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Currently: 2001 S500, 2001 BMW 525i
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi folks....just purchased a 2001 S500 (136K miles) and i'm already in Airmatic hell. I've been reading about this issue, on this site, and it seems fairly common. I've got the "Stop, car too low" warning and took it to MB North Houston today. I need the right front strut replacing, as it's leaking air and oil and the car is almost hitting the tires and won't rise. I'm having them do the brakes, rotors, front and rear. I don't mind spending money to get the car up to scratch but MB Dealership prices are outrageous!

I'm being quoted $2030.00 just for the strut replacing.

I just moved to Houston 3 weeks ago and don't know where to start. Does anyone know of or is willing to recommend a MB mechanic that's NOT a 'stealership', in Houston?

I'm not educated enough to do these repairs myself and barely understand the car. Thank you for response in advance, but please keep it simple.:surrender:


MBLadyTX
 

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2000 S500 Designo
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825 Posts
North Houston are crooks. If your going to take it to an actual dealer, take it to STAR Motor Cars in Houston.

That being said, there are a couple shops I know of in N Houston. Bertini's is on 45 S right between Rayford/Sawdust and Woodlands Pkwy. They have an OK reputation but strike me as crooks too. I take my car to DRC Imports on the exact opposite side of the freeway than Bertini's. The mechanic, Daniel, is a hard-working and honest guy.

What all did NH quote you for?
 

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nothing broken. finally!
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2,619 Posts
don't ever do brakes @ dealer. biggest rip off ever.

you will pay over 2000 for the brake job (and it costs 500)
 

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W221 & Audio Moderator
2013 S550
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10,978 Posts
Use Arnott new or remanufactured struts - 1/2 to 1/4 the cost of MB (Bilstein) struts, and made better. Air Suspension Kits, Air Shocks, Suspension Parts, Struts - Arnott Industries (they're also a forum sponsor and have a link at the bottom of the W220 forum main page) Have a dealer or certified independent install them; it's a job that requires someone who knows these cars.

I suggest Sunil Patel at Motorwerks of Houston. He is superbly knowledgeable. Houston Auto Repair & Service for Mercedes, BMW, Porsche, Audi, Ferrari & other European Vehicles. | Motorwërks of Houston My daughter lives in Houston, and if she drove a European car (she doesn't) I would not hesitate to send her there.
 

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Currently: 2001 S500, 2001 BMW 525i
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4 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
WOW...thanks guys. Too late on the breaks, already had those done this morning. Here is the list from NH MB:

a) r/front strut leaking $2,030
b) left top strut repair kit (cracking) $450
c) rear main oil seal leaking/dripping $1,945.
d) trans electrical connector leaking $255
e) front pads and rotors worn below minimum $817 (had this done today while the car was already at the dealership, came in at $809)
f) rear brake pads worn to 2mm $280
g) right thrust arm ball joint cracked $581
h) brake fluid flush(every two years) $165
i) rear diferential back plate leaking $890


I found a connection, on here, to Carlos at Euro-Wheel in Houston. He come highly recommended by a few members. Having spoke with him about the list, he seems very confident that he can do it all for less than half the price of above and even told me that some of it isnt that urgent.

I just called Sunil Patel at Motorwerks...he too gave me great pricing and was delightful to talk with. I feel very ignorant at this moment and he didn't once talk down to me. I also have a BMW 525i so the Mortorwerks connection will be handy for that too.

Thank you ALL for taking the time to help me out. I'm very grateful. I'm a quick learner and once i'm up to speed on this car, I hope to be able to join in and assist others.

Thanks again :)
 

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W221 & Audio Moderator
2013 S550
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10,978 Posts
Glad you spoke to those folks. I was horrified at the prices you were quoted by the dealer you cited; everything screamed that most of it could be done for half.

And the W220 S-Class Encyclopedia sticky at the top of the W220 forum main page will help you learn. It is a categorized series of links to the best contributions by our members (and others) for resolving problems with these cars. Don't let it scare you. You won't see all of these problems, but some will spring up during your course of ownership, and it will be a good starting point.
 

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Silver 2010 S550
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257 Posts
a) r/front strut leaking $2,030
b) left top strut repair kit (cracking) $450
c) rear main oil seal leaking/dripping $1,945.
d) trans electrical connector leaking $255
e) front pads and rotors worn below minimum $817 (had this done today while the car was already at the dealership, came in at $809)
f) rear brake pads worn to 2mm $280
g) right thrust arm ball joint cracked $581
h) brake fluid flush(every two years) $165
i) rear diferential back plate leaking $890)
Some Horribly elevated numbers here. There is very little business I actually recommend doing at the dealer. The list of transactions begins and ends with ordering a key. It's just a shame how they take advantage of the naive and those unaware of their options (such as this case). Too bad they got you for the brakes but at least you'll be more informed moving forward. Welcome to the Forum. :D
 

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Current 2017 GLE350, 2007 S550, 2002 S430, 1998 ML320 Deceased 74 240D, 92 400E, 97 E420, 13 GLK350
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1,915 Posts
I try to avoid dealers like the plauge for service. However, just had warrenty work to replace the cats this year, and while the car was in I asked what it would take to replace front shocks. They quoted and I balked, saying I could find an indie for a lot less with rebuild struts. Then the service rep spoke a word I have never hear from a dealership before - "Pricematch." Music to my ears, and I got two arnott front struts for $1050. Must be the economy.

Just hate the tactic of starting high, instead of starting honest. I also suspect there is a tendancy to quote higher when a lady walks in to the service department.
 

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2,043 Posts
Hi folks....just purchased a 2001 S500 (136K miles) and i'm already in Airmatic hell. I've been reading about this issue, on this site, and it seems fairly common. I've got the "Stop, car too low" warning and took it to MB North Houston today. I need the right front strut replacing, as it's leaking air and oil and the car is almost hitting the tires and won't rise. I'm having them do the brakes, rotors, front and rear. I don't mind spending money to get the car up to scratch but MB Dealership prices are outrageous!

I'm being quoted $2030.00 just for the strut replacing.

I just moved to Houston 3 weeks ago and don't know where to start. Does anyone know of or is willing to recommend a MB mechanic that's NOT a 'stealership', in Houston?


MBLadyTX
i believe you can buy a coil-over kit and have it installed at an independent for that price. the ride isn't as nice, but it's much easier to maintain.
 
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