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  #1  
Old 10-17-2001, 01:40 PM
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Unhappy FSS Indicator Displays 200 - Help!

Hi!
I bought a 1999 C 230 Kompressor Saturday night. Upon initial starting, the FSS indicator displayed 400. This morning (Tuesday), the same indicator displays 200! Any suggestions, since I'm a bit worried.
Also, how often do I have to perform servicing on the car? It currently has 24000 miles on it.
I'd greatly appreciate your help.
Thanks.
Sesh
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  #2  
Old 10-17-2001, 04:26 PM
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FSS Indicator

Hello Blackmercedes:
Thanks for your reply - I appreciate it. I do not have the service manuals or the service records for the car. So I am not sure when the oil was changed last, or when service was done last.
Do you think the service guys would know what service (A or B) to perform just by looking at the car?
I am assuming that service B includes A, but goes a bit farther.
Please advise.
Regards,
Sesh
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  #3  
Old 10-17-2001, 04:57 PM
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Doesn't the car have the maintenance booklet in the glovebox? It's normally stored in there with the owners manual. My E-class has a leather bound holder for the whole set of manuals & booklets.

You're probably due for a B-service. About 12K miles is a typical change interval. If the car was serviced at an MB dealer (which it probably was) they'll be able to lookup the service and warranty history. The first service (an A-service) was almost certainly performed at the dealer - it's a freebie, even before MBNA started including routine servicing during the warranty period.

Does this car come with service included, or did that start after the '99 model year?

FYI, on my E-class an A-service is about $150, a B-service about $300. The two just alternate. I expect prices are similar for your car. Other than that, the coolant should be changed every three years (i.e. now), and the brake fluid every two years. (Probably past due - most oweners don't follow this requirement.)

- Jim
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  #4  
Old 10-17-2001, 05:08 PM
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Service Booklet

Hello J:
Thanks for your detailed response. The car only had a manual, no service booklet. That's the reason I am not sure what was done and when it was done.
How often is an A service done, and how often is a B service done? Does one of them have to be done every time the FSS touches 4000?
I'm guessing service A every 3000 miles, service B every 7500. Is that accurate enough (with them alternating, of course)?
I am not too familiar with Benz, so I'd appreciate any feedback!
I plan on getting the dealer to give me a service booklet to make things clearer to my muddled head...so I'd appreciate your help in the meantime.
Thanks for your reply in advance!
Best,
Sesh
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  #5  
Old 10-17-2001, 06:33 PM
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No, no, Mercedes does not plan for the car to be serviced nearly that often.

The FSS is reset to 10K miles when the car is serviced. (You can also do this yourself - no tools are required.) It then counts down toward zero. At zero, the car gets serviced.

It doesn't actually count down mile for mile. It takes into account the number of starts, how hard the car is driven, number of hours running, and more. In typical city commuting use I'd expect about 12K miles to elapse before you get to zero.

That's why I suspect you need a "B" service. I'd guess the car had an "A" service in the vicinity of 12K miles, and 12K miles later requires a "B."

If you insist on being obsessive, I'd recommend using a synthetic oil (which is what MB requires for FSS cars) and changing it when the FSS counts down to 5K miles. Then take it in for the A or B service when the FSS hits zero. Changing the oil 100% more often than the manufacturer requires ought to be sufficient overkill...

Definately get the service booklet. In the back it lists the services required for A & B - gives you an idea as to what is done at each.

- Jim
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  #6  
Old 10-17-2001, 06:43 PM
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Synthetic Oil

Hello Jim:
Thanks so much for your response - that was very enlightening to a new Merc owner like myself...I must ask, is it a must to use Synthetic oil? I called the dealer to schedule an appointment just now...he said I needed service B since I'm touching 24000 miles, and it would be $285, and $100 more if I chose Synthetic oil (arriving at $420 with taxes and such).
Is it a problem if I went with "normal" oil and not Synthetic? What, in your opinion, are the advantages of using Synthetic oil?
I appreciate your time and patience very much!
Regards,
Sesh
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  #7  
Old 10-18-2001, 10:42 AM
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Well, you can do a search on synthetic oils - there's been a million threads on this board. In short, they are better in most ways - better lubrication, last longer, clean the engine better, etc. They also cost about four times as much.

If you're going to go the 12K miles between oil changes, absolutely use synthetic. MB requires this now.

If you're going to have it changed much more often, then conventional is fine.

Now about that $100 upcharge. That's extremely ridiculous. The basic charge already covers the eight quarts of oil. Upgrading to synthetic costs about $3/quart more - so another $25. Even with a generous markup $50 is the most I'd pay. I recommend you call another dealer and/or a good independent to see how much they are charging. The $285 is inline with expectations, but the upcharge is robbery.

- Jim
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  #8  
Old 10-18-2001, 11:12 AM
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Thumbs up Thank you!

Jim;
Thanks for the info - I was sure it was robbery, but wanted to confirm with the more experienced members here. Just what I wanted to hear...I shall call other dealers and find out what they charge. Can't believe they'd resort to such greediness!
Regards,
Sesh
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  #9  
Old 10-20-2001, 03:13 AM
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Lightbulb

You should also change the brake fluid every 2 years to prevent moisture building up in the brake system. The dealer performed the FSS B service and brake flush on my 99 E430 in August, 2001. I paid $400 for it. The dealer used Mobil 1 10W30 on my car since MBUSA required synthetic oil for all FSS equipped car.

Car Nut
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  #10  
Old 10-20-2001, 03:55 AM
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I was very confused on my FSS display, as a week ago it displayed the wrench and the number 14. Several days later it showed 11, and on the day I took it in for service it read 9. I asked if their was something wrong with the FSS as I know I had driven over 5 miles in a week. The service rep said that it was set to read in days when the mileage was low! (25,600) I notice it now is set to distance.

You might also consider changing coolant at the same time as you do brakes.
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  #11  
Old 10-20-2001, 12:33 PM
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Thanks!

Car Nut and John:
Thanks for the valuable feedback - I'm gonna find out what it takes for those two services to be done, and get it done as soon as possible.
Regards,
Sesh
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