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Pelican Technical Article:

Supercharger Oil Change

Tom Morr

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$9 to $20

Talent:

*

Tools:

13mm wrench or ratchet/socket, syringe, possibly a hand pump

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz R170 (1998-04)

Parts Required:

Supercharger fluid

Hot Tip:

Do this one outside

Performance Gain:

Prolongs supercharger life

Complementary Modification:

Replace the air filter

When R170 SLKs were built, Mercedes-Benz had a "sealed for life" mindset for many of the cars' lubricants. The Kompressor models' supercharger oil is one example.

Apparently, the projected service life of the US-sourced Eaton superchargers is 100,000 miles. The oil was formulated to last as long as the supercharger's bearings. The supercharger oil would then be changed when the blower was rebuilt. In other words, the maximum service interval is 100,000 miles, even if the bearings aren't whining.

Spirited drivers of supercharged cars increase performance and longevity by changing the forced-induction unit's oil at around 50,000 miles. The Eaton superchargers used in the SLK have drain/fill plugs, so the job isn't difficult. The most disconcerting part is the fluid's odor, which smells like crimes against humanity. This procedure is best done outside, where there's great ventilation. You'll likely want to wear rubber gloves and possibly a dust mask.

The special Supercharger Fluid comes in 4-ounce bottles. Capacities for the M62 and M45 superchargers used in the SLK Kompressors is about 3.7 ounces/110 ml, so one bottle is enough for an oil change.

The Mercedes-Benz "kompressor oil" part number is A000-989-62-01. The same fluid (Nye Synthetic Oil 605) can often be found locally under its GM part number: 12345982. (GM also uses Eaton superchargers as original equipment.) Supercharged AMG models require Mobil Jet Oil II.

Make sure that the engine is cool before changing the supercharger's fluid. Not only does the fluid stink, it expands when hot and can squirt out the opening when the plug is removed.

For a thorough oil change, the supercharger needs to be removed from the vehicle. Then the unit can be turned upside down and all of the fluid drained through the fill hole. (Please see our article on removing the supercharger for further details.)

For on-car service, the air box needs to be removed to access the filler plug. (Please refer to that article for details.) After removing the plug, the old oil can be sucked out using vinyl tubing and a syringe or hand pump. The syringe is also handy for fluid-filling. The fill line is the bottom of the threads. Overfilling can cause the oil to foam and overflow.

The air box must be removed to access the supercharger's fill plug.
Figure 1

The air box must be removed to access the supercharger's fill plug. Please see our accompanying article on this procedure.

A thorough fluid change involves removing the supercharger.
Figure 2

A thorough fluid change involves removing the supercharger. (Please refer to the dedicated article on that.) Then the drain plug (arrow) can be removed and the supercharger turned upside down until all of the fluid seeps out into an appropriate container and disposed of properly.

For an in-car fluid change, clean the area around the plug (arrow) prior to removing it.
Figure 3

For an in-car fluid change, clean the area around the plug (arrow) prior to removing it. (The supercharger's upper housing doesn't have to be removed. We took it off for photographic clarity and stuffed a rag in the opening to keep dirt out.)

Use a 13mm wrench or socket to remove the plug.
Figure 4

Use a 13mm wrench or socket to remove the plug. The odor dissipates better when the job is done outside.

A syringe or hand pump combined with vacuum hose or vinyl tubing can be used to suck out most of the old fluid.
Figure 5

A syringe or hand pump combined with vacuum hose or vinyl tubing can be used to suck out most of the old fluid.

The syringe is also useful for filling the supercharger.
Figure 6

The syringe is also useful for filling the supercharger. Fluid can either be drawn into the syringe out of the bottle, or the syringe can be used as a funnel if you have good dexterity. Wearing rubber gloves is recommended.

Fill to the bottom of the hole's threads (arrow).
Figure 7

Fill to the bottom of the hole's threads (arrow). If the fluid is visible on the threads, suck a little out. Overfilling can cause foaming. Then replace the plug. Torque spec is 10 Nm.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Ohioref Comments: The mb dealership said you don't have to do this. My question is this "is this something i should get into or is it not needed"? I don't want a failed system but i also don't want to start or look for trouble that isn't there.
You thoughts please.on empting and refilling the turbo charger oil. 1998slk230, 110,000 miles
October 23, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: it is a good idea for preventive maintenance. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Andy Comments: Thanks for this article. Even my garage wasn't aware of the separate s/c oil. They thought the engine oil fed the s/c, like on a turbocharger!
October 3, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Trooper Comments: Great article. Thanks! Mine was bone dry at 172k miles just acquired. It still seems to be working just fine, with no fault codes, but now I wonder what long-term damage may have been done. It took every drop of the 4 oz. bottle. I wish Wayne would do a book for MB SLK's like he did for BMW's 101 Projects.... Without the tech info you guys provide, I would never buy a German car! Much Appreciated! Keep-up the great work.
September 11, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Consider the website tech articles the book. ;)

If dry, you can only hope no damage was done. I would pull a sample out, is it black already? That would be a sign of wear.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
GregMN Comments: Thanks. Easy. Mine didn't stink because it was empty.
April 26, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
spark plug Comments: Awesome!
April 10, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Emcan Comments: you guys are great at explaining procedures step by step and aided with great clear pictures.
Thanks for all the information you provide.
keep up the wonderful job !!
January 28, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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