I’ll like to do oil changes myself, not only to save a bit of money but also to have the guarantee that it’s done right. I’m not saying that the oil change places don’t do a good job but if you lose your oil drain plug at least you can blame yourself (never happened to me but you read horror stories like this).
Compared to most passenger cars, changing the engine oil for a Sprinter Van is very easy. No jacking up required to get access to drain the oil and you can basically do it in a Walmart parking lot.
I’m not going to argue which brand of oil to use (you can read a that elsewhere) but I would recommend to use one that has the Mercedes spec (MB 228.3, 228.5, 229.3 or 229.5). It’s a bit more expensive but even if you add up all oil changes over the lifetime of your Sprinter it’s probably cheaper than an engine rebuild. This is just my opinion – what you do is up to you. I run full synthetic 0W-40 all year round.
The oil change itself is as simple as draining the old oil, change the oil filter and filling the new oil in.
Draining the oil
Make sure your drain bucket is big enough. There’s up to 9 ½ quarts of oil in the 2.7 liter engine. Position the bucket under the oil drain plug and use a wrench to open the plug. There’s also a copper washer on the plug, which should be replaced. Once the plug is removed, move to the next step.
Changing the oil filter
To get to the oil filter, you’ll need to open the filter housing on the right hand side of the engine (looking from the front of the van). You’ll probably have a hard time to unscrew the cap by hand. Go and buy an oil filter wrench (76mm, 14 flutes) [@eBay] which will make your life much easier. This wrench can be found in most auto part stores for a few bucks.
The filter element itself is mounted on the plastic pipe beneath the filter cap. You’ll need to pull it from the used filer, change the three O-rings that come with the new filter and push the new filter back on the pipe. Make sure that the filter is seated properly before screwing the whole thing back to the oil filter housing. The torque is written on the filter cap (I think it’s 25 NM), so don’t overtighten it or you might end up with a broken filter cap.
Filling the new oil
Before filling in new oil you’ll need to screw in the oil drain plug. Don’t forget the copper washer which guarantees a good seal. I didn’t find the torque specs for the drain plug – If you know, please add them in the comments.
Now open the oil cap on top of the engine and start adding the new oil. The engine oil capacity is 9 ½ quarts but depending on how much you’ve drained you might need to add less than that. It’s always a good idea to measure the oil level in between. Once you’ll have an oil level between the Min and Max mark on the oil level stick you should stop. Make sure you measure the oil level on a regular basis after that to make sure to keep the optimal amount of oil in your engine.
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