Can a Mercedes Benz 3 Litre - 1,000,000 Miles??


Asked by Mark Sep 23, 2015 at 12:52 AM about the 2011 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter

Question type: General

People say that this is a "MILLION MILE ENGINE ".  ARE THEY'RE CORRECT?
And,  what's the annual maintenance costs?     And,  is the performance on the
Sprinter respectable on a Class B motor vehicle. ??

18 Answers


This is a turbocharged 3 Litre V6 Diesel engine.

84 people found this helpful.

If you know, please tell me if a 100,000 miles is just broken in.

61 people found this helpful.

This is the "go to" engine/chassis for many Class B RV's. Assuming good maintenance - everything else in the RV will fail LONG before the engine ever does.

26 people found this helpful.

Bob, thank you. Just the other day, we met someone with an RV who was lamenting that he should have purchased a diesel engine for his rig over the gas engine. He said that he found it hard to justify the price difference between the two, but, he is regretting that now because his vehicle gets only 6 to 8 mpg and he says that the engine has to run at very high rpms to go up grades and it slows him down a lot. He said that the Mercedes Benz diesel even though it's only a 3 Litre V6, runs at much lower rpms and has the power to go everywhere easily. And, it will get 18 to 20 mpg. I just don't know what the overall maintenance costs are on this compared to a gas. He has a V10 and its a real gas guzzler. Finally, he told me the same thing ----the coach will start to break down before the engine and drive train . These must be pretty bullet proof engines. We like to travel and be mobile on the road, sounds like we would get much more experiences with the diesel-powered vehicle.

55 people found this helpful.

So, even a used vehicle equipped with the Mercedes Benz diesel 3.0 and 100,000 miles is nothing to be concerned about provided it's been maintained? Do you have any idea on the appropriate maintenance costs annually?

74 people found this helpful.

Bob, I was listening to a radio broadcast about the diesel-powered snafu with VW. They're saying that the federal government mandated emissions a 95 percent reduction for Nox in 2009. My question for you is, will getting a Mercedes Benz diesel be more difficult in the future to keep up with emissions standards. I guess I should consider purchasing this in California to ensure that it's sold with the current standards. I wouldn't want to get a few years out and in 5 years or so discover that it would take thousands of dollars to comply. Maybe the engineering at Mercedes Benz has already figured this out? Your thoughts?

19 people found this helpful.

Don't give a second thought to VW's problems. As for Mercedes, I have had several and currently have a special edition SL550. It amazes me just how strong, reliable and good mileage all their engines get. If you plan to do more than 8,000 miles per year - that alone will justify the diesel cost. We had the Ford V10 in our last motorhome. It is a great engine. But, it sucks gas and normally runs over 3000 rpm at high way speeds. First time you are in the mountains - or even rolling hills, you will enjoy the benefits of diesel over gas. As for maintenance. The diesel requires the normal oil changes (might have a higher capacity than the gas engine). This service can be done anywhere. The only real difference is that you need to change fuel filters more often than gas engines. Diesel fuel is not refined as well as gas and it is highly unlikely that you will find any pump rating - like gas. The only Federal requirement is that it is 40 cetane. Diesel fuels CAN contain up to 20% of biofuel. It is a marketing decision by the station selling you the fuel. The more biofuel it contains - the lower they can buy it for. You, the consumer, have no way of knowing what you are putting in your tank. That is why fuel filters need to be changed and/or why you sometimes see diesels spewing black smoke. If at all possible - only use Shell branded diesel fuel. It is a top tier and only contains 5% biofuel. You will see a difference in your mileage and performance. Offhand, I don't know what other brands only use 5% biofuel. But I am sure there are some.

45 people found this helpful.
Best Answer Mark helpful

Bob, thank you for your answer, I'm marking your response "best answer ".

7 people found this helpful.

We had a 3.0 and could not wait to get out of it. do some research and you will find the 3.0 will cost you big time to maintain. At 40K miles, oil cooler replacement the dealer wanted $4K to replace and felt they were doing me a favor and offered to do it at $2K. With assistance and a months worth of teeth pulling the dealer did it for $1400. It is a 15 hour job and it took The Mercedes dealer in Pompano Beach, FL two weeks to get the car back. Then the DEF sensor goes out another $2100. to repair this time with only 47K on the dial. Google mercedes 3.0 diesel problems and read the article from Stevens auto repair in CA. He will give you alot to think about. If you do buy it get the extended warranty.

36 people found this helpful.

tompont-. WOW, WOW, WOW,. I just finished reading your message and the one here below... Interesting and thanks for this.

11 people found this helpful.

We have a '07 MB E320 that we bought with 92K (3.0 turbo diesel) which we bought in mid 2013 and currently have 145K miles on it. I've taken it to get oil/filter changed at a local area business & it holds 9 quarts of oil. Since we've purchased it, we've been using only Mobil one synthetic oil. Oil changes at LAB are around $120.00. If you do them yourself, you're looking at above oil (for 10 quarts ~ $80, which includes the filter). I am getting ready to do citric acid radiator flush on it, due to miles (no heating issues, just preventative). We've only had to replace brake pads/sensors on it once.I've replaced the fuel filter on it, which was easy to DIY. The only issue that I've noticed recently is that it appears to be leaking a bit of oil I believe around the turbo (which sits right behind the fuel filter. So in working on the fuel filter replacement, I quite possibly may not have put seal back on for the intake correctly (leading in to inlet side of turbo). Of additional note, we live in East Texas, which is quite hilly (certainly not mountainous) and it churns up these hills like it is on flatland whether fully loaded or empty. Driving these same roads/hilly inclines in a gas powered vehicle makes them work excessively (feels like you're getting nowhere fast, er not). The fuel filter, although I do nor recall exact price, was possibly around $30 and only needs to be replaced every 30K miles. The engine (again in MB E320 averages around 32 MPG. Vehicle trans is a stock 7 speed and the reared gear ratio is around 2.50 something. I would also recommend an air filter, that works similar in performance to a K&N as this actually has helped me with other previous vehicles in both performance & improved fuel economy. For a VW diesel, it was recommended to use a dry type (K&N) style filter, as allegedly, the oil lubricant for the air filter could clog up the MAF sensor. So I did not want to risk that with the MB as well. Additionally I would highly encourage you to try out different types of diesel fuel ( true they only have 40 cetane rating requirement) but in both the VW & MB we get our best fuel economy with Kroger diesel (occasionally hitting 34 mpg-also we drive pretty fast) At 80 mph engine is only running 2K RPM. The worst fuel economy that we get oddly enough, is with Shell & Brookshires. If you happen to have a Rudy's BBQ, their fuel seems to hit pretty close to the Kroger MPG at 31-32 MPG. It works so well and is incredibly quite (barely louder than an gas powered engine) that I am seriously considering converting to this engine or another similar MB diesel from 5.4 gas in our Ford Expedition which gets a whopping 12/15mpg at best!

9 people found this helpful.

MB07E320-. Well​, after reading all the posts above and other input from people, we recently purchased a 2012 Roadtrek RS Adventurous with only 26,000 miles and the 3 litre turbo diesel engine. I DID purchase an extended warranty for the coach from Good Sam...covers all mechanical breakdown for either 150,000 miles or 18 years whichever comes first . Cost is $78 per month for the first three years, dealership wanted a lot more and offered us a four years unlimited mileage.. but, I couldn't see going 125,000 miles in four years... And, the price was equivalent to almost $120 per month, yikes, but, then again this is covering a lot of stuff not found in cars. Sounds like, you've had EXCELLENT service from the transmission, drivetrain and engine with no serious issues? YES, I agree that diesel cars do have distinct advantages. I'm amazed and pleasantly surprised by how quiet and efficient this engine is and even with all the weight I'm pulling, the vehicle climbs hills effortlessly. I'm getting about 19 mpg in the RV... YES, even going at 60 to 65 in the coach, the RPMs are around 2,000. The 5.4 gas engine in your Ford Expedition is definitely NOT as efficient and probably couldn't keep up with any of the diesel engines. Plus, from the gas engine trucks that I've rented on occasion, they scream like a banshee and are very annoying. Good to hear that your 2007 E320 is running great.

8 people found this helpful.

I talked to a mechanic yesterday who said a lot of the problems are from people just running errands, to grocery store, etc with these vehicles, and not working them hard enough and getting the components up to temperature. He said they are designed to be worked hard, and you need to run them through the paces, not just to the grocery store and back.

14 people found this helpful.

That is absolutely correct. An MB needs to be driven regularly on the highway - that is the way they are designed. And when you get to their Hi-Tech versions, it becomes even more apparent. Air suspensions are very expensive to replace, but will perform for many years - as long as they are driven often and allowed to "exercise" all their components.

6 people found this helpful.

anyone have thoughts on buying a 2014 city bus that has a Mercedes 255 3.6L 6cyl. 230,000 miles used in state of Georgia city bus line? thanks.

2 people found this helpful.

Mark, We have a 2016 MB Sprinter Leisure Travel Van RV with the 3.0 turbo diesel. Van weight about 11K lbs. Can cruise all day at 75 and get about 15mpg. If I cruise control at 60 will get about 18mpg. Going up long steep grades in very hot temps it will do 60 no problem. I have 16,500 miles and have had no problems. The computer says no service is needed for 20K miles. I'm old school and did the service at 16K and changed the air and fuel filters even though it didn't need it. Pulled a 3K trailer from Cali to Moab, Utah with no problem even on the toughest of grades. My big decision now is do I get a new Rubicon Unlimited JL jeep with the 2.0 liter diesel to pull behind the RV. Am not sure if that will push the RV tow weight limit too much or not. Don't want to lose too much speed on the long climbs.

19 people found this helpful.

watch out for the seal in the bottom, rear of the 3.0 V6 MB bluetec diesel. Huge hours for fix; $4,000.00 job because MB put in crappy seal in when manufactured. Now, they use upgraded triton version because of all of the failures, but have not recalled. Mine went at about 100,000 miles. Got it fixed and then turbo chewed up oil and broke cam shaft. Engine is toast. That'll be another $5,000.00 ++. Ugh.

13 people found this helpful.

Had mine for 150k and still have it, have had diesel injector seal problems the oil cooler replaced under warranty. Previous owner blew the turbo and I had connector pipe crack. But now it has few problems. The truck is rock solid but it will require maint. I also recommend one before DEF injection, the best year according to MB mechanic is 2008 (last year before DEF). I drive many highway miles and it really likes that type of driving. Plan is to go to 200 or more then I am moving away from MB suv’s

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