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#1 Old 02-21-2014
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Oil analysis and two year change interval

Gordon and I have been having a discussion on the New Member forum about the above subject and I thought it would be best to move it here where it is more appropriate. Here is some background:

Quote:
Originally Posted by sokoloff View Post
There is no mention of a one year time interval anywhere that I could find in the manual or any other Mercedes publications. I seem to recall some of our European friends saying that their interval is two years. There is no mention of what the time interval is in US publications that I could find. I will wait until the two year time frame is up since the last time I reset it (that's next month) to confirm. I have done a few oil analysis and the lab reports all come back with lots of life still left in the oil. In a two year period I'm lucky if I put 4000 miles on the car.

From Gordon:
Sorry, I should have been more specific and mentioned the specific year. The OP has 2005 and that is what I am quoting. The 2005 and 2009 booklets state: Service Item 3 - 13,000 miles or 1 year Engine - Oil and filter change.

Checking the 2013 Service Booklet:
Service 3 - at every 13,000 miles or 1 year (Engines 271, 272, 276, 278) Engine - oil and filter change

In any case it is very interesting that your oil analysis' came back positive and I am wondering if you can post as I also drive about 4000 miles a year and may be needlessly changing the oil.

Gordon

PS With more research I was able to find that for the R170 with ASSYST ie 1998 to 2004 the oil change interval seemed to be 2 years as it was part of A and B service but not a specific Service Item. In 2005 when FSS replaced ASSYST Oil and Filter change became a minimally yearly event.

I look forward to seeing your oil analysis.
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#2 Old 02-21-2014
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So Gordon's post made me reread my owners manual and my service manual and nowhere could I find any time interval mentioned for oil changes. Gordon's PS seems to clarify that.

Checking my notes I found that I had an oil analysis done after having the oil in the car for two years. I changed the filter after one year but not the oil. Next month I hit the two year mark again on my oil. This time I did not change the filter. I will again do an oil analysis to compare that to the other one.

So here is the oil analysis on two year old oil with a filter change after one year. The info is a little more readable if you zoom in to about 150% or so. Younger eyes might not have a problem.

Len
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File Type: jpg SLK oil analysis3 001.jpg (41.6 KB, 77 views)

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#3 Old 02-21-2014
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Hi there guys.
Can anyone give a help with any link, video o pictures to an oil and oil filter change on a 2003 SLK 320?
Thanks a lot.
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#4 Old 02-21-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abakxm View Post
Hi there guys.
Can anyone give a help with any link, video o pictures to an oil and oil filter change on a 2003 SLK 320?
Thanks a lot.

you look in diy section?

https://www.slkworld.com/slk-r170-cla...ange-pics.html


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#5 Old 02-21-2014
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only 4000 miles in two years!!! yeah that's about one oil change.
I do that in a month and a half. my oil gets changed 2-3 times a year.
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#6 Old 02-21-2014
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Len,

As mentioned I did find (and was surprised) that the oil change intervals from 1998 to 2004 using ASSYST is on a 2 year schedule but all subsequent are on a 1 year schedule. Your report mentions a 30 oil and I am curious as to what it was.

With low mileage on your engine between oil changes I have no concern with shearing, viscosity drop or contamination but in some testing I have seen additive depletion at about 18 months. Not to where the additives are depleted but some depletion. I realize MB must be very conservative due to the variety of oils, variety of driving styles and climate variations and I am curious as to how conservative they are.

I am wondering if you have considered using Blackstone who appears to have a more detailed oil analysis as per attached analysis virgin Mobil 1 0W40. The comparison of specific properties after 2 years would provide a more complete picture of additive depletion via specific elements:

Gordon
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#7 Old 02-22-2014
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Oil used on both of the changes mentioned was Mobil 1 0w40. Used a Mercedes (reboxed Mann) filter on the one year filter only change and used a Mann on the change two years ago. Both fleece filters of course.

The lab I use will give you a total base number and a few additional numbers for a few bucks more. With the results I get from them and I've been using them for almost twenty years, I haven't seen a real need for more data. I did use Blackstone once or twice. Have no problems using either lab.

Did you actually see some publication from Mercedes that indicates a two year change interval or like me did you find no published data, just an inference that's what it is?

I have seen studies showing that the depletion of the additive package in oils is designed into the recommended oil change interval and changing the oil too often and having the additive package near maximum all the time is not necessarily a good thing.

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#8 Old 02-22-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbanks15 View Post
Excellent LINK!

LOL...

Seriously though, I posted a link somewhere about 0-40w and a study that was done at 10,000 miles and above. It was found that, even at 10,000, the viscosity was still within specs.

That's some good stuff and an area that shouldn't be scrimped on. Along with the fleece filters, of course!

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#9 Old 02-22-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sokoloff View Post
Oil used on both of the changes mentioned was Mobil 1 0w40...
Too hazy to read the Visc but if it is 86 then your oil is a lot thicker than original (closer to a 0W50) and I wonder what is doing that with those few miles. The only think I could think of is oxidization but will have to check.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sokoloff View Post
I did use Blackstone once or twice. Have no problems using either lab..
Blackstone appears to provide more info on the additives to see how close to depletion you are getting. Obviously wear is more critical and your report indicates little wear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sokoloff View Post
Did you actually see some publication from Mercedes that indicates a two year change interval or like me did you find no published data, just an inference that's what it is?.
I found the attached document that indicates R170 oil change is part of A and B services at 2 years. I have no idea where I found it and it may just be a dealers service document but please copy since I may have to remove at some point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sokoloff View Post
I have seen studies showing that the depletion of the additive package in oils is designed into the recommended oil change interval and changing the oil too often and having the additive package near maximum all the time is not necessarily a good thing.
Yes, I did a 10 year study on 2 identical Honda Accords and elemental wear was greater per km driven on more frequent oil changes. I also saw a study the indicated higher wear right after oil change then stable for the duration and then wear rose again as additives depleted or oil became contaminated.

Gordon
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#10 Old 02-23-2014
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Viscosity is 86 which according to the chart I have puts it in the 30w range. Actually the "Grade" shows it at 30w.

I have that same maintenance guide that you attached but for the 2003 model year. I use it as a check sheet and to jot down notes when I'm doing service on my cars. I still don't see on either of them the reference to the two year interval. What am I missing?

Good discussion - I'v enjoyed it.

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#11 Old 03-08-2014
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Just wanted to wrap this up. My two year period for my oil change ends later this month. My service indicator just rolled over to a time interval now rather than the usual mileage interval. It is telling me that I am now within 28 days of needing service. The last I checked the mileage a week or so ago, it still showed over 5000 miles until the next service. Since I do all the service on my car and I'm the one who reset the indicator two years ago, this confirms that the service interval is two years, at least it is on my '03.

I plan to do an oil analysis when I change the oil later this month. If I remember, I will post those results when I get them.
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#12 Old 03-08-2014
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Cheers Len, - keep us posted on the analysis results.






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#13 Old 03-08-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sokoloff View Post
...I plan to do an oil analysis when I change the oil later this month. If I remember, I will post those results when I get them.
MB seems to be all over the place with their recommended service. I compared some of the US manuals for the V6 and found this:
MB USA recommendations for SLK plug replacement for specific years:
2001 - 5 years 100k miles
2003 - 5 years 80k miles
2005 - 5 years 78k miles
2009 - 8 years 80k miles
From 2010 on - 6 years 60k miles *

In conversation with NGK technical, they consider MB to be extremely conservative and could not provide any reason for a date based replacement if using NGK (or Bosch) plugs. They did suggest that MB sells internationally and no longer recommends any particular spark plug manufacturer (based on US owners manuals for SLK350 the NGK recommendation stopped in 2009 and Bosch stopped in 2011).

* Note that once MB stopped recommending any spark plug brand, the mileage and years between replacement dropped significantly.

Are you considering using Blackstone for the analysis? The reason I ask is we could compare your 2 year change to the Virgin OW40 analysis I posted.

Gordon
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#14 Old 03-09-2014
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I will likely use the same lab I've been using for a couple of reasons. First, the analysis is prepaid already. Second, this will give me a comparison to my last report from the same lab.

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#15 Old 03-09-2014
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Thumbs up Thanks once again

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Originally Posted by jbanks15 View Post

Good, specially with the care that must be taken with the O rings.
... thanks a lot jbanks15



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#16 Old 03-10-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gdb069 View Post
MB seems to be all over the place with their recommended service. I compared some of the US manuals for the V6 and found this:
MB USA recommendations for SLK plug replacement for specific years:
2001 - 5 years 100k miles
2003 - 5 years 80k miles
2005 - 5 years 78k miles
2009 - 8 years 80k miles
From 2010 on - 6 years 60k miles *

In conversation with NGK technical, they consider MB to be extremely conservative and could not provide any reason for a date based replacement if using NGK (or Bosch) plugs.
I can only offer my experience - screw a steel based spark plug into an aluminum head - and time becomes a factor. Mileage alone doesn't give a good indication of the number of thermo cycles the engine has been put through. Start a car twice a day - to/from work which is only three miles from home and you won't rack up to many miles. But you will incur lots of thermo cycles. Start the car once a day and drive it a hundred miles per day and you'll rack up lots more miles in the same period.

Steel spark plugs can weld themselves to the aluminum threads in the head - leave the sparks plug in for too many thermo cycles - and you risk stripping the threads out of the head as you apply enough torque to the spark plug to dislodge it.

The problem can be made worse - if the thread design and pitch of the plugs and head aren't perfectly matched to the head. Lots of Z Car drivers found this out as they ran U.S. Plugs {Champion, AC etc} in the aluminum heads of their Datsun's. The NGK's were never a problem. Very sight thread design/pitch between US standard and Japanese Standard metric sizes and threads..

I think the bottom line is that anyone has to consider both mileage and time to get a better over-all picture of use/wear/stress etc.

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#17 Old 03-10-2014
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Originally Posted by Carl Beck View Post
I can only offer my experience - screw a steel based spark plug into an aluminum head - and time becomes a factor....

Steel spark plugs can weld themselves to the aluminum threads in the head ....
True except it would be very rare to find a steel spark plug today. NGK/Bosch/Champion are either nickel plated or zinc plated and then use proprietary anti-seize/anti-corrosion coatings. Spark plug pitch and thread have been standard metric for a long, long time. The Datsun Z issue was more than 40 years ago. Back then anti seize compound or changing spark plugs frequently was required. I am discussing more modern spark plug manufacturing.

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#18 Old 03-10-2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gdb069 View Post
True except it would be very rare to find a steel spark plug today. NGK/Bosch/Champion are either nickel plated or zinc plated and then use proprietary anti-seize/anti-corrosion coatings. Spark plug pitch and thread have been standard metric for a long, long time. The Datsun Z issue was more than 40 years ago. Back then anti seize compound or changing spark plugs frequently was required. I am discussing more modern spark plug manufacturing.

Gordon
Still, even with today's spark plugs you will never find me putting any spark plug into an aluminum head without anti-seize. And a copper based one at that! I have seen too many heads ruined without anti-seize being used.
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#19 Old 03-10-2014
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Originally Posted by JiminFL View Post
Still, even with today's spark plugs you will never find me putting any spark plug into an aluminum head without anti-seize. And a copper based one at that! I have seen too many heads ruined without anti-seize being used.
Of course using anti-seize is your decision. I am not sure what "copper" has to do with the threads as the copper is just the core. However considering the DIY on this forum, your using anti-seize may give the impression that it should be used so here are the warnings:

From Bosch
"Bosch Spark Plug threads are rolled and nickel plated eliminating the
need to use anti-seize compound (if anti-seize material is used, reduce the torque recommendations by 30%)."

From NGK:

"All NGK Spark Plugs are manufactured with a special trivalent Zinc-chromate shell plating that is designed to prevent both corrosion and seizure to the cylinder head; Thus eliminating the need for any thread compounds or lubricants."

From Champion:
"Champion recommends that you do not use an anti-seize compound, since one has already been applied to the plugs at the factory."

From AC Delco:
"Do not use any type of anti-seize compound on spark plug threads. Doing this will decrease the amount of friction between the threads. The result of the lowered friction is that when the spark plug is torqued to the proper specification, the spark plug is turned too far into the cylinder head. This increases the likelihood of pulling or stripping the threads in the cylinder head."

From Autolite:
"We do not recommend the use of any anti seize products for installing spark plugs. Antiseize compounds are typically composed of metallic, electrically conductive ingredients. If antiseize compounds come in contact with the core nose of the plugs, it can lead to a misfire condition. Antiseize compounds can also have a torque multiplying effect when installing plugs. This can lead to thread distortion and thread galling resulting in cylinder head damage. Autolite spark plugs are nickel plated to resist the effects of corrosion and seizing."

Gordon

PS Maybe some of this post regarding spark plugs and anti-seize should be posted on the "technical" or "general discussion" pages?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gdb069 View Post
Of course using anti-seize is your decision. I am not sure what "copper" has to do with the threads as the copper is just the core. However considering the DIY on this forum, your using anti-seize may give the impression that it should be used so here are the warnings:

The copper I'm referring to is the material in the anti-seize compound. There are two types, aluminum and copper.


From Bosch
"Bosch Spark Plug threads are rolled and nickel plated eliminating the
need to use anti-seize compound (if anti-seize material is used, reduce the torque recommendations by 30%)."

I install plugs by the amount of turns not the torque. Kind of like installing an oil filter according to the instructions printed on the canister, "Finger tight and then 3/4 of a turn".
(Referencing the oil filter)

From NGK:

"All NGK Spark Plugs are manufactured with a special trivalent Zinc-chromate shell plating that is designed to prevent both corrosion and seizure to the cylinder head; Thus eliminating the need for any thread compounds or lubricants."

All plugs are coated with a zinc something coating. It prevents rust while in transit from Japan, Mexico or wherever they're made.


From Champion:
"Champion recommends that you do not use an anti-seize compound, since one has already been applied to the plugs at the factory."

Champ[ions are probably the worst offenders for rusting in place.


From AC Delco:
"Do not use any type of anti-seize compound on spark plug threads. Doing this will decrease the amount of friction between the threads. The result of the lowered friction is that when the spark plug is torqued to the proper specification, the spark plug is turned too far into the cylinder head. This increases the likelihood of pulling or stripping the threads in the cylinder head."

Certainly, if you're Billy Brontosaurus and crank them down like there's no tomorrow.


From Autolite:
"We do not recommend the use of any anti seize products for installing spark plugs. Antiseize compounds are typically composed of metallic, electrically conductive ingredients. If antiseize compounds come in contact with the core nose of the plugs, it can lead to a misfire condition. Antiseize compounds can also have a torque multiplying effect when installing plugs. This can lead to thread distortion and thread galling resulting in cylinder head damage. Autolite spark plugs are nickel plated to resist the effects of corrosion and seizing."

Again, don't overtighten them and don't be a slob putting the anti-seize on. That stuff is too expensive to waste, anyway.

There is no mention anywhere here about aluminum heads and that is what we have. All of the above advice is fine for cast iron heads since the cast iron produces it own lubricant, graphite, and it would be almost impossible for a plug to seize in a head. Rust in, yes; but not seize in.

Sorry, Gordon, but I'll always put anti-seize on my spark plug threads in aluminum heads, no mmatter what the manufacturers claim. A head is just too expensive compared to a little anti-seize. Even throwing a heli-coil into the hole, you should take the head off to avoid chips in the cylinder and that takes time and time=money does it not?

Gordon

PS Maybe some of this post regarding spark plugs and anti-seize should be posted on the "technical" or "general discussion" pages?
PS It may be a little premature to do that. It could result in a number of ruined heads, especially if the plugs are left in for 2 years or more. This would not be unusual with the mileage these cars are driven today.
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