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Old 02-12-2002, 01:13 AM
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blackmercedes blackmercedes is offline
Just a guy
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: St. Albert, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,492

The FSS not only checks the condition of the oil, it also monitors cold starts, stop and go driving, trips to redline, etc.

During long highway trips, my FSS counts down very slowly. A few weeks of stop-and-go city driving, and it's counting down fast!

Neat, but stupid when it comes to taking it to the dealer. They reward low-stress driving with MORE EXPENSIVE servicing. Huh?

Well, during normal servicing, intervals are 15,000 kilometers. And you go A, B, A, B and so on.


If the interval increases to 22,000 kilometers, then you DON'T DO AN A! It goes B, B, B, B. So? Instead of a B every 30,000 kilometers (which is ridiculously frequent to drop $600-$1000 on servicing) it's every 22,000 kilometers.

I go on some long highway trips, which are very kind to my car, and MB says I need to give them just as much money!

The math:

15K, $200 A
15K, $500 B
15K, $200 A
15K, $500 B
60,000 kilometers = $1,400 labour (no parts) This is $.023 per kilometer.

22K = $500
22K = $500
22K = $500
66,000 kilometers = $1,500 labour (no parts) This is $.022 per kilometer.

So! Drive hard, or drive gently, MB wants the same moolah!

The FSS is a giant profit center for MB dealers. They don't do anything but "inspect" your car, and beat you over the head for $$$. Then, in your manual is the "grey" areas that explain "at additional cost to the customer." So, your "normal" services don't incluse stuff like filter or fluid changes. That's all extra!

The estimate for my ~100K service was about $1500.

I use the FSS. As it counts down each 5000 kilometers, I change the oil and filter. When it reaches zero, I do the A or B service, which are both pretty easy on your own. Does the horn work? Yup! Saved myself $50!

For some stuff, I take it to the dealer, and SPECIFY the work to be done. I NEVER allow them to do a "service." Big waste of money.
John Shellenberg
1998 C230 "Black Betty" 240K
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