One of the most common tasks to perform is replacing your engine oil. Frequent oil changes are perhaps the most important procedure you can do to maintain and prolong the life of your engine. With the better oils that are available today, the requirement for frequent changes is diminishing. Even though Mercedes Benz recommends oil change intervals that are much further apart than in the past, I usually recommend that you keep the changes under the 5,000-mile limit. If you don’t drive your car too often, you should change the oil at least once a year to keep things fresh.
The first thing you need to do is to make sure that you have everything that is required for the job. Nothing is more frustrating than emptying your oil, only to find out that you don’t have a replacement filter or enough oil. You will need an oil filter kit, a torque wrench, a 13mm socket and wrench, an oil filter housing socket, a new drain plug, a roll of paper towels, a very large oil pan or bucket, and 7 liters of oil. Start by driving the car around, and let it heat up to operating temperature. You’ll want to empty your oil when it’s hot, because the heat makes the oil flow a lot easier, and more particles of metal and dirt will come out when the oil is emptied.
Jack the car up and place it on jackstands, then locate the 13mm oil drain bolt on the oil pan. Keep in mind that the oil will be hot, so it's a good idea to wear a set of gloves and have plenty of paper towels on hand to clean up any oil that may spill. Inside the engine compartment, remove the oil filler cap on the top of the valve cover and let the oil drain from the engine completely. This may take awhile depending on the temperature of the oil. Once fully drained, re-fit the oil drain bolt and torque it to 25 Nm (18ft/lbs.).
From inside the engine compartment, locate the oil filter housing at the rear of the rear of the engine. You’ll see it just in between the firewall and the intake manifold. You will need a special socket in order to loosen and remove the filter housing cover. This tool is available from Pelican Parts. Designed for multiple Mercedes models, the socket is secured to the top of the cover by bolts passing through the sides of the socket. You’ll need to use a ratchet with extension to reach the oil filter housing. Once the tool is firmly secured, remove the cover and you will see the filter element underneath.
Remove the old filter element by pulling it up and out of the oil filter housing. You may want to use a little caution as oil will probably spill from both the filter element and the housing. At this point, you can take the old filter element and cut it open. Doing so allows you to see if there is any evidence of engine wear. Typically, you’ll see small pieces of metal accumulated on the pleats of the filter if there is substantial wear on the engine.
Now take the oil filter housing cover and pull the old o-ring off the side inside the groove. A pick or a small screwdriver makes this job a little easier. Now take the new o-ring supplied with the oil filter kit and stretch it over the filter housing cover and into the groove on the side. A light film of oil can help slide the o-ring as well. Take the new filter element and press it down into the filter housing. Press the filter element down as far as it will go. Screw the filter housing cover over the new element and torque it to 25 Nm (18ft/lbs.).
Now it’s time to fill up your Mercedes-Benz with motor oil. A lot of people aren’t really sure what motor oil to use in their car. Traditionally, the characteristics of motor oil were linked closely to its weight: heavier-weight oils protect well against heat and lighter-weight oils flow better in cold. In general, if you live in a cold climate, you should use a 10W-40 or similar oil. This oil is a 10-weight oil that behaves and protects against heat like a 40-weight oil. In warmer climates, you should use a 20W-50 oil. This oil doesn’t flow as well at the colder climates, but gives an extra “edge” on the hotter end.
The question of whether to use synthetic or traditional “dinosaur” oil often comes up among car buffs. Consumer Reports (July 1996) ran an extensive test on the two types of oil, altering amongst many different brands. The testers installed freshly rebuilt engines in 75 taxicabs, and then ran them through the harshest conditions on the streets of New York City. Placing different brands, weights, and formulations in the cars, they racked up 60,000 miles on the engines, tore them down, measured, and inspected the engine components for wear. The oil was changed at 3,000 miles in half of them, and the rest were changed at 6,000 miles. The results: regardless of brand, synthetic or dino, weight, and oil change interval, there were no discernable differences in engine component wear in any of the engines. Their conclusion? Motor oils and the additives blended into them have improved so much over the years that frequent oil changes and expensive synthetics are no longer necessary.
Still, some people swear by synthetic oil. In practice, I don't recommend using synthetic oil if you have an older car with old seals in the engine. There have been many documented cases in which the addition of synthetic oil has caused an otherwise dry car to start leaking. If you own an older car that doesn’t have fresh seals in the engine, I would stick to the non-synthetics. However, if synthetic oil was the only type of oil that your engine has seen, I usually recommend sticking with it.
Fill your engine with the new oil from the oil filler hole in the top of the valve cover. Add about 6 quarts to the engine, and check the dipstick. Continue to add about a half a quart at a time and keep checking the dipstick. Fill it up until it reaches the top mark of the dipstick - the engine oil level will automatically lower when the oil filter fills up with oil. Don't forget to put the oil filler cap back on the top of the valve cover. The spec book calls for 7 liters of oil overall, but it’s best to be precise and use the dipstick method.
Shown here is the oil filter kit for the Mercedes-Benz M104 engine fitted in the W210 E320.
Begin by driving the car around the block a few times to bring the oil up to operating temperature. This will help the oil drain out of the pan quicker. Jack the car up and place it on jack stands, then locate the oil drain bolt as shown here (green arrow).
Use a 13mm wrench to loosen and remove the oil drain bolt. Keep in mind that the oil will be hot, so it's a good idea to wear a set of gloves and have plenty of paper towels on hand to clean up any oil that may spill.
Make sure that you have the drain pan underneath the oil pan and remove the bolt. Now just let the oil drain out completely. Once the oil has drained, refit the bolt and torque it to 25 Nm (18ft/lbs.).
You will need a special socket in order to loosen and remove the filter housing cover. This tool is available from Pelican Parts. Designed for multiple Mercedes models, the socket is secured to the top of the cover by bolts passing through the sides of the socket (not shown).
It helps to use a pick or small screwdriver to pull off the old O-ring on the filter housing cover. You should receive a new O-ring with the oil filter kit. Take the O-ring and fit it over the threads and into the channel on the cover.
Here is the new filter element properly seated in the filter housing. Re-install the filter housing cover and torque it to 25 Nm (18ft/lbs.). Now re-fill the engine with 7 liters of oil. Refer to your owner’s manual for specific information on which grade to use.
Comments: I have a 1998 E320 and it looks to me like I have a cracked oil pan.... I had a warning message come on the dash saying my oil was at the lowest point and I stopped and refilled the oil.... This seems to work but I believe I need to change the oil pan ASAP.... How do I go about taking off the oil pan and replacing it?.... Also, I'm thinking this was caused by by the loss of my sound and under cover being missing.... Where can I get another and how do I put it on?.... I feel I need something heavy duty and sturdy.... The other one came off about three months ago...
October 16, 2013
Followup from the Pelican Staff: Call our parts specialist at 888 280 7799 and they'll help you get the part you need. As far as replacing the oil pan you can purchase repair manuals from us for your car. You're probably going to have to remove one side of the motor mounts and jack up the engine. Then you can remove the oil pand bolts. On many Mercedes Benz vehicles you also have to drop the sub-frame a little to get the pan out once it is loose.n - Kerry at Pelican Parts
Comments: Hi there. I noticed that your on MBworld. Is it the same amount of 25 NM on a W210 E55
June 23, 2013
Followup from the Pelican Staff: I suggest contacting your local MB dealer for the correct torque spec.
Comments: Give me a quote of service parts of Mercedes Benz C240 and shipping to Lusaka zamda
May 4, 2013
Followup from the Pelican Staff: Please contact SALES SUPPORT
Mon-Fri 7:00a-5:00p Pacific time "California"
International customers 1-310-626-8765 firstname.lastname@example.org
Comments: Thanks very informative. I see your sample vehicle was a 96-97 E320, mine is a 2001 E320 and I was wondering if ooil filter housing was in the same spot.
May 30, 2012
Followup from the Pelican Staff: Your oil filter housing is in the same location, the housing - cooler assembly looks a little different, but the same procedure will work. roy@pelicanparts
Check out some other sample projects from the book: