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Old 11-18-2015, 11:06 AM   #1
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Oil Change Interval

So I've had my 2015 Solera for a bit more than a year. The chassis is a 2014 model ... not sure when it was delivered to FR. At this point I've got about 8,500 miles on the motorhome and I've been expecting the service light to come on, as I'm a bit past one year.

Since the light didn't come on, I decided to run through the sprinter's computer menu to track down when it thinks I need to do the service...again, expecting to see it due in some period of days. Instead, it indicated that the service would be due in about 6,500 miles - 15,000 total - with no reference to the elapsed time.

This didn't seem right to me, so I searched through the maintenance manual, the owner's manual, etc., trying to track down the oil change interval. The only thing I could find was 15,000 miles - no reference to elapsed time except to say that the maintenance reminder would let me know when to do the service.

This still didn't seem right to me, so I called the Sprinter customer service line. The service rep said that these synthetic oils last a long time...and that I didn't need to do an oil change until the onboard computer told me to do it.

I remain a bit skeptical, but given advice from their service rep...and a desire to conserve what limited funds I can...I guess I'll wait for a while and see what happens. In the meantime, I do plan to get an oil analysis done and may change my mind when I get those results.


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Old 11-18-2015, 02:19 PM   #2
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Interesting! Mine, 2014 chassis, 2014 Solera and the 'service needed' came on one year from the date it was put in service (only 6,125 miles).

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Old 11-18-2015, 06:24 PM   #3
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I discussed oil change intervals with the Service Manager at the local M-B Sprinter dealership. For our 2015 chassis the M-B recommendation is 20K miles! That is a lot more miles than I'm willing to go... The Service Manager recommended 10K miles, or annually, which is what I'm going to do....
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Old 11-19-2015, 06:24 PM   #4
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Some opinions:

"Synthetic oils, such as the popular Mobil 1, are stretching oil change intervals, leaving the 3,000-mile mark in the dust. "The great majority of new vehicles today have a recommended oil change interval greater than 3,000 miles," said Mobil spokeswoman Kristen A. Hellmer. The company's most advanced synthetic product (Mobil 1 Extended Performance) is guaranteed for 15,000 miles.

Today's longer oil change intervals are due to:
Improved "robustness" of today's oils, with their ability to protect engines from wear and heat and still deliver good fuel economy with low emissions
More automakers using synthetic oil
Tighter tolerances (the gap between metal moving parts) of modern engines
The introduction of oil life monitoring systems, which notify the driver when an oil change is required and are based on the way the car is driven and the conditions it encounters. Sixteen of 34 carmakers now use oil life monitoring systems in their 2013 model-year vehicles, including all three domestic automakers. That represents a majority of the vehicles sold in the U.S.
One GM car Edmunds drove went 13,000 miles before the monitoring system indicated the need for an oil change. We sent a sample of that oil to a lab for analysis. The results showed that the oil could have safely delivered at least another 2,000 miles of service."

""Regular oils" are mineral-based products refined from crude oil taken from the ground. Over the past 20 years these lubricants have been refined even further, particularly in the area of viscosity enhancers. This means modern oils flow better over a range of temperatures. This, in combination with engines that sport tighter clearances and better machining, allow for the use of thin oils that both reduce friction and improve fuel efficiency. For instance, in the world of racing, very few teams are going to be using motor oil with single rated viscosity. Racers not only want efficient operation and greater power, they want the best lubrication of engine parts as quickly as possible. (Start-ups deliver high engine wear, so you want an oil that gets to work quickly.)

"Synthetic oils", which have been around since the 1970s, have the same natural ingredients as "regular oils" but they are distilled in a chemical plant where the concept of refining goes techno-geek. Try wrapping your head around the concept of “synthesized-hydrocarbon molecular chains” and base fluids including “polyalphaolefin, synthetic esters, and alkylated aromatics.” What the heck do all these terms mean? In plain english, they are the engineered basis for the synthetic oil qualities listed below.

Synthetic oils:

are all season and have multi-viscosity properties, some flowing as much as seven times faster than regular oil.
can stand extremes of engine temperature (some above 400F) more efficiently.
can boost horsepower more effectively than thinner regular oils.
can be used for intervals as long as 25,000 miles before requiring an oil change.
contain fewer contaminants like sulfur, wax, and other elements that contribute to sludge build-up.
Of course, synthetic oils are more expensive and there are some things they don’t do, including:

eliminate the need for oil changes.
or eliminate engine wear.

The major advantage of synthetic oils is superior lubrication that significantly reduces engine wear over the long term."
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Old 11-19-2015, 07:08 PM   #5
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My Mercedes ML diesel was 20km between oil changes.
My Saab was 365 days 20km.

I never went that long, I change at 50%. Fuel filters every second oil change.

I don't go by mileage.
I rely on the oil life minder.
Mileage doesn't take anything else into consideration.

Temp, idle time, load, etc.

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Old 11-26-2015, 10:52 PM   #6
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Just did mine at 10K miles on a 2014 chassis. 18 months since new purchase. Cheap insurance for me. Others may want to go 15K.

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Old 11-26-2015, 11:08 PM   #7
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Keep in mind that Diesel engines hold much more oil than typical gasoline engines. That allows any contamination build-up to be spread over a much larger volume.

That said, oil and coolant are the life blood of engines. I always err on the conservative side of change intervals. IMO, the best and cheapest insurance there is.

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