Mercedes-Benz Approved Engine Oils

By far the best place to find Mercedes-Benz maintenance and service information is in the operator’s manual that came with your car. If you don’t have the manual, note that Mercedes-Benz USA recommends using factory-approved service products explicitly approved for your vehicle model. Below you’ll find recommendations published by the manufacturer for engine oils that we gathered for you.

Be aware that all engine oils vary in quality.  The most common ratings are provided by:

  • ACEA (Association des Constructeurs Européens d’Automobiles)
  • ILSAC – International Lubrication Standardization and Approval Committee, and
  • API (American Petroleum Institute).

For Vehicles Without Flexible Service System (FSS or FSS PLUS) – U.S. vehicles Model Year 1997 and earlier:

Side Note: The “Flexible Service System (FSS) – Mercedes-Benz (1998 and newer) use a Flexible schedule for maintenance called Flexible Service System (FSS). The system is designed to offer a flexible service schedule which is directly based on driving habits. Contact your local Mercedes-Benz dealer if you need further explanation.

Again, Mercedes-Benz recommends the use of approved engine oils only. They are listed in the Mercedes-Benz oil specification “sheet 229.3 or 229.5” which also meet ACEA and/or API classifications listed on the chart below. If a specific Mercedes-Benz-approved or recommended ACEA engine oil is not available, then an API engine oil meeting the recommended API  classification can be used.

Only engine oils (including synthetic) with any of the following classification grades, or combinations thereof, are approved according to published documents available from Mercedes-Benz for

“U.S. Vehicles Model Year 1997 and Earlier Engine Oils.”

Engine Oil Quality Designations

Mercedes-Benz recommends only the use of Mercedes-Benz approved synthetic motor oil for all vehicles equipped with the Flexible Service System (1998 & newer). Below is a List of Mercedes Approved Synthetic Engine Oil (1998 – 2004 Models):

  • Mobil 1 SuperSyn European Car Formula 0W-40 | MB Sheet: 229.5
  • Castrol Syntec European Formula 0W-30* | MB Sheet: 229.5
  • Pennzoil European Formula Ultra 5W-30* | MB Sheet: 229.5
  • Quaker State European Formula Ultra 5W-30* | MB Sheet: 229.5
  • ELF Excellium 229.5 5W-30* | MB Sheet: 229.5
  • Mobil 1 ESP Formula M 5W-40 | MB Sheet: 229.5
  • Mobil 1 SuperSyn European Car Formula 0W-40 | MB Sheet: 229.3
  • Castrol Syntec 5W-40 | MB Sheet: 229.3
  • ELF Excellium LDX 5W-40 | MB Sheet: 229.3
  • ELF Excellium LDX 0W-30* | MB Sheet: 229.3
  • Quaker State Full Synthetic European Formula 5W-40 | MB Sheet: 229.3
  • Pennzoil Synthetic European Formula 5W-40 | MB Sheet: 229.3
  • 76 Pure Synthetic Motor Oil 5W-40 | MB Sheet: 229.3
  • Kendall GT-1 Full Synthetic Motor Oil 5W-40 | MB Sheet: 229.3
  • Motul 8100 E-Tech 0W-40 | MB Sheet: 229.3
  • Motul 8100 X-Cess 5W-40 | MB Sheet: 229.3
  • Shell Helix Ultra 5W-30* | MB Sheet: 229.3
  • Shell Helix Ultra 5W-40 | MB Sheet: 229.3
  • Valvoline SynPower MXL 0W-30*| MB Sheet: 229.3

List of Mercedes-Benz Approved Synthetic Engine Oil (2005-2009 Models):

  • Mobil 1 SuperSyn European Car Formula 0W-40
  • Castrol Syntec European Formula 0W-30*
  • Pennzoil European Formula Ultra 5W-30*
  • Quaker State European Formula Ultra 5W-30*
  • ELF Excellium 229.5 5W-30* Mobil 1 ESP Formula M 5W-401
  • Valvoline SynPower MST 5W-30*

* Not approved for use in AMG engines.

NOTE: As of model year 2007 diesel engines must only use 229.51 approved engine oil.

Conventional petroleum based oils are not recommended for vehicles equipped with the Flexible Service System (1998 & newer) but maybe used for older vehicles (1997 & Earlier).

What viscosity?
Always refer to a viscosity chart for the proper viscosity grade based on ambient temperature for your area.

Side Note: Viscosity is defined as the resistance of a fluid to flow. A highly viscous substance does not readily flow. For example, thick syrup has high viscosity while water is a fluid with low viscosity. Put simply in everyday terms (and for fluids only), viscosity can be thought of as “thickness.”

Also note that the viscosity chart below – published by MB in “Factory Approved Service Products August 2007” –  supersedes ALL previously published viscosity charts; again,  according to published documents available from Mercedes-Benz. Contact a Mercedes-Benz dealer or independent shop if you have questions.

Select the appropriate oil viscosity based on the lowest air temperature expected before your next oil change.

Engine Oil Viscosity Chart from Mercedes-Benz

The table below was published by Mercedes-Benz in November 2008. It provides the Mercedes-Benz approval number; check your Operator’s Manual for the engine type of your model.

Engine Type
MB Approval Number
Approved Oil Viscosity Range
113 229.5 0W-30, 0W-40, 5W-30, 5W-40
155 SLR 229.3 5W-50
156 229.5* or 229.51 0W-40, 5W-40
272 229.5 0W-30, 0W-40, 5W-30, 5W-40
273 229.5 0W-30, 0W-40, 5W-30, 5W-40
275 229.5 0W-30, 0W-40, 5W-30, 5W-40
642 229.51 0W-30, 0W-40, 5W-30, 5W-40

*156 engine using 229.5 should use only SAE 0W-40 oil

Factory-approved service products are available at your authorized Mercedes-Benz dealer as well as independent shops and auto supply retail outlets.

Side Note: According to MBUSA,
“Every Mercedes-Benz in the U.S. – no matter how old, how many miles its odometer reads, or how many owners it’s had – qualifies for Roadside Assistance, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you ever need assistance while traveling in your Mercedes-Benz, just call 1-800-FOR-MERCEDES (1-800-367-6372) for our 24-Hour Roadside Assistance.

Our Roadside Assistance technicians know Mercedes-Benz vehicles, and they’re well prepared to handle unforeseen roadside complications. They´ll jump start your battery, bring you a few gallons of fuel to get you to the next filling station or change a flat tire using your spare, all free of charge. So you can be confident that help is there when you need it most.”

You can obtain a copy of the Roadside Assistance Program “brochure” from the MBUSA website here – look under the Roadside Assistance tab and look for the brochure link. It is a good idea to have a copy in your car.

Post Author: Greg Magnus

7 thoughts on “Mercedes-Benz Approved Engine Oils

  • Steve Marchino

    (August 26, 2010 - 2:40 pm)

    What viscosity oil is recommended for my 1998 Sl500 Sport ?

    • Greg Magnus

      (August 30, 2010 - 7:51 am)

      Steve,
      If you don’t have an original manual, call your local MB dealer – service center. Best to get it from the manual or MB directly.

  • Alex

    (September 2, 2010 - 8:55 am)

    And what about ARAL oil?

    • Greg Magnus

      (September 3, 2010 - 6:39 am)

      The best is the oil recommended by the manufacturer; see your vehicles manual. If a substitute meets all of the specs, then it is up to you whether or not you want to use it.

  • […] be 229.31 or 229.51. I googled the reference and found that the original seems to have come from an AMG forum. There the * indicates that the particular oil is not approved for AMG […]

  • […] the Castrol 0W-30 is a 229.5 oil, it is not approved for use in AMG engines while the M1 is. See here. I do not know if this is an official MB position or not. Rumple […]

  • Ricky Beltranena

    (August 24, 2013 - 10:47 am)

    my car mercedes benz c220 1996 manual tranamition 5 speeds what kind of oil in the gear box manual thanks

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