Oil change

sprinterfleet

New member
Hello all,

I am a new sprinter owner (2004 Freightliner Sprinter 2500 140" wheel base.) I need an oil change. I am in Austin TX. I was just given a $220 estimate at Austin Sprinter Van Repair which I believe functions as a part of Dave’s Ultimate Automotive. (Here is a link to the site: https://www.austinsprinterrepair.com.) $220 sounds like a lot for an oil change. Is it? What price range should I consider reasonable? Is an oil change something a determined novice like me could undertake?

I hope I am in the section to ask this. If not please let me know.

Thank you!!!

SprinterFleet
2004 Freightliner Sprinter 2500 140" wheel base
 

Midwestdrifter

Engineer In Residence
There are a couple writeups in the T1N writeups section. Oil changes on the T1N are pretty easy. The only mildly difficult part is replacing the O rings on the filter holder, and putting the new filter cartridge on. If you have a red handled dipstick don't cold fill above the half way mark. These dipsticks are hot check, and should be checked at operating temperature.

Rotella T6 is popular and meets the MB spec, Mann oil filters are also popular and fit well.
 

marklg

Well-known member
For the oil change alone the $60 in good oil and oil filter get marked up by the shop, and they probably bill an hour of labor at upwards of $100, so $220 is not unreasonable at a decent shop. $600 for just an oil change at the dealer is common and seems a lot, but you get free coffee and donuts! You don't want to take it to a Jiffy Lube who won't use the right oil and may not put the o rings on the filter holder correctly, which can lead to engine failure in a few minutes, or break the filter holder, letting plastic pieces fall into the engine. A decent shop has to allow for warranty and customer support, keeping the lights on, paying the taxes and insurance, etc.

This search will find the DIY writeups and videos on the forum:


You will need a 74.5 mm 14 flute oil filter wrench, some socket wrenches and torque wrenches that can go to 18 and 35 ft-lb. Overtightening can break the plastic filter holder and strip the drain plug.

I happen to use Mobil 1 European Formula now from Walmart:


You need 9 quarts, so two jugs. There is a $10 rebate per jug. T6 is fine too and can also be found at Walmart in 5 quart jugs.

I use Mahle oil filters, but Mann for the other filters. No good reason.

The Air filter is easy to change. The cabin air filter is pretty easy, but the cover is tricky to get back on. The fuel filter is a little harder, especially on your year where it has to be primed.

All four filters and a few inspections make up what they call "Service B". It will run anywhere from $600 at a third party shop to $1300 or more at a dealer. It's about $150 in oil and good parts, use European sourced filters, by European law they have to test that they are equivalent to the OEM. The right hose clamps need to be used on the fuel filter hoses or they will leak. Search for that too in the forums. It is more important for your year, as a leak that lets in air may result in not starting.

I am excruciatingly slow and methodical and changing all four takes me a few hours. That includes putting all the stuff out and cleaning up when done. Someone good could do it in less than an hour, probably way less if they do it all the time.

Owning an old Sprinter gets expensive fast if you have to depend on shops to do everything. That has pretty much been true of old Mercedes in general. You can download the service manual and a whole lot more info.


Regards,

Mark
 

marklg

Well-known member
2004 has tank pump ;)
I stand corrected. I thought 2004 was the old system. In that case, it is hard to go wrong replacing the fuel filter. If there are no visible leaks when done, it should be fine.

As long as this has come up, I have a related question. When the fuel filter is replaced on a vehicle with a tank pump, even though there is some air in the lines and in the new filter, it starts right up and runs fine. Where does the air go and why doesn't it take extra cranking or run rough in the beginning? I suppose the air will be massively compressed to something like 100 times smaller in the high pressure pump, but there is still some air in there.

Regards,

Mark
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
...

As long as this has come up, I have a related question. When the fuel filter is replaced on a vehicle with a tank pump, even though there is some air in the lines and in the new filter, it starts right up and runs fine. Where does the air go and why doesn't it take extra cranking or run rough in the beginning? I suppose the air will be massively compressed to something like 100 times smaller in the high pressure pump, but there is still some air in there.

Regards,

Mark
The air gets circulated around and out in the return system.

A few key on/off cycles seems to be enough to purge enough air and allow reliable starting for the OM647 and newer engines that have an in tank electric fuel pump.

In my opinion...
Some air seems to get trapped in the fuel rail or other HP sections. After a fuel filter change there is always a half step more cranking needed for the next day starts. My theory is that the non compressible trapped air increases the time it takes to hit needed proper HP levels. After some starts that air gets purged and start crank time returns to expected... normal in my mind anyway.

vic
 

marklg

Well-known member
The air gets circulated around and out in the return system.

A few key on/off cycles seems to be enough to purge enough air and allow reliable starting for the OM647 and newer engines that have an in tank electric fuel pump.

In my opinion...
Some air seems to get trapped in the fuel rail or other HP sections. After a fuel filter change there is always a half step more cranking needed for the next day starts. My theory is that the non compressible trapped air increases the time it takes to hit needed proper HP levels. After some starts that air gets purged and start crank time returns to expected... normal in my mind anyway.

vic
I can't even tell the difference, which is why i asked.

Regards,

Mark
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
I can't even tell the difference, which is why i asked.

Regards,

Mark
Some people also don't seem to notice the changes in noise of the engine driven cooling fan. Hearing? Differing experience levels with equipment operational awareness?

There is a current thread where a driver may have operated a Sprinter on gas aka petrol contaminated fuel for 248 miles. If true, I find it hard to believe that the engine wasn't complaining noticeably about the contaminated fuel.

:idunno:

vic
 

marklg

Well-known member
Some people also don't seem to notice the changes in noise of the engine driven cooling fan. Hearing? Differing experience levels with equipment operational awareness?

There is a current thread where a driver may have operated a Sprinter on gas aka petrol contaminated fuel for 248 miles. If true, I find it hard to believe that the engine wasn't complaining noticeably about the contaminated fuel.

:idunno:

vic
I can hear the difference in the cooling fan big time, but that has been a big issue for me. The bearing on one went and it locked on at highway speed and the extra noise was unmistakable.

Now, I can say that after all the filter changes, the engine sounds great, but that is probably the placebo effect.

Regards,

Mark
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
...

Now, I can say that after all the filter changes, the engine sounds great, but that is probably the placebo effect.

Regards,

Mark
Don't get me wrong. My 2004 and 2006 run just fine after a fuel filter change. It's not an issue, but I do notice after every fuel filter change that there is a half crank longer needed for the engine to start vs before the filter changes. It only lasts maybe a day. It has been a consistent change since I first noticed it on the 2004 back in 2008. The 2006 does the same.

But back to oil changes.

vic
 

Nautamaran

2004 140” HRC 2500 (Crewed)
Since both the HP pump and fuel rail have return lines I do wonder how much air would enter the fuel rail?
I like to think I pay attention, but with 2 x 30-second fuel pump priming I’ve not noticed any difference in cranking times after a fuel filter change (though I’ve done only three…) I do usually have to wait ten seconds or so for glow plugs, so perhaps that extra LP priming time flushes any residual air?

On topic of oil/filter change, I agree with all above and would recommend doing it yourself. I find 3-gallon ice cream pails from my local scoop shop the perfect catch receptacle, fitting nicely under the bumper and oil pan…

With everything in hand it takes me about 15 minutes under the hood: Loosen and lift the filter cap to let the filter drip and drain, remove the pan plug and leave to drain, remove filter from its plastic stem - pulling straight without twisting, replace the three O-rings, seat the new filter fully onto stem (see photo - again pushing straight without twisting it!), screw filter cap back in place and torque, replace sump drain plug and torque, pour in 9 quarts oil. Done - except the final leak check and hot level check at my next fuel stop.
I buy two 5-quart jugs, keeping the 10th quart for top-ups. These usually go on sale at some point during the year, then I stock up. Filters are readily found on line.

Be sure to park on a level surface (or nose downhill) to fully drain the oil sump… draining with the nose up will leave some oil behind and reduce your refill volume, then 9 quarts could be an over-fill.

The filter looks like this when properly seated:
1623386287674.jpeg

The little ten-cent O-ring on the tip of the filter stem is ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL, since it plugs the filter housing’s drain hole back down to the oil pan. Without it the engine will have zero oil pressure and quickly destroy itself. Not sharing this fact to scare you (okay, maybe just a little…), but to underscore that some details count. :cheers:

Photo shows the three O-rings in position on the stem. Note the position of the large O-ring in the groove just clear of the threads, and the relatively fragile lattice at the base of the stem (did I mention this bit doesn’t like being twisted? 😉)
1623386612629.jpeg
1623389050208.jpeg

I do enjoy working on this engine.
Access is usually pretty easy, certainly by modern automotive standards where stuffing the engine bay is becoming the norm.

-dave
 
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sprinterfleet

New member
Thank y'all very much for the replies. I would like to learn to change the oil myself, but have decided that now is not the time. I'm taking it to Ruben at Sprinter Specialist (Houston area), to whom I have entrusted care of my sprinter several times to positive results. He charges around $160-$170 (can't remember the exact figure). When I do eventually tackle maintenance/care myself your replies will be a great resource. Much obliged!

Best,
SprinterFleet
 

borabora

Well-known member
I can't do an oil&filter change myself for less than about $120 because of the NVC3 oil cost. So having it done for you for $160-$170 is a good deal even if you consider the lower oil cost of T1N.
 

sprinterfleet

New member
Yes, I was very pleased. I was informed that the entire process should take about an hour (as opposed to the estimate of 2 hours given to me by the guy at Austin Sprinter Van Repair)
🙌
 

johnplyler

Active member
Hello all,

I am a new sprinter owner (2004 Freightliner Sprinter 2500 140" wheel base.) I need an oil change. I am in Austin TX. I was just given a $220 estimate at Austin Sprinter Van Repair which I believe functions as a part of Dave’s Ultimate Automotive. (Here is a link to the site: https://www.austinsprinterrepair.com.) $220 sounds like a lot for an oil change. Is it? What price range should I consider reasonable? Is an oil change something a determined novice like me could undertake?

I hope I am in the section to ask this. If not please let me know.

Thank you!!!

SprinterFleet
2004 Freightliner Sprinter 2500 140" wheel base
Auto Zone has a sale right now in Raleigh, NC. Valvoline Synthetic 0W-20, oil filter, and air filter all for $45.57 yesterday.
 

trc.rhubarb

Well-known member
Huh, takes about 20 minutes to pull the drain plug, let it drain, put the plug back (with a new crush washer), take out the filter, replace, fill with oil and clean up. In fact, cleanup takes at least half that time.

Rotella T6 is about $18/gallon
Filter is about $10-15
Crush washers are basically free - less than a dollar.

So let's call it $60 to do it at home once tax is involved.
 

borabora

Well-known member
Huh, takes about 20 minutes to pull the drain plug, let it drain, put the plug back (with a new crush washer), take out the filter, replace, fill with oil and clean up. In fact, cleanup takes at least half that time.

Rotella T6 is about $18/gallon
Filter is about $10-15
Crush washers are basically free - less than a dollar.

So let's call it $60 to do it at home once tax is involved.
Do you ever go out to dinner and explain to the waiter that the $40 steak he just brought you looks just like the $10 steak you saw at Costco yesterday...?
 

Midwestdrifter

Engineer In Residence
Do you ever go out to dinner and explain to the waiter that the $40 steak he just brought you looks just like the $10 steak you saw at Costco yesterday...?
Well, If I had to cook it for them, maybe. Obviously paying for the service costs more.

A more reasonable comparison would be someone saying they can't cook that steak themselves because of the difficulty of learning to use the BBQ, so they pay 40$ any time they feel the urge for meat.
 

OldWest

2004 T1N Westfalia
I think an oil extractor makes the oil change even easier.

Don't have or ever used one, but am thinking about it.

I had a Fumoto valve on the bottom for easier draining--but sometimes the oil still missed the Walmart combination pan and container. The newer valves have a hose you can attach for even cleaner changes.

But my shop hates those valves and says the thread length is not long enough if something hits the outside of valve. So when I got lazy and had them do the oil change with other stuff, they went ahead and changed it back to the drain plug.

And for the $40 steak, you don't have to haul the used oil back to Walmart, auto parts store, etc., and you also probably won't get a burned steak where you put the biggest O ring against the oil cap flange (the groove is the proper place) and spend a lot of time cleaning up oil.

But I also like the security of knowing it was done right (more or less) if you did it yourself--right oil, right filter, filter pushed all the way down onto the spike, O rings replaced and in proper position, etc.

DIY is possible thanks to HKPierce and others who provided detailed instructions.

Thanks again to all of those who share the detailed step by step.
 

Kajtek1

2015 long/tall limo RV 2.1l
I do oil extraction on my sedans with 8l of oil, but 15 l in Sprinter, where you can go under without lifting is way faster with Fumoto valve.
 

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