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Old 05-27-2001, 11:59 AM
JCE's Avatar
JCE JCE is offline
Down to the Wear Bars
Join Date: May 1999
Location: So Kalifornia
Posts: 2,189
If you know of a great shop, independent or dealer, add the details to the good shops list on the forum. I use this list any time I drive out of the area just to have contacts in case something happens (like checking the tires, fluids, bulbs, maps before going on a trip)! I have never had to use 1t,but it is nice to know where I can get service if I have a problem when out of town.

2003 Firemist Red/grey leather SL 500
2015 Palladium Silver/black mbtex GLK 350
1987 Smoke Silver/burgundy mbtex 300E Sportline (SOLD)

Click to see 87 300E
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Old 05-27-2001, 11:28 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2000
Posts: 166
I would suggest that you guys with crappy dealership experiences document in detail exactly what happened in a letter and send it to MBUSA (or whatever it's called now). I don't know what happens currently, but there was a time that when a letter registering a legitimate complaint was received from an owner, the dealership caught hell. So go ahead. See if you can cause them as much grief as they caused you.
1979 240D
165,000 miles
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Old 05-28-2001, 06:39 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Northumberland, UK
Posts: 1,294
I think it has been said before but I think it is important to remember that bad experiences relate to one dealership and not dealerships generally. I am very satisfied with the service I get at the MB dealer I use, although I have had a very bad experience at a different dealership.

At the moment I have to use a dealer to maintain my warranty. In future I will be very wary of using an independent. What stevebfl says all rings true and seems very wise but, nonetheless, there is some sort of reassurance in using a dealer.

One point of note: a lot of disgruntled contributors to this thread have older cars which dealers will be less familiar with.
JJ Rodger
1999 SL 500
1993 320 TE
1986 500 SEC
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Old 05-28-2001, 09:53 AM
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Tucker, Ga USA
Posts: 12,153
Yes there are many companies that cater to sales & not just car dealers!! AT our MB dealer we have had the local MB car club every 18-24 months & we provide them with info, test drives, & question/answer sessions as well as refreshments. Several times we have offered FREE check-out service on ALL of the club members cars!! MOST dealers realize that repeat sales are the most important part of business, wether it's a new or used purchase, or even part sales at discount!
MERCEDES Benz Master Guild Technician (6 TIMES)
ASE Master Technician
Mercedes Benz Star Technician (2 times)
44 years foreign automotive repair
27 Years M.B. Shop foreman (dealer)
MB technical information Specialist (15 years)
190E 2.3 16V ITS SCCA race car (sold)
1986 190E 2.3 16V 2.5 (sold)
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Old 05-28-2001, 10:00 AM
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Gainesville FL
Posts: 6,844
"At the moment I have to use a dealer to maintain my warranty"

DO you pay for your service? If you do you can have it done by anyone or even yourself. Some of the new models (if not all) have the service paid for in the new car purchase. These cars DO have to return for the service.

The law that regulates consumer warrantees is the Magnuson-Moss Act. Here is a pasted comment:

"Tie-In Sales" Provisions
Generally, tie-in sales provisions are not allowed. Such a provision would require a purchaser of the warranted product to buy an item or service from a particular company to use with the warranted product in order to be eligible to receive a remedy under the warranty. The following are examples of prohibited tie-in sales provisions.

The rest of the article is at:
Steve Brotherton
Continental Imports
Gainesville FL
Bosch Master, ASE Master, L1
33 years MB technician
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Old 05-28-2001, 04:52 PM
Lebenz's Avatar
backwoods member
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: In the fog
Posts: 2,862
RE bad experiences at dealers service department: if you stop and think, you may come to the realization that no dealer has it in their interest to hack off customers. Their customers are how they make a living. A new vehicle is a delivery or life support system for years or maintenance. This is NOT to say that dealers donít do their share (perhaps more than their share) of stupid things, at the customers expense. To help avoid problems, I suggest the following:

1) Ask the service department manager who the top or most senior technicians are.

2) Ask to meet with one. When you do, ask if they would be interested in working on your vehicle. He probably will be happy to.

3) Once youíve started this relationship, call ahead, a little before a service appointment, ask the service advisor to meet with you and the technician for a few minutes.

4) When you meet, bring written notes about the nature of the problem(s), and go over the notes with them. If youíve received any comments from this site or anywhere else, bring them along. Ask the technician to call you with what he finds.

5) When you pick up the vehicle, ask to see the technician briefly to go over what the findings and outcome are.

By taking an active role in the maintenance of your car, you will help yourself substantially. Many, but certainly not all problems are mitigated if the work done is not an anonymous process. If the technician has a relationship with you, they are more likely to double check their work. The relationship serves to, in effect, help make them work for you as well as working for the company.

If and when you have a problem, first talk with the technician, then if necessary the service department manager, and, if necessary, the general manager. If that doesnít solve it, contact MBUSA by phone (they are sucky about answering email), also donít hesitate to contact the local BBB, the local Attorney Generalís office, and any and all consumer protection agencies you can. Also, ALWAYS PAY BY CREDIT CARD. You have the ability to reverse or refuse payment when you use a credit card. If you donít use a credit card your money is gone.

As a last note, if you are happy with a technician, it is a good idea to remember these folks around X-mas time. Being kind to the folks you work with never hurts!

- a few notes from someone who has spent a lot of time and $$$ at the service center.

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Old 05-28-2001, 09:07 PM
JimF's Avatar
'94 S500: only 793 sold!
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 1,924
BAR = wast of time!

Originally posted by BENZ-LGB
I am seriously considering reporting the dealer to the state's BAR (Bureau of Auto Repairs) for doing/recommending unnecessary repairs.
Well, don't waste your time. It's is not illegal, immoral (or fattening) to recommend anything, even replacing the complete car part by part.

Also it's not illegal, immoral, etc. to give you a estimate that 50 times over the price of each part. These words direct from the BAR. Isn't that just wonderful???

Recently, had a bad right side headlight washer motor. Price is $130 list at any MB parts place. BTW, that's MY price, dealers price is $89. A local shop wanted to charge me $323 for the motor and $200 to replace it.

When I complained to the BAR, they said "no harm, no foul"! If you agree to the price, then that's tough. They can charge anything they want, and if you agree, that's tough s*#! for you!!! You have no claim, you signed the estimate! So beware.

When I tried to explain that it was gross overcharging, the BAR said that's there's no set amount that a repair shop has to charge. PT Barnum once said. . . well, you know what he said!

I got the part (for $89) and did it myself in about 20 minutes!
Regards . . . . JimF
'94 S500 Cpe

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Old 05-28-2001, 10:01 PM
Posts: n/a
The best thing any of us can and should do is to become as informed as possible about our MBs. After all, we love them. Right?!?!? The beauty of MercedesShop and its Shop Forum is that it does just that, it informs us. In doing so it also empowers us.
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Old 05-29-2001, 01:06 AM
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Strong, silent type
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Southern California
Posts: 1,663
Are you in California...


Are you in California? I hope that the BAR in California takes a dimmer view on repair shops that recommend unnecessary repairs. About a year ago or so one of the local TV stations did a sting operation on car repair shops that sell unnecessary repairs/services/parts. I seem to recall that quite a few shops got busted and actually got in trouble.

Current Benzes

1989 300TE "Alice"
1990 300CE "Sam Spade"
1991 300CE "Beowulf" RIP (06.1991 - 10.10.2007)
1998 E320 "Orson"
2002 C320 Wagon "Molly Fox"

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Old 05-29-2001, 11:25 AM
JimF's Avatar
'94 S500: only 793 sold!
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 1,924

Yes, I'm in CA and what I posted is what happened to me, every word. I believe Channel 10 in SD, CA staged a sting but it was NOT backed by the state's BAR. Sure they get some bad publicity but they all say that ". . the repairs were needed".

So, bottom line,
If you agree to the services and prices, there's a hard time proving that these services were not needed.
As far as the estimated "price", it's open season!
Regards . . . . JimF
'94 S500 Cpe

Visit my Mercedes Web Page
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Old 05-29-2001, 01:29 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 82
Just to offer a little perspective, drivability problems and electrical/AC problems can be frustrating and time consuming to diagnose and fix. Often a technician can spend hours finding out that the offending part costs only a few dollars. Customers are happy to buy the part and pay for installing it but not so happy to pay for all the time figuring out what needs to be replaced. The alternative is to just make an educated guess and replace the part most likely to be causing the problem. Sometimes this doesn't do it and the customer is again unhappy. Underdash work is also very physically and mentally demanding.
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Old 05-29-2001, 09:07 PM
pete romprey
Posts: n/a
Originally posted by gidpor
In one of the threads I read lately someone suggested building a database of good independent techs xcross the country. I thought that was a good Idea - Reading your experience makes me think of the opposite too-Post the Dealers name , so others can avoid them at any cost....
Hey just a note for Ct users I just discovered a great local independant shop in branford ct.Classic cars of branford great guys they worked magic on a used 300sd with 78k It was running with very low power and shifting bad they fixed it and all was for a great price.If yopu need service along the shore these guys are great!
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Old 05-31-2001, 02:13 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 709
I cannot imagine your MB dealer not being commited to service. The two times I can remember I had probles with the dealer...I reported it first to the Service Manager at the dealer and then I went to the regional MB rep and discussed my issues with him and believe me when I arrived at the dealer there were 3 guys checking my car out....I believe that MB understands there are MANY luxury alternatives out be honest I think Lexus made them wake up on service issues

Call the Service Manager at the dealer....if that doesn't work call MBUSA and get the phone number of the MB regional service manager....they will take care of you

just my .002

1992 300SD 116K
Columbus Ohio
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