B Service - MB dealer or Independent?

mikesnr

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My 2001 CLK 320 coupe indicates 'B Service Due' at 56250 miles.

I have contacted two main MB garages who each quoted over £900, including new spark plugs (which is apparently an expensive item). I've managed to hassle them down to £650, but neither will go lower. An independent whom I know personally will do the job for £200, but EXCLUDING the spark plug change. He says if the car is running well - and it is - there should be no need for new spark plugs.

This is my first MB, bought 2 years ago. I don't know much about their Servicing, but these prices seem steep to me. Maybe I'm wrong?

Can anyone help me:
a. Is it advisable to change plugs even though the car runs smoothly?
b. Are there Independents in vicinity of CM6 (Chelmsford, Essex) who will change plugs + B service at more reasonable cost (The MB boys charge approx £130-£150 per hour labour)?
c. Is there any point in having another 'MB' stamp in my Servicing Schedule? The car is 9 years old and all servicing entries up to now are MB endorsed.

I'll be interested in your comments, and an idea of what others have paid for this particular service.

Thanks, Mike
 

television

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Hello Mike My SL is now 7 years old and I moved away to an indie as the MB prices become silly and a the very fact that if I change my own sparking plugs MB will not stamp the book

I got my B service from an indie,,why pay more as it does nothing to the resale value of the car, the indie stamps it and you have fgull service history.

50k is getting on for the max on the plugs and they should be changed really
 

MarkF

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Hello,

Go down the indi route, find a good one and you will never look back.
Its much better to have the money in your pocket than give it to them.
My ML is looked after by a very good indi, they are Mercedes senior tecs and only use Mercedes parts, so I get the same service but at a much lower price.
My dad has the same problem with his 4 year old C class, they stated it required plugs charged him over £500 for an A service, this was the first time in 25 years of main dealer service that he felt ripped off, guess what the car is going to be looked after by my indi.
 

Alex M Grieve

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50k is getting on for the max on the plugs and they should be changed really

Whilst you are correct Malcolm, when I was a younger (= poorer) person, I always kept "brim to brim" records of fuel consumption. I used to change plugs either if the car did not start first turn, or if the fuel economy fell off without any other good reason.

Plug life was much longer than the "recommendations", but did not seem to result in harm.
 

television

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Whilst you are correct Malcolm, when I was a younger (= poorer) person, I always kept "brim to brim" records of fuel consumption. I used to change plugs either if the car did not start first turn, or if the fuel economy fell off without any other good reason.

Plug life was much longer than the "recommendations", but did not seem to result in harm.

The advances since then Alex,,50k is good going, and they will go further, but leaving them too long can make it difficult to get them out
 

gre1591

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Go Independent it’s a no brainier . After about four years old it doesn’t mater that you have used an independent as long as you have invoices to prove servicing was carried out at the relevant mileages and an invoice listing the items replaced by a bona fide business with a good reputation..

The depreciation on all modern cars is so steep that after eight to ten years or so they are worth very little and something like a Mercedes that may need a load of work on it can be a liability if you let a main dealer loose on it.

For the last 5 years I have travelled over to Preston in Lancashire to have my servicing done by Thornleys at Walton -Le Dale 01772 - 886759. My car has responded well to their servicing over the last 50,000 miles and a major maintenance service seems to cost around £300 with a minor standard service running at around £130. I notice a set of spark plugs cost about £10 in a recent major service .
 

Dosco

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Whilst you are correct Malcolm, when I was a younger (= poorer) person, I used to change plug either if the car did not start first turn, or if the fuel economy fell off without any other good reason.

Plug life was much longer than the "recommendations", but did not seem to result in harm.

But Alex that was a single cylinder Benz, and the plug was the size of a large carrot sticking out of the top of the pot changing it with a 30mm spanner was easy and in any case I understood that was the Mem Sahib's job before venturing out:lol:
 

Alex M Grieve

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But Alex that was a single cylinder Benz, and the plug was the size of a large carrot sticking out of the top of the pot changing it with a 30mm spanner was easy and in any case I understood that was the Mem Sahib's job before venturing out:lol:

No, to be fair Roger, I did extract the plug - it was then her job to decoke it and reset the gap! ;)
 
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PanzerMcGrory

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The advances since then Alex,,50k is good going, and they will go further, but leaving them too long can make it difficult to get them out

loosen them off, spray them and stick them back in.
 

*Thumper

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Well..... Ive done 8K+ in mine on 10 weeks ...and I'm gonna pay my indie, as visit shortly ........... and thats on a brand new car !!

A good spanner, is a good spanner ...... does'nt matter what it says above the door !!
 

gre1591

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I think if I bought a new car I would probably get the first 2-3 services done with the main dealer that I purchased it from .While under warranty as its easier to get some interest from them with regard to any anomaly problems if they are carrying out your servicing rather than just turning up for warranty work.

I must say I find main dealers attitude especial salesmen difficult to say the least. Most of the salesmen cannot afford the hub caps of the cars they are selling but they still manage to maintain a smug attitude designed to portray some level of exclusivity to the marque and implying that you are lucky they are allowing themselves to deal with you. This phenomena seems pretty endemic throughout the network .
 

RedDog

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My son took his new Smart down to Ollie at PCS on Thursday and was most impressed. First service was £115 whereas Mercedes Croydon wanted £240. He was very friendly and seemed to know what he was talking about. My lad will get his servicing done there in future and so will I!
 


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