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  #1  
Old 03-02-2004, 12:27 AM
fahrgewehr2's Avatar
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Proper way to add oil?

Which is the proper way to add oil to your engine:

1. Add to the full line while the engine is cold (meaning all oil is in the pan).

2. Add to full mark after car has been running.

My question stems from this thought: If you add oil to the full mark after the engine has been running, the oil will be ABOVE the full line when the oil completely drains overnight.

I have always just filled to the full line when the car was cold, as this is the time which should provide the best reference point. Or so I should think.

Sorry if this is a dumb question with an obvious answer. Just been wondering for years.

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'80 300D 255k Purchased new by family in 1980.

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1992 400E
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Old 03-02-2004, 01:30 AM
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It's not a dumb question and there are two answers. Check it when hot or let it sit over night.

There are as many opinions about this as there recently were about whether to use synthetic oil in older cars.

Here's what I do.

The mfg of your vehicle suggests a specific amt of oil to be added during refill after draining oil and changing filter. The next time you change oil & filter, let it sit over night. Check the level the next am. There's your full mark.

It's that simple.

Larry Bible says to "change it hot; change it often". I agree.

I say "check it cold; check it often".

My 2 cents.
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Old 03-02-2004, 01:56 AM
fahrgewehr2's Avatar
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Thanks Mike. A very concise answer.



Quote:
The mfg of your vehicle suggests a specific amt of oil to be added during refill after draining oil and changing filter. The next time you change oil & filter, let it sit over night. Check the level the next am. There's your full mark.
This is exactly what I have always done.

I too agree with Larry's creed. I even jack up the right rear wheel a little to get that last bit out.

Mike
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'90 300SE 298k
-300K and it gets put into retirement.
'80 300D 255k Purchased new by family in 1980.

Had a:
1973 220 (gas)
1980 300SD
1992 400E
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  #4  
Old 03-02-2004, 07:03 AM
LarryBible
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Just as I thought there could be no more new twists on the oil thread, here comes one!

You will tell very little difference, probably immeasurable, between checking the oil five minutes after shutting it off or checking it the next morning. There could be a few cars in the world that could vary more than others. It's more important to see that you check it on a relatively level surface.

The acceptable tolerance for oil level is between the full and add marks. This is usually a quart of oil difference. That's quite a lot of tolerance relative to the difference you will see right after shutting it off as compared to setting overnight.

Additionally most all MB's have at least 6 quarts of oil, making this MUCH less critical than some of the domestic and Japanese cars that carry as little as 3.5 quarts.

All that said, it's a very good thing that you are this concerned about proper oil level. It indicates that you want to take care of your car.

My $0.02,
Change oil hot and change oil often,
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Old 03-02-2004, 08:53 AM
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I agree with putting the correct amount of oil in when changing, start engine to let it fill up the filter etc., stop engine and give it a little time to drain back down then check and this is the level when full.
Now from my experience with my 84 500SEL, If i change and check as above, it will show FULL on the stick. If i take the car out and run it on the interstate for 10 or 15 miles, put the car back in the exact spot the oil was changed. Stop it, let it sit for the same amount of time as when i changed and checked at the change, it will show about 1/2 qt overfull. The engine in this car holds about the same amount of oil as the transmission, and the oil expands about the same, thus the overfull indication when hot.

Does this mean I should add 8.5 qts when I change the oil or add 8 qts so it won't be overfull when HOT? I have read many times on the NG that you should never OVERFILL the oil.
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Old 03-02-2004, 11:13 AM
Bud
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Some oil filters may not retain oil so if you let it sit over night before checking, you could get an incorrect reading. Everybody has their favorite way of doing it but I think the way Mercedes tell you to do it should work. Start engine, stop engine, wait five minutes and check oil

Remember that overfill is bad.

On my 300E, I simply add and even 6 quarts and then drive it for a day. Then I top it up using the Mercedes approach.
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Old 03-02-2004, 09:59 PM
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One other point: the factory doesn't recommend topping off the oil to try to keep it at the 'full' mark. There was a TSB a few years back recommending keeping the level between the two marks. I've found that trying to keep the level at 'full' makes you chase your tail -- many MB engines will somehow 'use' oil until they find a level they like, which seems often to be about halfway between the marks. My M119 certainly does this. I used to be alarmed by how quickly it'd drop from 'full' to the halfway mark. Now, when I change oil, I aim for the halfway mark, and never have to add oil between 5000 mile Mobil 1 oil changes.
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  #8  
Old 03-03-2004, 11:09 AM
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I disagree with putting the quantity of oil listed in the Owner's Manual (as the engine's capacity) when changing oil. No matter what method you use to drain the old oil some quantity will remain in the engine. At oil changes I add all but the last quart, run the engine for a few minutes, turn the engine off, check the level on the dipstick, then add some portion of the last quart so that the level is halfway between the min. and max. marks on the dipstick.

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