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Discussion Starter #1
So, the 300CE went thru the 120K service (at a local dealership), and not unexpectedly, the mechanic found several things which need attention. Standard stuff, mostly, like slight water pump leakage (which I don't play with; that's already done)...interestingly enough, no wiring harness issues, which I asked about specifically because of all the concern I've read about on this forum. Two techs checked the harness and said everything's looking great.

Here's the weird one, and I quote: "Transmission shift rod bushings torn out" (!)

I guess I'll take his word for it, but I'm wondering how they were 'torn out', and also how it is that the car both shifts smoothly and stays in gear? Is he just trying to get me for another $110?
 

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If you dont mind saying what they billed you for just the 120k service w/o the trans bushings.
I just replaced my sway bar bushings (4), which were hard as a rock and as a result no more front end noise. Im lost on the trans bushing other than it possibly being connected to the drive shaft and its getting chewed up somehow? Or even old,worn, dried up like my rubber sway bars. Torn out seems to be strange verbage as if the car ate it??
 

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$110 to install a couple dollars worth of shifter bushings?!? I need to raise my prices!! The last guy I charged 50$ and that included dissaembling the linkage, cleaning, painting the arms etc..

They get hard w/ age, crack and fall out. Doesn't affect how the car shifts, just how the shifter itself feels.

I too am curious as to what they did as a 120K service.

Jonathan
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Bottom line for the service was $525 for all parts/labor. The following stuff was done:

New air, oil, fuel filter installed
Brake fluid flushed/filled
New spark plugs
New trans filter/fluid
New wiper blade
Clean/lube sunroof,power antenna/all hinges

Plus they checked standard stuff like brake rotor thickness, pad wear, belt and hose condition,and gave me a painfully thorough report of all that needed doing...pressure tested the cooling system and found that slight coolant leak, valve cover starting to leak a bit, etc. I think I got a decent deal...even got a free ride to/from the dealership. I certainly could've saved some bucks doing alot of this myself, but truth is, the car has a complete maintenance record from day one, and I wanted to maintain the continuity of dealer maintenance.
 

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I am getting ready for my 90K service and I am expecting to pay about $800.00, as long as they don’t find anything is actually wrong with my car. I pay top dollar at my dealer, but I do trust their work. I like the fact that they replace things with new OEM parts, rather than trying to make do with some minimal repair. I do have a reliable independent mechanic, but they seem more concerned with helping me save a little money than being absolutely sure that my car is impeccably maintained and that I will not have a problem before I am scheduled for another visit to the shop. I appreciate their miserly approach to car maintenance, but for this car I want everything new on schedule. Taking good care of this car is a personal thing for me.

I suspect that most of my independent mechanic’s customers just want to spend as little as possible to get to their next service. They probably don’t expect to keep their cars for the rest of their lives. They probably don’t even want to keep their cars, except they can’t afford to get the car that they would really like to own. I, on the other hand, already have the car of my dreams. I want to do what ever it takes to keep my awesome car in tiptop condition.

I just had a new water pump installed and they flushed the system so that is one thing that won’t have to be repeated at the 90K service. I might need front brakes, however, so that may add another $400.00. I will be happy to have the brakes done, because the independent mechanic saved me a little money and resurfaced my rotors. He told me they could do it once and still be within specifications. He may have been right, but on occasion my brakes seem to crunch and make some odd sounds that I don’t think I would have had with new rotors installed. The car stops great as always, but I wish I had just paid the money for the new rotors.
 

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ksing44 - 5/9/2005 6:19 AM

I am getting ready for my 90K service and I am expecting to pay about $800.00, as long as they don’t find anything is actually wrong with my car. I pay top dollar at my dealer, but I do trust their work. I like the fact that they replace things with new OEM parts, rather than trying to make do with some minimal repair. I do have a reliable independent mechanic, but they seem more concerned with helping me save a little money than being absolutely sure that my car is impeccably maintained and that I will not have a problem before I am scheduled for another visit to the shop. I appreciate their miserly approach to car maintenance, but for this car I want everything new on schedule. Taking good care of this car is a personal thing for me.

I suspect that most of my independent mechanic’s customers just want to spend as little as possible to get to their next service. They probably don’t expect to keep their cars for the rest of their lives. They probably don’t even want to keep their cars, except they can’t afford to get the car that they would really like to own. I, on the other hand, already have the car of my dreams. I want to do what ever it takes to keep my awesome car in tiptop condition.

I just had a new water pump installed and they flushed the system so that is one thing that won’t have to be repeated at the 90K service. I might need front brakes, however, so that may add another $400.00. I will be happy to have the brakes done, because the independent mechanic saved me a little money and resurfaced my rotors. He told me they could do it once and still be within specifications. He may have been right, but on occasion my brakes seem to crunch and make some odd sounds that I don’t think I would have had with new rotors installed. The car stops great as always, but I wish I had just paid the money for the new rotors.

Interesting..the cars I have had come in from the dealers here have always been lacking in some form or another... A lot of the time it's the small things, like leaving aluminum fuses in the box, not lubing the throttle linkage, dirty throttle plates. Black as night brake fluid, power steering systems not being tended to. You can always tell it's someone who doesn't Really care/love the car.

Your indy cut your rotors?? Sorry, but I Never do that. Benz specificly states that rotors should not be cut (Their minimum thickness isn't far from new) but to cut a rotor properly takes more labour then the cost of new discs.

400$ for new brakes..I need to raise my prices;-)

Jonathan
 

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My front rotors list retail at the dealer for only$ 40 bucks each. At that price, why not change them every 20k miles? I wouldnt even think about paying 800 for a checkup at the dealer, esp as the techs usually dont care much as ive seen first hand and service writers will not be favorable to their customer in some cases resulting in BS charges, etc.
 

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I think the front rotors are close to $150.00 for a pair and as I remember it cost about $50.00 to cut the ones I had. If they were only $40.00, then I am sure they would have just replaced them. That saved about $100.00 plus their labor costs were much less. At the end, I think I paid around $250.00 to have my brakes done at the INDY.

As for Dealer vs. Independent, I do like and trust the guys working at the independent shop. They know my name and they recognize that I love my car. Two German men own the shop and one of them actually worked at Mercedes in Germany. The fathers are still there, but now their sons run the shop. They have, on occasion, recommended that I go to the dealer, because they said they didn’t have all of the proper equipment to determine the faults on my car. They sent to the dealer when my oxygen sensor sent a fault. They smiled when they told me that the guys at the dealer were OK. The independent also had trouble finding the leak in my air conditioning system. The dealer identified the leak and fixed it quickly with a few new parts and an $800.00 bill.

I guess there are many guys that have stories about how cheap it is for them to fix their cars. I think I do pay a premium at my dealer, but so far they have done a good job, as far as I can tell. I am not an expert, so at some level I just have to trust what they tell me. I always look closely at the finished work and my car runs great, so everything seems to be OK.
 

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Ksing...Its all good doing it w/ the dealer if you must. In past posts, youve cited your love for your car and your willing to keep it as long as possible. For some of the basics i just would never throw my wallet at the dealer. And ive got an invoice in my hand with rotors from the dealer at $40 each. I snagged them for $19/each as one of the techs works on my car on the side at home. Most of us im sure have no car payment and shelling out $500-1000/year
is a small price to pay to keep our cars running top notch! Can we all agree on that?[:)] Ksing, as much as you love that 124, you should get it a companion for those cold nights in the garage[:D]. What would that companion car be for you?
 

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I think I would enjoy a Porsche 911. I looked at a 1995 when I purchased my 1995 E320 in 1997. It was dark blue like my W124 and it was just beautiful. I loved the way they modernized the traditional look of the car with smoother lines. It still looked like the 911 that I remembered, but it was just a little more sleek and it seemed to have a wider more aggressive stance. For me, the newest iteration of the car has moved too far away from that unique 911 appearance, but the 1995 was perfect!

Since owning my car, I have to say that I don’t dream nearly as much about the 911. Like all the professional reviews have said, the W124 is just a perfectly well-rounded automobile. It looks beautiful, it feels great to drive it, it handles very well, it is plenty fast for driving enjoyment, and yet I can load it up with my family and all of their gear for a vacation. The Porsche is not as versatile, but I’m sure I would fall in love with the exhilaration of the acceleration, great handling, the unique sound of the Porsche engine, and I always loved the look.

I also don’t know if I would be as lucky with maintenance for a Porsche 911. In spite of the fact that I pay top dollar for service at the Mercedes dealer and I have on occasion had to fix a couple things on my W124, I have to say that my car has been a pleasure to own since 1997. My car never left me on the side of the road, although I did get close when my battery just totally died. It turned into a brick in the Mercedes parking lot, so I was very lucky with that one. Some cars are just lucky. This one doesn’t seem to get into accidents and it rarely breaks. As I said, it has been a pleasure to own this car. In addition, no car payment certainly adds some enjoyment too.
 
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