Join Date: May 2013
Location: Keller, Texas
Vehicle: My wife's first 'fun car' 2002 SLK 32 AMG
Other Toys: 2007 Dodge Magnum Police Interceptor
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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.