Date registered: Jul 2005
Location: Long Island
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Quoted: 208 Post(s)
Actually, I do all my own work and very rarely go outside the local dealership for the parts. I'll give you an example of how it is working with this dealer. I had purchased a rear muffler for my '88 300e a few years ago. 13 months later the pipe leading to the muffler cracked on the weld while I was driving. The muffler dragged on the roadway until I could stop and remove it (luckily I just had the two "donuts" to remove to get the muffler off and to continue on my way). I wasn't terribly happy this happened but figured I must have caused this and never even thought of complaining to the dealer. I went back to the dealer to buy another muffler and was waiting for it to be handed to me when I casually told the parts guy what had happened. He put the muffler down and went into the computer system and found my original invoice. He gave me the new muffler and told me it was covered under warranty and in fact ALL of their parts have a one year warranty. I didn't ask for this treatment although some would have demanded it.
In addition, the price of the OEM muffler was $30 more than what I could have purchased on line. It was a no brainer to buy OEM from the dealer at that price differential. How much would it have cost me to send the muffler back to an on-line parts supplier if they even honored a one year warranty on a part that had been installed by the owner? (I just went round and round with an aftermarket engine pipe for the same car and found the aftermarket part was cheaper than Mercedes's part but it was defective in four ways (cheaper metal, flared fittings were too large, overall assembled length was two inches shorter than the original pipe, and the assembled replacement pipe leaned against the block, preventing proper positioning of it under the car). It was pure junk and it cost me $25 to return it to the place I bought it from. They refunded my purchase price but withheld the cost of shipping it to me. I didn't make the POS, Davco did but I lost over $30 on the situation and a lot of time.
Water pumps is another good example. I can get a water pump from the dealer cheaper or not much more than a local parts supplier. The difference is that I am getting a Benz product not whatever the parts supplier is pushing - and at a reasonable price. There isn't a part that I need that the dealer doesn't have within two days. Most of what I need he has in stock. Agreed, this isn't the case with poser dealers who fly the Mercedes flag but run the dealership as if they were retiring next month; these guys have nothing in stock and you should run from them.
I'm sure the attraction of the cheapest price for a good quality part is a great reason for many people to use on-line suppliers. I might be a "dinosaur" in that I value ease of doing business and service over cost (as long as the cost is reasonable).
'73 Alfa GTV
Last edited by tuttebenne; 01-28-2011 at 03:06 PM.