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Old 11-26-2001, 05:35 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 53
Angry Dealer Dilemma 1/2 hr. to diagnose drty engine

I recently purchased 300E 120K and in my initial servicing/ reconditioning/restoring, I took it to my local MB shop to have the transmission serviced. ( Will do most work myself, but I don't mess with transmission). The transmission servicing was apprx. $125, certainly a reasonable price. This is my problem:

I also asked them at the time I dropped it off to inspect the engine and see if they could pinpoint the origination of the obvious oil leak. (The engine was very dirty and oily, and I have since cleaned it and discovered leaking main seal). Well, I returned and picked up the car and this is what they told me, "the engine is too dirty, make an appointment to come back in and have it cleaned." Charge = one half hour labor. I am not happy with this situation at all. 35 minutes to diagnose a dirty engine!!! I cleaned it and pinpointed the leak in 45 minutes total.

How should I proceed?

Don in Michigan
1990 300E (118K)
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Old 11-27-2001, 12:30 PM
Neil Eglintine
Posts: n/a
I would proceed to a different shop, next time.
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Old 11-27-2001, 03:48 PM
Posts: n/a
Ask your dealer for a refund - if necessary, ask the owner of the dealership. And never go back there again!! I must say my experience with mercedes dealers (3 of them so far) has been very poor - the buggers are rip offs most of the time!
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Old 11-27-2001, 03:55 PM
Turboman's Avatar
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Washington, DC Metro Area
Posts: 44
Usually, the experienced MB mechanics are not at the dealerships. They start their own shops after getting all they can from the dealership. Those thinking the dealerships do the best work on our cars, can be in for some surprises.

In my opinion, find a licensed MBenz shop in your area to work on your car.

1993 300CE Garnet Red
Eibach Springs
18x8.5 ADR M-Sport wheels (Hyper Silver)
Metal Master brake pads
Semi-gloss black front grill insert
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Old 11-28-2001, 04:21 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 709
I agree with using an independent if you have an older car.....
...but there are two areas where thats gets sticky.

1. If you have one of the newer much more complicated cars with all the electronics...the independents don't have the equipment to diagnose

2. If you don't live in a large benz driving area where the market is ripe for good benz mechanics then you could be at a loss for someone you can trust ....I am now in Columbus Ohio.but a few years ago I lived in Dallas and the amount of Mb's on the road as well as good techs was amazing there as compared to here

1992 300SD 129K
Columbus Ohio
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Old 11-28-2001, 05:14 PM
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Join Date: Oct 1999
Posts: 1,562
...I'd agree with your contention that the 1/2 hour fee outlining the protocol for sourcing the motor oil leak is a bit unreasonable

you may wish to review your work order/ estimate ...if in fact it details the 1/2 hour initial labor for estimating the leak sourcing protocol ...and you signed/ OK'd the may be bound to pay this albeit unreasonable fee

you may also wish to discuss your point of view on this matter with your Service Advisor and plead your case for a reimbursement being that it would not take a skilled tech more than a few seconds to opine (however- if you Ok'd the initial estimate for diagnosis/ initial review....fact authorized service may not be obligated to provide any $ reimbursement)

Also, in comes to mind that (in favor of the tech and fact authorized service)...they may have really tried to do a good service / may have spent some time looking for the leak source - - before reccomending engine cleaning.

i.e. removing and installing belly pan, prying here and there, removing air filter housing, etc. ...after all, some leaks may be obvious based upon their experience, fresh oil seeping, oil tracking etc. so, 15 minutes to poke around and 10 minutes to put things back together, and 5 minutes to jot notes into the, the 30 minutes may be reasonable...or not?

good luck and let us know what turns out

Last edited by -fad; 11-28-2001 at 05:26 PM.
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