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  #1  
Old 04-18-2000, 02:39 PM
tracy_leb
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My 'TE will use a quart of oil about every 2,000 miles. What is odd is that according to the dipstick, there is 0 (zero) oil consumption between an oil change and about 2,000 miles out from the oil change, and then according to the dip stick, a quart disappears at just over 2,000 miles. I always check the oil in the garage with the engine cold. I check it the night before a trip. The cold half of the year (between November and May) I use the car about twice per week to make a trip of about 170 miles per trip. The checking procedure is always the same: pull the dip stick, clean it, re-insert it, count to 3 and pull it again. Is it just a quirk of how the dip stick measures the amount of oil in the oil pan that causes this seeming disappearance of oil?

Many thanks!

BTW the oil and filter are changed at 3,000 mile intervals

…tracy
'91 300 TE 4-matic
'88 528e
'80 928
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  #2  
Old 04-18-2000, 03:42 PM
LarryBible
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I see the same sort of thing. I believe that the oil tends to thin out after a while and is more easily burned or thrown out the vent. This may indicate that a 2,000 mile oil change would be worth considering.

I have an old engine in my car while I rebuild my good one. I'm not too concerned about the engine in it now. But, I am considering 2,000 mile oil changes when I get my good engine finished.

Hope this is of some interest to you,

------------------
Larry Bible
'84 Euro 240D, 516K miles
'88 300E 5 Speed
'81 300D Daughter's Car
Over 800,000 miles in
Mercedes automobiles
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  #3  
Old 04-18-2000, 09:48 PM
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Location: Suwanee, GA, USA
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After many cold starts and a couple of thousand miles the oil does thin out. This is why it will burn it faster. When the car starts cold, it runs rich with fuel and contaminates the oil a little.

------------------
Benzmac:
Donnie Drummonds
1992 500E (very soon I hope
1981 280GE SWB
ASE CERTIFIED MASTER AUTO TECHNICIAN
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MERCEDES SPECIALIST 8 YRS
PARTNER IN MERCEDESSHOP.COM
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  #4  
Old 04-18-2000, 11:22 PM
mattsuzie
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You may want to consider using a 20W-50 weight oil. You will get a little more life out of it if you are thinning in after only 2,000 miles. However, if you are only using the sparingly, you may want to change it every 2,000 miles.

Off the top of my head, change the oil every 3,000 to 5,000 miles or very 6 months ,whatever happens first. Of course consult with your Tech and manual first.




------------------
'89 420 SEL
'90 300 SEL
'84 300 SD (sold it)
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  #5  
Old 04-19-2000, 08:48 PM
Mike Murrell's Avatar
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Tracy - I belive your TE has an M103 engine.
I have one also and these things all seem to use oil. I've also noticed that after an oil change, I won't use any for 600-800 mi, then all of a sudden I have to add 4-6 oz every 300 mi or so? I've also noticed that this usage starts to occur right after that "clear -fresh" look on the dipstick starts to turn a bit darker.

Mike Murrell
Boerne Texas
'91 300-SEL
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  #6  
Old 04-19-2000, 09:08 PM
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Location: New Bedford, MA USA
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OKEY DOKEY, here's the scientific explanation for the sudden drop in oil level. If you look at the M103 sump you will see that is has a slope in rearmost part of the pan. With the sump full, the level on the dipstick reads normal. As oil is consumed and the level drops, the apparent change in volume indicates less when the sump is full. Volume vs. capacity. As the level gets lower, the sump internal volume decreases based on the decreasing size of the available space, so..the same amout of loss looks greater as the space that is losing oil is now smaller than when the sump is full. If you've ever poured something thru a funnel that has straight sides leading into the tapered protion you will notice that with the same size opening in the end, when the fluid level is still high, it seems to drop much slower than when the fluid level reaches the tapered portion. Then it apparently drops much quicker. I saw this on Mr. Wizard last week. Thought I'd pass it along so all of you could explain it to your grandchildren whilst sitting next to the crackling fire..

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Jeff L
1987 300e
1989 300e
1987 BMW 325
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  #7  
Old 04-19-2000, 11:35 PM
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Jeff - thanks for your astute observation.

Mike Murrell
Boerne Texas
'91 300-SEL
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  #8  
Old 04-19-2000, 11:35 PM
Nick Jamal
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Aaaaaaah....
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  #9  
Old 04-20-2000, 08:25 AM
LarryBible
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I guess the M103 engine in my '88 300E with 170K miles is an oddball then. It uses NO oil between 3,300 mile changes. It doesn't go down on the stick at all. In fact when an engine shows absolutely no oil usage it makes me wonder if the top rings are oiling as they should.

I bought the car with eighty something thousand miles and complete records including every receipt. There was a receipt from an independent shop showing they put valvestem seals in. The same shop had some very questionable expensive repairs on the car, so I doubted whether they really did the work. But, since visiting this forum I have read where valve stem seals are a common repair on these engines. It must be a very worthwhile thing to do.

------------------
Larry Bible
'84 Euro 240D, 516K miles
'88 300E 5 Speed
'81 300D Daughter's Car
Over 800,000 miles in
Mercedes automobiles
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  #10  
Old 04-20-2000, 01:20 PM
tracy_leb
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Thanks for all the excellent feedback!

I think that the solutions are as follows;

1) change the oil more frequently than it's 3,000 mile routine. Interesting as MB suggest 7,500 mile changes for this car.

2) go to a better grade of oil - will try Pennzoil Long Life 15w -50 oil for diesel/gas engines instead of the Pennzoil ?? weight the dealer uses.

3) not worry about the sudden oil loss as my car's sump is somewhat funnel shaped and this accounts for why Mr. Wizard was talking about my car only last week

4) I would have the valvestem seals replaced but this was done about 30K miles ago and reduced the oil consumption from almost 9 quarts (!) in 7,500 miles to only 1 quart in 2,000 miles.

Remaining queries are: Do I want to go with a 5w-- xx oil for the cold weather season to reduce wear? Or maybe get that '99 e320 4-matic wagon I saw instead...


...tracy
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  #11  
Old 04-22-2000, 01:31 AM
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Location: Los Angeles, Calif, USA
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Using different brand (but same weight) of oil can change the oil consumption characteristics.

David
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