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Machnumber2 12-11-2003 12:36 PM

Parts quality - factory v.s. dealer/online parts
When they put parts into a brand new car in the factor, they usually seem to last for many years before you have to replace the part. For example, my driver side console window switch looked original 4 years ago when I replaced it. That means it lasted for (2000-1988) 12 years before it needed replaceing. I replaced the part with one from the dealer at a cost of around $70. Two years later, I had to replace it again for another $70. Its been two years again and yet again the switch has failed and I have to replace it. This same story can be applied to many other parts that I have delt with on this car.
My question is, are the parts they use at the factory far superier to the parts that are available to the dealers and public even though they are supposed to be the same part? Sorry if the question is hard to understand but this has been bugging me, would appreciate any input.

Machnumber2 12-11-2003 12:40 PM

in the last post "factor" was supposed to be "factory"

Also, is there a way to repair the window console switch? When I push it forward to roll window up, it does not make a "click" sound and the window does not roll up. I thought that maybe the console was preventing me from pushing the button all the way down but it did the same even after I pulled the whole switch out a bit.

samiam4 12-11-2003 02:16 PM

problem is what is an OEM part??

Yes, TRW definately supplies parts to MB as do a host of suppliers.

Does that mean every part TRW makes that fits an MB are identical to what you purchase from the dealer?? NO. But, you'll find that miss-used commonly by aftermarket parts suppliers. Many times they have no way of knowing....

It's possible that the supplier sells in the aftermarket the similar part as supplied to the dealer/factory but makes it do different specs.

For your switch, maybe there is something that needs to be fixed causing the failure. Motor drawing too much current etc..

I buy lots of most of my parts from the dealership, but I get a discount. Hence, the dealership part can be cheaper, but ussually don't cost more than 10% more.


TomJ 12-11-2003 03:04 PM


Originally posted by Machnumber2
.....Also, is there a way to repair the window console switch? When I push it forward to roll window up, it does not make a "click" sound and the window does not roll up. I thought that maybe the console was preventing me from pushing the button all the way down but it did the same even after I pulled the whole switch out a bit.
Here's a post that may help. If your switches look like these, they are VERY repairable. The design (internally) changed over the years and they have made them cheaper and more assy friendly. (Scroll down the post for pics)

I have lots of parts for these for various years and can probably provide anything you need so I'd HIGHLY recommend you repair them yourself and enjoy another 20 years from them.

Also, I can repair them for you if you'd like.

Machnumber2 12-11-2003 04:52 PM

Thanks you for the input. love this site

ke6dcj 12-11-2003 05:34 PM

Remeber OE does not equal OEM.

OE parts generally have a higher Quality Control, but not always.

One thing OE Mercedes parts have over an aftermarket or OEM part is that Mercedes will standby their product not only for 1-year, but also for the labor, and most of the times, any incidental damages should that part fail.

Most dealer parts guys don't know this, but ask Stu Ritter (MBCA Tech Editor) and your local Mercedes Zone Rep, and it's true.

If I'm rebuilding an engine, or any system that is expensive to repair (parts or labor) or critical, I use OE parts. If I install or local independent shops installs an OE headgasket, and OE headbolts, should the engine fail because of the headgasket, Mercedes will 99.99% foot the bill to repair (parts AND LABOR) and/or get me a new engine.

In the case of my independent shop, this doubly-protects them. That's why when Stu ran his shop, he used only OE parts on those expensive/risky jobs, esp. if your indy pays their techs well.

In some cases, like waterpumps, only the OE pumps have the correct vanes to provide low-speed circulation. Weatherstripping and door seal that are OE also have more rubber content (meaning more expensive, but more durable and better sealing) than aftermarket, which has a higher carbon-content (deteriorates quicker), or OEM which don't always fit.

:-) neil
1988 360TE AMG
1993 500E

glenmore 12-11-2003 06:34 PM

Speaking of parts, is there an online resource for MBZ part numbers?

For example, if someone is selling a part on ebay and gives a part number like "124 etc. etc. ", where, besides a dealer, can I confirm that the part is correct for my car?

I have a MBZ parts picture book but there is a different system. Same thing with your typical internet seller, their number id system is different also.

1991 300CE

placo1 12-11-2003 07:40 PM

Some good info posted on this thread. I hadn't realized that OEM and OE can be of different qualities. I always assumed that they were one in the same but without the Manufacturers backing and symbol. I wish there were a list of approved OEM parts that had same standards as OE.

I've noted on several recent dealership purchases that MB is indeed doing a form of cost cutting but I'm not sure you can call it cheapening.

For example when purchasing my EPDM exhaust hangers from the dealer they told me that they replaced two types of hangers with a single type. One of the original hangers had a metal insert that helped maintain it's shape the replacement is just a rubber hanger with EPDM Center. So rather than having two specialized hangers, they now only have one. The interesting thing is that you can find the original hangers on Partsshop, which is what I will end up using and returning the Dealer Parts.

I've also noted that Nuts/Bolts no longer have Cadmium plating, they have a blueish spray on protectant which doesn't look as nice and I'd imagine doesn't last as long either.

Machnumber2 12-13-2003 01:14 PM

Does mercedes stop making genuine benz parts after they stop makeing a certain model at the factory? If not, and if you cannot get the parts from the dealer, where can you buy real benz parts? Replacing these parts every few months is getting incredibly expensive.

ke6dcj 12-13-2003 01:59 PM

Aside from some very specialized parts, 99% of all OE parts come from an outside supplier.

It's just that NOT all of the parts manufactured meet MB's specs. However, some of the MB's specs are NOT, IMHO, critical, like filters/consumeables (e.g., brake pads, etc.)

While I've always used OE tranny filters on the 500E, after looking at the OEM (not aftermarket) filter, it had all the right valves, dimensions, etc. I'm going to use it because it's significantly cheaper.

:-) neil

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