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Steven Aguirre
10-29-2004, 05:12 PM
This is as old of a debate as ever, I guess. But I want to hear your opinion. . .

I bought a brand new 2004 E320 4matic and except for a bad seal on the front right drive axel it has been flawless. This is the 3rd MB that I have owned and I really have never serviced each one the same way.

My 1988 190E 2.3 (that I owned in Germany) stated to change the oil every 6,170 miles (or 10,000 Kms non synthetic). I always chenged it every 5,000 (used Castrol GTX 10 w 40). After 100,000 ++ the engine never had any problems and looked very clean inside. I also drove this car faster and harder than any other car I have ever owned. I drove it at averages of 115 MPH for hours at a time. It also sat in traffic for hours of idle time.

My 1991 300E (I had it at the same time, but here in the US) stated that the interval should be 7,500 miles. I ignored it and changed it every 3,000 miles, also with Castrol GTX 10w 40. I had a bad bad head gasket at 40,000 miles (but that was a factory problem, so said the dealer). When the engine was opened for the rapir, the inside was as clean as a new engine. After 130,000 miles, the engine was as good as ever and never burned or leaked oil.

So here is the issue (I know it took me a while to get here); This car takes more quarts of oil than the others 8.5. It also is Mobil 1 synthetic and is computer monitored. Should I go by the computer or should I split the difference and change it every 5,000 to 6,000 miles. Service is free, but the extra oil change costs about $100.00. Money is not the issue, but overkill and waste is.

This is what the dealer and other people told me about this:

My service writer said that if I do change the oil at 5k, then I should not have the computer reset so that way it will keep track of the years time. He warned me, however, saying that when the system measures that there is new oil, it will make the interval much longer becuse its getting fresh oil. This would delay the other inspections and checks that are performed that might be needed sooner.

A long time parts guy at the dealer who I have known for 8 years says that as long as it is Mobil 1, he has seen a lot of 1998 and newer e320s with well over 150K miles on them that followed the FSS and never had engine problems. He said, just go by what the computer says.

Would Mercedes design a car that would not last long if you follow their advice? I have gone 5k miles between oil changes (using organic oil) on my 190E and never had a problem, shouldn't the new synthetic oil last longer, especially if there is almost twice as much in the engine and it has a better filter?

My second car is an 1986 Audi 4000CS Cuattro. We bought it new and always changed the oil between 3k and 4k miles. We still have the car and it now has 262,000 Miles on the original engine. It just now started to use about .5 quarts between oil changes. It only has seen Castrol GTX for the last 18+ years. Hard to argue with that, especially since it only takes about 4.5 quarts of organic oil. Shouldn't the Benz at least go twice as long between changes if it takes 8.5 qts and uses sythetic?

I think that I might change the oil when I hits 5,000 miles and pay for it. But I will see what it does to the next "service due" figure. After that, I will have to see if it is an stupid risk to take if I go by the computer. May car sits for 10 days at a time and then gets driven about 500 to one 1000 miles in one week. That is not as hard on oil as short stop and go driving with cold oil temps.

It might seems as if I have answered my own question. I am educated about cars, but I want to hear other perspectives and theories. Again, paying for every-other oil change is not a big deal, but wasting 8.5 quarts of synthetic oil and a filter for no reason is not good either.

Any opinions? ? ?

Steve Aguirre

11-21-2004, 08:05 PM
change just oil filter half way between the service interval. Mobil 1 can go 10K miles, but this would cover you in case the oil filter starts breaking down as it gets close to 10K.

There was a problem with BMW filter where they would not last 15K miles.

01-08-2005, 04:31 PM
the oil at 10k with M1 0w-40 (9 quarts). This discussion has raged on other websites and discussion forums for a while (see link below). Some people have had their oil tested by Blackstone Labs after each change to determine if there is any problems with extended change intervals.

I have been using 0w-40 M1 in my 01 Audi 2.7 and accelerated the change interval from 10k to 5k mainly because of the turbos. In addition to keeping the oil temp lower in warm weather (the car has an oil temp gauge) apparently the turbos like the lubrication flow.

Bottom line if you are more comfortable with the more frequent oil change intervals use them. I believe that with the use of synthetic oil even my nerousis about frequent changes is beginning to erode somewhat.

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