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Old 5th August 2021, 10:28   #211
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Default Re: Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz - W221 S350 initial ownership review

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Originally Posted by 07CR View Post
A bit perplexed at the service costs. Does this also include the part replacements? I assumed the service costs for the mighty S would be atleast 1L per year (your figure works out to 66K/year). Heck I assumed even the C class would cost around 50K per year minimum.
It is the complete service cost that includes labour and consumable parts like oil, filter, brake pads, wipers, etc. Regular servicing is not such a costly affair and there is not a huge difference between say C class and S class - it is definitely not 3 times, maybe 1.5 times. As I don't have work commute, my usage is low.

If you follow many of the long term ownership threads of MB/BMW cars you will see the following pattern:

FIXED:
Oil + filter basic service (annual or 15k km): 30-35K
Gearbox service (4 years or 60k km in case of MB): 25-30K
Tires (30K km): 50-60K

VARIABLE:
Brake pads every 20-25K km (driving style matters a lot): 20K for front and 20K for rear
Brake discs (can last really long): 50K for front and 50K for rear
AC cabin filter (check and replace if required): 15K

For cars that do under 10K km per year, average annual cost of maintenance would be under Rs 50K at authorised dealers. This is very reasonable given the big picture.

The bigger expenses are insurance and warranty during first 5 years.

Things can get very expensive and unpredictable due to repairs and accidents after 5 years when you don't have the option to buy insurance and warranty covers.

Last edited by androdev : 5th August 2021 at 10:30.
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Old 5th August 2021, 11:00   #212
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Default Re: Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz - W221 S350 initial ownership review

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Originally Posted by androdev View Post
Yeah zero depreciation add-on is costly and they don't give much discount on add-ons.
Very true, I also ran my math after seeing your post. My 37L IDV 330i Sport with 50% NCB costs 25K for the vanilla policy and 67K with the RTI, Engine cover etc.

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Originally Posted by androdev View Post
The bigger expenses are insurance and warranty during first 5 years.
Again agree. The 'horror stories' about the Big 3 are predominantly after expiry of standard and/or extended warranty
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Old 5th August 2021, 11:45   #213
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Default Re: Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz - W221 S350 initial ownership review

That's quite the impressive data collection and insight into the upkeep of the cream of the crop in the big three.

I know, part replacements will be very expensive but the basic service, brakes and misc. sounds quite reasonable for a car that was 8 digits OTR.

On that note, how is the Air Suspension holding up? I prevented a relative from getting his hands on a 2014 GLS 350 because of the same. Are the shocks reliable?
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Old 5th August 2021, 12:47   #214
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Default Re: Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz - W221 S350 initial ownership review

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Originally Posted by vredesbyrd View Post
On that note, how is the Air Suspension holding up? I prevented a relative from getting his hands on a 2014 GLS 350 because of the same. Are the shocks reliable?
"Air Suspension" scares people but I think it needs to be understood better. Most of the faulty air suspension horror stories are from W220/ML generation with 1st generation Airmatic.

Airmatic allows ride height adjustment. It's not terribly useful on SUVs - if you ask me regular steel struts on German cars provide pretty good ride comfort and one doesn't really need air suspension. Adjusting GC is the real deal with Airmatic and it is very valuable to S class in India. I love it, makes the S class an SUV on rough roads and a sports car on highways. This would be #1 in my must have features and I would be happy to pay to have it even if it requires a full replacement once during my ownership.

Air suspension will have regular steel struts, air springs (heavy duty rubber bellows), network of pipes to carry air, air compressor and control modules. Leaks used to be common earlier causing the compressor to overwork and fail leading to extensive repairs. Now we mostly hear of failure of struts (rubber bellow damage). Timely replacement of struts will save you from replacing other parts - if you car is standing level after overnight parking, you are in good shape.

The good news is that air suspension struts are plug and play replacement and not terribly expensive (about $1200 per strut in the US) and can easily be done in pvt workshops. For a well maintained car, dealer might give a goodwill discount making it less painful. Plenty of youtube videos about airmatic repair - it doesn't scare me much because it is not too technical like engine/transmission repairs.

Great technical documentation on airmatic here (W220 but it is the same system more or less in all air suspensions):
https://w220.wiki/Airmatic
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Old 5th August 2021, 14:51   #215
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Default Re: Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz - W221 S350 initial ownership review

Quote:
Originally Posted by androdev View Post
"Air Suspension" scares people but I think it needs to be understood better. Most of the faulty air suspension horror stories are from W220/ML generation with 1st generation Airmatic.

Airmatic allows ride height adjustment. It's not terribly useful on SUVs - if you ask me regular steel struts on German cars provide pretty good ride comfort and one doesn't really need air suspension. Adjusting GC is the real deal with Airmatic and it is very valuable to S class in India. I love it, makes the S class an SUV on rough roads and a sports car on highways. This would be #1 in my must have features and I would be happy to pay to have it even if it requires a full replacement once during my ownership.

Air suspension will have regular steel struts, air springs (heavy duty rubber bellows), network of pipes to carry air, air compressor and control modules. Leaks used to be common earlier causing the compressor to overwork and fail leading to extensive repairs. Now we mostly hear of failure of struts (rubber bellow damage). Timely replacement of struts will save you from replacing other parts - if you car is standing level after overnight parking, you are in good shape.

The good news is that air suspension struts are plug and play replacement and not terribly expensive (about $1200 per strut in the US) and can easily be done in pvt workshops. For a well maintained car, dealer might give a goodwill discount making it less painful. Plenty of Youtube videos about airmatic repair - it doesn't scare me much because it is not too technical like engine/transmission repairs.

Great technical documentation on airmatic here (W220 but it is the same system more or less in all air suspensions):
https://w220.wiki/Airmatic
Totally Agree with you on the benefits of the Air Suspension on low GC sedans. I had a A6 for 3 years (sold recently). The raise feature was very useful in bad roads and the dynamic mode makes the car sit really low on the highways. Was very cool to have !

And like you said air suspension(Air bag) is easy to replace in the rear, i found the active dampers to be more expensive. But it gets tricky for the front, the shock and air spring is one unit(At least in the Audi). First thing i did after getting the car was to replace all the bushes to prolong the life of the shocks and air springs and it worked

And thank you for sharing service costs and insurance costs. Not many will know how much a S would cost to own, i had no clue !
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Old 5th August 2021, 18:11   #216
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Default Re: Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz - W221 S350 initial ownership review

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Originally Posted by androdev View Post
Insurance gets expensive if you have zero depreciation cover, etc. You can see the drastic drop in insurance premium after they stopped offering zero depreciation cover (from 7th year 2019).

Here is a quote to arrive at 27K premium:
Attachment 2188304

Thanks a ton for taking the time to log and post all of this, truly appreciate.

Many like me who plan to own one (in future) through the pre-worshipped route can get a sense of costs involved, thanks again.
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Old 10th August 2021, 12:58   #217
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Default Re: Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz - W221 S350 initial ownership review

Hi,

I own a 2008 W221 and had the air suspension issue. I would notice the Jumbo ducking down the rear side if parked for more than 3 days. I started sweating in anticipation of what lay ahead as by now the air suspension was folklore. Any way after completing a Phd on S Class Airmatic on the web, I decided that I have to dig the local or cheaper alternative. If I failed I would go for the original part.

Well, I risked a Made in Taiwan aftermarket alternative brand for 65K and o,h no, the car sat down after the 4th day. Cursing myself on my foolhardiness, I determined that the culprit was the 'air module' as was concluded by the experts. I arranged for the module on a returnable basis from a auto part dealer from Mumbai. He was fearing the return of the rear struts as it didn't resolve the issue. Alas, the change in module also failed as the jumbo started resting again after the 4th day.

I was furious with myself and the quacks who were claiming to be qualified on this issue. As a last resort, all airlines were checked and the air reservoir to the tank was found to be leaking. I got it replaced and voila, the Jumbo became taut and straight. Its four months now and touchwood it is 'standing'. I have not removed the struts since it is already a spend.


Note from Moderator

Please pay attention to your grammar, spelling, etc. We had to rewrite the whole post

Last edited by moralfibre : 17th August 2021 at 19:26. Reason: very badly written
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Old 3rd October 2021, 09:27   #218
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Default Re: Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz - W221 S350 initial ownership review

A rural love story, made in Germany:

Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz - W221 S350 initial ownership review-guardiandeities.jpeg
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Old 17th October 2021, 09:38   #219
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Default Re: Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz - W221 S350 initial ownership review

Took a last minute decision to drive down to Goa with overnight stay at Shimoga. Shimoga - Sagar - Badala - Kumta (not via Honnavar) route was the highlight - lot of winding roads with minimal traffic, some fast sections and some narrow forest roads.

Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz - W221 S350 initial ownership review-route1.jpg

Long stay + proper checkout :-)

Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz - W221 S350 initial ownership review-parking.png
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Old 26th October 2021, 10:03   #220
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Default Re: Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz - W221 S350 initial ownership review

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Originally Posted by androdev View Post
Took a last minute decision to drive down to Goa with overnight stay at Shimoga. Shimoga - Sagar - Badala - Kumta (not via Honnavar) route was the highlight - lot of winding roads with minimal traffic, some fast sections and some narrow forest roads.
The best S-Class is the one that is driven . I love how you take your car everywhere! These German barges are built to be driven on the open road. Me too from the same philosophy. Check out where all I take my 5.
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Old 26th October 2021, 14:55   #221
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Default Re: Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz - W221 S350 initial ownership review

The stuff I want to forget (mind you, it is a 90L tank):
Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz - W221 S350 initial ownership review-fuelpump.jpeg

Things I want to remember:
Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz - W221 S350 initial ownership review-roadpic2.jpeg
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Old 3rd November 2021, 12:52   #222
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Default Re: Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz - W221 S350 initial ownership review

Attachment 2220057

Looks like a beautiful yacht tackling rough seas.
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