Variable oil level ?..

Eric B

Active member
Hi all,

My engine oil level on my 3L Diesel seems to have a bit of a mind of its own - curious what you all think, or if you have noticed similar things ?
_ The owner's manual states engine oil capacity with oil filter change is approx 13.2qts


_ First oil and filter change I did, I put in 12qts, and the onboard diagnostic oil level showed me to be at about midway between the high and low bars on the instrument cluster. Great.


_ Second oil & filter change I did, I wanted to get a bit closer to the top mark on the instrument cluster oil level display, I ended up pouring in about 12.5qts.
Engine oil needs to be at operating temp for oil level to read on the instrument cluster display, ran a couple errands around town and checked it again and it showed 3/4 of the way to Full mark. Cool.

_ Next day I had to drive 100miles out of town for a job.
50miles out from home (constant 70mph freeway cruise the whole time w/o mountain passes or hills to climb) I suddenly get a "oil level too high, reduce oil level" warning message on the instrument cluster
The oil level graphic is now yellow instead of green and shows to be slightly above the Full line.

Faced with draining high temp oil on the side of the freeway, I decided not to stop. (I am not proud of ignoring this error message)

I completed the remaining 50miles - did what I needed to do out there - and when I got back to the van, with the engine now cooler I checked the oil level again to confirm if it was still high, and was prepared to drain a bit out if needs be...

Oil level graphic now was back to green color and level with top Full line on instrument cluster display.
I decided not to drain any out & drove the 100miles back home with no errors / no complaints.




_ Onboard computer won't read engine oil quantity if van is not level - you'll get an error message prompting you to try again later if you are not level
_ Onboard computer won't read engine oil quantity if oil temp isn't where it should be - you'll get an error message if you try and view the level right at startup.


With both of these requirements met, why is the oil level visibly changing that much ?
 

djsincla

Active member
You need to accurately measure 13.2 quarts and be done with it. No second guessing. This has been consistent across all the vans I have owned.
 

Eric B

Active member
That assumes you got every single drop of oil out on your oil change @djsincla - there’s always going to be some variation

as I wrote above, first oil change I poured in 12qts

Second oil change - the one at issue here - I poured 12.5qts and got the high level warning... didn’t even make it to 13.2

I dumped out 0.5qt this morning and now the instrument cluster oil level display reads 3/4 full between hi and low marks

my question is more about how the level changes 50miles in to a freeway drive

if it was high it should have said so as soon as it was up to temp and on level ground as I was running errands, not an hour in to a two hour haul.

that’s the part that mystifies me...
 

Bobnoxious

Sprinter Savant Wannabe
Fuel in oil or fluctuating oil level is discussed in Mercedes-Benz technical documents and OWNER'S MANUAL and the reason for the warning feature.

During DPF regenerations the ECU conducts post fuel injections, directing fuel injectors squirt fuel during a specific sequence of engine operation. A portion of this fuel may find its way past piston rings and end of the crankcase.

The reason for post fuel injections is to increase the temperature of the DPF so as to oxidize soot.

It's important to be able to recognize and not interrupt a DPF regenerations. I think there's a feature on your vehicle that will display a DPF status?

Please share if you find it?
 

Bobnoxious

Sprinter Savant Wannabe
SUPPLEMENTAL:
I own 2015, my standard practice, keep the oil level about a quarter inch below the top mark on the oil dipstick.

Are VS30s, equipped with crankcase oil dipstick?
 

Eric B

Active member
@Bobnoxious no crankcase dipstick on my 4wd 3L diesel VS30 Bob - I wish there was.... in other threads some owners mentioned finding a dipstick tube that was capped off and found that they could order a dipstick for it. I’ve looked all over my engine and no such luck. I have a dipstick for transmission but not for the engine.

regarding DPF regen, yes there is ascreen you can go to which shows the percentage of how full the particulate filter is - but if you don’t actively go looking for it I have never had any kind of countdown come up in my first 10k miles saying something like “DPF regen in 5-4-3-2-1...”

is one expected to check particulate filter level each time before turning engine off on case it is about to do a burn, and then if so is one expected to keep driving around the block near work or home or whatever your destination maybe until the process is done ?
 

Kajtek1

2015 long/tall limo RV 2.1l
I found MB oil level sensors oversensitive the other way.
I like to do oil change to come about 25% above min mark.
On most of my cars that would trigger low level warning and I had to bring the level close to max to not have annoying messages.
Old schools in oil changes advise to add refreshing oil, what will give crankcase fresh shoot of detergents and anti-acids, so with engine who don't burn oil, you have to start low to have a chance to add some later on.
Then when I was changing oil in Sprinter, I had 9l of oil and having the same OM651 engine in sedan, I assumed Sprinter will have similar to sedan 8l crankcase capacity. To my surprise I drain full 3 gallons + filter.
So having oil level 3 l short, I order new oil, what took few days. Not wanting to keep Sprinter on 115F sun in that time, I drove it to garage, what took like 2 minutes of maneuvering. Oil warning never come.
 

Mike DZ

2016 View 24V (2015 3500)
Engine oil level in any vehicle will vary with temp. The 642 holds lots of oil, so lots to expand as temp goes up. Get it midway on the electronic "stick" and leave it right there.
 

Bobnoxious

Sprinter Savant Wannabe
@Bobnoxious no crankcase dipstick on my 4wd 3L diesel VS30 Bob - I wish there was.... in other threads some owners mentioned finding a dipstick tube that was capped off and found that they could order a dipstick for it. I’ve looked all over my engine and no such luck. I have a dipstick for transmission but not for the engine.
That's what feared.
A tranny dipstick but not the engine dipstick? My 2015 is opposite.

regarding DPF regen, yes there is ascreen you can go to which shows the percentage of how full the particulate filter is - but if you don’t actively go looking for it I have never had any kind of countdown come up in my first 10k miles saying something like “DPF regen in 5-4-3-2-1...”
I have read DPF feature can be configured to display upon engine start up.

Going to have to figure out a way to determine when it's regenerating.

Scan Gauge II is a popular device but I'm not sure model year compatibility.

Maybe VS30 owner's can share their experiences, technique?

is one expected to check particulate filter level each time before turning engine off on case it is about to do a burn, and then if so is one expected to keep driving around the block near work or home or whatever your destination maybe until the process is done ?
Optimally, regeneration should not be interrupted and driving should continue, uninterrupted, highway being the best.

Additionally, I recommend anticipated oil changes scheduled to coincide immediately after a DPF regeneration when practicable.
 

Roamers

2020 4X4 170 Crew
That's what feared.
A tranny dipstick but not the engine dipstick? My 2015 is opposite.


I have read DPF feature can be configured to display upon engine start up.

Going to have to figure out a way to determine when it's regenerating.

Scan Gauge II is a popular device but I'm not sure model year compatibility.

Maybe VS30 owner's can share their experiences, technique?

Optimally, regeneration should not be interrupted and driving should continue, uninterrupted, highway being the best.

Additionally, I recommend anticipated oil changes scheduled to coincide immediately after a DPF regeneration when practicable.
Configuration is for oil level at start up, not DPF. I have configuration for oil level at start up. Pretty consistently: shows half way cold on the level, max when warm or cold on my sloped driveway.

I monitor DPF regularly still to learn what normal is. Can predict pretty closely when it will hit 100% and start a regen. If it looks like a regen will be in progress when I shut down, it's an extra 15 minute drive.
 
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Bobnoxious

Sprinter Savant Wannabe
Configuration is for oil level at start up, not DPF. I have configuration for oil level at start up.
I stand corrected, I IMG_3931.JPGconfused DEF feature with DPF.
 

Roamers

2020 4X4 170 Crew
regarding DPF regen, yes there is ascreen you can go to which shows the percentage of how full the particulate filter is - but if you don’t actively go looking for it I have never had any kind of countdown come up in my first 10k miles saying something like “DPF regen in 5-4-3-2-1...”
To me it would be an easy software model to give notice at say 90% and then add an icon that indicates you are in regen. Currently, if you don't monitor periodically, if you are about to stop you don't know if the % is increasing or decreasing with a quick glance.
 

Bobnoxious

Sprinter Savant Wannabe
Got got dozens of idgit lights for everything, except for one of the most important, a visual indicator for DPF regenerations. Must be deliberate, engineers can't be that dumb?
 

Kajtek1

2015 long/tall limo RV 2.1l
Got got dozens of idgit lights for everything, except for one of the most important, a visual indicator for DPF regenerations. Must be deliberate, engineers can't be that dumb?
Engineers are making vehicles idiot-proof.
Each gauge with lack of drivers education can trigger a panic, or concern.
My Sprinter as only gauge is having speedometer and fuel level.
No purpose of making driver worrying about anything else.
But yes, if you drive DPF equipped vehicle mostly in the city or for short distances - DPF monitor should be highly advised.
That said such monitors are either not -available, or not reliable.
My OM651 Sprinter shows regeneration pending 90% of the drive, what can't be the truth and 2 scanners have the same readings.
For my Ford 6.7l Scangauge made 3 tries for regeneration monitor and all 3 failed.
 

Bobnoxious

Sprinter Savant Wannabe
Engineers are making vehicles idiot-proof.

Certainly effective on my wife. Called "Nag Light."
Each gauge with lack of drivers education can trigger a panic, or concern.
As they should.

No purpose of making driver worrying about anything else.
Particularly if the driver/consumer is footing the bill.


But yes, if you drive DPF equipped vehicle mostly in the city or for short distances - DPF monitor should be highly advised.
👍👍

That said such monitors are either not -available, or not reliable.
Genuine Mercedes-Benz Monitor Box on sale now at your local dealer.
IMG_3967.JPG
 

Bobnoxious

Sprinter Savant Wannabe
$595.00 the last I checked and claimed to have one in stock at regional warehouse.

My beef is a hole must be drilled in the drivers dash board cupholder to accommodate the pedestal. I never drill into my dear vehicles. However, I'm confident another location could be found.

Another issue it is mid-year production clean point beginning July 2014, requiring a wire routed from the SRB to the OBD connector.

Study as I may, I located the terminal slot in the OBD port but not the SRB. H2 if I remember correctly.

Solicitations on the forum failed to yield any fruitful information.

Anyway, Scan GaugeII is sufficient.
 

Kajtek1

2015 long/tall limo RV 2.1l
Anyway, Scan GaugeII is sufficient.
Not on my Sprinter, but I don't care. I drive long distances only and history of regeneration shows the last few completed.
So if SG wants to show me regeneration pending 90% of driving, I just add their engineers to bonehead box.
 

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