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Can i use this oil in my Mercedes ? #5317927 01/09/20 06:00 PM
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M119 Offline OP
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Hi guys,

I found two 5 liters countainers of Shell Helix HX5 15W40 that i bought a few months ago for a car i no longer have.

This is an API SN oil, which i think is mandatory for E85 and it is the only fuel i run but there's nothing like "MB 229.1, VW 505.00..." written on the container. My car's owner manual says to use MB 229.1 oil only. (1998 Mercedes W202, M111 engine).

I would assume this oil exceeds the needs of the old 229.1 specification being a recent API SN oil.

Is it OK for a short OCI or should i get rid of it ?

Last edited by M119; 01/09/20 06:02 PM.

1998 Mercedes W202 C180 - 155K kms (Daily)
1995 Mercedes S124 E250 Diesel - 480K kms
1994 Pontiac Trans Sport V6 3.8 - 280K miles
Re: Can i use this oil in my Mercedes ? [Re: M119] #5317932 01/09/20 06:03 PM
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zorobabel Offline
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I would use it, even in winter (assuming you don't live in the mountains).


1997 Maxima 210k, Castrol GTX Synblend 5W-30, PL14459
2004 Corolla 211k, Valvoline SynPower 5W-30, K&N HP-1003
Re: Can i use this oil in my Mercedes ? [Re: M119] #5317952 01/09/20 06:27 PM
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M119 Offline OP
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I was thinking about waiting until summer in the case of using it but i live in Brittany in France and the weather is the same as in Portland or Seattle i guess.


1998 Mercedes W202 C180 - 155K kms (Daily)
1995 Mercedes S124 E250 Diesel - 480K kms
1994 Pontiac Trans Sport V6 3.8 - 280K miles
Re: Can i use this oil in my Mercedes ? [Re: M119] #5317976 01/09/20 06:45 PM
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kschachn Offline
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Originally Posted by M119
This is an API SN oil, which i think is mandatory for E85 and it is the only fuel i run but there's nothing like "MB 229.1, VW 505.00..." written on the container. My car's owner manual says to use MB 229.1 oil only. (1998 Mercedes W202, M111 engine).

I would assume this oil exceeds the needs of the old 229.1 specification being a recent API SN oil.

What would give you that idea?

This is how the Lubrizol Relative Performance Tool compares the two:


[Linked Image]


1994 BMW 530i, 252K
1996 Honda Accord, 288K
1999 Toyota Sienna, 434K
2000 Toyota ECHO, 284K
Re: Can i use this oil in my Mercedes ? [Re: M119] #5317989 01/09/20 06:56 PM
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Gebo Offline
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Based on kschachn's info, I wouldn't use it. SN is not close to what your car requires. I gotta find that chart. smile


'98 LEX LS400 310K
'02 4Runner 250K
'05 Lex LS430 90K
'07 Lex GX470 75K

Shell Gas and Truck 5w-30
Amsoil OE 10w-30
Toyota ATF's and Coolant
Amsoil Gear Oil and Grease
Re: Can i use this oil in my Mercedes ? [Re: M119] #5317992 01/09/20 06:57 PM
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M119 Offline OP
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Thank you, this is the kind of answer i was looking for. As i understand it, a 229.1 oil is still better in some areas. So the best would be to stick to oils that are both API SN (for E85) and MB 229.1/3/5 right ? Seems like a no brainer.


1998 Mercedes W202 C180 - 155K kms (Daily)
1995 Mercedes S124 E250 Diesel - 480K kms
1994 Pontiac Trans Sport V6 3.8 - 280K miles
Re: Can i use this oil in my Mercedes ? [Re: M119] #5318001 01/09/20 07:04 PM
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Re: Can i use this oil in my Mercedes ? [Re: M119] #5318005 01/09/20 07:12 PM
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Mad_Hatter Offline
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It's not like you're making a permanent switch to this lube, right? You're just looking to use up a couple of jugs of oil, no?..i would hardly think running a short oci or two with this oil is gonna grenade your engine. I'd run it for 3 or 5k miles just to get rid of it, then make the switch back to the mfg spec lube. Unless you think that MBZ engine is too fragile to handle it?? Which case maybe you shouldn't be driving it at all..😂

(maybe do a 50/50 with a spec lube until you get rid of it if that makes you feel better)

Last edited by Mad_Hatter; 01/09/20 07:13 PM.
Re: Can i use this oil in my Mercedes ? [Re: Gebo] #5318010 01/09/20 07:16 PM
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M119 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Gebo
Based on kschachn's info, I wouldn't use it. SN is not close to what your car requires. I gotta find that chart. smile


I had no idea that a car with an early 90s engine would have higher requirements than what a regular today's API SN oil offers. And i guess MB 229.1 is even older than the 90s. Honestly i think that the oil is good enough for this engine and has a good additive package despite the lack of any manufacturer's approval of the container. However i will not take any risk.

The idea of pouring this non approved oil in my engine came from a bunch of videos of people filling similar Mercedes engines with stuff like Castrol GTX high mileage 10W40 or Pennzoil 20W50 which are not MB approved, just API SN. I think oils are less likely to be MB approved in the US, maybe that's the explanation. Here, 90% of oils carry are MB/VW/BMW/PSA/Renault and even Porsche approved, even the cheap stuff.


1998 Mercedes W202 C180 - 155K kms (Daily)
1995 Mercedes S124 E250 Diesel - 480K kms
1994 Pontiac Trans Sport V6 3.8 - 280K miles
Re: Can i use this oil in my Mercedes ? [Re: Mad_Hatter] #5318011 01/09/20 07:17 PM
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maxdustington Offline
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Originally Posted by Mad_Hatter
(maybe do a 50/50 with a spec lube until you get rid of it if that makes you feel better)
Can't go wrong.

EDIT: Run it in the Pontiac Trans Sport. I haven't seen one of those in years!

Last edited by maxdustington; 01/09/20 07:18 PM.

99 Toyota Tercel CE 5EFE/C151
PUP 5W30/Ultra
Re: Can i use this oil in my Mercedes ? [Re: M119] #5318013 01/09/20 07:18 PM
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kschachn Offline
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Originally Posted by M119
Thank you, this is the kind of answer i was looking for. As i understand it, a 229.1 oil is still better in some areas. So the best would be to stick to oils that are both API SN (for E85) and MB 229.1/3/5 right ? Seems like a no brainer.

Your owner's manual actually says to use SN licensed oil if you're using E85? If so, then yes.


1994 BMW 530i, 252K
1996 Honda Accord, 288K
1999 Toyota Sienna, 434K
2000 Toyota ECHO, 284K
Re: Can i use this oil in my Mercedes ? [Re: M119] #5318014 01/09/20 07:19 PM
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Pelican Offline
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Originally Posted by M119
Hi guys,
I found two 5 liters countainers of Shell Helix HX5 15W40 that i bought a few months ago for a car i no longer have.
This is an API SN oil, which i think is mandatory for E85 and it is the only fuel i run but there's nothing like "MB 229.1, VW 505.00..." written on the container. My car's owner manual says to use MB 229.1 oil only. (1998 Mercedes W202, M111 engine).
I would assume this oil exceeds the needs of the old 229.1 specification being a recent API SN oil.
Is it OK for a short OCI or should i get rid of it ?


In situations like this I always ask myself, what am I saving & what am I risking?
If the risk is higher than the saving I will not risk it!

Re: Can i use this oil in my Mercedes ? [Re: M119] #5318020 01/09/20 07:23 PM
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kschachn Offline
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Originally Posted by M119
I had no idea that a car with an early 90s engine would have higher requirements than what a regular today's API SN oil offers.

They aren't connected, and some European manufacturers have long required stringent approvals for their vehicles.


1994 BMW 530i, 252K
1996 Honda Accord, 288K
1999 Toyota Sienna, 434K
2000 Toyota ECHO, 284K
Re: Can i use this oil in my Mercedes ? [Re: maxdustington] #5318036 01/09/20 07:33 PM
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M119 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by maxdustington
Originally Posted by Mad_Hatter
(maybe do a 50/50 with a spec lube until you get rid of it if that makes you feel better)
Can't go wrong.

EDIT: Run it in the Pontiac Trans Sport. I haven't seen one of those in years!


This car is only used to haul garbage nowadays, the transmission is slipping and shifting rough and i believe it's the old gritty fluid that still makes it go forward.


1998 Mercedes W202 C180 - 155K kms (Daily)
1995 Mercedes S124 E250 Diesel - 480K kms
1994 Pontiac Trans Sport V6 3.8 - 280K miles
Re: Can i use this oil in my Mercedes ? [Re: kschachn] #5318051 01/09/20 07:39 PM
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M119 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by kschachn
Originally Posted by M119
Thank you, this is the kind of answer i was looking for. As i understand it, a 229.1 oil is still better in some areas. So the best would be to stick to oils that are both API SN (for E85) and MB 229.1/3/5 right ? Seems like a no brainer.

Your owner's manual actually says to use SN licensed oil if you're using E85? If so, then yes.


API SN is formulated to deal with E85 : API Oil Categories

My manual does not call for it as neither API SN or E85 existed back in 1998. Almost every oils are API SN in France as of 2019.


1998 Mercedes W202 C180 - 155K kms (Daily)
1995 Mercedes S124 E250 Diesel - 480K kms
1994 Pontiac Trans Sport V6 3.8 - 280K miles
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