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Old 03-18-2003, 11:29 PM
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300E oil usage between changes

Do any of you 300E owners experience any oil usage between oil changes? I have about 1500 miles since I installed a used 103 engine in my 300E and the oil stick is down about 1/4 from the full reading. I have no oil leaks or oil in coolant. Is this normal?

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Old 03-18-2003, 11:41 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Posts: 412
Most 103 engines that use oil suck it in through the valve guides past the valve stem seals. My 103 has been using a lot of oil (1 qt for 800 miles) for years. I eventually will replace the seals or have it done when it needs a valve job.
You can have the seals replaced and it will help for a while.
1990 190E 2.6
1996 Grand Voyager 3.3
1985 Mustang GT 5.0 5 SPD
1982 Suzuki GS 750T
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Old 03-19-2003, 07:42 AM
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At 200K, I am using a quart every 800 past the valve seals, I think.
Chuck Taylor
Falls Church VA
'66 200, '66 230SL, '96 SL500. Sold: '81 380SL, '86 300E, '72 250C, '95 C220, 3 '84 280SL's '90 420SEL, '72 280SE, '73 280C, '78 280SE, '70 280SL, '77 450SL, '85 380SL, '87 560SL, '85 380SL, '72 350SL, '96 S500 Coupe
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Old 03-19-2003, 09:19 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Motor City, MI
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Not sure about M-B, but industry standard for oil useage is 1 qt max per 500 miles before action needs to be taken.

I imagine the reason is at that point you simply cannot continue in that condition because of the adverse affects, i.e., serious fouling of the plugs, coking of the engine, catalyst fouling.
95 E320 Cabriolet, 140K
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Old 03-19-2003, 11:57 AM
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Location: Saugus, CA USA
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I used to use 1 qt every 800 miles. I switched to the highest recomended viscosity, 20w50, and it went down to 1 qt every 1200 miles.
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Old 03-19-2003, 12:35 PM
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Location: Mass
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My consumption is about the same as yours.
This is not that bad.
1986 300E 5-Speed 240k mi.
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Old 03-19-2003, 05:54 PM
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Posts: 571

I you believe the owners manual, 1/4 down means you have used approx. 1/2 qt. of oil.

1/2 qt. of use in 1500 miles in an M103 motor ain't too bad. I wouldn't worry about it 'til you're using a qt. every 1000-1200 miles.

Steve Brotherton has pointed out that the biggest problem is worn valve stem seals. MB switched to better valve guides in Apr. 1988 - M103. Look along the rear of the cyl. head - passenger side. If you see oil leaking there, it may be time for a new head gasket. M103 motors sometimes leak from this area. Make sure it's not the valve cover leaking if you have oil in this area.

I had valve stem seals, new head gasket and upper timing cover u-gasket replaced on an M103 motor last Apr. and my consumption went from 1 qt. every 1200 miles to about 1/2 qt. every 2500 miles.

My 2 cents.
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