When I purchased my C200 Elegance in 2004 with 50,000km I thought I was getting a good reliable German car (Excellent build quality). But unfortunately this has not been the case, the car has now covered 155,000km and in the past 3 years I have spent over $27,500AUD on maintenance including a new gearbox at 90,000km at a cost of $7,000AUD which completely stopped working with no drive at all while I was 12km up a dirt road in central Australia, this was just after a service at my local Mercedes Dealer who took no responsibility for the problem. It's a little cheaper to run now that I go to a local mechanic, but my last bill still came in at $4,000AUD. Although having said that I do drive the car extremely hard so I expected the maintenance costs to be high, but not this high. I also had a 1976 240D and the engine ceased on the highway just after an expensive service too go the indestructible diesel not! Other than the maintenance problems and the cost, it is one of the nicest car's I have owned to drive and performs effortlessly on the highway, but the accelerator spends its whole time to the floor hence why my kick down button is broken.
Sometimes it's not the car, it's the mechanic that rips us off. When I purchased my Mercedes last year, the gear box was always stuck in 2nd gear. I took it to the dealer and they said I needed to change the whole gear box at $10000. Luckily I had a 2nd opinion and took it to another mechanic who reprogrammed the gear box system using a laptop, and now it has been faultless. So I suggest that you choose your mechanic carefully before you purchase any part or service your vehicle, because these vehicles are beautiful to own and drive.
I hope your Mercedes stands up to the many potholes Fiji roads now have. We recently drove around Viti Levu and couldn't believe the pitiful condition of most roads. Cars take a fearful battering in that country. If I have the misfortune to visit Fiji again I will choose a Pajero or similar.
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