Just replaced the rear cats in my wife's 2002 SLK 32 AMG - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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#1 Old 11-06-2013
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Just replaced the rear cats in my wife's 2002 SLK 32 AMG

The wife had been hearing a 'rattling sound' coming from her 2002 SLK 32 AMG for a few weeks now. It started out with a small rattle that continued to grow.

She took it over to the Plano MB service dept for an oil change. She requested them to use Royal Purple, because that's what we use. When she bought it from the MB dealer in Midland, they told us MB suggests Mobil 1 syn, but gladly used Royal Purple when they changed the oil at our request.

She also requested that MB of Plano do an inspection of the car to see if there was anything ELSE wrong with it.

They said that the rear cats needed replacing. Cost they estimated was $2400. They told her the cats had to come from Germany.

They also said her 'rear main seal' was leaking. The funny part is that they put the cats needing replacement IN WRITING on her receipt, but NOT the rear main seals leaking. More on this later.

So we took her car over to our mechanic (best mechanic I'm met here in Dallas/Ft Worth area). I showed him the receipt where it said they had to replace the cats. He jacked the car up and crawled up under it.

When he came out from under it a few minutes later, he said the passenger side cat WAS rattling but the drivers side cat seemed fine.

He then said there was NO WAY her car had a rear main seal leak. When I pulled the receipt back out I saw that they had NOT written that down. He said, "Yeah, MB dealers have a tendency to swing for the fences trying to scare owners into expensive repairs that were not necessary".

My mechanic does not do exhaust work. But I've found a really good exhaust shop near my house, so that was no problem.

While I was looking at the receipt and noticed it said the MB of Plano used Mobil 1 INSTEAD of the Royal Purple she requested. When she picked it up and noticed that, she asked why they used Mobil 1 and the service writer said 'you did not request it'.

So, I'm going to go over and stand on the desk of the GM and the SM and read them the riot act.

Telling us that my wife's car had a rear main seal leak that she did not is downright fraudulent.

NOT DOING THE OIL CHANGE is the same.

In BOTH instances, I KNOW they will deny they did anything wrong and that they never said the rear main seal was leaking or that my wife told them to use Royal Purple.

So, buyer beware. At least of the MB of Plano service department. They are a very bad service department. Trying to use fear AND LIES to charge more for inferior products (Mobil 1 IS a much cheaper syn oil than Royal Purple) plus lying about the rear main seal leaking.

All verbal communication, but lying about it frosts my buttons.

SO we took her car over to the exhaust guy and he replaced the cats with Magna Flow ones. I had him save what he pulled out so I could examine them. The passenger side one was completely empty. He saved what used to be inside it in a plastic bag. One large cone shaped piece that came out first and what was keeping all the little pieces from being expelled from the system. The drivers side cat, I could see through, meaning that the cat material was really worn badly. A day and a half and $433 later, both cats were replaced. The wife says it 'drives like a new car'. She used to have hesitation and 'surges' when she lifted her foot off the gas. Those problems have all disappeared.

And yes, the cats taken off did say 'AMG' so one of these days, we will save up enough money, buy the CORRECT AMG CATS and have my guy install THEM for about $200 ($100 per side labor). But in the mean time, her car is 'whole' again. And runs really well.

Just thought I would share the experience we had with the MB of Plano and how we replaced both her rear cats that finally failed after 11 years and how we used non AMG parts. The results were very satisfactory.
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#2 Old 11-06-2013
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That sucks - but at least you caught it.

If you have a smartphone, there are plenty of apps out there to record conversations eg Top Secret Audio for the iphone. handy to prove what was actually said if needs be.

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#3 Old 11-06-2013
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That's actually a good suggestion. The only problem is neither of us own a smart phone. Mine's JUST a phone and that's all.

The wife DOES have a Blackberry given to her by work, but is forbidden to download any apps - if she wants one, she has to go through the 'communications dept' for approval. So thanks for the suggestion.
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Shame. You could get a specific voice recorder, but they're a bit more obvious.

At least with a smartphone people are used to seeing them around, and the TSA app runs when the device is off (well, in standby mode - screen off).

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#5 Old 11-06-2013
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RandomBloke,

Actually, that's a good idea. The wife has been talking about buying another smart phone. The problem is we don't have any children, so if she has a problem using her smart phone, no one can help her with her phone. ESPECIALLY ME. hehehehe...

Moi? I'm anti-cell phones. I consider them an electronic leash. A way for people to keep track of you. Only marginally better than the beeper I carried for seven years. If I didn't respond after the third beep, it escalated to my boss. In seven years he only got two of those and both were FROM me, asking a specific question. Like WHY in the Sam Hill was I the ONLY PERSON who responded to their pager on a Friday night when a toilet in the warehouse overflowed and they called me?

And all this texting? PFFT. Old hat. When I was working in a TELEX ROOM back in 1973, I used to talk to people all over the world, using the same abbreviations. All the kids today think they have 'invented' something new with all their silly abbreviations. I've got a long list I printed out back then. I have not seen a 'new' one ever.

just sayin...
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#6 Old 11-06-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wallew View Post
The wife had been hearing a 'rattling sound' coming from her 2002 SLK 32 AMG for a few weeks now. It started out with a small rattle that continued to grow.

She took it over to the Plano MB service dept for an oil change. She requested them to use Royal Purple, because that's what we use. When she bought it from the MB dealer in Midland, they told us MB suggests Mobil 1 syn, but gladly used Royal Purple when they changed the oil at our request.

She also requested that MB of Plano do an inspection of the car to see if there was anything ELSE wrong with it.

They said that the rear cats needed replacing. Cost they estimated was $2400. They told her the cats had to come from Germany.

They also said her 'rear main seal' was leaking. The funny part is that they put the cats needing replacement IN WRITING on her receipt, but NOT the rear main seals leaking. More on this later.

So we took her car over to our mechanic (best mechanic I'm met here in Dallas/Ft Worth area). I showed him the receipt where it said they had to replace the cats. He jacked the car up and crawled up under it.

When he came out from under it a few minutes later, he said the passenger side cat WAS rattling but the drivers side cat seemed fine.

He then said there was NO WAY her car had a rear main seal leak. When I pulled the receipt back out I saw that they had NOT written that down. He said, "Yeah, MB dealers have a tendency to swing for the fences trying to scare owners into expensive repairs that were not necessary".

My mechanic does not do exhaust work. But I've found a really good exhaust shop near my house, so that was no problem.

While I was looking at the receipt and noticed it said the MB of Plano used Mobil 1 INSTEAD of the Royal Purple she requested. When she picked it up and noticed that, she asked why they used Mobil 1 and the service writer said 'you did not request it'.

So, I'm going to go over and stand on the desk of the GM and the SM and read them the riot act.

Telling us that my wife's car had a rear main seal leak that she did not is downright fraudulent.

NOT DOING THE OIL CHANGE is the same.

In BOTH instances, I KNOW they will deny they did anything wrong and that they never said the rear main seal was leaking or that my wife told them to use Royal Purple.

So, buyer beware. At least of the MB of Plano service department. They are a very bad service department. Trying to use fear AND LIES to charge more for inferior products (Mobil 1 IS a much cheaper syn oil than Royal Purple) plus lying about the rear main seal leaking.

All verbal communication, but lying about it frosts my buttons.

SO we took her car over to the exhaust guy and he replaced the cats with Magna Flow ones. I had him save what he pulled out so I could examine them. The passenger side one was completely empty. He saved what used to be inside it in a plastic bag. One large cone shaped piece that came out first and what was keeping all the little pieces from being expelled from the system. The drivers side cat, I could see through, meaning that the cat material was really worn badly. A day and a half and $433 later, both cats were replaced. The wife says it 'drives like a new car'. She used to have hesitation and 'surges' when she lifted her foot off the gas. Those problems have all disappeared.

And yes, the cats taken off did say 'AMG' so one of these days, we will save up enough money, buy the CORRECT AMG CATS and have my guy install THEM for about $200 ($100 per side labor). But in the mean time, her car is 'whole' again. And runs really well.

Just thought I would share the experience we had with the MB of Plano and how we replaced both her rear cats that finally failed after 11 years and how we used non AMG parts. The results were very satisfactory.

Hi
Just interested to know how many miles the SLK32 had done as mine is the same age?

Steve
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#7 Old 11-07-2013
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Steve,

Her 2002 SLK 32 AMG has just turned 50k miles. She has put 5k miles on it in the past six months.

I was surprised at how MUCH BETTER her car drove after the fix.

I contacted the dealer we bought it from in Midland. In speaking with the parts department, I at least found out WHY the cats were basically $1000 per side. MB doesn't sell just an individual AMG cat. They only sell them as an assembly.

Front and rear cat with the pipe connecting the two. One side is like $1070 and the other side is $960. So to completely replace all four cats it's $2100 plus installation costs. Which I would not be surprise to see any MB dealer charge $400 for that.

Just thought I would share that with the group.
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#8 Old 11-07-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wallew View Post
...

She took it over to the Plano MB service dept for an oil change. She requested them to use Royal Purple, because that's what we use. When she bought it from the MB dealer in Midland, they told us MB suggests Mobil 1 syn, but gladly used Royal Purple when they changed the oil at our request.

...

While I was looking at the receipt and noticed it said the MB of Plano used Mobil 1 INSTEAD of the Royal Purple she requested. When she picked it up and noticed that, she asked why they used Mobil 1 and the service writer said 'you did not request it'.

Telling us that my wife's car had a rear main seal leak that she did not is downright fraudulent.

NOT DOING THE OIL CHANGE is the same.

In BOTH instances, I KNOW they will deny they did anything wrong and that they never said the rear main seal was leaking or that my wife told them to use Royal Purple.

...
So the REAL INTERESTING DEVELOPMENT IS THIS.

MB Plano sent an Appointment Confirmation email to us.

In that email they confirm the date and time when the wife is supposed to drop her SLK 32 AMG off for the following service:

OIL CHANGE - SYNTHETIC - MUST USE ROYAL PURPLE NOT MOBILE ONE

So much for my wife NOT requesting that they use Royal Purple. They even sent a confirmation THAT SAYS THAT'S WHAT SHE WANTED TO DO.

STAY AWAY FROM MB of Plano. BAD JUJU FOR SURE.
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#9 Old 11-07-2013
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^^^ Sounds like you're due a free oil change in a few thousand miles.

Walmart (yeah, I know) stripped the sump plug on my truck. They paid for a new sump to be fitted - and gave me a voucher for an additional change whenever I wanted it. If Walmart can 'step up to the plate'...
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#10 Old 11-10-2013
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Well, to their credit they did offer to change the oil over to Royal Purple. To which my wife said they were never going to touch her car again.

So they offered to PAY for having it changed by our mechanic. I'll consider it a lesson well learned and never use them again.

As I pay my own freight, I'll just chalk it up to bad management at the MB of Plano and tell this story every time any one asks.

But I WILL be honest and tell that they offered to make it right after they accused my wife of NOT requesting it in the first place.
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#11 Old 11-18-2013
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Wallew, sorry for your trouble but very glad you have a good mechanic on hand. I recommend a second opinion any time you get a big repair bill estimate if you do not work on cars yourself. Often saves you money but even the time that the money is not saved, you at least sleep better knowing you are not being taken advantage of.

Thought I would share with you my story as an additional word of caution when dealing with most MB dealerships. My car had rodent damage from last winter. Took it to my MB certified mechanic. He quoted $3200 to replace the wiring damage. My insurance said, sure we will pay of the damage but we will only pay $1900. So I had the insurance company move the car to one of their approved shops to get the damage fixed. They were a bodyshop so they sent it to the MB dealership down the road. They agreed to do the work at the specified insurance price of $1900 (they would have charged me the $3200 if I came in off the streets).

Now all the wiring work is done and they call me to tell me that my car will not run well enough to make it out of the parking lot without a $1000 tune up. They give me a list of things that need to be done just to drive the car. I look up all the parts needed. Parts cost $330. I call the insurance company and tell them they need to pay for a tow to my house since the dealership has done something to my car to make it undrivable. Insurance says no, you had it towed to dealership because it was not drivable. Nope, I drove it to my mechanic. The insurance company towed it when they refused to pay my mechanic what it would take to do the job. So the insurance company agrees and tows it to my house. Comes off the flatbed and I crank the car and drive it to autozone to have them pull the codes. So much for "it won't even make it out of the parking lot". Codes are misfires on 3 and 4 and the 0170 code (that is the bad MAF code if you are not familiar with it). According to my paperwork from MB, they pulled codes as well, they got the same codes. They never mentioned replacing the MAF even though that is exactly what their codes told them. I think what they were going to do was do the tune up for $1000 and then after that was fixed, tell me that it still was not running properly and that the MAF needed to be replaced. They would have charged $500-$800 to replace the MAF. I did it myself for $144 in parts. I believe all of this was because they got screwed on the wiring from the insurance and they were going to get their money one way or another. The car did not really need a tune up (did not hurt to do it but it was not causing the codes) but it did need the MAF. They would not have gotten the $/per hour they needed to offset the low $/per hour paid to insurance company by just replacing the MAF.

I won't even begin to tell you how incredulous the service manager was when I told him to get my car ready to be picked up by the flatbed and that they were not going to be working on my car. I really do wish I had a recording of that. Just beyond funny.

Unfortunately, when dealing with cars, it really is buyer beware. Sad state of things but it is a reality. So if you have found a good, honest mechanic, they are worth their weight in gold.

Hope your wife continues to love her AMG. They are addictive.
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#12 Old 11-18-2013
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^^ Good for you! Great story.
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#13 Old 11-19-2013
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DIYGirl,

I AM a gun smith and a mechanic. I HAVE worked on numerous vehicles, including my Harley that I rebuilt the upper end on (not as hard as it sounds). But I turned sixty this year and I told the wife she had to make decisions on her car.

But when told what the problem was and the cost to fix it I checked it out. I DO have an excellent mechanic that does everything BUT exhaust work.

But he crawled up under the wife's car and said she had ONE cat that need replacing, not four (that what MB said). And did NOT have a rear main seal leak (again, that's what MB said).

I also have an exhaust guy and he replaced the two main cats and the car runs GREAT now and the wife is extremely happy.

My real complaint is this. WHY IS IT THAT DEALERS, ESPECIALLY MB DEALERS FEEL THEY NEED TO LIE TO THEIR CUSTOMERS TO MAKE A LIVING? I know it's not cheap to run a dealership. But they charge an arm AND a leg for service. She took it in for an oil changed (they used the wrong oil) and a visual inspection. WE KNEW what was wrong before she took it in. It was basically a test to see if they could figure out what was wrong.

THEY EPIC FAILED THAT TEST COMPLETELY. And the wife said,'There is no Fin way they will EVER touch my car again'. I think it was because we use Royal Purple and MB says they ONLY USE MOBIL ONE and that my wife never requested it. The wife hates being called a liar, especially when she told them IN WRITING as well as verbally. We even got a response back tell us they got the message that the wife wanted ROYAL PURPLE, NOT MOBIL ONE, but they used Mobil One anyway. And while Mobil One is OK, it's not nearly the syn oil that Royal Purple is.

But your story has the same earmarks as what we experienced. I've only heard BAD STORIES about MB service departments. The exception would be the one in Midland, Texas, where we bought the wifes car from. They did do an oil change using Royal Purple. Plus three other service items that THEY PAID FOR, including the rear tires (not cheap on an AMG), the tranny bushing and a full set of brake pads. And as I said, they didn't charge her one dime. NOW THAT'S A SERVICE DEPARTMENT. Most dealers would just tell you that you needed those things replaced and charge us an arm and a leg.
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#14 Old 09-15-2014
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2005 slk55 41,000mi
I had B service yesterday with cooling system fluid exchange , fuel injection service , power steering service synthetic , v belts and spark plugs it cost me $2,500 , when I pick up my car , the service advisor told me , I will need the following work , EN19 seal rear crankshaft with crank sensor $3,150 , EN00 engine mounts $1,200 , FS120 bushing torque strut $850 , EN17 gasket valve cover $670 and MA24 differential rear axle MOC oil change $230 , is another $6,100 , so what your guys think of this .
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2005 slk55 41,000mi
I had B service yesterday with cooling system fluid exchange , fuel injection service , power steering service synthetic , v belts and spark plugs it cost me $2,500 , when I pick up my car , the service advisor told me , I will need the following work , EN19 seal rear crankshaft with crank sensor $3,150 , EN00 engine mounts $1,200 , FS120 bushing torque strut $850 , EN17 gasket valve cover $670 and MA24 differential rear axle MOC oil change $230 , is another $6,100 , so what your guys think of this .
#1 .- This would have been a good time to start a new topic of your own for your question as it might get better response. @41k miles that sounds like a lot of work to me for a 2005. If I were you I would get a second opinion. If you live in the city, there is a great MB independent shop called Octane located at 330 10th Street just south of Market. If you are close to the peninsula, I think the best indy., knowledgeable, fair and reasonable is Eurotech in San Carlos. Just my 2˘. Either shop, tell them Steve sent you.

Steven

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Yeah, I would concur with Stinger.

We took her car in for an oil change and they 'lost' the two bolts that hold the trunk latch on.

YEAH, you read that right. It cost me less than $10 to get two new ones shipped from Midland MB.

BUT REALLY? Tell me why they did ANYTHING with the bolts that hold the rear trunk latch in place?

Never again will we go near MB of Plano.

A rattlesnake in the living room tends to end all discussion of animal rights. "Vengence is mine" sayth the Lord, but sometimes he subcontracts...
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fyi fsp38 has started his own new thread on his subject


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