If you do a search you will find a few things that may do in the future to keep your car running for a LONG time.
STAY AWAY from the stealership. After you warranty is over, find a GOOD independent mechanic and stay with him. For example, stealerships will not repair your exhaust (as you already know) because of liability. An independent will, if appropiate.
The alternartor are bullet proof but, the voltage regulator is not. Cheap and easy part to replace.
MB's brake pads are great but, they are soft and make a lot of dust. You DO have alternatives from different brands. The stealership will NOT give you alternatives.
Bottom line: Find a GOOD independent and stay with him AND you don't have to be Joe Mechanic
to open the hood and look for a leak.