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Pelican Technical Article:

Changing Your Oil and Filter

Steve Vernon

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$40

Talent:

*

Tools:

13mm wrench

Applicable Models:

Mercedes-Benz W126 (1981-91)

Parts Required:

Oil and Filter

Hot Tip:

Get the engine warm before you drain the oil

Performance Gain:

Longer engine life

Complementary Modification:

Flush your cooling system and replace your radiator hoses

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, a roll of paper towels, a very large oil pan or bucket, and 8 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.

Safely jack the car up and place it on jack stands, please see our article on safely jacking up and supporting your car. Next, locate and remove 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 located on the right side 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 with its new washer and torque.

From inside the engine compartment, locate the oil filter housing at the lower right side of the engine. You'll see it behind the air pump and in between the engine and inner fender. You will need a 13mm socket to remove the filter and if you have an extension it can come in handy. Unscrew and remove the filter lid. Reach inside the filter housing and remove the old filter, a little oil will come out with it so be ready for it.

Install the new filter into the housing. Use a little of the new oil you are about to put into the engine to lubricate the new rubber O-ring you install on the filter housing. Just dab your finger in and put a light coating on the ring. Install the new filter and torque the lid

Fill your engine with the new oil from the oil filler hole in the top of the right valve cover. Add about 7 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.

With the car safely supported on jack stands remove the 13mm drain plug from the bottom of the sump (red arrow).
Figure 1

With the car safely supported on jack stands remove the 13mm drain plug from the bottom of the sump (red arrow). Always dispose used motor oil according to the regulations where you live. Most oil change shops or your neighborhood parts store will take your old oil and filter to be recycled properly.

Locate the oil filter towards the lower front right of the engine and remove with your oil filter housing lid with a 13mm socket (red arrow).
Figure 2

Locate the oil filter towards the lower front right of the engine and remove with your oil filter housing lid with a 13mm socket (red arrow).

Remove the old filter and install the new one.
Figure 3

Remove the old filter and install the new one.

Use a little of your new oil to lubricate the new rubber seal that seals the lid to the housing.
Figure 4

Use a little of your new oil to lubricate the new rubber seal that seals the lid to the housing.

With the drain plug and new filter installed add 7 quarts of oil.
Figure 5

With the drain plug and new filter installed add 7 quarts of oil. Give the oil a moment to get to the sump and then check the dip stick for level. Also the new filter will take up some of the oil once you start the car so check again once the car has run for a minute. After the final check for the level of oil don't forget to reinstall your filler cap (red arrow).

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Comments and Suggestions:
don99gt Comments: does my 1984 MB 380-SL require synthetic oil?
what weight?
May 16, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don't have info that far back.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right oil. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Tessa Comments: Oh, forgot to mention...
Mine is a 1989 560SEL.
He's my Baby. I really appreciate all the help that other Mercedes Benz owners provide for us to help each other keep our classics looking awesome and staying on the road.
THANK YOU GUYS FOR ALL YOUR THESE POSTINGS!
February 29, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Again, thanks. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Tessa Comments: If you have an older Classic DO NOT change your transmission fluid. It will shock your transmission. If you are set on changing it, so it's got cleaner and newer ATF, drain put all but two or three quarts, bolt it back up, and fill remainder with the new ATF. Otherwise, you're going to really have some transmission problems.
As a word of advice. I had smoke billowing from my exhaust. I liked like I was driving with a fire that had just been doused with water. Since I was losing ATF and the smoke got worse when I added ATF, I summoned that it was transmission related. WVU mechanic insisted that there was NO WAY ATF could her into my engine and exhaust. Well, YES IT CAN. I changed my transmission modulator valve and, low and behold, no more loss of ATF and no more smoke at all from my exhaust.
Word to the wise!
February 29, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks again for the notes. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Tessa Comments: It doesn't take a high IQ to figure out....
Can't get the bolt apart from the lid? Using your socket wrench, turn the bolt while holding the lid down.
Which way the oil filter goes? Seriously? The filter has a big hole and a little hole...and the little hole sure as heck won't fit down inside, on top of the big round piece it HAS TO fit onto.
Which size bolt? You guys should be checking that, which size sockets you're going to need before you go unbolting and pulling anything apart.
Maybe it's that I'm a woman that these things make common sense. Try asking your wives or girlfriend to help you.
All Mercedes are different, but all their engines are basically, well, ENGINES.
These guys are providing a generalized idea and approximation to you FOR FREE. BE APPRECIATIVE rather than so critical.
February 29, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the input on this. We appreciate the help.
:) - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
tom Comments: I just bought a old S320 sedan 4 door Mercedes benz and don't know where is the old filter is??? can any one pics and point it to me :? and the oil train nut where? what kind a oil should I used? thanks to all...!
December 26, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: What is the year and model of the vehicle? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Perk Comments: Thanks for your response, Nick. No, I don't see anything obvious that would impede the filter case bolt from coming out. But surely those German engineers weren't that sloppy. I'm inclined to knock it out and try to repair any damage that might result. The trapped washer is getting deformed. Do you agree?
December 14, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: A deformed washer will definitely cause it to bind. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Perk Comments: The Mann oil filter I bought includes a copper washer and steel washer, plus a larger copper O-ring. The bolt through the filter housing on my newly purchased 1984 280 SL will not slide out. It turns easily enough but feels like it hits an internal stop. This prevents the washer under the bolt head from being replaced. Shall I take a hammer to the bolt or was it manufactured to stay in? I presume the O-ring is for a different application.
December 8, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don't remember if it is part of the lid. It has been a long time. Can you see anything from the inside preventing it from being removed? - Nick at Pelican Parts  
GWT Comments: Come on guys use your dipstick dipstix every car model may hold different quantity of oil! These folks have done great article don't be so sinicial!
April 10, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks!!! - Nick at Pelican Parts  
loco Comments: the man is right it is a allen style hex plug
July 1, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the input on this one. We appreciate the help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Dan Comments: CAN YOU DO ONE OF THESE GREAT INSTRUCTIONS AND PHOTOS FOR REPLACING THE TRANSMISSION FLUID.
May 6, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If we get the chance to perform the repair we will be sure to document it. Check here for the latest tech articles: http://www.pelicanparts.com/techarticles/MBZ_Tech_Index-W126.htm - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Jack Comments: I see a few other people have added the main comments I was going to say: oil plug - 13mm hex. Oil filter housing - 17mm open or box wrench. Two other people said that capacity is 8.5 quarts; this may vary by the models you cover here. I think 7.5 is more accurate than 8.5 for at least my car model, which is a 1980 450SL.
April 28, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the input on this one. We appreciate the help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Kyle Comments: What weight of oil should go in a 1969 Mercedes 300 SEL 3.5L?
April 23, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right oil. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Mr Dumzy Comments: How many litres of oil is need to to an oil service on a 1986 Mercedes-Benz 500SEC??? In litres please!
April 16, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right part.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
kliford Comments: Is it possible to change the oil filter without changing the oil. I have a 2006 C-280 4Matic
January 7, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Yes. You will have to top up the engine oil when done. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
duh Comments: Thanks to FYI for the proper oil capacity. 8.5 quarts, not 8 liters.
Also, filter is a 17mm socket, but the drain plug is a 13mm HEX not socket.
Other than the wrong tools and the wrong quantity of oil, it's a good article.
September 24, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: We are updated out tech articles every week and thanks. - Kerry at Pelican Parts  
fyi Comments: OIL FILTER IS UPSIDE DOWN ON A 56O SL AND TAKES A 17MM NOT 13....also 8,5 qts....HELLO
May 27, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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