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Old 06-13-2003, 08:59 AM
Registered User
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 5
How much oil should my 90 300E use?

I have a new (to me) 1990 300E with only 91,000 miles. Had the oil changed at 89,000 and had the car checked out. I checked the oil yesterday and it was 2 quarts low. I see no leaks on the garage floor or anywhere in the engine bay. The oil was changed by a very good MB mechanic so i expect he put in the right amount. Is it normal to burn 1 quart every 1000 miles? Ideas?
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Old 06-13-2003, 09:28 AM
Tod Labrie
Posts: n/a
oil burning 300E

I owned a 1992 300E a few years ago. (88k on it) I believe MB says a quart of oil consumed every 1,500 miles is actually acceptable (I think that's the mileage number-I can't remember exactly though). I was burning a quart every 1,000 to 1,500 miles though. With most other cars this would be unacceptable. A lot of mechanics thought that was normal. One recommended I replace the valve guides anyway. Sure enough they were all brittle. (I think that was the name of them-this was 6 years ago). The valve guides are cheap maybe $30 for the parts, but the labor is time consuming. I did it myself and it took about three-hours. Check into that @ a MB dealer, as far as what the oil consumption rate should be.
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Old 06-13-2003, 09:32 AM
I told you so!
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Motor City, MI
Posts: 2,804
At this point you don't know if the level represents the original oil charge by the mechanic or if it's been burned off. Check the level again after more miles to determine the consumption rate.
95 E320 Cabriolet, 140K
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Old 06-13-2003, 09:38 AM
Tod Labrie
Posts: n/a
Agreed. That's the best and cheapest way to handle this problem for now. Do keep track of the oil consumption vs. the number of miles driven over the next few weeks. I forget how many quarts that car should take with an oil change.
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Old 06-13-2003, 10:39 AM
Posts: n/a
It takes 6.3 quarts. Check your owner's manual. Start with 6 quarts and carefully top up. Don't overfill!

I have a low mileage 300E and it gets over 4K on a quart of Mobil 1 15W-50.

Don't trust mechanics. Check everything they do. I once had a mechanic at a MB dealership try to put over 7 quarts of oil in my M103 engine. He got it confused with the M104. That isn't the only thing I've caught them at.
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Old 06-13-2003, 03:39 PM
pesuazo's Avatar
Registered User
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Near Raleigh, NC
Posts: 580
About 6 months ago, my car was using 1 quart for every 1000-1250 miles.

I started using Valvoline Max-Life 20-50 or Castrol High Mileage 20-50.

After 4 oil changes, (I drive a lot from NYC to Raleigh, NC) Can you believe it now uses 1 quart between changes (3000 miles)?

I do not work for either of the 2 oil companies.

Now I believe that oil does help the valve seals.
1999 Porsche 996 Carrera Convertible
1994 420E - SOLD
1986 300E - SOLD, what a car
609 Certified
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Old 06-13-2003, 10:12 PM
Registered User
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Scotts Valley, CA.
Posts: 145
Oil comsumption on 300E

In my experience, I've found that my '89 300E with 167,000 miles to varying degrees. After an oil change, it takes about 1250 miles before it consumes 1 qt. of oil. Then it's about 1000 miles 'til it needs another quart, and stays static until I change it around 3750 miles (1/2 the MBX recommended oil change interval).

In my wifes (just sold to our neice) former 1992 190E 2.3, it drank even more oil as it got closer to the 3750 mark.

I just bought a 1993 300CE-convertible and I haven't put enough miles on it to change the oil yet. I'm interested to see how it behaves (M104 engine instead of the M103).
Jay Yambrovich
Scotts Valley, CA.

1993 300 CE Cabriolet (A124) 131K miles
1997 C-280 133K miles

2000 BMW R1100RT 69K miles
1989 300 E 216K miles (sold)
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Old 06-13-2003, 10:50 PM
Registered User
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 1,472
Acceptable oil consumption is anything less than 1qt/500 miles. More than that, and you might want to look at new valve seals.

I get about 1qt per 1000/1200 miles.

2000 C 2 3 0 Sport :: 180k
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