An S class Benz that is hard to steer? Now, I've heard everything. There is one particular virtue of driving a Mercedes Benz that is appreciated by many and that is the fact they are so easy to manoeuvre considering there size and heft. If the 5' 2" reviewer is unable to see unless sitting on a pillow and has difficulty managing MB steering, perhaps the problem with this car is the nut behind the wheel.)
You are getting ripped off from your mechanic. This isn't the car for you. My father had a 560 and I have a 91 420 and they ride like a dream; stiff and sturdy. Never breaks down.
New radiator cost me $350. You have to know where to go not to get ripped off.
If non Mercedes coolant is used in the car, it causes leakage/breaking problems. The radiator has plastic parts that can be adversely affected by non Mercedes coolant.
The steering is, or should be very firm at low speeds and loosens up at speeds above 40 mph, but is very taut. Is the car simply too big for you?
You are being taken by the shop or mechanic you went to:
For example; NO Mercedes exhaust system needs total replacement: A Mercedes exhaust is broken into replaceable segments, most of which cost about $100 per segment, here in Seattle.
Belt adjustment is or should be a yearly maintenance item; and the same is true with the power steering fluid flush.
Your mechanic is certainly taking unfair advantage.
Question: are you female?
Some mechanics LOVE to see a woman, they think they can be easily convinced to get unecessary work done - my wife had the same problem.
If you're only getting 10MPG then you need a tuneup/adjustment:
I got 16 city to 25 Hwy with my 88 560 SEL and I'm currently getting 15 city to 22 Hwy with my 91 560 SEC. (Of course I have my foot in it a fair amount of the time).
You need to find a decent, honest mechanic (hard to find), but they're out there and they are usually NOT dealerships.