Parts Catalog Accessories Catalog How To Articles Tech Forums
Call Pelican Parts at 888-280-7799
Shopping Cart Cart | Project List | Order Status | Help




Go Back   PeachParts Mercedes ShopForum > Technical Information and Support > ML, GL, G-Wagen, R-Class, Unimog, Sprinter

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 12-13-2003, 02:05 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Dallas
Posts: 3
98 ML320 sludge

98K on odometer. Religiously serviced by FSS (now I believe it should have been more frequent). Bought ML new in 98 and switched to synthetic (Royal Purple) after 3K miles. Switched to Mobil 1 when RP raised their prices substantially. Have noticed some sludge on oil cap when oil adds became more frequent. This service, tech said he scraped sludge out of filter with a screwdriver and noted heavy sludge on invoice. I plan to change oil myself at 2K intervals for 3-4 times to see if conditions improve. Any recommendations for do/don't do are welcome. I am aware of MB sludge lawsuit but have not yet taken any action.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 12-13-2003, 02:41 PM
Lebenz's Avatar
backwoods member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: In the fog
Posts: 2,862
Contact your MB dealer and MBUSA. There was a legal issue involving the very problem your ML is experiencing. As a consequence of the issue, MB has offered an extended warranty against this problem. Do a search for FSS and you’ll find references.
__________________
...Tracy

'00 ML320 "Casper"
'92 400E "Stella"
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12-13-2003, 05:21 PM
Gilly's Avatar
Registered User
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Evansville WI
Posts: 9,616
Ifit's that milky stuff under the oil cap, and you live in cold weather, and the problem started when the weather got below 40 degrees or so, don't worry about it, they all (the 112 and 113 motor) get that milky stuff in cold weather.

Gilly
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12-13-2003, 06:37 PM
Moderator
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Gainesville FL
Posts: 6,844
Since you changed to synthetic at low miles, the legal issue with MB doesn't apply. I have been changing my wifes 98ML oil at 5-6k intervals with M-1 since new.

The issue you have with MB is no more than any of a number of manufacurers who market cars through the reduced cost of service. I have no idea how to change that issue.
__________________
Steve Brotherton
Continental Imports
Gainesville FL
Bosch Master, ASE Master, L1
33 years MB technician
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12-14-2003, 11:41 AM
Lebenz's Avatar
backwoods member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: In the fog
Posts: 2,862
Quote:
Originally posted by stevebfl
Since you changed to synthetic at low miles, the legal issue with MB doesn't apply. I have been changing my wifes 98ML oil at 5-6k intervals with M-1 since new.

The issue you have with MB is no more than any of a number of manufacurers who market cars through the reduced cost of service. I have no idea how to change that issue.
Steve, what do you mean by "the legal issue with MB doesn't apply"?

I thought the result of the suit was MB obligated to stand behind their product even with reduced service intervals. If memory serves, sludge build-up was one tell tale sign of this problem, whether using synth or not. As long as the owner maintained service intervals per MB's recommendation, MB extended the warranty to, well over 100,000 miles.
__________________
...Tracy

'00 ML320 "Casper"
'92 400E "Stella"
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12-14-2003, 12:49 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Dallas
Posts: 3
Thanks to all for the feedback. Gilly -- what I see is definately the black, gunky sludge, not the milky white stuff you refer to. The ML does see cold on winter Colorado mountaineering trips, but 98% of the time, I am in relatively warm Dallas. Steve -- My understanding of the MB suit is the same as Lebenz and I would also be interested in your reasoning that it may not apply to my situation.

I treat my ML like my favorite pet, but I also use it's features as they should be (off road, etc.). I have had the oil analyzed at Blackstone Labs at every change and they are now seeing particulates that indicate bearing wear. They also noted the last sample exhibited some breakdown characteristics. I just sent them another sample with a shortened service life (6K) to better monitor the situation. Prior two FSS governed changes were 16K and 20K miles. This longer period is due to FSS interval increasing every time the oil level needs to be topped up (fresh oil making the sensor think things are cleaner).

My opinion at this time is no matter what oil you use, your interval should not exceed 10K, regardless of the FSS indication. My former Chevy C1500 with a 350 saw Mobil1 for 85K miles, stayed clean as a whistle and never needed oil added with 9K intervals except at every 3K, I changed the filter and added a quart due to filter change. I am considering a similar routine with the ML.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12-14-2003, 01:45 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Matthews, NC
Posts: 1,356
"Pay me now, or pay me later."

I'm sure most of you have heard this at some time or other.

I'm not going to get in any arguments, but only want to state some facts.

1. In my personal cars, I use dino oil and change oil and filter every 3 k. I have never had an oil related problem with any of my cars. Currently have 250K on my 500SEL.

2. On my regular customers cars, I change the oil and filter with dino oil every 3K. None of my customers has had any oil related problems with their cars. ( One customer had an external oil cooler line burst while going 80mph towing a boat in Flordia in the summer (hot) and didn't notice it until the engine seized up. The 350 chevy had over 100k at the time and after it cooled down and the cooler line was repaired and refilled with oil it was fine, no knocking, smoking, or using oil problems. It now has over 150K miles and still going strong.)

Think about this for a moment. Lets say MB does extend the warrenty on the engine for 100k miles. What happens when it has 125K or 150K. It may be time to go buy a new car. Thats exactly what MB wants.

Now lets see:

Extra 100K miles because the engine was matainted correctly (3k)
Thats about $400 for dino oil (33 changes at 8.5 qts per change at 1.50 per quart). $330 for filters (33 at $10 each). or about $730 for an extra 100K miles. Thats even a "no-brainer" for me.
Now that is if you do the service yourself. If you have an inde do it for you, then lets say it will be 3 times the cost. Well I think that $2190 for 100K miles is still a "no-brainer".

Think about it.
__________________
84 500 SEL (307,xxx miles)
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12-14-2003, 03:55 PM
it leaks, its german
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: raleigh nc
Posts: 1,111
I dunno. I've seen 103's and 104's with well over 200k on 'em that have been serviced on 7500 mile intervals their entire life. I can see 3K service intervals on a engine that only holds 4 quarts but, not on one that holds 8. I see a 5k interval as ok except in tropical or "low mileage" conditions. With synth, a 7500-8000 is fine. (4.0 jeep, 170k, synth since 70k, never had a issue with 7500 mile service intervals, personal sled, uses 1 qt every 5k)

A lot is dependant on driving habits. A car used in a commuter enviroment that see's 10 miles a day need more frequent changes as it never gets good and warmed up, while one that is driven 20 miles 1 way at a decent speed dosen't. In tropical enviroments the internal condensation issue needs addressing, therefore more frequent changes. Same deal in very cold climates where the car sits outside, internal condensation. (my 617 has 270k on it, it has been serviced every 7500 or so all its life, pretty clean internally and uses a quart every 2000 miles, running with full boost enrichment at 76-80 mph for 40 miles every day)

The 112's seems to do fine with 7500 mile intervals in normal climitary conditions and good synth oil, with dino I'd do 5k. These engines run hot and beat oil up pretty good, therefore need more frequent service than 10-14k. Part of the coking issue IMHO is the sprayers they have that cool the lower half of the piston in relation to the wall and face temps. The transition line looks to be right in the oil control rings area, hence the coking there without the typical sludging of the valve covers.

The 113's are less suseptable to this. I think its the fact the engine runs a bit cooler across the board, afterall a 5.0 dosen't work as hard as a 3.2 in the same chassis.


I recomend fss cars get serviced every 7500 under normal conditions using a good oil (I use pentosin 5-40), every 5 k under "severe" conditions. Everyone else I recomend 5k intervals on dino. BMW's with synth get done every 7500 and dinos get done every 5k. So far in 20 years I've seen/had pretty much nada as far as oil related failures.

Joe
__________________
Project Smoker, '87 603 powered wagon
Hauler, 96 CTD can you say torque?
Toy 73 Cougar xr7 convertible
Acme Automotive Inc.
Raleigh NC
919-881-0364
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 12-14-2003, 06:02 PM
Moderator
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Gainesville FL
Posts: 6,844
As to the legal affairs, what do I know... I am just a technician.

But, the concept as I understand it was that because people weren't told to use synthetic the possibility existed that they had damaged their engine... thus the extended warrantee.

Since the vehicle in question basically ran through its life with synthetic, MB couldn't have done anything more (all based upon their consent statement).

This, of course, avoids the real issue that changing one's oil at FSS periods will of course degrade the engines lifespan. This also means nothing to the original owner who will never own the vehicle long enough to care. Modern engines outlive the cars the are housed in. By screwing the engine one only brings its problems into the end of its life.
__________________
Steve Brotherton
Continental Imports
Gainesville FL
Bosch Master, ASE Master, L1
33 years MB technician
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 12-14-2003, 08:44 PM
Bud
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Engines designed to meet Ultra Low emission standards or even Low Emission standards are (by default) much tougher on oil than earlier engines. The problem that Toyota had with their engines points this out. They reduced the size of the oil passages in the heads to make them run hotter (better for emissions but worse for reliability). What happened is that the differential in head temperature compared to the block was too great and caused gelling. This would not have been a problem with a base 4 or base 5 synthetic but it was with base 3 (petroleum) oils.

I suppose that if Toyota owners were as anal retentive as some of us about our Mercedes, they would have changed their oil more frequently and not had a problem even with the petroleum based oil.

Toyota wouldn't admit they had a problem but opened up the oil passages again and agreed to pay for gelling problems/repairs.

I'm still debating the purchase of a new E-Class. It's the engines I'm worried about. The design of these engines has been prioritized to reduce emissions and increase fuel economy at the expense of reliability.

Even with a capacity of over 8 quarts of synthetic oil, I would never go more than a year between oil changes. Since I drive a fairly low number of miles it's possible for the FSS system to wait up to two years before authorizing an MBUSA service!
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 12-15-2003, 03:34 PM
Hatterasguy's Avatar
Zero
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Milford, CT
Posts: 19,267
16k to 20k mile changes? I'm sorry but that is just stupid. That is why you have sludge in your engine. I don't care if you use Mobil One or Amsoil, that is just to long. I can't understand why people try to stretch oil changes it is the most important fluid and also the cheapist and simplest to do. We do not drive comercial equipment, our engine's do not hold many gallons of oil. If we drove 100k+ per year and had engines that held 5-10 gallons of oil with two expensive oil filters. Then yes trying to stretch changes can make business sense but not for private cars. My advice is to sell it and learn, it is not worth your time and aggravation.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 12-15-2003, 08:44 PM
sdanville's Avatar
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Michigan USA
Posts: 315
On a clear day you can see GM but Mercedes?

I believe what the book read. On a clear day you can see GM.
In the 70's GM may have wanted their cars to wear out at 100,000 miles so you buy new.
BUT Mercedes?!! I think Mercedes wants you to go 500,000 miles in thier machines. That's the reputation they want. So if the enginiers at Mercedes says 10,000-15,000 miles between oil changes...it seems to me they must feel that's enough.
..
I still chickened out and did mine at 8,000 miles.
__________________
Steve Danville
what i did myself.
CPS
rear shocks
MAS x 3.
SparkPlugs (twice)
Fuel pump & Filter
Window switch
replaced both failed horns with Honda horns.
Cleaned ERG Tube
Oil changes
Oil consumption Fix
Brake Pads
A/C Recharge
Anti-Freeze change X 2.
Front Shocks. Monroe. $90
Mercedes Warrenty Work:
Harmonic balancer,power steering clamp. Cat converters.
Drive Shaft Bearing.s
Replaced Outer Lower Tie Rods and front lower ball joints at 156,000 miles
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 12-15-2003, 09:23 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Dallas
Posts: 3
Stupid may be a little harsh. I assume you trust the technology used in a benz to tell you when your front pads are nearing their end of life, the sensors that fire the airbags, the sensors that monitor wheel speed and make the necessary adjustments, etc. Having been in the high tech industry for 30 years, I do. When you add the input from MB service pros that should be better informed about their product, you may be led to trust something that leads to realignment of actions.

The problem appears to not be technology, but the manner in which it is used. The time/mileage/oil condition monitoring system appears to have one serious flaw....the firmware that controls it does not react properly to addition of new oil to 'top up' the level. Take note the next time you add oil and you will see the FSS indicate a longer period than was there prior to the addition.

Yes, there is a flaw in the system, MB has recognized that and so have I. Yes, I will go back to more frequent, mileage based oil changes. Stupid, no, a little too trusting, perhaps.

Thanks to everyone else for your meaningful insight.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 12-15-2003, 09:49 PM
blackmercedes's Avatar
Just a guy
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: St. Albert, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,492
Quote:
Originally posted by kapl
Stupid may be a little harsh.
I agree. People buy a new Mercedes and understand that the maker would provide the best information possible regarding the care of their car. There is no shortage of debate concerning oil change intervals. With large capacities and FSS systems, it makes sense that there might be longer intervals.

However, it seems that most every maker has jumped on the gun on 20K-miles oil change intervals. Lexus/Toyota and Mercedes are all plagued with sludging in engines using these super long intervals.

Toyota and Mercedes had to be pressured into making good (MB had to be sued) on these broken engines.

For shame.
__________________
John Shellenberg
1998 C230 "Black Betty" 240K

http://img31.exs.cx/img31/4050/tophat6.gif
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 12-15-2003, 09:53 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 3,160
Time to add a little footnote/clarification on this subject of oilchanges & service intervals.
I remember reading some 10 or more years ago, about an " oil monitoring " system being developed by some vehicle mfg's.
The reason............pressure from the global treehuggers foundation !
It was estimated, that we dispose of about 250 million gallons of used engine oil annually, for no good reason, i.e. oil being replaced long before it was considered " worn out ".
The FSS's used by many OEM's are a direct result of the sustained lobbying & pressure exerted by environmentalists.
Engine sludge, wear & lawsuits do not have any effect at all on their bicycles & electric cars.
__________________
2007 C 230 Sport.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On




All times are GMT -4. The time now is 05:01 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.0
Copyright 2011 Pelican Parts - Posts may be archived for display on the Peach Parts or Pelican Parts Website -    DMCA Registered Agent Contact Page