381.0   Preservation instructions (Cars, VAN)

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  1. Preserving and dewaxing vehicles (for engine see section 2.)
    1. Preserving vehicles

    2. Measures for restoring the vehicle to service

  2. Preserving and dewaxing vehicle engines and industrial engines
    1. Preserving vehicle engines and industrial engines

    2. Dewaxing vehicle engines and industrial engines


A vehicle's metallic components are exposed to varying levels of corrosive contamination, depending on the installation location and ambient conditions (e.g. humidity, salt). Corrosion may significantly affect the appearance and service life of components. Therefore, the parts at risk are protected from corrosion by various measures. These include coatings (e.g. paints and metallic coatings) and operating fluids with appropriate compositions (e.g. lubricants, anticorrosion agents and antifreeze in the coolant and wax). The scope of the required preservation measures depends on the duration of the service interruption.
  1. Preserving and dewaxing vehicles (for engine see section 2.)
    1. Preserving vehicles

      The vehicle is to be cleaned thoroughly with the underfloor and engine compartment.

      With passenger cars with a production date before December 1989 or between June 1993 and July 1994, the engine and engine compartment must be preserved after the engine wash.

      Rectify paint damage and treat the paintwork with MB-polish and MB-gloss preserver.

      Paintwork with dull areas, discolorations, spots, etc. must either be treated with MB paint cleaner, MB fine polishing paste or MB polish and MB gloss preserver depending on the severity, Specifications for Operating Fluids 385.5.

      MB-chrome care products (if necessary, also MB-polish or MB-gloss preserver) are provided for chrome and anodized parts.

      Clean the vehicle interior of dirt, snow and moisture and dry it. Check the vehicle weekly for attack from aggressive media (e.g. bird lime, industrial fallout) and if necessary clean/wash and retreat with preservative.

      If the vehicle is going to be out of operation for a longer period or if severe soiling is expected, we recommend spraying paint and chrome work with exterior wax (e.g. spray wax VP 195, part no. A 000 989 29 58). Windows and, if fitted, soft tops must be covered beforehand.

      The exterior preservation must be removed again after 6 months with standard paintwork and after 8 to 9 months with metallic paintwork. The times specified relate to vehicles parked in the open air and not under a roof.

      During dewaxing and removal of transport films, check the vehicle for damage and then apply new preservation (does not affect vehicles which have already been dewaxed and are ready for sale).

      Do not park the vehicle under power lines, trolley lines, in the immediate vicinity of railway lines, trees, bushes, masts, etc.

      Spray underfloor with underfloor protection agent (Specifications for Operating Fluids sheet 385.1) (not with new vehicles).

      Before parking the vehicle, warm up the vehicle, drain the engine oil and gear oil and then replace it (not with new vehicles). Only those oils approved for the vehicle are to be used. For further preservation measures of the engine, see section 2.1.

      Before parking the vehicle, warm up the service brake so that any moisture at the brake disks and brake pads is evaporated.

      Then treat with zinc dust spray paint. The zinc dust spray paint is applied in proportions to various points on the outside and inside. The zinc dust spray can be spread out across the entire friction ring by turning the wheel or moving the vehicle a few meters. The zinc dust paint can protect the friction ring against surface corrosion.

      Release parking brake / spring brake reservoir to prevent the brake linings from rusting solid. The vehicle must be secured by engaging a gear or by using wedges.

      Drain the condensation on vehicles with compressed air system.

      On vehicles with SCR exhaust aftertreatment, fill AdBlue in accordance with ISO 22241 and remove any AdBlue that adheres with plenty of water in order to prevent crystallization. The vehicle should be stored at a temperature of over -10 °C in order to prevent the repeated freezing of AdBlue.

      Apply prescribed lubricant to all lubrication points.

      On vehicles with central lubrication system, initiate an intermediate lubrication (manually at the control unit) before parking the vehicle. Fill grease containers to the top and cover to protect against the sun.

      If possible, a room with a roof is to be provided for storage of the vehicle (preferably temperature-controlled and dry with approx. 40 % air humidity, if necessary use a desiccating agent in the interior).

      Increase tire pressure (approx. 2 bar above normal pressure), but max. up to 1 year in order to prevent damage to the tires in the form of flat spots or jack up the vehicle to relieve the tires. Check tire pressure every 3 months and correct if necessary.

      Cover the tires to protect from sunlight.

      Disconnect negative terminal of battery in order to prevent discharging by no-load current consumers (observe the specifications for battery exchange). Fully charge battery and recharge every 3 months or trickle charge with 0.06 A.

      Before the cold season begins, test antifreeze mixture ratio of coolant and windshield washer fluid and if necessary replace with the prescribed coolant in accordance with sheet 310.1 or windshield washer fluid in accordance with sheet 371.0. Do not drain coolant (not with new vehicles).

      On vehicles with hydropneumatic or air suspension, install emergency running rubber buffer.

      Kitchen and bathroom system: All water tanks, pumps and hoses must be drained to prevent freezing up (for details see work instructions).

      Descriptions for the above work are listed in the Workshop Information System (WIS).

      For approved waxes see sheet 385.1/.2/.3/.4/.5.

      Papers and other objects are to be removed from the instrument panel, the seats and the trunk. Withdraw ignition key. Open all ventilation flaps. Set up sun visors. Remove dirt, snow and moisture from the interior, especially in the footwell. Correct carpet protective coverings and protective foils on the seats if necessary.

      Close doors, liftgates, engine hood, windows and sliding roof. Clamp and secure styropor [polystyrene] pads under the wiper arms. Disassemble aero wiper blades and store at a suitable point in the vehicle.

    2. Measures for restoring the vehicle to service

      Perform delivery and hand-over inspection.

      Before starting the vehicle, the dewaxing specifications for the engines are generally to be observed in accordance with point 2.2.

      Dry vehicle and correct tire pressure.

      Install or reconnect battery. Check the charge level of the battery, recharge the battery if necessary.

      Check coolant level. If it needs to be topped up, bleed auxiliary heater and test antifreeze mixture ratio.

      With air suspension, remove emergency running rubber buffer.

      Check oil level in steering, transmission and drive axles. Axle oil is to be changed. ( not on new vehicles)

      On vehicles that were out of operation for longer than 6 months, replace brake fluid (water content max. 2 %).

      On vehicles with SCR exhaust aftertreatment that were parked longer than 12 months, the AdBlue must be drained and disposed of. Then refill the AdBlue reservoir with AdBlue.

      Drain fuel system (Note: observe local disposal regulations, ask a disposal company if necessary). Refill fuel tank with fuel.

      Check operation of electrical system.

      Check hoses and lines for cracks and leakage. Check the braking effect.

      Check air conditioning/automatic air conditioning for proper operation. Check refrigerant level. To do this, allow the engine to run beforehand for approx. 4 minutes with the air conditioning switched on.

      If the paintwork is coated with exterior wax, remove the wax using a hot-water high-pressure cleaner (at least 85 °C, distance of 20-25 cm) with a bio-degradable cleaning agent added. Washing shampoos based on alkyl sulfonate or alkyl aryl sulfonate, for example, are suitable for hot-water high-pressure washing (pH 6-8, dosage: 2-3 %). The tenside/water emulsion must not be disposed of via oil separators, but must be disposed of via an appropriate wastewater pretreatment (e.g. ultrafiltration).

      When dewaxing by hand, first spray the waxed surfaces with cleaning agent (dosage: 5-10 %). After leaving to act for 5 - 10 minutes, thoroughly spray off the layer of dirt on the wax using a warm powerful jet of water (40 - 50 °C). The layer of dirt must be removed completely, otherwise the paint may be scratched during further treatment. Rub cleaning agent into the surfaces still coated with wax, painted surfaces must be rubbed with a sheepskin glove or a soft sponge. Using a warm, powerful jet of water (40 - 50 °C), spray off the dissolved wax.

      Vehicles that were not preserved with wax must always be pre-cleaned with hot-water high-pressure cleaning equipment. This will remove large particles of dirt that may cause severe scratches.

      Never aim the high-pressure jet of water directly at door or window seals!

      If after thorough washing, a rough film, droplets, etc. remain on the paintwork or the trim parts, first try to remove these with MB paint cleaners according to specifications.

      Dissolve stubborn dirt by carefully washing off with pure benzine, silicone or tar removers (avoid contact with rubber parts, do not use aggressive solvents such as commercially available thinners). Then treat with MB polish and MB gloss preserver.

      If it is not possible to remove coatings as described, treat the paint with polish and buffing machine.

      Remove transport film.

      Test drive vehicle to check the function of the brake system and the steering system. Check brake disks for corrosion, replace brake fluid (perform brake test on vehicles that were parked longer than 6 months).

      During the storage of the high-pressure pump in an installed state , the high-pressure pump or the engine may only be operated following actuation of the low-pressure pump (in the tank) for at least 5 s. To do so, the ignition is to be switched on for at least 5 s before engine start.

      On vehicles that were parked longer than 12 months, the engine oil and the filter are to be exchanged.

      Grease hinges of the hinged rear doors.

  2. Preserving and dewaxing vehicle engines and industrial engines
    1. Preserving vehicle engines and industrial engines

      With relatively long times out of operation, machined, non-protected surfaces, such as cylinder contact surfaces, are susceptible to corrosion attacks. Special preservation measures are therefore required for the temporary storage of engines. The measures are described in the sections below:


      2.1.2 Measures for engine preservation Temporary storage up to 12 months Temporary storage for 12 to 36 months Temporary storage for more than 36 months
      1. General

        Temporarily stored engines are those that are not operated for longer than a month following assembly or repair. For used engines, this is valid as of a standstill period of 12 months.

        Engines should be parked in dry, well-ventilated areas for temporary storage. If this is not possible, then these are severe conditions and the specified measures must be carried out after half the time, i.e. after 6 months instead of 12, for example.

        With marine transport or in tropical countries, engines must always , meaning irrespective of the standstill period, be preserved in accordance with the measures described under "Temporary storage for 12 to 36 months".

        Removed engines must always be protected from direct moisture (rain or splash water) by special measures.

        All machined, exterior and non-preserved surfaces such as the flywheel or belt pulley keyway must always be greased or coated with preservation agents, irrespective of the time out of operation.

        V-belts and poly-V belts must always be loosened, but can remain in position. The engine must no longer be started after this.

        All openings must be sealed, preferably with oil-soaked rags. In the installed state, this includes the exhaust pipe and the air filter/the intake pipe.

        It is advisable to clean the engine thoroughly and remove rust spots.

        When the engine is installed, it is expedient to perform the preservation operations at the storage location, because afterwards the engine may no longer be started.

      2. Measures for preserving the engine

        This relates to all installed and removed vehicle, industrial and OEM engines as well as new engines, reconditioned engines and long block engines.
        1. Temporary storage up to 12 months

          With new engines (operating time up to max. 300 km or 6 operating hours), no additional preservation measures are required provided that the approved operating fluids (break-in engine oil according to sheet 223.1) and coolants are used in the engine plants. The operating fluids must be filled to the maximum level. When selecting the operating fluids, the outside temperatures must be taken into consideration.

          All engine openings must be sealed, preferably with oil-soaked rags. With removed engines, the coolant must be completely drained.

          If the engine was already filled with coolant, the cooling system must first be filled with water and then with an aqueous solution consisting of coolant refining agent in accordance with Specifications for Operating Fluids sheet 311.0 or coolant without antifreeze in accordance with sheet 312.0.

          Storage of the high-pressure pump in an uninstalled state is generally to be performed with fuel. As of a storage period longer than 6 months, no cold test is performed without refilling of the high-pressure pump.

          With the storage of the high-pressure pump in an installed state , the engine may only be operated following actuation of the low-pressure pump (in the tank) for at least 5 s. To do so, the ignition is to be switched on for at least 5 s before engine start.

          With storage of common rail components, particularly with free air admission, diesel fuel containing biodiesel (e.g. diesel fuel in accordance with EN 590) is not suitable as a filling medium. If common rail components are to be stored that are filled with diesel fuel containing biodiesel before storage and for which it is not possible to guarantee that they will constantly be fully filled with fuel, the fuel is to be replaced with calibration fluid.

          With marine transport or in tropical countries, the fuel system, the combustion chambers and air compressors must also be preserved in accordance with 2.2.

          For used engines (mileage over 300 km or operating time over 6 operating hours), the following operations are necessary:

          Warm up engine and drain oil, replace oil filter, fill break-in engine oil.

          Depending on the cooling system, fill/top up with the prescribed coolant.

          Warm up engine at moderate rotational speed and let run approx. 5 to 10 min at operating temperature (coolant temperature 75 - 95 °C). Switch off engine, top up engine oil and oil in the oil-bath air filter (if fitted) to the maximum level.

          All the engine openings must be air-sealed. With removed engines, the coolant must be drained completely and the fuel system preserved (see

        2. Temporary storage for 12 to 36 months

          All the measures listed in the sections "2.1.1 General" and " Temporary storage up to 12 months" must be carried out. In addition, the fuel system, the combustion chambers and air compressors must be preserved in accordance with the following measures.

          Preservation of the fuel system:

          - Spark ignition engines:

          On spark ignition engines up to 1970 (before D-Jetronic):

          Empty fuel tank, checking for contamination (rust residues, gasoline residues). Required cleaning of the fuel tank can be recognized in this manner. If necessary, mix a preservation agent approved by MB with fuel (approx. 5 % of the volume of the fuel tank) and fill into the fuel tank. Bring the engine with the fuel preservation mixture to operating temperature. Then remove spark plugs and leave them removed until recommissioning.

          Spray approved preservation agent via a cavity preservation into the fuel tank, the engine cylinder (through the spark plug threaded holes) and the intake tract (through the air inlet). Then continue turning the engine ½ engine rotation without starter and ignition and spray again.

          With spark ignition engines after 1970 (direct and non-direct injection engines):

          Do not drain the fuel from the engines. If they contain no gasoline, fill with gasoline.

          Diesel engines:

          If possible, completely fill fuel tanks with biodiesel-free fuel. For military vehicles that are operated with indirect injection diesel engines (PLN), kerosene can be used instead of diesel fuel.

          Preservation of combustion chambers:

          -Carburetor engines:

          Prevent fuel from being supplied to the line between fuel pump and fuel tank. Run carburetor empty. For transistorized ignition, disconnect actuation of switching unit. With coil ignition, detach a cable at the screw connections of the ignition coil. Detach air filter, fill carburetor with break-in engine oil. Run carburetor empty with starter and full throttle and actuate the starter again for approx. ten engine rotations. In the Stromberg carburetor, use an oil can to spray an appropriate quantity of break-in engine oil into the carburetor opening during this process. Clean air filter and re-insert, restore power connection and fuel supply.

          Intake manifold + direct injection engine:

          Prevent the supply of fuel. With CFI and CFI (electronic) injection, disconnect relay for the fuel pump. With electronic injection, disconnect main relay for the power supply to the control unit.

          To prevent the cold start valve from opening, the connector must be disconnected from the thermo-time switch for both injection types.

          The ignition is interrupted by disconnecting the connector at the switching unit of the transistorized ignition or the distributor ignition system (coaxial plug).

          Remove spark plugs, spray break-in engine oil into every spark plug hole and at the same time turn engine with starter. Screw in spark plugs, restore all power connections, connect relay.

          -Diesel engines:

          Exclusively low-ash oils are to be used for preservation of the combustion chambers.

          Move the adjustment lever of the control rod for the injection pump into the stop position. With pneumatic controllers, also detach the cable at the adjustment lever.

          With prechamber engines, remove glow plugs. With direct-injection engines, expose the intake ducts at the cylinder heads.

          With prechamber engines, inject the following quantity of break-in engine oil into each spark plug bore while simultaneously actuating the starter: Model series 600 = 5 to 8 cm3.

          In every cylinder of the direct injection engines, the following quantity of break-in engine oil is to be poured in (do not spray) while simultaneously actuating the starter: Model series 300 = 8 to 10 cm3, model series 400 and all other models = 15 to 20 cm3.

          Refit all the removed parts. Make the controller of the injection pump operational again.

          Using a special tool, the specified quantities can also be sprayed in via the intake manifolds. Engine should not be at operating temperature in this case (less than 50 °C), otherwise it may start running.

          -Preservation of air compressors:

          The preservation of the air compressor must be performed while preserving the combustion chamber. The quantity of maximum 5 cm3/cylinder of break-in engine oil must be sprayed or poured in via the air intake side.

          The engines may no longer be started after preservation of the combustion chamber.

        3. Temporary storage for more than 36 months

          In the event of a temporary storage period of more than 36 months, the preservation measures must be repeated every three years or 18 months according to section

          If engine oil has been provided, this can be drained at room temperature (approx. 20 °C). The oil filter does not need to be replaced.

    2. Dewaxing vehicle engines and industrial engines

      Remove all plugs or rags attached.

      Remove preservation agent or greases in the belt pulley keyways.

      Tension V-belt/poly-V-belt according to specifications.

      Install removed engines and restore connections.

      Fill with approved operating fluids or top up to the maximum level.

      Engines which have already undergone the inspection or running in on the test bench (300 km = 6 h) must be topped up with approved engine oils.

      Engines that have not been run in on the test bench or have not undergone inspection must be topped up with approved break-in engine oil.

      With passenger cars and refilling with silicate-based coolants in accordance with sheet 325.0 or 325.2, a check of the ortho-silicate corrosion protection must be performed after about a month. The analysis value is specific to the coolant.

      Before starting the major assembly, ensure the oil supply of the lubrication points as needed with an oil can or with starter operation without ignition or fuel. Start the engine and allow to run at idle speed until the oil pressure is displayed.

      With Mercedes-Benz passenger car diesel engines that were preserved for over 18 months and are to be started up, the injection system is to be rinsed with diesel fuel. To do so, start the engine and operate for 15 to 30 min at an elevated idle.

      In addition, drain the warm engine oil, change the oil filter and prepare the engine for commissioning with new engine oil.

      Warm up the engine up to the operating temperature (coolant temperature 75 - 95 °C) while monitoring the pressures and temperatures.