Repair estimates from Dealer: help!

My wife brought her c280 in for a service call, and received the following estimate. Do you mind reading this, and giving it a sanity check?
~Air Mass Sensor is what is making the check engine light come on.
Needs to be replaced. $590 ~Water pump is shot. Needs to be replaced. $950 ~Front Brakes and rotors are almost gone. $650 ~The 105K mile service is $500 ~Dash lights replaced is $195 ~Transmission Tunnel Insulation is in need of repair, it has dropped down and is slowly melting away. Charge for that is a whopping $1,140
Thanks in advance.
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Anyone who takes a car with 105K miles to a dealer for repairs and regular service is "in for it".
Dealers point out everything that's even somewhat less than new car perfection. That's how they make money. Oh, an oil stain from the valve cover - horrors! That's $250 please.
An independent M-B shop doesn't jump on every little leak and rattle but focuses on the major items needed to keep the car reliable and on the road. An independent certainly wouldn't try to sell you new transmission tunnel insulation - unless you specifically asked about it. Independent shops fix only older cars so they're more pragmatic and know from experience which items need to be fixed vs. let's look for work.
The other items: air mass sensor, water pump etc. may well be needed after 105K miles.
Find a local independent M-B shop and take your business to them.
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Where are you located? Someone on the list can give you the name of a local shop.
at 10:48 AM, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Dave O) said:

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Repair estimates from Dealer: help! Group: alt.auto.mercedes Date: Wed, Aug 20, 2003, 10:48am From: snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Dave O) My wife brought her c280 in for a service call, and received the following estimate. Do you mind reading this, and giving it a sanity check? ~Air Mass Sensor is what is making the check engine light come on. Needs to be replaced. $590 ~Water pump is shot. Needs to be replaced. $950 ~Front Brakes and rotors are almost gone. $650 ~The 105K mile service is $500 ~Dash lights replaced is $195 ~Transmission Tunnel Insulation is in need of repair, it has dropped down and is slowly melting away. Charge for that is a whopping $1,140 Thanks in advance. ****************************************************** My Sympathies!
Some things are dealer required, (I wouldn't trust anyone else) like water pumps, others, you could DIY. Here's what I did and had done by MB dealership:
Water Pump: $650 but then also needed Idler Pulley Tensioner and Shock Absorber, plus Serpentine Belt MB Dealer repair: $1,100.00
Lower Control Arm Bushings, 4 Wheel Alignment and Transmission Service $539.00 Replaced Shock Absorbers $500.00 Transmission Modulator Repair $538.00 New MB Battery plus Service $330.00
But Dealership also replaced Engine Wiring Harness at No Charge under goodwill warranty!
DIY: Air Mass Sensor List Price: $390 DIY: $232.57 Reset CE light by disconnecting battery. Oxygen Sensors (front & rear) DIY $253.00
Front Brakes Pads: $44.76 Rear Brakes Pads: $17.91 Front Discs @ $48.67ea $97.34 Rear Discs @ $30.28ea 60.56 Sensors and Paste 5.06 Front Wheels: $147.16 Rear Wheels: $ 78.47 Total cost 4 Wheels $225.63
Wire Hooks for pulling out IC (Dash) $24.95 Replaced Bulbs myself
YES! MB's are very expensive cars to maintain, and the C280 has turned out to be a great disappointment, but once committed to MB ownership, plus its disappointingly falling re-sale value, you 'bite the bullet' and chalk it up to experience!
Look at it this way: spending $4,025 cannot buy you another car, and if you don't spend it, then you'll get that much less for it! Its a Catch-22 Damned if you do and damned if you don't!
To make a long (and sad) story short: 4 years of MB ownership has cost me $7,620.00 Its still a solidly built, good handling, good looking automobile, and at the rate its depreciating, I'm keeping it!
I would also shop around for repairs (if possible) or try to negotiate some of the prices (some repairs are negotiable!) Tell them I'm going to take the car somewhere else, or going to think about it, and see what they say. Some dealerships are more hard nosed then others! If you have AAA where you live, find a recommended MB independent shop. Good Luck!
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Thats fair prices.... what did you expect repairing a merc... sell the car if you can`t afford it.
brett...

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If they were fair prices, indpendents would be out of business.

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Those prices are insane!!! $4k worth of repairs? Especially the dash lights and the water pump....
How old is the car that the transmission insulation is falling?

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Dealer prices are idoitic. Find an independent to do the work. Also, many MB parts are now available from Autozone, many with lifetime warrenties.
For instance: WATER PUMP for a 1995 MERCEDES BENZ C280, Special Order (2 days), ASC/GMB C 147-2180 LLT $239.99 If you are in the Alantic City area, go see Bill Ditmire. www.ditmire.com
Bill
On Thu, 21 Aug 2003 22:54:42 GMT, "Chris O'Malley"

remove all "f"'s from address
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Ironically, water pumps are usually cheaper at the dealer. For 10 years they were $25 exchange, they just went to $125.
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There is no sane reason to buy any part from a dealer. Rusty Cullen of Wholesale Parts in Atlanta, 800-741-5252, buymbparts.com, has agreements with MB dealers nationwide. He has the parts sent to you from the closest dealer at 20% off or more. He will save you over $100 on a set of Bilsteins, and carries many parts which are the very same as the one sold by the dealer. Behr, o.e. radiators are available at very low prices on line with lifetime warranty. You can even buy sway bars from the Sportline Option discounted. P.

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Time for a reality check! There is a time to use the MB dealer-when noone else can do the work. The water pump can be replaced by any good service staion for a lot less, and any good service station can do the brakes.The instrument cluster puls out and the bulbs can be easily replaced. Forget the insulation in the transmission tunnel. Change the oil every 3000 miles and change the transmision fluid avery two years and you won't have any trouble. Find a technician who repairs German cars or find a mechanic who works at the dealer and moonlights on Saturdays at his own place. You can buy any Mercedes part discounted from Rusty Cullen at Wholesale parts in Atlanta or buymbparts.com , or 800-741-5252. Try any of the big Mercedes forums where many enthusiasts and engineers solve many problems. Look for Mercedes forums on Google.com. P.

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Thanks, all, for comments. My wife got into the habit of going to the dealer because of the warranty she bought with the car- now that it's expired, it makes nothing but sense to find an independent. Thanks for that bit of advice.
If anyone can recommend an indie in the Northern VA / Wash DC Metro area, we'd appreciate it!
I do the PM on my Acura: replacing brakes/rotors on Honda vehicles is very straightforward. Can anyone offer tips and tricks for MB brakes and rotors?
Thanks!
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