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Old 08-08-2018, 10:18 PM   #21
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You have to “ Let it go with the Black vs Golden clean oil look” The tremendous direct injection pressures does get by the compression and oil rings. The by product of combustion is black carbon. The Oil is doing its job and removing the carbon. It is held in suspension and Diesel Oil has vey high TBN ( Total Base Numbers) to combat the acidic mess. That said I do not blame you one bit for feeling uncomfortable not liking the black and for changing early. Did you know that if you run 5000k miles on a Gas engine and the oil looks golden clean it is bad oil not doing its job. Quality regular or synthetic oil holds the carbon in suspension. Your engine parts are clean and protected however the oil should get dark or black. Bad oil lets your engine internal parts build up with carbon and sludge and it stays a purdy golden clean . A Diesel is a different beast go off your engine hours and the mileage.
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Old 08-09-2018, 07:17 AM   #22
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I was at the MB dealership last week and they had a pamphlet on the diesels saying that oil should be changed every 15000km which is around 9300 miles. First time I've seen this. So I think they are changing their minds on the intervals. But I have been doing mine at this interval.
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Old 08-09-2018, 10:37 AM   #23
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I definitely recommend changing oil on diesels at or below 5,000 miles, and I do not recommend the popular synthetics. I had diesel engines in trucks since 1984 up to and including a 2002 F350 7.3 turbo diesel. I was an Amsoil dealer and went as much as 20,000 miles betrween oil changes, only changing out the filter every 5K. At every filter change and every oil change, I sent an oil sample to Blackstone for analysis. On 2 of my diesel engines, the iron count went balistic right at 100,000 miles. The first engine was a 96 7.3 and I sold the truck to buy the 2002. When the 2002 hit 102,000 miles, again the iron was way high. I changed oil to Chevron dino and the iron went back down to livable ranges. I kept that truck and sold it at 189,000 miles with no other problems.

I highly recommend you go on bobistheoilguy.com and learn all about engine oils, and also find out that extended oil changes with synthetics isn't such a good idea.
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Old 08-09-2018, 11:05 AM   #24
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... and also find out that extended oil changes with synthetics isn't such a good idea.
First of all, the manufacturer's requirement is for a synthetic oil. Downgrading to a lower spec oil would be a bad idea. And let's not get started on Amsoil.

Secondly, there has been no talk of running extended oil change intervals. The intervals under discussion are the manufacturer's recommendations. Doubling them, as an example, would be extending the oil change interval.

When I change my oil at 20,000 km, that is early given the on-board monitoring (including a sensor that tracks the condition of the additive package) that typically recommends 26,000 km on a base line of 24,000 km (my driving supports longer intervals, up to 26,000-27,000 km, due to more highway use, etc). When I change it early like that it is due to the filter and elapsed time; if I am doing the filter I will change the oil at the same time.

You also need to consider sump capacity. With large diesels, the only way the manufacturer supported extending oil changes apart from a rigorous oil sampling program, was with increased sump capacity. For the same engine, doubling the sump capacity doubles the oil change interval, as there is more oil to keep contaminants in suspension. My 3.0 litre gasoline engine takes 9 litres of oil.

It sounds like you would term a 20,000 km oil change "extended". You can't use 1984 engine and oil technology as a basis for current recommendations. Apart from the changes in oil specification, modern engines are so much cleaner that there are fewer byproducts of combustion working to break down the oil.
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Old 08-09-2018, 12:05 PM   #25
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Despite MB recommended 10,000 mile oil change interval on my 2007 ML320 CDI, I have changed every 5,000 miles. When new, MB put in Mobil 1. At the local Scottsdale MB dealer they switched to an unknown oil with Penske branding. I go elsewhere and use German oil designed for diesels plus a MB filter.
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Old 08-09-2018, 12:06 PM   #26
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Despite MB recommended 10,000 mile oil change interval on my 2007 ML320 CDI, I have changed every 5,000 miles. When new, MB put in Mobil 1. At the local Scottsdale MB dealer they switched to an unknown oil with Penske branding. I go elsewhere and use German oil designed for diesels plus a MB filter.

Having a memory backfire on the brand at this minute
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Old 08-09-2018, 12:46 PM   #27
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It is worth being cautious about using "German" oil in European vehicles. For years, enthusiasts promoted "German Castrol" over US blends of Castrol. What BMW found when the vehicles were in service was that the fuels were different in between the US and Europe and the oils stood up differently based on what fuel was being used. The engines were identical in both markets, it wasn't due to different pollution controls, but it took some time to figure that out. Engines with published oil change intervals that were designed to use the Euro oil blends were experiencing higher incidences of failure in North America. The solution that BMW arrived at was to pull the recommendation to use a Euro oil spec in North America, unless oil change intervals were significantly reduced. I've got the BMW technical service bulletin on that, it relates to oils using the LL04 spec, which is still used in Europe. They went back to an earlier LL spec. BMW still allowed use of LL04 oils in North America, but only in diesels, not gasoline engines. Then they found that their North American diesels were not doing well with published oil change intervals (in the early E70 X5 models) and reduced them. The gasoline engines stayed at the longer intervals. The 15,000 mile/24,000 km interval stood for gas engines (as a baseline, which moved up or down based on driving conditions) but the diesels went down to around 11,000 miles IIRC.

There are lots of good oils in both Europe and North America, it is just worth knowing that oils are blended with an expectation of certain fuel characteristics, and not using that same fuel can have negative results.
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Old 08-09-2018, 02:12 PM   #28
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JCL - that is good info. Thanks for sharing. The fuel quality issue in North America is another reason Mercedes does not recommend use of 20% bio-diesel.
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Old 08-09-2018, 02:18 PM   #29
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JCL - that is good info. Thanks for sharing. The fuel quality issue in North America is another reason Mercedes does not recommend use of 20% bio-diesel.
Thanks for posting this. That was also on the pamphlet at the MB dealer. Nothing higher than 10%. Next time I'm at the dealer I will grab the pamphlet and post a picture of it.
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Old 08-09-2018, 02:23 PM   #30
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Old 08-09-2018, 03:05 PM   #31
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I found the information that I use German Liqui Moly 4605 oil in our two 3.0L V6 Diesel engines - 2009 E320 CDI & 2007 ML320 CDI.
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Old 08-09-2018, 03:29 PM   #32
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I found the information that I use German Liqui Moly 4605 oil in our two 3.0L V6 Diesel engines - 2009 E320 CDI & 2007 ML320 CDI.
That is an example of a Euro spec oil that isn't always the right one to use with North American fuels. It claims to meet the BMW LL04 (Long Life) spec, which means that it has low sulphated ash. That makes it work with diesels with modern pollution controls, but that same formulation caused engine failures in gasoline vehicles in North America, due to oil breakdown accelerated by the combination of the additive package and our use of ethanol in fuels. It caused BMW to revoke approval for it as a certification, when used in spark ignited engines outside of the EU.

Despite that, it is being listed on line as suitable for gasoline and diesel engines, and appears to make that claim on the label.

I wouldn't worry about using it in a diesel, I just wouldn't put it in a spark ignited engine, no matter what Liqui Moly claim. If I had to use it in a spark ignited engine, I would greatly reduce the oil change interval to change it out before it broke down.
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Old 08-15-2018, 09:58 AM   #33
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- will use my Sterilite 15 or 20 qt. plastic storage containers to catch the oil.
Thats what i use. Just have to be careful emptying it. Heavy when full.
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Old 08-15-2018, 11:37 AM   #34
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I just came across this website a few days back http://www.stephensservice.com/bluet...ssuesproblems/

He talks specifically about problems created with the MB Bluetec by using the wrong oil and by following the MB oil change schedule. From what I recall he is saying the high heat produced during the DPF regen requires an oil with a low NOACK rating to prevent oil vapourization during regen. It was an interesting read and the guy claims years of experience as an MB tech and Service Director, but I don't own a Bluetec and can't verify what he is saying. It's probably worth reading and making up your own mind.
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Old 08-15-2018, 12:47 PM   #35
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Cheaper in the Long Run to change oil at 5,000 miles

I have a 2006 Dodge 2500 diesel. Oil and filter recommended change is 5,000 miles or 3,000 miles if pulling trailers. I use Delco (Chevron product) oil, which is what most semi-trucks use. Dodge uses 12 quarts and Ford uses 15 quarts. Recommend you change the oil yourself at cost $35 for the oil at COSTCO and $20 for the filer from the dealer. Change the fuel filter often too. Book says 25,000 miles, but dealers recommend every 10,000 miles for fuel filter changes.

With the price of trucks and the added expense of a diesel engine, it is cheaper to change the oil every 5,000 miles rather than repairs; and, it makes the engine last longer, unless you have money to burn.

Good driving with your diesel truck.
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Old 08-15-2018, 02:23 PM   #36
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When I got my AI, I took it to service in a high-end neighborhood. They changed the oil (warning had come on) and said they should be replaced once a year. The next year the closer, working-town neighborhood dealer got certified for sprinters. So I made an appointment for an oil change there. When I got there, the service rep said no, that the oil change should only be done when the indicator came on! Was surprised that he would turn down business this way.
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Old 08-15-2018, 02:38 PM   #37
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I have the 3.0/Mercedes turbo diesel and I do highly recommend 5-6000 oil changes.
That turbo can really cook your oil; of course a professional oil analysis is also great to have.
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Old 08-15-2018, 02:56 PM   #38
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oil analysis

A diesel creates soot, which is held in suspension by the oil. (which is why you must use a diesel rated oil and not one intended for gasoline engine) So you oil will turn black almost immediately. Extensive oil testing on the VW diesel engines shows that the 10k OEM interval is quite conservative and many extended their intervals particularly if it's mostly highway miles. The MB filter looks VERY much like the VW filter and makes me wonder who makes the engines for MB. So I would go to 15k take an analysis and decide from there whether to drop back to 10k, stay at 15k or take it up to 20k or maybe even beyond. Oils can do a whole lot better job than they could a decade ago, and offhand I see no reason why if the OEM says 20k why that would be excessive. If nothing else an oil analysis or two would quickly show you if that's reasonable.
check out TDICLUB.COM for more information and experience including our in-house oil guru.
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Old 08-15-2018, 03:29 PM   #39
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I have a 2006 Dodge 2500 diesel. Oil and filter recommended change is 5,000 miles or 3,000 miles if pulling trailers. I use Delco (Chevron product) oil, which is what most semi-trucks use...Change the fuel filter often too. Book says 25,000 miles, but dealers recommend every 10,000 miles for fuel filter changes.

With the price of trucks and the added expense of a diesel engine, it is cheaper to change the oil every 5,000 miles rather than repairs; and, it makes the engine last longer, unless you have money to burn.
My reference says that the 2006 RAM has a recommended oil change interval of 15,000/7,500 miles, not 5,000/3000. You are at either 3 times or 5 times the recommended interval. That is a lot of extra money to burn.

The same reference says the recommendation for fuel filter is 15,000 miles, not 25,000.

Suspect you mean Delo, not Delco (Chevron, not GM). Delo is a brand, not a spec. There are many different Delo oils. I worked in a Chevron distributor, and liked Delo, but you need to use the one that meets the spec for the engine under discussions.

Other things being equal, you need to change the oil more frequently on an older engine design like yours, which doesn't burn as cleanly, and thus contaminates the oil more quickly. RAM went from 6000/3000 (severe service), to 7500/3750, to 15,000/7500, to 15,000 for all duty cycles, as they developed cleaner engines over the years. The MB engine under discussion in this thread is most similar to the latest Cummins in terms of technology. And if it has a larger oil sump relative to the engine displacement, then the recommended interval could be very similar to the Cummins one.
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Old 08-15-2018, 04:47 PM   #40
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All this discussion of oil sampling and oil quality, so I was surprised not to see any mention of the onboard oil sensor.

Perhaps Mercedes left it off the Sprinter? It has been on other Mercedes models for over 10 years now. Looking at the Sprinter parts manual, though, it appears very similar.

The sensor in the sump users two capacitance sensors to monitor oil level, oil temperature, and oil quality. The quality indicator is related to the amount of the oil additive package remaining, and the presence of water in the oil. The sensor is an input to the engine control module, and so will be reflected in the recommendation on when to change oil.

The following link is a PDF of a Mercedes technical document from 2006.

Oil Sensor - How it Works


I had a very similar sensor in my 2007 BMW.
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