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Old 10-17-2004, 11:15 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Germany
Posts: 51
Dealer botched up turn signal switch repair!

My dealer story. (first time to dealer since I bought the car in Dec, maybe last time). Took my 300D to the dealer Friday to replace the turn signal switch. (Mercedes dealer in town) PO took car there for everything. On a recent trip to PA, after using the turn signal the wiper turned on intermittent mode. Had to turn on slow, fast, then off and problem would go away. Did this several times on the trip up, then while I was there the wipers came on slow speed continuously. Had to fiddle with wiper switch and leave between 1 and 2 position to stop wipers. Afraid to use turn signal to avoid starting wipers. So I did the quick fix for the rest of the trip. Pulled #2 fuse, which killed wipers (lucky weather was dry) but also killed windows and seats. No problem. Did not know about relay at that time. Had to pay tolls on I95 by the "open the door with the window up method and hand over money" which I see being used by others on occasion and is good for a laugh. Searching forums found the switch the likely culprit and seeing how wheel has to be removed, lower panel, etc. felt it was better to pay 2 hrs labor instead of all my Saturday (and maybe break something else, or not finish). So Fri afternoon went to pick up and start car and wipers run again low speed. Service writer and 2 techs come out and switch out relay and problem solved! Add one relay to bill. Maybe switch was good after all. But 13 years old and switch was always balky in the left lane change mode, had to make full click to get signal to turn on. Tech says "well you diagnosed so we just replaced switch" My fault I guess. Maybe they would have tried the (easier) relay first and not had to go into column to the combo switch.

Fun started Sat when I tried the horn. No horn! Worked fine when I dropped it off. Had to make a trip today and don't feel right w/o horn (once I knew it was inop) I figure I am out a few more hours Monday by bringing back and telling them they forgot to reconnect the horn and waiting for them to fix. Decided to dive in right then and pull airbag, wheel, and 20 min later it was all there and obvious. If I knew it was that easy to do I would have done it myself. As my dad always said, if you want it done right do it yourself. Back of wheel had 4 copper concentric rings, but only 2 contacts showing. Look at old combo switch they were kind enough to return to me..... 2 spring loaded contacts sticking out!! Now I am PO'ed. They must have had the car wash tech working on my car. I am still going back tomorrow and showing them their screw up. Doubt I'll get a credit back on the bill, but will ask. It would have cost them an hour to switch over the contacts like I did, but I would have had to leave the car 1/2 or all day. I sure am glad I do most all work on all my vehicles. I thought this job would have been more difficult than it was. Live and learn, and beware dealer service depts.!

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Old 10-18-2004, 06:39 AM
SL Owner
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: East Coast U.S.
Posts: 131

No doubt there are great mechanics including a number that post on this site. Then there are the rest of them, some dealers and some not. I also had to correct major work by a subpar shop and I agree, it is hard to believe how frustrating this can be. I am still diagnosing problems they introduced looking for more vacuum leaks they created by using old o-rings and seals rather than new ones in the fuel system work. Of course you should not bring new work to that dealership and in general always be present, watching the car, when having a shop correct faulty work. If that bothers them to bad, If they wonder if you dont trust them the answer is not necessarily.
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Old 10-18-2004, 10:11 AM
nellotare's Avatar
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Wilmington, NC
Posts: 334
there but for fortune go I

Man, I am sorry about your troubles. I had the same problem and thought steering wheel etc. had to be removed. Nothing like that for me.

Wiper failure-Combination Switch?

I almost took mine to extremely competant indie to fix, but when good people replied to my thread I managed to fix it myself. I know indie would have replaced my switch and charged accordingly.. justifying it by "it's an old car/switch and needs replacing anyway" I'm thankful for my simple fix, and hope your dealer can "make it right" for your troubles.
Nello Tare

1982 300D (266,001 mi.) looking and running great

Previously owned:
1976 450 SLC
1983 300D
1976 300D
1982 Jaguar XJ6 (loved, but gone)
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Old 10-18-2004, 10:46 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 179
We all have our own Stealership stories I am sure, but I had an experience this past summer where I took my MB into what was supposed to be the best MB Specialty shop in the state. The problem was the climate control. When they were done the diagnostic was a small freon leak at the compressor. To make a long story short, I already knew it wasn't the compressor so when I asked to talk to the tech that performed the diagnostic, some 19 year old kid came to the waiting room. Come to find out he did not have any type of certification what-so-ever.
That was and will be the last time anyone at that shop touches my car.
89 190E
Arctic white
Grey leather
Pirelli P400 rubber
Smoked corners

Last edited by 190edude; 10-18-2004 at 10:52 AM.
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Old 10-18-2004, 11:17 AM
dmorrison's Avatar
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Colleyville, Texas
Posts: 2,694
The work done by the dealer is guaranteed for 12 months. Call them and tell them how they boched the job, then let them know you need a loaner car while they fix there screwed up work.
I demanded and recieved a $1200 refund on my SL for not fixing the problem it was brought in for. Had the same sysmptoms once I got it home. So a refund it possible. but your sounds like complete incompetence.
Demand correct work and a loaner.

1970 220D, owned 1980-1990
1980 240D, owned 1990-1992
1982 300TD, owned 1992-1993
1986 300SDL, owned 1993-2004
1999 E300, owned 1999-2003
1982 300TD, 213,880mi, owned since Nov 18, 1991- Aug 4, 2010 SOLD
1988 560SL, 100,000mi, owned since 1995
1965 Mustang Fastback Mileage Unknown(My sons)
1983 240D, 176,000mi (My daughers) owned since 2004
2007 Honda Accord EX-L I4 auto, the new daily driver
1985 300D 264,000mi Son's new daily driver.(sold)
2008 Hyundai Tiberon. Daughters new car
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Old 10-18-2004, 02:46 PM
SL Owner
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: East Coast U.S.
Posts: 131
concern/worry with that approach is...

On at least one instance, I believe but cannot prove that a shop intentionally damaged my car when I took it back-in angry like that. If you give them the car, you have to stay with it the entire time including watching while in the shop. Some of these folks (not the professional and intelligent ones-- many of them post right here on this site) will, out of a lack of maturity/ethics/etc, damage your car. It's human nature. It doesn't take much to cause someone trouble down the road. I'm quite paranoid as it relates to people touching these cars. If you have a trusted mechanic, then you're fine. If you don't, and worse-yet you have one that you have proven wrong, then my suggestion is to be very careful about having the car leave your sight. One time I heard a shop service writer threaten-- when a customer left-- to go by his house and be sure that the car never again have a trouble-free experience. The implication was that, at night, he'd sneak-up there and teach the guy a lesson. It's pretty amazing, remember some of these folks aren't always working with a full deck. It's one thing to get a refund-- if you deserve that, go ahead and watch your car at night ;-) It's another to give the car back to them and let them go at it again. If they botched it once, you can expect more of the same.
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Old 10-18-2004, 09:36 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Germany
Posts: 51
Went by this AM to the service advisor and told him in a matter of fact way what happened. Showed him the old switch w/ missing contacts. He said if I brought it in they would make it right, which I believe, but I told him I did not want to make another trip back to pick up car, or wait several hours and miss half a day of work. I told him that's why I fixed it myself, but would like some kind of credit since if they did the repair, it would be 1 hour out of hide for them. Also, they need to know their tech screwed up on a simple job. He said he would ask the service mgr and contact me later. He called back a few hours later and offered to credit half the labor charge, or 1 hour. I said OK and appreciate they made some effort to make right. So, total was one hour of labor and switch and relay. Satisfaction from doing it myself was high also. If I let them fix, I would be worried they would "fix" something else for me!! Also noted that the tech ID number on the invoice was different from all other receipts from the PO. Probably a junior guy. The last owner must have asked for the same tech all the time, because all the records over several years are the same tech.

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