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  #1  
Old 10-25-2000, 12:22 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Western NC
Posts: 30
My dealer flat out refused to change the oil, citing that the computer knows when to change it, when it's dirty enough to need replacing, and that it will upset the other service intervals if I do. Here's the thing- in 10 years I wanna have the car running like my 89 300E with 240,000 miles does now, get it? Due to perceived quality issues with the car, I'm not sure it'll happen, but that's another rant. I'm thinking of calling MBUSA to get some answers from someone other than the head grease monkey at my dealer (no offense to anyone intended, I'm a dedicated DIY'er myself on all my cars...), but any one here got any advice??
BTW, they DID rotate and balance the tires (they said they balanced 'em, but they're brand new and show no unevenwear, no shaking, etc., so I think I was shammed), washed it (read: scratched the holy hell out of it), and maybe something else, for 80 bucks, without prior approval. Hmmm.
OK, rant over. Thanks.
Mark
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  #2  
Old 10-25-2000, 12:27 AM
Mike Murrell's Avatar
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Forget the dealer - change the oil/filter yourself and follow Larry Bible's advise.

"Change it hot; change it often".

Mike Murrell
'91 300-SEL
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  #3  
Old 10-25-2000, 07:15 AM
LarryBible
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Mark,

I went by a Benz dealer to buy an oil filter my new C240. The car already has 4K miles and I wanted to change to Mobil One. I plan on changing it often.

The parts man at this particular dealer mumbled something about changing the oil already. He then called a Service Writer over and asked oil change interval for a C240. The Service Writer answered that it was determined by the FSS. That was all that was said. I cheerfully paid for my filter and the special wrench to change it with. I then went home, drained the oil and changed it and the filter.

I am totally enraged that someone would tell you NOT to change your oil. Maybe their concern is that it will extend the FSS interval and they won't get to charge you $100 an hour to check your windshield wiper blades.

Most of the new cars that have the FSS have some very impressive technology that allows some of these intervals to be extended. However, it will NEVER hurt to change the oil and filter unless you leave the drain plug out or forget to pour in the oil.

Let us know what you learn from MBUSA about this. If you do not get a reasonable explanation, I will chime in with them. I won't do it just yet, because I'm sure they don't want to hear any more from me for awhile. I blasted them so much for not passing along some of the 10% they made with the DMark evaluations, I'm sure my name is a dirty word inside their facility in New Jersey.

Don't let anyone talk you out of changing your oil!

Good luck,

------------------
Larry Bible
'01 C Class, Six Speed
'84 Euro 240D, manual, 533K miles
'88 300E 5 Speed
'81 300D Daughter's Car
Over 800,000 miles in
Mercedes automobiles
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  #4  
Old 10-25-2000, 08:38 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Toronto, CANADA
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Like Larry says, change it yourself. I would just read the fine print of my warranty to make sure that there is no way doing something like could void my warranty (although I can't think of any reason it would - it wouldn't surprise me if your dealer could come up with a few). I change my oil about twice as often as is recommended. I don't let my computer tell me when to eat, when to sleep, when to shower, and I wouldn't let it tell me when to change my oil. Does the dealer do your oil changes for free on new cars? That would be the only reason I could think of why they wouldn't change it. They charge enough for an oil change you'd think they want to do it.



------------------
Jason Priest
1986 420SEL
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  #5  
Old 10-25-2000, 10:33 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Hayward, CA. USA
Posts: 27
Hello Larry Bible And 420SEL.

I try to find the location of drain oil plug on my E320 Model 2000. But no luck. Does you guy know where is that. Any help would be appreciate. Do I need to change it with the Topside method. Any advice. ?

Thanks
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  #6  
Old 10-25-2000, 11:16 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Chesapeake, VA
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I talked to MBUSA about this when we bought our E430. They said:

1) MB has determined that there is no longevity advantage to changing the oil at intervals shorter than the FSS calls for.

2) Make yourself happy and do what makes you feel good (other than ignoring the service recommendations), but it isn't called for and will not violate your warranty.

3) M/B does not require or recommend the use of synthetic oil in cars not filled with it at the factory, but make yourself happy and do what you like as long as you follow the List of Recommended Products, it will not void your warranty.

As an aside, M/B is responding to the complaints about high maintenance costs (as distinct from high repair costs). If you ever owned and followed the service ritual for a 113,108/109, 110/111 or earlier car, the preventative maintenance items were MANY and labor intensive. If followed, the cars were quite reliable, but the idea was to identify problems in the shop rather than on the road, and often, problems were uncovered during a routine service. The short service intervals did not necessarily prevent problems, they just were identified early. M/B has gradually reduced the preventative maintenance items and extended the intervals. I always used to follow the recommended intervals (3000 mile oil/filter and chassis lube, etc)with my old cars. When I bought a 300TE I cut the service interval (7500 miles) in half. I had the worst performance of items that I thought I was protecting (valve guides, camshaft, etc) of any M/B I've owned. I'm not saying I caused the problems; I simply did not prevent them. On my 240D, which I bought used, the original owner followed M/B recommendations to the letter, but did not exceed them. The car is approaching 200K and shows no ill effect from the 5000 mile oil changes, etc. So what am I doing on the E430? Every 5000 miles I change the oil and filter. I just can't get myself to wait for the FSS. Will it last longer? I don't know, but I'm happy. Sorry for the long post.
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  #7  
Old 10-25-2000, 12:27 PM
LarryBible
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I totally understand the balancing act that MB has to go through. Provide enough service to make the car last awhile/not so much that the car stays in the shop all the time. Most people don't keep their car near as long, or put near as many miles on it. So the FSS probably works out fine for MOST Benz owners. I'm in no way a typical owner. I drive 60,000 miles/year or so. I keep it and drive it until the wheels fall off. Therefore, synthetic oil, changed hot and often will most likely take my car further than the typically maintained car. I still say it won't hurt unless I leave out the plug, or forget to pour in the new oil.

With that said, I'll change my oil often and keep an eye on everything I can when I change it. I doubt that I'll get 380,000 out of the original engine, like my 240D did, but whatever it turns out to be, I expect that it will be longer than typical.

Only time will tell,

------------------
Larry Bible
'01 C Class, Six Speed
'84 Euro 240D, manual, 533K miles
'88 300E 5 Speed
'81 300D Daughter's Car
Over 800,000 miles in
Mercedes automobiles
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  #8  
Old 10-25-2000, 01:03 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Holland, MI
Posts: 1,316
Here is an interesting web site, which discusses GM's equivalent of MB's FSS.
http://www.noria.com/Learn/ler34.html

My PERSONAL plan is to follow the factory service intervals, no more, no less, with all my vehicles, including the motorcycles.

I also expect to pay for proper maintenance and repair, and that eventually they will all wear out.

I also DON'T expect the long life of Larry Bible's cars, as Michigan climate isn't quite as kind to cars.

Enjoy 'em while you can.

BCingU, Jim

------------------
'96 E300D 60k mi (wife's daily ride)
'95 Audi 90 120k mi
'92 GMC Suburban 139k mi
'85 300SD 234k mi (my daily ride)
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  #9  
Old 10-25-2000, 01:31 PM
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Location: Gainesville FL
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I changed my wife's 98 ML320 oil and filter at 5000 mi. The FSS said about 10,700 at the time. The manual says that there is a sensor that measures the conductivity of the oil and varies the FSS. I eagerly awaited that first interval as I wanted to see how sensitive the system was.

Immediately after the change the interval increased to about 11,200. Over the next 5,000 miles the interval kept creeping up till the first A service became due at 11,600 miles. BMW has used a flexible service plan for years that factors in engine temps, loads, rpms, etc. I don't think any of them change the basic interval more than 5-10% no matter what you do.

As it turns out we see very, very little oil related faiures anymore since the engines started running so clean. I have seen more than one car bought off lease that probably had no oil changes in 50,000 miles. This may not be good for the motors (bg).

Reguarding the service/warrantee policy. I have had BMW customers bring their cars in for oil changes because the dealer can't change the oil early unless they want to pay for it. These are cars that the services come with the original purchase and the cost of services is shared, but only the called for servoces get reinbursed. Which brings up a couple other issues. The manufacturer can not require you to use their dealers for service UNLESS they pay for the service. A number of cars now come with certain amounts of service covered under the original purchase. The warrantee requirements can be different on these cars.

The other issue is when are you going to change your transmission fluid??????

------------------
Steve Brotherton
Owner 24 bay BSC
Bosch Master, ASE master L1
26 years MB technician

[This message has been edited by stevebfl (edited 10-25-2000).]
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  #10  
Old 10-25-2000, 02:14 PM
LarryBible
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Steve,

Great observation on the M Class. I now can't wait to see what the service interval is saying. I was told that the system knows that the oil was changed. I'm curious how it knows that. Does it simply see clearer oil with it's resistivity test?

Thanks for your insight,

------------------
Larry Bible
'01 C Class, Six Speed
'84 Euro 240D, manual, 533K miles
'88 300E 5 Speed
'81 300D Daughter's Car
Over 800,000 miles in
Mercedes automobiles
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  #11  
Old 10-25-2000, 02:56 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Toronto, CANADA
Posts: 1,193
I change my transmission fluid every week.

------------------
Jason Priest
1986 420SEL
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  #12  
Old 10-25-2000, 05:50 PM
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Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Tucker, Ga USA
Posts: 12,153
Would love to share info(dealer only) on properly maintained FSS engines that have SLUDGE, but I can't. Seems like BMW is also having this problem, even with synthnetic oil!! OLD saying; pay me or pay me later! OIL is cheap.

------------------
MERCEDES BENZ MASTER GUILD TECHNICIAN (6 TIMES)
ASE MASTER TECHNICIAN
27 YEARS DEALER M.B. Shopforeman
190E 2.3 16V ITS SCCA racecar
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  #13  
Old 10-25-2000, 08:03 PM
djenkins2
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HA! I love this topic. My 98 C Class has the FSS. MB tells me my warranty is NOT void if I do my own oil changes. I have closely monitored the oil color, and when mine triggered at 12,400 initially, the oil was nearly black, and was significantly dirtier than I would Ever allow from my own experience. I change now at color change, which although admittedly not a chemical test, is arguably a good qualifier for contaminanats in the oil. I do mine now at 5K, and reset the FSS myself when it goes. My brother has a 99 C280, and was "thrilled" to pay $225 for his service at first FSS trigger. Hmmmm. I have believed for a long time that clean oil and properly maintained coolant do the absolute most of any maintenenance factors. Of course you could change too often....but then oil is pretty cheap. 5-6K is a good balance in my view.
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  #14  
Old 10-26-2000, 12:40 AM
juan01
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Just a question: If motor oils have not changed substantially in composition, quality, and performance in the last few years, and engines have not really changed that much either (re:friction, temp.etc..), how can you possibly double overnight the number of miles between oil changes?

Could it be what we suspect, that frequent oil changes are the enemies of new car sales?
I do not know how often the average citizen buys a new car. I have an 86 300E with 180k. I suspect, however, that, according to auto industry marketing standards, I should have bought at least three additional cars in all these years that I kept on changing the oil every 3/4k.
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  #15  
Old 10-26-2000, 01:07 AM
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After spinning thru this thread, I'm glad that I own an OLDER MB.

Mike Murrell
'91 300-SEL
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