Servicing and ServiceCare FAQ

st13phil

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His - Denim Blue A220 AMG Line Premium / Hers - Obsidian Black R172 SLK55
Disclaimer

The authors of this FAQ are not affiliated with Mercedes-Benz in any way. The information in this FAQ is provided in good faith and based on knowledge the authors have acquired through their personal research and experience. The accuracy of the information provided cannot be guaranteed. Neither the authors nor this Forum can accept any liability for damages resulting from relying upon information provided here. Please check with your Mercedes-Benz dealer or other service partner before making any decision based on information or advice provided below.

Servicing – The Basics

Mercedes-Benz moved from flexible servicing to fixed-interval servicing around 2008. Pre-2008 cars will still have the older ASSYST that brings-up the ‘Service Due’ message based on usage profile which for low mileage cars could stretch the interval between services up to two years. However, all modern Mercedes-Benz passenger cars in the UK are now serviced on a fixed time / mileage basis. In other words, they are serviced annually or after a fixed mileage interval, whichever comes sooner. For high-performance AMG cars (e.g. C63, E63 etc., not AMG-Line trim spec) the mileage interval is 12,500 miles while for other cars it is 15,500 miles.

Services alternate between ‘A’ and ‘B’ services, with the first being an ‘A’ service. The ‘A’ Service is a basic inspection plus those items needed at every service, such as engine oil and filter change. The ‘B’ service covers all the items from the ‘A’ service, plus further inspection items such as headlamp aim and also (typically) the replacement of the cabin charcoal filter.

The final element is what Mercedes call ‘Recommended Additional Items’. The term ‘recommended’ is something of a misnomer because they are a mandatory part of the ‘Manufacturer’s Recommended Service Schedule’ and if they are not carried out then the free roadside assistance cover (Mobilo) and the 30-year perforation and corrosion warranty will not be renewed, even if the service is carried out by a Main Dealer. Recommended Additional Items include things such as brake fluid change (every other year from year two), spark plugs (generally repeated every fourth service), automatic gearbox fluid (ATF) change (at model-dependent intervals), etc.

Like most modern cars, a Mercedes-Benz contains a good deal of electronics controlled by software, and updates to this software can only be carried out by people licenced by Mercedes to do so. This is limited to Main Dealers and Authorised Independent Repairers (Indies) who will have invested in the appropriate diagnostics equipment and who pay Mercedes for a licence to use it.

Current Mercedes-Benz cars do not have a ‘service book’ that gets stamped, but instead have a Digital Service Book (DSB) where the service records for your car are stored. Only Mercedes-Benz dealers and authorised Indies can update the DSB. Pre-2008 cars will have a physical ‘service book’ (unless it’s been lost!), but services carried out from 2008 by the dealer network will have been recorded on a DSB for the car.

Servicing – Do I Have to Use a Main Dealer for Servicing?

The short answer to that is, “maybe”. Read on for the longer answer.

The primary considerations are:
  • Any contractual terms imposed by a finance agreement you may have on the car
  • Warranty Terms
If your car is not the subject of any finance agreement and doesn’t have a current warranty then you are free to choose servicing by a Main Dealer, an Indy, your local garage, a mate down the road, or you can do it yourself. The primary consideration is the effect the service record may have on the car’s future value when you sell it. Typically, cars (especially recent ones) with a Main Dealer or authorised Indy service history fetch the best price, but the difference diminishes as cars age.

If you have a finance agreement on the car (Lease, PCP or HP) then you need to consult the terms of that agreement as it will normally specify in the case of Lease or PCP, and may specify in the case of HP, who can service the car. Often this will be “a VAT-registered garage”, but it may specify an authorised Mercedes-Benz service centre (this could be a Main Dealer or an Indy), or it may specify that it must be a Mercedes-Benz Main Dealer. If you do not have servicing carried out by the prescribed organisation(s) you will be in breach of the finance agreement which means that it can be terminated by the finance provider.

Warranty terms are generally less of an issue as UK Consumer Law says that so long as servicing is carried out in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendation and that parts and materials of appropriate quality are used, then the warranty cannot be voided. That said, proving those conditions have been met (especially for a car under the original manufacturer warranty) is generally easiest if the work is carried out by either a Main Dealer or an authorised Indy.

The final consideration is the renewal of the free roadside assistance cover (Mobilo) and the 30-year perforation and corrosion warranty which only happens if the car is serviced by a Main Dealer.

What about a Service Plan?

As an alternative to paying a Mercedes-Benz main dealer when you have each service carried out, Mercedes offer the ServiceCare scheme.

This provides all parts and labour, including the Recommended Additional Items for a minimum of two and a maximum of four services in return for a fixed monthly fee or a single up-front payment. This effectively guarantees the price of your servicing for the life of the plan and makes budgeting for service easy for those who prefer a fixed price model.

What is Included in a ServiceCare Plan?

As stated above, everything in terms of parts and labour that is scheduled to be carried out at each service during the life of the plan, including the Recommended Additional Items. This means that items that are planned to be replaced on a time or mileage interval as part of the manufacturer’s recommended service schedule, e.g. engine oil, gearbox oil, filters, spark plugs, etc. are included but it does not include wear parts such as brake pads, brake discs, or parts that have failed (unless they are a scheduled service item in their own right) replacement of which will be subject to an additional charge.

Timing of Payments and Services

When you purchase a ServiceCare plan you are buying a number of future services that can be consumed at any interval you prefer, i.e. they do not have to be exactly 12 months apart although typically this is what will happen unless you are a particularly high-mileage driver. If you choose to make monthly payments the payment period may be aligned with the services to be consumed but that is coincidental. For example, you may purchase three services and pay for them in 36 instalments but have the services carried out over less than three years, or more than three years. The monthly payments may therefore continue after the last service, or end before, but note that the current Terms and Conditions specify that the final service covered by your plan (regardless of whether it is paid monthly or in advance in full) must be completed within a maximum of 6 months of the plan’s expiry date, so there isn’t total flexibility. You must purchase a ServiceCare Plan before the first service under the plan is carried out and, in the case of a plan paid in monthly instalments, have made a minimum number of payments prior to taking a service. Check with your Mercedes-Benz dealer or online for current restrictions.

Must I have Services carried out at the Dealer I buy a ServiceCare Plan from?

ServiceCare Plans can be purchased from your dealer or online, but they are always administered centrally, and you can have the services performed at any Mercedes-Benz Authorised Workshop (normally Main Dealers). The price of the ServiceCare plan for any given car is the same throughout the country, unlike dealer labour rates that vary by location.

What if I sell the car or want to cancel a ServiceCare Plan?

If you sell a car that has a monthly-paid ServiceCare plan that has already had all the services due under that plan carried out, you must continue to make any further outstanding monthly payments until the end of the term.

If you sell a car that has a monthly-paid ServiceCare plan that has not had all the services due under that plan carried out, you may cancel the plan. At the time of cancellation Mercedes-Benz ServiceCare Admin will compare the payments you have already made with the amount they have been invoiced by the dealer(s) for all services carried out to that point. If the service costs incurred exceed the payments made, you will be liable for the difference; if it is the other way around, you will be refunded the difference. In either case there is a cancellation charge applied that will reduce the value of the payments you have already made, so you could be required to make a further payment to exit the plan.

If you sell a car that has a paid up-front ServiceCare plan that has not had all the services due under that plan carried out, the remaining services will be transferred to the new owner.

Is a ServiceCare Plan Right for Me?

Unfortunately, there are so many combinations and permutations to consider, only you can make that judgement.

If there’s a contractual factor compelling you to use a Main Dealer for service, or you have a preference to do so (perhaps for ease of warranty administration, or just location of the service facility), a ServiceCare Plan will be cheaper over its lifetime than paying the rack rate each time you have a service carried out. Cynics may say that the rack rates for servicing are inflated to make the ServiceCare Plan look attractive, but they are the bald facts.

How much cheaper depends upon a number of factors that are very vehicle & service-history dependent. For example, a ‘B’ service costs more than an ‘A’ service, so the general wisdom is that a three year / three services plan covering B-A-B services rather than A-B-A offers better value. However, this can be over-simplistic if (for example) the next service due is an ‘A’ service and a gearbox ATF change (typically in the region of £300 at a Main Dealer) is also due. Regarding gearbox ATF change intervals, these are very sensitive to the precise model and year of manufacture of the car and have changed repeatedly so beware casual advice: check with a Main Dealer or a competent Indy based on your car’s VIN.

You can better understand the Recommended Additional Items that will be required over the period of a ServiceCare plan by consulting the Electronic Service Sheet for Mercedes-Benz Passenger Cars (ESS - see link below), and adjusting the date of registration and mileage to simulate future services.

Even for new cars under warranty, and especially for older cars and those out of warranty, it is almost certain that servicing costs at an Authorised Independent will be cheaper than a ServiceCare plan but you must also factor in the value to you of Mobilo and the perforation and corrosion warranty. However, if the cost of future services is the primary driver for your decision, you are strongly advised to obtain quotations from potential service providers in order to carry out a like-for-like comparison.

Useful Links

Mercedes-Benz Service Care Selection tool

Mercedes-Benz UK | Electronic Service Sheet

Thanks to @markjay & @Will for their contributions to this FAQ
 
D

Deleted member 65149

Guest
Excellent Phil - answers a lot of the questions that regularly pop up. Is this already a ‘sticky’ (?) at the top of this section? If not, I think that would be a useful place for it.
 

stevenicks

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A very useful and informative thread. Thank you for posting and sharing. 👌
 

JHS

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Very useful, thanks.
 

Rubyred

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Thank you for posting all that info Phil.
I took out a service plan for my 2017 c200 AMG Line. It was cheaper on line than buying direct from main dealer where I bought the car from.
Keith
 

glojo

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S211 Sprinter 213CDI, & the new T-class
Also a thing worth considering is that with the Mobilo warranty we are covered anywhere in Europe. No idea ofg the actual terms but Mobilo will put you up in a hotel for a period of time. Mobilo WILL arrange for a free hire car for 'X' number of days, and of course Mobilo will come out to your home address.

Mobilo can be your local dealer's technician or in other locations, I think it is either the AA or RAC?? We have our local dealer so I have NO idea about those alternatives.

A BIG pat on the back for Stphil, and excellent and very informative document, and hopefully my observations are taken in the spirit they are meant?

Much respect to those independents that have the latest updates for our cars as I know this is not a cheap that is offered by Mercedes-Benz to those that want their software.
 

AmyBudshik

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Apr 29, 2021
Messages
2
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MB 500SL
Disclaimer

The authors of this FAQ are not affiliated with Mercedes-Benz in any way. The information in this FAQ is provided in good faith and based on knowledge the authors have acquired through their personal research and experience. The accuracy of the information provided cannot be guaranteed. Neither the authors nor this Forum can accept any liability for damages resulting from relying upon information provided here. Please check with your Mercedes-Benz dealer or other service partner before making any decision based on information or advice provided below.

Servicing – The Basics

Mercedes-Benz moved from flexible servicing to fixed-interval servicing around 2008. Pre-2008 cars will still have the older ASSYST that brings-up the ‘Service Due’ message based on usage profile which for low mileage cars could stretch the interval between services up to two years. However, all modern Mercedes-Benz passenger cars in the UK are now serviced on a fixed time / mileage basis. In other words, they are serviced annually or after a fixed mileage interval, whichever comes sooner. For high-performance AMG cars (e.g. C63, E63 etc., not AMG-Line trim spec) the mileage interval is 12,500 miles while for other cars it is 15,500 miles.

Services alternate between ‘A’ and ‘B’ services, with the first being an ‘A’ service. The ‘A’ Service is a basic inspection plus those items needed at every service, such as engine oil and filter change. The ‘B’ service covers all the items from the ‘A’ service, plus further inspection items such as headlamp aim and also (typically) the replacement of the cabin charcoal filter.

The final element is what Mercedes call ‘Recommended Additional Items’. The term ‘recommended’ is something of a misnomer because they are a mandatory part of the ‘Manufacturer’s Recommended Service Schedule’ and if they are not carried out then the free roadside assistance cover (Mobilo) and the 30-year perforation and corrosion warranty will not be renewed, even if the service is carried out by a Main Dealer. Recommended Additional Items include things such as brake fluid change (every other year from year two), spark plugs (generally repeated every fourth service), automatic gearbox fluid (ATF) change (at model-dependent intervals), etc.

Like most modern cars, a Mercedes-Benz contains a good deal of electronics controlled by software, and updates to this software can only be carried out by people licenced by Mercedes to do so. This is limited to Main Dealers and Authorised Independent Repairers (Indies) who will have invested in the appropriate diagnostics equipment and who pay Mercedes for a licence to use it.

Current Mercedes-Benz cars do not have a ‘service book’ that gets stamped, but instead have a Digital Service Book (DSB) where the service records for your car are stored. Only Mercedes-Benz dealers and authorised Indies can update the DSB. Pre-2008 cars will have a physical ‘service book’ (unless it’s been lost!), but services carried out from 2008 by the dealer network will have been recorded on a DSB for the car.

Servicing – Do I Have to Use a Main Dealer for Servicing?

The short answer to that is, “maybe”. Read on for the longer answer.

The primary considerations are:
  • Any contractual terms imposed by a finance agreement you may have on the car
  • Warranty Terms
If your car is not the subject of any finance agreement and doesn’t have a current warranty then you are free to choose servicing by a Main Dealer, an Indy, your local garage, a mate down the road, or you can do it yourself. The primary consideration is the effect the service record may have on the car’s future value when you sell it. Typically, cars (especially recent ones) with a Main Dealer or authorised Indy service history fetch the best price, but the difference diminishes as cars age.

If you have a finance agreement on the car (Lease, PCP or HP) then you need to consult the terms of that agreement as it will normally specify in the case of Lease or PCP, and may specify in the case of HP, who can service the car. Often this will be “a VAT-registered garage”, but it may specify an authorised Mercedes-Benz service centre (this could be a Main Dealer or an Indy), or it may specify that it must be a Mercedes-Benz Main Dealer. If you do not have servicing carried out by the prescribed organisation(s) you will be in breach of the finance agreement which means that it can be terminated by the finance provider.

Warranty terms are generally less of an issue as UK Consumer Law says that so long as servicing is carried out in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendation and that parts and materials of appropriate quality are used, then the warranty cannot be voided. That said, proving those conditions have been met (especially for a car under the original manufacturer warranty) is generally easiest if the work is carried out by either a Main Dealer or an authorised Indy.

The final consideration is the renewal of the free roadside assistance cover (Mobilo) and the 30-year perforation and corrosion warranty which only happens if the car is serviced by a Main Dealer.

What about a Service Plan?

As an alternative to paying a Mercedes-Benz main dealer when you have each service carried out, Mercedes offer the ServiceCare scheme.

This provides all parts and labour, including the Recommended Additional Items for a minimum of two and a maximum of four services in return for a fixed monthly fee or a single up-front payment. This effectively guarantees the price of your servicing for the life of the plan and makes budgeting for service easy for those who prefer a fixed price model.

What is Included in a ServiceCare Plan?

As stated above, everything in terms of parts and labour that is scheduled to be carried out at each service during the life of the plan, including the Recommended Additional Items. This means that items that are planned to be replaced on a time or mileage interval as part of the manufacturer’s recommended service schedule, e.g. engine oil, gearbox oil, filters, spark plugs, etc. are included but it does not include wear parts such as brake pads, brake discs, or parts that have failed (unless they are a scheduled service item in their own right) replacement of which will be subject to an additional charge.

Timing of Payments and Services

When you purchase a ServiceCare plan you are buying a number of future services that can be consumed at any interval you prefer, i.e. they do not have to be exactly 12 months apart although typically this is what will happen unless you are a particularly high-mileage driver. If you choose to make monthly payments the payment period may be aligned with the services to be consumed but that is coincidental. For example, you may purchase three services and pay for them in 36 instalments but have the services carried out over less than three years, or more than three years. The monthly payments may therefore continue after the last service, or end before, but note that the current Terms and Conditions specify that the final service covered by your plan (regardless of whether it is paid monthly or in advance in full) must be completed within a maximum of 6 months of the plan’s expiry date, so there isn’t total flexibility. You must purchase a ServiceCare Plan before the first service under the plan is carried out and, in the case of a plan paid in monthly instalments, have made a minimum number of payments prior to taking a service. Check with your Mercedes-Benz dealer or online for current restrictions.

Must I have Services carried out at the Dealer I buy a ServiceCare Plan from?

ServiceCare Plans can be purchased from your dealer or online, but they are always administered centrally, and you can have the services performed at any Mercedes-Benz Authorised Workshop (normally Main Dealers). The price of the ServiceCare plan for any given car is the same throughout the country, unlike dealer labour rates that vary by location.

What if I sell the car or want to cancel a ServiceCare Plan?

If you sell a car that has a monthly-paid ServiceCare plan that has already had all the services due under that plan carried out, you must continue to make any further outstanding monthly payments until the end of the term.

If you sell a car that has a monthly-paid ServiceCare plan that has not had all the services due under that plan carried out, you may cancel the plan. At the time of cancellation Mercedes-Benz ServiceCare Admin will compare the payments you have already made with the amount they have been invoiced by the dealer(s) for all services carried out to that point. If the service costs incurred exceed the payments made, you will be liable for the difference; if it is the other way around, you will be refunded the difference. In either case there is a cancellation charge applied that will reduce the value of the payments you have already made, so you could be required to make a further payment to exit the plan.

If you sell a car that has a paid up-front ServiceCare plan that has not had all the services due under that plan carried out, the remaining services will be transferred to the new owner.

Is a ServiceCare Plan Right for Me?

Unfortunately, there are so many combinations and permutations to consider, only you can make that judgement.

If there’s a contractual factor compelling you to use a Main Dealer for service, or you have a preference to do so (perhaps for ease of warranty administration, or just location of the service facility), a ServiceCare Plan will be cheaper over its lifetime than paying the rack rate each time you have a service carried out. Cynics may say that the rack rates for servicing are inflated to make the ServiceCare Plan look attractive, but they are the bald facts.

How much cheaper depends upon a number of factors that are very vehicle & service-history dependent. For example, a ‘B’ service costs more than an ‘A’ service, so the general wisdom is that a three year / three services plan covering B-A-B services rather than A-B-A offers better value. However, this can be over-simplistic if (for example) the next service due is an ‘A’ service and a gearbox ATF change (typically in the region of £300 at a Main Dealer) is also due. Regarding gearbox ATF change intervals, these are very sensitive to the precise model and year of manufacture of the car and have changed repeatedly so beware casual advice: check with a Main Dealer or a competent Indy based on your car’s VIN.

You can better understand the Recommended Additional Items that will be required over the period of a ServiceCare plan by consulting the Electronic Service Sheet for Mercedes-Benz Passenger Cars (ESS - see link below), and adjusting the date of registration and mileage to simulate future services.

Even for new cars under warranty, and especially for older cars and those out of warranty, it is almost certain that servicing costs at an Authorised Independent will be cheaper than a ServiceCare plan but you must also factor in the value to you of Mobilo and the perforation and corrosion warranty. However, if the cost of future services is the primary driver for your decision, you are strongly advised to obtain quotations from potential service providers in order to carry out a like-for-like comparison.

Useful Links

Mercedes-Benz Service Care Selection tool

Mercedes-Benz UK | Electronic Service Sheet

Thanks to @markjay & @Will for their contributions to this FAQ

thanks a lot - very useful information.
Would someone recommend a decent online service for VIN check in Australia, similar to Carfax (USA)?
 

dismark

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Perth
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2014 Mercedes E350 Wagon
thanks a lot - very useful information.
Would someone recommend a decent online service for VIN check in Australia, similar to Carfax (USA)?
There are few of them in AU, I used this one fREVs Check Australia — QuickRevs.com.au last time and wasn't disappointed. Anyway these online services give the car info of any records on the vehicle only. It's not a guarantee of any accidents or other issues. Best to find a trustworthy mechanic that can go through the vehicle for issues and accidents. It's only a guide but not the last word if the vehicle has a good history
 

AmyBudshik

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Joined
Apr 29, 2021
Messages
2
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Zurich
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MB 500SL
There are few of them in AU, I used this one fREVs Check Australia — QuickRevs.com.au last time and wasn't disappointed. Anyway these online services give the car info of any records on the vehicle only. It's not a guarantee of any accidents or other issues. Best to find a trustworthy mechanic that can go through the vehicle for issues and accidents. It's only a guide but not the last word if the vehicle has a good history
sweet cheers
 

Bobby Dazzler

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20,565
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Mittel England
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ML AMG-line Black Series
I just posted this in a different thread, and it may be useful for someone else at a later date, so I’m pasting it in here.

- - - - -

There’s no single answer on whether a Service Care Plan is right for you. It depends upon so many things including the model, the age, and the mileage.

It also depends upon the pricing at your Mercedes-Benz dealer (as it varies) and the willingness of that dealer to negotiate on the price of individual services.

And last but not least it depends upon the alternatives available to you, for example whether you can do the work yourself or are happy to use an independent garage.

So here’s how to work it out.

First you can use the Electronic Service Sheet (ESS) to find out the schedule - some items are mileage dependent, and other items are age dependent:


Use the online quote tool to find out what’s scheduled for your car, and pricing. You can try different dealers, some are cheaper than others, even neighbouring dealerships:


Think about your annual mileage and get prices for next 2 or 3 services, by changing the age of the car and mileage in the online quote tool.

If your next service (or two) are big ones then you could consider a service plan, many people save money with the plan, especially if it’s a B-A-B three year plan:


Finally phone around independent garages for pricing. It’s unlikely that a garage which doesn’t specialise in Mercedes servicing will follow the schedule.

Instead they will probably do their “standard” major or minor service. They are unlikely to do additional items like spark plugs, brake fluid, etc unless you ask.

So to get a like for like price you will need to specifically tell them to quote for the items list in ESS or online quote tool using the links above.

To make a fully informed decision you should also ask the independent garage to quote for the next few services, again specifying the additional items at that time.

You now know the schedule, price of individual services at Mercedes main dealers, price of service plan and price with independent garages.

Choose the option which is best for you. Typically if you have lots of expensive additional items in the next two services, then the service plan is worth considering.

If that feels like hard work, and you like the idea of using a Mercedes main dealer for servicing then going for a Service Care Plan will probably be best in most cases

I hope that helps.
 

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