It's been my experience over the last 25+ years of being involved in the automotive repair business that most Mercedes Benz owners love and cherish their cars—with good reason! Mercedes Benz vehicles are the epitome of German engineering. To fully realize the power, responsiveness, and efficiency a Mercedes Benz engine was built to produce, a bit of special care is required.
When it comes to the filters, oil, and fluids of your Mercedes Benz, regular maintenance helps prevent mechanical deterioration. Although it's possible to perform all the general maintenance of the fluids, filters, and oil yourself, it is best to seek a professional if you drive a modern Mercedes Benz.
With the newer models, it is becoming increasingly difficult for even those with good mechanical knowledge to perform maintenance on their own vehicles. This is largely due to the complexity of the systems, as well as the specialized tools and software required.
More Often Than You Think: The Need for Regular Routine Oil and Filter Maintenance
Mercedes Benz suggests that you should have your engine oil and filter changed at intervals of between 8,000 to 14,000 miles. Some manuals even say every 10,000 miles or once per year.
Why the broad range? With Mercedes vehicles, the intervals are vastly different from year to year and model to model.
Here at Euro Motorworks, we respectfully disagree.
While we agree with the manufacturer when it comes to all their other service interval recommendations, we think that the intervals they recommend for oil and filter changes are spread a bit too far apart. Years of experience with these vehicles has taught us the best interval to promote engine performance and longevity is 7,500 miles for synthetic oil.
Why do we not agree with the manufacturer in this one area?
It's simple. As with all of our services, our goal is to maximize the longevity of your vehicle. We have your best interest at heart. The manufacturer's goal is to sell you a new Mercedes...again and again and again.
Mercedes Benz’s engineers are brilliant. They've engineered a very advanced engine oiling and filtering system in an attempt to stretch out oil and filter change intervals to make owning a Mercedes more convenient.
This is great in theory, but the reality we see in our service center is one of accelerated engine wear. This creates more frequent and more expensive repairs for our Mercedes Benz owners.
One example is that at Euro Motorworks, we frequently see damaged, worn, clogged, and restricted crankcase vent valves. This shouldn't happen. In our opinion, it wouldn’t happen with more frequent oil changes.
As of June 2020, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration estimates that most Americans drive an average of 13,500 miles each year, or more than 1,000 each month. If your driving habits are similar to the majority of Americans and you follow the longer oil change interval suggestion this means your vehicle is only getting checked over by a trained technician once a year.
With such infrequent visits to your service center, unless you're taking the time to do it yourself, your tire pressures, brakes, belts, and hoses are only getting checked once a year.
Is this enough attention for a vehicle that transports your family down the highway at 70 miles per hour (or more, if you have a lead foot)? It doesn’t hurt to let trained professionals evaluate your car more often than once each year.
It All Depends on You: Replacing Your Air Filter and Fuel Filter
You should change your air filter every 30,000 to 60,000 miles, or every four years, whichever comes first. This might sound like a broad range, but that’s done purposefully because every Mercedes Benz year and model is different.
You should check your Owner's Manual to find out what your air filter interval is, or contact our team at Euro Motorworks, and we’ll help you determine the best time to replace yours; it all depends on your car and your driving habits. If you live in a dusty area, for instance on a long gravel drive, be prepared to check and replace the air filter more often for optimal performance.
Your Mercedes needs a fuel filter as little as every 30,000 miles or as long as 60,000 miles. Again, the interval is different from model to model and year to year. Check your Owner's Manual to know for sure, or reach out to us and we’ll help you decide when it’s time to replace your fuel filter.
The Variables: Coolant, Brake Fluid, and Wiper Fluid
Check your coolant frequently and refill it as needed. Keep in mind that Mercedes Benz vehicles use a special coolant, which is a mix of antifreeze with anti-corrosive properties and water. A list of recommended coolants is available in your Owner's Manual. At Euro Motorworks, we suggest you bring your Mercedes Benz in for a flush and renewal of the coolant system every 4 years.
Brake fluid should be flushed and renewed every 2 years. Over time, brake fluid absorbs moisture—that's what it’s supposed to do. However, this moisture also degrades the fluid over time and ultimately leads to reduced braking ability.
Window Washing Fluid
Refill the window washing fluid as often as needed. In colder climates (like here in Indy), replace the window washing fluid with low-temperature fluid to prevent the liquid from freezing during winter months.
A special note for those of you who do not drive your Mercedes Benz often: If you're putting less than 7,500 miles a year on your car, you should plan to schedule your service intervals by time instead of by mileage. Oil and filter changes should be performed once a year. Spark plugs, engine air filter, and fuel filter should be changed every 4-5 years.
A well-maintained Mercedes Benz will last longer than you want it to. Trust us: You'll be itching to take home a new one, but your current vehicle will still be in such great shape you won't be able to justify exchanging it for a newer one!
The absolute best thing you can do for your vehicle is to develop a relationship with a service facility that employs trained and experienced technicians who specialize in Mercedes Benz. Our specialized technicians are passionate about what they do. We already know your car inside and out, backwards and forwards. And, we'll keep you on the straight and narrow when it comes to maintenance so you can enjoy years of dependable and safe driving in your Mercedes.
If you had access to a Mercedes Benz specialist, what would you ask him or her? At Euro Motorworks, we’re standing by, ready to answer any questions you may have. Don’t hesitate to contact us whenever you need some guidance.
Is it time for a trip to the service center? Schedule an appointment today!