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  #1  
Old 02-12-2003, 03:35 PM
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How to check oil level?

What is the proper way to check engine oil level. On my '97 E300, when I pull out the dipstick with the engine running, it shows exactly between the minimum and maximum marks. With the engine off, the level is all the way up to the max level.

In my assumption the reasoning behind this "phenomenon", is that the oil is recirculating throughout the rest of the engine instead of the pan. Is this a correct assumption?
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Old 02-12-2003, 03:48 PM
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probably right, but

I would check the oil level the way the manual describes. With a 97, you should still have the manual???

It probably says, check the level 1-2 minutes after turning a completely warm car off.

With synthetic oil, there is enough oil film on the engine that the level in the pan may not be accurate until 12 hours following shutdown, so you then may want to check it cold the next morning following shutdown.

That is what I have read recently....

alec
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  #3  
Old 02-12-2003, 03:59 PM
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What's best, checking oil hot or cold?
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Old 02-12-2003, 09:41 PM
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Check it when stone cold in the morning, after sitting all night, before starting the engine. Pull the dipstick & wipe it clean (ignore level). Insert dipstick slowly. Wait 10-15 seconds. Remove dipstick and read level. Any other method may result in overfilling the sump. DO NOT add any oil until the level reaches the MIN mark using the above procedure. The "MAX" mark is just that, the maximum level... the recommended, and optimum, level is between the min & max marks. Some engines will burn quickly off the oil until it gets between the marks and then stay there for a long time (consumption dropping significantly). And don't forget your engine REQUIRES the use of MB-approved synthetic oil, such as Mobil-1 0W-40 or 15W-50. Anything else and the FSS can cause engine damage from delaying the oil change too long.


HTH,
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Old 02-13-2003, 12:09 AM
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Just a note that the model year 1997 was not a "FSS" car. It is not necessary to use synthetic oil. You should service your car according to your manual or your preference.



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Old 02-13-2003, 12:26 AM
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The latest from MB is to keep the oil level BETWEEN the min. and max. lines and check when warm, a few mins. after engine shut down.
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Old 02-13-2003, 12:31 AM
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Ooops, sorry... thought FSS was in use by '97. So you don't *have* to use synthetic but it's highly recommended. And if you are using synthetics, you cannot check the oil level a few minutes after shutdown - period. You must do it when cold. It's not that hard to do it cold! The synthetics cling to interior surfaces for hours when warm, many people have observed a half-quart difference or more between cold and warm measurments...
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1997 E420 - 154kmi (Bugeyes)
1994 E420 - 143kmi (Blondie)
1993 500E - 193kmi (Lollipop)
1992 400E - 186kmi (Stinky Dirty)
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Old 02-13-2003, 12:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by gsxr
Ooops, sorry... thought FSS was in use by '97. So you don't *have* to use synthetic but it's highly recommended. And if you are using synthetics, you cannot check the oil level a few minutes after shutdown - period. You must do it when cold. It's not that hard to do it cold! The synthetics cling to interior surfaces for hours when warm, many people have observed a half-quart difference or more between cold and warm measurments...
Not to add fuel to the fire, but I've seen a half-quart difference between cold and warm, but in the opposite direction - i.e. it's about a half quart down the dipstick when cold, but it rises a half-quart when warm! My guess would be to use whichever level is higher, so long as neither one drops below min.

-anthony
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Old 02-13-2003, 12:54 AM
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Smile

It is MB that says to check the oil when warm, it's not my idea. I would assume that it is because liquids expand when warm. The bottom line; read your manual. PS I agree with you, anthony, about that (approx.) half quart difference.
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Last edited by PaulH; 02-13-2003 at 12:59 AM.
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