The kiss of death for any European luxury car is deferring maintenance until the next service visit. Picking and choosing what to service, what to fix when the work is recommended, in the long run, will mean nothing but crippling service bills and a less that pleasant ownership experience. How do you know if the used car, even the Certified Pre Owned car you ‘re buying, was well taken care of during the original (or previous) owner’s time with the car? There’s really no way to know, but once you have a Mercedes-Benz it’s pretty easy to see what you’re going to need to do at regular intervals.
I got the idea for this article when I was walking through the service department today and saw these two air filters… completely full of leaves, dust and debris. I asked the techs standing there what these came out of… “Those are the two air filters out of that GL diesel over there,” they pointed to a 2009 GL320 BlueTEC, “the turbo diesels need a lot of air… this is the first time that car’s ever been in for service, the owner hasn’t ever done anything to it, in 30,000 miles!” they were pretty amazed, and annoyed frankly, like they took it personally. Luckily, this was a customer car, not a car that we had taken in on trade or purchased.
Most Mercedes-Benz Dealer service departments have printed “Service Menus”. Even when you’re considering the purchase of say, a Certified Pre Owned Mercedes-Benz GL diesel, you can look at the menu and get an idea of what service and maintenance will entail, both from a price perspective as well as a time perspective. Have a look at how Feldmann Imports publishes service menu information on the dealership website by clicking this link. Full explanations of A Service, B Service and all the other recommended services from Mercedes-Benz are there, listed with prices for all the world to see, nothing to hide, no surprises. (** I no longer work at Feldmann Imports, I work at Sears Imported Autos Mercedes-Benz, the two dealerships are direct competitors, but I still like the way Feldmann’s lays out the service A and B items on their website).
Mercedes-Benz vehicles are wonderful machines, some of the safest and most solid on the road today, but they’re also complicated and require regular care and maintenance to run as they should and to last for as long as they can. These vehicles are actually cheaper to maintain that I thought they were before I really understood them. They don’t require anything too different from any other vehicle on the road, but the key is to stay on the maintenance schedule, do what service advisors and technicians recommend, when they recommend it. You’ve got a beautiful machine that will work for you for many years, but don’t skimp on the service.