Mercedes Benz Engines: How to get the most miles out of your Mercedes Engine

Mercedes Benz engines are some of the best engineered in the world. At German Auto Center we have been exclusively servicing German engines and specifically Mercedes Benz engines since the 1970s.  Regardless of what type of Mercedes-Benz engine you have, here are a few common tips that will ensure your Mercedes Benz provides you with years of service.

1)    Engine oil. Be sure that your engine oil and engine oil filter are changed on a regular schedule. We at German Auto Center recommend every 5,000 miles for older models that are using mineral based oil and every 7,500 miles for later model engines requiring Mobil 1 0W/40 full synthetic engine oil. Be sure to check your Mercedes owner’s manual or stop by a specialty center if you are unsure which engine oil you should be using.

2)    Engine oil filter. All oil filters are not created equally. All late model Mercedes Benz engines use a fleece oil filter and it is important that you use a genuine Mercedes Benz oil filter or a fleece equivalent. Most fast lube shops use paper oil filters and these should be avoided.

3)    Mercedes Benz specialist. We strongly recommend that you have your oil changed at a Mercedes Benz specialty center. As these engines are designed to provide you with 100s of thousands of miles of service, it is important that these engines be visually inspected regularly by a trained Mercedes Benz specialist. This will help spot any issue that can be addressed early before they become a costly repair or worse, leave you stranded.

Common Mercedes Engine Types:

As with any vehicle model, each generation of Mercedes Benz engines have their own unique characteristics and maintenance requirements. Here are some of the common things that we at German Auto Center see regularly.

Mercedes Benz 111, 112, 113 V4, V6 and V8 engines. These Mercedes Benz engines used from the late 1990s through the mid to late 2000s have proven to be very reliable. At German Auto Center, we have seen these engines with well over 300,000 miles and still going strong. With higher mileage, these engines do develop oil leaks that can be easily repaired. Some of the common things German Auto Center will look for are valve cover gaskets leaks and rear main seal leaks. Valve cover gaskets which are located at the top of the engine get hard and do not seal well allowing oil to leak from the top of the engine. This is a messy oil leak as oil will drip down the engine ultimately hitting the exhaust and causing a burning smell. Similarly, rear main seals become hard with age and allow engine oil to leak between the engine and transmission. Engines equipped with super chargers and intercoolers must be inspected regularly for intake leaks through the oil separator and intake manifold.

Mercedes Benz 272, 273 V6 and V8 engines. The late model Mercedes Benz V6 and V8 engines make use of advances in variable camshaft timing and variable valve lift. These advances allow engines to maximize fuel economy while providing optimum performance. With these advances, comes added complexity.  A check engine code can be an early sign of camshaft deviation issues. These issue caught early can easily be repaired. Some common repairs with these engines are more frequent oil services with the proper Mobil 1 0W/40 engine oil to remove dirt deposits from the engine and ensuring no vacuum leaks on the intake allow unfiltered air into the engine. These conditions left unchecked can lead to costly repairs to the engine balance shaft and intake manifold.

Mercedes Benz BlueTEC diesel engine. With the advent of the Mercedes Benz BlueTEC diesel engine, the performance gap between diesel and gas engines has virtually been eliminated. As with any other engine, the blue TEC has its own common repairs that specialists should look out for. These common repairs items include, oil leaking from the engine oil cooler seals, the turbo charger intake seals and the valve cover gaskets. These are common repairs and can easily be identified. Unique to the BlueTEC diesel, is the addition of the BlueTEC additive. You should check the level and top off with AddBlue every oil change. Most specialists will check the level and top off as required when you are in for any regularly scheduled factory maintenance or oil service.

What does your Mercedes check engine light mean? Automotive manufacturers including Mercedes Benz are required by law to provide warning to the vehicle driver of possible issues causing degradation in vehicle emissions. This is how the check engine light came into existence. Although there are literally 1000s of reasons why a vehicle’s emissions may be negatively impacted, there are three basic areas that may be of issue; fuel flow and distribution, air flow and distribution, and the delivery of spark to the combustion chamber. All engines require the proper amount and timing of delivery of fuel, air and spark for an engine to run properly. Any anomaly in these areas will set a check engine light. Remember a check engine light may be as simple as a gas cap that is not sealing or more complex with engine management electronics.  With today’s complex engines utilizing variable timing to improve performance and fuel economy specialists can quickly make a distinction between a gas cap related issue from a more complex camshaft timing and deviation issues, or vacuum leak causing improper fuel trim which can often be confused with MAF readings.

What’s a good Mercedes Benz engine oil? All late model Mercedes Benz vehicles utilize Mobil 1 0W/40 full synthetic motor oil.  It is important to use 0W/40 and not 5W/30, 5W/40 or any other variation of synthetic motor oil.

When should I consider rebuilding my Mercedes engine? Although the Mercedes Benz experts at German Auto Center specialize in engine repair, with proper maintenance and service, very few Mercedes Benz engines need a complete rebuild. If you are having excessive oil consumption or smoke coming from the exhaust, these may be simply signs of issues with the crankcase ventilation system or oil separator and do not require complete engine rebuilds. The most common cause of engine failure is improper engine oil or overheating due to loss of coolant or component failure.

Visit the experts at German Auto Center the next time your check engine light appears or if you need service on your Mercedes Benz. Len Gilmore is German Auto Center’s owner and operator and takes the time to get to know you and your vehicle. Join the German Auto Center family today!

Have a question about your luxury automobile or does your model need special work? Please ask using the comment box below on our German Auto Center Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/germanautocenteratx) and one of our experts will reply!