Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Routine Maintenance

First oil change on my Mercedes. Routine stuff but I thought I would put it up here and explain any differences or special things I noticed while I did this.

Not a whole lot different than changing any other cars oil. I have always changed my own oil in my vehicles, so it wasn't a new experience, but this was my first diesel engine oil change. It was also my first cartridge type filter change (e.g. Not a spin-on type filter). I did notice that diesel oil is REALLY black.

The Oil:
I bought Mobil Delvac 15w-40. It was the same price as the Shell Rotella, and only a dollar more (per gallon) than the other diesel oils. I was surprised to see the capacity listing for my engine as 7.9 US quarts of oil. That's a lot of oil. Thankfully, its not $5 per quart like the synthetic I used to put in my Jetta. I got two gallons for $10.99 each, and the filter was a STP one (the only one AutoZone had in stock) for $10 or so. The salesman was a little disappointed that the filter cost that much (thinking maybe I would go somewhere else for it I guess), but I didn't think much of it, since I haven't used the cheaper filters ($4 Frams) in a long time. He also tried to offer me an oil change special they were having on STP filters and Valvoline oil ($13 or so for the package). I asked him if it applied to two gallons of diesel oil?, he said "No", didn't think so.
Following the directions in my Haynes manual turned out to be useful. The method it lists allowed the oil filter housing to drain completely of oil leaving the filter completely empty (no drips at least). Nice feature since you have to pull it out from the top at the back of the engine compartment. I was really dreading this part of the oil change, but is was surprisingly clean. Not nearly as messy of a filter change as my Jetta.
If I had not dropped the drain plug into the catch pan, then this would have been my cleanest oil change ever, but I did, and my entire right hand was black for the next hour.

Total Cost for this oil change: $34
Not bad considering its twice as much oil as most gasoline engines. I could probably lower the cost of this oil change if I bought a couple of filters online, but I can handle $34 a few times a year.
My Jetta cost me $35 when the oil was on sale and $45 every other time (on average).

Originally, I was going to make this a multi-topic post, but it was getting long, so I'll add the other stuff later.
Coming Soon: Steering Box adjustment, Dash Light replacement


ellllllla said...

$34 a few times a year ? How often do you change oil on this car?

Douglas said...

Well, considering I'm not driving very much in it right now, I'd say about 3-4 times a year. That would be once every 3 months assuming I put ~1000 miles on it a month which is about what I average right now.

A few is 3 or 4 right? That's what I was thinking anyway. So, 4 to answer your question.

In my Jetta, however, I would change the oil every 4 to 6 weeks and that would be at 5000 miles between changes (yes, I drove it a lot).