Servicing - it's either broken or it isn't

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by IanS320, Apr 2, 2014.

  1. IanS320

    IanS320 Active Member

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    In the cars I've had over the years servicing has always been an oil change followed by a check up.

    The thing is, in my opinion 100% of my car mechanical failures in life have either been time related consumables or an issue that was invisible to servicing.

    Let's face it, I bought a full single merc dealer car freshly serviced...and they missed horrific coking because it didn't show up on a diagnostic or a short run.

    I don't doubt that merc servicing is 'good' and I'll say without doubt that if you're in the early years of ownership of an expensive investment it may feel imperative (if ironically less of an issue than later).

    My OCD doesn't like "x years FMSH then specialist" but is my wallet correct?
     
  2. E270 Owner

    E270 Owner Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Some/all MB engines have "known issues" they are not covered under servicing but addressed at the point of failure and not replaced under preventative measures either.

    "X" part normally fails at 75,000 miles inspection shows its in perfect serviceable condition, do you replace it or leave it to fail ?

    MB parts are not reassuringly expensive because they are superior in manufacture and operation, they are just very expensive for the sake of making money, this coupled with eye boggling labour rates makes replacing working known issue parts an expensive exercise.

    If the coking problem is a known issue then it not surprising they didnt want to inspect and repair the problem, better for them you pull the issue if it creates an actual problem later or even better outside of any warranty claim.
     
  3. Scott_F

    Scott_F Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    That really would be a half-ar*ed service.

    Even on the older, basic cars of years ago a service should have included spark plugs, air filter, fuel filter etc.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    IanS320

    IanS320 Active Member

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    I didn't mean that literally but it's easier to explain when you've serviced a car in the gulf. The service there was about £150 for all services (largely because labour rates were lower and oil itself is cheaper) with anything additional on the service sheet charged at cost

    I asked at the time and this stood true for every merc, including the royal fleet. The numbers were the same at Nissan, Toyota etc....all based on the cost of z litres of oil, a couple of filters and a couple of hours of (very cheap) labour. They just don't see the service as part of the cash generation.
     
  5. krisby

    krisby Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    I'm like you, I don't tend to do service A, B, interim, full etc, I do stuff as I think it is necessary or my mechanic thinks it is necessary. Apart from my recent fuel pump failure on the Merc (after only 10 days of ownership and nothing to do with me) I have never been let down (tell a lie, an E34 did the same to me just after buying it years ago as well) by a car.
    When I buy a car my first port of call is a lube and filter service and a check around to make sure everything pukka.
    Then as I start noticing other things they are dealt with, i.e. knocks, misfires, smoke (never had that one actually), error codes etc.
    To me, receipts for those things whether from a main dealer or indie are far more valuable than a stupid stamp in a book that tells me nothing about any out of band maintenance, i.e. auto flush or AC condenser.
     
  6. BlackC55

    BlackC55 Authorised Forum Sponsor Authorised Forum Sponsor

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    The fuel pump failure could be caused by lack of fuel filter changes.
     
  7. krisby

    krisby Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Indeed, but out of my control as I had only just bought the car, and the lube service I did, had the fuel filter changed too. As I stated, the value of the stamps in the book is worthless as there is no evidence (by way of receipt or invoice) that it was ever done, despite being part of a scheduled service, in fact, should have happened a couple of times atleast during the 92000 miles before my ownership.
     
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  8. theogeor

    theogeor Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    Problem we have in the current time is that the technicians (not even called mechanics any more) are only able to follow the procedure and when it comes to troubleshooting is what the computer tells them. The old fashion proper mechanics had an ear from a different world. They were able to tell you by hearing the engine or by experiencing the issue where the actual problem was. Of course at the time the electronics were not as complex.
    Nowadays any problem that can not be identified by the computer is a hit and miss. They start replacing components with the hope that the problem will disappear. I have seen it first hand when we had an intermitted noise on or A class year and a bit ago. They were replacing under warranty unnecessary components until the hit the right one. On some of them I even told them that its unlikely that is the cause of the problem but as I was not paying I had no reason to argue with them
    If you look what they do during the service is basic things. The car is not actually been checked for all faults which is what you expect. By the way the problem is not specific to MB

    Theo
     
  9. krisby

    krisby Hardcore MB Enthusiast

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    So true, that is the main issue I have read on numerous car forums and by and large seems to be the issue with main dealer servicing, not saying indie's are exempt, but with indies they are either good and know their stuff, or are crap and know nothing. My only experience with a main dealer since returning to the UK was with Ford and having a couple of preventative maintenance tasks done (my guy was on holiday), they missed a major issue right next to what they worked one, infact they may even have caused the fault that occurred after I picked up the car, I was due to drive to Ireland so just as well I did a once over of the car that night and saw the coolant dribbling on the gearbox.
    Fortunately I have a very good "mechanic" that I can rely on, charges reasonable rates, doesn't recommend unnecessary work, in fact almost the opposite, just a genuine honest guy that does what I expect of a mechanic.
     

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