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Old 07-11-2019, 07:00 PM   #1
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Default Oil. Is this the real deal or ?? Major bullet points and concerns

Re-post. Unfortunately we have a person here who's main purpose is to troll.

Okay so I am coming up on the my service B. I found an article by Tom Stephens about how the oil in the OM642 engines is wrong and a multitude of things and these engines are prone to failure. My trouble is I have a good friend with 4 sprinters. 2 Worker's and two cargo (1 4x4 heavy duty). He has almost 190k on each. No issues and he had freightliner doing the service at the service intervals. Used only shell diesel. I spoke to Tom and he knows his stuff and is extremely knowledgeable. He sent me more tech docs (in fact I put them into a single 326 page PDF) where he annotated everything. The info is alarming. Here are some bullet points. Tell your thoughts guys.

The turbo runs very hot in your sprinter. Your sprinter does what is called a regeneration process. This process raises the exhaust gas temperature to 1600F. Thatís right 1600F as oil is running through the motor. This breaks down the oil and turns it into sludge. This sludge gets into the turbo inlet ports and into the EGR system. Then you get blow by over the piston rings.

∑ You never know when the sprinter is it's DPF regeneration cycle. If you do a lot of stop and go which sounds like you do one of the worst things you can do is stop the regeneration process by shutting the vehicle down. The sprinter was designed for long hauls.

∑ The turbo is prone to failure and the only way FedEx was able to keeps theirs running was through a special deal they had in place for warranty with Mercedes. FedEx was going through about 6 turbos a year.

∑ Idling any diesel is also not good because you are not placing enough cylinder pressure in the blocks and you are creating blow by. This is a reason emergency vehicles had many issues because they would allow the vans to idle for long periods of time.

∑ Sprinters in Europe and military spec units have special water-cooled turbos and intercoolers. They never fail but you cannot get anything for civilian use.

∑ Since you have a 2016 your turbo is a heavy duty turbo by garrett and you can make it last by following the advice on oil change intervals, type of oil and the EGR delete.

∑ The fuel system and EGR system are some of the fatal flaws but can be fixed easily if you follow what I am telling you.

∑ In cold climate such as the Northeast you will have a lot of issues to come. It takes a full hour for the entire systems to warm up and the oxymoron is you canít idle it. You have to start and go and keep going!

∑ You said your MPG is 12-13. That is very low and there are a few ways to fix it. You said you are going to the MB dealer for a passenger air bag replacement. Tell them about your low fuel economy and the occasional odd rumbling start where you shut down the van and restart. This addressed in the latest ECU update. You may get push back but keep insisting and tell them to put on the work order they refuse to update the ecu software on the work order. If they said they updated tell them to put what version you had and what itís been updated too.

∑ Next to really bump your fuel economy and if you want no issues in the winter you must bypass the EGR emission control system. This is done by deleting the add blue system from the ECU. It is undetectable by the dealer and can be reversed easily however if you want it to work you will need to use an EGR delete kit. After this is done you will get the most MPG from your sprinter (close to 20-25MPG) and the system will never need to go through the regeneration process. You will not have to add def fuel ever again. The EGR delete blocks the EGR valve and you will not smell diesel exhaust and you will have no contamination of the emission control system. This is how RV sprinter owners keep their sprinters running for 3 to 400K! You also notice better engine performance, response because the turbo is running at peak efficiency.

∑ Diesel fuel can have water in it and what happens is this causes rust in the fuel tank. This rust releases metal particles that travel through the fuel lines, the fuel pump and clog the system. This is not covered any warranty and you should have a special provision in your insurance for it because it will total the sprinter. In order to avoid this you put 1 quart of marvel mystery to each tank of fuel and this stops the problem. Placing power magnets on the tank, the lines and fuel pump will ensure the metal rust pieces never clog the system. As diesel is stored in a tank on a hot day it is the condensation that build up and contaminates the fuel.

∑ You never go to 20K service intervals. You must use Amsoil 20/50 in the summer and then Amsoil 0/40 in the winter. In the summer every 5k change the oil and in the winter especially with stop and go change the oil every 3k. The Amsoil meets the correct API and ACEA specs. The Mobil ESP is only approved for gas engines and yet the dealer uses it. In the manual it states API and ACEA must by on the bottle. Ask MB to show you the label, they wonít. Then you will be in the waiting room calling MB customer service and have an argument that the dealer wonít put in the correct oil. Their response will be if you donít use what the dealer is telling you the warranty will be voided and if you are out of warranty, they will tell you to go somewhere else. Itís sickening but this is the automotive business. The incorrect oil and intervals being stretched is the number one failure of these engines.

∑ For your differential and crankcase you must use the red lubricant. Itís easy to change. If itís blue you will be in trouble and I suspect this is what caused your 4x4 to fail. Itís supposed to be more efficient. Itís not. Itís all EPA baloney and you are defeating the purpose of the oil which is to lubricate the system! Change the diff oil and I guarantee you will never have any issues with diff or crankcase.

∑ Use magnetic drain plugs period. If any metal particles happen to get into the system they stick to the plugs.

∑ Change your air filter! I have provided a true maint. Interval for your van.

∑ Since you have only 36k on the van you can reverse any piston issues and build up by flushing with the marvel mystery.
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Old 07-11-2019, 07:26 PM   #2
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Default Re: Oil. Is this the real deal or ?? Major bullet points and concerns

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Originally Posted by joedreamliner787 View Post
It's okay. Orion probally didn't get any attention when he was a kid. I took a look at his posts and it's evident he is a fire started.

On a side note thank you for sharing your info. May I ask what oil do you use? I don't want to use dealer oil because I know that dealers just get whatever drums then can at the lowest cost. I will be changing the oil, fuel filter and everything myself and will stick with a 5k mile interval.
All my pleasure to help. My particular oil change interval "preventive" maintenance regimen has been subject to harsh criticism among a certain cadre of forum members. Particularly, all knowing engineers.

I operate my Sprinter less than 500 miles annually, exercising it weekly. It's intend use is a Bug Out vehicle for the fast approaching Zombie Apocalypse. Go ahead, laugh all you want, just wait and see what happens when the feds crack down and dry up the meth supply or decriminalize its use. Either way, it's going to be bad. Or, how about shopping while "white"'at Walgreens and become a hapless flash mob victim.

My apologies, I digress. I change my oil annually. Excessive? Probably, but why would one care, it's my money, Sprinter and I recycle responsibly. I use Mobil One but will transition to MB brand next change.

The 20,000 miles oil change interval is advertising hyperbole targeting fleet customers and naÔve lease consumers, and judging from responses on this forum very effective deceptive advertising, alarmingly has duped many. What could be more appealing than a vehicle that doesn't require an oil change for 20,000 miles or during lease period?

20,000 mile OCI's maybe possible under IDEAL conditions. For example, lightly loaded, all highway operation, conservative driving habits, and minimal warm-up cycles.

Oh yeah, almost forgot, once upon a time, Mercedes Benz touted the "Sealed for life" transmission, never requiring fluid changes? How'd that play out? Then there was the maritime engineering marvel, Titanic, engineers proudly and triumphantly proclaimed, "Unsinkable." And, last but not least, Space shuttle, Challenger. Clearly, the evidence abundantly supports engineers are not always correct. Where I grew-up, we called "engineers" serial killers.

A few Mercedes documents to consider.
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Old 07-11-2019, 07:34 PM   #3
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Default Re: Oil. Is this the real deal or ?? Major bullet points and concerns

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Old 07-11-2019, 07:44 PM   #4
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Default Re: Oil. Is this the real deal or ?? Major bullet points and concerns

Sorry, forgot, if I were to travel, the absolute maximum mileage I would go between oil changes is 7,500, and may be even 10,000 miles but never beyond.

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Old 07-11-2019, 10:54 PM   #5
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Default Re: Oil. Is this the real deal or ?? Major bullet points and concerns

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Sorry, forgot, if I were to travel, the absolute maximum mileage I would go between oil changes is 7,500, and may be even 10,000 miles but never beyond.
I now have 20k miles on my year old van. The oil has been changed 3 times.
Since I mostly drive long distances, mostly at 65mph, (Interspersed with occasional use on dirt/gravel roads) I think I am coming around to 10k intervals. But I will only use the MB approved oil. Why so many folks find Mr. Stephen's unsubstantiated advise so attractive is beyond my ken.
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Old 07-11-2019, 11:41 PM   #6
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Default Re: Oil. Is this the real deal or ?? Major bullet points and concerns

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I now have 20k miles on my year old van. The oil has been changed 3 times.
Since I mostly drive long distances, mostly at 65mph, (Interspersed with occasional use on dirt/gravel roads) I think I am coming around to 10k intervals. But I will only use the MB approved oil. Why so many folks find Mr. Stephen's unsubstantiated advise so attractive is beyond my ken.
I could see 10k in your operational envelope, and on occasion mine as well. I'm a good soldier, always flexible. One does what he feels comfortable.

I wouldn't dispel everything Stephen's. For example, he mentioned once that Mercedes-Benz is in the business of selling automobiles and it would be counterproductive to make vehicles last 20 years. Mercedes-Benz had built a reputation on building reliable automobiles that lasted a long-time. This may have been a successful business model but just not optimal for generating revenue.

It doesn't take a member of MENSA or a college graduate to figure-out that if you want to sell a product, sell something "CONSUMERS" use, and use up. CMSUMBLES. In the case of Mercedes-Benz "Durability" no longer became paramount. Planned Obsolescence reigns.

A generational executive turnover resulted in a new, more optimal revenue generating model by increasing the frequency of vehicle ownership. The quality necessary to produce long lasting vehicles is obsolete. Technology is changing so rapidly that today's models are next year's gross polluter's. Increase automobile sales by seducing and stimulating consumers with new car aromas and better electronic wizardry and lure of 20,000 service intervals. Provide easy financing and leasing. Steer potential consumers away from expensive repairs and toward easy to purchase new automobiles. Keep shareholders happy, CEO stay CEO long-time.

Same thing is happening in real estate development. Obsolete Business model, Norm's Restaurant occupies an entire corner. Limited revenue. New business model. Replace Restaurant with multi-level retail space with multiple-level underground parking. Norm's reoccupies a portion. Optimum revenue.
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Old 08-06-2019, 09:06 PM   #7
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Default Re: Oil. Is this the real deal or ?? Major bullet points and concerns

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A few Mercedes documents to consider.
Hi Bob,

I've been reading this thread to get the counter-arguments against Tom Stephens' advice. First off, thank you for providing your views on this. It's all useful information. What I'm struck by most is that first image you attached from the owners manual. Thank you for posting this. It makes three things clear:

1) If you idle a lot or do a lot of city driving (stop-go, short trips), you need to change your oil as often as every 3,100 miles due to fuel accretion into the engine oil. MB even has an error code to indicate high engine oil levels (HI) due to fuel accretion. That's it. Straight from MB. Anyone arguing against this overall truth is wrong. Period.

2) If you idle a lot or do a lot of city driving (stop-go, short trips) you will interrupt the proper functioning of the DPF. That's it. Straight from MB. Anyone arguing against this overall truth is wrong. Period.

With those established as truth, regardless of any blog post or comment by anyone in this or any other message board, we can then debate the solutions. You settled those points once and for all with that image from the manual. Thank you!

Others should accept them as truth, or at least realize they'll be contradicting their own owner's manual if they argue against them.

Now, regarding Tom Stephens. After reading the latest version of his web page, and calling and speaking to him for 1.5 hours, here is what I have concluded.

1) Tom is essentially saying the exact same things as stated in (1) and (2) above.

2) He goes further and says that not only do you need to change the oil more often, but you can take steps to reduce fuel accretion into the engine oil (higher viscosity oil), and you can take steps to reduce the damage that DPF interruption causes (catch tanks/EGR valve delete).

3) All of his suggestions are potential violations of the vehicles warranty if handled improperly, but not definite violations insofar as using different oils is concerned. See my next post below for the truth -- from the MB manual itself, on that. Some of his suggestions might be dated and if followed could damage a newer vehicle. Any person following them does so at their own risk.

Regarding the arguments for/against the two big ones, here's my take on those:

1) Fuel accretion into the engine oil. This problem is real, as MB tells us in the owner's manual. It's logical that the use of higher viscosity oil would result in a tighter seal on each combustion stroke (thin oil, thin seal, thick oil, thick seal). It's also logical that a better seal means less fuel accretion into the engine oil. Is it certain? Not that I've seen, but it sure is logical, and this idea isn't being discussed in a vacuum. It's being discussed in an environment of the established (1) and (2) issues, and with many people dealing with emissions system problems. Will it also void the warranty? Possibly, especially if you tell MB your'e doing it, because they may not trust that you're following their guidelines (see post below). But it should not if you stay within their guidelines. Will it result in other unforeseen damage? Not clear. I have no proof of any damage, but I do know at least one person who has been doing this for 2 years with no issues. That's not enough data though. Just a single anecdote.

Also, you'll note that MB is indeed using a low viscosity oil (Mobil 1), in part to keep fuel economy maximized. Mobil 1 touts those properties right on their website. I see plenty of arguments against using any oil besides MB's recommended Mobil 1 ESP (for newer sprinters), but that doesn't mean Tom is wrong about the advantages of high viscosity oil when you know you're going to idle a lot or do short trips in reasonable weather. It also doesn't mean you can't use other oils and still be within warranty (see post below). Tom was the first to tell me on the phone you can't apply one oil solution to all seasons and all driving conditions though.

2) The other steps he suggests are more drastic, but largely targeted at those who have already done some engine damage, are now in a downward spiral of continual emission systems replacements, or who have newer vehicles but plan to do a LOT of idling or stop-go/short trips. EGR delete/catch tank can be done by anyone, and there is again a logical reason to think this may help. It's designed to prevent unspent fuel mixed with soot (essentially exhaust) from being routed back into the the turbo. MB has to route it back in because they can't vent it into the atmosphere, per EPA. A catch tank just catches it, and makes about a dixie cup of sludge you drain every 2000-4000 miles, which would otherwise be routed back into the turbo. But again, it surely voids the warranty, so not for everyone, possibly not for anyone.

3) I have nothing but gratitude for all of the counter-arguments against Tom's advice. It's all good information to have. (Some of the snarky name calling by other members on this and other related threads, not so much). But for the real advice and counter arguments, and in particular for your posting of the image in the manual -- thank you Bob!

And finally this: for most people, it's wise to stick with the manual.

Cheers.

Mark

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Old 07-11-2019, 07:37 PM   #8
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Default Re: Oil. Is this the real deal or ?? Major bullet points and concerns

Oh boy. Another Stephen’s oil post.
As you noted, plenty of people run for a long ways on MB certified oil.
Lots of reasons why you shouldn’t run anything else.
Be careful of self certified “Experts” on the internet.
That goes double for Mr. Stephens.
But it is your van. And only you will suffer the consequences for ignoring MB’s doctrine.
So use whatever you think is best. Personally, I will use what the manufacturer recommends.
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Old 07-12-2019, 12:06 AM   #9
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Default Re: Oil. Is this the real deal or ?? Major bullet points and concerns

Mercedes-Benz seems to still offer good powertrain engineering, on their diesels anyway. (I'm talking engine and transmissions, not EPA-mandated emissions components.) Compared to say BMW (and Mini), whose engines are filled with plastic parts in critical places. So far I'm not really seeing that on the diesel MBs.

I'm changing my oil tomorrow for the second time in 20,000 miles. 10k seems like a good interval for the way I use my van.
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Old 07-12-2019, 12:14 AM   #10
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Default Re: Oil. Is this the real deal or ?? Major bullet points and concerns

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Mercedes-Benz seems to still offer good powertrain engineering, on their diesels anyway. (I'm talking engine and transmissions, not EPA-mandated emissions components.) Compared to say BMW (and Mini), whose engines are filled with plastic parts in critical places. So far I'm not really seeing that on the diesel MBs.

I'm changing my oil tomorrow for the second time in 20,000 miles. 10k seems like a good interval for the way I use my van.
Yes, I have to confess, the powertrain are nicely engineered. Hopefully they can get the emissions ironed out. It's been 9-years.
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