Oil. Is this the real deal or ?? Major bullet points and concerns

lindenengineering

Well-known member
Just to add a tail piece on this.
Servicing procedures in our shop generate about 3000 gallons of waste oil per annum.

Having two waste oil burning heaters for both shops we consumes about 2500 gallons of waste oil drains on average over the past ten years.

This last year was very mild by earlier comparisons and we have 835 gallons in excess which we have paid to have disposed of by the methods described in the EPA notelet posted.

If climate change is permanent (which I expect) our forecast is likely to reduce our waste oil heating demands and we will be recycling more waste oil.
To date we have not charged for waste oil tariffs at point of service for customers but we are about to introduce an EPA customary waste oil disposal fee to all serving tasks due to the extreme reduction on our shop heating demands due to climatic trends.
Dennis
 
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Bobnoxious

GONE FISHING
...so, it is not like it is a nice, clean closed system.
Curious, are there any examples of a "Nice, clean closed" manmade system? I am challenged to provide one?

Drive thru's, school Buses and disposal diapers are certainly superfluous and cause environmental harm.

People idling cars while waiting in drive thru's for lattes, herds of obese children being hauled to school when walking is healthier, less expensive and polluting. Curious, the volume of disposable diapers in the waste stream?

Ban drive thru's, school buses and disposable diapers NOW!!!
 
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Bobnoxious

GONE FISHING
Just to add a tail piece on this.
Servicing procedures in our shop generate about 3000 gallons of waste oil per annum.

Having two waste oil burning heaters for both shops we consumes about 2500 gallons of waste oil drains on average over the past ten years.

This last year was very mild by earlier comparisons and we have 835 gallons in excess which we have paid to have disposed of by the methods described in the EPA notelet posted.

If climate change is permanent (which I expect) our forecast is likely to reduce our waste oil heating demands and we will be recycling more waste oil.
To date we have not charged for waste oil tariffs at point of service for customers but we are about to introduce an EPA customary waste oil disposal fee to all serving tasks due to the extreme reduction on our shop heating demands due to climatic trends.
Dennis
Tail piece? What, like you are the final authority?
 

Bobnoxious

GONE FISHING
- Bob Noxious. Thank you for the annotated comments. Is there a procedure to manually initiate a regen?
A bi-directional scanner is required. Keep in mind, manual regenerations are not intended as a default miracle cure. One member posted he intended to regenerate to clean his sensors. Not sure if this is possible???

Prerequisites are required prior to performing regenerations. See WIS for details.
 
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mgladden2

Member
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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mgladden2

Member
Supplement to the above post regarding Tom Stephens: the 2019 Sprinter Owner's Manual page 330. Note that Mobil 1 isn't even mentioned, and that they provide guidelines only for the types of oil, and the temperature ranges you want to operate under when using different viscosity oils (see attached).

It's page 330 in the manual, which can be found here: https://www.mbvans.com/sprinter/owners-resources/owner-manuals

Text:

The containers of the various engine oils are marked with the ACEA (Association of European Automotive Manufacturers) and/or API (America Petroleum Institute) classifications. Only use approved engine oils that correspond to the MB Specifications for operating fluids and the prescribed ACEA and/or API classifications named below. Engine oils of other grades are not permissible and can result in the loss of the New Vehicle Limited Warranty. The use of other engine oils not approved for diesel engines can damage the diesel particulate filter (DPF).

Diesel engines MB-Freigabe orMBApproval
OM642/OM651 228.51, 229.31,
229.51, 229.52

If the engine oils listed in the table are not available, you may add a maximum 1.1 US qt (1.0 liter) of the following engine oils once only: R Vehicles with a diesel engine: MB-Freigabe or MB-Approval 228.5, 229.3 or 229.5

Multigrade engine oils of the prescribed SAE classification (viscosity) may be used all year round, taking the outside temperature into account.

Viscosity of the engine oil

* NOTE Engine damage due to incorrect SAE classification (viscosity) of the engine oil
If the SAE classification (viscosity) of the engine oil added is not suitable for prolonged low outside temperatures, it may cause engine damage. The temperature readings of the SAE classification are always based on fresh oil. Engine oil ages when driving as a result of soot and fuel residue. The characteristics of engine oil deteriorate significantly at low outside temperatures.

# Use an engine oil of the appropriate SAE classification at low outside temperatures.
# Use oil for all-year-round operation.

The temperature readings of the SAE classification are always based on fresh oil. The temperature characteristics of the engine oil, especially at low outside temperatures, can deteriorate significantly due to aging when driving.

Therefore, Mercedes-Benz recommends that you change the engine oil before the start of the cold season. Only use an approved engine oil in the prescribed SAE classification for this purpose. The viscosity indicates the flow characteristics of a fluid. With regard to engine oil, a high viscosity is synonymous with thick liquid and a low viscosity with thin liquid. Depending on the outside temperatures, select the engine oil according to the SAE classification (viscosity). The table shows the SAE classifications to be used. The low temperature characteristics of engine oils can deteriorate significantly during operation due to aging and soot and fuel accretion, for example. A regular oil change with an approved engine oil in the appropriate SAE classification is therefore strongly recommended.
 

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4wheeldog

2018 144" Tall Revel
Supplement to the above post regarding Tom Stephens: the 2019 Sprinter Owner's Manual page 330. Note that Mobil 1 isn't even mentioned, and that they provide guidelines only for the types of oil, and the temperature ranges you want to operate under when using different viscosity oils:



It's page 330 in the manual, which can be found here: https://www.mbvans.com/sprinter/owners-resources/owner-manuals

Text:

The containers of the various engine oils are marked with the ACEA (Association of European Automotive Manufacturers) and/or API (America Petroleum Institute) classifications. Only use approved engine oils that correspond to the MB Specifications for operating fluids and the prescribed ACEA and/or API classifications named below. Engine oils of other grades are not permissible and can result in the loss of the New Vehicle Limited Warranty. The use of other engine oils not approved for diesel engines can damage the diesel particulate filter (DPF).

Diesel engines MB-Freigabe orMBApproval
OM642/OM651 228.51, 229.31,
229.51, 229.52

If the engine oils listed in the table are not available, you may add a maximum 1.1 US qt (1.0 liter) of the following engine oils once only: R Vehicles with a diesel engine: MB-Freigabe or MB-Approval 228.5, 229.3 or 229.5

Multigrade engine oils of the prescribed SAE classification (viscosity) may be used all year round, taking the outside temperature into account.

Viscosity of the engine oil

* NOTE Engine damage due to incorrect SAE classification (viscosity) of the engine oil
If the SAE classification (viscosity) of the engine oil added is not suitable for prolonged low outside temperatures, it may cause engine damage. The temperature readings of the SAE classification are always based on fresh oil. Engine oil ages when driving as a result of soot and fuel residue. The characteristics of engine oil deteriorate significantly at low outside temperatures.

# Use an engine oil of the appropriate SAE classification at low outside temperatures.
# Use oil for all-year-round operation.

The temperature readings of the SAE classification are always based on fresh oil. The temperature characteristics of the engine oil, especially at low outside temperatures, can deteriorate significantly due to aging when driving.

Therefore, Mercedes-Benz recommends that you change the engine oil before the start of the cold season. Only use an approved engine oil in the prescribed SAE classification for this purpose. The viscosity indicates the flow characteristics of a fluid. With regard to engine oil, a high viscosity is synonymous with thick liquid and a low viscosity with thin liquid. Depending on the outside temperatures, select the engine oil according to the SAE classification (viscosity). The table shows the SAE classifications to be used. The low temperature characteristics of engine oils can deteriorate significantly during operation due to aging and soot and fuel accretion, for example. A regular oil change with an approved engine oil in the appropriate SAE classification is therefore strongly recommended.
Just as a data point, I had an analysis done on the original
oil in my Sprinter at about 8k miles. There was barely a trace of fuel present.
I am careful to avoid high levels of biofuel, which is the more likely issue with contamination.
Thicker oil does not seal rings better than the appropriate oil. And the issue with fuel contamination of lubricating oil is not just loss of viscosity. It is chemistry, which happens regardless of how thick the oil is.
Though I will continue to change oil at about half of MB’s recommendations, I will continue to use only the recommended lubricant.
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder

mgladden2

Member
Just as a data point, I had an analysis done on the original
oil in my Sprinter at about 8k miles. There was barely a trace of fuel present.
Very good to know. Did you idle a lot or do a lot of city driving (stop-go/short trips)?

I am careful to avoid high levels of biofuel, which is the more likely issue with contamination.
Now that's something we can all agree on. Even 0% when possible.

Thicker oil does not seal rings better than the appropriate oil. And the issue with fuel contamination of lubricating oil is not just loss of viscosity.
I may have worded that poorly, but everything I found points to this: starting out with a thin oil, then diluting it with fuel due to a LOT of idling or short trips, is going to result in a lower viscosity oil, which results in damage to the piston (and other parts), which results in even more accretion, versus starting out with a thicker oil. But you can't just use thicker oil year-round, there's a critical temperature component. Here's what I found doing some research:

https://www.azom.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=16891
The biggest issue that arises from fuel dilution is the lowering of the oil’s viscosity, as fuel has a much lower viscosity than the oil (as well as possessing a lower vapor pressure and thinning effect), which in turn can cause the oil-fuel mixture to adopt a viscosity lower than it is designed for. This causes the oil to possess less-effective lubricating properties and causes the strength of the oil film to be reduced, which increases the amount of wear on the cylinder liner and the bearings—this arises from the fact that the oil film is crucial for reducing the friction between moving components by providing a barrier, and the thinning of the oil causes the effectiveness of the barrier to be reduced, thus increasing the amount of wear on the system.

https://www.lubricants.total.com/news-press-releases/fuel-dilution-engine-oil-causes-and-effects
What happens if the viscosity becomes too low? This causes contact between the metal surfaces, leading to rapid wear of the bearings due to friction. Once this anomaly happens, there are number of effects. One of these is the washing of the liner walls, the piston skirt and the segments, which implies that the fuel wipes away the oil, leaving the area without lubrication and the liner walls polished. Although this may sound like everything has been given a great clean, nothing could be further from the truth: in reality, the lack of lubricant means that the surfaces rub against each other, which causes wear. When polished, it is more difficult for the liner to keep the lubricant in the area, which can lead to faults such as the seizing up of the piston and of the liner itself.

Another effect of fuel leaking into the crankcase is oil dilution. This causes the lubricant to lose viscosity, meaning that the films formed are weaker and less capable of withstanding high loads that can occur at certain points, such as the rod bearings and crankshaft areas.

As for light-duty vehicles, several cases have been observed in which the oil level increased instead of decreasing, resulting in several instances where the level far exceeded the maximum mark on the dipstick. Although this may seem like good news, it is not: in such instances, not only does the same dilution problem occur, but it is also particularly serious, given that in such cases the concentration of fuel is very high and can cause rapid wear and engine failure. Occasionally you may detect a drop in pressure and/or power if this is the case.

Some manufacturers have actually added a new notch above the maximum mark as a warning sign. If you notice an increase in the excess level, you should reduce the mileage interval for changing the lubricant by half. This instruction is included in the maintenance manual of the vehicle and must be observed in order to maintain the warranty.

Furthermore, as the lubricant is being used up (1 liter per 10,000 kilometers) and replaced by fuel, the concentration of additives decreases, meaning that part of their protective action of the engine is lost.

In the specific case of diesel cars, diesel fuel also enters the crankcase as a result of post-injection during regeneration so that the fuel gases can reach the crankcase and help the regeneration process by providing heat. As not all diesel fuel turns to gas, part of the fuel enters the crankcase, which produces the dreaded oil dilution.

https://www.lubricants.total.com/consumers/maintenancetips/Oil-viscosity-and-oil-grades
When comparing oils, it is important to take into account the location in which the car will be used. Thin oils that are less prone to thickening in low temperatures will help you start your engine more quickly in winter while thick oils that are less prone to thinning in hot temperatures will help your engine perform better in summer. As a result, 0W-20 and 5W-30 oils have been developed for colder climates while 15W-40 and 20W-50 oils have been developed with hotter climates in mind.
----------

Back to me writing. While the above topic is still uncertain to me, but it is gaining clarity, and I'm now putting a 60-70% conviction rate on this conclusion: If you idle a lot, city/stop-go/short-trip a lot, you should use thicker oil in the summer and winter, in accordance with MB's recommended chart (see attached), and as appropriate for your climate.

I am now 100% certain that idling or city driving/short trips cause a much larger amount of fuel accretion. MB tells us that in the manual. It's settled.

I'm also 100% certain that MB service centers use 0W 30, which is an all-year oil, with somewhat low viscosity (30), but also good for very cold temperatures (hence 0W means).

I'm also 100% certain you do not have to use Mobil 1 0W 30 oil to maintain your warranty. It's right there in the manual. (* See below for update on this next line): You can use 20W 50 and still safely operate the vehicle down to 23F, or you can use 10W 60 and safely operate the vehicle down to 5F. I've attached the relevant section from page 330 of the 2019 Owners Manual where it states this clearly and provides a chart.

UPDATE! It must be 229.52 spec, and there does not currently appear to be a 10W 60 or 20W 50 oil that is MB-approved 229.52 spec. They should remove the chart on that page of the manual. It's misleading if you want to stay within warranty. Whether it's still beneficial for prolonged idling operation is another question, so if you do use those grades, don't go announcing it to MB.

I will continue to change oil at about half of MB’s recommendations
For most users, that's definitely wise. I plan to go further and adjust according to my usage patterns. Lots of idling and city driving, maybe 75% of the time, I'll change as often as 5000 miles. A month of heavy idling and very few short distance trips, I might go down to 3000. A good 50/50 mix of all driving types, maybe back up to 7500 or even 10K.

I will continue to use only the recommended lubricant.
That's also wise. No risk that you forget to change to a thinner oil in the winter, or get stuck in a surprise winter storm and have to crank using a thick oil, causing damage.

But it may not be ideal if you plan to idle all the time, or if you spend a year doing mostly short trips and city driving. In those conditions, if you make sure to use the appropriate weight oil per MB's chart (see attached), you may see a benefit from using a thicker oil. Again, its' still not settled for me, but I'm now leaning heavily toward this.

Either way, good luck!

Cheers.

Mark
 

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lindenengineering

Well-known member
Mark
Having read your post it prompts me to ask how many engines have you torn down to physically prove your hypothesis?

I won't mentioning findings on the 2,7 TIN engines, but rather refer to the OM642 found in the 906 NCV3 Sprinter AND the Jeep Grand Cherokee.

I haven't torn too many down for analysis following sudden failures. To date this year it amounts to 8 or one per month so far.. Mileages at failure have been across the board from 88,000 miles to the latest at 333,000 which was an oil guzzler consuming 70 miles to a Qrt and the predecessor abruptly seized its crank main bearings at 235,000.

Oil analysis shows the usual metal contamination present but the oils used seem to meet MB specs.

I can't vouch for other dealers but the one we work closely with uses MB229,52 which is a 5w30 weight oil. Around the corner from us is the Dodge dealer who we also have extensive contact with, and they use/sell Pennzoil Ultra European formula 0/40 weight for Sprinters.

Frankly of the failures I have seen over the past 5 years, mostly are due to a lack of adequate maintenance or operational methods , but I haven't torn down enough failed units to conclude anything significant to support what you have written.
Can you share some additional failure data & further oil analysis to support what you have written in your narrative?
Dennis
 

4wheeldog

2018 144" Tall Revel
Very good to know. Did you idle a lot or do a lot of city driving (stop-go/short trips)?



Now that's something we can all agree on. Even 0% when possible.



I may have worded that poorly, but everything I found points to this: starting out with a thin oil, then diluting it with fuel due to a LOT of idling or short trips, is going to result in a lower viscosity oil, which results in damage to the piston (and other parts), which results in even more accretion, versus starting out with a thicker oil. But you can't just use thicker oil year-round, there's a critical temperature component. Here's what I found doing some research:

https://www.azom.com/article.aspx?ArticleID=16891
The biggest issue that arises from fuel dilution is the lowering of the oil’s viscosity, as fuel has a much lower viscosity than the oil (as well as possessing a lower vapor pressure and thinning effect), which in turn can cause the oil-fuel mixture to adopt a viscosity lower than it is designed for. This causes the oil to possess less-effective lubricating properties and causes the strength of the oil film to be reduced, which increases the amount of wear on the cylinder liner and the bearings—this arises from the fact that the oil film is crucial for reducing the friction between moving components by providing a barrier, and the thinning of the oil causes the effectiveness of the barrier to be reduced, thus increasing the amount of wear on the system.

https://www.lubricants.total.com/news-press-releases/fuel-dilution-engine-oil-causes-and-effects
What happens if the viscosity becomes too low? This causes contact between the metal surfaces, leading to rapid wear of the bearings due to friction. Once this anomaly happens, there are number of effects. One of these is the washing of the liner walls, the piston skirt and the segments, which implies that the fuel wipes away the oil, leaving the area without lubrication and the liner walls polished. Although this may sound like everything has been given a great clean, nothing could be further from the truth: in reality, the lack of lubricant means that the surfaces rub against each other, which causes wear. When polished, it is more difficult for the liner to keep the lubricant in the area, which can lead to faults such as the seizing up of the piston and of the liner itself.

Another effect of fuel leaking into the crankcase is oil dilution. This causes the lubricant to lose viscosity, meaning that the films formed are weaker and less capable of withstanding high loads that can occur at certain points, such as the rod bearings and crankshaft areas.

As for light-duty vehicles, several cases have been observed in which the oil level increased instead of decreasing, resulting in several instances where the level far exceeded the maximum mark on the dipstick. Although this may seem like good news, it is not: in such instances, not only does the same dilution problem occur, but it is also particularly serious, given that in such cases the concentration of fuel is very high and can cause rapid wear and engine failure. Occasionally you may detect a drop in pressure and/or power if this is the case.

Some manufacturers have actually added a new notch above the maximum mark as a warning sign. If you notice an increase in the excess level, you should reduce the mileage interval for changing the lubricant by half. This instruction is included in the maintenance manual of the vehicle and must be observed in order to maintain the warranty.

Furthermore, as the lubricant is being used up (1 liter per 10,000 kilometers) and replaced by fuel, the concentration of additives decreases, meaning that part of their protective action of the engine is lost.

In the specific case of diesel cars, diesel fuel also enters the crankcase as a result of post-injection during regeneration so that the fuel gases can reach the crankcase and help the regeneration process by providing heat. As not all diesel fuel turns to gas, part of the fuel enters the crankcase, which produces the dreaded oil dilution.

https://www.lubricants.total.com/consumers/maintenancetips/Oil-viscosity-and-oil-grades
When comparing oils, it is important to take into account the location in which the car will be used. Thin oils that are less prone to thickening in low temperatures will help you start your engine more quickly in winter while thick oils that are less prone to thinning in hot temperatures will help your engine perform better in summer. As a result, 0W-20 and 5W-30 oils have been developed for colder climates while 15W-40 and 20W-50 oils have been developed with hotter climates in mind.
----------

Back to me writing. While the above topic is still uncertain to me, but it is gaining clarity, and I'm now putting a 60-70% conviction rate on this conclusion: If you idle a lot, city/stop-go/short-trip a lot, you should use thicker oil in the summer and winter, in accordance with MB's recommended chart (see attached), and as appropriate for your climate.

I am now 100% certain that idling or city driving/short trips cause a much larger amount of fuel accretion. MB tells us that in the manual. It's settled.

I'm also 100% certain that MB service centers use 0W 30, which is an all-year oil, with somewhat low viscosity (30), but also good for very cold temperatures (hence 0W means).

I'm also 100% certain you do not have to use Mobil 1 0W 30 oil to maintain your warranty. It's right there in the manual. You can use 20W 50 and still safely operate the vehicle down to 23F, or you can use 10W 60 and safely operate the vehicle down to 5F. I've attached the relevant section from page 330 of the 2019 Owners Manual where it states this clearly and provides a chart. It's settled fact for me.



For most users, that's definitely wise. I plan to go further and adjust according to my usage patterns. Lots of idling and city driving, maybe 75% of the time, I'll change as often as 5000 miles. A month of heavy idling and very few short distance trips, I might go down to 3000. A good 50/50 mix of all driving types, maybe back up to 7500 or even 10K.



That's also wise. No risk that you forget to change to a thinner oil in the winter, or get stuck in a surprise winter storm and have to crank using a thick oil, causing damage.

But it may not be ideal if you plan to idle all the time, or if you spend a year doing mostly short trips and city driving. In those conditions, if you make sure to use the appropriate weight oil per MB's chart (see attached), you may see a benefit from using a thicker oil. Again, its' still not settled for me, but I'm now leaning heavily toward this.

Either way, good luck!

Cheers.

Mark
One way to reduce the idling issue is to use the key. After the engine is warm, just turn the d@mned thing off when stopped for more than a minute.
And my point about biofuel is that the clearest warning about fuel contamination (In my reading) is as a consequence of poorly refined (I use that term loosely) biofuel.
The bio portion of diesel sold by major suppliers (Name brand refiners such as Chevron, Shell) adheres to a standard of refining that does not cause the problem, which is frankly, biofuel tends to not burn completely.
The worst thing you can do to the DPF is idle it while using the incorrect oil with lots of Sulphur.
If you really need to idle 75% of the hours the engine runs, you will have trouble no matter who made the vehicle. But you would definitely be better served by trading in your diesel and buying a gas model...….Most likely a Ford.
 

mgladden2

Member
One way to reduce the idling issue is to use the key. After the engine is warm, just turn the d@mned thing off
For some users, that may be an option. It is not an option for all users. I've stated dozens of times this is only for users who must idle a lot, or who do a LOT of city/stop-go/short-trips. Otherwise you are absolutely right. If you don't need to idle to do city/stop-go/short-trips, by all means, don't.
 

mgladden2

Member
...the one we work closely with uses MB229,52 which is a 5w30 weight oil. Around the corner from us is the Dodge dealer who we also have extensive contact with, and they use/sell Pennzoil Ultra European formula 0/40 weight for Sprinters.
Hi Dennis,

First off, thank you for adding to this. I am definitely glad to have your expert input on the subject. It only adds to the information presented by MB in their 2019 Owners Manual. That information pertains to 2019 Sprinters, and owners of previous generation Sprinters are cautioned to seek their own operators' manuals and proceed accordingly.

As you clarified, if you want to stay within warranty requirements, the oil must also be MB-approved, and right now they approve of the following specs, which was in my last post, but I hadn't yet begun searching the higher viscosity options that were rated that way. That was a good clarification to add, and it does further limit the options. Thank you!

This is from the 2019 Operator's Manual, page 330:
Diesel engines MB-Freigabe or MBApproval OM642/OM651: 228.51, 229.31, 229.51, 229.52
As of now, there are 154 MB-approved 229.52 oils, the thickest of which is 5W 40, but I can't locate it for sale anywhere. While 10W 60 or 20W 50 oils could presumably be used per MB's (attached) chart and SAE guidelines on page 330 of the Sprinter owners manual, I don't find any that thick with MB-approved ratings listed above, so those are now ruled out (unless you want to go outside of warranty, which I'd never advise).

Based on that, I'm now leaning towards a 5W 40 with 229.51 spec during periods with extensive idling, stop-go, short trips, or possibly a 10W 40 or even a 15W 40 with MB-approved 228.51 spec since the winter lows rarely hit 10F where I live. The 5W 40's can be used safely down to -4F, same as Mobil 1 ESP 0W 30, per the attached chart. The 15W 40 down to +5F.

Here is a table of all 154 MB-approved 229.52 oils:
https://bevo.mercedes-benz.com/bevolisten/229.52_en.html#close

Here are just the Mobil 1 options:
Mobil 1 ESP 0W-30
Mobil 1 ESP 5W-30
Mobil 1 ESP X1 0W-30
Mobil 1 ESP x3 0W-40
Mobil Super 3000 XE 5W-40 (can't locate this one for sale anywhere)


Here is a table of all MB-approved 229.51 oils (many 5W 40 options):
https://bevo.mercedes-benz.com/bevolisten/229.51_en.html#close

This is an interesting option from the 229.51 list, low SAPS, well priced on Amazon, Valvoline SynPower MST C3 5W-40:
https://smile.amazon.com/Valvoline-5W-40-SynPower-Synthetic-Motor/dp/B000GAP428/
Spec page: https://www.valvoline.com/en-austra...e-oil/synpower-synthetic-engine-oil-mst-5w-40


Here is a table of all MB-approved 228.51 oils (many 10W 40 options, and one 15W 40):
https://bevo.mercedes-benz.com/bevolisten/228.51_en.html#close

Interesting options:
Mercedes-Benz Genuine Engine Oil MB 228.51 (10W 40) - would need to locate.
Chevron Delo 400 XLE 15W 40: https://smile.amazon.com/Delo-257004470-Synblend-Synthetic-gallons/dp/B07L1F876S/

Frankly of the failures I have seen over the past 5 years, mostly are due to a lack of adequate maintenance or operational methods
Good, because I definitely plan to follow the maintenance schedule. But it's that "operational methods" part that I'm trying to sort out. Nearly everyone agrees (and MB states over and over in various places) that fuel accretion due to prolonged idling is a problem. Prolonged idling is needed for users with special high power requirements (aux alternator, large lithium banks, etc), and some users know for certain that they'll operate their vehicles extensively in stop-go/short-trip conditions. Can you assure me that those are not going to be a problem with 0W 30 and 20K oil changes? Everything I've read says that's a combination resulting in guaranteed failure. But again, I'm very glad to have your expert input on this.

I haven't torn down enough failed units to conclude anything significant to support what you have written. Can you share some additional failure data & further oil analysis to support what you have written in your narrative?
Here's what I know, thanks to Bob's very useful graphic posted earlier in this thread (also attached). This is straight from MB, so I assume they have the failure data and further oil analysis you're requesting. I do not. That's why I stated I'm 60-70% leaning towards the conviction that higher viscosity oil is better for a limited set of users who plan to do a lot of idling, stop-go, and short trips. I will update that 60-70% if I learn something new, but this is straight from MB, and I've spoken with numerous sprinter owners who had serious issues after prolonged idling, so I believe this is true.

From Mercedes Benz's "Service information: Engine oil replacement intervals" booklet page that Bob provided. Granted it's dated 5.4.12, but they continue to allude to all of these issues in the current owner's manual, and still repeat the short-trip and fuel accretion concern. Believe me, I hope a 2019 Sprinter w/3rd gen emissions control system is much improved.

Under difficult operating conditions such as extreme short-distance operation with frequent engine stops, the engine replacement intervals can, for example, be reduced considerably down to 5,000km (3,106 mi) depending on engine oil quality.

Fuel is deposited in the engine oil because of restricted regeneration phase for the diesel particulate filter. If the diesel particulate filter load condition drops below a corresponding value, the system initiates a regeneration of the diesel particulate filter. In order to reach the exhaust temperature required to burn-off the soot particles in the DPF, additional fuel is injected. In accordance with the regeneration period, particles of unburnt hydrocarbons in the combustion chamber can enter the cylinder wall and then the crankcase.

As a consequence of predominantly short-distance service and/or high idling phases, engine oil replacement intervals can be reduced through fuel insertion into the engine oil. This can be shown on the engine oil level display: (HI = Engine oil level is too high) in the multifunction display on the instrument cluster. If any resulting and required reduced engine oil replacement intervals are not performed, engine damage may occur. To counteract any fuel deposits in the engine oil, we advise you to run the vehicle under load (freeway or overland ride) every 500km for at least 20 minutes.

The vehicle conditions (e.g. frequent short distance traffic or more idling), can result in engine oil dilution caused by the addition of diesel fuel.

This is contingent on terminated diesel particulate filter regeneration:
- The engine is switched off by the driver
- The regeneration is canceled by the system, because the diesel particulate filter's specified burn-off temperature is not adhered to

As a consequence, it may be necessary to initiate additional heating phases, which in turn require additional fuel.

! - Repairs that are conducted because of the previously described symptoms (without any technical fault on the engine actually being present, and/or without any relevant entries in the engine control unit), will not achieve the intended results and therefore may not be invoiced to the manufacturer through the warranty or goodwill channel. An engine oil and filter change followed by a manual regeneration of the diesel particulate filter cannot be settled through the vehicle warranty.

! - The customer is to be notified about this technical situation accordingly.
Again, Dennis, thank you for taking the time to provide your expert input. I can tell you have far more experience with these vehicles than I do. I want your help finalizing my decision on this.

But please bear in mind, some users specifically need to operate their sprinters under prolonged idling conditions (power systems), city driving/stop-go, and short trips. My focus is on that specific use case, or periods of time when the vehicle will be operated that way (3-6 months duration). Not for everyday users who are operating the vehicle primarily on the highway, or a good 50/50 mix. For those users, I've stated over and over they should just follow the manual and expect normal results.

Many thanks.

Mark
 

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