Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!





Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Did you get a great deal? Let us know in the Values & Prices Paid section!
Meet your fellow owners in our Owners Clubs

Brake Pad, ABC and Check-Engine Warning Lights - 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG Long-Term Road Test

Edmunds.comEdmunds.com Posts: 10,059
edited February 2015 in Mercedes-Benz
imageBrake Pad, ABC and Check-Engine Warning Lights - 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 AMG Long-Term Road Test

Our 2005 Mercedes-Benz CL65 went to the shop for brake pad, ABC system and check engine lights. In return we got a $16,000 repair estimate.

Read the full story here


«1

Comments

  • grijongrijon Posts: 147
    Stellar post, thank you for this.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Ai-ai-ai....now we know why cars like this depreciate like a cinder block dropped off a bridge.
  • miata52miata52 Posts: 114
    Agree, great post and I'm glad you guys did this car. Now I know never to buy one...
  • iamthestigiamthestig Philadelphia, PAPosts: 85
    Great post. But if I were you, I would have thought twice about holding this post until after the car was sold...
  • Can we get the full breakdown on the recommended repairs? If the $16,000 included front and rear rotors and pads, various ABC required and recommended service, both banks worth of ignition coils and 24 spark plugs, that's not actually a bad price for all that work particularly at a dealer - setting aside of course the fact that the coils, f&r rotors, and f pads apparently didn't need replacing ;-) If it included the valve stem replacement it's a screaming deal - though I suspect it didn't - looks like that wasn't discovered until after the initial recommended repair list was created.
  • Woa...
    Could you also give us a parts cost. Most of those things seem like an easy DIY.
    Looking online, Rear Brake pads are $171, so ~$200 fo install isn't to bad.
  • Wonderful post, thank you! I guess you don't have the ability to scan the entire estimate in and place it as a PDF? That'd be really insightful. You guys dumped all of this money into repairing this monster, but didn't replace the spark plugs until 72k? Oh geez. I'm sure the Mercedes Dealer recommended it everytime as part of their $15,000 annual estimates. LOL. I wonder how much a 120k warranty would've costed on this guy.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 48,268
    I'll give you $500 for it.

    The dealer is not a place to take a 10 year old V12 MB.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    The only expense that really sits well with me is the fee paid for the diagnosis. At least the guy who trained so hard to figure these monsters out got some compensation, or at least kudos from his employer for billing his time properly.
  • Wow, that's unacceptable that valve stem seals are leaking after just 72k miles. I've never heard of that happening on a car this early before. The rest of the stuff was expected. Those hydraulic lines should have all been replaced last time.
    Oh, and I've never seen a $16k bill before. This car is a ticking time bomb if that much stuff actually needs to be done. German cars are notoriously bad if you leave that much maintenance undone.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    That's the problem with cars like this---they are often big bundles of deferred maintenance, so each owner passes it on to the next once they've gotten sick of pouring cash into the car. It's kind of a Sell Stop Limit with these cars---when you get a $16000 estimate from the dealer, you SELL.

  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 26,229
    edited February 2015
    $1900 for a brake hose?!?!
    $1800 in labor to diagnose and install $240 worth of plugs?!

    Were you perhaps wearing a baby seal costume when this transpired? Good grief!

    I bid $520!!

    '10 Equinox LS; '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 49-car history and counting!

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 12,293
    edited February 2015
    I'll be the first to admit that I have little to no experience with Mercedes- new, used, or otherwise- but I would point out that back in 2008 Edmunds ran an E46 M3 as a used long term test car and the BMW dealer they used(Santa Monica BMW).would absolutely hammer Edmunds every time they brought the M3 into their Service Department. Anyway, I read how Santa Monica had just reamed Edmunds for some relatively minor work on the M3; at about the same time I had my local dealer perform an Inspection II and brake fluid flush on my X3 at a total cost of $374. Just for giggles I called Santa Monica BMW and asked them how much those services would cost. I was told that I was in luck as they had a "service special" going on. Their quote?
    $1104.95- only $730.95(295%) more than my dealer.
    My point being that it would seem that some of the dealers in the Santa Monica vicinity see maintenance and repair work as the ultimate opportunity to screw the customer...

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i

  • WOW. What a money pit of a car. Maybe my dad was right all along when I was younger (the more options it has, the more things that can break).
  • Wow. For the price of the recommended repairs you could buy any of at least a half dozen new car models.

    From a financial perspective it's hard to say this ownership experience has been anything but a total bust. I think a lot of us knew going in that buying a used exotic car cheap is a money trap. But from a journalistic perspective this exercise is a success. Because now we have a published example of how big a financial mistake it is.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Well RB, when you are dealing with a someone exotic car your options are more limited. Midas is not going to work on your V-12 and I don't think Edmunds staff is going to spend the afternoon in their shirtsleeves changing out 24 spark plugs.
  • I have a 2008 VW Rabbit, 2 door, total stripper, manual transmission. I'll trade you even up so you can use the Rabbit as your next long term used car subject. I bet the Rabbit has more value than the Mercedes...
  • aspadeaspade Posts: 42
    Goes without saying that a $17,000 shop bill on a car that should just be getting broken in is beyond absurd.

    But without knowing the actual labor involved it's impossible to break down how much of that is inherent badness of the car vs. inherent badness of the dealer.

    There are plenty of service departments selling $2000 brake jobs for Camcords too.
  • reminderreminder Posts: 383
    Your experiences with this money pit should scare away anyone considering a similar purchase.
    That thing is junk.
  • As much as I love German cars (although I'm more partial to VW/Audi than BMW or MB), I don't think I could ever buy a used one unless it was a CPO model and a few years old, at most. I've learned from knowing people that own German cars how expensive they can be to maintain, especially as they age. I know Mercedes-Benz models from the DaimlerChrysler era (like this CL65) were known to be particularly unreliable and poorly-build (by traditional MB standards), but I don't think I could trust any older German car to be relatively trouble-free, regardless of its vintage.
  • bankerdannybankerdanny Posts: 1,021
    With the 308 and the 911 you opted to find a reliable independent shop to do the work that needed doing, I think a similar approach should have been applied here. It just doesn't make sense to use the dealer to repair things on a long out of warranty car that you paid less than $30k for.
  • boffboff Posts: 91
    There is a segment of the used car-buying population that would see a long list of things recently replaced and think "what else could it possibly need?" That's the kind of buyer you are after.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    That job probably wouldn't be a whole lot less money at an Indy Shop unless they cut some corners. They would more than likely buy the parts from a dealer even if aftermarket parts were available and the labor rate would probably be a bit less but not a whole lot less.

    Pep Boys or Firestone would be nuts to take on a job like that so a boutique specialty shop would be in order.

    I think I would find a capable Indy Shop and ask them what absolutely HAD to be done and then I would run like a thief in the night away from that nightmare!
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 12,293

    Well RB, when you are dealing with a someone exotic car your options are more limited. Midas is not going to work on your V-12 and I don't think Edmunds staff is going to spend the afternoon in their shirtsleeves changing out 24 spark plugs.

    I'm not advocating a chain store or DIY, but I'm sure there are at least a couple of indie shops in the area that specialize in Mercedes- I know that's the case for BMW.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i

  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225
    No chain store would be foolish enough to take on a car like that at least I hope not!
  • I know the valve stem seal job on the N62 v8 engine from BMW 550 is $7-9k. I assume this V12 is much more. I love the fact that you guys bought this car and are dealing with real world repairs.
  • sharpendsharpend Posts: 177
    Kill it with fire.
  • kshankarkshankar Posts: 175
    [email protected] bonzjr's comment
  • kshankarkshankar Posts: 175
    " There is nothing more expensive than a cheap Mercedes."
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 4,524
    Wowza.
    2018 Acura TLX 2.4 Tech 4WS (mine), 2018 Honda CR-V EX AWD (wife's)
  • I agree, you should shop this quote around several other MB dealers and independent shops that offer 10ft pole service for comparison. It would be a great tagline when it comes to selling it if you can offer recommended repair shops that are less than the GDP of a small country.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    I think indie shops for BMW and Porsche tend to be quite a bit different than indie shops for Mercedes--at least that has been my experience all these years. The BMW and Porsche techs are more driving enthusiasts IMO and often specialize in that one marque. I mean, how often do you see Mercedes indie shops sponsoring track days or club meetings? Mercedes indie shops tend to be generalized "German Motors" or some such, taking on a variety of cars. And being German doesn't mean you automatically are expert in every German car. That's a bad assumption.

    Also, Mercedes is one devil of a car to work on, so the boys in the trenches tell me.

    I dunno. I think with an out-of-warranty Benz, you're kinda behind the 8 ball.

    Well RB, when you are dealing with a someone exotic car your options are more limited. Midas is not going to work on your V-12 and I don't think Edmunds staff is going to spend the afternoon in their shirtsleeves changing out 24 spark plugs.

    I'm not advocating a chain store or DIY, but I'm sure there are at least a couple of indie shops in the area that specialize in Mercedes- I know that's the case for BMW.

  • fordson1fordson1 Posts: 1,512

    That's the problem with cars like this---they are often big bundles of deferred maintenance, so each owner passes it on to the next once they've gotten sick of pouring cash into the car. It's kind of a Sell Stop Limit with these cars---when you get a $16000 estimate from the dealer, you SELL.

    Just so we have a complete picture, could Mike please follow up with a complete listing of the scheduled maintenance items that have not been done on the car? Yes, very expensive car to maintain, but fully 20% of this bill was a result of deferred maintenance. What other problems are brewing due to this?

    So, passed on plugs back at 60k, passed on brakes and valve stem seals now...be interesting to see the offers they get...
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 12,293
    Another factor to consider is whether the service writer works on commission. My BMW dealer doesn't use that business model. As a result, when the "4X4 Fault" light illuminated on my son's X3 my advisor told me, "The system only stored one isolated fault- the steering angle sensor. I would not suggest replacing it- it may just be an isolate glitch." When my 1995 3er was in for an Oil Service he told me, "The power steering return hose is slightly damp, but I wouldn't replace it until it starts to drip, and that probably won't happen for another 40,000-50,000 miles."
    Think that would happen in a commission shop?

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i

  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,798
    edited February 2015
    Is this just a Mercedes cost issue, or do other Euro cars (Audi,Land Rover) exhibit their own very expensive breakdowns when well outside warranty?
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 12,293

    Is this just a Mercedes cost issue, or do other Euro cars (Audi,Land Rover) exhibit their own very expensive breakdowns when well outside warranty?

    The thing to remember if you want to run a European car for a long time is to buy the simplest iteration of the model you like- the less bells and whistles the better. I've run several BMWs past 120k with no heart-stopping repair bills, but they've all been naturally aspirated inline fours or sixes- no V8s, V10s, or V12s. Out of my four current BMWs, three have more than 140k on the clock- and one has over 203k...

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i

  • redskinsdmvredskinsdmv Posts: 52
    edited February 2015

    Is this just a Mercedes cost issue, or do other Euro cars (Audi,Land Rover) exhibit their own very expensive breakdowns when well outside warranty?

    The thing to remember if you want to run a European car for a long time is to buy the simplest iteration of the model you like- the less bells and whistles the better. I've run several BMWs past 120k with no heart-stopping repair bills, but they've all been naturally aspirated inline fours or sixes- no V8s, V10s, or V12s. Out of my four current BMWs, three have more than 140k on the clock- and one has over 203k...

    I've heard this is the best bet as well. Do you happen to have any of the turboed BMW's? I hear they have all sorts of issues, likewise for Audi and Mercedes. The thing is, when you get a dulled down Bimmer or any other luxury car for that matter, it defeats the purpose.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 12,293
    edited February 2015
    No turbo Bimmers, just a turbo Mazdaspeed. The BMW turbos are now pretty well sorted. The main issue was the camshaft driven fuel pump(CDFP) and I hear that warranty claims for it have dropped off significantly since 2010 or so. The turbo wastegates used to get noisy but again not so much anymore. All BMWs are turbo now and that would not keep me from buying one- what keeps me from buying a newer BMW is Munich's apparent desire to soften the ride and handling of their non-M cars to the point that they no longer drive like a BMW.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i

  • @Mr_Shiftright,

    In general I think that is true, but I feel like the reason more "enthusiast" shops don't work on Mercedes is because of your last point. My independent BMW/Porsche guy actually really likes Benzes, but says it is just too expensive for him to work on them. MB requires a plethora of expensive Benz-specific diagnostic equipment and even when you get all that stuff it is still a bear to work on them.

    Having said that, you definitely can find fantastic Benz-only repair shops. I know of 3 within 20 miles of me. All do excellent work.
  • $1,157 for plugs? $96 each? for spark plugs?
  • gslippygslippy Posts: 514
    You paid $34k, received a bill for half again that much, and poured a fortune into this junker over the course of 14 months. I'll say it - my 05 Scion xB didn't go like this car, but over 70k miles it cost me one $75 repair (unscheduled) I did myself. And it was available to drive, not sitting in the shop.

    Why does Edmunds buy such wrecks? You guys must be pretty flush.

    If you sell it, you'd better disclose the issues. I predict you'll get less than $20k.
  • lip2lip2 Posts: 3
    edited February 2015
    Reminds me of a buddy's 2005 CL600. The positive here is that you get an extra 100hp. . Almost seems like it was designed to do this. I'm always amazed at the cost of maintaining these later model v12s
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 12,293
    edited February 2015
    I wouldn't enjoy owning a car with a history of unreliability and expensive repairs like this M-B, but I'll take an entertaining car that suffers the occasional issue over an anodyne appliance than has impeccable reliability EVERY time.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport; 2014 M235i; 2009 Cooper Clubman; 1999 Wrangler; 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2015 X1 xDrive28i Son's: 2009 328i

  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,119
    bulldog83 said:

    $1,157 for plugs? $96 each? for spark plugs?

    Well there are 24 of them, (2 per cylinder) and you should be using the fine-wire iridium alloy. At some five hours to replace them according to the labor guide and with O.E. parts surprisingly is an achievable number. That's one of the problems with the way a lot of stories like this are retold. Was that really the price for just the spark plugs, or did it in fact include the labor and any associated components?

  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,119
    This is an interesting story, one you are likely to see many more variations on in the near future and with more cars than just this CL. The perspectives shared all essentially dance around a variation of the argument of, "Which came first the chicken or the egg?" As a business a shop owner has to decide what cars they really want to service, and then make the appropriate investments to be ready to do so. But as some of the responders point out the bias towards or against any facet of the trade is going to come into play and when the cost to tool up and acquire training for the technicians is considered it may be a very poor business decision to make.

    This CL highlights these potential issues with one high end vehicle and the costs to add full support for it to a shop are in a single word, prohibitive. It really doesn't even matter that the tech working there has the skills and is also willing to get the training that would be required. The tooling and software expenses alone often drive the shops CODB (cost of doing business) up so high that they bleed customers at the other end of the spectrum for having tried. The problem that the trade faces is this CL is only a focal point of the big problem. These kinds of costs are not limited to just this one car. Shops are facing this issue with every marquis on the street and that is one of the reasons for the specialty shops. It's the smartest business strategy for now but comes with it's own long term obstacles. Today we see manufacturers releasing new software and scan tools every four to five years, often obsolescing the previous version and now the tools turn off if a shop decides to stop the support or the tool's updates. If a shop aligns to a given manufacturer they are taking an open ended position to spend a lot of money that the person across the street isn't spending (shop or back yard Joe) and that person could very likely do just the spark plugs and the rear brakes on this CL for a lot less than what was spent while stopping short of the rest of the work. That of course means the customer gets to save money on the overall expense while the shop that made the investment to do the whole job only gets a return for that effort from a fraction of the work that the other options don't support. When you add in all of the rest of the challenges from not being able to attract the people that the trade really needs today to become technicians, to the cars simply not needing as many repairs as they used to it all adds up to a business model that isn't sustainable.

    On a parallel note, while writing this a local body shop called and they need help with a 2014 Subaru with an air bag system problem on a car they are repairing. At this time I'm out of the picture to even try since I know that I don't have support for that manufacturer past 2012. Now if it made sense to spend a few thousand to help them fix one car, then.......



  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 13,815
    It's not a C class, but a low volume exotic. In some ways you have to look at this car like a Ferrari or Lamborghini. How much does a tune up on one of those cost, never mind repairing it?
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2017 Ford F-150 Limited
Sign In or Register to comment.