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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So I keep bringing my car back to the dealer that I am unhappy with, because it is still within the one year of warranty I believe covers what is wrong.

After topping off the coolant, I drove with my son about 6 or 7 miles to a library in Pasadena. (It is starting to get cold here in Southern Cal.) I saw the low coolant light turning on and off, and thought, how could this be? I had the "HEAT EXCHANG" as well as a whole bunch of other vacuum elements and stuff behind the dash changed just a little over a year ago to the sum of $2275.63. I also brought the car in last Mar for a popping sound in the dash, which they charged me $937.20 and I don't think took care of it. I stopped taking the car there and my dad keeps telling me don't ever bring it back. (Probably spent about close to $10k in repairs...)

So as we are driving, my son asks what is that loud noise, the popping sound is very loud and clear. I decide to bring it back to the dealer. They say I need to change the coolant reservoir, blower motor, and some other misc. stuff to the sum of $700+. I say okay. They say the parts are coming from East coast, but call me the next day and say "you know what, the popping sound is not going to go away." I have experience ordering parts from the East, and it usually takes a week, so I'm suspicious. (The tech has a W201 and I really suspect he was harvesting parts from my car, ie. when I first got my car back one exterior rear view mirror was in such bad shape I had to immediately change it because you couldn't see in it to look back.) I was busy at Speedzone and could barely hear the advisor. I tell him I'm going to call him back, but don't get around to it. He calls me again. I haven't figured out what to do because I'm really upset. I finally call him back and say just put the car back together, give it back to me with whatever charges he has to charge me, and then I'm going to give Mercedes Benz a call.

He calls me back very quickly, and says a bunch of stuff, ie. they took out the blower motor and are not going to charge me for that, and tells me I need a new potentiometer, that my new total is around $800 and he's going to change the vacuum elements again, (just over a year now, because I had them changed already.)

Should I try to go back to the dealer and just take my car and run?
 

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Why are you taking a 20 year old car to the dealer? There are plenty of independent MB specialists in LA that will do the same work for a fraction of the cost. Chances are the indy shops know more about these cars than any current MB dealer employee.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Had a bad experience with an independent repair shop before as well... I guess you get what you pay for doesn't really apply here...
 

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i see that your fleet is entirely benz (3 or the 4 would fit in the class of "old"). so i'm curious about your repair experiences with your other cars. if your 190e is any example, you're used to spending lots of $$ on car repairs and i wonder why you do not upgrade your fleet and/or move away from benz which, in my limited experience, are much more expensive to maintain than some other brands one could name.
 

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You need to appreciate the pleasure of owning antique vanity cars, and paying lots of money for bad service to repair bad engineering -- The Mercedes Benz Experience.

If you want a more reliable automobile experience, buy a Lexus.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You need to appreciate the pleasure of owning antique vanity cars, and paying lots of money for bad service to repair bad engineering -- The Mercedes Benz Experience.

If you want a more reliable automobile experience, buy a Lexus.
Lexus didn't exist back then. I don't really like comparing a newer car to an older one. It's just unfair. I have a '85 Cadillac Sedan de Ville to compare. It leaked 1 qt of oil per 1000 miles. I don't question the engineering. I do question the workmanship. The tech has a W201. No question whether he can fix it or not. I don't like bringing a car home with a new problem. It's just not right.

You seem very bitter towards Mercedes, yet you keep the car. I'm not sure I understand...
 

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Discussion Starter #7
i see that your fleet is entirely benz (3 or the 4 would fit in the class of "old"). so i'm curious about your repair experiences with your other cars. if your 190e is any example, you're used to spending lots of $$ on car repairs and i wonder why you do not upgrade your fleet and/or move away from benz which, in my limited experience, are much more expensive to maintain than some other brands one could name.
The rest of the fleet is not listed. That is a good point. I've had bad experience with other cars as well. I'm just looking for advice on how to protect from being cheated, and getting what I actually paid for, in this case a popping noise from the dash which was supposedly preventatively repaired with all the vacuum elements. I guess I don't know enough that the dealer is able to sell me other items, and the tech seems to be "harvesting" my car for better parts...
 

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If I thought the tech was taking parts of my car I would have a fit. I would make such a seen the cops would show.

I know it sucks but the best way to not get cheated is to take you car to differant places till you find one you trust.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
If I thought the tech was taking parts of my car I would have a fit. I would make such a seen the cops would show.

I know it sucks but the best way to not get cheated is to take you car to differant places till you find one you trust.

I could take it somewhere else, but at this point I'm trying to get it fixed under warranty. I'm not in good finances and just can't take a hit like I used to. I talked to my usual dealer and they told me to call Mercedes, that I'm too nice...
 

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How could you get it fixed under warranty if the car is almost 20 years old?
 

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If you can't get it back on track, let me know, I'm right here in your area.
 

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How do you have a warranty on a 20 year old car?
I'm assuming the work done was warrantied. 1 year/10,000 mile thing on work is something a few shops around here advertise on the radio, I can see a dealer doing the same thing.
 

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Should I try to go back to the dealer and just take my car and run?
Sounds more like a commissioned service writer working over a newbie, not necessarily the dealer. Get a different service writer and tell the old one why! There used to be some good indie's down there but it's been too long since I lived there and used them to recommend one. If Abe's Mercedes is till in Sherman Oaks, try them.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I'm assuming the work done was warrantied. 1 year/10,000 mile thing on work is something a few shops around here advertise on the radio, I can see a dealer doing the same thing.
On the back of each of my dealer receipts:

"WARRANTY PERIOD: This warranty is for 12 months, unlimited mileage."

History of car:

7/09 noted car had milky coolant
local dealer fixes AC for $288
inde replaces radiator, expansion tank, cap for $736

11/09 I replace rear section of exhaust Autozone part $252
dealer charges me $3555 for head gasket, fuel reg, reconnects reservior to overflow tank in fender, steering shock, shifter bushings and installs new aftermarket alarm to fix door lock problem

4/10 local dealer flushes brake fluid $172

10/10 dealer charges $2920 90k service, ignition system, push pull links rear susp, belt tensioner, engine shock, v-belt

11/10 dealer charges $2276 for air distribution vacuum elements and heater core
dealer charges $201 to replace tie rod ends

03/11 brought back to dealer complaint heater not working in cold weather, popping noise from dash (I'm kind of mad that there is a popping noise.) dealer charges $937 to replace noisy dist block and interior temp sensor. (I don't think this repair did something towards the popping noise. Dad says don't ever go back, and I stop trying to bring it back.)

11/11 topped off coolant, drove in cold weather, son hears loud popping noise from dash, coolant light comes on. Now I'm kind of pissed because I replaced the heater core and all sorts of stuff in the dash just a little over a year ago, went back for the popping sound back in March, and all this stuff is still happening! Ask local dealer advisor for advice showing March receipt in hand, recommends talking to service manager and call MB customer assistance.

So I realize this work has been done over the last two years, and not a year and a half. But is there anything that I've missed. I mean should I expect this issue after all this work?

This is besides the harvesting of my exterior mirror, the all of a sudden darkening of the white part of AC control temp knob...
 

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Lexus didn't exist back then. I don't really like comparing a newer car to an older one. ... You seem very bitter towards Mercedes, yet you keep the car. I'm not sure I understand...
And, Lexus exists NOW, when you comment about your $10K service problems. So perhaps it is not fair to complain about your choice? You could have spend that $10K on a really reliable Lexus.

Life circumstances have limited my options. I have chosen the ONLY vehicle which satisfies 3 criteria: (1) >40MPG; (2) <$1,000; (3) excellent crash protection. The ONLY way I can have such a car is to do all maintenance myself, pulling many parts from a second parts car. I simply do not have an extra $10K.

So, you are absolutely correct that I piss and moan about all the ancilliary systems that require near constant repair. If it involves electricity or vacuum or molded plastic, it is sure to fail all too soon. Most of that hype about German/Mercedes engineering is just that.

Your own experience seems to validate mine. I am merely comiserating. If I could afford a 40MPG Lexus, I wouldn't be on this forum.

I recognize that the chassis and diesel drivetrain with manual trasmission ARE exceptionally reliable.
 

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I think you need to consider that for the kind of money youve spent on the purchase of the vehcle and the repairs, you could have purchased something much newer and less likely to need so much attention. I don't think most of us could afford to spend so much for so little and frankly, I think you're getting ripped off big time. Honestly, you need to find another place to have your car serviced and learn to do some of it yourself.
 
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