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Old 16-08-2004, 04:14 PM   #1
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Oil Specs: MB229.1 & MB229.3

Here is a pretty good explaination of the difference.


"MB229.1 is intended to cover minimum specifications for passenger cars with petrol or diesel engines prior to the introduction of 2002 model year vehicles from Mercedes.

Although it calls for high detergency, MB229.1 is not a particularly onerous specification for modern lubricants and can in fact be achieved even with a plain mineral oil of say, 15W40 viscosity grade if the right additive pack is selected. It equates to ACEA grades A2/B2 and to some of the requirements of ACEA grades A3/B3 but despite its A3/B3 rating it is NOT intended for use over extended drain intervals. This means the oil must be changed every 6,000 miles if it only complies with MB229.1.

The latest generation of engines from Mercedes are higher performance BUT need to give improved economy and longer drain intervals dictated by the need to reduce service time and cost.

Hence MB229.3 was introduced to ensure that the engine lubricants can cope with these new demands.

The need for drain intervals of 12,000 miles or more in higher performance engines can give rise to problems with plain mineral oils since the lighter base stocks can evaporate off over this time, thickening the oil, concentrating contaminants and increasing oil consumption (topping up is required to replace the evaporated stocks). Additionally, the demand for better economy means that the oils viscosity MUST be relatively low and plain mineral oils are not very good at preventing wear when they are low in viscosity.

This incompatibility with plain mineral oils and MB229.3 means that MB229.3 oils are generally Fully Synthetic. Equally they will have low viscosities (typically 5W40 or 0W40 but they can be as low as 0W30!) and must meet the full requirements of ACEA grade A3/B3
"
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Old 16-08-2004, 09:01 PM   #2
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So what your basically are saying is use 5W oils like Mobil1...what about mobil S or castrol magnatec
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Old 17-08-2004, 11:16 AM   #3
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What I take from that memo is if you have a 229.1 spec oil it needs changing every 6000 miles, it will probably not be full synthetic and will tend to have a higher viscosity

229.3 oils will tend to be synthetic they have to be tougher to survive the extended drain intervals and can (but do not have to) have a lower viscosity because they are "better" lubricants.

This is precisely what caught out MB USA and cost them a packet: some of the MB suggested US "premium" oils simply could not hack it over an extended drain interval of up to 20,000 or 40,000km depending on engine.

They were actually below the MB229.3 spec despite having the same brand name and designation as oils in Europe which did comply with 229.3. A considerable number of MB's suffered engine damage as a result, lawsuits flew and MB USA had to cough because they had not researched the oils properly.

The attached is really useful but should be treated with caution: oil specs. do differ between countries. Note the references to "European" and country oil specs.

http://www.whnet.com/4x4/oil.html

So my choice would be to bung in a quality 229.3 full synthetic & forget it until the car tells me something, but there is nothing wrong with the more traditional oils as long as they meet the required spec for your car and you can be arsed to change it every 6000 miles.

Just to confuse matters there is now the MB 229.31 spec (low ash) required for diesels with particulate filters.

Also MB 229.5 which tend to be thinner and have a minimum of 30,000km drain interval.

The SLR-McLaren requires Mobil 1 SuperSyn 5W-50 so if you are feeling aspirational go for that.
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Old 17-08-2004, 09:39 PM   #4
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Great post Satch.

I insist on using fully synthetic in mine, despite the dealers wanting to use semi-synth magnatec. So I provide my own oil for the service.
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Old 18-08-2004, 10:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robbo
Great post Satch.

I insist on using fully synthetic in mine, despite the dealers wanting to use semi-synth magnatec. So I provide my own oil for the service.
I do not understand why if you car requires MB229.3. Last thing I could find on it was:

Castrol Magnatec 10w40 Synthetically engineered with "Unique Molecular Attraction" for use in modern engines
API SL/CF, ACEA A3/B3
MB229.1, VW 505.00 Approved

I do not see MB229.3 there, but maybe the spec. has changed. Also was told by a highly respected source (well, my mate who has one so just hearsay really) that Porsche dealers are said to have been instructed not to use certain oils that thin at higher temperatures to the extent that during "vigerous" cornering, unless you have a dry sump a la track cars, the oil warning light can sometimes come on as the oil flys around in the sump.

If nothing else that will cause any Porsche owner to whimper in terror of major wallet damage..
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Old 18-08-2004, 05:58 PM   #6
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In the drivers handbook it says I need MB229.1 oil, but I dont buy their line that its OK to do over 10K between services using mineral oil. Better to be safe than sorry is my view.
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Old 18-08-2004, 10:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Satch
I do not understand why if you car requires MB229.3. Last thing I could find on it was:

Castrol Magnatec 10w40 Synthetically engineered with "Unique Molecular Attraction" for use in modern engines
API SL/CF, ACEA A3/B3
MB229.1, VW 505.00 Approved

. Also was told by a highly respected source (well, my mate who has one so just hearsay really) that Porsche dealers are said to have been instructed not to use certain oils that thin at higher temperatures to the extent that during "vigerous" cornering, unless you have a dry sump a la track cars, the oil warning light can sometimes come on as the oil flys around in the sump.

If nothing else that will cause any Porsche owner to whimper in terror of major wallet damage..
Porsche's have dry sumps, the oils in its own tank ?.
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Old 18-08-2004, 10:39 PM   #8
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Checked with the dealer who serviced my car last Sept. they used mobil 1 0w40 which is 229.3. The oil costs about 34.99 at Halfords but someone tells me that Costco are selling it for 26 quid. anyone know of a cheaper source...its a premium brand with a hefty price.

I spoke to the Honda dealer who serviced my civic they used castrol magnatec. would it be safe to use Mobil 1 to top both cars(w211) and civic.

I'll be buying 4L and its seems a waste to reserve it for Mbz which isn't asking for any oil in the 5000 miles i've driven while the Civic will need oil soon...as i've just bought it and it was serviced last dec03.
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Old 19-08-2004, 11:14 AM   #9
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Unless you can find somewhere with a special offer, you'll probably find that Costco is the cheapest for Mobil 1 - just check the the price that you see does include the VAT. Local Hellfrauds had an offer last week - 5 litres (4 + 1) for the price of 4 litres - 40 pounds though.
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Old 19-08-2004, 11:40 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GordonTarling
Unless you can find somewhere with a special offer, you'll probably find that Costco is the cheapest for Mobil 1 - just check the the price that you see does include the VAT. Local Hellfrauds had an offer last week - 5 litres (4 + 1) for the price of 4 litres - 40 pounds though.
You need to be a little careful that you are comparing like for like because there are a number of oils sold under the "Mobil 1" banner thoughout the world.

This is the oil of choice for those with turbo diesels

http://www.mobil.com/UK-English/Lube...iesel_0W40.asp
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Old 19-08-2004, 11:49 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Satch
This is the oil of choice for those with turbo diesels

http://www.mobil.com/UK-English/Lube...iesel_0W40.asp
Pressed the button too soo. Was going to add that apart from those with diesel engines fitted with a particulate filter (think that is just the 2.2 TD at the moment, but not sure) where an oil to MB 229.31 is needed which I think is Mobil SHC Formula LA 5W-30: certainly looks like an MB specific product!

http://www.mobil.com/UK-English/Lube...laLA_5W-30.asp
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Old 19-08-2004, 11:57 AM   #12
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The dealer uses the protection formula OW40 in the diesels as well as petrols which is 229.3 although a turbodiesl is available.

I suppose you could use the either in other petrol cars as well as its an oil.

The costco needs membership which is 30 quid, forget that.
The only price I've got is 34.99 for 4L. or 40 quid for 5L. anyone found any cheaper elsewhere...hope its not a monopoly on price

Update: found 0W40 MB229.3 and 229.5 spec for 27.99 at a local shop a 7.00 quid saving on Halfords price. i asked them to order more since we need 5L for a service usually...clever marketing why have 4L containers.

Last edited by adam1; 19-08-2004 at 03:43 PM.
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Old 13-09-2004, 07:09 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Satch
The attached is really useful but should be treated with caution: oil specs. do differ between countries. Note the references to "European" and country oil specs.

http://www.whnet.com/4x4/oil.html

So my choice would be to bung in a quality 229.3 full synthetic & forget it until the car tells me something, but there is nothing wrong with the more traditional oils as long as they meet the required spec for your car and you can be arsed to change it every 6000 miles.

Also MB 229.5 which tend to be thinner and have a minimum of 30,000km drain interval.
OK, now I'm confused, The same grade Mobil 1 is listed under MB229.3 and MB229.5 (where they recommend the use of a fleece filter.)

I've spoken to local dealerships (MB Of Warrington and Road range Liverpool, they use Shell Helix and Castrol SLX) so they couldnt (or wouldnt) shed any light---Just which category does anyone know Mobil 1 0W40 falls into?
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Old 16-09-2004, 07:10 PM   #14
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have a look at www.screwfix.com oil prices good also stock up when on holls in france fully syn 15 for 5 litres even better get car seviced in france save hundreds lol lol lol
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Old 16-09-2004, 07:44 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordofthenazgul
OK, now I'm confused, The same grade Mobil 1 is listed under MB229.3 and MB229.5 (where they recommend the use of a fleece filter.)

I've spoken to local dealerships (MB Of Warrington and Road range Liverpool, they use Shell Helix and Castrol SLX) so they couldnt (or wouldnt) shed any light---Just which category does anyone know Mobil 1 0W40 falls into?
Meets both specifications. MB229.5 oils are designed for extended drain periods. Also tend to be 5w-30 (ie thinner at higher temperatures) but do not have to be.

I would prefer to use a 0w-40 rather than a 5w-30 anyway, so Mobil 1 it is
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