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2002 SLK 32 AMG
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1,219 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
It's not just Mercedes dealers that charge outragous prices for vehicle repair.

I took my 10 year old Ford Explorer in to the dealer to get the thermostat replaced (along with a few other itemd) 3 weeks ago. Last week the Coolant Temperature gauge on the dash starts failing intermittently. Then totally dead, no power so temp is off scale on the Cold side and never moves. So I figure they probably messed up the Temperature sending unit which is located right near the thermostat. Took it in yesterday and they run the diagnostics. Conclusion: the Temperature gauge in the instrument cluster has gone bad. Part cost $500, labor $250 since they have to tear the entire dash apart (although they did say they could try to work something out and get it down closer to $600 total). The whole vehicle is probably only worth $5K at best. I guess I'll have to hope I don't spring a coolant leak since I'm not paying $600+ for that repair. Service advisor had to agree with me that it was an awful lot of $. I guess it should make it easier to pay MB, at least when I pick up my vehicle it's an SLK and not an Explorer.
 

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SLK in brilli silver
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854 Posts
why not get a quote from someone other than the stealer? Im sure u could get the part online for a fraction of the cost and a rep. garage in your area to intall it, or even DIY if its just a gauge.
 

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2002 SLK 32 AMG, bone stock. 1987 190E 2.3-16 valve (destroyed). 2005 E320 new toy.
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14,926 Posts
Mercedes, BMW, etc. burn you on the initial price. Ford, GM, and Chrysler ....

Burn you on parts, either way we get hosed ... [:D]
J.C.Whitney (sp?) has instrument clusters and separate instruments that you can install in discrete locations so as not to mess up the interior all that much. Cheap and will probably be adequate.
 

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SLK32, ML430
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6,349 Posts
RE: Mercedes, BMW, etc. burn you on the initial price. Ford, GM, and Chrysler ....

Any time you go to the dealer you are going to pay a premium. One thing the dealers love to do is charge you $50 to hook the car up to their diagnostic computer. 'Oh, you have a tail light out. We need to hook you up to our super duper computer to find out what is wrong with the car. Don't worry it is only $50'

The complaint I (and many have) is the Mercedes tax applies to all parts and to every shop I have talked to. Many of the independent shops around Atlanta are very close to what the dealers charge for repairs.
 

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1999 SLK 230- RED
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461 Posts
That is why J.C. Whitney sells aftermarket guages....ya know, the kind that hang off of your lower dash for $ 39.99 er so [:eek:)] It'll give it that great Americana "home grown" patina also [:D]

Regards
 

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2002 SLK 32 AMG
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1,219 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I got the part # from the service advisor so I will see if I can find one cheap. I may try to install it myself, but then I might have to factor in the cost of the tow truck to haul all the pieces to a real mechanic, LOL. An after market gauge from J.C. Whitney is probably the easiest solution, thanks for the suggestion.
 

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C230K Sport Sedan
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It costs about double to maintain my kid's Mustang at the Ford dealer than my MB. They want $620 to change hoses ($75 parts), $300 for rear disk brakes (parts $60) and $595 to do a 30K mile service that doesn't even include a tuneup. I end up doing a lot myself out of sheer cheapness but it's insane for a common car like that. The problem in my area is there aren't any good smalltime mechanics I can rely on.
 
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