Ok, I have to defend my statement...
"If it's not maintained with genuine Mercedes-Benz parts, it's not a genuine Mercedes-Benz."
Ok, I will side with you that some parts can be had less expensively if they are packaged in a "Bosch" or "Mann" box rather than an MB one, BUT....When it comes to buying a product such as a radiator from a company like Behr or buying some cheap knockoff there is indeed a difference. I'm sure if you buy the radiator directly from Behr it will cost less than if you had bought it from a Mercedes dealership, but when you buy some copy of a Behr, you are really in the dark about what you're getting. There is a place advertised in The Star (name withheld for obvious reasons) which advertises plastic radiators at super low prices. Well for those of you who wish to take the cheap route out, that's fine. You get what you pay for. Put a plastic radiator in a car meant to have a metal one and don't complain to us when it needs a new one after a couple years. You chose to buy a Mercedes-Benz for many reasons I'm sure, and two of them probably being engineering quality and safety. Well, if Mercedes recommends using Behr radiators and Ate brakes rather than what the aftermarket has to offer at low prices, I'm sure as heck going to use the original recommended parts. Mercedes chose these companies for a reason, and that is because they also manufacture well engineered components. I'm sorry if I caused any misunderstanding or disrespect in my statement, but I am a stickler about originality and keeping my Mercedes' "genuine Mercedes". I've worked very hard for what I've got and didn't buy a Mercedes until I knew that I could afford to maintain it properly with the correct parts. An automobile like a Mercedes-Benz is one hell of an investment, and therefore should be maintained to the highest standard. If you can't afford to fix it properly, then I would get a second car and lay the Benz up until the money permits correct repairs. I see way too many cars come in because items such as aftermarket chain tensioners failed, etc...And the owner was just concerned about the money aspect when those repairs were originally performed. Now they've got an even more expensive problem on their hands. You know, I was really hot on getting an old Rolls Royce Silver Shadow a number of years back. I researched all kinds of things on the car and even compared prices in the aftermarket to original Rolls Royce parts, and surprisingly, had I chosen to maintain it solely with aftermarket parts, it could have been a pretty affordable investment! But I've got a problem with doing that to a car of such high respect. Same goes for Mercedes-Benz. When I speak with a customer about options on repairing their vehicle, I always recommend what Mercedes would recommend first, I then give them the option to have the car towed to a shop where only the bare minimum will be performed using cheaper parts. It's really a shame when they opt for the second choice. Waaay too many comebacks because of other shops' carelesness and sometimes even substituting the wrong part in because that's what was sitting on their shelf and would "hold it over" for a while. I even threw a fit when I found out that we don't use original Mercedes wheel weights at the dealership. Well, when I open up my shop in a year or two, I will make it a point to only use Mercedes original or OEM. Things like brake rotors I will certainly buy from Ate and not Mercedes-Benz, it's the same part, but you'll be hard pressed to find any other brand on my shelves. Same goes for small thnigs like nuts and bolts. Mercedes-Benz used Kamax bolts in their cars from the factory, that's what my bins will be stocked with. So, again, I mean no disrespect, it's just my personal preference. I understand at times money can be tight, but for you and your car's sake, please make an effort to keep it "genuine". I stand firmly behind that belief.
BTW, the same goes for me and tools. You won't find a single Craftsman in my box. The world's best car deserves to be repaired using the world's best tools. You'll all probably think I'm totally nuts here, but it bugs me when I see a tech wrenching on a Benz with anything but the finest tools. Additionally, "custom fabricating" tools to use when there is indeed a Mercedes factory tool available just isn't kosher. For a DIYer, Craftsman is fine, but when you make your living servicing cars, I believe that there is no room for cheap tools. Sorry if I have offended anyone. I just needed to rant!
[Edited by Aaron on 01-22-2001 at 01:31 AM]