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  #1  
Old 01-17-2002, 07:43 PM
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Question AMG...parts/service/ availability

I know AMG MB's are more expensive that a similar MB and I also know you can order AMG parts through any MB dealership. However, comparing to a "regular" Mercedes. Is the routine maintenance for AMG cars more expensive? What about parts prices and availability?
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  #2  
Old 01-18-2002, 10:36 AM
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I have driven a C43 AMG for 30,000 miles -- no problems whatsoever except with the pneumatic seat bolsters for the driver's side -- replaced a couple of times by dealer along with reconnecting inflation tubes that also came loose, but seems to be OK now.

Handbuilt AMG engine is flawless -- no drips, seepages, etc. I think there's probably an even higher standard of build quality in the AMG cars, given the individual attention they get and the AMG fanaticism.

Another Charlotte area C43 owner had his cams replaced - always noisy above 2k rpms -- and had lifters replaced to better hold the oil on top of the engine after it sits for a few days. He said that both fixes (by dealer under warranty) corrected the problems. Our local dealer (Beck Imports) usually doesn't cut corners on waranteed work and has been very satisfactory.

True AMG parts are expensive and sometimes have to come from Germany -- front brake rotors are $800 per set, pads $150 per set; I wouldn't want to guess what an individually forged and balanced camshaft or the transmission from the 600 series (sport tuned by AMG) would be.

Tires are also expensive and can be high wear items depending on how you drive -- as the front and back are different sizes, you can't rotate them. I went from the Michelin Pilot Sports to the Sumitomo ZR-IIs (very happy with them) to save some $$.

The center console (heat, A/C, ABS, ESP, electric windows, power locks, power windows, etc.) are standard M-B and no big deal.

If the idea is to "rice-up" a lesser car by bolting on AMG parts (whether or not with a poseur AMG badge :p ), I'd say just bite the bullet and get the real thing -- C36s have become very affordable and are a good introduction to what AMG is all about.
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  #3  
Old 01-18-2002, 05:39 PM
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Talking Thanks for the info...

I noticed you have a 98 c43 so, probably, you have the scheduled maintenance INCLUDED in the price you paid for the car. I am doing some research so when the time to upgrade my car comes, I want to be prepared.
I am on your side, I do not want to "riced up" a MB, I want to get the real thing (used, of course).
Did you happen to notice how much was the REGULAR SCHEDULED MAINTENANCE?
I know MB's are expensive to maintain but, I do not want to get a SUPER expensive car to maintain.
Thanks again for you valuable info.

I have an owner's perspective. Are there any pros out there that can give a mechanics's perspective?

J.H.
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Old 01-19-2002, 12:12 AM
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My scheduled maintenance was not included (I have a '98); it has been dealer-maintained and I don't recall that the amounts were out of line, tho if you want precise numbers I will be happy to look them up for you. I think they varied between $200 and $400 depending on whether it was an A or B service -- probably very similar to a normal M-B except when AMG parts like the brakes are involved.

These maintenance costs are not, however, significant numbers [depends on what you call SUPER expensive] compared to, for instance out-of-warranty replacement of a transmission or, in contrast, replacement of a 140 A/C system or destroyed valves after a timing chain failure.

I would not worry about "maintenance" (even for $800 brake rotors -- they are not something you do every 3,000 miles) -- major expense items are what I would worry about. If ordinary maintenance expenses are already a burden, then major expense items will likely break the bank. You can insure against the major items by getting a Starmarked car where the dealer will fix it without a deductible and minimal incentive to jerk you around since the bill goes to M-B -- lease it for the warranty period.

I think that the AMG cars are as well built and durable as anything on the market (I would not, for instance, buy a used M3), but like any "luxury" item you have to be able to deal financially with a catastrophe even if unexpected. If you can't self-insure, then go with the Starmark and stay in the warranty period.
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Old 01-19-2002, 12:50 AM
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A used M3 would be my own personal hell. All M-series BMW parts are tremendously expensive, and the cars are mostly thrashed to bits by squid owners.

AMG cars are another breed altogether. While it's true the AMG specific bits are pricey (I replaced the rear brakes on our C36, and it was about three times the price of my C230) the remainder of the car is "normal" MB.

And they are VERY durable. Our C36 had 155,000 kilometers on the clock, and ran perfect compression across all six pots. It ran like a brand new car.

The different market for AMG vs. M-series really helps too. Most MB owners are not street-racing yuppie gangsta-wannabes that used Daddy's AMEX to buy their cars. 90% of the AMG cars I've seen for sale are cared for one owner examples with a reasonably mature owner. We shopped a decent number when buying the AMG. Didn't see one hunk'o'junk.

Any AMG car NEEDS Max Performance tires. Put anything less on, and you'll be sorry. And they wear REALLY fast. Even the C36 (the "lowest" performing AMG car, if there is such a thing) chews through rubber like no tomorrow. Prepare to budget serious $$ for tires. It'll probably be your highest single operating cost.

If you buy an AMG car, and then take it to the dealer and whine about service and parts costs, you'll not get any sympathy. Like the W140, these cars were not designed to be sold to people with thin wallets. If you want to spend $400 on a set of brakes instead of $1200, buy a C230 or E320.

As to day to day stuff, filters and fluids are pretty standard fare, and for FSS equipped cars, the schedule and costs for the C43 are identical to the C230 and C280. Running it day to day will cost the same, except for tires. When brakes are gone, it's about 2-3 times the price, but that's only about every 60,000 kilometers or so.

But, as mentioned above, driveline parts are REALLY expensive. These are hand built engines, and replacing or repairing them will cost the GDP of some not-so-small nations.

If you can find a 1995 C36, they are good AMG used car buys. Despite not having the five-speed, if you can find one WITHOUT ASR, you'll have struck gold. ASR is a serious fun-defeater on these cars. The ASR does only one good thing: makes tires last longer!
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Old 01-19-2002, 03:26 AM
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Talking Thannnnkkkk you guys!

That info is exactly what I was looking for.
Now , John, I noticed you have a 98 E300 Turbo diesel. That is another car that has caught my eye. Eventhough I am "diesel ignorant", could you please give me (us) a similar point of view on that car? How difficult it is to maintain compare to a gas car?
It is another unique car...
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Old 01-23-2002, 12:39 PM
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Service Cost

You can save yourself a bundle, by doing the Service "A" yourself. The air filters
are very easy to replace as well as the wiper blades. I look at the prices that they charge for the brakes and the some of the services,, it's outrages. I have been doing the brakes and the A and B services since I have had the car, It it a pain at times, but I look at how much I am saving for when something serious goes wrong...
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Old 01-23-2002, 09:36 PM
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Talking Thanks for the inputs...

I am a DIY'er and I do most of the maintenance myself. However, I am more concern about the prices and availability of the parts than the service alone.
Just like you Peter, I save my money just in case something beyond my modest mechanical capabilities comes along...
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  #9  
Old 01-24-2002, 01:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by blackmercedes
A used M3 would be my own personal hell. All M-series BMW parts are tremendously expensive, and the cars are mostly thrashed to bits by squid owners.



The different market for AMG vs. M-series really helps too. Most MB owners are not street-racing yuppie gangsta-wannabes that used Daddy's AMEX to buy their cars.

Oh petulant one:

When looking at the performance divisions of both marques (BMW and MB), you must agree that from a *performance* standpoint, both have a lot to offer - I think a lot of times it simply comes down to whether you want a manual or an automatic (M5 vs. E55, M3 vs. C36, etc.).

From a *value* standpoint, I'm not so sure, and we'd probably disagree - but that's OK.

I guarantee a pre-owned NA E36 M3 would be easier on the wallet to own than the comparable AMG car. As exclusive? No. But perhaps that's what's really driving your ranting.

Finallly, like the majority here I'd bet, my daddy didn't buy my M3 with his AMEX - unfortunately I might add 8^) - OTOH, there seems to be no shortage of posters on this board who have done quite well having their daddy buy/hand down a very nice/expensive MB - the characterization/stereotype easily runs both ways.

I love MB's and BMW's - neither would be as good without the other - can't we all just get along?

Brian
89 300TE 175,xxx
84 733i 5-speed 155,xxx
89 M3 (sold but not forgotten)
87 190 16v (always wanted, hard to find not trashed by squid owners)
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  #10  
Old 01-24-2002, 01:24 PM
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Brian: fair and amusing post -- point accepted.

I am less convinced that the ongoing ownership costs of a used M3 will be less than a comparable used AMG car, esp as the miles add up, but there are probably not that many 75,000 or 100,000 mile+ AMG cars out there at the current time to give a very valid comparison given the fact that far fewer AMG cars were built than M3s and the AMG cars began to be sold here only in '95.

Much of my [probably, given the paucity of evidence] prejudice looks to the generally accepted better durability of M-B and the relatively higher proportion of older models still running and looking good -- but we all know that the price thereof is regular and meticulous maintenance!
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