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Owners of MY 1975-85 Mercedes-Benz vehi-
cles and MY 1986 190E with the 2.3L engine
can use unleaded regular gasoline. For MY
1972-74, unleaded gasoline with at least an 87
octane rating should be used.
Before MY 1972, Mercedes-Benz vehicles, like
most cars, were designed to use leaded gaso-
line, which, of course, hasn't been available for
many years. These cars, like the younger MY
1986 and new models, need unleaded premium,
with an octane rating of at least 91.
It’s no surprise that Mercedes-Benz owners
are very particular about their vehicles. They
come to your shop because they trust that the
quality of your work will meet their demanding
standards. They know their cars or SUVs will be
fixed right and properly maintained while
they're in your care.
You can ensure that you continue to earn your
customers’ trust by using only the maintenance
fluids recommended by Mercedes-Benz. From
engine oil to differential lube to chassis grease,
and everything in between, Mercedes-Benz has
a recommended fluid.
Using anything but the recommended fluids
could interfere with performance and vehicle
reliability. A cheaper brand might put a few
more dollars on your bottom line for the short
term, but it is customer satisfaction that pays
off the most in the long term. And customer sat-
isfaction is best achieved by using the recom-
mended fluids whenever you do any mainte-
nance or repair work on a Mercedes-Benz.
The fluid recommendations are based on
extensive testing by Mercedes-Benz. Often, this
testing is done in cooperation with various fluid
manufacturers and refiners. In others, they are
Mercedes-Benz brand products that are only
available through your authorized dealer.
With today’s soaring gasoline prices, if your
customers complain about poor performance
and poor mileage in 1986 or newer models, ask
them if they have switched to a lower octane
gasoline or ethanol to save money. If they have,
tell them to go back to premium unleaded, even
if it’s the most expensive fuel available.
Mercedes-Benz is very clear that only premi-
um unleaded is to be used for all gasoline
engines since MY 1986, except for MY 1986
190E models with the 2.3L engine.“Gasohol”,
which is usually a blend of 90% gasoline and
10% ethanol, may be used. Ethanol concentra-
tions greater than 10% are not permitted except
for specially designated “Flexible Fuel
Vehicles” that can burn blends up to 85%
When you run an engine as sophisticated as
the direct injection V6 in the CLS 350, you'd
better burn only premium gasoline.
Mercedes-Benz has picked
the right fluid
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Using anything other than premium unlead-
ed in any gasoline engine since MY 1986 is not
only discouraged, Mercedes-Benz has a list of
recommendations if a driver is forced to use
anything else, including:
• Only partially fill the tank with any other
gasoline. Drive only until premium unleaded
is available. Top off the tank with premium
unleaded as soon as possible.
• Do not drive at full throttle and avoid hard
acceleration when using anything but
• If the vehicle is lightly loaded, such as no
more than two occupants with no luggage,
engine speed should be kept below 2,000
rpm. If the vehicle is fully loaded or operating
in a mountainous area, do not exceed 2/3
• The only fuel additives recommended are
detergents and other additives blended
with the gasoline during the refining
process by the petroleum company.
According to Mercedes-Benz, “DO NOT
blend other fuel additives with the fuel.
These additional additives only result in
unnecessary cost and may be harmful to
The only exception to the “no additives” rule
is Mercedes-Benz’s own additive, (Part Number
A 000 989 25 45 10). Follow the specific direc-
tions when using this to remove internal carbon
build up on valves because a high quality gaso-
line with detergent additives was not regularly
used in the car.
Synthetic engine oil was covered in detail in
the last issue of Star Tuned, so we will only
touch on it briefly in this article. For vehicles
with the Flexible Service System (FSS), only
synthetic oil should be used in all V-6, V-8 and
V-12 gasoline engines. Conventional mineral-
based oils do not meet the performance
requirements for an FSS engine's extended
Any of the synthetic oils listed below can be
used in a MY 1998 or newer Mercedes-Benz
vehicle with a gasoline engine:
• 76 Pure Synthetic Motor Oil 5W-40
• Agip Eurosport 5W-40
• Agip Synthetic PC 5W-40
• Castrol Syntec 5W-40
• Kendall GT-1 Full Synthetic Oil 5W-40
• Mobil 1 Tri-Synthetic Formula 0W-40
• Pennzoil Synthetic European Formula 5W-40
• Quaker State Full Synthetic European
• Shell Helix Ultra 5W-30
• Shell Helix Ultra 5W-40
• Valvoline SynPower MXL 0W-30
For Mercedes-Benz vehicles prior to MY 1998,
petroleum-based oils may be used. Synthetics
can also be used in the older vehicles if the
engine is mechanically sound and there are no
oil leaks. Any leak must be fixed before chang-
ing from petroleum-based oil to a synthetic
because the more “slippery” synthetic will
make the leak much worse.
Only the supercharger on the C230 Sport
Coupe and Sport Sedan use a Mercedes-Benz
lubricant, Part Number A 000 989 62 01.
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• Castrol Dexron-III/Mercon ATF F-30341
• Castrol Transmax Mercedes-22257/22096
• Chevon ATF Dexron III F-30310/30159
• Citgo Multi-Purpose ATF D-21571
• Exxon Superflo ATF Dexron III F-30111
• Texaco ATF Mercon/Dexron-III F-30321
• Pennzoil ATF D-22412/F-30110
• Quaker State Dexron III/Mercon F30161
• Sunoco ATF Dexron-III/Mercon F-30176
• Unocal Multi-Purpose ATF D-22413/22431
• Valvoline ATF Type D
• For manual transmissions, use Mercedes-
Benz fluid Part Number A 001 989 26 03 10.
The 4Matic Transfer Case on the C-Class, E-
Class, and S-Class takes Mercedes-Benz Part
Number A 001 989 23 03 11 fluid.
The transfer case on the G-Class uses
Mercedes-Benz Part Number A 001 989 28 03
10 fluid, while the transfer case on the M-Class
takes Part Number A 001 989 45 03 10 fluid.
Mercedes-Benz does not approve the use of
any aftermarket engine oil additives. According
to the company, these additives do not provide
any benefit and may cause harm. The use of
additives may cause oil sludging (thickening)
and may damage the catalytic converter.
For lubricating the supercharger on the C230
Sport Coupe and Sport Sedan, use Mercedes-
Benz Part Number A 000 989 62 01. For all
other supercharger applications, including the
E55 AMG, SL55 AMG, CL55 AMG, S55 AMG,
G55 AMG, and CLS55 AMG, use Mobil Jet Oil II.
Mercedes-Benz recommends using only its
own proprietary antifreeze, available as Part
Number BQ 1 03 0002, which meets the M-B
325.0 specification. According to Mercedes-
“The use of aluminum components in
Mercedes-Benz engines requires that anticorro-
sion/antifreeze specifically formulated to pro-
tect aluminum parts be used. Failure to use
Mercedes-Benz 325.0 anticorrosion/antifreeze
may result in significantly shortened service
life. While there may be a number of products
available which will provide the required pro-
tection, not all such products have been tested
for Mercedes-Benz vehicles.”
The replacement antifreeze can be mixed
with the original coolant installed at the factory.
For late model vehicles with the 7-speed trans-
mission, use only Mercedes-Benz Part Number
A 001 989 45 03 10 automatic transmission
fluid. This fluid can also be used for vehicles
with the 5-speed automatic transmission.
As an option, the 5-speed transmissions can
also use Part Number A 001 989 21 03 10 auto-
matic transmission fluid. However, this fluid
cannot be used in the 7-speed automatics.
For automatics using Dexron III, there are a
number of aftermarket brands that can be used:
Mercedes-Benz recommends using only its
branded antifreeze because of the extensive
use of aluminum components in its engines
and extended drain intervals. Other brands
have not been approved for use.
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The general differential oil is Mercedes-Benz
Hypoid Gear Oil, Part Number A 011 989 17 03
10. The exceptions to using the general differ-
ential oil are:• G-Class front and rear differentials use
Mercedes-Benz Part Number A 001 989 28 03 10.
• The front and rear axle differential on the
G55 AMG and for the rear differential on the
SL65 AMG use Castrol SAF-XJ (75W-140).Chassis Lubes
Shell Retinax C is the recommended chassis
grease for all lube points except the front wheel
hubs. For a multi-purpose grease, you can
choose from several aftermarket brands:
• 3752 Almguard Vari-Purpose Lubricant
• Castrol LM Grease
• Exxon Multi-Purpose Grease
• Renolit MP
• Unocal MP Automotive Grease
The recommended “Long Term” grease for
release bearings and release arm splines is
Mercedes-Benz Part Number A 000 989 63 51
11. This grease should also be used to lube the
propeller shaft universal joint on the G-Class
“High Temperature Antifriction Grease,”
Mercedes-Benz Part Number A 001 989 23 51
10 should be used for lubricating front wheel
bearings. This grease is also used to lube the
joint housing on the G-Class.
The sophisticated 7-speed automatic trans-
mission requires a special fluid, Part
Number A 001 989 45 03 10.
Use Part Number A 001 989 23 03 11 for
the transfer case fluid in the 4-Matic system.
The 5-speed automatic can use either the
same fluid as the 7-speed or Part Number
A 001 989 21 03 10. Don’t use Part
Number A 001 989 21 03 10 in the 7-speed!