Why are Mercedes oil changes so expensive?

In this blog, we find out why the Mercedes Benz oil change is so expensive and answer the following questions:: what type of engine oil does Mercedes Benz use? Which alternate engine oils can be used other than the Mercedes Benz engine oil? When to replace the engine oil in the Mercedes Benz?

Why are Mercedes Benz oil changes so expensive?

Mercedes Benz engine oil changes are so expensive because the task of replacing the engine oil is not simple and involves few critical processes. Following are some of the reasons for expensive engine oil changes.

  • Complex engines
  • Proprietary oils
  • Engine oil quantities
  • Labour rates

The reasons for the expensive cost of Mercedes Benz oil change are discussed in depth below:

  • Complex engines

Mercedes Benz cars have some of the most complex engines found in production cars. The engines also use various different lubrication technologies like wet-sump lubrication or dry-sump lubrication. The lubrication circuit in a typical engine usually consists of an oil reservoir from which the engine oil is pumped by an oil pump and then it is circulated through the entire engine.

In addition to having different types of lubrication circuits, there are engine oil coolers and small heat exchangers located in the engine. As the engine reaches the operating temperature, it is crucial to maintain the temperature. Although this task is mainly achieved by the coolant in the cooling system of the engine. The engine oil also needs its dedicated engine oil cooler so that the load on the coolant system of the engine is reduced.

Mercedes Benz also employs a warm-up phase; this function is built into the engine control unit. During the warm-up phase, the engine is brought to operating temperature more quickly by keeping the coolant stationary in the engine block. Hence, the heat exchanges perform the task of cooling as well as bringing the engine oil to operating temperature more quickly.

All these complex lubrication circuits mean when it comes to draining the engine oil it must be drained from multiple locations on the vehicle. Some of the multiple drain points include the engine oil cooler, oil lines, timing case and lastly the oil sump.

  • Proprietary oils

Mercedes Benz makes its own branded engine oil and it is available across all the authorised dealerships. The engine oil is fully synthetic which means it is completely manufactured in a laboratory. There is no natural mineral oil in the Mercedes Benz engine oil. The engine oil is thoroughly tested and all the data complies with MB sheet numbers. 

The MB sheet numbers contain the engine oil grades and possible alternatives which can be used other than Mercedes’s own engine oil. Each model follows a specific MB sheet number as the engine oils are graded according to the viscosity at various operating temperatures.

Since fully synthetic engine oil is the most expensive engine oil available in the market, it increases the engine oil change cost.

  • Engine oil quantities

The engine oil quantity is the oil required to be put into the engine so that even after it is circulated, there must be a sufficient level of engine oil in the oil sump to lubricate the crankshaft and the balancer shaft if any. The total engine oil quantity depends on the type of engine used in the vehicle and it can be checked with the help of an engine oil dipstick or by selecting the engine oil level menu from the instrument cluster.

Most of the inline 4-cylinder petrol and diesel engines use around 6-6.5 litres of engine oil. Some of the larger engines can take up to 8-9 litre of engine oil. There is an engine oil quality and level sensor usually located at the bottom of the oil pan. The driver is alerted if the engine oil level breaches the minimum oil level of 4 mm in the oil pan or the quality of engine oil is very poor.

  • Labour rates

The labour rates are charged to the customer for performing an engine oil change. It is not covered under warranty and the Mercedes Benz labour rate is high considering it is a very advanced luxury car. The authorised dealerships charge according to the total time required to complete the engine oil change. Mercedes Benz has specified the total completion time of engine oil change according to the model in the ASRA system. 

Ideally, it can take 1- 1.5 hours for an engine oil change but since it is performed with the service of the vehicle, the total time can be up to 3-4 hours.

  • Additional parts

When a vehicle comes to the workshop for an engine oil change, it needs certain additional parts apart from the engine oil itself. Additional parts such as engine oil filter, drain bolt and washer. In an authorised dealership, engine oil is always replaced with the engine oil filter. 

The task of the engine oil filter is to filter out small metal shavings or burr particles from oil before it reaches critical components like oil galleries or oil coolers. Therefore as the mileage is increased it can get clogged up, apart from engine oil; the latest Mercedes Benz engines are using plastic oil pans and on some models, the entire lower section of the oil pan is made up of plastic. This is done to reduce weight but the plastic oil pan comes with a plastic drain bolt and it needs replacement at every oil change.

 What type of engine oil does Mercedes Benz use?

Mercedes Benz uses fully synthetic engine oil in all of its passenger car models. The engine oil grade is either 0W40 or 5W40. For a diesel engine with an AdBlue injection system with selective catalytic reduction and a diesel particulate filter, Mercedes Benz uses an engine oil with properties which help to reduce the formation of soot particles as some of the engine oil combusts inside the combustion chamber.

Mercedes Benz also makes a high-performance version of engine oil with 0W40 grade and it is recommended for the AMG line and AMG 45, 63 series models. The cost is more than the standard engine oil and it is not available in Global markets. The high-performance engine oil is specially tested for high-performance models like Mercedes AMG as the operating temperature can be higher compared to regular models.

Which alternate engine oils can be used other than the Mercedes Benz engine oil?

The alternate engine oils that can be used other than the Mercedes Benz engine oils are given in MB sheet number 229.5/1/2/3. Some of the alternatives available on the market are made by reputed brands like Motul, Petronas and Shell.

As long as the engine oil grade is the same, the engine oil can be used in the Mercedes Benz engine.

Other articles about Mercedes Benz you may be interested in

Why does Bluetooth music not work in Mercedes Benz?

How to open the engine hood in Mercedes Benz cars?

What are the modifications for a Mercedes Benz C Class?

Conclusion

Mercedes Benz engine oil change is scheduled at once every year or at the end of 10,000 miles (15000km) whichever comes first. The engine oil properties can degrade with time hence it is recommended to change it even if the specified mileage has not been reached. Based on the model, an engine oil change can cost 150 – 250 USD at a Mercedes Benz authorised dealership.

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