MB Stealer Service Recommendations - Page 4 - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #31 of 53 (permalink) Old 06-25-2007, 09:47 PM
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While I have had ONE very bad dealer experience [they sold me a certified car that turned out to have been totaled previously which they knew about] my overall dealer experience has been very good. That was not, however the original point of this thread.

The original point of the thread was that, after 89,000 miles there is no VALUE ADD by going to the dealer, no matter what his service quality is. In most metropolitan areas [such as that of the original poster] there are Indys that provide excellent service, every bit as good at the dealer, using many, if not all the same parts at costs that are up to 40-50% less than the dealer costs.

Dealers make about 10% or less on their new cars [around $500 on the base C-Class] and anyone who has dealt with cars for any time will tell you that a dealer makes 90% of their profit from their SERVICE. Since techs make between $12-30 per hour, depending on geography, and service rates are between $90 and $150 per hour, depending on that same geography you can see that much in factored into that shiny silver building and all that free stuff you get. Also, you really don't want to know the rate structure for parts. Depending on if it is warranty, sold to dealer, sold to customer after warranty, sold to Indy, sold to private party the rates are up to 60% different. Guess who pays the most? Sold to customer after warranty - all that service and parts after the warranty has expired.

So this has nothing to do with good service or bad service, good dealers or bad dealers. It has everything to do with whether you want to spend an extra 30-40-50% on repairs at an MB dealer when there are Indys in the area who provide the same service [and hire the MB techs who got tired of working at the dealer for less money].

But as they say, it's your money.

McBear,
Kentucky

Being smart is knowing the difference, in a sticky situation between a well delivered anecdote and a well delivered antidote - bear.
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post #32 of 53 (permalink) Old 06-26-2007, 07:37 AM
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I think if there was a certified MB indy that was in a convenient location for me and they were honest and did good work I would be more inclined to use them, especially if I saved money. I have used an indy for stuff like replacing my drivers side mirror when it started to fog and they saved me a few hundred dollars from what the parts dept quoted at the dealers. However, my dealer compared to the indy I used to use isn't that far off in prices as my dealer always has some kind of services specials going on where typical services are discounted by at least 25%. I know of another dealer who is much more expensive and rarely has services specials. I also think if people have a bad experience with taking their car to a dealer they are much more inclined to use an indy. There are some things however I would not use an indy for such as my transmission service which I thought I was charged a reasonable price. Indies in my area are really not that much cheaper then a dealer. People in this area I live in have high incomes and pay the going rates and the indies make a pretty good living as they charge on the high side hourly.
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post #33 of 53 (permalink) Old 06-26-2007, 08:41 AM
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You made several good points McBear, but the original poster asked us to prioritize those suggested repairs, and to suggest which ones were easy DIYs due to budgetary constraints. Then, most of us jumped off-topic to dealers vs. Indys.

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post #34 of 53 (permalink) Old 06-26-2007, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Jayhawk
As usual, I could not disagree more. I love and use my dealer for everything...
But, as usual, you like to spend money. I agree with McBear 150% on this one. Dealers charge inflated prices for everything they do and most of them pad that bill when they can as well.

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post #35 of 53 (permalink) Old 06-26-2007, 09:18 AM
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I have to chime in here because the dealer where I service my car always gets the dealer of the year award in our area for excellent customer service and they are proud of that. When was car was delayed getting back to me because the SA was fired that day, my regular SA called me the very next day to apologize as he was out the day I took it in for the tranny service. I needed a tranny mount and they didn't charge me for it because of my bad experience with the SA that was fired. They always do small things for me without charge like a new set of batteries for my smart key and got me a great deal on some tires from an independant tire store that gave a better price then the dealer. My SA hooked me up on that deal and I got a free alignment for my SA referring me. Ok, I also have a good indy I thought. Haven't used the indy in more then a year because it just isn't convenient for me and at the dealer I get a nice C class loaner and it is on my way to work and open until 7pm so my car has been serviced there 95% of the time I had her. A friend had issues with the radiator on his E class and actually had a rebuilt one put in by the same indy so of course he took it back there. They said he needed a new radiator which is BS because the rebuilt one isn't old and the car was running fine and not over heating but small amounts of fluid leaking from radiator. He took the car to a MB Dealer and the dealer said first of all the wrong size radiator was on the car though it still works and all he needed was a hose! They put on the hose and fixed something in a gap so that the radiator size would actually fit the way it was supposed to. Cost?? $25!
Now I have lost much respect for my indy who I always trusted over the years. If I can avoid it I won't be going back. I will always have some money in a special account for the servicing of my car at the MB dealer. I really love my dealer and the service I get. I am a chick so the most I do is change the bulbs on my back lights... I know prices are inflated but I feel they are honest and fix what needs to be fixed. In fact when my regular SA was out that day the one who helped me tried to say I really needed a new flex disc and I told her I would wait and see what my regular SA thought. Turns out I won't need it until the next major service and it should be fine until such date. That is one of the reasons she was fired! Dishonest with customers who in turn complained.
Not all 'indys' are created equal. Unfortunately, not all dealers are, either.

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post #36 of 53 (permalink) Old 06-26-2007, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by cmitch
But, as usual, you like to spend money. I agree with McBear 150% on this one. Dealers charge inflated prices for everything they do and most of them pad that bill when they can as well.
Their prices are not inflated when you consider that they only use original OEM parts that were made for your MB; that their SA's and Tech's are extensively MB-trained, many in Germany, to know what is really required and to do the job right the first time; that they have the very best and latest technical equipment to service your car; that they are part of an international network of both physical and electronic connectedness; that your car is in their international database and that everything that has ever been done to your car is available to you if you request a VMI (Vehicle Master Inquiry); that they know exactly what needs to be done to your car based on MB's pre-planned schedule; etc., etc., etc... I could go on and on, but the bottom line is that I am a firm believer in the old adage "You get what you pay for." That is never more applicable than in MB maintenance and repair. IMO

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post #37 of 53 (permalink) Old 06-26-2007, 09:34 AM
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I got took for over $2,500 by the Stealership when I got my benz. luckily I found an indy before I sunk my bank account.

you guys ever wonder why Dealerships don't have the waiting room right by the mechanic shop so the customer can watch their cars being fixed via bay windows?

my new mechanic knows that I'm a mechanic too, and he allows me to stand right there in the shop and watch them work. that way, I KNOW they aren't tampering with fuses, sensors, hoses and wires that'll come back to bite you in the butt.
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post #38 of 53 (permalink) Old 06-26-2007, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by cmitch
Not all 'indys' are created equal. Unfortunately, not all dealers are, either.
No, but at least there are national standards, pre-established by MB itself, that govern the operation of dealer service centers. They may not all meet every requirement exactly the same, but at least there are standards every dealer has to meet to be an MB dealer/shop. That is a very big difference between authorized MB service and the "every-shop-for-itself" methods used by independents.

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post #39 of 53 (permalink) Old 06-26-2007, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by benz rider
I got took for over $2,500 by the Stealership when I got my benz. luckily I found an indy before I sunk my bank account.

you guys ever wonder why Dealerships don't have the waiting room right by the mechanic shop so the customer can watch their cars being fixed via bay windows?

my new mechanic knows that I'm a mechanic too, and he allows me to stand right there in the shop and watch them work. that way, I KNOW they aren't tampering with fuses, sensors, hoses and wires that'll come back to bite you in the butt.
My dealership has a glass wall on one side of the waiting room looking onto the huge shop area. It is great entertainment!

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post #40 of 53 (permalink) Old 06-26-2007, 09:54 AM
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I worked at two different Mercedes dealers, each was the same in that they really only cared about selling cars, and considered the service and parts end a necessary evil. Dealer parts prices are very high, as are service rates. Dealers pay more for parts and have more overhead. OTOH, they also tend to have superior facilities and diagnostic equipment.

You may find a good dealer that offers a good value on service, but your chances are a lot better on the indy market, since indy's live or die based on the one thing they do -- servicing your vehicle.

"If spending money you don't have is the height of stupidity, borrowing money to give it away is the height of insanity." -- anon
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