Thanks for the comments guys! I must admit, I was thinking the same thing re: the oil change. Think I'll get it done in the next week or so.
Agree with the last commenter on oil level indicators. Peugeot have had them as standard for years, and they work brilliantly. I also think low screen wash indicators should be standard on all cars. Nothing worse than the washers reducing to a dribble when overtaking a dirty lorry on a drizzly motorway with no services for 30 miles!
I totally agree about changing the oil of a diesel car every 5,000 miles. I have owned a Seat Toledo TDiSE since the end of 1999. I have done over 112,000 miles with this car and it has never let me down. I have asked taxi drivers and farmers and they agree with me changing the oil more often than is recommended.
It has always been my wish to buy a Mercedes. Ever since I took an occasional taxi to school here in Dublin in the fifties. In those days the particular company ran a fleet of 180 D Mercedes much to my delight. I still think that certain Mercedes cars are the best looking cars on the road.
If they leave out some of the electronic gadgets which are not totally necessary they are being sensible.
I have had the face lifted 220 CDi estate now for fifteen months and it has behaved beautifully, feels secure and has adequate space.
Regarding the oil change service intervals, the service dept. said that depending on how you drive will of course effect the oil quality and need to change it. They reckon that with a good mix of motorway and town driving 13000 to 14000 miles between changes is par for the course.
To change more frequently will upset the computer setting and throw out of kilter the servicing intervals. The handbook does say wait until the legend indicating oil change needed comes on the computer screen. Premature changes may effect you warranty.
It does cause me a certain amount of concern as the oil change sequence also seems to govern the other servicing items. I have chased this a few times with the main dealers, but they all seem happy and they hold the warranties.
I have a 270CDI with the older tiptronic gearbox, where the shift stick is tapped sideways to make a change, rather than via steering wheel paddles as on the latest models. IMO this gives the best of both worlds. Normally you can leave the box to do its own thing, it gets it right so often there's no need for manual intervention. The only time I find I need the tip function is when you want a fast change for overtaking and the kick-down would be too slow - you can tap it down a couple of ratios beforehand so that when you give it some welly away you go straight away. Also useful when you want a lower ratio on steep descents as it is much easier than shifting the lever through a dog-leg as on a conventional auto shift. I have tried the paddle type on a loan car, but I thought it to be less convenient to operate and cluttered up the steering wheel.
Re: extended oil changes, also being an engineer, I would prefer to change oil more frequently. That service department fellow who says it mucks up the computer probably is not totally right - if there's computer downtime, once up again it will still not know when the last change was done.
Have a look at honestjohn.co.uk; a lot of modern cars are still failing, and even cam chains break suspected to be from the extended oil service intervals, meaning dirty oil.
Extended service intervals were introduced to appeal to the bean counters who control what fleet cars to buy, and the number of times a car is serviced for the life of the lease is one factor. Hence, you might buy a car and get it serviced only every 20K miles, and keep it for three years, then on the fifth year, your engine has sludge or needs an overhaul.
I'm considering buying a 2005 C270 CDI (140 000km on the clock). My concern is the longer term high mileage reliability? Does anyone have a high mileage C 270 CDI and what issues have been experienced?
I'm an independent diesel engine specialist with 30 years experience, and there is no way I would buy a modern diesel engined car at high mileage or out of warranty. I fix these for a living, and a good living too. I have never been busier!
The price you pay for the power and refinement of a modern diesel is the complete loss of the near-guaranteed high mileage reliability and durability that diesels have been associated with for years. The common rail fuel system used in all non VW/Audi group diesels when all is said and done, is not proven technology. It first appeared in cars 10 years ago, and manufacturers are still on the learning curve. I have seen certain diesel fuel system failures reduce more than one five year old car to worthless scrap.
One job I did last week, the parts alone came to UKP 4,000 with my labour on top. That saved the owner 35% on a main dealer price. This was on a 4yr old car worth UKP 8,000 at the most. In 2 years, that car would have been scrap.
Modern diesels are delicate pieces of precision engineering that require their fuel supply to be perfectly clean, all filtration to be serviced exactly to specs and using approved parts, and all system maintenance to be carried out to the letter. The older the car, and the higher the miles, the more chance it has had the odd tank of dodgy fuel (or petrol!) and the more chance it has had a cheap pattern fuel filter or run late for a service.
I fix them and I wouldn't touch one being able to provide my own labour out of hours "for nothing". But at a quid a litre, people don't want to think about it.