Hey guys, I agree with all that has been said, and would advise everyone to understand the quality of the parts they buy, and then the relative price for that quality part from a variety of sources. I have to add 6% sales tax to my parts cost from the dealer, but write off the 35 mile round trip cost as an entertainment expense as I always peruse the lot for interesting new and, newly available used, cars. On the phone or internet orders I always add the delivered to my door costs. As I noted earlier, for the same quality parts the price often favors the dealer when the discount for MBCA is factored in, but not always. Then, I have to consider if I need it right now, or if I need it for next weekend, and how much I am willing to pay for the added convenience of being able to get the part "right now" from the dealer. As far as having a reasonable stock of parts for the older W123 car, I guess I really have a good dealer as he maintains a very good inventory of routine parts, and can get just about anything I have asked for in two days.
The dealer also services the old cars as well, but usually only for the people that originally bought the cars. Around New England it is not that peculiar to have a swamp Yankee keep a car he/she paid a premium for in top shape and until it is really worn out. So, W123's do not make the bulk of the cars in service bays at this dealer, but there is always at least one in there, and one or two of the older "S" bodies from the 60's.
I have yet to feel abused by the dealer and I guess that seems to be rare. I can not understand how a business as vulnerable as the automobile business, and the premium market at that, can afford to drive away customers by attitude and poor business practices.
1986 Euro 190E 2.3-16 (291,000 miles),
1998 E300D TurboDiesel, 231,000 miles -purchased with 45,000,
1988 300E 5-speed 252,000 miles,
1983 240D 4-speed, purchased w/136,000, now with 222,000 miles.
2009 ML320CDI Bluetec, 89,000 miles
1971 220D (250,000 miles plus, sold to father-in-law),
1975 240D (245,000 miles - died of body rot),
1991 350SD (176,560 miles, weakest Benz I have owned),
1999 C230 Sport (45,400 miles),
1982 240D (321,000 miles, put to sleep)