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Mercedes Garage or Private for a Service?

Discussion in 'General Mercedes-Benz Related Discussion' started by Pilotpenguin, Nov 24, 2012.

  1. Pilotpenguin

    Pilotpenguin Member

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    Your Mercedes:
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    So, this is the first year of owning a Mercedes. I have a B service coming up soon and I was just wondering if someone can help me with the advantages and disadvantages of getting my car serviced by a Mercedes garage against getting it done from a private non specialised company.

    I notice that a major B service can cost between £400-600 from a Mercedes specialist. However, if I take halfords auto centre as just one example, they can do a Major Service for about £279.

    What is the difference? Is it really worth spending nearly double just to get a service done by a garage who specialise in Mercedes? What's wrong with a private car garage doing the same major service at half the price?

    Cheers
     
  2. WG M-B

    WG M-B Senior Member Authorised Forum Supporter

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    What is you mileage?
     
  3. mikestrivens

    mikestrivens Senior Member

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    There are loads of threads on this very question. Search the forum for all the info you require.
     
  4. OP
    Pilotpenguin

    Pilotpenguin Member

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    35'000

    It's a used car so has no warranty etc
     
  5. mikestrivens

    mikestrivens Senior Member

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    In that case the indie route is the way to go.
     
  6. WG M-B

    WG M-B Senior Member Authorised Forum Supporter

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    Then yes it should in theory be due a major service with transmission oil and filter.
    Halfords will not be quoting for the transmission oil.
    A specialist 350- 400 without the tranny oil and using genuine parts
    This would include
    Service B
    2 year items replace brake fluid and combination filter
    4 year items replace spark plugs and air cleaner

    Prices will vary slightly from indy to indy, and be cheaper/ more expensive depeding on location
     
  7. WG M-B

    WG M-B Senior Member Authorised Forum Supporter

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    Just to add the tranny oil can go for another 3-5k so you could always leave it for the time being.
     
  8. Remenham

    Remenham Senior Member

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    I would try to find a respected local indie.

    In my experience, taking the car to be serviced at a franchised dealer is the worst part of Mercedes ownership in terms of both customer service and cost.
     
  9. richardN2O

    richardN2O Senior Member

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    Unless Halfords have upped their game, I wouldn't even let them put air in my tyres
     
  10. toby1

    toby1 Senior Member

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    If I was quoted £350-400 I would go elsewhere - How on Earth can it cost that much?
     
  11. Rory

    Rory Senior Member

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    That service

    Service B
    2 year items replace brake fluid and combination filter
    4 year items replace spark plugs and air cleaner

    is a once every 4 years thing, and the price seems reasonable to good (assuming it includes VAT).

    Would be £600 at a franchised dealer.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2012
  12. littlebrooklyn

    littlebrooklyn Senior Member

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    I would say indie all the way too. Not too sure about going to Halfords though.
     
  13. WG M-B

    WG M-B Senior Member Authorised Forum Supporter

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    Why wouldn't it? What do you think it should cost then?
    Work it out and let me know

    As previously stated this will only come around every four years. The A which you will be due next is a quick and cheap service in comparison
     
  14. jamesleigh

    jamesleigh Forum Supporter Authorised Forum Supporter

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  15. toby1

    toby1 Senior Member

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    I would expect to pay £220-£280, somewhere around that mark.

    Why is it over £300?
     
  16. Pinenut

    Pinenut Senior Member

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    Don't take it to Halfords if you care for the car.
    An indie will service the car to spec and also check it over and give you good feedback I have used maindealer and they did what was specified with a higher cost than an indie.However with an indie as well as the service they always do a full check and give you updates on the state of play with any other "items" etc. Most are advisories but it's good to know and my Indie (MB Tech) have proved they wont rip off and charge unnecessarily. My indie has proved this several times.

    As for Halfords sure they will change your oil n filter n plugs and other basics but it's comparable to having a KFC/MacD meal. It is a meal but it wont be as good for you or as rewarding as a decent meal at a good restaurant.
     
  17. SteveX

    SteveX Senior Member

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    I always do my own, however, with the Porsche, I always get a stamp in the book for the oil service, but everything else I change myself, keep the receipts from Porsche for the parts and keep photos / fill out the book. The only reason for this is that I did not want to be the first person to NOT have an OPC stamp in the book in it's life. So really an obsessive thing more than anything to do with what anyone else cares about. I have a whole folder full of receipts, pictures and a garage full of parts I have changed.

    The CLK I bought had FSH but the current service was overdue by 54 days (suspect the trader was the route of that delay). Services had been mixed between OMC and Indi's, so I purchased all parts for under £200.00 and did a full service (12 plat plugs, air / oil filter, oil and brake fluid change). I took pictures on the way, put the receipts with the history, kept the old parts and then filled out the service book. From experience this is sometimes even more impressive to potential owners than a two inch ink stamp in the book. As an example, the plugs I pulled were no way replaced 5k ago, I was totally surprised to see in the history that the Indi said they were, they were original Mercedes plugs and showed signs to sugest strongly they were much older and had not been out. By contrast the air filter, oil and oil filter DID show signs that they were recent, not surprising considering how easy and quick they are to change. It just goes to show (and this is why I do nearly all of my own work) that you really can not trust a huge amount of garages. If someone is the sort of person to take their car to a garage to change an air filter that costs £7.00 and involves undoing six clips and popping the new one in, then the chances are there is no way ever that you will pull the plugs or drop the oil and check, so, you have to be careful.

    I've bought, owned and sold a lot of cars in my time, and what happens most to the potential new owner is that the car has been looked after regardless of how that was achieved. If you can present them with receipts and history to prove you have cared for the car and have shown an interest in it then that is what counts.

    Any car I have sold always sells above others in just a couple of days of advertising, simply because rather than just a bit of ink in a book, I can talk about the car inside out, show wads of history, photos and even give the new owner a trunk / boot full of parts.

    As an example, here is an add of one of my cars I have recently sold, it sold within 24 hours, even though there was no garage stamp in the book for the service I did:

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Rover-MG-...1821073?pt=Automobiles_UK&hash=item35c1a10191
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2012
  18. SteveX

    SteveX Senior Member

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    Oh and with regards to halfords, I agree - I wouldn't even allow then to change my wipers (yes wipers!). My brothers wife had wipers fitted at halfords and they put the wrong ones on causing deep scratches on the screen (rubber was the wrong shape, too short and the metal scraped against the windscreen).

    Far too many times have I been stuck on Sunday for a part, reluctantly called halfrauds and they don't even know what my car is, can't find my reg on the system and tell me things I know aren't correct.

    And as for their paint, wow, don't even go there, after FOUR attempts at them mixing a colour for an old car to touch in some marks, they never got it right, the difference was terrible.

    I only ever go to halfords for simple off the shelf things I need and know they will have in an emergency.....
     
  19. Remenham

    Remenham Senior Member

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    I did find Halfords Reading good at changing bulbs on my S210 some of which were quite fiddly.
     
  20. Sue new MB owner!!

    Sue new MB owner!! Senior Member

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