Need to do several services, Local shop or Dealer? - Mercedes Benz SLK Forum

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#1 Old 06-03-2012
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Need to do several services, Local shop or Dealer?

Hey guys! kinda need some opinions for the following services that I'm planning to do on my "new to me" SLK, since the price from the dealer is unreasonable, so I'm thinking about cutting some costs if I can just leave some general services to the local shop. I've always take good care of my car and don't want something to happened because I didn't bring it to the MB dealer. Thanks for all your suggestion and opinion!

I will provide all the parts besides "fluid" to the shop

[1] Engine - Oil and filter change
[2] Break fluid change
[3] fuel filter change
[4] Replace spark plugs
[5] Flush coolant
[6] Change brake pads
[7] Change battery

I have a 2006 SLK55 with 23300 miles on it, please let me know if there's any services above is unnecessary, thanks!!!
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#2 Old 06-03-2012
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What does your owners manual say about those services? An original battery is still likely okay. Take it to a McParts store and have them test it - FREE. BRAKE fluid is an every two year service. I believe the coolant in your car is a 15 year/150,000 miles coolant. Have it tested and look at it - it is likely still good. You can buy a coolant tester for a few dollars and test it yourself. Spark plugs - on my 2003, it's five years/100,000 miles. See what the manual says about yours. Fuel filter is probably five years/60,000 miles. Brake pads get changed when they are below spec - MEASURE THEM. You also have wear indicators that will give you plenty of warning before they need to be changed. Oil/filter should be good for about 12,000 miles - USE THE PROPER FILTER and not one off the shelf at some McParts store. Use the proper synthetic oil too.

What is the service history on the car? Want to bond with your car? DIY

Kudos to you for wanting to pamper your car, but I certainly would not just piss away money on things that don't need to be done.

Len

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#3 Old 06-03-2012
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You'll provide parts/fluids to the shop? They make a profit on that stuff, plus you are then responsible for it. You just want to be sure they use the right parts and fluid and not some common brand that might not meet specs-
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#4 Old 06-03-2012
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For the oil, you may want to provide that as many shops won't carry the right stuff and will use whatever they have that is closest.

When I was dropping of the old oil for recycling at a McParts store that has 6 service bays attached, I observed one of their guys do an oil change for one of their victims. They had large bins of oil by weight. When he went to get the correct weight, he found that there was only 1 qt. left in the bin. Did he go to the back and fetch the next batch for that bin? Nope. He just switched to the next available weight for the next 4 qts.

If you don't want to take it to a MB dealer, stay clear of the McPart's shops - go with a reputable indie that only works on European cars. That will increase the likelihood of getting quality service and the right parts/oil, etc. In my experience with 6 MBs over my life, some of the indies can do a really good job for quite a bit less than the dealer. But there is quite a bit of variability with the indies whereas an MB dealer should be more consistent in terms of high quality.
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#5 Old 06-03-2012
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With only 23,300 miles you should only need the first two items done. If you need all the others the SLK must have been treated real bad. Brakes should be good for 40,000 miles or more. Battery should be good or dead and onky need to replace if dead. other items is good for likw 100,000 miles. If all this stuff is bad it must have been a race car.
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#6 Old 06-04-2012
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For those who might be curious about the price from different MB dealers, this is so far of what I got from two different MB dealers.

Shows: (Dealer A / Dealer B)

[1] Engine - Oil and filter change ($200 / $155)
[2] Break fluid change ($120 / $140)
[3] fuel filter change ($550 / $462.70)
[4] Replace spark plugs ($920 / $891.48)
[5] Flush coolant ($200 / $150)
[6] Change brake pads for entire car, parts plus labor ($700 / $502.62)
[7] Change battery ($160 / $220)

Hope the above info help some members to decide rather DIY or go MB Dealers!
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