Rusted subframe follow up

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MarkG14

New Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2022
Messages
19
Location
Essex
Car
W204
Last year my W204 failed the MOT test with the dreaded rusty rear subframe.
I was rather surprised (and delighted) that MB agreed to replace the 15-year-old subframe under warranty, and at no cost to myself.
Earlier this year I had the rear tyres replaced, and while the tyre fitter had the rear wheels off I was shocked to see the brand new subframe attached to the bodywork by the old RUSTY bolts!
Today the car was MOT‘d on the anniversary of the new subframe, and I was shocked and enraged to hear that the car had failed on rusty rear brake lines.
These rusty brake lines had been removed from the old subframe, and reattached to the new subframe.
Today, the MB dealer responsible for this explained that MB only warranted the subframe, and would not pay for new bolts or brake lines that were similarly rusted.
I was apoplectic that the dealer would refit rusty brake lines without asking me if I would pay for new brake lines.
Now, they are asking me to pay for the whole subframe to be removed again, in order to replace the rusty brake lines they refitted 12 months ago, with labour costs amounting to over £1200 alone.
I cannot believe a franchised dealership would refit rusty brake lines that would clearly fail an MOT within 12 months.

Has anyone else who has had this problem with a rusty subframe had the same problem with rusty bolts/brake lines?
 
Last year my W204 failed the MOT test with the dreaded rusty rear subframe.
I was rather surprised (and delighted) that MB agreed to replace the 15-year-old subframe under warranty, and at no cost to myself.
Earlier this year I had the rear tyres replaced, and while the tyre fitter had the rear wheels off I was shocked to see the brand new subframe attached to the bodywork by the old RUSTY bolts!
Today the car was MOT‘d on the anniversary of the new subframe, and I was shocked and enraged to hear that the car had failed on rusty rear brake lines.
These rusty brake lines had been removed from the old subframe, and reattached to the new subframe.
Today, the MB dealer responsible for this explained that MB only warranted the subframe, and would not pay for new bolts or brake lines that were similarly rusted.
I was apoplectic that the dealer would refit rusty brake lines without asking me if I would pay for new brake lines.
Now, they are asking me to pay for the whole subframe to be removed again, in order to replace the rusty brake lines they refitted 12 months ago, with labour costs amounting to over £1200 alone.
I cannot believe a franchised dealership would refit rusty brake lines that would clearly fail an MOT within 12 months.

Has anyone else who has had this problem with a rusty subframe had the same problem with rusty bolts/brake lines?
Just get an MB specialist to replace the brake lines ….maybe £300 ??
 
I cannot believe a franchised dealership would refit rusty brake lines that would clearly fail an MOT within 12 months.

Has anyone else who has had this problem with a rusty subframe had the same problem with rusty bolts/brake lines?
I can. Warranty work is not paid at the same rate as normal workshop service tasks, nor does it include the checks. They will do the prescribed warranty job and not a bean more.

There's also the aspect of time. If you'd have asked them up front to do the brake lines they could have ordered them in in readiness, but to authorise it at the time either means re-assembling the car or losing the use of a lift until they arrive - both of which cost money on a job they're already not getting full price for.
 
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Just get an MB specialist to replace the brake lines ….maybe £300 ??
The new brake lines cost is relatively cheap.

The problem is that the whole subframe assembly has to be removed in order to access the brake lines.

MB quote 8 hours labour @ £150 an hour (+VAT).
 
The brake lines don't need to be removed other than from the flexi hoses so it is not like they are taking them off and fitting them back on again.

Still with the subframe off it would be a good time to replace these and for that matter the entire suspension arms. ;)
 
I can. Warranty work is not paid at the same rate as normal workshop service tasks, nor does it include the checks. They will do the prescribed warranty job and not a bean more.
Yes, but fitting rusty brake lines that have less than a year life-expectancy is bordering on criminal!

I would have had no problem stumping up for the new brake lines while the subframe was replaced.

But I think it is appalling that a franchised dealership would refit rusty brake lines.
 
I had 3 rusty brake lines replaced on my S204 in June. Cost me £160.
That included the one that goes above the rear subframe. There is no need to remove or drop that subframe at all despite what any one tells you.

Very bad form the dealer not advising the brake lines were very poor.
My main dealer always sends me a video walk around showing the current condition of the underside.
 
Very bad form the dealer not advising the brake lines were very poor.
My main dealer always sends me a video walk around showing the current condition of the underside.
On a service, or when doing warranty work?
 
When my sub frame was replaced FOC they also did the brake lines and new bolts etc (SLK55 AMG) 2005
 
Yes, but fitting rusty brake lines that have less than a year life-expectancy is bordering on criminal!

I would have had no problem stumping up for the new brake lines while the subframe was replaced.

But I think it is appalling that a franchised dealership would refit rusty brake lines.
A fact that only comes to light with the power of hindsight. What if they'd lasted 2 years? How long should they last before you would deem it no longer an outrage that they didn't change them?
 
Previously on my E63 when being serviced.
But I got a video sent to me when the S204 was in for the airbag recall last year.
I'd expect a safety check on a recall, given their scope and implications
 
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Personally I wouldn't fit back a suspect part without raising this with the owner first.

But then again I can also understand the dealer's perspective, they get bad publicity whenever they mention that something else needs to be done, so they've probably learnt their lesson and decided not to mention any additional work to customers any more.
 
I find it strange that the car failed on rusty brake lines just a year after not even getting an advisory on them.
 
All depends on who's doing the mot main dealer's seem to pick silly things up to try and get you to spend
On my c63 the tyre's we're picked up for getting close to the limit the following year they we're never mentioned (service not mot)
 
I find it strange that the car failed on rusty brake lines just a year after not even getting an advisory on them.
Did the same garage and the same tester do both MoTs? Have you got a second opinion?
 
I had 3 rusty brake lines replaced on my S204 in June. Cost me £160.
That included the one that goes above the rear subframe. There is no need to remove or drop that subframe at all despite what any one tells you.

Very bad form the dealer not advising the brake lines were very poor.
My main dealer always sends me a video walk around showing the current condition of the underside.
^This.
I also have just had my rear brake pipes replaced on my S204. Similar price as above and no need to remove or drop the subframe.

Not good of MB Warrington (or any dealer/mechanic) to refit safety items with such a low life expectancy without informing the owner.

As for £4 worth of rusty bolts, come on, why on Earth are these ‘specialists’ scrimping to such an extent? Maybe if you’d have promised not to take a cup of their complimentary coffee they may have gifted you new bolts.
 
I don't think the OP had it done at MB Warrington
 

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