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Old 08-21-2014, 04:37 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Kwils25 View Post
Does anyone else think that 15K is too long of an interval for an oil change?
Actually, no. There are basically two reasons why oil would need to be changed:
1 - Breakdown of the oil so that it loses its lubricating qualities;
2 - Contamination of the oil with metal particles, water, etc..

As long as your oil isn't overheated, it will not lose its lubricating qualities that quickly. If you do overheat the engine, then it's possible that the oil will start to break down and start leaving varnish deposits on the moving parts. If you know what to look for, you can detect varnish formation just by examining your dipstick before you wipe off the oil. So, if you ever overheat the engine, expect an oil change as part of the repairs, but otherwise don't worry about that.

As long as your oil is properly filtered, contamination is not an issue. The filter will trap the particulate contaminants. As it happens, your filter has a "bypass" setting; a clogged filter will allow unfiltered oil to pass around it because automotive engineers have decided that there will be less damage from contaminated oil than from a failure to lubricate. You can easily detect metal particles in your oil. All you need is two small flat pieces of glass. Place a drop of oil on one piece of glass, cover it with the other, and then rotate the pieces of glass in opposite directions while pressing them together. If you see curved scratches on the glass, you have particulate contamination and need to change the oil and filter.

If you get water contamination, though, you've got a more serious engine problem than just the contamination; there shouldn't be any way for water to get into the oil without damage to the engine such as a blown gasket. You can detect water in the oil as well, just by looking at the oil on the dipstick. The oil will be frothy and discolored.

So, a little bit of do-it-yourself oil analysis will tell you if you really need to change your oil. As long as the oil still looks like it should, and isn't contaminated, leave it in the engine, no matter how old it is. BUT, still change your filter on schedule.
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Old 08-21-2014, 04:58 AM   #16
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Does anyone else think that 15K is too long of an interval for an oil change? I guess I'm just old school, but I've had my oil changed twice already and have just over 14K on my 2014 Ext.


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You're thinking cars, not diesel engines, methinks.

It is a mental adjustment, oil changes for these engines.

No need in paying all that extra $$$ to your service folks.


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Old 08-21-2014, 05:57 AM   #17
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Oil changes may need to be done more often if the engine is started and stopped frequently as in driving around the city on short trips, which in moho's is rarely done. Short trips leads to buildup of junk in the crankcase due to incomplete warming up of the engine. The smaller units, e.g., sprinter chassis may be used like a car and if done so on a regular basis, may need shorter oil change intervals than specified in the factory manual.

My Moho had an 8.9 Cummins ISL, which required oil changes every 20,000 miles.... all 27 quarts.... LOL


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Old 08-21-2014, 11:28 AM   #18
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Oil in a diesel crankcase is hard to judge visually since it turns black (soot?) almost as soon as you put it in. Lab testing is the best way to determine if you're having a problem.

Water in the oil in a gas engine will also manifest itself as a gray, jelly-like substance on the underneath side of the filler cap. Not sure if this holds true for a diesel.

I'll use the change interval suggested by MB since the Mobil 1 ESP runs $7-$9 a quart and supposedly they know what they're doing. I would probably not go to 15K if all I did was short trips tho.

Here's a Mobil 1 video showing results on a taxi cab engine w/ 120K miles on it.
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Old 08-21-2014, 11:45 AM   #19
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If you're using synthetic oil you can go 10 to 15k miles if you're using regular oil it should be changed 3 to 5k miles... Most new cars are using synthetic oil now... My understanding is if you have used regular oil it is not a good idea to switch to synthetic... But I could be wrong about that...
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Old 08-21-2014, 12:18 PM   #20
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i think we're all synthetic oil, which is why the 15,000 mile change.


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Old 08-21-2014, 03:11 PM   #21
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There is no way I would wait that long. I don't care what MB recommends. It can't harm anything by changing it sooner. I would, at the very least change it every 10k; I myself try changing at 5-6k along with the filter. I change the fuel filter every 10k. The intervals are recommendations-and you can do it sooner if you want to spend the money and it makes you feel better about it. It does me. It can't hurt anything but your pocketbook.

So, I guess I am old school.


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Originally Posted by Kwils25 View Post
Does anyone else think that 15K is too long of an interval for an oil change? I guess I'm just old school, but I've had my oil changed twice already and have just over 14K on my 2014 Ext.


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Old 08-21-2014, 04:23 PM   #22
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My understanding is if you have used regular oil it is not a good idea to switch to synthetic... But I could be wrong about that...
Urban legend. If you have an engine w/ 100K on it and it's only had conventional oil used, then it wouldn't make sense to switch and it's rumored to possibly cause gunked up seals to leak but haven't seen any proof of this.

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It can't hurt anything but your pocketbook.

So, I guess I am old school.
Right on both counts.
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Old 08-21-2014, 06:38 PM   #23
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Does anyone else think that 15K is too long of an interval for an oil change? I guess I'm just old school, but I've had my oil changed twice already and have just over 14K on my 2014 Ext.
I think that the engineers who designed the vehicle have a better right to an opinion than I do.
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Old 08-21-2014, 10:57 PM   #24
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Our 2006 has the Assyst oil analysis system. The standard interval is 10k but the Assyst is supposed to constantly analyze the oil and then makes oil change recommendations accordingly. It can be more or less than 10k based on driving conditions. I am old school too when it comes to my gassers but I'm trying to trust the engineers when it comes to the diesel.
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Old 08-22-2014, 11:51 AM   #25
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My MB service advisor told me that the extended interval applied to the 2014 Sprinters and might get longer for the 2015s. He also said that MB wouldn't tell them what changed to allow the increase.
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Old 08-23-2014, 11:51 AM   #26
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I think that the engineers who designed the vehicle have a better right to an opinion than I do.
You are correct about the engineers but they do not have the 'influence' they enjoyed in years past with their employers. The accountants and marketing executives are in control now at both Mercedes and BMW. The marketing group is trying to have the lowest cost per mile, the accountants are trying to produce a cheaper vehicle and meet stock holders expectations of profit. I pose the question, Why do these two vehicle manufacturers, who, in previous years prided themselves in producing vehicles that could go 250k-500k miles (with proper maintenance) and give mileage grill badges out when these milestones were met, do not offer them anymore. "Lifetime" fluid fills....come on get real! Long interval oil services...Not on my vehicles. Engines are being made out of lighter alloys and assembled with aluminum bolts. All components are candidates for lightening up for fuel economy reasons. For manufacturing cost savings, vehicles are unitizing sub-assemblies that have no repair components, throw the sub assembly away and replace it. The EPAs around the world do not want older technology-vehicles on the road. Ideally they want no older than 5-7year vehicles on the road. They want clean a clean environment. Me too but I keep vehicles forever.
Synthetic oils were primarily developed for the closer tolerances that new engines have. Sure there are other reasons that have validity. Keep in mind, synthetics are not exempt from sludging issues. What I have seen in my shop over 32years, is a exponential increase in problems/failures related to slugging. This, I believe is caused by long intervals between oil services and the increase of engine components that require clean oil to function correctly (i.e., vanos units that control cam advancement, pollution control devices, etc.) The alloys utilized in new engines have lightened them but have also decreased their tolerance for issues like overheating, oil quality issues and in general, lack of maintenance.
As a Bosch service center, our training from Bosch, the manufacturer of the injection system have instructed us to change fuel filters ahead of the vehicle manufacturers recommendation for vehicles with direct injection(including gas). This is because of the high pressures of injection through the small orifices/pintel of the injectors. The smallest contaminate in the fuel will scar the injector. When looked at under a microscope, this scarring looks like the grand canyon. This affects the spray pattern and ability to seal properly. Fuel filters are inexpensive as compared to repairs required because of fuel quality issues.
Contrary to some vehicle owners opinions, a quality service center is not out to overcharge or suggest unethical repairs. We are committed to the proper repair for the longevity and safety of our clients and their vehicles.
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Old 08-24-2014, 11:56 PM   #27
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Agree 100%. 10k and 15k mile oil changes are driven by the marketing machine. The engineers just cringe. Anyone like RoadJager that works in the business has seen the coked up, crudded up engines that result from the ridiculously infrequent oil changes that are so popular with the manufacturers marketing departments these days. If you only intend to keep a vehicle while it's under factory warrantee, infrequent maintenance works great. If you want to keep it for the long haul, ignore those BS recommendations and maintain your vehicle. 7500 miles or 1 year, whichever comes first is what I'd recommend on oil changes. I actually do something more like 5k/6 months on my vehicles, but I readily admit that its overkill. I also add ZDDP (zinc) to oil in my older vehicles and recommend that for any vehicle that does not have a roller cam. My two cents.
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Old 09-18-2014, 04:43 PM   #28
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Since some of us have strong opinions about the pros and cons of long and short oil change intervals, thought I'd post this email I just received from my local dealer:

"At the beginning of 2013 Mercedes- Benz set all of the Sprinter Van’s Service intervals to 15,000 miles and then found that was much longer than they needed to be and asked that they be set back to 10,000 miles. Due to them changing it back to we reprogrammed your computer to read the 10,000 mile interval which is why you only have 9900 miles until the next service is completed."
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