I've never understood why Mercedes says their cars can use that much oil. I
know that oil consumption is usually influenced by piston to cylinder bore
clearance. But Mercedes engines (don't know about the AMG models) are built
with tight 0.001" piston to bore clearances and should not use oil like that.
My old 617 diesel engine used a quart every 1,200 miles right before it was
rebuilt. The cylinder bores were tapered in that engine. It sounds to me like
Mercedes is afraid these oil burners will become warranty issues.
I lived in Germany for 3 years in early 60's. I owned three different
brands of sports cars and they all used a quart every 1200 miles or
so. Almost all european performance cars consume oil at a higher rate
that US cars. At high rpms the engine puts out a lot of heat and you
need plenty of oil to take the heat out and lube the moving parts. I
was an aircraft mechanic on recip engines and they would consume 70
gal oil per engine per flight for same reason. You want performance,
you have to pay. You just want to idle to WalMart in the Chevy, then
you won't consume much oil. Pick your poison!
I've owned performance cars too. However, oil consumption is still a function
of engine piston fit and valve to valve guide clearance. Just because you have
lots of oil being pumped around an engine does not cause an engine to consume
oil. High performance engines usually require more clearance between piston
and cylinder because of piston expansion at higher temperatures. When forged
pistons are used, clearances have to be opened up even more due to the thermal
properties of the aluminum alloy. I've owned low mileage cars that used more
than one quart of oil in 1,000 miles. But that still does not explain why a
Mercedes with tightly fit cast pistons uses one quart of oil in 1,200 miles.
My Mercedes have never done this until the engines showed considerable wear.
I don't think that can be used as a rule. I have personal experience with a
1998 BMW 540 and a 1985 Mercedes 380SE (own both to this day) and neither of
them ever burned oil. The Mercedes is losing oil, but to a leaky rear main
seal, not to burning. My father's experience with German cars (2002's, a
Bavaria, 3 Benz diesels) has always been better with oil than the american
cars he has owned (plymouth's, pontiac firebird 400, a lincoln mark VII,
oldsmobile bravada) or the american cars he has dealt with (olds 442 and
chevelle 454). A far as the non-German european cars, I don't know.
I am not a Mercedes owner, but a similar discussion rears its head in
the BMW motorcycle list where BMW states 1 quart per 1000 miles is
"normal". Some riders note that this is rediculously high, while many
other riders note that their rides don't consume anywhere near that
volume. All my vehicles never need to be topped up between servicing
due to low oil consumption (140k km, worst case).
I suspect a similar thing exists with M-B vehicles where the 1 quart
per 1000 miles is a worst-case spec in the hand-book, and not an
average consumption. I defer to actual M-B owners who may righfully
-Steve Makohin | Reply to email@example.com
2000 BMW R1100S/ABS | (hotmail acct is spam catcher)
Although to me, this high level of oil consumption seems totally wrong, it
is in fact what MB allows as "normal". There was some discussion about the
switchover from organic to full synthetic oil causing a temporary higher
rate of consumption, but with a 2001 model, this would not affect you since
it came filled with synthetic. The only thing I can offer is that you
should have it closely monitored and the moment it falls below MBZ
"acceptable" range, make them do something about it. My guess is the
problem will be failed piston rings due to improper engine break-in.
Probably so. I suggest you document the rate of consumption and if it does
fall out of spec after the expiration of the warranty, try to get MB to
cover it under "goodwill". If that does not work, then you might want to
seek legal assistance.
I agree with other posters that 1 l/1000 Km oil consumption is probably
the worst case scenario and not what the average Mercedes should consume.
If I were you, I'd take the car to another Mercedes dealership in your area
and tell them losing this much oil is not normal. Insist that they do
something about it. My experience with Mercedes dealerships is that their
levels of service varies from dealership to dealership. It's much better to
get them to fix the problem *before* your warranty runs out than to hope
they will give you a goodwill warranty after it has expired. Just my
> > > 2000 BMW R1100S/ABS | (hotmail acct is spam catcher)
> Although to me, this high level of oil consumption seems totally wrong,
> is in fact what MB allows as "normal". There was some discussion about
> switchover from organic to full synthetic oil causing a temporary higher
> rate of consumption, but with a 2001 model, this would not affect you
> it came filled with synthetic. The only thing I can offer is that you
> should have it closely monitored and the moment it falls below MBZ
> "acceptable" range, make them do something about it. My guess is the
> problem will be failed piston rings due to improper engine break-in.
> - RODNEY
I got an older Merc. 77 280E
Its funny, but in the genuine Merc workshop literature, they show an
engine oil dip-stick with volume related graduations on it, so that
you can actually measure oil consumption quite accurately. I don't
know whether a 'special' dip stick was made for all the models to
allow the dealers to see if a car was in or out of spec.
All I can say is that I have never seen (or heard of) such a device
for any other car.
I wonder what the game really is here?
Too much light running and idling, especially during the early life of
an engine but also later, will cause bore glazing and high oil
consumption. Engines run under load for a high proportion of running
time from new seldom consume more than a litre of oil every five
thousand miles, if any at all.
There may be other causes for high oil consumption, like thrashing
from cold or worn valve guides, but the above is most common in young
engines, which is what a 40000 miler is.
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Speaking of break-ins, I have always understood that full-throttle
accelerations are actually good for a new engine. Fast moving pistons along
with them being forced to the extreme ends of travel help insure proper ring
seating. Every car I have owned has been broken-in this way and I have
never had any oil usage problems (even on some vehicles known for that
Varying engine speed is important. The worst thing you can do on a new
engine is to take a long trip and use the cruise control. There is also a
myth that modern engine don't need a break-in period. This is not really
correct. Due to improved materials and manufacturing processes, it's not as
critical as it once was, but it's still important.
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