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

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Comments

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    You may have run into the "German Motors Syndrome"--just because a shop works on Porsches that doesn't mean they know a great deal about Mercedes or Audis. If they had one dedicated technician for each marque, that would be a hopeful sign.

    I don't see how an indie shop is going to save you bundles of money anyway. Labor is labor, and digging anything out of a V12 German car is going to cost you lots of hours.

    A heater core on that car is 20 hours! Valve cover gaskets 10 hours. Transmission? $7500 + 8 hours.
  • Well. Those fouled spark plugs explain your oil burning problems. It's not just V12 therefore more oil burn.

    Interesting car, only reason I've came back to the site a few times.
  • grijongrijon Posts: 147

    Glad to see so much interest. A couple of responses:...
    - Mike

    Thank you for the response, Mike!
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 20,225

    You may have run into the "German Motors Syndrome"--just because a shop works on Porsches that doesn't mean they know a great deal about Mercedes or Audis. If they had one dedicated technician for each marque, that would be a hopeful sign.

    I don't see how an indie shop is going to save you bundles of money anyway. Labor is labor, and digging anything out of a V12 German car is going to cost you lots of hours.

    A heater core on that car is 20 hours! Valve cover gaskets 10 hours. Transmission? $7500 + 8 hours.

    Oh MAN! a 3000.00 heater core?

    Time for a can of Bar's Leak and dump the car!
  • ajac03ajac03 MinnesotaPosts: 37
    edited February 2015
    I'm honestly going to miss this car. It's hysterical every time you guys bring it in and get SLAPPED with a ridiculous repair bill. It just goes to show, don't buy one of these unless your pockets are as deep as the grand canyon. While the 16,000 repair bill was crazy enough, I'm mostly shocked at how [non-permissible content removed] expensive a brake job is on this.. it costs as much to replace pads and rotors as it does replace an engine/transmission in an everyday bread and butter car. MIND BLOWN
  • fintailfintail Posts: 48,784
    I bid $530, no more.

    This is the price you pay for bleeding edge tech from days when MB quality wasn't at a high point. Also consider what this cost new, and the general rule for highlines and exotics that parts and maintenance on an old $180K car costs as much as on a new one. This isn't a C-class, and it has more tech than many 2015 cars - but built before it was perfected, and via the German way (why use 10 moving parts when 100 will do).
  • fordson1fordson1 Posts: 1,512
    "For those requesting a list of declined repairs. I can't give everything away at once. That info will be in the wrap up, which is currently in the works. Lots of numbers to sift through for this one."

    Come on. For a car with these low miles, there should not have been ANYTHING declined in terms of scheduled maintenance. Things that went wrong and you did not fix them, we can talk about that...but for items such as a scheduled spark plug change at 60k that you did not have done at 60k, or a coolant, tranny fluid or brake fluid flush and refill that did not happen when it was supposed to, that's a black mark, and I am not going to be inclined to consider purchasing that car.

    To buy a known problem child car, then start missing scheduled maintenance items and having lot of juicy issues to post about possibly as a result...makes for good page views for Edmunds, but it's not responsible car ownership.
  • 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.

    Your points are good, however they don't always apply to the CL65. Because it's part of the W220 family, it doesn't require unique software and tools, so long as the shop in question has made the leap into W220 generation Mercedes. Star Diagnose is about the only unique item needed to work on these, and as many MBs use that, it's not uncommon at MB specific and German generalist indy shops. Yes the CL65 has unique parts, but the skills, software, and tools a shop needs to have in order to figure out which of those unique parts might need replacing are common to other CL and S classes of the same era - the good thing from a "mechanics know how to work on it" perspective is that there are a whole lot of CL and S classes out there, creating a market for repairs that supports an independent shop's business case and a knowledge base for mechanics. Now, I can think of one car that fits squarely in the spot you describe - Maserati Quattroporte - Many things on it can be handled by a shop willing to dabble in the Italian arts, but hardly anyone but the dealer has the computer needed to code the engagement point if you replace the clutch with a fresh one. And there aren't enough Quattroportes or shared platform cars (Maserati coupe, but not enough of those either) to make the business case for an indy shop to support the Quattroporte fully - the dealer only does it because they were forced to by the manufacturer.
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,222
    The current tool required to operate at eye level with a Mercedes Dealer is the Compact4 and that sets the independent shop back about $22,000 for the initial investment not counting subsequent updates and license renewals. A tool like Autologic ($10K) will see a shop have most of the repair capabilities that the consumer would require as long as the shop doesn't try to do anything that requires SCN coding capability. When it comes to a tool like Star Diagnose it will have many of the same capabilities and potential traps for the shop (technician) as are found in tools like the Snap-On family (which I do have, Solus Ultra) and the I SCAN WTII (I also have). http://www.oemtools.com/homeproducts/mercedesbenz.html

    For example. not having the factory tool means that there are headlights on some Mercedes vehicles that if they need replaced we cannot complete the job since they require SCN coding to function. The gaps of coverage in the majority of aftermarket tools is huge source of frustration. Things like you have a car with a power seat issue but the tool doesn't communicate with the drivers seat module to allow the tech to verify the input commands. Almost worse is when the tool will communicate to a given module and allow for retrieving and clearing codes but not support the data and bidirectional control functions that assist with gaining a quick direction when starting diagnostics.
  • I agree that is frustrating, and I'm not sure what can be done about it. Do you need the "operate at eye level with a Mercedes Dealer" tool to work effectively on the 2003-2006 S Class and CL? Or did that Compact4 tool come online with the W221 2007 S class, or 2010 E-Class era?
  • mrlcjmrlcj Posts: 1
    I'm going to miss the CL65. Mainly because I get a good laugh from posts like these!
  • shitzngigglesshitzngiggles Posts: 1
    edited August 2017
    I understand this is car that needs costly repairs more frequently than a Camry, but it cracks me up how much people seem willing to pay for brake jobs, oil changes and new plugs. As far as I'm concerned, most people should be able to do three things with a car when it comes to general maintenance/repair...change the oil/fluids, change the plugs/wires and service the brakes. The bread and butter income of the auto service industry takes advantage of things that anyone with any mechanical knowledge and ability should be able to do themselves.

    For this car, you can get the NGK's for $13, or get Bosch plugs that will typically work just as well (iridium plugs have been proven to perform no better than traditional platinum, although they may wear longer) for much less if you really want to save $$. The brakes pads that are formulated the same as OE can be had for $80 fronts and $50 rear, or you can go cheaper but you'll be changing pads more frequently and the rotors as well. Unless we're talking electrical gremlins, and the notoriously expensive and always troublesome MB air suspension system, you can save yourself a lot of money spending an afternoon doing things yourself for a change. Even the coil pack repair can be done a lot cheaper than it needs to cost if you want to spend the effort to save a lot of money.

    Yes, MB's are expensive to maintain compared to a Nissan Sentra, but not nearly as expensive as a lot of people allow them to be. If you think the future cost of repair will set you back $20k for your ownership of a used CL65, if you decide to take care of the things you can to fix yourself for much less, it will end up more like $5k instead.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 12,514
    edited August 2017
    You do know you are replying to a nearly 2.5 year old thread, don't you? Regardless, you make some good points. A lot of people subject themselves to anodyne vehicles and develop a deeply ingrained "sour grapes" mentality towards truly entertaining cars in order to allow them to survive the experience of continually driving a soul-killing appliance...

    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

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