.

Running oil additives is generally considered to be a no no, but I consider flushing additives to be a different matter because these don’t hang around in the engine for long. Engine flushes are generally based on kerosine with friction additives. For the short time that they are in the engine they promote the suspension of combustion products in the oil, so that more contaminants come out with the oil when it is drained. Depending on brand of engine flush, the friction modifiers make the oil more slippery so that the contaminants, once in suspension, do not stick back to the internal parts as the oil is drained out. After using a suitable engine flush the new oil will stay ‘clearer’ for longer.

AFAIK engine flushes do not remove the varnish typically caused by running dyno oils.

Stick to an ester based fully synthetic and regular oil changes. I change the oil every 6000 for general highway cars, and 3000 miles for local town trips. Brand is not so important as the compatibility with the MB specification.

@speedn_j ’s post is straight from a guy who knows and is worth its weight in gold, the friction modifiers in the AF fluid do the same thing as I described above. AF is probably a milder flushing agent than most off the shelf engine flushes. So I can’t see there would be any harm in trying it.

The most important point is don’t run the engine under load with an engine flush additive. This means don’t drive it around at all. Follow the instructions on the tin. Do not deviate, but do not drive.

You will not find any cases of black sludge in M119s, it appears to be mainly affect the M112 and M113. My M113 runs a higher crankcase pressure when cold compared to my M119 and I attribute this to the construction tolerances and piston ring design of the M113 and an increase in blow-by compared to the M119, so logically the M113 is probably more susceptible to condensation internally. If the M113 engine is run for short periods, not all the moisture is evaporated off, and carbon sludge coalesces around the hottest internal surfaces (cam shaft towers and bolts, parts remote from water jackets, ...).

The class action law suit in the above link refers to sludge and an increase in oil consumption as a threshold for remedial action, and I assume that increased blow-by is a factor.

If I had an M113 with this black sludge in the top I would drop the pan to see what’s collected down there and around the oil pick up. If in conjunction I also noticed an increase in engine oil consumption I would certainly consider using a suitable engine flush during oil changes.

Before using an engine flush I would stuff rags in the drain holes and valve recesses and use a small amount of a suitable kerosine based spray cleaner, brush and rag to remove as much of the black sludge while it is still soft.

It’s all about extending the life of your engine... because we care. :)
Yes we do care 😁

Thank you for all of this and to everyone that has commented. It is so very much appreciated!

So, would you recommend putting pure kerosene in a spray bottle with the brush and rags? Just to make sure I am covering the right part, what are the valve recesses, I have an idea but, don't want to guess. The oil return holes are the big slits on the sides.

After this valve cover job I should see if there is any oil consumption and if there is I would probably go forward with using an additive like AF fluid while not moving. Does that sound sound? Or shall I put the AF fluid in now and run the engine due to the possible contaminates from the valve cover job and the "cleaning"?

TIA
 

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R129 500 SL 1991
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Yes we do care 😁

Thank you for all of this and to everyone that has commented. It is so very much appreciated!

So, would you recommend putting pure kerosene in a spray bottle with the brush and rags? Just to make sure I am covering the right part, what are the valve recesses, I have an idea but, don't want to guess. The oil return holes are the big slits on the sides.

After this valve cover job I should see if there is any oil consumption and if there is I would probably go forward with using an additive like AF fluid while not moving. Does that sound sound? Or shall I put the AF fluid in now and run the engine due to the possible contaminates from the valve cover job and the "cleaning"?

TIA
This information is specific to high miler M113 engines that have sludge and increased oil consumption.

If you decide to use a proprietary engine flush use a funnel to direct the flush towards the nearest oil return to avoid filling up the valve recesses. If you use ATF you don’t need to worry about this.

The valve recesses are here -

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if you decide to remove the valve covers and clean out some of the soft sludge manually with a suitable proprietary spray solvent, you could use kerosine but use it very sparingly, and stuff rags in the oil returns and valve recesses to protect the valve stem oil seals. Don’t let the solvent run into the camshaft/roller rocker journals or down the oil returns. Use suitable rags. A vacuum extractor would also be handy.

The decision to remove sludge deposits by using an engine flush comes down to a balance between the pros and cons.

Page 278 of your owners manual states -
Do not blend oil additives with engine oil. They may be harmful to the engine operation.
Damage or malfunctions resulting from blending oil additives are not covered by the Mercedes-Benz Limited Warranty.’

It is often stated that -
engine flushes can damage your engine. The chemicals in flushing additives can damage engine seals, leading to expensive repairs in the event of an oil leak. These chemicals can also damage engine bearings; (turbochargers) and other oil-lubricated components.’

Counter-argument -
Engine oil that has done 10,000km is laden with hydrocarbons, including gasoline and combustion by-products is also damaging to engine seals, engine bearings and other oil-lubricated components.

In the case regarding the M113, carbon build up around the piston oil control rings in high milers appears to be the main reason for the increase in blow-by, oil consumption, oil sludge, gasoline/hydrocarbon/moisture/acidic contamination of the engine oil.

In the link to Pelican Parts forum duxthe1 posted -
Originally Posted by duxthe1 View Post
In the shop we only sell engine flushes on the new 112, 113 motors when they begin to consume excessive amounts of oil. When the FFS intervals get ignored the engines begin to carbon up the piston rings leading to oil consumption. If flushed before the bores get beat they usually can return to service without issues.

Some folk are driven by their emotional attachment and will follow the manufacturer’s advice in the owners manual without question and will defend this position convincingly.

However, in the case of the M112/M113 it appears that alternative remedial interventions are probably justified and worth considering.

Regarding your other question ‘After this valve cover job I should see if there is any oil consumption?’. Answer - No. Don’t clean the sludge off the top end unless you also intend to use an engine flush. Don’t use an engine flush unless the oil consumption has increased significantly. This is the key point.

As I said, if you notice an increase in oil consumption, you should consider using an engine flush during oil changes. The choice comes down to proprietary or ATF as recommended by others.

BEFORE using an engine flush for the first time on YOUR engine (but note what I said two paragraphs above) you should try to clean off as much of the soft carbon sludge as possible using the approach I mentioned in my previous post, simply to minimise the amount of sludge mobilised by the engine flush as a precaution. I imagine that subsequent engine flushes would probably not require this top end cleaning.

As far as what is considered to be an excessive oil consumption in the M113, refer to the link that I provided in my previous post. You ought to read up on the recommended remedial interventions in the class action law suit, and folks here would probably appreciate your feedback.
 

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This information is specific to high miler M113 engines that have sludge and increased oil consumption.

If you decide to use a proprietary engine flush use a funnel to direct the flush towards the nearest oil return to avoid filling up the valve recesses. If you use ATF you don’t need to worry about this.

The valve recesses are here -

View attachment 2764251

if you decide to remove the valve covers and clean out some of the soft sludge manually with a suitable proprietary spray solvent, you could use kerosine but use it very sparingly, and stuff rags in the oil returns and valve recesses to protect the valve stem oil seals. Don’t let the solvent run into the camshaft/roller rocker journals or down the oil returns. Use suitable rags. A vacuum extractor would also be handy.

The decision to remove sludge deposits by using an engine flush comes down to a balance between the pros and cons.

Page 278 of your owners manual states -
Do not blend oil additives with engine oil. They may be harmful to the engine operation.
Damage or malfunctions resulting from blending oil additives are not covered by the Mercedes-Benz Limited Warranty.’

It is often stated that -
engine flushes can damage your engine. The chemicals in flushing additives can damage engine seals, leading to expensive repairs in the event of an oil leak. These chemicals can also damage engine bearings; (turbochargers) and other oil-lubricated components.’

Counter-argument -
Engine oil that has done 10,000km is laden with hydrocarbons, including gasoline and combustion by-products is also damaging to engine seals, engine bearings and other oil-lubricated components.

In the case regarding the M113, carbon build up around the piston oil control rings in high milers appears to be the main reason for the increase in blow-by, oil consumption, oil sludge, gasoline/hydrocarbon/moisture/acidic contamination of the engine oil.

In the link to Pelican Parts forum duxthe1 posted -
Originally Posted by duxthe1 View Post
In the shop we only sell engine flushes on the new 112, 113 motors when they begin to consume excessive amounts of oil. When the FFS intervals get ignored the engines begin to carbon up the piston rings leading to oil consumption. If flushed before the bores get beat they usually can return to service without issues.

Some folk are driven by their emotional attachment and will follow the manufacturer’s advice in the owners manual without question and will defend this position convincingly.

However, in the case of the M112/M113 it appears that alternative remedial interventions are probably justified and worth considering.

Regarding your other question ‘After this valve cover job I should see if there is any oil consumption?’. Answer - No. Don’t clean the sludge off the top end unless you also intend to use an engine flush. Don’t use an engine flush unless the oil consumption has increased significantly. This is the key point.

As I said, if you notice an increase in oil consumption, you should consider using an engine flush during oil changes. The choice comes down to proprietary or ATF as recommended by others.

BEFORE using an engine flush for the first time on YOUR engine (but note what I said two paragraphs above) you should try to clean off as much of the soft carbon sludge as possible using the approach I mentioned in my previous post, simply to minimise the amount of sludge mobilised by the engine flush as a precaution. I imagine that subsequent engine flushes would probably not require this top end cleaning.

As far as what is considered to be an excessive oil consumption in the M113, refer to the link that I provided in my previous post. You ought to read up on the recommended remedial interventions in the class action law suit, and folks here would probably appreciate your feedback.
If you decide to use a proprietary engine flush use a funnel to direct the flush towards the nearest oil return to avoid filling up the valve recesses.

Do the valve spring recesses have oil drain holes? What would happen if some of these holes got plugged?
 

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Yes, they have drain holes, they are large, you can’t see in the OP’s photos, but you can fill the recesses up quickly if you just pour engine flush in straight from the can. I don’t think it’s a good idea to soak the valve seals in proprietary engine flush, that was my point.

If the holes get plugged? Unlikely, I don't see any filled up with oil in the OP’s photos, but if they do, then they ought to be unplugged. Not seen this problem. New one on me, but possible I suppose.
 

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Absolutely. A good burn up through the canyons helps. :D
Also missing FSS intervals. M113 doesn’t like short journeys and missing oil changes.
 

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Daimler specifically prohibits using any additives - I would just put in a quality oil and filter and change change every 2,000 miles or so for 3 times. I have used M1 in all my cars since the 1970s - here is the inside of my SL - M119 at about 150,000 miles
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Bill, we’re talking M113 not M119. Nice clean engine you got there.

The M113 doesn’t like short journeys. Some owners cannot easily change these habits, and no amount of oil changes will stave off piston ring damage and cylinder wall scoring. It could take 20 years to see any difference just increasing the frequency of oil changes, and the worst might catch up with the owner long before that.

MB’s solution to this was forced upon them by the O’Keefe law suit, but it wasn’t all good for customers. If MB could prove that the maintenance was not followed correctly, and reading the TSB they could be pedantic, there would be no action, and no further claims would be considered. If tests showed that oil consumption was acceptable, no further claims considered. If the oil consumption was found to be excessive it was down to the customer to pay for fixing a porous crankcase, cylinder heads, leaking seals, gaskets, o-rings before MB would replace long blocks and piston rings. So the customer had one shot and he/she had to time it very carefully, all the while he/she was likely to have been locked into a maintenance agreement just to satisfy the criteria.

In essence it appears that help was all or nothing, and probably more likely nothing for customers facing problems with their M113 (and M112) under warranty.

So I suppose my question is - would you stick to ‘Daimler’s prohibition’, which of course could not have foreseen this problem? Or would you heed the advice of experienced technicians and use a suitable engine flush during oil changes on M113 engines that have sludge and high oil consumption?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Bill, we’re talking M113 not M119. Nice clean engine you got there.

The M113 doesn’t like short journeys. Some owners cannot easily change these habits, and no amount of oil changes will stave off piston ring damage and cylinder wall scoring. It could take 20 years to see any difference just increasing the frequency of oil changes, and the worst might catch up with the owner long before that.

MB’s solution to this was forced upon them by the O’Keefe law suit, but it wasn’t all good for customers. If MB could prove that the maintenance was not followed correctly, and reading the TSB they could be pedantic, there would be no action, and no further claims would be considered. If tests showed that oil consumption was acceptable, no further claims considered. If the oil consumption was found to be excessive it was down to the customer to pay for fixing a porous crankcase, cylinder heads, leaking seals, gaskets, o-rings before MB would replace long blocks and piston rings. So the customer had one shot and he/she had to time it very carefully, all the while he/she was likely to have been locked into a maintenance agreement just to satisfy the criteria.

In essence it appears that help was all or nothing, and probably more likely nothing for customers facing problems with their M113 (and M112) under warranty.

So I suppose my question is - would you stick to ‘Daimler’s prohibition’, which of course could not have foreseen this problem? Or would you heed the advice of experienced technicians and use a suitable engine flush during oil changes on M113 engines that have sludge and high oil consumption?
Good points. I am going to check this oil consumption first and then take into the unknown with nothing to lose.

Thank you everyone!
 
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