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Old 28th August 2010, 00:08   #1
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Default Merc and its exorbitant spare prices!

Guys we had bought a C 220 CDI last July. The car is a masterpiece and runs like a dream. Everything about it is beautiful!

Until what happened last week! The lever for opening the door from inside on the driverís door broke. Now all this while we were guessing that some cable must have snapped or something. I took her to T & T, Moti Nagar today. On inspection, it was found that the lever has broken from inside. The lock where the cable sits in the lever is the culprit. Now the interesting part, the works manager is hell bent that this is not a manufacturing defect and cannot be covered under warranty. Though he acknowledges that this is the first case he has seen in his 4 years with MB till now. He is like you must have pulled it hard or more than the leverage that it is designed to withstand.
The lever has to be replaced, fine! BUT they donít get just the lever as a spare. They are asking me to replace the entire trim on the driverís door and that costs a whopping 70 grand. Fought with them for good half an hour but to no avail. He has fixed it with araldite for now but that is not a permanent solution. Need your help as to what to do now? Will escalating the matter to MB fetch me something? and also can I source just the silver lever from anywhere in Delhi?

Another question
They are charging more than 8500 bucks for alignment and balancing. Is there any trusted professional alignment workshop where I can get it done in Delhi? Donít want any tom dick or harry to be messing with her.
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Old 28th August 2010, 01:38   #2
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There is this guy at Chanakyapuri (Yashwant Place IOC Petrol Pump) whom i trust for all my cars and for that matter, he takes care of all embassy and big taxi cars too. Ask for Das on that pump and there you'll find this middle age Shortie guy who has hell lot of experience. His charges are very very reasonable.
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Old 28th August 2010, 04:06   #3
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8500 for balancing and aligning?. I really don't think the cost is justifiable. Isnt it just a service, where no new parts are used. Charging this much for a service??... I'm not sure about it.

I would love to know if other MB owners face the same situation. Or if they do charge this much, why is it so?.
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Old 28th August 2010, 05:01   #4
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Since your car is still in warranty, you might have to get all required services done at authorized dealer only.

If balancing and alignment is required at a particular interval, and if that is not done at A.S.S. , it wont show up in Merc's system. It will create problem in you have a warranty claim even remotely related to these parts.
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Old 28th August 2010, 05:15   #5
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Make this more generic by changing title to: Hidden costs of owning a expensive car?? First a disclaimer : Without pictures it is not possible to comment why a part broke. Lever breaking inside does seem to be manufacturing defect. After all max pulling movement of door lever would be restricted by design on the outside. A close up picture of the area could have given idea if it was shearing or material fracture.

Last edited by sudev : 28th August 2010 at 05:19.
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Old 28th August 2010, 14:57   #6
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@ sudev : they have already done this make shift arrangement for the lever and fitted the trim back. so wont be possible to post a pic of the broken component now.
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Old 28th August 2010, 15:55   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by white_vdi View Post
The lever for opening the door from inside on the driverís door broke.......

.....Though he acknowledges that this is the first case he has seen in his 4 years with MB till now. He is like you must have pulled it hard or more than the leverage that it is designed to withstand.
A Tata Nano's lever would have lasted more than his tenure at MB
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Old 28th August 2010, 15:57   #8
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Take it to an independent garage who works on german vehicles.
Don't spend on the entire door trim.
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Old 28th August 2010, 16:32   #9
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@White_vdi

There is no doubt that these cars are expensive to maintain.
It is not only Mercedes, but BMW, Skoda, Audi, VW, and even Japanese manufacturers such as Honda and Toyota (see the spares for the Accord and Camry). Generally the norm is that maintainance costs on these cars over a period of 5 years are roughly 10-15% of their purchase price when new, and in some rare cases, even more.

What we have been doing with our Mercedes (as the authorized people are rip-offs and getting a bill for less than 60K is lucky), is that we have found a good service station outside.
However, until the car is in the warranty period, it is recommended that you get routine services and repairs carried under their dealership.

About the door handle, try looking for a piece in the market, at some of the accessory/parts shops.
I would also suggest shooting off an e-mail to Mercedes India about the issue, expressing the great disappointment you are facing with their vehicle and its quality. It is no secret that their quality had seen a drop, though it has improved on the newer models.

Similarly, the alignment and balancing can be carried out at any good tyre dealership as well.
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Old 28th August 2010, 22:58   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lamborghini View Post
@White_vdi

There is no doubt that these cars are expensive to maintain.
It is not only Mercedes, but BMW, Skoda, Audi, VW, and even Japanese manufacturers such as Honda and Toyota (see the spares for the Accord and Camry). Generally the norm is that maintainance costs on these cars over a period of 5 years are roughly 10-15% of their purchase price when new, and in some rare cases, even more.
Brother, for BMW you are a notch higher. The BMW Service Inclusive Ultimate cover for 5 years, 100,000 kms costs between the range of 5%-10% of the purchase price of the car. With the ALL INCLUSIVE nature of BSI, you can safely assume that this would be the maintenance cost. For my 530d E60, I got a 6 Years 200000 Kms maintenance package. 8% of the car's price.

Wonder when will MB start an All Inclusive Maintenance Program otherwise overzealous AS Managers will continue to take customers for a ride. A 1 year old C Class with a lever broken from inside surely deserves a no cost repair.
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Old 28th August 2010, 23:14   #11
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you live in the best Jugaad city of India. Take it somewhere else.

I would worry about Warranty for engine and electronics only. rest can be worked upon outside.

Balancing and alignment can be done outside. There are numerous places in Delhi for that.

Please do visit TBHP directory section.
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Old 28th August 2010, 23:22   #12
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I think you can just try the scrap or scrap market and dont bother about those dealers.

Generally its not the company but the dealers which ruin a brand by taking these things on their ego then what they should professionally do

For much less than that 70K you can fly to Mumbai and get it from the scrap market,

There are many members in BHP who are in Mumbai and have a C class and can help you with right sources across India...GTO has a C class I guess

Just my 2 cents of advise

Rajeev
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Old 29th August 2010, 00:22   #13
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i will be going to khan market this week trying to source this lever. T & T have said they will replace the lever in their workshop on FOC basis if i can get it from outside.

also have already shot a mail to MB. waiting for their reply as its weekend right now.
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Old 29th August 2010, 03:05   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lamborghini View Post
@White_vdi

There is no doubt that these cars are expensive to maintain.
It is not only Mercedes, but BMW, Skoda, Audi, VW, and even Japanese manufacturers such as Honda and Toyota (see the spares for the Accord and Camry). Generally the norm is that maintainance costs on these cars over a period of 5 years are roughly 10-15% of their purchase price when new, and in some rare cases, even more.
I'll not subscribe to that statement, My Total cost of ownership on my Accord apart from the purchase has been very negligible. There is this spare part shop from whom i seek all running spares for all my cars and as for Accord here are some of the prices :

Brake Pads Front - 600 / Rear - 700
Spark Plugs NGK - 450 (Set of 4)
Air Filter (Stock) - 300
Balancing Alignment Etc. - 500 (The guy whom i referred above , is a pro!)
I got Hit from back on my car on my Dalhousie trip recently and the cost of lights (That i even found being used @ Honda Showroom):
Rear Light : 2500
Middle Cluster Light : 1800

Clutch After a run of 65000KM - 21000/- + Tax.


I'd call my ownership experience of a Honda very good and considering i had a UNO in past, very very good !!!! Also, the price at company for most products is reasonable for honda atleast . I was getting clutch outside of company which was Taiwan made for about 15000 (Clutch/Pressure Plate/Release Bearing) and i got it changed with Genuine Honda for 21000/- + Tax which i'd call a reasonable price.

So again, there maybe some instances of SOME cars and SOME Showrooms scamming the buyers but not all companies would do that.
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Old 29th August 2010, 09:23   #15
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Its quite strange that a door lever should break !? Even stranger that the whole door pad needs to be changed along with it

Beware of after market so called experts who claim to repair Merc's BMW's Audi's etc in the local market. Most of them have only bits & pieces of knowledge which they have picked up & none of them are trained properly about the various sensors & other finer aspects of these high tech machines.
However tempting the prices may be, i suggest you get it done from the authorized dealer only.

8,500 for wheel balancing & alignment is too much ! The 320 D cost was only around 5 K. Again, if you get this job done outside, it would require special tools to adjust the various sensors like ride height sensors, steering angle sensors etc. (available only from the ***)

It will be a case of penny wise pound foolish to get you Merc repaired in the local market, (whether in warranty or out of warranty) not to mention the safety risk of a local guy poking around with your car. You may end up with a case of the safety systems not working when you need them the most.

Your case seems to be more of of a dealer related problem. Speak to Mercedes Benz directly, im sure they will solve your issues.
When we had an issue with our 320D, a single email to BMW India was followed by a call within 2 hours from their customer care & the issue was sorted out within a day ! This is for an engine damper related issue !!

Off topic - Atleast BMW service in Blore (Navnit Motors) is extremely courteous & go out of their way to explain the vehicle related issues & are patient enough to do a proper job. Parts are expensive no doubt but there are justifiable reasons for the same. They are quite expensive if you want to source them from other places like Dubai or Europe. Considering the headaches, its better to get it done in India only.

Hope your case is solved soon ! Do keep us updated !

Last edited by nirmaljusdoit : 29th August 2010 at 09:32.
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