I Can’t Believe How Long This $250 Mercedes Survived Without Oil

(Photo Credit: Car Throttle/YouTube)

Oil is the lifeblood of every gasoline and diesel-burning automobile engine. It flows through the components, keeping them cool and lubricated. Without it, the engine would just seize up and fry itself. But apparently they can keep on churning for longer than I expected.

Our English friend Alex over at CarThrottle picked up this Mercedes C-Class for $250 to perform evil experiments– namely drifting and testing how long it can survive driving after the engine’s been completely drained of oil.


He takes it on lap after lap of a closed course with the thing consistently not dying, until finally something just gets too hot and… explodes. Casually. There’s a little pop in the bottom somewhere, but thankfully no dramatic firestorm.

Alex says the car survived for about 17 minutes. I have to admit, I would have thought a minute or two of just idling without oil would be enough to kill it but I guess some engines are tougher than I give them credit for!


The sacrificed engine would have been a 1.8-liter four-cylinder. And may it rest in peace.

The Mercedes W202, also known as the C-Class of the late 1990’s, is actually one of my favorite cars of all time. Something about the simplicity of its design really speaks to me, especially the tail lights.

Whoa, mama. (Photo Credit: Mercedes-Benz)

But the 200,000-mile example in this video seems pretty much doomed to be harvested for scrap anyway, so I guess I won’t cry too long about it being tortured to death in the name of science.

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