Date registered: May 2011
Vehicle: 1990 Mercedes Benz 200E
Location: South Africa
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I live 50 km from Durban along the north Coast of South Africa and have a 1990 Mercedes Benz 200E, which is my pride and joy and it is my third Mercedes. Even though the car is now 20 years old, it is in immaculate condition.
However, I must confess that I am very disappointed with the service I did not receive the local Mercedes Benz Dealers.
I recently experienced a starting and erratic idling problem, so I telephoned the Mercedes Dealer to book my car in for repair. However, when they heard that it was a 1990 model, they refused to make a service booking. They explained that they no longer serviced cars of that age because they do not have the diagnostic equipment to identify the problem on a car that age. They suggested that I take the car to a Bosch Dealer because they were more familiar with the fuel injector operation on the car, than was the Mercedes Dealer. I tried a second Mercedes dealer and got the same response.
Well in the end I did take the car to a Bosch Dealer and after having to take the car back no less than three times and after having to be without my car for six days and worst of all having to pay over R12,000, the car was still not right.
On the fourth occasion I took back the car back, I was talking to a young technician and told him that when I started the car, I could smell petrol fumes. I opened the hood and he immediately spotted a slight drip of petrol from the fuel regulator valve just under the air cleaner. We then discovered that the problem was being caused by the fuel regulator vale because apparently, the diaphragm in the valve had perished and fuel was leaking past it into the tappet cover via the breather pipe. The cost of a new regulator valve from the Mercedes Dealer was R7, 500. Having already spent the R12, 000, I was not prepared to spend another R7, 000 and find that I still had a problem. I therefore went to a second hand parts dealer and purchased a good fuel regulator valve for R450. It was fitted and the car once again run perfectly.
Now had the Mercedes Dealer accepted my car in the first place, they could easily and quickly diagnosed the problem and saved me a considerable sum of money.
I must also add that this situation made me very angry, because before I retired some 16 years ago, my company ran one of the biggest fleets of Mercedes Benz trucks in the country, which I purchased.
In the circumstances, I believe that Mercedes Benz owes me an apology for the shocking service I received from two of their dealers.
Paul M Simons