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Old 29th March 2022, 13:35   #241
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Re: Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz - W221 S350 initial ownership review

I will suggest changing the rear struts too. This car is regularly being used for family trips. Now that the front struts failed without warning, what is preventing the rear ones to fail as well? Breaking down while traveling with the family is a frustrating experience. The rear struts also went through the same terrain and distance over the last 10 years. I would spend that extra 4.3 L and have the peace of mind that at least the struts will not fail.
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Old 29th March 2022, 13:41   #242
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Re: Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz - W221 S350 initial ownership review

I agree with Turbonator's view. In the name of preventive maintenance, the dealership should not change a laundry list of parts. They are shooting the parts cannon.

Lower arm will not fail so easily and if they do they you will definitely know something is wrong every time you turn the steering.
Tie rods if worn out will make noise and the car will go out of alignment and cannot be adjusted to factory spec.

Engine and transmission mounts, if weak or worn will transmit the vibration into the cabin floor and steering wheel, and can be easily noticed inside the car during idle.

Last edited by sagarpadaki : 29th March 2022 at 13:43.
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Old 29th March 2022, 13:47   #243
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Re: Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz - W221 S350 initial ownership review

Androdev, brother! Please find a competent independent shop. It is absolutely critical to owning an old German car. Let me put it another way = you cannot own a 10 year old German luxury car in India without an expert 'outside' mechanic.

In my research of buying a pre-worshipped S-Class, I was told by reliable sources that the air suspension overhaul is approximately "1 lakh per corner". Meaning 4 - 5 lakhs for all 4, front & back. Please don't pay through your nose at the authorised dealer, especially for such major repairs. You absolutely need to get your car moved to a good independent. Else, the next major failure and you'll be tempted to sell the car off (cost of repairs > resale value). Find a good shop, you'll need him sometime for your Porsche too . Luckily, you are in a major city and not a small town where talent is hard to find.

I wish you were in Mumbai. Would have personally connected you to people I know here and your car would be repaired without you leaving the Team-BHP tab on your laptop! My cousin bro drives a 10+ year old W221 and spends 2 lakhs in some years, 3 lakhs in others. This average has included the cost of an air suspension replacement. All done at a local shop. He has NEVER spent over 5 lakhs in any year and in the last 5 years, he's probably spent about 12 lakhs total (your current repair quote).

Do put in the effort, make some calls and find an expert independent workshop. 12-lakhs is anyways obscene money for such an old car. What will you do on the next major failure? Spend another 6 lakhs when it could be done outside for less than half the money? All the parts of our cars have a finite life and at the 10-year mark, things are going to start failing.

Option #2 if you have a great relationship with the dealer = you give them parts & they bill you for the labour only. Some authorised dealers allow this (based on relationship), most don't.

Last edited by GTO : 29th March 2022 at 13:58.
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Old 29th March 2022, 14:25   #244
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Re: Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz - W221 S350 initial ownership review

Thanks for all the great suggestions. I will skip the rear strut replacement and deal with it when it goes wrong - unwanted surgery at this point, I don't like the idea of interior dismantling :-)

I have decided to discuss all the items in detail with the service advisor to see what and all can be skipped. I will certainly start exploring some reputed private garages in Bangalore for future needs - especially for big ticket items it is worth investing the time and effort.

I understand the more time I invest, there is more scope for saving but I have to find some trade-off between time vs money. Mercedes dealer really saves me time and other than the cost factor, I have no reason to complain by and large. I called them to arrange for towing and I continued my journey in another car. I am yet to see the car after that. Other than the cost, I have zero anxiety and stress if you know what I mean.

I am happy with the dealership in general (given the low bar I have come to accept from car dealerships) but Mercedes-Benz has proved to be very mediocre when it comes to customer service experience. MB offered 15% discount which I declined as I wanted something substantial or nothing. My patronage of MB (purchase, loan, ext.warranty, service package, insurance, service history all taken from MB) has been exceptional and I felt they should offer something substantial.

You win some, you lose some. Everything averages out in the end, more or less.

Quote:
Originally Posted by padmrajravi View Post
I will suggest changing the rear struts too. This car is regularly being used for family trips. Now that the front struts failed without warning, what is preventing the rear ones to fail as well? Breaking down while traveling with the family is a frustrating experience. The rear struts also went through the same terrain and distance over the last 10 years. I would spend that extra 4.3 L and have the peace of mind that at least the struts will not fail.
This has been my thinking as well. If MB had given a decent discount, I would have considered it. I am also hesitant to have this done as it involves some interior disassembly. However minimal it is, they don't put things together properly and there will be all type of grease and dirt marks. Maybe i can get this done outside in near future.

Last edited by androdev : 29th March 2022 at 14:42.
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Old 30th March 2022, 09:25   #245
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Re: Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz - W221 S350 initial ownership review

In case you're interested: https://www.instagram.com/mandmachine/

Have gotten work from them in the past and would highly recommend, but that would add to your hassle(sending the car to Hyd).

They had done our 2013 A6's complete air suspension overhaul including replacing the struts.

Based on their Instagram feed, they're pretty adept doing MB air suspension overhauls.
Please do speak with them at the very least before proceed with the work as Dinesh the owner is a very knowledgable guy.
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Old 30th March 2022, 09:31   #246
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Re: Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz - W221 S350 initial ownership review

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Androdev, brother! Please find a competent independent shop. It is absolutely critical to owning an old German car. Let me put it another way = you cannot own a 10 year old German luxury car in India without an expert 'outside' mechanic.
Couldn't agree with GTO any better @Androdev, my family ha owned 3 German Luxury cars in the past 12 years, all of them touchwood have not had major service related issues, but have always got a second opinion from our trusted family mechanic, Mr Timothy Thomas from AUTOMAC. He specializes in the late 90s and early 2000s luxury imports and has a very satisfied clientele. Do give have a look at AUTOMAC


Dropping their location here
VDS Complex, 1A, Kalkere Main Rd, Horamavu, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560016


Cheers
Cliff
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Old 30th March 2022, 10:10   #247
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Re: Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz - W221 S350 initial ownership review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbanator View Post
If all this sounds complicated, get in touch with someone like Patel Motors (erstwhile service partner for MB and now independent but repair everything from consulate to SPG vehicles here) .
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliff9091 View Post
Mr Timothy Thomas from AUTOMAC. He specializes in the late 90s and early 2000s luxury imports and has a very satisfied clientele. Do give have a look at AUTOMAC

Dropping their location here
VDS Complex, 1A, Kalkere Main Rd, Horamavu, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560016
Androdev, you've gotten two solid recommendations for independents here. Go for it . Maintaining a 10-year old S-Class at the Mercedes dealer is simply unsustainable as you'll be getting more 5+ lakh rupee bills as your car ages. There are many W221 & W222 owners who are happily spending just 2 - 3 lakhs a year on the upkeep of their out of warranty S-Classes. Almost the same expert talent as the dealer, and pretty much the same OEM parts too.

You might stick with the dealer this time, but what when your next major repair comes up? The money you're spending will soon match the resale value of your car!
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Old 30th March 2022, 10:20   #248
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Re: Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz - W221 S350 initial ownership review

Good Lord - Suspension failing on a trip!
Proves why these old Germans are unreliable and you always have this at the fag back end of your mind whenever going on a long trip.
Till you find a good independent workshop, I would suggest to source the parts yourself (Dealer will share the part nos) and get the car fixed at MB workshop. This will save you a couple. I always do this and its quite cost effective.
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Old 30th March 2022, 10:54   #249
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Re: Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz - W221 S350 initial ownership review

Is it possible to get rid of the air suspension which seems to be a notorious issue of the Mercedes and replace it with a regular type suspension? This way that problem is solved for good and you do not have to worry of the car's front deflating itself.
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Old 30th March 2022, 11:46   #250
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Re: Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz - W221 S350 initial ownership review

Hey Androdev, I see the point in what GTO's suggesting.

Even if the time-money tradeoff is tilting towards saving time today, sooner or later, you may feel like finding an alternative. The cash savings may not be worth for this one Merc workshop visit. But for a longer ownership duration, I'm sure the time you invest now in finding a trustworthy workshop today will save enough cash overall to justify this one-time hassle.

Last edited by MaheshY1 : 30th March 2022 at 11:51.
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Old 30th March 2022, 12:08   #251
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Re: Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz - W221 S350 initial ownership review

Definitely concur with the general advice being given here: please find a good third party garage. I'm looking at getting suspension work done on my aging F10 and BMW is quoting 2x as much as my trusted FNG. If you were in Chennai, would have connected you with my folks here.
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Old 30th March 2022, 12:17   #252
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Re: Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz - W221 S350 initial ownership review

Quote:
Originally Posted by sumeethaldankar View Post
Is it possible to get rid of the air suspension which seems to be a notorious issue of the Mercedes and replace it with a regular type suspension? This way that problem is solved for good and you do not have to worry of the car's front deflating itself.
Even if there is a conventional option, an air suspension is going to ride and handle better and also raise the car over bad roads.

It's not worth downgrading for a once-in-a-decade problem.
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Old 30th March 2022, 12:33   #253
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Re: Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz - W221 S350 initial ownership review

Hey Androdev, if you're looking for a competent independent garage in Bangalore as suggested by GTO and other BHPians, you may check with Abhinandan +9900339509, he runs a garage near Sarjapur road (sorry I don't recall his garage name) and has been recommended by few friends who get their German rides maintained by him.

PS: Not associated with him in any way, just passing on a reference to help a fellow BHPian.
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Old 30th March 2022, 12:58   #254
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Re: Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz - W221 S350 initial ownership review

Quote:
Originally Posted by KkVaidya View Post
Good Lord - Suspension failing on a trip!
Proves why these old Germans are unreliable and you always have this at the fag back end of your mind whenever going on a long trip.
Till you find a good independent workshop, I would suggest to source the parts yourself (Dealer will share the part nos) and get the car fixed at MB workshop. This will save you a couple. I always do this and its quite cost effective.
Just curious. Where do you source these parts from?
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Old 30th March 2022, 13:11   #255
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Re: Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz - W221 S350 initial ownership review

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Originally Posted by siren373 View Post
Just curious. Where do you source these parts from?
Not the guy you quoted, but I'll take a stab at this.

3 ways you can do this

A. Have someone hand carry it for you on their way back from Europe/UK after ordering off eBay/other reputed site (FCP Euro, etc). Or, have them ship it. But then, shipping and customs will be pricey

B. Contact someone local that deals in this brand, and buy direct from them. For instance, there are multiple aftermarket shops selling the Bilstein air suspension components for a Merc S350. Buying it from them might save you some money over...

C. ...Handing it over to your trusted shop and having them do it end-to-end (source the parts, install it, deliver it post testing). This is of course the most hassle-free option of the three, and then one I often go for.

Savings are significant. For instance, a friend told me he was quoted about 1.2 lakhs + labour and taxes for shocks for his F30 328i. Right now, B6's are available for about 90k, or less if you're lucky. Consider how much more that savings becomes when you're talking about major parts like this air suspension.
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