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View Full Version : Oil Type to use in 2003 Sprinter - Conflicting information?


sam1am
10-25-2013, 09:21 PM
I have a 2003 Sprinter with the OM612 engine that I'm trying to find oil for.

I should be using 0W-40 or 15W-40 that meets spec 229.3 or 229.5 according to this: http://www.piercehome.us/Sprinter/OilChange.pdf

But according to both the 229.3 and 229.5 spec on the MB website, there are no options for 15W-40 oil.
229.3 spec: http://bevo.mercedes-benz.com/bevolisten/229.3_en.html
229.5 spec: http://bevo.mercedes-benz.com/bevolisten/229.5_en.html

I see only 5W-40 on the MB spec sheets, not 15W-40. Can someone help clarify the discrepancy here?

Aqua Puttana
10-25-2013, 09:42 PM
I didn't go to the links that you provided.

I don't think that you will find many MB229.3 listed oils sold in North America which aren't also listed MB229.5 on the label. We just don't have many choices for MB229.3 over here.

The MB approved 15w-40 oils I see in the USA are listed MB228.3 here.

If your driving climate allows 15w-40 oil then there is nothing wrong with MB228.3 oil for a Sprinter.

Here's some additional comments. You can click the blue arrow in the quote box to get to the thread.

For light duty mb diesels like the sprinter you can use 229.5 spec oil. That is factory fill as mobil1 0W40. 229.5 is also specified for petrol engines.

You can also use 228.5 oils in mb diesels including heavy duty diesel engines. But you can't use 229.5 in heavy duty diesels.

This leads me to believe that 228.5 is generally better than 229.5 fwiw, but either is fine for the sprinter.


Not that my opinion should have any impact, but I agree. There is what I think is a rather large misconception that the higher number MB spec lubricants are better in all ways than their lower number predecessors. In the MB BEVO system just because it is a different formulation and a lower number does not automatically mean that it is an inferior product. It means that it is a different product. If it were not up to the task then they would not list it on BEVO.

Just my opinion in yet another oil thread. vic

vic

NelsonSprinter
10-25-2013, 11:29 PM
The first link had information available at the time in 2005.
Today MBenz recommends your oil FOR A SPRINTER VAN
be of either 0W30, 0W40, 5W30 or 5W40
as seen on the bottom "*#3" note of Bevo spec sheet 223.2 attached.

You may be ok to use 15W40 if you live in a climate like Florida, Mexico
but synthetic oil is better for your engine in the long run IMHO

sam1am
10-25-2013, 11:54 PM
The first link had information available at the time in 2005.
Today MBenz recommends your oil FOR A SPRINTER VAN
be of either 0W30, 0W40, 5W30 or 5W40
as seen on the bottom "*#3" note of Bevo spec sheet 223.2 attached.

You may be ok to use 15W40 if you live in a climate like Florida, Mexico
but synthetic oil is better for your engine in the long run IMHO

Are you sure that's the correct spec for an OM612 engine? I don't see it listed on there.

surlyoldbill
10-26-2013, 12:37 AM
Just get Mobil 1 0-40 european car formula and never worry if you are getting the "right" oil. It's not really worth saving $5-10 every 15,000 miles by trying cheaper oils that "might" meet work as well. 5-quart jugs at Walmart for $26.

sailquik
10-26-2013, 01:00 AM
SO Bill has it right.
The "most recommended" oil for your T1N Sprinter with the OM-612 5 cyl. inline 2.7 liter engine is Mobil 1 0W-40 European Car Formula and it meets MB Bevo 229.5.
The 0W-40 multi viscosity full synthetic oil will give you the widest range of ambient temperatures.
The more you move away from 0W-40, the more you compromise the cold start and nearly overheating up a grade protection for your engine.
Pretty much all the knowledgeable shops and private mechanics use this oil in T1N Sprinters pretty universally.
If you look at the MB Bevo List (Main) you can clearly see that Mobil 1 0W-40 European Car Formula meets or exceeds the
requirements for approval under BOTH 229.3 and 229.5.
Here's the link:
http://bevo.mercedes-benz.com/bevolistenmain.php?entercustomer=true&language_id=1
Select 229.3 and scroll down to see Mobil 1 0W-40.
Then select 229.5 and scroll down to see the same product is approved under 229.5.
I't's by far the best. I used it in my T1N, towing a heavy (4,500 lbs.) cargo trailer all over Texas and up through the Midwest
in the hotter part of the summer with no problems at all.
Since it's a multi-viscosity oil, it has additives (plasticizers actually) that make the oil thicker as the temperature increases.
It's also very thin when cold you you don't get the abnormal wear on things during cold start ups.
The Bevo 229.5 specification is simply an upgrade to the 229.3 specification.
Your Operator's manual has never had an upgrade to match.
Roger

NelsonSprinter
10-26-2013, 03:30 AM
Are you sure that's the correct spec for an OM612 engine? I don't see it listed on there.

I don't understand your question. Am I sure what spec is correct for a OM612?
You don't see what listed on where?

OM612 is listed on the Bevo oil Spec sheet 223.2 around line 12, and that 223.2 states which MB approval # is needed for each engine,
AND OM612 can use any of MB 228.3, or 228.5, 229.3, 229.31, 229.5, 229.51 or 229.52 approved oils ,
all with a .3) note

Aqua Puttana
10-26-2013, 03:40 AM
Oh crap. :doh: This is an oil thread. I was trying to answer the question.

This is a Fluids canned response
(Young people who only ever buy oil in plastic wonít appreciate the bold print.)

My goal is to refrain from Sprinter fluid discussion. (For me itís a goal which is not easily attained.) This has what I think is some practical information.

Of course the easiest answer as to proper fluids is to direct people to the Mercedes Benz BEVO site which is the official information for MB vehicle fluids. Personally I find that the site is often not easy to extract the information you seek. Another issue for NAFTA owners is that many of the products they list are just not readily available, or available at all, in North America.
Here is the English language official MB BEVO link.
http://bevo.mercedes-benz.com/index.php?language_id=1

The MB and Sprinter market in North America is fairly small. Because of that there may be many readily available products in North America which would pass the MB spec tests, but just are not submitted to MB. The return on investment for the approval process just may not be there for them. Just my thoughts, I have no data.

As to MB specs, there is what I think is a rather large misconception in that the higher number MB spec lubricants are better in all ways than their lower number predecessors. E.G. - MB228.XX oil as compared to MB229.XX oil for T1Nís. In the MB BEVO system just because it is a different formulation and a lower number does not automatically mean that it is a totally inferior product. It means that it is a different product. If it were not up to the task then they would not list it on BEVO for use in your vehicle.

Power Steering Fluid
The history of what is the PROPER power steering fluid in the Sprinter is long and ugly. The NAFTA 2003 Operator Manual mentions Mopar ATF+4. My 2004 Dodge manual lists MB 341.0 or synthetic ATF III. The BEVO list includes a number of MB 236.X suggestions as of this writing. Because so many different products have been listed over the years I say it must not make much difference as to what is actually used. One thread is here.
http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=23006
I have used Lucas Power Steering Stop Leak on my 2004 Sprinter with good results. It has now been over 40,000 miles since I added it. There are some comments and at least one additional Lucas user in this thread.
Clunk, Clunk. Ball Joint or Rack n Pinion?
http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?p=201461#post201461

Differential Fluid
I put the differential fluid in the same general perspective as power steering fluid. It is conventional so any good quality GL5 rated XX-90 weight gear oil is on my list ( not XX-140 although people do report using it.). Some members do recommend only synthetic products.

For those interested, MB dealers should have 90w Mobil Delvac in quarts $10/qt. range .

I kinda like this thread.
http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=19635

And this post. Although Dennis does not support my general view on diff fluid with his last comment. Fair enough.
http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?p=202828#post202828

General information for USA owners. Mobil Delvac is not commonly found in auto parts houses or big box stores.

Our local Camping World has Mobil Delvacô Synthetic Gear Oil 75W-90 on the shelves. It has MB235.8 on the label which is listed in BEVO as should be used for our Sprinter differentials. Price was 10 bucks and change per quart.

:2cents: vic

Engine Oil

Any oil which meets the MB spec and is in the correct viscosity range for your vehicle and operating conditions should be just fine. Either you believe the BEVO mantra or you don't. If the BEVO specs are to be trusted at all then brand preference is just that, brand preference.

This is probably a bit more critical especially if you are using the ASSYST information to extend oil changes. Sprinter diesel owners with a DPF should not stray from the MB 229.51 (Mobil 1 5w-40 Formula M ESP Emissions System Protection low ash formula meets the spec 229.51 and also 229.31). To use anything else risks fouling the DPF and possibly the EGR system = costing many dollar$$$.

Some (too many?) of my thoughts are here.
http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showpost.php?p=167080&postcount=171
If this information matters to anyone, for my 2004 OM647 Sprinter I have settled on using Mobil 1 0w-40 European Car Formula MB229.5 which I stockpile when on sale. I find it to be too expensive otherwise.

NAG1 Transmission
Perhaps the most critical of the fluids in my mind as to staying with MB BEVO spec fluid. (Aside from Low Ash engine oil if you have a DPF.) That said, for the T1N I believe either MB spec 236.12 or 236.14 is fine. The viscosity of the 236.14 is said to be a bit thinner. Either can be mixed without any problem. Valvoline Maxlife Dex/Merc ATF III technology (red container about $18/gallon jug) lists Mercedes NAG1 and mentions synthetic base stocks on the label (semi-synthetic?), but not a MB spec number. In my opinion it probably will work fine if you're looking for something more readily available or for top off.

(I did experience cold temperature shudder until after warm-up when I tried the MaxLife. That said, it didnít go away completely when I refilled with MB236.14 spec fluid.)

Edit: I have since completely drained the TC and pan to replace the Maxlife drain pan only fill. I then used Shell 134 MB236.14 approved fluid. The shudder in cold weather at first stop signs is less, but definitely still there. I noticed no shudder once we were down in warm Florida on vacation. Doktor A recently mentioned that a pan drain only in response to shudder is a waste of money. A complete TC and pan drain is required. My pan drain only and MaxLife refill may not have been a fair test. FWIW.

Some info is here.
http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5027

Shell 134 is available at good price from local industrial lubricant distributors as compared to any automotive or big box store price. It meets MB236.14 spec so it is fully approved for the Sprinter NAG1 transmission.

Do with this information what you will. Be careful with engine oil and transmission fluid. I don't think choosing a good quality fluid will result in Sprinter power steering system/differential life or death even absent a MB spec rating, but others may do disagree. Vic

Hereís a nice reference posted by Boater. http://www.febi.com/fileadmin/user_upload/febi/england/downloads/febi_fluids_brochure_GB.pdf

surlyoldbill
10-26-2013, 06:55 AM
OIL!
OMG, I HAVE SO MANY THINGS TO SAY, AND SO MANY LINKS TO POST! :lol:

:dripsarcasm::dripsarcasm::dripsarcasm:

let the posts trying to justify non-spec or lower quality (slightly lower price) oils begin. :popcorn:

Aqua Puttana
10-26-2013, 03:08 PM
...
let the posts trying to justify non-spec or lower quality (slightly lower price) oils begin. :popcorn:
Even as cheap as I can be the Mobil One Euro Formula MB229.5 in the 5 quart jug is a good enough price that I buy it because I need the lower viscosity for my operating climate.

That said, if 15w-40 oil would fit my operating climate I'd go with the less expensive MB228.3 oil in a heartbeat. Ciprian runs MB228.3 and last I heard he has over 530,000 miles on his original drive train. (knocking/touching wood for him as I post this.)

I agree. Gotta love oil threads.

There's a newer formula Koolaid out now. vic

55253

sam1am
10-26-2013, 08:55 PM
Okay I saw the 0w40 oil at pep boys so I will go with that. Still not sure I understand why the manual calls for 15w40 but only 5w40 oils are approved on the spec sheet. Sounds like 0w40 is a safe bet though.