Servicing Rip Off

Thincat

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I've just booked my 2001 SLK320 for an A service at MB Exeter. It's a second car and doesn't get driven very much so it's a time-prompted service (it's about 2 years since the last one).

I was a bit surprised to be told that the cost would be about £700. It seems that Mercedes now won't stamp your service book unless you get all the advisory stuff done - I forget how many things they want to do but there were a lot. After a bit of discussion I managed to persuade them that it didn't need the brake fluid changing as it's only done 5K miles since the last fluid change and sits in a good garage most of the time, but I'm still having to pay for a lot of probably unnecessary stuff.

It looks to me like Mercedes are playing hardball now with servicing costs. ASSYST used to make it a relatively cheap car to run (low mileage) but they've worked this out and found a way to screw more money out of us. I'm beginning to wonder if it's worth keeping a full MBSH. I've only been doing this to keep the Mobilo Life cover which is useful - I've called them out 4 times in 40K miles - but it's cheaper to join the AA. The 30 year rust warranty seems to be a con as the wording rules out nearly every claim.
 

survey

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I've just booked my 2001 SLK320 for an A service at MB Exeter. It's a second car and doesn't get driven very much so it's a time-prompted service (it's about 2 years since the last one).

I was a bit surprised to be told that the cost would be about £700. It seems that Mercedes now won't stamp your service book unless you get all the advisory stuff done - I forget how many things they want to do but there were a lot. After a bit of discussion I managed to persuade them that it didn't need the brake fluid changing as it's only done 5K miles since the last fluid change and sits in a good garage most of the time, but I'm still having to pay for a lot of probably unnecessary stuff.

It looks to me like Mercedes are playing hardball now with servicing costs. ASSYST used to make it a relatively cheap car to run (low mileage) but they've worked this out and found a way to screw more money out of us. I'm beginning to wonder if it's worth keeping a full MBSH. I've only been doing this to keep the Mobilo Life cover which is useful - I've called them out 4 times in 40K miles - but it's cheaper to join the AA. The 30 year rust warranty seems to be a con as the wording rules out nearly every claim.

Mobilo Life is useful but having spoken to MB about the extent of cover yesterday I am given to undertand that there is no cover for minor items such as punctures etc. after the car is 2 years old. Thus you may well still prefer to have RAC/AA cover.
 

Dosco

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Here we go again - sorry the comment is not of much value to the OP but sadly this story is coming up again and again. It would seem though that most if not all manufactures are following this approach let us hope 'Block Exemption' is not reversed although given the power these company's have in Brussels I would not hold my breath.
 

antijam

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Hello there, and welcome to the forum.

I have the same car and this was 'A' serviced this year for £128. This was done by a local independent M-B specialist - and included a health check on any items that might require future attention.

In cars of age of ours, the difference in resale value between a car with a full M-B service history and one from independents is I would suggest, negligible.

As far as breakdown cover goes, I get AA cover via my bank account, and as for any potential claims for possible corrosion problems I suspect my life is too short to engage in the hassle.

Find yourself a good indie, enjoy the car and give your bank account an easier time.
 

jberks

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Find yourself a good indie, enjoy the car and give your bank account an easier time.

Couldn't agree more.
My last service quote was between £550 and £650 - I'll pay a bit more for a dealer stamp but not that much. Had it done at an indie for £300.
 

47p2

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I service my own 2 Mercedes and stamp the book myself.

The best part is a couple of years ago I managed claim 2 new front wings on the S-Class as the dreaded tinworm was starting at the arches and Mercedes paid for the wings and having them fitted and painted, all because the service book was up to date.

I would say take the car to a good indie and don't worry.
 

television

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Hello Thincat and welcome,,I see that you use my local dealer,,I moved over to an indie last year owing to the stupid rules and cost on my 2002 SL and got the B service done for £225 this also leaves me free to fit my own plugs etc
 

grober

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Sorry to disagree but surely £350 a year is not that severe for servicing a Mercedes. Renewing the brake fluid on a time basis is sensible since brake fluid is hygroscopic and absorbs moisture if it's exposed to air. There is a testing method for determining the boiling point of the fluid-I wonder if they would do this initially at least ? Before passing judgement it would be useful to know exactly what they propose to do for the money- albeit at Mercedes labour rates.
 

Alex M Grieve

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Hello there, and welcome to the forum.

I have the same car and this was 'A' serviced this year for £128. This was done by a local independent M-B specialist - and included a health check on any items that might require future attention.

In cars of age of ours, the difference in resale value between a car with a full M-B service history and one from independents is I would suggest, negligible.

As far as breakdown cover goes, I get AA cover via my bank account, and as for any potential claims for possible corrosion problems I suspect my life is too short to engage in the hassle.

Find yourself a good Indie, enjoy the car and give your bank account an easier time.

I agree 100% on antijam on all points - and we are neither silly nor irresponsible people.

FMBSH is not worth the premium you are being coerced into paying for work on a 2001 car.

Mobilo is not guaranteed to help you in every situation - and being in the situation in which they decline to help is a bad time to learn the hard way.

A competent Independent will do the work effectively and correctly for you at much less cost. There are accounts of services being done for less than £150 (B service recently, £143) and my Indy declined to change my S Class brake pads recently, because "they were too good to change".

There are honest people out there, but there are also those who will now want to change both brake pads and discs on low mileage cars - a job I have never required in over 40 years.

The urban myth of brake fluid changing lives on, and shows no signs of fatigue. If water gets into a pressurized system, why does not the brake fluid leak out? I agree that changing is good, but not with the frequency which was necessary in the good old days. (worth having a browse around with search on any of these points).

Go find and Indy, there are a lot about, save lots of money and enjoy your car.
 

Dosco

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You'd have thought so, wouldn't you? But it's a while since she checked up on them...... :(

You need to get that one sorted just in case you need her to swear an affidavit or something;);)
 

grober

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The urban myth of brake fluid changing lives on, and shows no signs of fatigue. If water gets into a pressurized system, why does not the brake fluid leak out? I agree that changing is good, but not with the frequency which was necessary in the good old days. (worth having a browse around with search on any of these points)

So Mercedes' official service recommendation of changing the brake fluid every 2-3 years is merely to increase their dealers revenue stream and not with the purpose of maintaining the factory level of brake performance?
 

television

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So Mercedes' official service recommendation of changing the brake fluid every 2-3 years is merely to increase their dealers revenue stream and not with the purpose of maintaining the factory level of brake performance?

This is an odd subject,, this same dealer made no offer to me when mine was overdue, to change the fluid
 
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Thincat

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Hello Thincat and welcome,,I see that you use my local dealer,,I moved over to an indie last year owing to the stupid rules and cost on my 2002 SL and got the B service done for £225 this also leaves me free to fit my own plugs etc

Thanks for the replies. TV can I ask which indie you use - I might give him a try if he's not too far away. I think I'll get the service done at MB this time as there's a bit of rust work I'm hoping to get fixed under their "goodwill" policy. There's a bit of rust around the boot lock which is something that should never have happened if it was properly painted. There's also some rust on the wheel arches, which again shouldn't be there but I guess they'll just say it's caused by stone chips - which it isn't. Next time I'll give MB a miss - as people have pointed out, the value of my car is very low anyway.
 

television

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I drive the 120 miles now to MBS in Southampton,, where they will do it while you wait. If you are on the West side of Exeter then it may be too far for you
 

antijam

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Thanks for the replies. I think I'll get the service done at MB this time as there's a bit of rust work I'm hoping to get fixed under their "goodwill" policy. There's a bit of rust around the boot lock which is something that should never have happened if it was properly painted.


Good luck with that - I'd be interested to hear if M-B cough up for it. Rust in that area is almost a given on the R170 SLK. It's easy enough to refinish but it very often reappears later. It's a design fault rather than a poor paint problem.
 

grober

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This is an odd subject,, this same dealer made no offer to me when mine was overdue, to change the fluid

I have to agree with you Malcolm. The official recommendation seems to be for 2-3 year changes but some customers are offered this as part of the service and some are not. I don't think Mercedes have moved to Silicon based brake fluids but recent models may be using the more modern "extended service" fluid I don't know? If the service schedule recommends it I would be disappointed if every owner was not at least offered the option at the appropriate time.
 

ricw

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Thanks for the replies. TV can I ask which indie you use - I might give him a try if he's not too far away. I think I'll get the service done at MB this time as there's a bit of rust work I'm hoping to get fixed under their "goodwill" policy. There's a bit of rust around the boot lock which is something that should never have happened if it was properly painted. There's also some rust on the wheel arches, which again shouldn't be there but I guess they'll just say it's caused by stone chips - which it isn't. Next time I'll give MB a miss - as people have pointed out, the value of my car is very low anyway.

I've long since given up on MB Exeter for too many reasons to list here. I did have a rust issue on my CLK which Exeter were very difficult about - it took 18 months and a visit from MB HQ staff from Milton Keynes to finally get the work done. I have started to use Coverdale in Newton Abbot and have found them very good.
 

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