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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.

Table of Contents

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
  • CARQUEST 84059
  • CHAMP P992
  • Combine 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
  • Sofia S5172PE
  • STELLOX 2050543SX
  • STP S11060XL
  • UFI 2517200
  • WARNER WP992
  • Wix 57059
  • Wix WL7518



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 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.