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Old 03-05-2000, 09:11 AM
Registered User
Join Date: May 1999
Location: So. Burlington, VT
Posts: 78
This is a common topic in the forum but I have a new question. Has anyone ever tried to get MB to at least share the cost of valve jobs, valve guides etc. as extended warranty or "customer goodwill"??
My Dad recently purchased a 1990 300E with less than 80K miles. An independent repair shop says it needs valve guides. "Yes" the car is out of warranty and "yes", 80K miles is a lot of miles but when a manufacturer has a problem that is chronic or obviously caused by inferior parts or materials,and affects so many cars, it is not unusual for that manufacturer to extend the warranty or share the cost.
I look forward to comments before I approach my local friendly MB dealer.
Thanks in advance
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Old 03-05-2000, 07:02 PM
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Tucker, Ga USA
Posts: 12,153
Since I've worked at benz dealers for over 25 years I'm sure that goodwill warranty stops at 5-6 years in most cases. No harm in trying.


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Old 03-05-2000, 07:47 PM
Posts: n/a
I can feel for you, but put yourself in the dealers shoes. A person with no history with them comes in looking for special support becasue an independant mechanic says that the valve guides are worn!? On top of that you bought the car used! Usually when the OEM gives special support, it is to a known customer (ie- buys new cars from them and has their mtc done there). I know it is tough, but that's the way it works. As MBDoc says, doesn't hurt to try, but my suggestion is done burn any bridges if they say no, because you might need their help in the future. BTW, I used to live in Burlington and miss it!

87 300TDT
150,000 miles

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Old 03-06-2000, 07:47 AM
Posts: n/a

Well I have blasted a still to be unnamed Benz dealer a few times on this forum, but it looks like it's time to stand up for them on this issue.

To begin with, I'm a little bit confused about your statement regarding valve guides as a known weakness. I have an '88 300E with over 165K miles, it uses NO oil. It doesn't go down on the stick AT ALL between 3,300 mile oil change intervals. Which brings me to oil change intervals. Since you purchased the car used, how could your dealer know that the oil had been changed regularly.

Benz takes care of their known problems. Case in point. In the '86 and '87 diesels, to meet California emmissions regulations, Benz installed in all their diesels, with best intentions, a trap oxidizer. It came apart with the result, in many cases, of total engine destruction.

If you were to go buy one of THOSE cars used, even with a half million miles on it, you could take it to a dealer and they will replace it with an undercar converter. And this is at a very high cost to Benz.

Now, back to hammering MB. Mercedes, as well as most every other car manufacturer, publishes a maintenance schedule that does not call for oil change intervals that are frequent enough for those who want to drive their cars for an extended period. The published intervals are good enough for the car to be in condition at trade in time, which for most people is probably no more than five or six years. If you want your valveguides and the rest of the engine to last for a long time, change your oil hot, and change your oil often.

Good Luck,

Larry Bible
'84 Euro 240D, 516K miles
'88 300E 5 Speed
Over 800,000 miles in
Mercedes automobiles
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Old 03-06-2000, 12:04 PM
Registered User
Join Date: May 1999
Location: So. Burlington, VT
Posts: 78
I wasn't trying to hammer anyone. I too have a 300E (1989) that burns very little oil. My original question concerned my Dad's recently purchased 300E and my comments about inferior materials were based on a couple of entries by Benzmac which I will cut and paste below.

"The valve stem seal problems were truly valve guide problems that Mercedes has attempted to correct with new/improved valve stem seals. This never worked; the only true way to repair the M103 engine with an oil consumption problem due to valve train problems is to replace all the valve guides - a.k.a valve job. This typically runs between $1,500 and $2,300 and is a MUST if this engine has not had this repair."
"This car will most likely need a valve job to cure. The problem is that the old valve guides where made of a very soft alloy. The new ones are updated and last a good long time. When the car sits, the oil drys off of the parts and when resarted it takes a while for oil to hit those parts."
I guess the real question here is why some cars have problems and some don't when it sounds like they all had the soft alloy guides??

My Dad has all the service records for his car and the oil changes were indeed frequent.
He is taking the car to the Benz dealer today to confirm the diagnosis. I would not expect the dealer to make repairs based on the diagnosis of another shop.
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