A 5 year puzzle solved

Oxfordian

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Having just had my first experience of Prestige Car Service, I'll be posting my own positive comments but here's a 5 year puzzle that Graham at Prestige solved in a flash.

Five or so years ago Mercedes Solihull replaced the rear springs on my vehicle (a C220 CDi Sports Coupe with the Evolution Panorama pack - so it had the lowered suspension). I had to take it back shortly afterwards because the headlights were now focussed down, only just ahead of the car, even with headlight adjuster at it's 'highest'.

They told me the springs were the correct ones (I still have the service sheet) even though it was obvious that the headlights were pointing down only because the rear was now riding higher.

They eventually recalibrated the headlight FOC but I've often wondered how they could apparently put the right springs in and yet end up with the rear riding higher.

What do you think?

Cheers!
 
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Oxfordian

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Well, strictly speaking yes. But I couldn't get my head round the part number apparently being correct. I couldn't actually say they were lying :( Tomorrow, I'll locate the service sheet and part number as the 'solution' seems so weird.
 
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Oxfordian

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Well, I laughed at that, but in digging out the part number which is MA210 324 34 04, it did remind me of something that they fitted the wrong way round. But before that, I now understand that the springs come in 2 different stiffness's and the lowered suspension should have had the softer springs and not the stiffer one that they fitted. Hence the increased height at the back.

As to the wrongly fitted item: For almost a year following the service, I'd been aware of a faint drag and slightly higher fuel consumption which didn't seem to relate to any previous experience with the car (I'd been clocking up about 18-19,000 a year, so felt in tune with the car). After a long drive back from Cologne, I took it for it's first service with an Indy and mentioned my concern.

When I picked up the car they showed me, what I understand is a large bracket of some sort that links the parking brake with the pads on the rear wheel (I can't remember what it's called or how better to describe it). Anyway, what amazed the technician was that this bracket had broken under the stress of many hours of high speed driving across Germany because it had been fitted the WRONG WAY ROUND!

The wrong springs and incorrectly fitted bracket were not the only things that went wrong with that service at Solihull. Following the service, there were starting-up issues with the car which they could not solve, even after carrying out £700+ of work. I got that cancelled and the issue solved elsewhere for less than £50.

What kind of technicians do Main Dealerships employ?
 
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GLK

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I once had a top mount (McPherson strut) fitted to my poor little W168 wrong way round - made an awful racket on slow full turn. Apparently a common mistake, so much so, it is a 'known' problem for W168 - noisy top mounts ... well, not really: it just clueless mechanics :wallbash:
 

gIzzE

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What kind of technicians do Main Dealerships employ?

They don't, and that is the problem.

They employ people who can plug diagnostic equipment into your car and then follow a 'repair by numbers' print out.

That is why Mobilo is of no interest to me, they take your car to Mercedes, the last place I want it going when out of warranty. Which is really sad.
 

harvin1975

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This is what happens when you pay peanuts! :D
 

Dryce

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They employ people who can plug diagnostic equipment into your car and then follow a 'repair by numbers' print out.
Not just main dealers but also any kind of technician.

Very few good problem solvers out there - doesn't matter what technical area - and I suspect it's also the same with doctors too.
 

sirius9

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Having just had my first experience of Prestige Car Service, I'll be posting my own positive comments but here's a 5 year puzzle that Graham at Prestige solved in a flash.

Five or so years ago Mercedes Solihull replaced the rear springs on my vehicle (a C220 CDi Sports Coupe with the Evolution Panorama pack - so it had the lowered suspension). I had to take it back shortly afterwards because the headlights were now focussed down, only just ahead of the car, even with headlight adjuster at it's 'highest'.

They told me the springs were the correct ones (I still have the service sheet) even though it was obvious that the headlights were pointing down only because the rear was now riding higher.

They eventually recalibrated the headlight FOC but I've often wondered how they could apparently put the right springs in and yet end up with the rear riding higher.

What do you think?

Cheers!
Thumbs up for Prestige Car Service team! Not that they need any more praises. :thumb:
 

reflexboy

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The Horndean crew are the absolute dogs do dars in my book too
 

Pontoneer

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Not just main dealers but also any kind of technician.

Very few good problem solvers out there - doesn't matter what technical area - and I suspect it's also the same with doctors too.
Well , not Merparts in Port Glasgow .

Both Paul and Stef there are fully accredited M-B Master Technicians , and know their stuff , as a great many satisfied customers will testify . Hence people travel great distances to have them look after their cars .

Then there is Olly in the South , but I have never met him .
 

theogeor

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They don't, and that is the problem.

They employ people who can plug diagnostic equipment into your car and then follow a 'repair by numbers' print out.

That is why Mobilo is of no interest to me, they take your car to Mercedes, the last place I want it going when out of warranty. Which is really sad.
In the past a good mechanic didnt have to run a diagnostic to know what was wrong with your car... You still have some around but they are very few.. Now they just follow what the computer tells them. If the problem is intermittent and doesnt show on the computer then they do nothing ..
The trust more the local independent family garage for strange problems. The old guy there use his brain experience and the diagnostics rather than just the computer..

TG
 

st13phil

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I think it's instructive to note that Mercedes Mail Dealers always have a "Diagnostic Technician" on the staff. By inference, this suggests that the rest of the "technicians" don't generally have the knowledge or experience to address "out of the ordinary" problems. I think there are two or three factors at play that have given rise to this.

Firstly, modern cars are generally very reliable. This means that the vast majority of work carried out in a Main Dealer workshop is just routine servicing - changing oil, filters, brake pads, etc. - and thus the opportunities to learn and develop diagnostic skills are significantly curtailed compared to how things were in years gone by.

Secondly, modern cars rely heavily on computer control of many functions whether that be engine, transmission, or chassis control. This means that there is inbuilt data capture and the opportunity for interrogation of that data, plus real-time data monitoring that also supports "plug in" fault diagnosis. The upside is that for problems that have been anticipated during design, there will be clear fault codes that speed the problem rectification process but for other faults a very thorough knowledge of the car's systems together with access to manufacturer reference materials is needed to effect a diagnosis.

Finally, labour rates are so astronomical that minimising the time taken to repair is an often overriding priority which leads to a "plug it in, read the fault codes, replace the parts instructed" mentality rather than spending the time to really understand the problem and perhaps effect a repair.

All these factors contrive to "de-skill" the role of the man (or woman) doing the job and make Main Dealer fault rectification a bit of a hit and miss affair.
 

gIzzE

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I don't mind them plugging the computer in, why not?
But what I don't like is the 'repair by numbers' approach, well, when it is out of warranty anyway.

I asked Mercedes how much to remove an injector, clean it up and put a new washer in.
They said 30 mins labour to diagnose, then £280 for a new injector plus fitting, so around £400 or more.
I explained that if he looked under the hood he could see it leaking, no need to diagnose, and that if it is leaking it is simply a washer worn.
I just wanted them to use their tool to pull it out for me. Pay them to put a new washer and bolt in.

He went away and said they couldn't do that, that is not the repair procedure.

I drove over to Bruce at MB Autocentre in Dereham, he swapped over 2 for me while I waited and charged me £60.


Same with the ML350, Dad took it into Norwich as the car kept grabbing the brakes and showing ABS errors on the dash, they plugged it in and said new ABS module, which didn't seem right, because it was fine and then would just grab.
I said plug it in and drive down the road and check the wheel sensors, they wouldn't do that.
They said they would try the abs sensor first as that was what was showing as an error.
But that was serious money, so I took it Bruce, his first suggestion? "Let's plug it in and drive it down the road".
Front offside wheel sensor giving no readings.
£130 later a new wheel sensor fitted.



I do think that Dealerships should have maybe their own workshop, not Mercedes Approved, but one which people can take older cars to, once where there is a bit more common sense approach to repairs, doesn't matter if it is not got white tiled floors and espresso machines, as long as there is someone there you can talk to, discuss options with properly.
It would keep people going to them longer and keep them going back to the showroom and seeing nice shiny new metal that might tempt them.

Robinsons in Norwich cover Mercedes, VW, Audi, Seat, Skoda, Citreon and Hyundai, so sure a rather well kitted out garage with sensible rates and a few 'mechanics' could do very well for them. They would argue why offer it cheaper when they have the main dealerships, but I think they would be surprised how many don't use them once out of warranty anyway.

Just a thought.
 

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