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  #1  
Old 08-06-2001, 12:45 PM
Veece
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Dealer Parts or Not?

I went to my mechanic with a pair of springs for my 1986 420SEL that I bought from FastLane. I was very happy with my purchase. When he went to install them he gave me a hard time saying only to bring him parts the MB dealer from now on or don't suppy parts otherwise. Has anyone had this demeaning experience? Are dealer parts the only way to go?
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  #2  
Old 08-06-2001, 12:50 PM
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??? Was there a problem with the part you gave him ? If not then what's his gripe
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  #3  
Old 08-06-2001, 01:00 PM
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No problem with the springs, they're in and I like the ride. His attitude is that there is NO SUBSTITUTE for original Benz parts and when you buy springs for example, a less reputable place may stretch an old pair, dip them in paint and sell them as new. I told him that I have never been let down by this site with any parts purchased from FastLane. I didn't need the dis' 8 am on a Saturday in front of fellow MB owners.
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Old 08-06-2001, 01:13 PM
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Some independent shops make a bit of profit from the parts they obtain from the dealer, or they don't like the liability for doing work with unknown parts - if it doesn't work right or fails, they are in the liability loop.

There was a long discussion on this a couple of years ago - if I recall correctly some shops discount their labor a bit and balance it out with the parts profit. Other shops installed the customers parts and were expected to make them work if there was a problem with the fit or finish, and yet do it for the same price as if the part were factory OE and fit without a problem.

I remember that the consensus from the techs was to ask your tech about the policy before bringing him parts, otherwise it is a little like taking your own food to a restaurant for them to cook, and reserving the right to complain about the quality or how it was cooked!
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  #5  
Old 08-06-2001, 01:20 PM
Veece
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JCE - The mechanic requested that I bring the springs and he would install. I think you got it right on the monetary arrangement, he did hit me up for more than I expected for the one hour worth of work. But, as far as springs, are dealer parts always better?
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Old 08-06-2001, 01:37 PM
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I don't think they are always better, some parts are made by the same company with the same materials which they supply both to MB and to the aftermarket. I think that there is more of a 'crap-shoot' attitude towards unknown parts as to warranty if something doesn't work. I know my tech only likes MB parts or parts from a (short) list of vendors, and I always check with him beforehand.

In the case of your springs, they may even have been made by the same company as makes springs for MB, but the specs may be different. From the previous discussion I referenced above, some companies make the same MB part but leave off the star and sell it as high quality aftermarket. Other companies may supply to MB, then cut corners on the parts they supply to the aftermarket, dumb as that seems.

That said, I only buy the parts I need from this site or the dealer, or accept what my trusted tech chooses. I don't have the resources to ferret out the good parts from the bad. BTW, real tacky for him to raise a stink in front of other customers!
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  #7  
Old 08-06-2001, 01:55 PM
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To add to and echo the comments of JCE, it seems there is an element of frustration built in to almost everything. While youd obviously want to use quality components, its entirely possible that this technician was trying to help you, and himself. Albeit in a gruff manner.

Anyway, its not that MB OEM parts are necessarily better; merely that he has less possibility of wasted time and unexpected problems. He also might be able to return or exchange a defective part, as a courtesy to you, rather than having to have the car occupy his bays and parking lot for extended periods of time while he waits for you to provide a replacement.

FWIW, Im about to have a 60K mile service done on my 400E. Im providing the parts (purchased at FastLane) at the somewhat reluctant okay of the technician. I told the technician that if there are any problems, he could just use his parts and Id return the questionable ones. He was okay with that.

The other side of this coin is that if there is a problem with your independently provided parts, you end up costing the technician in terms of scheduling, lost income, and, back to where I started my comment, a degree of frustration. Frustration in the name of being hindered in his business goals, because he agreed to accommodate your whims. In short, its the old story of no good deed going unpunished.

BTW, why did you put new springs in?

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  #8  
Old 08-06-2001, 02:06 PM
Veece
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LeBenz,

New springs installed because of sag. The ride is much more firm now. The PartsShop springs seem good so far, (FYI, they were from Sweden).
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  #9  
Old 08-06-2001, 02:21 PM
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Re: Dealer Parts or Not?

Quote:
Originally posted by Veece
When he went to install them he gave me a hard time saying only to bring him parts the MB dealer from now on or don't suppy parts otherwise. Are dealer parts the only way to go?
David-
The springs you bought on FastLane Order# 860 were part# L5000-73076. Those are not OE Mercedes springs but, they are excellent springs. They are manufactured in Sweden by Lesjofors ( http://www.lesjoforsab.com ). Lesjofors makes OE springs for Rolls Royce, Saab, Volvo and several industrial applications.

We can certainly supply OE springs directly from Mercedes in PartsShop but, I doubt you will ever notice the difference. The OE springs list for $153 each. The springs you bought in FastLane were about 1/3 of that. You saved about $200 total. Not bad!

In general, shops DO NOT like to install customer supplied parts. Parts are a major source for profit at any shop. Also, there is always the potential for a problem and a resulting dispute over the cause...was it a bad part or a bad install? Shops don't like to put themselves in that situation.
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  #10  
Old 08-06-2001, 10:19 PM
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I don't think my mech would have aproblemw ith any parets I were to supply him with, but I have no idea as I haven't asked him. Generally if I am going to do itmyself I'll order from fastlane or partsshop, if I am going to have him do it, usually I don't know whats wrong so I let him take care of it.

When I took him my neuspeed springs to put in my car, he did it with no muss, no fuss, and only had good things to say about the outcome. He loved how the car looked lowered with the springs, when he normally hates lowered benzes.

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