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Old 09-02-2015, 12:15 PM   #1
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Location: Washington State
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Benz Service Costs, Quality, Brake Issues etc.

Brought my 14 chassis Sprinter 3500 Solera to a local Benz dealership. A closer one declined to look at the brakes claiming they didn't have a lift high enough to inspect the brakes.

I informed the service adviser that; 1) The DEF tank was full and to NOT add any; 2) Brakes were spongy on first application and required second push for confident braking action; 3) The rear passenger side rear brake squealed intermittently.

We observed the service process through the lobby window. They never removed the rear wheels to inspect the brakes. We watched as the "road test" was actually a "drive around the lot once" test. No fault, no squeal no real road test.

Before departing the dealership, I lifted the hood just to see that everything was OK. The entire compartment was covered in white DEF crystals. OK, so its not toxic but it is corrosive to metals and its just plain sloppy; wouldn't expect this from a Benz shop. I complained, they washed it off and we left.

The dealership "system" was down and they couldn't print an invoice. Later that day, they did E Mail an invoice. They zinged me for 2 gallons of DEF! I keep religious records and the DEF tank was topped off 560 miles earlier. At most, it would have needed a quart plus or minus 1 cup (40 ounces).

I've had service encounters with Ford, BMW, Lexus, KIA and Dodge dealerships in the past. For the most part, my expectations were always met and occasionally surpassed. This Mercedes dealership was a real disappointment.

I did EMail a version of this info to the dealership. 48 hours later, I have not received a response. The local Ford dealer ALWAYS sends me an E Mail survey after a service appointment. Sincerely hope Benz does the same, soon.

The somewhat redacted invoice is furnished for those interested in service costs. Don't wish to publicize the name of this specific dealership other than to say its in the Northwest.
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Old 09-02-2015, 03:01 PM   #2
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Just so you know, the profit structure with ALL new car dealerships is the service dept. The "profit" derived from that portion of a dealership, far outweighs profit made on new car sales.

Therefore, they are excellent at emptying your wallet. Unless you can catch them in the act of overcharging you for fluids you didn't need, your SOL. As for the non test drive, and the brake issue, your problem lies in that the service tech is clueless on what an MH should stop like. Sorry to inform you, but looks like you need to take the gloves off and meet with the dealership owner. As far as removing the rear wheels, you have disc brakes back there, so there is nothing to see as there is NO adjustment on the system, from that component. Your brake problem, per other MB Sprinter owners who expierenced and posted here, seems to lie in the boost system. Search that and get your gloves on for a fight. Just sayin'

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Old 09-03-2015, 06:33 AM   #3
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Why won't you out the dealer? (Granted I'm on the other coast but still...!)
2015 Sunseeker MBS 2400R
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Old 09-03-2015, 08:16 AM   #4
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Unlike other brands, there isn't competition among Benzmobile dealerships. Especially for those "authorized" to sell and service Sprinters. They are too few and geographically dispersed. Outing a specific dealership is ineffective because there aren't any convenient choices. I want to keep "outing" as an option at the regional and factory level where they worry more about their brand. Particularly in view of the Sprinter like clones now on the market from Ford and Chrysler.

By sharing my service experience, I'm hoping to help other folks take countermeasures to avoid overcharges. From now on, I will always hand write an annotation on the work authorization if I DO NOT want them to do something, like add DEF. Or, at least, have the service adviser verbally repeat my instructions to be sure there is no misunderstanding.

I will take Mr. Still Kickin's advice and contact the dealership principals. The Secy of State's office provides easily accessed corporate information. After that, its up the food chain. I've been following the weird brake saga on the 2014 Sprinter chassis on this and other forums. Other than measure pad thickness, I'm not convinced one can properly inspect a brake assembly without removing the wheel.

Appreciate the feedback!!
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Old 09-03-2015, 08:28 AM   #5
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I would also call MB Corporate at 1-800-FOR-MERCEDES (800-367-6372) and give them all the details.

2015 Solera 24R

The Peterson Family
Southeast Louisiana
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Old 09-03-2015, 09:25 AM   #6
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Posts: 395
One of the reasons why I bought a Chevy MH.
I work as an auto insurance inspector and work with dealerships all the time.
Although MOST of the dealerships around here (all brands) are becoming like the OP's experience, I can work on the CHevy myself...or have any local guy work on it.
The engine does not cost 20k to replace if needed, electronics are straightforward and the Chevy is MUCH more heavy duty for the coach size.

Sorry about your troubles Miatahorder. Unfortunately this is becoming the norm from what I have seen over the last few years.
I could tell you stories for hours.
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Old 09-03-2015, 12:22 PM   #7
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 42
Why you do not publish name of dealership,
you doing a favor to them and their bad job,
step up and speak the truth, if we all do that
they do the job as suppose to be done, we
are the CUSTOMERS and we have a power
in our hands and pockets ....!!!!!
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Old 09-03-2015, 12:59 PM   #8
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"Don't wish to publicize the name of this specific dealership other than to say its in the Northwest."

Spokane??? We had the same DEF issue!

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Old 09-03-2015, 01:06 PM   #9
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MBZ service

Yes, I believe you should name the poor dealers. They need to clean up their act.
My nightmare experience a few months ago with my Solera, Barber RV in Ventura CA gave my vehicle it's very first service. I made it back home and loaded it up for what was to be a long anticipated 6 wk. Summer vacation. I got about 5 miles before breaking down. After sitting on side of hwy. in the Eastern Sierra Mtns.,CA. for nearly 8 hrs., I was towed up to Reno NV MBZ at 1:30 am.
Diagnosis: Barber RV put an aftermarket oil filter in wrong and it blew up ruining my engine and starter. I lost my summer vacation and it took about 7 wks. for claims approval and shipping a new engine from Germany.
Reno MBZ was excellent. From NOW ON I will ONLY let a MBZ dealer touch it! This is also my 5th MBZ over the years and have worked with numerous MBZ dealerships who were all very good. I've also owned Fords, GM and Jeeps and have seen poor Dx's with a couple of their dealerships.
Overall, MBZ with it's quality rarely have had any problems unlike my GM & Jeep so I'm not spending more money on service.
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Old 09-03-2015, 01:13 PM   #10
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MBZ service

Ps- Barber RV billed me for 14 quarts of oil on their faulty oil service. The manual states that the engine uses 12 quarts, over billing?? Probably yes. This IS where dealers make their most money according to my brother who is a long time car dealership manager.

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quality, service, brakes

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