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Main Dealer Diagnostic V Indie

Discussion in 'General Mercedes-Benz Related Discussion' started by DavePrentice, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. DavePrentice

    DavePrentice Active Member

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    My 52 plate C230 recently developed the following fault: Stuck in 'P' and ESP, SRS & BAS lights on. My regular mechanic recommended a main dealer as they had more advanced diagnostic equipment. The main dealer recommendation was as follows: Oil contaminating ECU unit, camshaft solenoid leaking to front engine harness and therefore replace all parts at a cost of £1440.04. I was charged £156.00 for this. I decided not to proceed and took the vehicle to my old mechanic who found the fault to be simply a broken wire to one of the front brake sensors which he repaired. Total cost £280 mainly on labour with no parts needed. He said there was a little bit of oil on the ECU & harness which only required a wipe down. He failed to understand why a replacement ECU was required as being a sealed unit, it was OK. I wrote a letter of complaint to the main dealer, but they say they were correct. I am considering further action against the main dealer as I think they were replacing parts which were not required. Surely the ECU fault would have come up up on the OBC! Should I consider further action against the Main Dealer as a point of principal? I have copies of all letters and my indie's invoice if anyone interested. Would the next step be Citizens Advice and perhaps trading standards or get andependent qualified mechanic to give his opinion? Certainly will never take my car to a Main Dealer again.
     
  2. Gkinghorn

    Gkinghorn Senior Member

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    I would imagine you would struggle to get any compensation of any form. How can you 'prove' those items dont need the work they say without an independent review? Your indie would have to speak up for you against them I suggest ... that then gives you their word against MB's .... so if you are intent on pushing it I would suggest you get another independent review..perhaps by someone like the AA/RAC.
     
  3. Mic

    Mic Senior Member

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    Put it down to part of life's learning curve.....move on.

    Main dealers have a different philosophy, and no doubt they will argue a more far reaching responsibility, from Indies and the corner garage.

    Indies were trained within the main dealer net work and the best and most pragmatic main dealer operatives could see the over zealous use of replacement parts which will be one of the driving forces behind electing to become an Indie in addition to a business opportunity.

    Main dealers and Indies are complementary but by using an Indie you should be getting best practise at the least possible cost. ie. A good Indie will not spend your money unnecessarily which is not necessarily the case with a main dealer.

    Mic
     
  4. Andy.M

    Andy.M Senior Member

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    For clarification, are you saying your mechanic, first said he couldn't fix it, then fixed it?
     
  5. OP
    DavePrentice

    DavePrentice Active Member

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    reply

    Sorry if not clear, Andy. My indie said they had more advanced diagnostic equipment & would trace the fault quicker and save me money. He ended up having to go through everything to find the fault...Im not really up on electrics. Apologies if not clear.
     
  6. rpe2

    rpe2 Senior Member

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    ...and aside from the above, I can't see a pad sensor causing the faults described.

    The cable/ oil issue can be resolved by fitting a 'blocker' - i.e. cleaning down is great but the problem will likely as not return.

    The detailled faults will not appear on the OBC (dash)

    I think that you are likely to spend more than £150 attempting any recourse which i feel would fail the most basic arguments (namely that they could argue that if you had gone ahead with the work, they could then have advised a cheaper fix), similarly they may argue that the MB 'best practice' in their handbook is to replace..
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2012
  7. brandwooddixon

    brandwooddixon Senior Member

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    If your independent doesn't have access to a STAR diagnostic machine then I'd suggest that you locate one that does.
     
  8. Miffy

    Miffy Senior Member

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    Camshaft sensors leaking oil is a known issue with your engine and can cause quite extensive damage once the oil gets back to the ecu. A mere wipe is not going to fix your problem here. As a few posts above, you need a blocker fitted and the harness inspected to see if the oil has started to travel inside the wire insulation.

    Your cheap Indi could in this case end up quite costly
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2012
  9. star

    star Forum Supporter Authorised Forum Supporter

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    I agree, I think some people get confused between a run of the mill independant garage with a general diagnostic tool and a true Mercedes Independant that should have a Star diagnostic.
     
  10. Andy.M

    Andy.M Senior Member

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    Forgetting the possible oil leak issue, MB never diagnosed the broken wire did they, so it would have gone in had £1400 spent on it and still not been fixed. Then the op would be really upset I would imagine.

    As said above, it would cost more trying to get a refund and to be fair you are now alerted to an altogether different issue you never knew you had!
     
  11. Miffy

    Miffy Senior Member

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    re reading the OP is, is his mechanic suggesting that the wear sensor when triggered is going to render the car im-mobile by sticking it in P?
     
  12. Andy.M

    Andy.M Senior Member

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    Was the car on the back of a transporter then?
     
  13. Frontstep

    Frontstep Senior Member

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    The fundamental problem with surmising these faults is the account is given by someone who doesn't understand the problems.
    We all have these situations, everything from fixing computers to medical operations one or all puts us at a disadvantage to "experts".
    The main dealer throw parts (at the customers expense) till its fixed mentality drives us to Independents.
    The internet has levelled it to a degree.
    Its just getting more common.
    Even my fridge has a processor that I can't test.
     
  14. television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    The odd thing is here that the faults to me look like a brake lamp switch if the ABS lamp was not on
     
  15. OP
    DavePrentice

    DavePrentice Active Member

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    Thanks to all for the comments. Think I will put it down to a lesson learned. This was my first visit to a main dealership & it certainly will be my last.
     
  16. anton1

    anton1 Senior Member

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    I couldn't agree more that Dealers love to ramp bills and in this case they showed their true colours by quicky wrong diagnosing the problem and trying to replace expensive parts.

    However I must stress that they may have wrong diagnosed the problem you went in for(warning lights) but they most likely have correctly diagnosed a problem never the less.

    To replace a leaking camshaft solenoid is peanuts but if not diagnosed as leaking in a timely manner the oil can travel up the wiring and contaminate the ECU resulting in huge expense( the work you have been quoted for.)

    In short what I am trying to say is that although what they recommended may not have turned off your warning lights, the camshaft solenoid most likely really is leaking and it really should be addressed. A simple wipe down from your indie really isn't good enough and he should know better. I am not advising changing the ECU etc as it would appear at this stage that you have no problems with it but sorting the leak out at source would be the first port of call.


    Another word of advice is that if your Indie is recommending you pay £150 a go to visit a main dealer to have it put on a star machine you should perhaps consider finding an indie with a star machine.
     

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