Rear subframe

Abcan

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Hi all

I’ve just had my 2012 S212 fail the MOT due to a badly corroded rear subframe. Spoke to the indy who said it would cost £1700 (this also included rear disks pads and shoes as it also failed on a binding service brake) to replace. I then phoned my local MB to see if they could help. The car has a full MB history, I spent 30 minutes on the phone and could tell I wasn’t going to get much help from the dealer. I know £1700 is a lot of money but I can’t be bothered with the hassle of getting MB to sort this. I need the car and my sanity. There’s obviously a problem with the material used as the corrosion on mine is not something that’s happened in the short term. My car has done 84k. Definitely worth a full inspection if anyone is considering buying a 212 of this vintage.

Al
 

Bobby Dazzler

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Hi all

I’ve just had my 2012 S212 fail the MOT due to a badly corroded rear subframe. Spoke to the indy who said it would cost £1700 (this also included rear disks pads and shoes as it also failed on a binding service brake) to replace. I then phoned my local MB to see if they could help. The car has a full MB history, I spent 30 minutes on the phone and could tell I wasn’t going to get much help from the dealer. I know £1700 is a lot of money but I can’t be bothered with the hassle of getting MB to sort this. I need the car and my sanity. There’s obviously a problem with the material used as the corrosion on mine is not something that’s happened in the short term. My car has done 84k. Definitely worth a full inspection if anyone is considering buying a 212 of this vintage.

Al
Sorry to hear the news. It’s a lot of money but if the £1700 includes all new brakes on the rear axle then it’s not so bad. Good luck getting it sorted.
 

TeddyRuxpin

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Oh dear.

Seems like cancelling my Service Plan a year or two ago wasn't such a wise decision after all, eh.
 
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Abcan

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Oh dear.

Seems like cancelling my Service Plan a year or two ago wasn't such a wise decision after all, eh.

@TeddyRuxpin my last service, on the service plan, was carried out by MB in Jan this year. No mention of corrosion even though they found a brake pipe that was corroded. Annoyingly replacing the pipe required the subframe to be dropped. MB Bridgend wanted £2500 to replace the pipe and front disks and pads. I took it to the Indy who charged just over £700 for the work. He did have look at the subframe but didn’t report anything out of the ordinary. I decided not to take out another service plan as I find the dealers prices to rectify any problems too high. It’s due a service in early Feb and I’ll use the Indy.
 

TeddyRuxpin

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I honestly thought we were 'home free' when it came to rust by the late 2000s... at least on things like subframes and undamaged panels. I know it's metal and nothing is invincible, but it's pretty depressing stuff. Brake pipes could get smashed with salt and stones, I guess? But the subframe itself...

Mine's a 2009 on 162k and I live on a farm, so I'm not feeling too positive. Can't wait to spend all night researching the issue instead of catching up on work...

I have no faith in MB service, I'm pretty sure I've paid them for work they didn't even bother carrying out and don't get me started on the emissions ECU update. However, I highly doubt MB would offer any 'good faith' work on cars no longer being serviced by them, is all I meant.
 
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Abcan

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I honestly thought we were 'home free' when it came to rust by the late 2000s... I know it's metal and nothing is invincible, but it's pretty depressing stuff.

Mine's a 2009 on 162k and I live on a farm, so I'm not feeling too positive. Can't wait to spend all night researching the issue instead of catching up on work...

I have no faith in MB service, I'm pretty sure I've paid them for work they didn't even bother carrying out and don't get me started on the emissions ECU update. However, I highly doubt MB would offer any 'good faith' work on cars no longer being serviced by them, is all I meant.


100% agree. The Indy I use said he’s lost count of the number of subframes he’s done on 204s and 212s. He seems to think the new subframes are better quality as he says they feel heavier but time will tell…..hope yours is an exception. 🤞🏻
 

markjay

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@TeddyRuxpin my last service, on the service plan, was carried out by MB in Jan this year. No mention of corrosion even though they found a brake pipe that was corroded. Annoyingly replacing the pipe required the subframe to be dropped. MB Bridgend wanted £2500 to replace the pipe and front disks and pads. I took it to the Indy who charged just over £700 for the work. He did have look at the subframe but didn’t report anything out of the ordinary. I decided not to take out another service plan as I find the dealers prices to rectify any problems too high. It’s due a service in early Feb and I’ll use the Indy.

The Service Care Plan is great for servicing... not so much for repairs.

My car has full dealer service history under consecutive plans, but everything else (brake discs and pads, repairs, etc) is done by Terry at Wayne Gates.

I think there are quite a few members who follow the same path - services under a plan, repairs at a trusted indie.
 

Abcan

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Is this the location you guys are referring to?


@Abcan which indie do you use in/around Cardiff?

@TeddyRuxpin I’ve not seen the corrosion on mine yet. It said ‘two holes’ on the MOT failure so I think it’s somewhere different to the video. I’ll try and get some photos of the old subframe once it’s removed.
I use Stuttgart in Pontypridd. I’ve used them for MOTs and various other repairs and so far have had no problems with them.
 

grober

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The area depicted on the video appears to be one of the rear subframe mounts to the main bodyshell of the car- failure generally occurs around the backets where the rear suspension arms attach to the subframe---the areas of concentrated stress/loading
 

TeddyRuxpin

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(There are parts 2/3/4/5 of this video too if you're interested)

I'll be having nightmares tonight thanks to you guys.

Cheers
 

Petrol Pete

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Hi all

I’ve just had my 2012 S212 fail the MOT due to a badly corroded rear subframe. Spoke to the indy who said it would cost £1700 (this also included rear disks pads and shoes as it also failed on a binding service brake) to replace. I then phoned my local MB to see if they could help. The car has a full MB history, I spent 30 minutes on the phone and could tell I wasn’t going to get much help from the dealer. I know £1700 is a lot of money but I can’t be bothered with the hassle of getting MB to sort this. I need the car and my sanity. There’s obviously a problem with the material used as the corrosion on mine is not something that’s happened in the short term. My car has done 84k. Definitely worth a full inspection if anyone is considering buying a 212 of this vintage.

Al
Abcan . Bad news :(. But can I ask you to post photos of the corrosion once the sub frame has been removed . I think it might help members to know where to look on their own cars.
 

GP801

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Here is a picture of the subframe on our 171. Its now been with MB for two and a half weeks with no decision. I understand that MBUK have asked for more information! It was serviced by MB 1 year ago under a service plan and given a clean bill of health. It has only covered 3,000 miles since. Fortunately we are currently in Italy or this delay would be seriously annoying me.
 

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Abcan

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Abcan . Bad news :(. But can I ask you to post photos of the corrosion once the sub frame has been removed . I think it might help members to know where to look on their own cars.

@Petrol Pete I will. I’m going to speak to the Indy early next week so will remind him to keep the subframe.
 

Abcan

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Here is a picture of the subframe on our 171. Its now been with MB for two and a half weeks with no decision. I understand that MBUK have asked for more information! It was serviced by MB 1 year ago under a service plan and given a clean bill of health. It has only covered 3,000 miles since. Fortunately we are currently in Italy or this delay would be seriously annoying me.

That’s not good! I’ve been under the back of mine a fair bit, I’ve tidied up a few corroded brackets holding the air suspension components on. I’ve never seen anything like that on my subframe but it must have been there! The time yours is taking is what’s putting me off taking it further with MB!
 

Rory

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That’s not good! I’ve been under the back of mine a fair bit, I’ve tidied up a few corroded brackets holding the air suspension components on. I’ve never seen anything like that on my subframe but it must have been there! The time yours is taking is what’s putting me off taking it further with MB!
It would be god to understand the process MB goes through - I think I said earlier in the thread that it's odd how some seem to get approved almost same day, even without MB service history. Indeed they're often referred to the dealer by their indie. Yet other owners get stone-walled.

I can only think that's down to the way the dealer handles it - manufacturers leave a lot in dealers' hands these days.

In your case, with a relatively recent car and full MB history I'd be dismayed to have any difficulty at all.
 

st13phil

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It would be god to understand the process MB goes through
Feigned ignorance when they think they can get away with it?
I think I said earlier in the thread that it's odd how some seem to get approved almost same day, even without MB service history. Indeed they're often referred to the dealer by their indie. Yet other owners get stone-walled.
The Service Information Supplemental Sheet SI35.00-P-0009A, a page of which is linked by @grober in this post is, dated November 2018 and describes in detail how when the underbody is checked on the listed vehicle types, "As part of the maintenance, the rear axle carrier must be checked for corrosion (sheet metal perforation, formation of holes, rusting through), especially in the area of the mounting brackets for suspension arms such as sprung rod (Figure A) and thrust strut (Figure B)". It is hard to believe that this document was issued unless they were aware of a failure risk of this component through corrosion.

There is a very long thread on the German "MotorTalk" forum on this topic (Google Translate is your friend!) that includes a post from the participant "Ich kann alles" that indicates there is an MB policy that (paraphrased) affected subframes will be replaced at their cost on vehicles up to 15 years old, regardless of the maintenance history. I have not been able to verify this assertion, so it could be complete fiction, but if I had an affected vehicle I would certainly be making enquiries.
 

Rory

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Feigned ignorance when they think they can get away with it?

Yes, I would imagine dealers really aren't keen to do this kind of work - it'll tie up a technician for many hours at warranty rates when they could be making thousands of pounds out of him doing £600 services in an hour.
 

TeddyRuxpin

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I use Stuttgart in Pontypridd. I’ve used them for MOTs and various other repairs and so far have had no problems with them.

So are Stuttgart the ones doing this work for you? Getting stuck around there while they work on the car doesn't seem to fun!

I've called them about engine mounts, as well as someone in Bridgend, but got a more encouraging response from PCS in Horndean (which is where I took it when I was closer to that part of the world).

I tend to use TM Motors in Hampton Court and PCS, but don't have a South Wales option. Was considering Avantgarde across the border.

Anyway, sorry for the digression!
 

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