What you have said about Merc dealers is not true. I have had Mercs from around twenty years ago, and keep them serviced at Merc dealers. I have never even considered that they would put secondhand parts into my car. I have vast mechanical knowledge, and thoroughly check the work done when I get the car home.
I have to say that they are expensive, but then again, try to sell the car without a full dealer service history, then you'll be sorry.
Their service is always 100% first class, and they treat me like a king when I'm there.
I always have around 3 Mercs, so am at the dealership about 6 times every year. They have always used brand new genuine Merc parts, and I have never had any problems whatsoever with the cars.
What you said about servicing the other cars on the forecourt, cannot be possible, as you will find that Merc dealers wouldn't touch a Merc with a ten foot barge pole if it didn't have a full and complete dealer only service history!
I worked for 15 years in the vehicle leasing industry and as a result have experienced just about every vehicle manufacturer on the road. My recent experiences of Merc have been that the build quality has definitely got worse, I have driven a 2 1/2 year old CLK with average miles that had more rattles than Mothercare, and recently a SLK 320 that has done less than 6K miles in 3 years that likes breaking down every time it goes out! (7 times so far, 6 times stuck in park). The dealers close to us in Herts are utterly useless - I get far better service from our local Honda garage (and even Alfa is not this bad!). Anyone buying an A class needs a head examination, the build is dreadful - a Honda Jazz is both better built, better to drive and cheaper - and no I don't work for Honda!
I just sold my SLK230. The top kept sticking and the dealer couldn't fix it permanently. It acted like it was underpowered and, if not used all the time, acted like the grease turned to glue (which is not possible). Another problem is the rubber skirt below the front bumper. It kept breaking or tearing where the "V" came together. Once the new one broke in half when they were taking it out of the box. The dealer finally fixed it by "gluing" a rubber piece onto both halves. This lasted about two months.
On my SLK the top came open on the motorway and it blew to pieces. The paint peals off the car when I go around corners. It goes in reverse at almost every intersection. It starts sometimes and quits and leave us stranded. Otherwise we love the car and wouldn't consider another brand.
I just got an SLK230 1998 and I love it! I put nice winter tires on it and it handles great in winter. It feels like a brand new car. The interior has scratches and I haven't been able to find anyone to repair it. It is purely cosmetic though. Everything else is just great. I can't wait for the summer!
Hi all. I've got a 99 SLK and use to have problems with the roof not going up when it was hot. What I found was one of the two micro switches that tell the control system the roof claws have moved; the switch got stuck. The fix was to rub in a little bit of Vaseline into the switch gasket. I done this about three years ago, no more trouble. To do the job all you need is a Philips screwdriver, and some Allen keys to remove the side plastic roof trims, before you remove the three Philips screws on the front of the interior roof panel. You have to open the roof half way first.