DIY Oil Change in a Mercedes E350

by Michael Ryan
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Doing your own oil change on a Mercedes-Benz E350 will help you avoid the high labor rates charged by Mercedes dealerships, and it will also give you an opportunity to hone your mechanical skills. Unlike many vehicles, you can use two different methods to change the oil on an E-Class--the oil pan has a traditional drain plug, but a less conventional suction system can also be used.

Draining the Oil

A traditional oil change includes draining all remaining oil by way of a drain plug mounted in the oil pan. To complete an oil change using this method, you must first remove the shield that protects the underside of the E350. Although this helps prevent damage to components on the engine's underside, it can be difficult to remove from the car. Once the shielding is removed, the drain plug must be loosened with a metric socket. When the oil is done draining and you tighten the plug, be sure to put a new washer on it.

Suctioning the Oil

The E350 is designed to have oil evacuated via a suction pump during an oil change. A vacuum-type pump, which can be powered by electronics or by hand, is connected to a tube which is inserted into the dipstick check hole on the vehicle. This allows the oil to be removed without raising the vehicle and without getting dirty. As the E350 uses a canister-type oil filter that is mounted on the top of the engine, accessible from under the hood, an oil change can be completed without having to raise the vehicle if the suction method is used.

Oil Filter Access

The top mounted oil filter is a feature used by Mercedes-Benz on most models, including the E350. A plastic cap under the hood provides access to a canister-type oil filter. When replacing a canister type oil filter, make sure that you install the O-rings provided with it. These will keep oil from leaking when the engine is running.

Draining the Most Oil

During the oil change process, it is important to drain as much oil as possible, as this will allow you to fill the engine with more clean oil. Conventional wisdom would make the draining method seem the best choice to remove the most oil. However, because of a lip on the oil pan and the fact a vehicle must be raised when changing the oil, which can hold some additional oil in the pan, using the vacuum suction method will actually remove the most oil from your E350's oil pan.

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