For those of you who have been following this post (and for those of you who have written to me about this issue) here is an update. After the local M-B dealership was unable to diagnose and fix a rough cold idle problem I took my car to a highly recommended, local mechanic. The new mechanic was able to diagnose AND fix the problem for a fraction of the cost for the repairs recommended by the dealer.
I wrote a long letter to the service manager explaining the whole situation with my car and why I thought his service advisor and mechanic were trying to sell me unnecessary parts and service. At the end of the letter I wrote: "If you were me, and the roles were reversed, would you feel satisfied with the work done by the dealer?"
The service manager called me today and we had a long discussion about what I thought of the repairs made/service received. It was very cordial and at the end of the conversation he agreed to refund me for one-third of the charges incurred during my last visit. The amount was sizeable enough that the refund offered comes close to matching the tax refund that Pres. Bush has promised me (grin).
I am happy with the outcome. I got a nice refund and the service manager listened to my side of the story and promised to take steps to avoid a repeat of the situation.
Someone here has suggested that our best line of defense against shoddy repair shops is to be informed about our cars and to learn about what makes them run. I'd go a step further and write that we should be informed AND we should never hesitate to seek redress when things don't go exactly the way we think they should. The worst thing we can is to sit idly by and not speak up.
1989 300TE "Alice"
1990 300CE "Sam Spade"
1991 300CE "Beowulf" RIP (06.1991 - 10.10.2007)
1998 E320 "Orson"
2002 C320 Wagon "Molly Fox"
Res non semper sunt quae esse videntur
Not in this weather!