I took my '82 300CD to the local Goodyear shop for an
alignment last week, after having the upper and lower
control arms replaced. The guy at the counter hesitated
almost imperceptibly when I told him the car was a Mer-
cedes, which kind of put me on my guard. Then when I
told him the year, he kind of looked at me sideways and
started with this dire-sounding, rising-inflectioned,
"Oh, I don't KNOW-oowwww..." stuff.
The guy told me that aligning a Mercedes is "different"
from aligning other cars, and that the procedure requires
a special tool of some sort -- which, like the requisite
knowledge, only one guy in the shop had. And predictably,
he wasn't going to be in that day. Then he told me that
the newest Mercedes models were so different from other
cars in this respect that they had to go to the dealership
to be aligned, since the Goodyear store wasn't equipped
to do the work.
What the hell? I'd been taking my cars (this one and the
'85 300D I had prior to it) in there for tires and align-
ments for four years with no hint that there was anything
significantly different or difficult about doing a front-
end alignment on them. (And this employee, the store
manager, was usually the person I dealt with.)
I ended up getting the work done after all, and after only
an hour so so (after the manager had insisted the work
would take two or three hours even though I was the first
customer in the door), since the mechanic with the allegedly
special knowledge showed up after all. But I'm curious about
what I was told about Mercedes requiring some special skill
and knowledge to align. Was this guy jerking me off, or was
I just lucky in the past?
"One violation is rude; repeated violations are best dealt
with by knocking the front teeth down the esophagus --
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