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  #1  
Old 09-26-2001, 03:25 PM
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For those who want to "repair" your speedometer cable...

First of all, great site!! So far, I have able to solve all my problems with my Mercedes-Benz using the "Search" function. However, I did run across something of interest that I wanted to share with all of you.

I took my Mercedes in to have the speedometer cable replaced at the dealer...could not believe how much a little cable could cost. Anyway, I informed the service advisor about oiling it (recommended here on Mercedes shop) instead of replacing it. He told me that that was ill advised and gave me a copy of the service bulletin in which states:

"A wobbly needle is probably the result of an interference problem in the speedometer cable of the speedometer itself. Reroute the cable correctly or replace the cable if needed. Lubricating a speedometer cable will always result in failure of the speedometer so do not attempt that 'repair.'"

Are the people who posted on this right or did my mechanic need some extra money to help with his boat payments?

Again, this is a great forum...keep it up!!
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  #2  
Old 09-26-2001, 05:17 PM
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Auto parts stores sell "cable lube" and I have lubed speedo cables on other cars I've owned...usually when installing a new cable.

I will have to admit though, that a wobbly speedo needle does occur with kinked or damaged cables, and re-lubing an existing speedo cable is not a common occurrence, but a band-aid fix.

The viscocity of cable lube is somewhere between graphite lube and lithium grease so it normally doesn't leak out or dry out.

I am not aware of any permanent damage done to speedos if a cable is lubed, or even over-lubed. I suspect the worse case scenario would be that the needle wobble would still persist...
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  #3  
Old 09-28-2001, 06:13 AM
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Thumbs down Dealerships...

Most of them have the mentality of replacing vs. repairing. Think about it, you buy a new part, get the warranty behind it (a year) and they do not worry about it. They don't care how much it COSTS YOU. They are worry about their pocket, not yours. Can you blame them?
Lubing the speedo cable may be a DIY'er fix or an independent trying to save you money.
BTW, I did not notice what car you have but, the cable in my car is less that $40 (depending where you buy it).
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Old 09-28-2001, 03:16 PM
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..."repairing" an item vs. "replacing" at the dealer:

Its not commercially viable/reasonable for a dealer to scrutinize the economics of 'repair' vs. 'replace'- - that is an owners responsibility....the myriad of MB owners/ leasees have differing views on this topic and hold the root of responsibly for their vehicle- (recognizing the dealer does not own the vehicle, but shoulders liability for the repair & relative safety)

factory authorized service offers a consistent service and philosophy with definite value to those whom rely and desire that type of repair/service philosophy...the economics of this approach is most often a secondary concern for numerous obvious reasons

pondering further:
...if dealers were putting Band-Aids on failing/ failed items- some would consider this tactic raping the public for labor $$$ (yielding labor $$$ again on replacements) while possibly contributing to unsafe vehicles on the road .....eventually w/ compounding Band-Aid rigging in place, what would be the parameters to establish mandatory replacements? (ie speculating aggregate/cumulative effects of the Band-Aids or based upon the use/service duty)...a very slippery slope

I think it is entirely reasonable (and a valuable service to the MB community) for the dealer to be a consistent source for the factory service and repair credo and owners of vehicles to exercise their own logic on a case-by-case basis to the "repair' or "replace" dilemma.

Last edited by -fad; 09-28-2001 at 03:25 PM.
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  #5  
Old 09-29-2001, 05:17 PM
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-fad--

I think that you brough up an interesting point that I've really never considered before... I just had a major service done on my car at an independent shop, rather than at the dealer. I was suprised how much lower the bill was and after inquiring why it was so low the shop informed me that many of the things that dealer replaces at a major service (i.e. cap and rotor...ect) were still in good condition... I guess when you take it to the dealer you're also paying for peace of mind...
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  #6  
Old 09-29-2001, 06:57 PM
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The normal reason for not lubing a speedo cable is that they lubrucation won't fix a bad one. If the cable is lubricated with anything but the graphite-like stuff, it will eventually bind and break from crud collecting in the housing.

Most of the time, if the speedo needle is jumping, the cable is shot anyway and "winding up" in the housing. Lubrication won't fix a frayed cable, or a kink etc. Lack of lubrication is only a factor on very old cars, and usually results in a ruined cable before discovered.

Moot point on nearly all newer cars, anyway, as the last MB with a mechanical cable was the early 124 chassis, I think. Certainly nearly everything else is electronic now, my 85 Volvo is, at any rate, and all GM and Ford products, too!

Peter
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  #7  
Old 09-29-2001, 08:29 PM
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I believe all 124s had speedo cable , right through '95
E320s.
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  #8  
Old 09-29-2001, 09:43 PM
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The service bulletin states that only car models 124 and 201 had this problem... No other models are listed. Did they do something different on the other models (i.e. 126 or 140) since they were manufactured during the same time frame?
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  #9  
Old 09-30-2001, 12:32 PM
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Either a different cable not subject to that particular failure or none at all, having electronic sensors instead of mechanical cables.

Peter
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  #10  
Old 09-30-2001, 06:51 PM
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Our 500E has an electronic speedometer, and the 300TE is a mechanical one.

I had a "bouncy" speedo on the 300TE, re-lubed the entire inside, and all has been fine for the last 6-months.

:-) neil
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  #11  
Old 10-01-2001, 01:54 AM
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"...could not believe how much a little cable could cost. "

You didn't state which chasis you have, but the most expensive one at PartsShop is for a 124 @ $57.13, not that much more than for my 108. I imagine the dealer price AND labor boost the price considerably.
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  #12  
Old 10-01-2001, 03:20 AM
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$57.13?

That's as high as my local dealer.

My local euro-partsman ( http://www.epsparts.com )got me one last year for about $33.00
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  #13  
Old 10-01-2001, 03:20 PM
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How high is high? I was charged $120 for the cable and and hour for labor @ $75 an hour... for a grand total of $195 ...now that's pretty expensive for a cable, don't you think? By the way I have a '93 W201...
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