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Old 01-11-2001, 10:40 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Chesapeake, VA
Posts: 396
Leon, as Benzmac states, there are some hooks available for pulling the clusters on all M/B. I screwed up using them once and got the hook end turned 180 degrees out and cut into the dash pad. I marked the handle on my hooks so I can make sure that doesn't happen again. However, I find that it is just as easy on my 1995 C280 to remove the lower dash cover and push the instrument cluster out from the rear. Push it out part way, release the locks on the two plug connectors and unplug the connectors. That is the easy part. It is a real tight squeeze maneuvering it out. Things to watch: the C/C stalk, the buttons for resetting the odometer and adjusting the lighting, the top of steering wheel hub. I lay a rag atop the hub, slide it rearward and roll it inboard. I didn't have to remove any screws. I had to cut a factory seal. Then there were about eight "clips" that I had to release, one at a time, gently spreading the joint apart. The back half of the cluster comes out; it is the housing with all the instruments attached. The front section contains the clear face. I cleaned all the pegs with a soft, lint free cloth and water. I tried chemical cleaners, but they did not seem to work as good as the water. I cleaned 'em all. One other note; it is a fussy job to clean all the lint and dust that seems to come from nowhere off the instrument faces and the interior of the "glass". Check it over good before you snap it all back together.
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Old 01-11-2001, 12:24 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Posts: 166
Ashman's comment about it being easier to keep old customers than to acquire new ones is well taken.

The incident in the original post reminded me of a series of similar experiences I had with my dealer over 20 years ago. (Will things never change?)

The result was that I bought a set of the MB manuals, some metric tools and a few of the MB special tools and began taking care of my car myself. Not only did I know the work was done properly but I saved a momentous amount of money. In trying to rip me off, the dealer lost a customer and most of my business. I have heard it said that owning an automobile dealership is a license to steal. Many of them seem to subscribe to that code.

Thank goodness for competent, honest independent technicians. Keep up the good work, guys!
1979 240D
165,000 miles
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Old 01-31-2001, 01:03 PM
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Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Macon, GA USA
Posts: 44
Sorry I'm late picking up on this thread, but I want to interject for Benzmac's sake and for Mark Herzig.

I don't just drive "the extra mile" for Benzmac to take care of my 500E - I drive 97 miles - each way! Guys, it is worth it.

The week after Christmas I took it for him to do the 75k service. I described some very subtle things that the car was doing. I think he had suspicions that he confirmed by running some diagnostics helping confirm the dreaded wiring harness issue. Indeed, he called me back into the shop and showed me the insulation going on several of the wires.

If I had not already been through this once before with my '400E, he could have easily racked up 4-6 hours labor plus the markup on the $1k-plus harness. Nope, he told me to go to one of the Atlanta dealers and gave me the name of a service rep there to get it taken care of as an MB goodwill repair.

You see, several years ago (before I knew better) with my '400E, my local dealer kept the car for 6 days (and numerous test drive miles in lieu of knowing how to use the diagnostics tools) before they figured out it was a faulty harness. Only because my brother-in-law was a salesman there did HE get them to do a "goodwill" replacement - but I still had to split the labor cost.

The other day I finally got around to calling the service rep Benzmac recommended in Atlanta. I tell him what's going on and almost before I could finish he told me to bring the car so their shop foreman could confirm the harness is bad ("will only take five minutes," I can understand that). He will then fill out some paperwork and get the harness. Then I will schedule an appointment and they will replace the harness for me. No charge, no hassle. Much better situation than my local yo-yos before!

Mark, I wish you could have been as fortunate. It is certainly worth me taking a day off work and driving four hours to have the peace of mind that my baby is getting the service it deserves. Folks, if you want your Mercedes to have the best service and there's ANY way you can get it to Atlanta, Benzmac is the man to take care of it. No, he is not paying me to say this, either! :-)

Tim Vacula
'92 500E
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Old 01-31-2001, 08:31 PM
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Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Suwanee, GA, USA
Posts: 4,712
How much do I owe for this?
Donnie Drummonds
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Old 02-02-2001, 08:12 AM
Posts: n/a
It's good to know that you are on top of things like this.
The former owner of my car had numerious fishing expeditions
when his car was at the dealer for problems. He later went to an independant garage that a MB Mechanic started and was
very satisfied with the work. Major complaint, it seemed
that the service writer was only concerned about what he
could write up.
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