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  #31  
Old 01-06-2005, 06:13 PM
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No to hijack this thread, but Q: does my 88 2.3L 190E need to have its air filter housing removed to get at the oil filter? I didn't see how I could get it off otherwise, so I removed it and the rest of the oil change was a breeze. Mobil 1 was $20 for 5 quarts, add a sixth at $4 (to get to the 5.3 you need for a full change with filter) and add $4 for a filter and you're at...$28. Not bad.

I agree that WalMart's synthetic oil change deal is a good one IF you have a car whose filter they carry and who I trust the high school knuckle-draggers to wrench on (like my 5.0 Mustang). I *don't* let them mess with the Mercedes.

Chris

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  #32  
Old 01-06-2005, 06:33 PM
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It is hard to trust when you know better...

Regarding trusting quickie lube places my friend had his drain plug fall out on the highway and in a year needed a motor rebuild. He was happy with the 10 free oil changes he got after they paid for the tow back to their place. (He was lucky I helped him get his motor totally rebuilt under warranty.) Another tried to see me a new air filter when I had a K&N good for 1,000,000 miles. I told him to put it back and just change the oil, like I asked. 3000 miles later I found the air box was not put on right and the screen behind the filter was so clogged with leaves and dirt the check engine light came on. As an on-the-road salesman I had no time to do my own work and oil changes were every month. I had to sell the car.

I have had supposedly good Independent shops say they changed parts, charged me for them but when I took them out I could see they were never replaced.

I have a BMW and at the parts counter of the dealership I heard a mechanic ask for 2 gallons of anti-freeze. The parts guy said mark him down for 3. The other parts guy said that _____ (I didn't catch the name) said whatever they need, add one. They are charging the customers for supplies they are not using. BTW, BMW would not sell me a shop manual and said "BMW doesn't think their owners should work on their own cars". But they rip you off if you let them do it. I have to do my own service just to make sure it's done, never mind done right. I have the service records form the used BMW I bought and I am sure they didn't do all the work that was supposed to be done. What do you do now? Take the chance it's done or do it twice? I trust almost no one to work on my cars. Dishonest, lazy or incompetent, what is the difference?

But I’m not bitter…
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  #33  
Old 01-06-2005, 06:52 PM
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My two cents

Interesting to learn the wide-ranging prices charged by dealers, I had always thought prices were a bit closer. Reading, PA Benz dealership charges just around $45 for an oil change and free car wash, plus chance to grab the attention of a trained mechanic if you have nagging question about noise, glitch or "is this normal" question. Not to mention a chance to oogle the merchandize.
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  #34  
Old 01-07-2005, 11:04 AM
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I have frequently borught my vehicle to the dealership with my own Mobil 1 oil and filter (mann or hengst), & paid only about $22 for labor, as an "express oil change" where the car is not checked for anything else. Last week, I had to go on a long trip & fss was in the negative territory, so I took the car to an indie shop 15 minutes away, which only does mercedes, and I let him provide oil & filter since price increases significantly if you provide your own. I was charged as follows: labor: $25; 8 qts Mobil 1: $60; and filter:$23.10, for a total of $108 before tax. Materials cost much more than I would have paid for my own oil & filter. However, I appreciated the convenience, since my wife waited while they did the work. I just wondered if the filter was made from titanium or some other exotic metal, since Phil sells them for about $10 or less!
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  #35  
Old 01-07-2005, 02:25 PM
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I find it odd that many people counsel that if the dealer is'nt going to do, it's better to do it yourself.....(?). I do mine (because the filter and oil is cheap to buy, and it's pretty easy) but I doubt I'm second choice behind dealer trained techs!
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  #36  
Old 01-07-2005, 03:04 PM
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A word of caution to DIY oil changers:

If your car is still under warranty and you have a warranty claim, the claim may be disallowed because there is no proof that the maintenance (oil change) was performed as required under the warranty.

A receipt stating date & mileage that Bob from Joe's garage changed the oil is proof; a receipt for oil and a filter that you change yourself does not. The argument is that you may have purchased the oil on a certain date, but there is no evidence of when or if you changed it.

If the warranty claim is for an item disconnected from the parts affected by the oil change (e.g. radio); this of course would not apply.
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  #37  
Old 01-07-2005, 03:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryanm
A word of caution to DIY oil changers:

If your car is still under warranty and you have a warranty claim, the claim may be disallowed because there is no proof that the maintenance (oil change) was performed as required under the warranty.

A receipt stating date & mileage that Bob from Joe's garage changed the oil is proof; a receipt for oil and a filter that you change yourself does not. The argument is that you may have purchased the oil on a certain date, but there is no evidence of when or if you changed it.

If the warranty claim is for an item disconnected from the parts affected by the oil change (e.g. radio); this of course would not apply.
They can not deny a warranty claim if you do your own oil changes. That is against the law in most places in the USA. There is nothing in the owners manual or signed paperwork that states you can not do your own oil changes. My family owned a dealership for 75 years, over 35 of them as a franchised dealer. I used to do warranty work orders as well and oil changes. We never could deny a claim due to the fact that the car owner did his own oil changes or had them done at a quickie place. As a matter of fact it never came up from Daimler-Chrysler or Chrysler to deny any claim due to when and where oil changes were done. Now a dealer may state that to scare you, but unless there is significant evidence that the oil has not been changed at all then they will not deny.
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  #38  
Old 01-07-2005, 05:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mctwin2kman
They can not deny a warranty claim if you do your own oil changes...
Different jurisdictions (Countries, States, etc.) have different levels of consumer protection laws. (e.g. California for example has a Lemon law, too bad it is the exception rater than the rule).

Thank you for the detailed account. I agree that most manufactures and dealers would deal with the situation in a proper manner. Unfortunately there are exceptions.

I feel it would be prudent for people to research the laws in their area and double check the squinty print in their warranty to make sure that they aren't on the wrong side of what could be a nasty fight.
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  #39  
Old 01-07-2005, 05:24 PM
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Yeah, great. You gotta be a lawer to change your oil.

What is wrong with this picture? Of course the manufacturers want to tie you up and rip you off. Unfortunately, so does everyone else. Mercedes is very good for the older vehicles but I don't know if they will supply parts and manuals for the new ones.
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  #40  
Old 01-07-2005, 06:27 PM
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[QUOTE=Yeah, great. You gotta be a lawer to change your oil.[/QUOTE]

Seems so. Some people (successfully) sue because their hot coffee was too hot. Others sue because eating 6 Big Macs every day made them fat.

Still others sue because Mr. Lube forgot to screw the filter on tight and all their oil leaked out and the engine blew.

The nightly news typically has a "Channel 100 fights back" helping some poor fellow deal with an unreasonable business. (One that comes to mind from the other night is an insurance company that didn't want to pay a claim, but decided that they wanted to when on camera).

The times we live in... Remeber the good old days?
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  #41  
Old 01-07-2005, 06:41 PM
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Very Interesting.
I have 2 MB (V8's)and a BMW(V8)
The MB's take 9 quarts each and the BMW takes 8(a V12 of either car takes ...gulp 12 quarts. 1 per cyl.)
I buy the Mobil1 15W50 when on sale by the 5 qt Jug at Walmart for ~$18.
So to change the oil on all 3 at once, I need 26 quarts so I buy 5 jugs, that $80 with tax(I always have a little oil left over from when I change the oil on a single car so the one car needed is accounted for). I need 3 filters at ~$10 ea that's $30. So to change all three cars that's $110.
Now whose paying $70-$100 for 1 car and not complaining??
Ain't no way in Hell, I would let the dealer change my oil for those prices unless....no, there just ain't no way in hell!
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  #42  
Old 01-07-2005, 10:07 PM
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[QUOTE=bryanm]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeah, great. You gotta be a lawer to change your oil.[/QUOTE

Seems so. Some people (successfully) sue because their hot coffee was too hot. Others sue because eating 6 Big Macs every day made them fat.
The McDonolds hot coffee lawsuit must be the most misunderstood, misquoted case in the history of jurisprudence. McDonalds kept their coffee at some ridiculously hot temperature because it extended the shelf life, i.e. it lasted longer and they had to throw out less of it, in other words it was profitable to keep it very hot. Literally hundreds of people were injured by it, some very seriously, including the woman in the case cited. The woman did not get rich as a result of the case. The case did result in McDonalds lowering the termperature of their coffee by something like 40 degrees, and people are no longer getting injured by it. I think the case is a great example of the legal system working - not malfunctioning. People who cite it as a failure the legal system invariable don't understand the facts of the case.

The "fast food made me fat" case was thrown out. But nevertheless virtually all fast food chains are making healthier food today - trying to stay ahead of the curve, and consumers will benefit from that.

This wasn't really Tech Help was it?
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  #43  
Old 01-07-2005, 10:55 PM
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This thread has taken on quite a few tangents and we should probably lay this one to rest.

To summaries everyone’s posts:

• Synthetic costs more than Dino.
• There are some definite advantages and perks for using the dealer. (Or stealer, your mileage may vary).
• Oil changes are not rocket science.
• Some dealers, where local competition or market conditions permit, charge way more than they need to for an oil change because they can.
• Most quickie places are really bad, but some of them are ok.
• Most independent places are ok, but some of them are bad.
• Bringing your own oil & filter to an oil change place is a lot like bringing your own wine to a restraint, most of them will tolerate it, but be pissed all the same and spit in your food. Others are quite happy to accommodate you.
• Doing it yourself, besides being fun and messy is a great way to save a few bucks.
• The rules are different depending where in the world/country you are. Re-read your warranty and check out the consumer protection laws etc. in your region to see if doing it yourself can cause unwanted hassles if you need to make a warranty claim.
• Make sure the coffee isn’t too hot, and don’t eat too many burgers or you’ll get fat.
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  #44  
Old 01-08-2005, 01:10 PM
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I would rather change my own oil, bare naked, in a snowstorm,between sunset & sunrise, than drink McDonalds coffee.

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