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2006 C230 Sport Coupe
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Folks,

After getting quote for Service B at $550 plus aprox. $100 for break fluid flush, that is $650 for basically oil change and break fluid as all those are necessary to maintain the warranty, i've decided to do some homework as the price is sky high and break fluid flush on 2 year old car with only 34,000 km????

I have 2006 C230 Sport Coupe with 34,000 km. I've had it since brand new, and it's been my baby. For Service A a paid just shy of $200 figured it's a lot but what the heck it's MB. I figured that Service B would be same... Well to my surprise it's quite a bit more.

Well based on browsing this forum and calling head office i've learned that service does not have to be done by the dealer as long as I use genuine parts from the mercedes. phew... no prob... i'll definitelly buy parts from MB.

So my game plan is i'm going to buy Mobil 1 full synthetic oil and i'll pick up the oil filter from the dealership. And i'll go to my local mechanic to change it for me. On my previous cars I did oil changes on my own. But on this one i think i'd like to have a receipt for genuine parts and receipt from a mechanic that they did that work.

My question is: Let me know whether my game plan is ok and is it really necessary to do break fluid flush??? Also please let me know what is the required oil viscosity (i'm going to buy Mobil 1)

I'm in Mississauga, Ontario area. I got that quote from the dealership here in Mississauga.

Please give me any advice and feedback!! I need to do the service ASAP as the warning shows i'm due for service in 800 km.

Thanks in advance!!!!
 

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2005 w203, 2013 Town & Country
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2,181 Posts
Your "baby" came with an operators manual - in there are all of the capacities and the specifications of can be used. Look there.

Also – Do the BRAKE fluid flush and fill. It is a maintenance step and called out for proper use of the ABS, ESP and other features including the brakes. You will want to change the fluid because brake fluid is hygroscopic and needs to be replaced…

Good luck,
Jake

(You should be able to change the engine oil on your own if you want…)

Reader Question: I brought my 2000 Chevy S10 for a routine oil change. I got talked into having my brake fluid flushed at a cost of $89.00. The mechanic said it was dirty and needed flushing because of the ABS anti-locking brakes. I told him I never heard of that before. My truck only has 23k miles on it. Was I ripped off?
Thank you,
Joseph

Dear Joseph,
I know you must have been a little surprised to hear your truck needed to have the brake fluid replaced. But actually, this mechanic was probably doing you a good deed. Brake fluid attracts moisture, and this moisture can rust the insides of the brake system. This moisture was not that big of deal 10 years ago, but on ABS brake systems of today, the rust and other debris that accumulates in the fluid can do lots of internal damage, and can be very costly. Brake fluid can also break down over time from excess heat that is created from within the brake system.

And…

Brake fluid is hygroscopic, which means it is chemically designed to readily absorb water from its surroundings and hold this water in suspension. This design is intended to protect the internal components of the brake system.
 

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05' C230 sold Sept, 09 05' Ford F-150 XLT
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271 Posts
It is very important to have the brake fluid changed every two years. Mileage is not dependent on this service, time is the only factor. This is not some type of scam.

Also, there is no reason to have the A/B service done at the dealer or even at a shop. I have had my car into the dealer about 7 times (for about 10 issues) in about three years and have never had them question where I have my service done. I have always done it myself and have about 66k on my car. Just had it in to the dealer about a month ago and again there was no inquiry as to where I have the service done.

Good luck.
 

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RHD C200K Sport Coupe, RHD SLK-55, LHD SLK-350
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451 Posts
It is very important to have the brake fluid changed every two years. Mileage is not dependent on this service, time is the only factor. This is not some type of scam.

Also, there is no reason to have the A/B service done at the dealer or even at a shop. I have had my car into the dealer about 7 times (for about 10 issues) in about three years and have never had them question where I have my service done. I have always done it myself and have about 66k on my car. Just had it in to the dealer about a month ago and again there was no inquiry as to where I have the service done.

Good luck.
Be careful here, the "rules" for MB warranty vary from country to country, and since the OP has a less than complete profile, may not be in the good ole US of A.
 

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2006 B 200 .....& Audi A6..
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The recommended oil should be 0W40 with ESP(emissions system protection) on the jug and also with the MB 229.3 & 229.5 #'s. Dealer has it and a few auto parts too; if not it's a special order.
ESP oil is low ash and mainly for diesel applications but MB want it...go figure!!
Your service B is a dealer rip-off but you'll probably want that service stamp in the book for the day that something really goes wrong and that stamp is there, and they don't refuse your warranty claim.

With the climate we have, the brake fluid flush is a necessary evil.
Good Luck!
 

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2006 C230 Sport Coupe
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6 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the comments!!!!!

Just to be on the safe side, I called the head office here to ensure that servicing vehicle not at dealer will not void warranty, and they informed me that as long as I use authentic parts and fluids, it will be no problem at all. phew....

A local mechanic that works on a lot of imports was recommended to me, informed me that he'll do the oil change for me at a fraction of what the dealer was asking for. All the other checks that are part of Service B I'll be going through it myself.

Just last clarification regarding the brake fluid flush. After talking to couple of mechanics they told me that it's not necessary to do that.

So does Mercedes require it because they use different type of brake fluid??? (i'm not coming up with excuses of not to do it, but I'd like to understand what and why I'm doing it. As on my other cars I've never done it before).

Thanks in advance.

Daniel.
 

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2002 C230 Sport Coup and 2006 ML350
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Here's the service sheet for your year car.
It helps to actually have the Service DVD (available for ~60 US)
as it links each procedure to further info.

100 to flush the brake fluid is worth it.
And yes, it must be done every 2 years.
MB uses "DOT4+" brake fluid.

Do not mix it with DOT5.
The only place I've ever seen DOT4+ is at an MB dealer.
Brake fluid has a tendency to absorb moisture over time, and presumably replacing it every 2 years will avoid any expensive repairs to the ESP system down the road, and it is specified by mercedes.

You can do your own Service B for the most part.

1. Air filter, cabin filter, oil change, check belts for cracks,
wiper blades, top up battery with distilled water, check battery terminals (clean if necessary) check fluid levels; coolant, power steering, tranny (if you have the tool)
thats most of it.....look for leaks etc.

The good thing about taking it to the dealer while under warranty is that they will do any upgrades etc. maybe find stuff and just fix it for free.
If you miss out on those updates and stuff, that would be bad.
 

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Went to the dealer today and got a print out of what work is actually performed at a A Service and a B Service. Most of it is maintainence checks of the basic car functions. Check your signal lights etc. A few necesary items your local mechanic should be able to do easily. A brake fluid change every two years is important. Get a print out on the A and B service and see for your self.
 

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2006 C230 Sport Coupe
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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you soooo much everyone!!!!!

I got all my answers!!

My local mechanic did not recommend to change the brake fluid and mentioned if the fluid is clean there is no need to change it... ahhh....

So my new gameplan is:

On my way to work in the morning this week I will swing by my local shop to change oil (he'll use full synthetic 0w40 - i already confirmed with him), and I'll just book nearest Sat for the brake fluid flush at the dealership.

Thank you soo much for all your comments. And i gotta say this forum has got quite a bit of information and already saved me few hundred $.:thumbsup:

Daniel
 

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Debadged 6-Speed '05 C320 Sports Coupe
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My local mechanic did not recommend to change the brake fluid and mentioned if the fluid is clean there is no need to change it
So the local mechanic can do a visual inspection that reveals if the brake fluid has absorbed moisture, permitting internal corrosion of brake components?
 

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2006 C230 (Black)
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"So the local mechanic can do a visual inspection that reveals if the brake fluid has absorbed moisture, permitting internal corrosion of brake components?"

unless he's never worked on a car before in his life - yes

Nutshell Version - new brake fluid is clear ....when it absorbs moisture to the point it needs to be changed it's not clear anymore.

I've been reading on this forum for a while now but never bothered posting until now, some of the people on here are pathetic ...one or two know what they're talking about and the rest seem to just enjoy playing the part. An example: One poster in particular is pretty fond of answering newcomers' questions by telling them to search the forum for the answer ....Out of curiosity I did just that on more than one occasion and ironically I found posts from that very member asking the same question ....oddly enough they had the question answered when they asked. What gives?

Nothing ruins a forum reputation faster that self proclaimed experts regurgitating information they read elsewhere and passing it off as gospel, not to mention it tarnishes the good work done by a precious few

Anyway ...the rant's complete, carry on :)
 

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Debadged 6-Speed '05 C320 Sports Coupe
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So the local mechanic can do a visual inspection that reveals if the brake fluid has absorbed moisture, permitting internal corrosion of brake components?
unless he's never worked on a car before in his life - yes

Nutshell Version - new brake fluid is clear ....when it absorbs moisture to the point it needs to be changed it's not clear anymore.
Yes, fully contaminated brake fluid is cloudy. Partially contaminated fluid is clear. Need proof? Examine the partially contaminated fluid in any vehicle.

The MB brake fluid service intervals are structured to eliminate partially contaminated, not fully contaminated fluid.

The brake hydraulic system is not sealed, so it is natural for water vapor to enter, despite all the measures designed to diminish the rate.

Water in the fluid will permit corrosion of internal brake system components. Performing the recommended service will extend the service life of those components. Or, just replace them when the fail, or use continue to use those degraded brake components.
 

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RHD C200K Sport Coupe, RHD SLK-55, LHD SLK-350
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Yes, fully contaminated brake fluid is cloudy. Partially contaminated fluid is clear. Need proof? Examine the partially contaminated fluid in any vehicle.

The MB brake fluid service intervals are structured to eliminate partially contaminated, not fully contaminated fluid.

The brake hydraulic system is not sealed, so it is natural for water vapor to enter, despite all the measures designed to diminish the rate.

Water in the fluid will permit corrosion of internal brake system components. Performing the recommended service will extend the service life of those components. Or, just replace them when the fail, or use continue to use those degraded brake components.
Hmmm - so while in theory a good mechanic should be able to "see" that the brake fluid is bad, it's not hard to actually have it tested.

Water contamination causes rust, and also increases the tendency of particles in the fluid to combine. In the "old" days before ABS, this caused line blockage, etc. - and while it could create a dangerous situation, was usually not horribly expensive to repair.

With ABS systems you have an infinitely more mechanically complex system - and the pumps and valves are more sensitive to blockage and rust. The ABS control systems in most modern cars prevent this from becoming catastrophic in the sense of the brake system completely failing, but the cost of replacement on the components and associated labor make a brake flush a good investment.

Debate aside, I follow the MB recommendations - not worth the risk to the car, my pocketbook, or my life :p
 

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2006 C230 (Black)
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this gets better by the day ...now the hydraulic brake system is not a sealed system ...please, tell us more, starting with how you get pressure in an open fluid system

you guys are probably changing the air in your tires every odd month too, wish I owned a dealership where you all live ....I'd make a killing
 

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"Although a properly functioning brake system is closed to outside corruption, brake fluid still degrades over time. Fluid must withstand heat that can exceed 650 degrees F at the wheel without boiling and also remain in a fluid state during the coldest winters. Furthermore, brake fluid lubricates and fights corrosion on internal parts.

Most brake fluid is hydroscopic: It absorbs water. On the positive side, any moisture that enters the system—through condensation, through rubber parts such as seals and hoses or through an unsealed bottle of brake fluid—is dispersed throughout the fluid. That way, chances of localized corrosion and fluid freezing are minimized. On the other hand, absorbed moisture lowers the fluid's boiling point, raises its freezing point and degrades its anti-corrosion additives. As little as 3% moisture can decrease fluid's performance by 30% and also negate its anti-corrosives. Additionally, standard DOT 3 brake fluid can only absorb up to 7% moisture, after which water droplets—and braking problems—begin to form. Anti-lock brake systems (ABS) are especially affected by moisture because they can cycle as many as 20 times per second. Spongy pedal feel is a sign of moisture in the brake fluid."


But again - this is just regurgitation of what someone who makes the stuff says - if you don't want to change your brake fluid, or flush when you do, that's your option.
 

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2006 C230 (Black)
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Thanks for starting off by restating the point of all of this - The original poster's MECHANIC said he didn't need to flush his brake fluid every 2 years by default even if there was nothing wrong with it. The nameless person on the internet says that a brake system is a open system, thereby implying that moisture would enter the fluid from the atmosphere. I'm suggesting they either prove the system is open to the atmosphere or prove how properties from the atmosphere can enter a closed system. I have my doubts that person can answer either question without cutting and pasting something they don't understand in the first place.

I wonder if the dealerships empty their shelves and throw out the stored bottles of brake fluid that may be approaching their expiry dates? Perhaps they throw them in the same dumpster as all the air filters that don't need changing but the customer paid for new filters as part of the service so out they go.

Maybe you can find some website from where to cut and paste the expiry date for a given container of brake fluid. It can't be 2 years as that would mean it was much less that "fresh" when put into your vehicle. You'd better call your dealership and find out how old said fluid was when it was used to flush your old "partially contaminated" fluid ....but I suppose you did insist that the brake fluid was flushed the day after you purchased you brand new car ...I mean just think about it ...a 2008 model was actually built in 2007 and filled with fluids that were bottled in their containers and shipped to the factory months before the car was even made ...good grief all that fluid may be partially contaminated within months of purchasing the vehicle ....lives could be at stake here!!!!

In the end, I agree with the point you're making ....if you're willing to pay the small fee a dealership charges to replace something that there's nothing wrong with then that's your option.
 

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Ok - so when do you recommend you replace your brake fluid? (and yes, we agree on more than one thing - properly functioning brake systems are closed systems)

I agree that replacing your brake fluid at a fixed interval - OUTSIDE of warranty - is probably not something that should be done just to do it. I've had mechanics test brake fluid to see if it needed replacement - something like a litmus test (ie paper test strip) - no clue how accurate they are, but seems better than a simple visual inspection.

Anywho, stop trolling and contribute, last time I checked contrary opinions where still allowed :p
 

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LOL ..thanks for the welcome, this seems like a good forum ...

Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting never flushing the brake fluid ...especially on a vehicle as expensive as this one. Personally, I'll do it when I do my pads and rotors, sooner if it starts turning cloudy. One of my vehicles is a 10 year old chev half ton ...the fluid is almost brown but to me it's not worth running out and changing - the tires on my 'Benz are worth more than that truck! Then on the other side of the coin, my bikes get done yearly ..but I can never seem to leave well enough alone there anyway :)

Don't forget the owners' manual also suggests what tire pressure to run, what tire size to run, the dealer will recommend which brand to use. MB will only "authorize" certain brands for winter use. MB will certainly tell you to use only their own pads, rotors and filters ..and all kinds of other things .....

People still run aftermarket suspension setups, oversize tires, ceramic brake pads, non-MB exhausts, muffler elimination setups with no problems, K&N air filters. My point in posting my little rant was more or less pointing out the fact that there are two extremes at work here - on one end we have people not afraid to think outside the box and have proven that the "factory" in all it's wisdom isn't necessarily the be-all-and-end-all when it comes to these automobiles - and on the other end we have people who are perhaps uncomfortable in their level of knowledge and understanding in some areas and therefore have only that book in the glovebox to guide them. Some of these people will argue until they're blue in the face that the manual says to use only a damp cloth to clean the interior so anyone who does otherwise is wrong. Where I get frustrated is when it's those in the latter group who feel the need to advise others on the more technical aspects of some of the questions that inevitably arise.

One thing we all tend to forget at times is that the local dealership is not the manufacturer ...there's a BIG difference, the dealerships are organizations who are in the business for one reason - to make money selling a product authorized my the manufacturer. They're all salesmen, the service manager included.
 

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The brake hydraulic system is not sealed, so it is natural for water vapor to enter, despite all the measures designed to diminish the rate.
this gets better by the day ...now the hydraulic brake system is not a sealed system ...please, tell us more, starting with how you get pressure in an open fluid system
The nameless person on the internet says that a brake system is a open system, thereby implying that moisture would enter the fluid from the atmosphere. I'm suggesting they either prove the system is open to the atmosphere or prove how properties from the atmosphere can enter a closed system. I have my doubts that person can answer either question without cutting and pasting something they don't understand in the first place.
BTW, not nameless, wingless.

Again, "the brake hydraulic system is not sealed, so it is natural for water vapor to enter, despite all the measures designed to diminish the rate".

Once one understands how disc brakes work, then an understanding of why the hydraulic system cannot be sealed will be attained.

With fresh pads, the pistons are bottomed in the calipers. The factory sets the reservoir level to the full mark w/ fresh pads. As the pads wear, the pistons move out of the caliper, until, when the pads are shot, the pistons are at their fully extended position.

How do the brake pistons change their at-rest position? The pistons slide along the caliper seal as the pads and rotors wear.

The pistons have brake pads on one side and hydraulic fluid on the other.

So, as the at-rest position extends, additional hydraulic fluid, moves from the reservoir, to remain within the brake system, lines, hoses, calipers and ABS.

As the at-rest position extends and additional fluid remains within the lines and calipers the reservoir level drops.

When the reservoir level drops, what replaces the displaced fluid? Drum roll please… Air!

How does air enter the reservoir on a sealed system? It could not. Every single hydraulic brake system is not sealed so air can replace the fluid as the at-rest piston changes.

Again, every hydraulic system implements measures to diminish the rate that water vapor enters the system. For example, every hydraulic system has a moving rubber bellows that covers the fluid, to minimize the exposure of fluid to air.
 
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