camerontyler

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Hi all, double post from the other popular site but I'm desperate for opinions!

2 days ago I put my beloved W203 C220 CDI into kwik-fit for an oil change.

The car isn't due a service for a good while but I thought I would, as a good will gesture for being good over the winter, give the car a fresh load of oil.

I confirmed with them on the phone and before the replacement that they would use Mobil 1 5w30 Fully Synthetic.

When driving away from kwik-fit (at closing time) I noticed the car wouldn't change gear. I pulled over, restarted the engine and it was fine.

I went out again yesterday for a new bulb. After picking it up I drove the car and it did it again.

I stopped at kwik-fit and asked them if this would have anything to do with the oil change.
The man I assume to be the manager was quick to jump in and tell me that it would have nothing to do with them and my ATF fluid needs replaced.
He also stated he knew this because he had worked for Mercedes all his life.
I queried that it seems a bit odd for this to happen as soon as the engine oil is replaced. He then asked how many miles it had done.
I said almost 46k, he said, ah yes it's definately your ATF fluid it usually needs changed at 45k. (note : haynes manual says 30k)
I then asked how much they charge, he replied we don't do it you'll have to go to Mercedes.

Today I took a trip to Edinburgh for my grandmothers 89th birthday lunch (45 miles each way).
After being on the road for 10 mins a red warning message came up telling me my oil has been overfilled.
I had to continue my journey as I couldn't miss such an important family meeting.
During the journey I noticed a few nasty gear changes (no noises) just a bit harsh and twice I had to bump the gear manually with the gear stick up to take the revs out of the redline (nothing i've ever had to do before (infact i've never seen it in the redline before).
I also noticed once or twice some lovely blue smoke coming from the exhaust area.
After lunch whilst driving home (while the engine was still cold) I had to stop and start 3 times until the gearbox started changing gear itself.
Not pleasant may I add when you are about the join the city bypass! (where driving like a decent human being is frowned upon may I add).

I noticed on the trip I used alot more fuel than usual for the length of the journey (90 miles, over 1/4 of a tank!).

When I arrived home I contacted my mechanically minded friend and he advised me to take the car back to Kwik Fit first thing (lucky the Mrs and I are both on holiday this week) and get them to drain off some of the oil and keep doing that until I have no more warning lights.

He suggested that in regards to the gearbox issue (and possibly the fuel) through some mechanical speak, he suggested the engine may be having to work harder and there could be too much oil pressure that is effecting the cam.

Can anyone please express their opinions on the matter and pass on any good advice (except never use Kwik Fit; my ears are already sore after a 55 minute ear bashing from the mechanic friend, in my defence, it was just an oil change, even I could do it if i wasn't scared of breaking things and getting dirty!).

One last thing, on my receipt it says
"LYDL OIL SERVICE SYNT S £39.95
OFIL213/6.5 OIL FILTER 1"

Does anyone else fear the S after SYNT means 'semi'?
Also, shouldn't it state on the receipt was oil was use i.e. 5w30?
 

47p2

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I think the first thing you need to do is have the level of the oil checked and remove some if it is overfilled. Not sure that overfilling will cause too much 'oil pressure' but it will put extra strain on oil seals causing them to leak, new seals are not expensive but stripping down the engine to replace them will cost a fortune.
 

whitenemesis

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Isn't it a case of poisoning the cats if the oil level is too high?
 

tony jr

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I've found that many main dealers also over fill when servicing the car so much so that I was fed up with taking it back to have a pint removed. I always ask them to slightly under fill and I will top it up myself
 

star

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I cant see that a slight over fill on the engine will cause gearbox issues, Some oil level sensors are more accurate than others, we have had to remove .25ltr on a couple of cars as the light trips up on a motorway as the oil expands. Check your oil first and then get the box read.
 
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camerontyler

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Good evening everyone,

After a relatively eventful day this is where I now stand.

Went to KF, manager seemed a tad pi**ed off that one of his staff had overfilled, giving the expression that it was a rookie mistake.

Rather than just remove some oil he instructed one of his staff to replace the whole lot. He'd expressed his knowledge of Mercedes previously and agreed there should be 5.5-6ltrs put in (found that quantity on forums).

After an apology from one of the mechanics (im pretty sure he didn't work on it the first time though) and a cheerio off I went.
The car felt better, less sluggish and after a short trip my MPG was alot better than yesterday (on the computer anyway). After 3 miles (warmup) I again got an overfill warning but the car definately felt better.
Unfortunately the problem with the gear box is still there.
I went along to a local mechanic and we discussed the situation.
We looked at the ATF dip stick slot which only has a red stopper in it, it did not have a tamper seal.
We had a look under the plastics to see if anything was wrong under there as he informed me there would be no reason for KF to remove them as the port is accessible above the plastics. Nothing wrong there, but it doesnt make much sense as to why they were removed and the (rather young) mechanic struggled so much to put them back on.
Don't think I mentioned this before but the guy was literally bouncing the car up and down whilst up on the ramps quite violently which his friend said was to replace the plastics.

Where we ended up stuck is with this dilema -

If KF used the vacuum technique to remove the oil rather than a good old drainage (which I didn't see them doing) did they perhaps take the ATF dipstick for the oil dipstick and start to vacuum from there before realising they were using the wrong one.
If they did use a vacuum he wasn't sure how they would be able to do this via the ordinary port as he believes there's no tube all the way to the sump so they wouldn't be able to remove all the oil.

To conclude he recommended getting the car to Merc (or Merc Indie) getting it on STAR and reading the levels from there if they can (plus any other codes) or using the proper dipsticks if they have them to check the ATF fluid and get the oil level checked properly while im at it.

He suggested we could put a little ATF fluid in to make sure it's alright but then I would run the risk of over filling if it isn't low and it would be at my own risk.
I will just make sure the car is nicely warmed up before I goto the Indie (about 50 miles away :-s) as it seems to be OK once the oil is up to temperature.

He felt that the car is definately showing symptoms of low ATF fluid but there are no visible leaks so it's a 'mystery' as to where it has gone. But with no admission of mistake from KF I will just have to pay to have the fault found.

I will post a further update as and when.
Thanks for all your help, support and opinions.

Cameron
 

Captain Chris

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Firstly I like to say that I have a genuine sympathy for your predicament but am never surprised when people like 'Kwik Fit' appear to get something apparently simple as an oil change, wrong. It shouldn't be rocket science I know, but modern cars, and Mercedes in particular it seems, are very sensitive to the quantity and specific quality and grades of fluids used in them.

Mercedes are quite specific about fluids to be used in their cars, with good reason, as the wrong type/grade/quantity can cause problems or malfunctions. The owners manuals contain plenty of cautions about DIY or untrained technicians doing the servicing and Mercedes have even tried to take steps to stop untrained technicians working on their cars by making them more difficult / technically challenging, with good reason.

There are plenty of very good independant Mercedes engineers out there, there are some very good ones on this forum, who will carry out service work in a competant way, at very reasonable rates. Personally I would not trust a well engineered car of any brand, to anyone other than a dealer or indi who has the specific knowledge.

Even if someone at these budget auto centres claims that they have 'years of experience... blah .....blah ....e.t.c .' ( I would want to see certificates to back this up!), unless it is actually them that are doing all of the work, it don't mean a thing! Too many times we hear of cock ups occuring because "some rookie" was on the job!

I sincerely hope that you are able to resolve your particular issues with your car quickly and to your satisfaction, but I also hope that you will give careful consideration to who you choose to service your car next time!
 
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camerontyler

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Thanks Chris, lesson learnt!

Heading to Deutsche Marque in Edinburgh tomorrow and will throw in a trip to the zoo seeing as I'm there!

Cameron
 

Alex M Grieve

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On the other hand

I wonder just how sensitive the dashboard oil warnings are? In my experience, somewhere between quite and very sensitive.

I have twice had a car serviced by a competent MB Indy, using Fuchs oil, and the next time I did my weekly check, they asked for more oil (once in a W 220, once in a W203).

I added half a litre of oil to the 220 and on my next motorway run got the "overfull" warning. A thread on the Forum at the time suggested that might only require the removal of a small amount of oil - so I siphoned off about 100 mls and that cured it.

So the device seems to work in quite a narrow range, which is good. I have also found though that CDI engines use very little oil, although I continue to do a weekly check just in case.
 

television

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Cars from around 03 to 06 seem to have more problems with the oil level sensors than others, I must say on mine has never shown any message other than to add a bit just when the car has due for a service and hot.

On my car the 2 dip stick tubes are along side each other at the rear of the engine, so easy to make a mistake if you did not know the cars well.
look forward to reading the verdict on this one
 

47p2

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I'm beginning to wonder if they have drained out some of the ATF or even topped up the ATF with engine oil by mistake via the fill tube
 

gren1512

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Can't agree with Captain Chris, when he says about Diy or Untrained techicians servicing Mercs. This is a simple oil change, we're talking about. I'm no mechanic, but have worked on cars since the age of 11,now an old man of 50. And serviced every car that I have owned. By Mercedes omitting an engine oil dipstick, this hasn't helped anyone than Mercedes. Then being able to charge, an absorbdent fee for a simple oil change, that a lad of 10, could easily do if only they had a dipstick. What I wonder are the reasons for this,is it an oil dipstick and tube.
1.Are too heavy and would effect Performance and MPG figures.
2.So costly to Manufacture, then adding £1000's too the list price.
No, it's just to rip off the Mercedes owner, if this was progress, God help us all.
 

Naraic

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Agreed. This is a simple oil change that most on these forums could perform with their eyes closed. So why do we all think KF can't? If I worked for KF would I suddenly become an incompetent fool? No, of course not.

There is more to this than an oil change...can't wait to find out what.
 

Naraic

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I'm beginning to wonder if they have drained out some of the ATF or even topped up the ATF with engine oil by mistake via the fill tube

Wouldn't it be a lot easier to add oil using that very big hole on the top of the engine? Come on guys, the lads at KF are not as bad as you all suggest. Merely mechanics who can't get jobs elsewhere through no fault of their own.
 

47p2

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Come on guys, the lads at KF are not as bad as you all suggest. Merely mechanics who can't get jobs elsewhere through no fault of their own.

No they're not mechanics, they're tyre fitters and should not be let near a spanner let alone an engine bay...
 
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camerontyler

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Bad News!

I'm sorry to say the suspense will have to continue for another day as Deutsche Marque are full to bursting today but can fit me in tomorrow.
I must say the guy I spoke to (Larry) was really nice and helpful on the phone and I imagine i'll get the same treatment tomorrow. So far so good!
As for the zoo, after buying tickets online last night (saved a tenner) for today the nice animal loving folk have allowed me to use them tomorrow!
 

Naraic

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No they're not mechanics, they're tyre fitters and should not be let near a spanner let alone an engine bay...

...I don't know many (any) tyre fitters who supply their own tools to work on customer cars. They are not all tyre fitters alone. On the other hand, if you got a job as a tyre fitter would you suddenly forget how to do an oil change?
 

television

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No they're not mechanics, they're tyre fitters and should not be let near a spanner let alone an engine bay...

Are you sure that they are tyre fitters, when they fitted my tyres they spun the wheels, stuck the weights on and did not spin again:shock::shock:
 


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