Mercedes-Benz M278 V8 Engine Oil Change Guide

DIY Cost: $20-$65
Est. Time: 30 min - 1 hr
Difficulty: Easy
Step-by-step instructions on how to change the engine oil and filter on the Mercedes-Benz M278 V8 bi-turbo engine found in 2012-2017 models such as S550, CL550, CLS550, SL550, E550, ML550, GL450, GL550, GLS550.

The recommended oil change interval for the M278 engine is every one year or 10,000 miles, whichever comes first. 

What you will need

List of tools and parts you will need to replace the engine oil on the Mercedes-Benz M278 engine. 




  1. Jack up the vehicle. Drive the vehicle up on ramps or use a floor jack to raise it at the front jacking points. Place the transmission in Park. Turn the ignition off and remove the key from the ignition. 
  2. Secure the vehicle with jack stands. Always secure the vehicle with jack stands. Jack stands must support the vehicle frame. Do not place a jack stand under engine or suspension components. SUPPORT VEHICLE


  3. Allow for the engine to cool down for at least fifteen minutes or longer if needed.engine oil change s550 gl550 mercedes benz capacity instructionsIf the engine is already cool, continue to the next step. 
  4. Place wheel chocks behind the rear tires to prevent the vehicle from rolling back. Block rear tiresIf wheel chocks are not available, use a solid block. 
  5. Remove splash shield from under the engine. It is held in place with several bolts.remove engine under shild splash shield In some cases, you have a combination of both screws and plastic retainers. Remove all of them to drop the cover and access the oil drain bolt.  remove bolts from lower engine cover to access drain bolt to change oil
  6. Locate oil drain pan and plug.  oil drain bolt location Place an oil pan under the drain bolt. Ensure the oil pan can capture all of the engine oil. oil drain plan
  7. Loosen the oil drain plug, then remove it by hand. Mercedes oil drain bolt sizeLoosen the oil drain bolt by turning it counterclockwise. If removing the oil drain bolt is extremely difficult, ensure that you are not turning the bolt in the wrong direction. 
  8. Drain engine oil.Drain oil change oil on 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 Mercedes Benz GL GLS S 550 450Hot engine oil can cause burns if it comes in contact with your skin. Carefully remove the oil drain plug and allow the engine oil to drain for several minutes.
  9. Replace drain plug copper washer. It is recommended to replace the copper washer at every oil change.  Pull out the old washer and install the new washer. 

  10. Install Drain Plug. Install the drain plug. Screw it by hand initially to avoid cross-threading. Use a torque wrench to tighten the drain plug to specification. See torque specs below. Do not use a breaker bar to pull the drain plug.  
  11. Locate the engine oil filter and replace it. engine oil filter locationUse a 74mm oil wrench to remove the oil filter.engine oil filter location Keep an oil drain plan near the oil filter as oil may drip from the oil filter when you remove the oil filter. Install the filter and torque it to 25Nm. 
  12. Remove the oil cap a the top of the engine by turning it counter-clockwise. 

    remove engine oil cap


  13. Use a funnel to add engine oil. Slowly pour the engine oil in to avoid overflow. 

    add oil via the engine oil filler hole
  14. We suggest adding the recommended capacity minus one quart (liter), in this case, 8 quarts.

    engine oil level

    Then add the last quart slowly and check the oil level frequently to get the correct oil level. Do not start the vehicle until you add the required engine oil. 

  15. Start the engine and let it run for a few minutes. start engine check engine oil levelCheck for oil leaks. Wait for at least ten minutes and recheck the oil level. This will allow the engine oil to return to the oil pan so that you can take an accurate measurement. If the level is low, add one quart at a time, wait a few minutes and recheck the engine oil level.
  16. Reset oil service reminder on the instrument cluster. 

If you prefer to change the engine oil by using an oil extractor. see our guide on how to change engine oil using an oil extractor. The vehicle must have an oil dipstick. 

Torque Specifications

  • Oil filter: 25 Nm
  • Oil drain plug:   30 Nm or 23ft-lbs

One newton meter is equal to 0.7376 ft-lbs, rounded to 4 decimal places. To convert newton meters to foot-pounds, multiply your figure by 0.7376.

Applicable Oil Filters

Height: 166 mm (Approx. 6.54")

  • Fram CH11060 
  • Baldwin P40023
  • BLUE-PRINT ADU172103
  • CARQUEST 84059
  • CHAMP P992
  • Comline EOF293
  • Filtron OE6775
  • FVP G7059
  • HENGST E129HD222
  • Hoffer 14138
  • LYNXauto LO1936
  • Magneti Marelli 154705558750
  • MAHLE OX814D
  • Mann HU7025Z
  • Meat & Doria 14138
  • MERCEDES-BENZ 2761800009
  • MERCEDES-BENZ 2761840025
  • MERCEDES-BENZ A2761800009
  • MERCEDES-BENZ A2761840025
  • NAPA 27059
  • NAPA 7059
  • Parts Master 67059
  • PURFLUX L394
  • Purolator L38165
  • Purolator PBL38165
  • Purolator PL38165
  • SCT SH4074L
  • Sofima S5172PE
  • STELLOX 2050543SX
  • STP S11060XL
  • UFI 2517200
  • WARNER WP992
  • Wix 57059
  • Wix WL7518

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What type of engine oil do I need?

The oil viscosity is usually printed on the oil cap. If it is not, then you need to find the owner's manual under the recommended fluids and lubricants section typically at the end of the owner's manual. 

  • at the oil cap
  • owner's manual
  • sticker by the top radiator support

Should I change the oil when the engine is hot or cold?

There is a lot of discussion on this topic of whether you should change the oil when the engine is hot or cold. Ideally, the oil should be slightly warm so it can flow easily but not burn you. 

How much does it cost to change the oil?

Anywhere from $19.99 to $150. A four-cylinder engine that takes 5w30 or 0w20, such as a Honda Civic or Ford Focus, will only cost you about $20. A Mercedes-Benz E-Class that takes 8.5L synthetic oil and fleece oil filter may cost as much as $150 at the dealer. Two of the main factors that play a role in engine oil cost are the oil type (synthetic, synthetic blend, conventional) and oil quantity required. Oil filter quality and how easy it is to remove may also play a role in the price of an oil change.

How often should I change engine oil?

  • Conventional Oil - Every 3,000 miles
  • Synthetic Blend - Every 5,000 miles
  • Synthetic Oil - Every 7500-10,000 miles (verify owner's manual)

Follow the recommended manufacturer intervals.

Can I change the engine oil at home?

Yes, you can. Follow this guide. We hope that once you go over all the steps, you will feel confident about the procedure to change the engine oil at home.

Can I change engine oil once a year?

While the age of oil can play a factor in the engine oil life, you need to pay closer attention to the miles driven. If you drive very little (under 5,000 miles) and use synthetic oil, you should be ok with changing the oil once a year.

Can I change engine oil but not filter?

Not recommended. You should change the oil filter at the same time that you change the engine oil. Oil filters do not last forever, and if not changed regularly, they will not filter the oil or, even worse, clog. In which case, the oil may bypass the oil filter altogether, which is a situation you don't want as you may shorten the life of the engine.

Is it necessary to change engine oil every year?

Yes. Most drivers should change the engine oil at least twice if not more per year, depending on the oil type. If you put about 15,000 miles per year which is the national average in the US, you should change the engine oil at least twice per year. Assuming that you are using synthetic oil and a good oil filter. If you use conventional oil, you should change the engine oil every 3,000 miles or, in this case, 5 times per year. How do you know if you need conventional oil or synthetic? Look it up on your owner's manual. Look at the bottle of oil that you purchase; it will say conventional or synthetic oil. It's ok to switch to synthetic oil. Most modern cars use synthetic oil.

Should I change the engine oil before or after storage?

Change the engine oil after storage. Oil can lose its lubricating properties when sitting for an extended period of time. Change the engine oil if your car has been sitting for a long time.

What happens if I don't change the oil?

You are shortening the life of your car. Sludge may build up. The engine may start to knock. Most importantly, bearings will wear much faster. You may not notice any symptoms right away, but you are causing premature wear to your car engine.

How much oil do I need to add?

Check on your owner's manual. Every car has a different capacity. There is no correlation between the number of cylinders and oil capacity. Some 6 cylinder engines require only four quarts, while others may require eight quarts. Always check the owner's manual. You don't want to overfill or underfill.



Mercedes-Benz M278 engine is typically found in the following models: 

  • 2011–2017 S 500/S 550
  • 2011–2014 CL 500/CL 550
  • 2015-2017 S 500 Coupé/S 550 Coupé
  • 2011–2018 CLS 500/CLS 550
  • 2012–2020 SL 500/SL 550
  • 2012–2014 E 500/E 550
  • 2012-2014 ML 500/ML 550
  • 2013–2014 GL 450
  • 2013–2019 GL 500/GLS 500/GL 550/GLS 550
  • 2016–present BAIC BJ90 (an SUV from Chinese brand BAIC based on the second generation Mercedes-Benz GL-Class)
Mercedes-Benz M278 V8 Engine Oil Change Guide The recommended oil change interval for the M278 engine is every one year or 10,000 miles, whichever comes first.  What you will need List of tools and parts you will need to replace the engine oil on the Mercedes-Benz M278 engine.  Parts