Keeping up dealer SH on older car?

ironduke

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I've got a 1985 500 SEC which has a full and up to date (mileage and time) main dealer history.

It's next 15k service is due soon, car currently on 120 ish k, and I was wondering if it's worth having it done by MB to keep the history up and whether this will help when it comes to resale. The car is a very nice and loved example.

I'm perfectly capable of doing the work myself and know an Indy would be cheaper but just wondering if anybody else with older cars still uses dealers?

Also any idea how much a 15k service on a W126 is going to be? do Merc do discounts for older cars like BMW do?
 

SPX

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How long do you intend to keep the car?

And how much is the car worth roughly as it is?
 
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ironduke

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Around 5 years at least. As it is it's probably worth about 3k.
 

bolide

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The additional money you'd spend at a main dealer would be better spent on replacing bushes at an independent. You;d end up with a better car that way

Anyone buying a 1985 car should be more interested in looking at the car, not the paperwork

Nick Froome
 

SPX

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A 'classic' Mercedes will always be worth more if it has full main dealer service history, if that's your main concern.

Iirc Mercedes will discount servicing for older models so they're definitely worth trying for a benchmark price.
 

grober

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If its to be serviced at the same dealer as always then it may be advantageous as they know the car and the work that's been done on it. They should give you a discounted service rate also because of its age. However if the car is to be serviced at another dealer that continuity will be lost and dare I say there are many MB dealers whose service department may be unfamiliar with your model . Ther will be guys working there who weren't even born that long ago. On balance you are best served by a good Mercedes specialist independent who knows these models backwards.
Ps Just because they advertise themselves as Mercedes or worse German specialists doesn't mean they are! Best to get personal recommendations- here is a good source if folks know your location. Don't think "going independent" will effect resale values provided you use a reputable specialist.
 
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ironduke

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If its to be serviced at the same dealer as always then it may be advantageous as they know the car and the work that's been done on it. They should give you a discounted service rate also because of its age. However if the car is to be serviced at another dealer that continuity will be lost and dare I say there are many MB dealers whose service department may be unfamiliar with your model . Ther will be guys working there who weren't even born that long ago. On balance you are best served by a good Mercedes specialist independent who knows these models backwards.
Ps Just because they advertise themselves as Mercedes or worse German specialists doesn't mean they are! Best to get personal recommendations- here is a good source if folks know your location. Don't think "going independent" will effect resale values provided you use a reputable specialist.
Should have said that the same dealer has been servicing it for about 10 years!

Also would they be able to provide details of work done over that time? to elaborate on just the stamps in the book.
 

neilrr

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Dealer SH adds nothing on a car of this age IMO.

I'd rather see an independent MB service stamp on a car of this era. Much more likely that the person servicing it was trained on the model or at least has seen a lot more of them a lot more recently than a technician at a dealership who will be seeing 1, 2, or 3 year old cars 98% of the time.
 
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flango

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Dealer SH adds nothing on a car of this age IMO.

I'd rather see an independent MB service stamp on a car of this era. Much more likely that the person servicing it was trained on the model or at least has seen a lot more of them a lot more recently than a technician at a dealership who will be seeing 1, 2, or 3 year old cars 98% of the time.
I agree evidence of servicing is important but dealer servicing adds no value. A car of this age will be bought on condition and proof of servicing. Who carried it out and when is irrelevant IMHO
 

DITTRICH

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I would tend to agree with neilrr.
The dealer service book with stamps from xyz is worthless as it can so easily be manipulated. I would place reliance on:-

1 invoices (phone/email/visit dealer and get them to interrogate their computer system.
2 mot records (verify certificates online). cross reference to invoices.
3 dvla records of past owners referenced to 1 above.

Verbal assurances without independent written verification are worthless.
It's very easy to fiddle with information/records in your possession but VERY much more difficult to fiddle with independent records held elsewhere.

If I ever sell any of my cars, I shall give all prospective purchasers sight of the £'000's I have spent over the years showing which parts have been replaced.
This vs a book with a few stamps?

And the older a car gets the less dealers know about them. A specialist history on an older car is more practical. But I doubt it ought to affect the price of a very old car.
 
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ironduke

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If I go to the dealer with evidence the car is mine will they be able to give me print outs of the work that's been done?

This would look good in it's history file! Which I think has every MOT going back to the early 1990's which backs up the mileage and correlates to the mileages in the SH book.
 

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I don't disagree that an indie is a good route to take, but the OP is worried about the value of the car in five years time when I would assume that the car will have gone up in value. If we were talking about a ten year old E-Class then it would be different, it's almost a no-brainer to go the indie route then.

And as useless as some dealers are at servicing, it will all be at least held on a national database where it can be checked and verified.

And how many good classic Mercedes independants are there in the country? Travel costs are also a consideration if the OP wanted to take that route.

I'd be interested to see what a dealer and competitive indie quote for whatever work the OP asks for though.
 

WDB124066

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I get mine done at the Dealership only after agreeing on the Technician who will do the work on my older car, but, all I will let them do is the standard service items - nothing else, keeps the price down. If you ask them how much for a standard service at your mileage and negotiate from there it can be a good thing to do, especially with the history you have already.

Indies get to fix everything else, once even fixing up a mess the Dealership made.

Best of both worlds this way, one thing I have noticed is that because my Indie used to be the Forman of the Dealership where the car was sold & serviced from new and every time since then, very few people have actually worked on it, maybe only three or four Techs ever. Each of them know the car well and seem to like working on it - or so they say. :):)

I think this is the best way, maintain a relationship with the Dealer and build a new relationship with a really good Indie.
 

spanner

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You'd be mad to take it to a main dealer.
A good indie will know where to look for age related ailments as he is likely to have seen many, many more SECs than any main dealer and will probably charge a lot less too. If the right Indie is chosen you may even be surprised to learn that the resale value of the car can actually go up for a knowledgeable buyer. Even better if you use the same reputable indie for the next few years so they really will get to know the car. One of the great advantages* of going to an Indie is that the volume of cars that they see is less coupled with a much smaller staff base so the accumulated knowledge of your actual car over time is far better.
Oh, and an established independent will know that the service mileage intervals on 126s are 6/12/36K so there's no such thing as a 15K service on an SEC.

* apart from the lower prices, better service, better knowledge, closer customer relationship, friendlier attitude and the aquaduct......
 
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ironduke

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You'd be mad to take it to a main dealer.
A good indie will know where to look for age related ailments as he is likely to have seen many, many more SECs than any main dealer and will probably charge a lot less too. If the right Indie is chosen you may even be surprised to learn that the resale value of the car can actually go up for a knowledgeable buyer. Even better if you use the same reputable indie for the next few years so they really will get to know the car. One of the great advantages* of going to an Indie is that the volume of cars that they see is less coupled with a much smaller staff base so the accumulated knowledge of your actual car over time is far better.
Oh, and an established independent will know that the service mileage intervals on 126s are 6/12/36K so there's no such thing as a 15K service on an SEC.

* apart from the lower prices, better service, better knowledge, closer customer relationship, friendlier attitude and the aquaduct......
Stand corrected on the interval.

The next service will be it's 120k "maintenance" one. The last was the 114k "service" one.
 

jamesfuller

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My opinion is that a well regarded specialist should be researched and the car taken there. As already mentioned they are more likely to have a better knowledge of the model, but also they will be able to spend more time on the car and take care of any little things required. I have found Mercedes dealer technicians tend to stick to the service sheets as they would with a modern car.

Any future enthusiast buyer will appreciate a good specialist history backed up with all the invoices.
 

BTB 500

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Main dealer servicing isn't expensive if you get a hefty discount (40% in my case) and provide your own oil (I buy Mobil 1 from Costco). If you have a good dealership that has seen the car regularly for some time and doesn't push to do extra work unnecessarily then I would personally keep the FMBSH going.

Of course that doesn't mean all work has to be done by the dealer. I've used local specialists to replace the hood windows and ADS accumulators on my SL in the last couple of years.
 
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ironduke

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Thanks for the input all!

I'll have chat with the dealer on Tuesday and look at local indies. I don't suppose anybody can recommend a good Indy with older model experience in the Midlands area?
 

Grahamcol

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Thanks for the input all!

I'll have chat with the dealer on Tuesday and look at local indies. I don't suppose anybody can recommend a good Indy with older model experience in the Midlands area?
You'll not get better than ACMS Mercedes in Walsall. Call 07530 456000 and it'll be him who answers. Can't remember the landline no. Marc used to work at a main dealers but now runs his own show. Polite, Friendly, vastly knowledgeable and reasonably priced, but beware of a 2 week waiting list because he's very popular / busy.
 

joecash

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Iirc Mercedes will discount servicing for older models so they're definitely worth trying for a benchmark price.
When I last looked, Mercedes "value" servicing for older models is not to the same standard as that for normal regular servicing - having said that, it's like all Mercedes MD servicing, extremely expensive.
 

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