SLK55 service - not happy

gaz_l

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Well, it's service time for the SLK and I've no objections to that, I look after my cars. So I ring the dealer, ask for a quote for the B service and an MOT while it's in - that's due next month. The warranty also runs out at the end of the month and I was thinking about renewing for peace of mind, so I'm prepared for a reasonably big bill.

Got the quote back for the service, raise an eyebrow at the cost of oil (as it takes 8 litres it's a fair few quid) but I suppose I could supply my own. There are a few "extras" on there, change of brake fluid - not a big ticket item and safety critical so fine, a couple of filters which aren't especially cheap but I'm not too bothered as it's coming up on 5 years old now and these sort of things have a service life. All in all, it's not looking too bad, I knew before I bought it that it's not a cheap car to run.

Then we get to the plugs.

Apparently, my car needs new plugs (all 16 of them!) despite having only covered 14000 miles. This is a £300+ tickle, and I object to having to pay for something clearly not needed. Yes, the car is 5 years old and if it was on average mileage it probably would have racked up 60K and the plugs would need changing. This isn't the case, and as spark plugs are made of metal and ceramic (neither particularly short-lived) their service life is determined by the number of sparks they produce not the passage of time. Correct me if I'm wrong.

So I ring the service manager and explain my disappointment that I'm expected to pay for work that is clearly unnecessary. He agrees with me, but tells me there is nothing he can do, if I don't pay for everything MB's computer tells me I need I won't get my service book stamped and I can forget about Mobilo and warranty (and although he was very polite, that was the message he was putting across).

I've really got the hump about this, mostly because it's a stupid business decision by MB (a company I expected better of, from past experience). Try and screw your customers and they won't come back. Yes, I can afford to pay for the plugs if I have to but it's a point of principle as this is nothing to do with engineering excellence or customer care, it's just about MB's bottom line.

I will be looking at my options now, I am seriously considering taking the car out of the MB network. Yes, it will affect residuals to some extent but as I've no intent to sell the car in the foreseeable future that's not a concern at this point.

Grump over, I just needed to let off some steam.

Cheers,

Gaz
 
D

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Well Gaz, I only ever have the A or B service done at Mercedes, no extras whatsoever (my indy takes care of those) and they always stamp my book?
 

JohnDeere8530

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dont blame you, ring HQ and ask if plugs have a shelf life. They (if they stick to their guns) will have to say yes. Then ask why do they not have a sell by date on the box in that case as they are baiscally saying they degrade independent of use.

I think if you hassle HQ and dealer, as you have so little miles they will give in. I would do it not for the money but to prove the point. I believe you are correct in what you are saying, plugs should be changed after so many miles not age
 

npuk

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Well Gaz, I only ever have the A or B service done at Mercedes, no extras whatsoever (my indy takes care of those) and they always stamp my book?

I take it you have the additional items done before you have the service at the Mercedes main dealer? Does your indie stamp the service book to show the optional items have been done e.g. brake fluid change every 2 years, pollen filter etc or do you show them the invoices for the work the indie has done and they accept this without any fuss?
 
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I take it in for the A or B service and they stamp the book.

When I have any additional items done to schedule with my Indy, I keep the receipts.

I've owned Mercedes on and off for 4 years and never had a problem with this.
 

jaymanek

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Lots of customers with newer cars have work done by us and then take it to the dealer for an oil change to get a stamp. Sounds like this one is just being awkward
 

BlackC55

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There is a reason why you should change the plugs. They should be done at 50k or 4 years. If you don't change them at the required time they can be very difficult to get out. Aluminium head vs steel spark plug. For the sake of what it costs. Get them done.
 

JLR1969

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Personally I would take it out of the MB dealer network. When a car gets to 4 years old it's not that important to have a main dealer history. At 5 years old less so. Provided you have all the receipts and can show it's been serviced properly it's not a problem IMO.

I thought the 55s had the plugs changed at 4 years not 5
 

npuk

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Does say 80,000 km / 4 years in my book for SLK55.

Why do service books list a replacement interval for spark plugs but not glow plugs?
 

A210AMG

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Seems like a money earner to me. A 5 yr old SLK and the millage you do your better using and Indy in my book.

Made me smile my wife's b class one day says 9800 miles to service next day 30 days.... It's hardly used but the count down goes on time not millage......however if we had an older model of the SAME car it would be two years or 14000 miles???

I would think your service, mot, warranty your looking on around £2000 or more?

If your not planning on selling it for a few yrs yet I see no harm in leaving it to indys who I feel actually care more than the dealers anyway.
 

bpsorrel

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Just thinking the same thing - just take them out periodically, clean them and put them back in - job done! :)

I've only ever changed plugs on mileage and never had an issue yet...
 

nick mercedes

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Could you simply remove them and put them back in with copaslip or similar?

If you're going to do that you may as well put in new ones.

What next, take the oil out, put it through a sieve and put it back in again?
 

dulayj

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Brothers CLK cab has only done 20K since new (2000)-its always been garaged and only occasionally takes it out in the summer(weather permitting)-i know it hasnt had sparks changed!-May be one to take to Olly at PCS
 

Bobby Dazzler

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Try a different dealer.

I'd get the plugs changed anyway - if you do it yourself, or someone else does it for you, just show the dealer your receipt for the parts, and I don't think you'll have a problem.
 

JLR1969

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Plugs cost about £120 why would you not put new ones in if you were taking the old ones out.
 

prprandall51

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I guess the issue is: if you don't have the plugs changed and do succeed in getting the book stamped, would you consider it MB's responsibility to pay for recitification work to the cylinder head if a plug sheared off in the head at some point in the future?

There is a reason why MB give a time period as well as a mileage period for changing plugs - and it isn't to milk money from its customers. I guess it is no different to having the timing belt changed on cars fitted with them.

Get them changed, otherwise, a few years from now you'll be thinking to yourself:

"Did the garage change those plugs at 5 years or not? Well to tell you the truth, I forgot in all this excitement. But being as this is an SLK55, the most powerful SLK in the world and will blow a driver's head clean off, I've got to ask myself a question: do I feel lucky? Well do I, punk?
I've got to ask myself one question: do I feel lucky?
 

WG M-B

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Trying to remove the plugs once siezed in is extrwemely irritating. Especially if more than a few are siezed!!!
 

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