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Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Car Safety, Sedan
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#6812 of 7297 C-240 post 70,000 mile Service B
Mar 26, 2004 (5:56 pm)
So, my annual ~$1000 trip to Mercedes Benz service is complete. Here are the details:
C-240 B Service: $446
Front Sway Bar Links: $200 (did not solve sounds coming from front suspension this time)
Diagnose (not fix, fix = $577) Driver window failure: $200
Brake fluid drain / replacement: $150
I am sure I am not the only Mercedes owner who is absolutely fed up with the ridiculous cost of servicing these vehicles. The crazy thing is that the guys at the dealer just seem to think we should take it. For instance, I completely freaked over 2 specific items on my bill..
$20 for "shop materials", this was explained to be rags, solvents, etc. I couldn't believe that wasn't included in the $92 per hour labor charge.
$44 for EACH wiper blade insert. Granted the wipre blades are nice, but that has to be the most expensive wiper blades on the planet.
I am just getting sick of paying $400 for basically an oil change, fluid fill and blade change. To me it seems like it should cost about $100 for labor (MAX), $40 for 8 liters of Mobil 1, $20 for oil filter, and $20 for wiper blade inserts.... for a grand total of $180! Which still seems ridiculous. I doubt I will ever take my Mercedes to the dealer again.
In that effort, does anyone know where or how to get the service manuals?
For all you out there who are considering buying a Mercedes, I got a letter from American Service Center in Arlington, VA stating the following prices for C-class vehicles:
2004 C-230 Coupe w sunroof / cd changer for $25,550. ($4030 off sticker)
2004 C-240 wagon w sunroof / cd changer / heated seats for $31,474. ($4896 off sticker).
I suggest you use the $4000 saved to prepare for the service bills that come after the free services are up.
Mar 26, 2004 (6:47 pm)
I've been invited to the C-Spot drive and am going to do it next Sunday (4/4/04). I'm excited and will definitely post my impressions.
I have a friend who says they might bring an '05 along to give us a preview. He says there is basically a facelift (front and rear) as well as some new interior components. A new dashboard (with a real sized tach!). We shall see.
I hope they have a C230K with 6 speed there for me to drive:)
Mar 26, 2004 (9:35 pm)
I attended the C-Spot drive party at the Meadowlands racetrack last Sunday. I had a great time. They did show the 2005 model which indeed has a new gauge cluster and a revised grille and bumpers.
They will have all variations of the C-class available, but none with manual transmissions. Be sure to go on the C32 Hot Lap.
Mar 27, 2004 (6:24 am)
Once the prepaid services no longer apply, anything out of warranty should go to the best local independent shop you can find. Sounds like it's time to start looking around.
And all readers be warned: word is already out that it is highly likely that the "free" service will go away starting with the '05 model year. This source has it that the basic warranty will go to 5 yrs/ 60,000 miles, but in exchange the prepaid service goes away. I find this a credible idea, because they are getting killed right now by the appreciation of the Euro, but market conditions here make it very hard to increase prices significantly. One way to increase profit margins is to eliminate the free service on new cars.
For low mileage drivers like me, the "free" preventative maintenance during the warranty period was never going to add up to more than $800 or so; for someone who actually drove 50k miles in 4 years, the value could have easily been twice that. In any case, this kind of "perk" has come and gone in the past, and looks like it is about to do so again.
And before any misunderstandings start, no, this does not mean that they are reneging on the service offer to every owner who has bought a new car during the past x years - just that the '05s will be sold without the free service as part of the deal. AND...I have to emphasize...this is still a rumor so far and not confirmed.
Finally, it is a sad fact of life that ALL of the German makes are relatively expensive to maintain - to keep costs anywhere near tolerable, you pretty much have to abandon the dealer once the warranty is no longer an issue, and look around for good sources outside the dealer network. If you need recommendations, this is another reason to join MBCA - they are a good source for that kind of info.
#6816 of 7297 Service Costs.......
Mar 27, 2004 (9:35 am)
Yes, "A" and "B" services from the dealer are too expensive. Especially when you consider how easy it is to "check the fluids" on a modern car. Having just DIY an "A" service the costs are: $45 for the oil (it takes 8.5 quarts), $7.27 for a filter, and $5 for the filter removal tool. The parts bought online are usually the same as those you buy from the dealer....$16.28 for wiper blade refills, $39.26 (vs. $49.84 at MB)for the air filters. If you are mechanically challenged or just don't want to be bothered with DIY follow jrct9454's advice and find a good independent. I just ordered a spark plug wire removal tool for $27 to change my own plugs....dealers have quoted $500 to change 12 plugs!!! Don't look for MB costs to go down. They have more business than they can handle at their current rates....why would they lower them?
Mar 31, 2004 (8:52 am)
It comes with an exterior and interior upgrades. I
wonder if an in-dash CD player will be standard
vice the stone-age cassette player. A new 6 speed
manual from the SLK is available but unfortunately
the new 3.5L V-6 is not. MB should have dropped the
C240, lowered the price of the C320 and added
the C350 for 2005. That would have gave them a year
jump on BMW before they upgrade their 3 series
Apr 01, 2004 (12:20 am)
I was thinking the same thing. A 268hp C350 in place of the C320 would be awesome, the old 3-valve 3.2 and 2.6L V6s are on their way out altogether. There is talk of a 3.0L version of the this new V6. A 225hp C300 would be a nice replacement for the C240. Lets see the current C-Class has three more model years to go 05', 06' and 07'....maybe it will get the new engines once the 3.0L version is announced.
#6819 of 7297 just posted
Apr 01, 2004 (6:46 am)
is Ed Hellwig's review of the revised C-Class. Check it out via the Helpful Links box on the left side of the page.
Apr 01, 2004 (6:59 am)
One advantage of the cassette player is that it allows yo to use an adapter to play a portable MP3 player.
An AUX input jack would be much better, but it's better than having no options if you had a CD player only.
#6821 of 7297 '05 C-Class
Apr 01, 2004 (10:05 pm)
I think the 240 exists because of displacement requirements in the Euro market. And, I don't see MB's prices coming down: they seem to be going up because of the change in the exchange rates. Rather than lowering the price of a 320, I think they'd just make it better to help justify higher prices.
If MB is putting an AMG-tuned V8 into the sedan, it makes sense the SLK's 3.5L will be there too before long, because that is MB's best V6 now: more power and better fuel economy too.
I'd expect to see the new 3.5 across MB's entire line--not just in the C-Class--the E-Class tooh, replacing the next ML's 3.7L "350" and maybe there would also be 3.5L S-Class and SL models too.
Since the V6s are components of the V8, I'd guess there will be a next generation V8 based on this latest technology, e.g., ~4.6L