Synthetic Oil for 380SL with 47,000 miles

Synthetic Oil for 380SL with 47,000 miles

Submitted by Boyztoyz on 07-01-2011

I recently purchased a 1984 380SL with 47,700 miles and it runs perfect and uses no oil.  With the miles, would it be safe to switch over to a synthetic oil?  If so does Pennzoil Titanium meet MB specs or should I use Mobil 1?  Is 5W-40 ok?  Just don't want to go through a million forum responses to get a simple answer.

Rev. Paul Hobson Sadler
Posted on 11-29-2012
Oil for my 1985 380SL

Thanks guys.Ths conversation was helpful to me in selecting the right oil for my car.

Posted on 07-02-2011
I would Not run castrol GTX

I would Not run Castrol GTX in your 380!  they have greatly dimished their anti-wear additive package to meet current OEM requirements. This will hasten wear on your engine's internals, most notably the timing, ie cams/gears/rockers etc..
If you are looking for a solid conventional oil, Rotella 15/40 is still OK, ideally I would hunt down Valvoline Racing 20/50 or if you can find it close by, Brad Penn (Used to be Quaker State brand)  20/50 is a spectacular oil for the 116/117.

If you drive the car hard, a synthetic always provides added resistance to sheer/better thermal stability etc..  The only readily available oil I would run would be Mobil 1 15/50, which @ present seems to have gone on hiatus...Mobil is likely fiddling w/ their base stocks again..this is what has led to shortages in the past.

It does get a bit chilly up there, but if you garage the car no reason the 15/40 wouldn't be fine for winter.  Again, if you drive hard/sit in traffic etc in the summer the heavier oil wouldn't be a bad idea.

Change every 3K or every 12 months.. alternatively, if you park the car for winter, change the oil just before putting her away.


Posted on 07-08-2011
RE: Castrol GTX

Jonathan, thank you.  I just bought this car in Texas and wanted the oil changed before I drove it up to KC.  I asked our Mercedes dealer here and they said to use the Castol GTX, that is what they use.  I have only about 800 miles on it since the oil change.  I think I'll go ahead and change the oil now.  I checked it out and we have a distributor here in KC that has Brad Penn.  I checked out their website and it sounds like a good oil.  I have not heard of it before your post but I think I'll take your recommendation and give it a try.  Owners manual says 10W-40.  Think that's okay?  They have different types of oils - is the Penn Grade 1 the one you're talking about?  The site says this might be harmful to catalytic converters and I'm ashamed to say I don't know if the 380SL has converters or not.  Thanks!

Posted on 07-02-2011
Thank You

Thank you Gary.  I just joined MBCA recently and haven't had time to get together with the kcmbca group here, although I have received their newsletter - they have a lot going on!  I'll stay with the regular oil (Castrol GTX that is recommended by my MB dealer here).  I've tried to search the R107 forum specifically to this question and I get results back from all the models.  I would be nice to just be able to do a search in a specific forum.  I love the club so far, sorry if this question was inappropriate here.

Posted on 07-02-2011
Some Basic Tips


Congratulations on your purchase. That will be a great, fun car and should have many, many years of use left in it if you put it back into shape and then take care of it.

First thing I would do is go to the SL Class R107 forum under Mercedes-Benz Models and Classes in the Forums under Our Community. This group will be able to give you answers to all your questions, starting with this one.

Second, I wouldn't recommend synthetic oil for this car. It is going to continue to need regular oil changes every 3-5,000 miles or every year, which ever comes first, so spending the additional money on synthetic just isn't necessary. Regular oil will be excellent for your car if you change it frequently enough.

Third, for oil change intervals, and weight recommendations, you really need an owners manual, and if you're going to do any work on the car, get a workshop manual as well. The R107 group can help you with good sources, if you don't already have these references.

Fourth, you're in Overland Park, the home of the president of the KC Section, which last year was awarded Best Section in the country. E-mail Jeff Klepac -- -- immediately, if you aren't already affiliated with them and get hooked up. You'll be able to find owners of lots of other R107s who can give you first-hand help and advice, and find lots of activities to enjoy -- they just did a great Route 66 tour, for example -- so you can both learn about and USE your car.

Gary Anderson