Cost of maintaining a 500SL

The cost of maintaining a 500SL is ridiculous. Just had the first maintenance (one tool) done a $500 job, drove a couple of thousand miles and I get a notice that I am due for the 2
tool job . Go to MB and I am told that this one is different.(another $500) Since the warranty is finished am looking for a garage I can trust that will perform the job at a more reasonable cost .
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What year is your 500SL? There is R107 and R129 body with both 500SL designation.
What service was done?
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wrote:

The manufacturing year is 2005 and they didn't gave me any paper that specify the work done on my first inspection. I guess I can go the owner's book and check what was supposed to be done on the first one toll service.
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So, you have a 6 year old expensive car and you're surprised that it costs money to maintain it? If you just recently did the first maintenance, and it was $500 at the dealer I don't know what all the bitching is about even if it requires service again after "a few thousand miles". Somehow I suspect the few thousand miles is actually quite a bit more assuming this is in fact normal scheduled service.
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On Thu, 8 Jul 2010 23:01:19 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

The driven distance between the 2 inspections was actually very close to 2k miles. I believe that one is related to the mileage and the other related to the age of the car . They could be done at the same time and the cost would be about 1k. Don't you find this expensive? I had Porsche, Lanborghini,Alfa Romeu, Jaguar etc and never had to pay this much to maintain a car with only 13k miles.
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Hi John,
It seems like you put very low mileage on your SL500. With only13,000 miles since 2005, that means you only put on about 2600 miles per year.
With this in mind, I suggest you NOT follow MB recommended service interval based time but rather base it on mileage. Your dealer is doing too many maintenance service to pad their income.
With your usage, I'd recommend at least one oil change per year. Even for your other cars with low usage. The reason for one oil change per year is because the oil deteriorates due to age without going into technical details. One of the issue with low mileage is moisture and whatever contaminants that can't be burned off with low usage.
It is also recommended once a year you drive this car on highway for a good distance like 100 miles to burn these moisture and contaminants away.
Now, most likely your oil filter will be the 'fleece' type... which is like $20... make sure it is not paper type which is cheap at $5. With this filter, you can theoretically just change the oil and leave the filter alone. Change the filter every other year. Fleece filter does last for 10,000 miles.
Choice of oil for you is Synthetic. If you do use regular oil, you have to change the oil twice a year.
Now, I am not sure if you have a fleet of vehicles... if you do, the maintenance can cost a bit... you may consider having the oil tested by laboratory for around $20 instead of changing oil... with the lab, they tell you the condition of the oil and give you guideline on when to change oil... this is one time testing to give you a basis on when to change your oil for each car.
Now on the other matters such as Service ABCD... I would do it at the specified mileage stated in the book... Say Service A at around 10K miles... Service B at 20K miles... It is a nice 'vehicle checkup' for you but you can delay it a bit longer.
Hope this helps.
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If the total mileage is only 13K and you're only driving a few thousand miles a year, I'd agree with Tiger's advice. The only addition would be to also change the engine coolant at some reasonable interval as well based on time, not mileage. I'd guess maybe every 6 years or so.
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Ahh... I forgot other maintenace items..
As for coolant... yeah, I would say 5 years. Brake fluid, same... 5 years is okay. Power steering fluid... keep it 5 years..
Keep it simple so you don't have to figure out what you didn't do.
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wrote:

Tiger and others
I have thank you before for the valuable information you have given me, but I don't see that posted so I'll do it again.
I am going to print everything you have suggested and followed your recommendations. After all, my question made sense.
Thanks again.
John
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wrote:

What do you reckon a good time-based inteval might be to change transmission oil for this type of usage on this vehicle?
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Aigh! I even forgot tranny fluid.
Since late models have synthetic ATF... it is questionable... I suppose like 15000 miles as suggested in Mercedes Maintenace schedule. That is almost 7 years at
The idea is to keep a simple interval based on mileage/time.
Engine oil is no choice but every year.
All other fluids can be changed at say evey 5 years.... Once every half decade is good rule of thumb and easy to remember.
Some fluid will almost never be changed... like how many of you every changed differential fluid? Differential fluid last like 100,000 miles... or Amsoil say 50,000 miles... but at 2500 miles a year, it will take good 40 or 20 years before you get to it... I supposed 10 years is enough for differential fluid.
You just need to create your own 'maintenace' schedule. Even I don't drive much these days... and synthetic fluids are expensive. It is not to say that synthetic is not worth it... it definitely is worth it.... change oil once a year (10K miles) instead of 2, 3. or even 4 times a year dino.
The whole key is NOT to waste the resource... why throw away oil when you don't have to. It is still good to use.
This is where oil analysis laboratory comes in. I never used it but I can see how it can save you money and time over long haul... why throw away your money when you don't have to.
If you only have one or two cars, it is like I could just use that money to buy more fluids. If you maintain 5 cars, those money is huge. at $7 to $10 a quart and times 5 cars and number of bottles you need.... whoa.
Hope these insights helps.
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wrote:

Tiger Thanks a million. This is exactly the information I was looking for. I am going to follow your recommendations .
Lately I have being taking the car only on long trips and nice weather. For the short ones I use an Acura that as been serving me well. Thanks again. I am glad I had you opinion.
John
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