What is the Maintenance cost of a MB? - Page 3 - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #21 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-18-2011, 08:09 PM
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New cars tend to be overpriced and new Mercedes in particular. We buy them more for love & passion than for strict financial reasons.

However 1) used car prices have increased in the past few years to the point that (dealer-discounted) new cars can be a relatively decent buy and 2) Mercedes quality improved appreciably during the past several years. Many five- to ten-year-old Mercedes are maintenance nightmares, especially the more expensive/complex models.
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post #22 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-19-2011, 05:52 AM
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True that the price of used cars has been steadily going up the last few years, and dealer/factory incentives make new models attractive. Just heard on the radio yesterday that compact used rice burners shot up close to 30% in the last year. I can only imagine what the price of used Bobba trucks and SUVs is doing (nose dive due to high price of gas).

Ditto on maintenance/repair for high-end Benz models. Worst seem to be from the time Benz was with Chrysler. When you see the Chrysler stamp, run don't walk. I see guys trading in their AMGs as soon as the warranty is up.
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post #23 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-19-2011, 09:56 AM
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New cars tend to be overpriced and new Mercedes in particular. We buy them more for love & passion than for strict financial reasons.

However 1) used car prices have increased in the past few years to the point that (dealer-discounted) new cars can be a relatively decent buy and 2) Mercedes quality improved appreciably during the past several years. Many five- to ten-year-old Mercedes are maintenance nightmares, especially the more expensive/complex models.
I take it, that mechanics learned new technology as well as owners learned how to DIY.
Back in 1998 ML and E class were first generation of popular cars fully controlled by computers. If you read topics from the first years, quite often mechanics replaced one computer module for $1800, than second module for $2500 only to finally solve the problems by replacing $150 sensor.
Those thing now can be diagnosed by this forum members in minutes, but it was a magic for everybody 12 years ago.
New car prices are going up. MB being luxury models in US goes different route, but have you seen new $60,000 pickup trucks?
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post #24 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-19-2011, 01:05 PM
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Whether you are a DIYer or use an Indy or do a combo of both, the fact still remains that Daimler parts are very expensive in relation to other brands.

In addition, sometimes it's not possible to do all of the repairs yourself without a larger investment in particular tools and certain diagnostics that you may use only a few times during ownership, and therefore is simply better economics to use an Indy or a dealer for some repairs (and this can apply to other brands and not only MB.)

Due to heavy MB brand depreciation (and with AMGs even more so), many folks (especially those who are new to the brand) are buying used MBs as a way to get into an expensive "luxury" automobile at minimal cost. But once they realize the idiosyncratic nature of these cars, and the cost to maintain them, they can sometimes get cold feet. Which is why the constant "warranty threads" and car purchasing questions on all MB forums.

MBs are more expensive to repair and maintain than a run-of-the-mill Japanese car or similar. Parts are extraordinarily high (and in my experience higher than BMW and Porsche.) Certainly one can shop for discounted parts or check the scrap yards but that also takes time, and can cost you money in time spent.

An AMG is really not much more expensive to maintain and repair than a non-AMG (I've owned both AMG and non-AMG Mercedes.) There are certain protocols in some of the maintenance (AMG recommends no top side oil changes and to drain with both plugs and also the oil cooler, etc..) The performance brakes are definitely more expensive to replace. The motor would be an expensive rebuild, but there is nothing special about it in terms of maintenance. An AMG is essentially the same as any MB, aside from the motor, tuned suspension and transmission, and the brakes. Because of the torque, rear tires do get used up much quicker (but that's also highly based on the driver's behavior; overall the AMGs seem to be more finicky but that's primarily due to the fact that a lot of owners drive them aggressively and even take them to the drag strip.

The main reason you hear of AMG owners fearing being out of warranty is primarily because they've bought an 8-year old performance car (e.g., an E55, and sometimes heavily modded) on the cheap due to depreciation. Many of them are first time Benz owners and have found a fast car which is easy to modify and which costs the same as a new Honda Accord. But the car was expensive new and is still going to be expensive to own. I can buy an Italian exotic for a lot less than a new one, bit keeping it maintained is still costly. And once they buy their first airmatic strut (Arnott doesn't sell the rears) or fuel sending unit, they want to bail out if no longer under warranty. Although it needs to be mentioned that there are many AMG (and regular MB) owners out there without a warranty and who are doing fine. But the majority of those folks aren't neophytes to the brand, either. They knew what they were getting into.

Which brings me to this: it's all relative. Which is my premise about buying new versus used. If those who profess that they are buying used because buying new is not frugal and is "stupid," then why even consider a used Mercedes? There are many other choices of good transportation that will cost less to own (if even based on part costs alone.) Why are you buying a used luxury car? If you are saving for a rainy day or being "smart" and putting money into appreciating assets, or have family obligations, etc., then why not get a much more frugal and "sensible" car to begin with?

Why? Because it's all relative to each and everyone's personal situation in life, and their own needs and desires......
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post #25 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-19-2011, 01:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kajtek1 View Post
I take it, that mechanics learned new technology as well as owners learned how to DIY.
Back in 1998 ML and E class were first generation of popular cars fully controlled by computers. If you read topics from the first years, quite often mechanics replaced one computer module for $1800, than second module for $2500 only to finally solve the problems by replacing $150 sensor.
Those thing now can be diagnosed by this forum members in minutes, but it was a magic for everybody 12 years ago.
New car prices are going up. MB being luxury models in US goes different route, but have you seen new $60,000 pickup trucks?
All good points! And I should add that I have a personal antipathy toward active suspensions of any kind, borne of hard experience! They all seem to be good for 20K or 30K miles*, depending on conditions. Which reminds me, the new (revised for 2012) C-Class advertises "Agility Control" standard on all models (I think it is an option currently); I'll let them explain:

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbusa.com
AGILITY CONTROL automatically adjusts the individual shock absorbers based on the road surface and the driver's current driving style. Valving inside each shock absorber automatically firms up handling during stronger body motions for sharper handling feedback and stability, and reduces the damping rates for a smoother, more composed ride during gentler motions.
I assume this will be simpler & cheaper to maintain than ABC or Airmatic??

---------------------------------------------------
* I should add, this low mileage is typical for those who (like me) don't drive their cars very much, and so equates to 3 or 4 years or more!
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post #26 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-19-2011, 05:12 PM
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Whether you are a DIYer or use an Indy or do a combo of both, the fact still remains that Daimler parts are very expensive in relation to other brands.
.
Not per my experience. I drive Ford Superduty most of the time and parts for it are more expensive than for MB. They are bigger parts, but than most of them are made in Mexico.
Aftermarket alternator for Ford cost close to $300, while members in W210 found internet supplier of OEM alternators for about $210.
Some time ago I made a topic about this.
http://www.benzworld.org/forums/gene...lot-parts.html
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post #27 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-19-2011, 05:28 PM
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What is the Maintenance cost of a MB?
DIY = Dealer's price/4 = Indy's price/3 = Friend's price/2 **

** Some parts/work can be purcchased/done only at dealership.
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post #28 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-19-2011, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Kajtek1 View Post
Not per my experience. I drive Ford Superduty most of the time and parts for it are more expensive than for MB. They are bigger parts, but than most of them are made in Mexico.
Aftermarket alternator for Ford cost close to $300, while members in W210 found internet supplier of OEM alternators for about $210.
Some time ago I made a topic about this.
http://www.benzworld.org/forums/gene...lot-parts.html
I just read the link and I got nothing from it. In fact JoeVal responded in a realistic way as to why that specific part cost what it did.

And the fact that an aftermarket alternator cost you $90 more than a W210 OEM from an internet supplier doesn't mean anything to me either.

If you could provide the TCO of say, an Acura MDX or Infiniti FX over a ML550, then that would be interesting to me. Or a Ford Expedition, etc..
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post #29 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-19-2011, 08:59 PM
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I answered my own question

Here's the TCO data. Now granted if you are a 100% DIYer, then these numbers will more than likely be substantially less. But it is still COMPARATIVE data, nonetheless. And I rest with my premise that whether new or used, a Mercedes is still a more expensive proposition. And therefore if frugality is the key in one's life, then a used (or new) Mercedes may not be the appropriate choice for one's transportation (based solely on economics.)

Ford F-150 Super Crew (sorry, couldn't find a Super Duty 250, 350, or 450. But with a tow rating of 24400 lbs and primarily for commercial use, it's not exactly a good comparison against a Mercedes, as it is. I would expect repair and maintenance to be actually higher on those trucks.)
maintenance: $4,553
repairs: $2,730

Mercedes E320
maintenance: $5,728
repairs: $8,553

Mercedes GLK
maintenance: $7,153
repairs: $4,385

Acura MDX
maintenance: $4,863
repairs: $2,285

Before anyone lists specific personal experiences as a response, bear in mind that this is comparative only. YMMV, of course.

And there are these caveats:

Note that TCO is a comparative tool, not a predictive tool. Your actual cost of owning a particular vehicle will vary depending on your personal circumstances, such as your driving history and the number of miles you drive.

Maintenance is the estimated expense of two types of maintenance: scheduled and unscheduled. Scheduled maintenance is the performance of factory-recommended items at periodic mileage and/or calendar intervals. Unscheduled maintenance includes wheel alignment and the replacement of items such as the battery, brakes, headlamps, hoses, exhaust system parts, taillight/turn signal bulbs, tires and wiper blades/inserts.

Repairs are the estimated expenses for repairs not covered by the vehicle manufacturer's warranties over the five years from the date of purchase, assuming 15,000 miles are driven annually. This expense is based on the cost of a typical "zero deductible" extended warranty for the vehicle, minus the estimated amount of that cost that consists of the warranty provider's overhead and profit.

Anyway, I think this topic has seen its course.

I'll bow out of it now but with what I believe to be realistic: 1) buying either new or used is fine depending on your own personal financial circumstances and comfort level. 2) a Mercedes Benz has a higher cost of ownership both new or used in comparisons with many other brands (even as a DIYer.) 3) Most people who are solely concerned with their financial position normally will not (and probably shouldn't) buy a Mercedes Benz either new or used. There are perhaps some better options from which to choose (from a purely financial standpoint.)
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post #30 of 37 (permalink) Old 05-19-2011, 10:31 PM
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Here we go again.
The quoted comparison shows cost of maintaining on MB things like Bluetooth, navigation, dual, or quadruple climate zones and hundreds other things the other cars simply don't have. Sure MB mechanics charge per hr a bit more than Ford mechanics (and wash the car after the job), but again -I haven't found yet any Ford parts where Mercedes equivalent would not be cheaper.
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