Do you remember when you bought your first Mercedes Benz? Like it was yesterday, I can remember feeling like I’d joined one of the worlds most elite auto clubs. Just the thrill of driving with the star emblem in constant view was better than rose-colored glasses. Then I experienced my first repair.
A water pump failed on my new baby just a few thousand miles after my purchase. Like a good newbie, I stayed away from the dealer and went to a local “experienced” repair shop. Seemed easy, they even gave me a cup of coffee while I waited for an estimate. “Your a lucky guy,” the shop manager told me. “A few more miles and it might have been the end of the engine’s life,” he added. “The good news is that you got here... the bad news is the water pump replacement and labor costs.” Thinking about my wife’s words about how ostentatious the Benz was, I heard the shop manager drop the bomb. “A conservative estimate is about $900.” Imagine how well that went over on the home front. On the trailing tones of various versions of “I told you so,” from my wife... I admitted the patient for surgery. $1003 was the final bill. Sure, I got “hosed,” but I knew there must be a better way.
So, as luck would have it, the Internet provided a path to MercedesShop.com. The advice I’ve received has been priceless. I’ve saved hundreds of dollars on crisis repairs and I’ve learned to do much of the maintenance myself. Feeling it’s important to “give back” to the community, I offer the following:
At 103,000 miles my cruise control just quit. Most mechanics I spoke to don’t touch the things and the dealer costs for diagnostic are $65 to $85. That’s just to check and see what’s wrong. What I’ve found out is that MB cruise controls aren’t built very well (at least that’s what a lot of folks say) and they do have a tendency to fail, especially the cruise amps. However, it is important to rule out other system problems before plugging in a new or rebuilt amp. How do you do that without paying that diagnostic fee? Well, here comes Mshop.com to save the day.
I was directed to www.gdl-online.com
. The company, General Development Laboratories is run by a very nice fellow by the name of Peter B. Sanford. His website contains a series of tests that almost anyone can do. OK, maybe not “anyone” but with a little fortitude, or an obsession for fixing your cruise control, you too can figure out the puzzle of your cruise problem. Peter even offered to assist me by phone as I went through the tests. Nice guy. We talked, I tested and eventually my problems pointed to the amp. I sent it to Peter, he tested it and by gummy... the thing was dead! GDL rebuilt the amp, gave me a great warranty, great personal service and sent me the rebuild which now makes the car cruise smooth. Thanks GDL!