Oil, that perennial subject

Today I took my 190E 2-litre in to a Merc dealer (new-style Mercedes-Benz London) for its 72 000-mile service (at about 70K, as it does about 1000 miles a year now or less).
In case you ask why I am so nuts to spend so much money etc I think it's going to be the last service at a main dealer, as I have an apparently fairly competent independent mechanic not far from me.
Anyway, when I asked the service adviser about the oil they were proposing to use he replied Mobil "semi-synthetic". Apparently they don't use Mobil 1 routinely on most cars because customers moan about the cost. I asked him to use Mobil 1! Given the rough use the engine gets -- short journeys -- I felt I should try to limit oil deterioration.
It is curious, as with the factory instructions and general bumph supplied with my 2001 CLK it clearly states that Mobil 1 is the recommended oil.
I also saw him stamp my service booklet, i.e. before work had even started. In practice I suppose it makes little odds when it's completed, but I would have thought that it's more reassuring if done after the service...
DAS --
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On Mon, 24 Nov 2003 12:20:19 -0000, "Dori Schmetterling"

The factory instructions specify oil grades to use, but not a specific brand. Ignore the marketing crap and look in the service pack, there's a chart in there somewhere. We use Castrol GTX Magnatec 10w/40 from the pump at our dealership, think we have got a few dusty bottles of Mobil 1 kicking around at the bottom of the parts department somewhere...
I think we charge oil out at about 6.50/litre + vat, I'm sure you could buy Mobil 1 cheaper than that down at Halfords so if you want to save a few quid next time you get your CLK serviced you could supply your own oil, a few of our customers do.
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Thanks.
In which part of the country do you work? (Which dealership? Is it still independently owned or taken over by MBUK?)
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On collecting the car I asked the service advisor about Castrol GTX but he was unfamiliar with its detail (and he is an ex-tech, so pretty knowledgeable). He confirmed that Mobil "semi-synthetic" is used at the pump but a number of clients, me included, as for Mobil 1 which he declared to be the best. I think I paid the price you mentioned.
Maybe you can identify something for me that I noticed on the invoice later:
ZZZMOBILE4PE ZZZMOBILE1PE
Both items are also marked "PET 0W - 40".
What's the diff between the two? Is one a 4-litre tin maybe?
BTW, total labour for this 72 000 mile service (which is extra big, for those who don't know) was GBP 232 before tax, which isn't as bad as I expected. Other labour charges were GBP 25.80 for a brake fluid change and GBP 34.40 for coolant replacement.
Encouragingly, they did NOT replace part or all of the exhaust system which is giving rise to very slight rough running -- I thought it was a hole -- saying that it's not blown and that I can keep going for a quite a while.
The service advisor was friendly and helpful (as he should be, of course). Although this car is over 10 years old and worth little, it is in good condition and the money seems well spent.
The whole experience seems quite positive and not at all like all those negative dealership reports posted here.
Let's hope the car doesn't now fall apart after 20 miles...
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On Thu, 27 Nov 2003 10:47:05 -0000, "Dori Schmetterling"

Magnatec is fully synthetic, castrol blurb here: http://www.notc.com.np/castrol/product/cas_mag.htm

I guess so, it comes in 1 or 4 litre containers, and you would have needed 5...

72k service includes replacement of gearbox oil and filter (auto only), 54k service includes fuel and air filter. 108k is the biggy cos its when the g/box filter becomes due for the third time and the fuel and air filters come up for their second change.

34.40 for coolant change equates to 86/hour, so with VAT its just over 101/hour, not exactly cheap.
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wrote:

but he

at the

declared
Notwithstanding the sparse information provided by, what I assume is, a third party site, I do not believe that Magnatec is a synthetic oil. It may use [so called] 'synthetic technology' to produce an inhanced product that meets quite high standards. This is more important than whether it is synthetic or not.
Huw
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