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  #1  
Old 10-05-2009, 10:36 AM
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Location: westchester, ny
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w124 serp belt/tensioner - stranded in LA

Last night my son was driving the 1988 300ce on the LA freeway,and suddenly the dash board lights lit up. He quickly pulled over and was fortunate to be near and exit, and he went to a gas station and called home. When he opened the hood, he could not see the serp belt on any of the pulleys. He called MB roadside assistance, and for $120 the car was towed two miles to the MB dealership Keyes Motors in Sherman Oaks. The serp belt was replaced in New York by my indie about three/four years ago, and the tensioner has not been touched since then. I'm wondering if the belt failed due to the California heat or if the belt tensioner broke. Is the tensioner likely to break when the car is in motion, or only when it is being adjusted? Also, any idea of reasonable dealer cost to replace? Thanks.

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87 300e (white/black; amg body kit)
88 300ce (red/cream; amg body kit)
93 300ce cabrio (white/blue/blue top)
93 300ce cabrio (black/grey/black top)
98 ml 320 (totaled @ 137,000 miles)
99 clk320 (black/grey/black top)
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  #2  
Old 10-05-2009, 12:20 PM
glenmore's Avatar
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I think the belt system is similar to the M104 on my car. When my tensioner failed it resulted in a loose squealing belt but the car still ran OK. Not sure what would happen at highway speeds though. There is a tensioner shock that provides some tension to keep the car running. Possible that your indie did or did not use an OEM part. Could be a lot of things though, failed belt, broken tensioner, frozen pulley, etc. Dealer will not be cheap but you are relatively close to Tarzana, where there is indie Mr. MB, a well liked shop on these boards.

You can call Enrique and add in another tow and compare prices to what the dealer tells you.

5557 Reseda Blvd # A
Tarzana, CA 91356-2690
(818) 708-8086

glenmore
1991 300CE
2000 C280
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  #3  
Old 10-05-2009, 03:02 PM
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Thanks. The dealer says the fan bracket threw a bearing, and that caused the problem. Dealer quotes $600 to replace fan bracket and serp belt, but has to order the bracket. FWIW, on Fastlane the aftermarket bracket costs about $125 (list $230) and the belt $20 (list $35). I called Mr MB in Tarzana, and he will give me a quote in 1 hr.
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87 300e (white/black; amg body kit)
88 300ce (red/cream; amg body kit)
93 300ce cabrio (white/blue/blue top)
93 300ce cabrio (black/grey/black top)
98 ml 320 (totaled @ 137,000 miles)
99 clk320 (black/grey/black top)
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  #4  
Old 10-05-2009, 03:13 PM
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Isn't towing free?

Sorry for the thread hijack - isn't towing free to the nearest MB dealer?

Regards,
Kevin
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  #5  
Old 10-05-2009, 03:15 PM
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It wasn't for me, and I arranged it through MB Roadside Assistance. Hope someone here says it should be.
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87 300e (white/black; amg body kit)
88 300ce (red/cream; amg body kit)
93 300ce cabrio (white/blue/blue top)
93 300ce cabrio (black/grey/black top)
98 ml 320 (totaled @ 137,000 miles)
99 clk320 (black/grey/black top)
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  #6  
Old 10-05-2009, 03:31 PM
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I think towing to a dealer is supposed to be free (especially if its close by)
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  #7  
Old 10-06-2009, 05:54 PM
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Towing to MB is free apparently only while the vehicle is under warranty.

Invoice from MB dealer:
Fan Bracket #103 200 17 28 88 --- $154
Serp Belt #008 997 70 92 --- $ 42
Labor --- $444


Just called Dealer (Keyes Motors, in Van Nuys, CA). Labor rate is $148/hr (seems very, very high -local dealer in NY is appx $125/hr) , or 3 hours (seems reasonable?). Thoughts on how to request a break on the labor rate? Thanks.
__________________
87 300e (white/black; amg body kit)
88 300ce (red/cream; amg body kit)
93 300ce cabrio (white/blue/blue top)
93 300ce cabrio (black/grey/black top)
98 ml 320 (totaled @ 137,000 miles)
99 clk320 (black/grey/black top)

Last edited by richard28; 10-06-2009 at 06:23 PM.
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  #8  
Old 10-06-2009, 07:02 PM
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M-B club?
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  #9  
Old 10-06-2009, 07:16 PM
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Why the heck would you own old MBs and not have AAA? You get 3 free tows a year and plenty of other good stuff for 2/3 the cost of your tow.
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  #10  
Old 10-06-2009, 07:19 PM
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Sounds like he's stranded, and even if you find an indy with a $90 labor rate, you're still paying for another tow, and the dealer for just looking at it. Not going to save much for the hassle.

MBCA should get you a discount on parts.
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  #11  
Old 10-06-2009, 11:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by halman2228 View Post
Sorry for the thread hijack - isn't towing free to the nearest MB dealer?

Regards,
Kevin
Towing through MB roadside assistance is only free while the vehicle is under warranty. Once the warranty has expired the only free services are technical assistance over the phone to try and get your car running, sending out a service vehicle to change a flat tire with your spare, and sending out a service vehicle for a jump start.

Yeah, even though MB advertises roadside assistance for every MB vehicle no matter what the age, there are only a few free services. The rest of the services you have to pay for. You really can't complain, though. How many other manufacturers provide anything close to this service just for owning one of their vehicles?
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  #12  
Old 10-07-2009, 04:57 PM
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Happy Ending

The dealer, Keyes Motors, with only a little hesitation, gave a 15% discount because it's a "mb classic" car, meaning it's old (1988 300ce), after we asked for a discount. My son also got a 2010 350clk coupe loaner for two days (he loved it), so the slightly higher cost compared to the indy was well worth it. And I want to acknowledge publicly, since dealerships get trashed often on this forum, that Keyes Motors did right by us. Lesson: To get, one must ask, and do it respectfully and courteously. Hope this helps others.
__________________
87 300e (white/black; amg body kit)
88 300ce (red/cream; amg body kit)
93 300ce cabrio (white/blue/blue top)
93 300ce cabrio (black/grey/black top)
98 ml 320 (totaled @ 137,000 miles)
99 clk320 (black/grey/black top)
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  #13  
Old 10-07-2009, 07:57 PM
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Location: So Cal, No. Orange county
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Richard, the service you described is in part available due to the higher costs in dealing with a dealership. Glad you had a positive experience.
Bill

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