So, my SLK55 has been stored for the past 6 weeks in a heated garage. On Friday, I decided to drive it to work just to get the internal parts lubricated and keep the tires from flat spotting. I was about 1.5 miles from work when a pulley seized, the serpentine belt disintegrated, and all sorts of warning lights started flashing. Basically any ancillary system driven by the belt. Battery, alternator, cooling, power steering.
So I call Mercedes roadside assistance and off to the dealer it goes. They inform me it's just the belt and one pulley that seized. $350, not bad. The belt may have been original and I'd been getting a speed dependent whistle from a pulley for months. It must have seized up from sitting in the garage for 6 weeks and combined with the old belt.....failure.
I also had them do the "Service C" maintenance which is just an oil change and fluids check. $299, again not bad.
But then I had to listen to the sales pitch from the service rep. Keep in mind, my dealer has outsourced service operations to Penske Automotive. So, although the dealer's name is on the building, all of their personnel servicing Mercedes, Porsche, Audi, and Smart brands are Penske employees.
So the service rep informs me about the problems noted above and then goes on to say in addition.....
- Oil leak - At first he called it a leak from the valve cover gaskets then amended that to a "weeping" at one corner of one gasket. I'm getting no oil on the garage floor. He admitted it's barely noticeable at the moment.
- Transmission fluid change - recommended at 40,000 miles. I had to crush his spirit and inform him that the car had the conductor plate and valve body problem fixed at 27,000 miles just before I bought it and therefore had fresh transmission fluid.
- Brake fluid flush - Next up he tried selling me a brake fluid flush which is also recommended at 40,000 miles. Sorry dude the car has 37,000 miles and is in storage until mid April. We'll talk about the end of June.
- Spark plug change - Recommended at 5 years regardless of mileage so that oxidation doesn't cause the plugs to weld themselves to the block due to anodic reaction of the block vs the metal in the plugs. I had to break his heart again when I informed him that the plugs were also done at 27,000 miles just before I bought the car.
Now, I can't fault the guy for bringing legitimate maintenance items to my attention, but the transmission, and plugs were done at a Mercedes dealer. The service records should be available to this service center. They should have looked. Or maybe they did and thought they could get lucky. Sorry, I have the service records for the car.
He did not get as far as giving me prices for all of the above maintenance but I would guess it totals around $2,000. Based on the facts, I think I'll take it to a local independent I trust for the valve cover leak and the brake fluid flush. Both are pretty mundane service items. As a result of either laziness or deceit, these guys will get zero work out of me for this stuff.