View Single Post
Old 02-07-2003, 09:18 PM
DuckMuck's Avatar
DuckMuck DuckMuck is offline
Feathered Member
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Chandler, Arizona, USA
Posts: 804
Question Are these repairs normal or excessive?

I have a 1995 W124 E420, with 45,400km to date. The car was bought new from the dealership, and since then, the warranty has already run out, and I've been experiencing a lot of technical problems with the car. I am not very knowledgeable about cars, but I try to do my best to understand by reading this forum and some repair manuals. However, I don't think I am at a point where I am confident enough to actually get under the hood and do anything major. However, since the warranty has expired, the car has been acting up, and a lot of repairs have been necessary, to a point that it is gettin' quite ridiculous...I am a big fan of Mercedes-Benz, and some of you older posters might still recognize me, so it is difficult for me to admit that I am beginning to question the quality of my car, and the service it is receiving. Anyhow, to summarize some of the headaches, at 36,000km, I brought my car in for an oil change at the Richmond dealership. I believe I paid around $100CAD for this service, which included an oil change, and an inspection of all major components of the car, and I believe topping of fluids. During this service, I was told that a crack, about a foot long, had developed on the tube that runs black to the muffler. I was told that they could not weld/patch the tube, nor could they just replace that section of tube, which I thought was pretty ridiculous since that section of tubing was obviously a small section and you could see the weld points at both ends. They said that the entire assembly had to be replaced since it was considered one I basically needed to get a new exhaust. At the same time, I was informed that the lighter in my car was not the stock lighter, which was really odd, since I do not smoke, so I do not look in the ashtray much, but I am pretty sure it was the same lighter that has always been in my car. Nobody in my family smokes. I was a little upset about this, but I shrugged it off, and I bought a new lighter for around $30CAD to keep the car whole...

At 38,000km, my alternator failed. Every single light on my dash came on, and I drove the car into the dealership the next morning. They had the car for two day since the part needed to be ordered. Reading the forums, I was under the assumption that the alternator was pretty much a bulletproof item?

Recently, I noticed that the steering would creak in my car at low speeds. On Monday, my car refused to start, and I kept on cranking the key, and repeated the process 20 times or so until the car started. The car would idle very rough for 10 minutes, and then finally level out...I was quite worried, so I called the dealership...I was up for my 48,000km service soon anyway, so I thought I would bring the car into service...when I brought the car into service, I mentioned these major problems (which were not the ONLY problems, but the major ones)...

1) the steering would creek
2) rough idle/did not start - I have actually complained about rough idle at red lights before since '97 or '98...and the car actually sometimes even died while idling at red lights...but M-B always told me to use higher octane gas or to drive the car more...but this time, I was quite upset since the car refused to start...

Anyway, I left the car there yesterday morning at 10:30AM and took the bus home. What is ridiculous is apparently, if the car is out of warranty, I don't get a courtesy car...well, this is anyway, somebody called me the next morning, and tells me that the rough idle/did not start was due to the fact that I needed new distributor caps/rotors...the creaking I was hearing when I turned the wheel was due to the fact that my power steering hose was leaking, and I would need a new power steering hose...he also informed me that I needed new front brake discs, and new front brake pads. I changed my pads during my 25,000km service, I was quite shocked I needed new pads again. He quoted some astronomical price for these items, and labour time for replacing/fixing these items...all this is ABOVE the 48,000km scheduled maintenance, which is suppose to cost around $1000CAD itself (the advisor had already written this # down when I actually went in with the car)...from what I can gather, this maintenance basically consisted of flushing all the fluids and replacing with new fluid, and checking the car mechanically...why would it cost $1000? I am a little puzzled...can anybody elaborate on this? If certain parts were replaced, and was included in the $1000, I would understand, but I really don't get it...

I am a little upset, since although I know that I will be paying higher prices for service for a Mercedes-Benz, I wasn't prepared for the fact all these things keep breaking, especially right after the warranty period passed...I have a Honda Accord EX-R V6 bought around the same time, and the car drives along happily other than an oil change ever so often...the price for the service was also MUCH cheaper...what happened to the reliability and longevity that Mercedes is famous for?
1995 black pearl/black Mercedes-Benz E420 :
Reply With Quote