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Tom P.

451 - First Oil & Filter Change

37 posts in this topic

I had a thread on this way back when, but wanted to revisit this topic and get some feedback now that there are a lot more 451 owners.

According to the service manual, the oil & filter gets its first change at the first "A" service; 15,000 km. (9,320 mi.) This seems to be a long time to run on "break-in" oil. In every other vehicle I have owned, the first oil change was done at around 1,000 to 1,500 km. or after the engine was broke-in. This removed all of the fine metal particles that come off the engine internals during break-in.

I know the Mitsubishi engine comes with synthetic from the factory but I can't get past the fact that there must be metal particles in that oil after the break-in period. When I asked the dealership about booking an oil & filter change at 1,500 km, they were surprised that I asked and informed me of the "A" and "B" service schedule (which I already knew about). I asked if I could schedule just an oil & filter change and they gave me the impression that this was not the norm but could make special arrangements to do it, if I really wanted it.

I haven't booked the appointment yet and wanted to get some feedback from fellow 451 owners in this regard. Also, does anyone know what brand and viscosity oil the MB dealerships are using for our 451's?

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I got my first oil change done at 7,500 kms. The 'house brand' at Lone Star in Winnipeg is either Quaker State or Castrol. I opted for Mobil 1 European Car Formula 0W-40. (both are MB 229.5 approved).

The Mobil 1 is a much better oil.. viscosity at 100'C is 14.3 vs 11.6 with the other stuff. Much better protection, much easier starting in winter, and I believe I've seen a drastic improvement in fuel economy as well. Well worth the extra $36 ($9 per liter)

My plan is to go back to the dealer for the regular service at 15,000; and at every 15,000 interval only. In between each dealer service interval I'll get the oil changed (always using Mobil 1) at my other/cheaper shop, or do it myself, buying my own oil & filter from cheaper sources than the MB dealer.

Long story short; I'm changing the oil at 7,500 kms intervals.

Edited by denisjolicoeur

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I too was concerned about long intervals between oil changes for my 450. So, I change it myself every 7000 km's or so along with the spin-on filter.I use Amsoil 5W-40 which meets or exceeds MB 229.51 which is the latest spec.

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Your oil filter will trap ALL - and I mean all - metal particles. The pathway of oil is from the sump, into the oil pump, into the oil filter (none shall pass) and that's it. So don't worry about particles.Changing the oil at 7500 km is a good idea though.

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... in Germany Oil Change (also first one) is every 20.000 Kilometer. I think the first oil, which is filled in, is a 0 W 40. I took a short visit to my Smart dealer today. There are 2 new Brabus Cabrio in black at his court and maybe 10 used Smart 451. I think they are from Lauda Motion, a rental car company from Niki Lauda. Excerpt Niki Lauda: "Anyone who unterstand the Smart concept, will find it ingenious", and "in Vienna i drive only with a Smart, everything else would be 'ein Blödsinn' (a bullshit).

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Some how I have to agree with Tom on this one, I like the idea of changing it at 1500 just for piece of mind. But I only got 300km right now...little ways to go.

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Anything that comes with synthetic oil is already broken in to some extent at the factory. Piston rings don't like to seat with synthetic oils.

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... seems to be a long time to run on "break-in" oil. In every other vehicle I have owned, the first oil change was done at around 1,000 to 1,500 km. or after the engine was broke-in. This removed all of the fine metal particles that come off the engine internals during break-in.... wanted to get some feedback from fellow 451 owners in this regard. Also, does anyone know what brand and viscosity oil the MB dealerships are using for our 451's?

Hi Tom P!Well, we have come a long way, since our posts last October or so. Congrats on your new smart purchase. I got mine Feb 27, 2008.Well, I researched this issue quite a bit. And finally came to a conclusion.Since I am in the USA, I have been posting on the USA smart forum called, fortwochat.com.Here is a link to that thread, at that forum, of my first oil change, my thinking and conclusions on this subject, and how I did mine. Tom P. and everyone, feel free to stop in and say hello from time to time, if you like. :) Here's the link:My First smart Oil Change, and How I Did Mine, @fortwochat.com, USA Enjoy!PS: Tom P., I remember you were planning to go with the red interior, then, after hearing it was going to be red-orange, instead of a Christmas red, you may have decided to switch the color of your interior. ... Well, after much review, and person looking at the actual orange-red interior, I DID STAY with the red-orange interior! AND, I am so PLEASED that I did! I LOVE IT! It seems that color is one of the HOTTEST Hollywood colors right now, and shows up in TV or other shows, in one way or another. It is especially pleasing and refreshing, when taking it out for a drive. Its very nice, and very alive, but not overwhelmingly so, as its mixed with black color, and not all red-orange. Its nice. After having it about a month now, I am happy with it, and it is still my first preference. I do like the standard steering, without power assist. It feels to me, like it has power assist, even though it doesn't. And, the std steering keeps the weight of the car down, and maybe fewer parts to repair, long term.The semi-automatic manual transmission, after much worry about it last fall 2007, seems perfectly suited to my soft footed, MPG oriented driving style. I very much enjoy the option, of letting the car do all the shift work for me, when I want, OR, shift it myself, if I want. ... If I had a choice today, of the semi-automatic manual as is, or a std manual, or a liquid automatic, ... I would choose the semi-automatic manual, just as it is. I am so pleased with it, after last fall 2007 being so worried about it. Hope you and everyone are enjoying their new smarts, as much as I am mine!Best regards. Edited by Cash

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Be carefull with doing the first oil change too early.I know with Honda/Acura and other car manufacturers, the initial oil fill is a special break in oil that allows the parts to seat properly AND prevent hot spots druing break in, the add a large amount of moly to the oil to prevent overheating of the bearings during break in. In fact, they actually threaten voiding the engine warranty if the first oil change is done too soon.I ALWAYS recommend following the recommended maintenance for at least the first 20,000 km or so until you learn how your car..

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After reading the above should we just change the oil and not the filter at the midway point?

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The factory fill oil for the cdi was a fully synthetic Fuchs oil. If doing an oil change I'd always change the filter as well.

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Be careful with doing the first oil change too early.I know with Honda/Acura and other car manufacturers, the initial oil fill is a special break in oil that allows the parts to seat properly AND prevent hot spots druing break in, the add a large amount of moly to the oil to prevent overheating of the bearings during break in. In fact, they actually threaten voiding the engine warranty if the first oil change is done too soon.

I contacted one service expert, at one Honda new dealer service department. He said, the Honda factory has not put a special break-in oil in the new engines since at least the late 1990's, and likely, not for 20 years, or more. He said, if the factory did, and their customers would harm the engine by changing the oil early, that Honda would have told them, so they can alert customers to this damage they may do to their engine, and warranty. He also has not heard of the Honda factory putting moly, or a break-in additive, in the oil, of their new cars and engines. He is not aware, of this practice, since it may have been done, back in the 1960's or so, on Fords, or other vehicles. He is not aware, of any clause in the Honda warranty, that to change the oil and filter before suggested in the maintenance interval, would void the warranty. If there was such a clause, or restriction, he feels they would have made their service departments well aware of this danger. He said, you can change the oil and filter every week, if one so chooses, and it would not damage the engine, nor impair the warranty.He said, the early oil change may not be needed, due to new manufacturing techniques, but doing so, would do no harm. He personally feels, rather than waiting for 1 year or 10,000 miles, to do the oil changes, oxidation and other contamination, etc, of oil, can cause early damage or wear. So he suggests, he personally (a Honda service person), would change the smart car oil, every six months, instead of 12 months that is recommended by smart, on a smart car, regardless of how many miles the car was driven over that six months, as long as it was not driven over 10,000 miles in six months.His other suggestion, is, once an engine goes synthetic, it cannot go back to fossil. He gave an example, of passages in a fossil oil change over, that could block, and cause a lack of oil reaching certain areas of the engine, thereby causing significant engine damage. Ie, once on synthetic oil (the smart car engine is on synthetic), stay on synthetic oil, for the life of the engine. Disclaimer: This info is from one contact, of an experienced service person, at one Honda dealer, working full time servicing Honda vehicles, in a position that would likely know, and be informed by the factory, if harm to an engine could be done, on a new car, by changing the oil and filter, for the first time, before the first oil service interval recommended. ... He sounded sincere. He sounded experienced, and sounded correct. ... As with any 'ONE', or even multiple, source (s) of info, it does not guarantee the info, ... all, or any, ... is correct. ... Until more and additional credentialed sources are presented, at the present time, I am glad I changed my oil and filter at 590 miles, and believe that it should do no harm to the engine, and likely will extend the engine life and give reduced engine wear over time. I may shorten the time interval of 1 year, to 9 months, ... or stay with one year, regardless of mileage, even if only 5000 miles were driven in a year. I have time to finalize that decision, if a change of plan seems best. ... Presently, I am thinking i will stay with the 7,500 mile oil and filter change interval, if 7,500 miles or less, is driven at 12 months, ... or at 7,500 miles, if less than a year has pasted since the last oil change.I will present 1) the above Honda service person info, and 2) the moly additive / warranty/engine damage concern (from too soon an oil change), ... to a college-auto-tech person, for further comments, later this week or next. Edited by Cash

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By the way, I am currently a factory trained dealer tech for Acura, and used to spin wrenches on Hondas.

I don't think the person you contacted is very up to date on our products. I am trying to find the bulletin that was sent out though our dealer network, have not found it yet...here are a few quotes that I found after a quick check..

What's really important to remember here is this: Don't change the factory-fill engine oil because it looks dark; just make sure it's at the right fluid level. To ensure proper engine break-in, the factory-fill engine oil needs to remain in the engine until the first scheduled maintenance interval.

At PDI, does the factory-fill engine oil seem abnormally dark? Don't worry, there's nothing wrong with the engine. The engine oil looks that way because of molybdenum (that's "moly" for short), a special lubricant applied by the factory to critical engine components during assembly.

Don't Change The Oil Too Soon!

On all Acuras, the original factory-fill engine oil

contains additives that protect the engine during its

break-in period. These additives are not in normal

commercially available oils, so change the oil and

filter at the mileage/time interval specified in the

Owner's Manual for the customer's normal operating

conditions (as per the Canadian Maintenance

Schedule for the majority), not before.

Edited by MightyMouseTech

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Here's some test result info re Royal Purple which uses moly as one of its components...Royal Purple Info As you may know, RP is big in racing circles. The chemistry they use is something we choose not to use. One of our big selling points is extended drain intervals. Some additive chemicals can cause adverse conditions when used for long periods. Royal Purple uses a different chemistry than most. They are one of only a handful of marketers using Moly in their oil. Moly is a solid, specifically banned by Cummins, due to excessive valve train wear. Moly (Molybdenum Disulfide) is a processed mineral that is similar in appearance to graphite. Moly has good lubricating properties when used either by itself (in dry power form or as an additive to oil or other lubricants). Particles of the Moly can come out of suspension and agglomerate. This can actually clog oil filters or oil lines and the rest normally settles in the bottom of the oil pan. This seems to be more likely when using extended drain intervals. The only test we ran on RP involved their 20W50 Racing oil versus our AMSOIL Series 2000 Synthetic 20W50 Racing Oil (TRO). We ran two 4 ball wear tests with different parameters, a spectrographic baseline, FTIR scan and volatility tests. The Royal Purple showed a significantly high volatility rate with a 12.51% boil off rate. This compares to TRO with a 4.47% volatility rating. Wear scars were also smaller with the TRO. For example the TRO left a .41mm scar and the RP oil left a .66mm scar. There was also a surprising difference in the viscosity index. The RP has a VI of 129 versus 155 for the TRO. The higher the VI, the better the viscosity stays in place at high temperatures. This information was provided by AMSOIL Tech Department. They had an independent lab test Royal Purple against AMSOIL. The results are posted above. They have found Moly in Royal Purple. As stated above, this can have negative effects on your engine.

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Cash,I noticed in your oil change description that the oil you used was a Walmart Mobil 1 0W40 Euroblend oil. This sounds to me as if its a combination of synthetic and mineral oils.I wouldn't recommend using this as Mercedes only recommends fully synthetic oil which meets MB 229.5 specifications.

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Cash,I noticed in your oil change description that the oil you used was a Walmart Mobil 1 0W40 Euroblend oil. This sounds to me as if its a combination of synthetic and mineral oils.I wouldn't recommend using this as Mercedes only recommends fully synthetic oil which meets MB 229.5 specifications.

Its the same, as on the 229.5 sheet. mobile 1 0w-40 euroblend, synthetic. Actually, its the exact description, as it says, on the 229.5 sheet (including the euroblend word). I was first informed to use this one, by the smart service dept. In fact, they said, its the 'only' one to use. Then, saw it also on the 229.5 sheet. Its also sold by Advanced Auto and autozone, for 45 cents to 76 cents more a quart. So, I'm sure, the oil I used, is the best for the smart engine. The question, now, is, a) do I leave the new oil as it is with nothing added, or b.) add additive moly or similar for the next 7000 miles.There are two or so other oils on the sheet, that may be able to be purchased in the usa, but, this was the only one I found available, that was on the 229.5 sheet.I also heard, last July at the 2007 smart events, from Mr Graves (wrote a CD repair manual for the smart) that the reason the cars at the show seemed to run rough, is that they take 0w 40 oil, and they did not use that 0w oil in the smarts for the show.The question here seems to be, 1) Did Daimler add additives to help break-in the smart engine, as honda does and is why Honda wants the oil to stay in for 7000 miles or so, 2) and IF Daimler DID put in additives, if one has already changed the oil at 590 miles, like i did, does Daimler recommend putting moly additives in, for the rest of the first 7.500 to 10,000 initial miles to help further break-in, or longevity.It seems they could have addressed this, and added a simple sentence, in the manual, i.e., that its not necessary to do an early oil change before 7000 miles, as they put special additives in the oil to help break-in. But, they didn't. They simply said, change the oil, at 1 year, or 10,000 miles. In reading up on the subject, I seem to have found, that in older Mercedes, maybe 2002 models, they DID say to change the oil after 160 to 500 miles, for the first oil change. Now, at least with the smart, its simply said in the manual, 1st oil and filter change at 10,000 or 1 year. Implying, an earlier change is not needed, by not commenting.I thought I did read in the manual, no additives were needed or suggested. But maybe, thats because they have already added the ones needed, and no more will be needed later. Its not clear.The local smart service dept may not have been fully informed on this also. When I asked them before hand, they said it may not help, but, it wont hurt. That if I wanted to do it, it would be fine.The fact I double verified it with an active auto-tech professor, also gives peace of mind, it was likely the beneficial thing to do. But in conclusion, it would be nice to hear directly from the Daimler engineer design expert 'horses mouth', as to their conclusion, regarding if doing the early 590 mile oil and filter change, will 1) leave the engine worse than if nothing is done with the factory added oil, or 2) if they dont know, or 3) if they think the extra early change is expensive but would give a slight benefit to the small engines longevity.And again, 4) for someone has already changed it like me, at 590 miles, a) do I now add nothing, or b.) do I add moly or similar, for the next 7000 miles or so. If anyone can find a formal statement, from Daimler, regarding the smart and its engine, on this early oil change matter, let us know. It would be very helpful. Edited by Cash

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They expect you to just follow the maintenance schedule as listed in the manual. That is why it is there. They are not going to explain all the reasons why the schedule is the way it is.

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The best idea IMO is to change up at the first service; there are NO, repeat NO particulates circulating in your engine unless you have removed the oil filter. In the case of my B 200, I found the 20,000/15,000 km interval a bit long so I am doing in-between changes at 7500/10,000 km.

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Contacted the dealer service dept today, and asked if they put any break-in additives in the Mercedes or smart cars. I mentioned to them, I had heard that Honda, may put break-in additives in the new engine oil, from the factory.Answer: No. smart, and Mercedes, puts no break-in additives, into the the new engines from the factory. Asked why the mercedes cars a few years ago, back in 2002 or so, said to change the oil at 160 to 500 miles, but now, its 10,000.Answer: they changed, and went with synthetic oil. with no break-in additives.Will it harm the car, either the Mercedes or the smart, to change the oil and filter, at 500 to 700 miles, the first time?Answer: No. It will do no harm.------------------------RE: the post comment above in this thread, that there are no particulates in the oil of the new engine from the factory, two sources below seem to possibly disagree. 1) a professor currently teaching college level auto-tech, who says there is, and its beneficial to remove them with an oil change between 500 to 700 miles, and only do so, staying with synthetic, as it came from the factory, and 2) an individual posting on one of the smart fourms, that changed his smart oil about a month ago, at 1100 miles or so, and said he found a lot more silver particles in the oil than he wanted to see (or in the bottom of the oil pan? I cant remember exactly his words - maybe he removed the oil pan, instead of just draining it? I cant recall. But he definitely said, he saw more silver particles than he wanted to see, when he changed the smart oil). And if he had known that would be the case, he would have changed the oil a lot earlier, at around possibly 500 miles or so.When I personally changed my oil and filter at 590 miles, the old oil collection drain pan already had dirty other oil in the bottom 1/4" or so of the pan, so, I didn't have a clear good chance to notice if there were the silver particles in there. I was more interested in finishing the job, and putting in the new oil and filter. But, I did notice, the 590 miles of old oil, as it was pouring out of the drain plug area, was surprisingly darker and dirtier, than I had expected, for new synthetic oil. And much darker, and dirtier, than it was, when i checked the dip stick, at 110 miles, to make sure it was full of oil. At the 110 mile mark, it seemed crystal clear on the dip stick, like pure water, only oil-ly of course, like oil is supposed to be.

Edited by Cash

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Silver particles in the oil pan would not be able to circulate in the engine, so it's not even a slight worry.

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Reply by James Gillam on February 23, 2008 at 12:04pm I deal with MB and smart all the time in Canada and can pass on the head tech (we have four years of experience) that you should NOT change the oil out early on the smart. The break in oil and additives are different that what you will put in the car once broken in and its important to let everything seat. The first change should not be completed prior to 8000 km.I found this on another smartie site and this gent who has experience with mercedes from a professional relationship seems to know what he is talking about.http://clubsmartcar.com/style_images/gogreen/folder_post_icons/icon9.gif

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