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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.

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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: 47,969
    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: 25,971
    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!!

    '18 BMW 330xi; '67 Coronet R/T; '14 Town&Country Limited; '18 BMW X2. 47-car history and counting!

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 12,202
    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: 12,202

    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
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