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2014 GL450

601 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  HughV
I purchased a used GL 450 with 160K miles about a year ago. Excellent condition. Car fax indicates one owner with regular shop maintenance and no accidents. However, 3 months after purchase, driver side air suspension went out. Had it replaced. Two days later, the passenger side air suspension went out. Two months after that, a plastic coolant nozzle (behind the firewall) broke. Replaced that. One month later, plastic radiator assembly broke. Replaced that. One month later, AC refrigerant leak in plastic nozzle (behind firewall) found. Replaced that. Two days later, driving along and AC fan suddenly stops. Compressor engages, switch working inside, but no fan. Mechanic tells me that most of the connections in this model are plastic and prone to age-related failure after 100K miles and that is why people sell or trade Mercedes when 100K rolls up. I have a 2000 C230 Kompressor with 200K that I have never had a major mechanical problem. Mechanic says Mercedes wasn't using so much plastic back then. I guess my question is... Is this normal or did I get a lemon, or is something fishy going on with the mechanic? The coincidences are piling up. Thanks so much.

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It is certainly true that the plastic parts get brittle with heat and age. Do you know where the car spent its life ( climate or not). Of course coolant things are hot no matter what.

It is also my experience that brittle plastic suffers from being disturbed. I am not sure where you mean "behind the firewall" (passenger compartment side? ), but curious one thing there broke and shortly thereafter another, and maybe another (present AC issue). Maybe fixing the first coolant pipe distrubed the AC fitting, and now whatever failed in the AC.

Same with the front air springs (what exactly failed? although not uncommon for things to fail in pairs, being of the same age, design (weaknesses), etc.). Did one repair lead to the 2nd failure?

I do not take much of a shine to mechanics' generalized bs comments like "everyone trades these cars at 100k mi because of brittle plastic". Not that there isn't truth to this plastic problem. I was changing my plugs recently and leaned on a coolant vent hose fitting. Snapped right off. Anyway, he is making you feel like crap about your investment in your car while handing you $100's or $1000's in bills for things that they may have a, admittedly inadvertent in their quest to get the job done quickly, (heavy) hand in the subsequent failures.

A lot of this is conjecture, of course, but I generally subscribe to the idea that lemons are largely made, in a one thing leads to another fashion. Consider, perhaps, looking for a new mechanic.

(this all from the guy with a lift in his garage so I take as many matters in my own hands as possible!)

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