Thanks to everyone for the concern and advice. I can see now that its best for me to wait for the 90,000mi service. I'll double-check with the MB dealer service dept if I have the same symptoms.
Since I don't drive that much, it might be a few months before I reach 90,000. If anyone is interested in the rest of this saga and what MB will say please e-mail me and I will oblige.
Thx and have a good w/e