Like most other European car makers, Mercedes-Benz has long had their own motor oil specifications. While some European car owners may grumble about the fact that finding the correct motor oil for the car can be inconvenient (and possibly expensive), these motor oil standards do remove any doubt from the buying process.

Below is an explanation of each Mercedes motor oil standard along with the AMSOIL European Formula Synthetic Motor Oil that complies with the specification. We sell four different European engines oils formulated to meet the specifications for Mercedes-Benz cars and Sprinter diesel vans.

MB 229.1

This obsolete Mercedes motor oil specification was devised for both gasoline and diesel engines back in the late 1990s. The MB 229.1 spec dictated minimum standards in terms of motor oil detergent levels and soot dispersant content. Motor oils suitable for the MB 229.1 specification required high SAPS (Sulfated Ash, Phosphorus and Sulfur) levels. The AMSOIL motor oils that cover the MB 229.1 specification are AMSOIL European Formula “Full-SAPS” 5W-40 Synthetic Motor Oil and AMSOIL European Formula “Full-SAPS” 0W-40 Synthetic Motor Oil.

MB 229.3

For gasoline and diesel engines covering model years from 1998 to 2004, MB 229.3 compliant motor oils also require high SAPS levels. MB 229.3 differs from the 229.1 spec in that it an MB 229.3 engine oil must also be capable of longer oil change intervals and also must reduce friction to improve fuel economy by a percentage point over 229.1. For cars requiring MB 229.3, use AMSOIL European Formula “Full-SAPS” 5W-40 Synthetic Motor Oil or AMSOIL European Formula “Full-SAPS” 0W-40 Synthetic Motor Oil.

MB 229.31

This specification came into effect during the 2003 model year for both gasoline and diesel engines. MB 229.31 motor oils are required to have medium SAPS levels in order to be compatible with Mercedes Bluetec diesel exhaust particle filters and the catalytic converters on the gasoline engines. Higher SAPS levels of some non-compliant motor oils can foul these emission components and cause operational problems. MB 229.31 motor oils must be designed for a service life of up to 15,000 km. AMSOIL European Formula “Mid-SAPS” 5W-40 Synthetic Motor Oil is suitable for cars and Sprinter vans requiring the MB 229.31 engine oil standard.

MB 229.5

For both gasoline and diesel engines, the MB 229.5 specification was released in mid-2002. This specification was designed to be an upgrade over the MB 229.3 spec in terms of fuel economy and oil change interval duration. MB 229.5 motor oils are formulated with high SAPS additive levels. AMSOIL European Formula “Full-SAPS” 5W-40 Synthetic Motor Oil and AMSOIL European Formula “Full-SAPS” 0W-40 Synthetic Motor Oil cover the Mercedes 229.5 engine oil standard.

MB 229.51

Introduced in 2005, MB 229.51 was designed for longer oil life over the MB 229.31 specification in gasoline and diesel engines. MB 229.51 oils must be capable of staying in service for 20,000 km. MB 229.51 oils must have low to moderate SAPS levels to be compatible with catalysts in gasoline engines and diesel exhaust particle filters. Both the AMSOIL European Formula “Low-SAPS” 5W-30 Synthetic Motor Oil and the AMSOIL European Formula “Mid-SAPS” 5W-40 Synthetic Motor Oil are designed for MB 229.51 service.

If you have any questions regarding the specifications and motor oil choices for your Mercedes-Benz car or Sprinter van, feel free to email us using the contact form on this page or call us at 1-800-748-5781.