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Old 12-21-2004, 10:36 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 3
Repair Est. Reasonable???

Just got back from my local MB dealer with the repair estimate for my '98 C230. I need help determining if these are reasonable diagnoses and repair estimates....

Problem: 'Check Engine' light on (most of the time)
Diagnosis: Replace Mass Air Flow Sensor
Cost: $587 P&L
Comment: Checked gas cap before going to shop; Light was NOT on upon return from shop

Problem: Fuel gauge indicated full after filling tank; on next use it indicated empty; next time full again. This happened once before several months back
Diagnosis: Replace both fuel level sensors
Cost: $643 P&L
Comment: My initial guess was that these first two issues were related

Problem: Trunk release switch on center console is broken
Diagnosis: Replace entire console switch panel
Cost: $547 P&L
Comment: Plastic switch cover has detached from the switch. Switch will work with cover in place and a deft touch when operating it (several trys usually req'd.)
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Old 12-22-2004, 10:08 AM
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: DC Metro Area
Posts: 365
The first 2 items probably aren't out of sight, given that the parts for the first are probably expensive, and the labor for the second is probably expensive.

As for the third item, I'd try to do a little epoxy fix of the existing switch (you said it works somewhat) before I'd spend that amount of $ for a nonessential item.

You may find better prices at an independent mechanic. That's where I have all of my work done. I't saved me $1000 on my evaporator replacement alone.

1995 E420 88k
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Old 12-22-2004, 03:02 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 23
I always go to an independant and ask them about the labor charge. You can buy an air mass meter for cheaper on the web and find out their labor costs. Then compare. This has saved me hundreds in the last couple of years.
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Old 12-22-2004, 03:27 PM
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Join Date: Sep 1999
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 645
$1777? Yikes!

I tend to think I'd try to get the parts at a junkyard or online and fix them myself.

$1777 is more than I would spend for what are really minor annoyances.

You are to be commended by the Gods of Logic for getting an estimate first.
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Old 12-22-2004, 03:32 PM
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DO NOT pay $587 for a Mass Air Sensor!!!! Click above on buy parts above and enter your car info, the sensor is under 'air intake'. The sensor should be around $300. Phil (1-888-333-4642) will deliver it to you in 2 or 3 days. The car will run, maybe a bit rough, until you get the part without any damage. Replacing the sensor is a job that would take even a 10 year old child 10 minutes max. The fact that the dealer would have the audacity to charge you for installing it should be considered criminal. It's the easiest do it yourself job under the hood. You'll see tons of threads telling you where it is and how to replace it but in general it's as easy as replacing an air filter...
Based on what he's charging for that part, I'd say he's probably charging you double for the other problems.
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Old 12-22-2004, 03:52 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: York, PA
Posts: 621
And for the trunk release switch I would look on E-Bay or for the part on Fastlane and do it yourself. Should not take that long to do that either..... As for the Fuel Sending units, that all depends on the gas tank and where they are on the gas tank. Most likely I would recommend the shop doing that one. But on my own I have done them, of course it is easy on my 190E since it is in the trunk and takes less than 5 minutes to remove it. But I am sure yours in of course under the car like on my W203 and that normally means removal of the fuel tank, so unless you have an empty tank or love gas all over the place I would leave that on to a guy with a lift!!!
2003 Pewter C230K SC C1, C4, C5, C7, heated seats, CD Changer, and 6 Speed. ContiExtremes on the C7's.

1986 190E 2.3 Black, Auto, Mods to come soon.....
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Old 12-22-2004, 04:29 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 3

I finally got around to looking under the hood of my C230...
Air Mass Meter is, indeed, a simple replacement - one hose clamp, two quick cam type fasteners, and one eletrical connnection.
I'll likely drive it a while longer and see if the Check Engine light comes back on. If so, I will then have Auto Zone check the codes. If consistent with the dealer's diagonsis, then I'll order the part from the web. Appears $300-320 is typical for part on-line.

Trunk Release Switch - I also followed guidance from this forum and removed the shift console wood panel (gently pry up plastic frame around shifter, then carefully pull up on the wood panel, lift panel up and over the shifter and disconnect the two electrical connectors). But, to may dismay, I discovered the trunk release switch is an integral part of the switch panel that is attached to the back of the wood panel. It cannot be seperately replaced. So, it appears the dealer was correct when they told me the replacement switch their parts dept. ordered for me would not work. I have glued the broken switch cover back onto the switch panel (snapped near the rear pivot point), but I don't expect it will hold past one or two uses.
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Old 12-22-2004, 04:35 PM
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Just do yourself a favor and stay away from the dealer. Find a good independent MB mechanic near you, get to know and trust him, and save yourself a lot of money.
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Old 12-23-2004, 09:13 AM
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Tucker, Ga USA
Posts: 12,153

Most dealers wouldn't charge that much for any of those listed repairs!

AND not all independants will save you money!

The air mass sensor installed with diagnostic charges should be around $ 500-550 as that sensor lists for $450.

The window switch assembly/ trunk release switch 210-821-39-51 has a list price of $328 & takes less than 30 minutes to replace!!
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Old 12-24-2004, 11:56 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 3
Update #2

Dealer gladly took the trunk release switch back since it would in no way work in my '98 C230. While there I priced the shifter console switch panel that includes this's a bit higher at my dealer than noted above (& a slightly different part #)....$419.44 including tax. I quickly decided to live with the broken switch for the time being.

Regarding the check engine has yet to come back on. But the car has not accumulated that many miles / trips since the reset at the dealer.

Meanwhile, on this Christmas eve we visited a few local dealers to acquaint ourselves with the current options (other than MB). The Infinity G25 looked nice for the price, though the Chrysler 300C caught my eye.

Let's see what Santa has to say...

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