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. That’s 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 can’t 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 it’s 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 won’t. Then you will be in the waiting room calling MB customer service and have an argument that the dealer won’t put in the correct oil. Their response will be if you don’t 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. It’s 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. It’s easy to change. If it’s blue you will be in trouble and I suspect this is what caused your 4x4 to fail. It’s supposed to be more efficient. It’s not. It’s 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.
 

Bobnoxious

Adeptus Trollarium
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 naïve 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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4wheeldog

2018 144" Tall Revel
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.
 

Bobnoxious

Adeptus Trollarium
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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4wheeldog

2018 144" Tall Revel
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.
 

Bobnoxious

Adeptus Trollarium
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.
 

asimba2

2016 4cyl High Roof 144
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.
 

Bobnoxious

Adeptus Trollarium
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.
 

John E

Member
I've already taken heat here for this and will take it again. I've bought into a lot of what TS has informed me. I'm now doing 5K mile oil changes, switched oil, and followed a ton of other tips. Ironically I joined here a long time ago to learn about sprinters, and refreshed myself when I bought my current sprinter. His advice was compelling enough for me to buy in. I understand others who want to follow manufacturer's recommendations. But what I don't see are legitimate rebuttals to TS's claims. All I really hear is "mine's been fine for XXX,XXX miles. TS has explained in great detail why, in his opinion, I should change my oil every 5K miles given my driving conditions. Nobody has given me any reason why I should ignore that advice and go the full 20K oil change interval. There are 100 other more poignant points. I'm not trying to offend or insult anyone here. I've always said that I'm here just to learn as much as I can about my sprinter. FWIW
 

Mike DZ

2016 View 24V (2015 3500)
...

Okay so I am coming up on the my service B. I found an article by Tom Stephens ... Tell your thoughts guys.
See my thoughts below the quotes in each area.

"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. That’s 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."

Yes, during regen I have seen my EGT around 1300 F - not the oil - but even during regen my water temps are only increased by 5 degree F. Oil temp is controlled by the coolant in the oil cooler. So, unlike the implication, your oil is not at 1600 F. The explanation confuses the difference between temperature and heat.

"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."

Yes, you can tell when its in regen by use of a Scangauge II. I agree that German engineers are conditioned by their upbringing with the autobahn and have a hard time truly understand US driving conditions. When I was stationed in Germany, most folks there thought the idea of cupholders in vehicles was crazy.

"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."

I have no data - I would assume the writer was indicating 6 turbos per vehicle - this sounds ludicrous on its face. The maintenance downtime to do 6 turbo swaps a year per vehicle across their entire Sprinter fleet would make it unsupportable in terms of asset availability for FEDEX.

"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."

Yes, idling our diesels is not a good idea - not because of blowby - but because at idle they do not generated enough heat to warm up the engine, running the engine cold for long periods creates soot and loads the DPF. The differential pressure measured before and after the DPF is reported to the ECU which then commands more regens.

"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."

I have never seen a military Sprinter on any of the US military bases that I have been to - I am a retiredvet of 22 years of service, and go on military bases about once a week. The US military tries to simplify maintenance requirements by standardization and I think military ancillary equipment like vans falls in the Buy America Act. Easy enough to check on European Sprinters, we have Trans Atlantic friends on the forum.

"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."

Deleting your EGR violates Federal law and, if comments on this forum are accurate, not necessary for a 2016. Earlier NCV3 Sprinters seem to have problem with EGR sticking, etc, but not so much for 2015 and 2016.


"You said your MPG is 12-13. That is very low ..."

Yes 12-13 MPG is low - you should start looking for the underlying problem ...

"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."

The EGR system is different than the adblue system - the first puts some exhaust back in the intake system, the second injects a urea solution into the exhaust system just before the catalytic converter. They both help reduce nitrous oxides, but in very different ways.

"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."

You might get a little bump in MPG from EGR delete - but not double. Also regens are driven by amount of soot loaded in the DPF. DEF is not fuel, DEF is a urea solution and does not go into the fuel tank.

"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."

Most RVs run stock and much less than 3-400K, as most owners aren't running the roads all year long.

"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."

Last time I checked, I had a plastic fuel tank in my 2015 - think your 2016 would be the same - ergo, no rust, no clogging, no marvel mystery, power magnets, etc

"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. ...

I don't go 20k, I go 10k based on oil testing for my vehicle, driving style, load, etc. Whether its MB or a guy on the internet, they are making a recommendation for OCI based on the data they have. In this case, I prefer to use my own data and make decisions for myself. I do use BEVO approved oil, as I don't have the wherewithal to do the extensive testing MB does on oil.

"For your differential and crankcase you must use the red lubricant. ..."

The previous paragraph stated you should use Amsoil in the crankcase, now this says use "red".

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

May not be a bad idea, some Sprinter owners do this. Shouldn't hurt, might help.

In short, most of what is stated as fact is not, but is a mix of loosely connected concepts linked with MB jargon. The general effect is that it sounds like it makes sense, but a little critical examination reveals the lack of cause and effect logic. Sorry if this sounds harsh, but after my military career I used to evaluate peoples' claims for a living. Maybe this doesn't hang together because of poor word choice or other writing problems on the author's part, but as constructed, it doesn't carry the water. Because of the lack of logic displayed, I would not suggest you follow any of the recommendations provided by the author.
 
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4wheeldog

2018 144" Tall Revel
I've already taken heat here for this and will take it again. I've bought into a lot of what TS has informed me. I'm now doing 5K mile oil changes, switched oil, and followed a ton of other tips. Ironically I joined here a long time ago to learn about sprinters, and refreshed myself when I bought my current sprinter. His advice was compelling enough for me to buy in. I understand others who want to follow manufacturer's recommendations. But what I don't see are legitimate rebuttals to TS's claims. All I really hear is "mine's been fine for XXX,XXX miles. TS has explained in great detail why, in his opinion, I should change my oil every 5K miles given my driving conditions. Nobody has given me any reason why I should ignore that advice and go the full 20K oil change interval. There are 100 other more poignant points. I'm not trying to offend or insult anyone here. I've always said that I'm here just to learn as much as I can about my sprinter. FWIW
Changing your oil more frequently than necessary won't hurt anything but your maintenance budget. Using unrecommended oil can cause expensive replacement of emissions gear, and possibly even create engine mechanical damage.
Stephens presents nothing more than his opinion, which is (Supposedly) based on his years in the business. Not engineering data or actual science. I read his site several years ago, and some of it was just wrong on its face.
If you don't examine hysteria on the internet with some critical thinking, you can get sucked down some truly strange wormholes.
 
Thank you for those sharing their experience and information. After reading the posts and feedback I am going to stick with the MB approved oil and I am not going to do any EGR or deletes. If something goes south it will be very hard to get any support.
I will go ahead and install a magnetic drain and change the oil every 5k. Following up I have some questions I know some of the experienced Sprinter owner's will have answers too.
- Mike DZ thank you for the scan gauge info. I will order one of these. I assume the way you can see the regen cycle is by monitoring the EGT?
- When using a scangauge II which is plugged into the OBII port has this caused any harm to the ECU?
- Bob Noxious. Thank you for the annotated comments. Is there a procedure to manually initiate a regen?
- I remember seeing oil change kits online which use MB oil and a MB oil filter. Instead of going to the dealer are there any online vendors you use for carrying out these oil changes yourself?

Thank you
 

Scampermobile

New member
So... lets add fuel to the fire here. There are plenty of rigs on the road that are operating in heavy duty conditions that don't change their oil. Yea, I said it, no oil changes. I have a 2006 Cummins and in the cummins forums adding an bypass filtration kit is rapidly gaining traction. Sending off oil samples at periodic intervals and then introducing the correct additives to the motor based on the sample. Flame on.

http://www.donsoil.com/gray.php
 

avanti

2014 GWV Legend 3500 I4
Changing your oil more frequently than necessary won't hurt anything but your maintenance budget. Using unrecommended oil can cause expensive replacement of emissions gear, and possibly even create engine mechanical damage.
Stephens presents nothing more than his opinion, which is (Supposedly) based on his years in the business. Not engineering data or actual science. I read his site several years ago, and some of it was just wrong on its face.
If you don't examine hysteria on the internet with some critical thinking, you can get sucked down some truly strange wormholes.
This is exactly right. The people who advocate needlessly-frequent oil changes are only hurting their followers' pocketbooks (plus some marginal damage to the environment). This Stevens guy advocates downright dangerous practices. Both positions are unsupported, but the latter is obviously much worse.
 

Bobnoxious

Adeptus Trollarium
More virtue signaling and irony. "You are polluting more than me."

Considering regular manufacturer recommended oil change intervals are likely the most neglected preventive maintenance procedure, I am confident, reduced oil change frequency comprise a very small group and, not anymore harmful to the environment then legions of overloaded diesel motorhomes puttering and sputtering about the nation or, 75,000 people driving to attend a sporting event.
 

4wheeldog

2018 144" Tall Revel
More virtue signaling and irony. "You are polluting more than me."

Considering regular manufacturer recommended oil change intervals are likely the most neglected preventive maintenance procedure, I am confident, reduced oil change frequency comprise a very small group and, not anymore harmful to the environment then legions of overloaded diesel motorhomes puttering and sputtering about the nation or, 75,000 people driving to attend a sporting event.
I would add that drain oil properly recycled is put back in service after reprocessing. So...Perhaps a little energy is wasted, but in the scheme of things, it really isn't a major drain on limited resources.
 

Mike DZ

2016 View 24V (2015 3500)
Thank you for those sharing their experience and information. After reading the posts and feedback I am going to stick with the MB approved oil and I am not going to do any EGR or deletes. If something goes south it will be very hard to get any support.
I will go ahead and install a magnetic drain and change the oil every 5k. Following up I have some questions I know some of the experienced Sprinter owner's will have answers too.

(see below)

Thank you
- Mike DZ thank you for the scan gauge info. I will order one of these. I assume the way you can see the regen cycle is by monitoring the EGT?

I monitor EGT, but some other folks use an XGauge - https://www.scangauge.com/mercedes/ that provides regen on/off indication.

- When using a scangauge II which is plugged into the OBII port has this caused any harm to the ECU?

It has not caused harm in my vehicle and I have not heard of damage reported in these forums.

- Bob Noxious. Thank you for the annotated comments. Is there a procedure to manually initiate a regen?

There is a procedure - but you need to have an advanced diagnostic computer (Xentry) to do so. I'll let Bob provide details.

- I remember seeing oil change kits online which use MB oil and a MB oil filter. Instead of going to the dealer are there any online vendors you use for carrying out these oil changes yourself?

I just buy BEVO approved oil where ever it is on sale - check your owners manual for the correct BEVO number - in my case 229.51 https://bevo.mercedes-benz.com/bevolisten/229.51_en.html and oil filter on the internet, using a Mann filter.

Or if you prefer, you can get a kit from https://europarts-sd.com/sprinter_engine_oil_transmission_oil.asp
 
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avanti

2014 GWV Legend 3500 I4
I would add that drain oil properly recycled is put back in service after reprocessing. So...Perhaps a little energy is wasted, but in the scheme of things, it really isn't a major drain on limited resources.
I did say "marginal damage".

That said, 200 million gallons of used oil is improperly disposed of each year.

https://archive.epa.gov/wastes/conserve/materials/usedoil/web/html/oil.html

Plus, the majority of the oil that is recycled is burned--something like 90%.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/can-oil-be-recycled/

So, it is not like it is a nice, clean closed system.
 

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