[Car Maintenance] what to do after guarantee expires?

Hi all,

I would like to pose a question I’m currently trying to reflect on.
On 2014 I got my car (MB GLA) under a MB leasing (1.9%), where I asked to include the maintenance costs (liquid excluded).
After 4 years, I dedided to buy the car, and also continue to add the yearly option to extend the maintenance and warranty (c.ca 800 CHF/year for 15K KM coverage).
This option is possible till the 7th year.

Now, I’m on the 8th year (car has 110K KM) and I do not plan to change the car for the next 2 years (I do not want to have other debts which can influence also the mortgage affordability), and the car should get the B1 (or B2, do not remenber)) Service, so my question:

  1. Once the warranty/coverage expires, do I still need to go to the official dealer garage for the maintenance? I do assume nope, but then I wonder of the external garage can mantain stuff like message cockpit reset and stuff like that, official spare parts etc. If so, do I have the freedom to ask only for specific services (e.g. I do not want to be charged 30 CHF only for water fill the wipers).

  2. In case of the possibility of an independent garage, there are some suggestion from your side (like requesting only basics, like engine oil fluids, spare parts? Is this may influence the selling of the car in later stage?

Thanks in advance
Cappuccio

1 Like

Your warranty only expires if your maintenance garage is not doing the service like the manufacturer told them to. If they do the service like the manufacturer tells them (often a fix maintenance plan) you can service your car wherever you want including non official dealerships.

Official dealerships should definitely have better training on everything than non official but in general every garage can download/buy the official service plans from each manufacturer including service manuals.

These are often times just rebranded with the name of the manufacturer meaning behind MB brake discs there might be brembo brake discs or any other brand. Independent garages tend to not use official spare parts since as I said those are just rebranded so it’s cheaper to buy from the original manufactuer which in this case would be brembo brake discs instead of paying the premium for MB brake discs which are essentially the same.

I service my car by myself and strictly to the official service plan but with non original spare parts. From my experience the higher prices from official dealerships is because they tend to change stuff out before it really needs to just to be safe.

I’ve been had a couple of times in the past, being charged for optional services I didn’t want and wasn’t informed about, generally for a few 10s of CHF.
Now when I bring in my car for scheduled maintenance I always ask what is part of the service. I write it down in front of the person and tell them explicitly that I don’t want any extra services (especially at the dealer). Hadn’t had problems since.

In my experience independent garages have been much cheaper with good quality for standard repairs and maintenance, but this is just one data point.

3 Likes

Personally I handle this things on my own. My advice for any car maintenance with a garage you dont know: ask for a written offer and declare that they need to ask you prior to make any additional work and be aware that always you can decide which work needs to be done.

Concerning spare parts there is no need to be afraid OEM parts 1) arent always the best quality and 2) can be purchased everywhere

many thanks for your inputs, gents!
So, am I right assuming that after the warranty expiring, I might go to any garage for the service?

I mean, if it was still covered by the warranty, then the official service is a must (otherwise, they won’t accept damages due to the fact the car was not serviced under specific standard…blablabla).

I will ask first MB to send me an offer for this B1 Service. Let’s see what they will offer then :slight_smile:

One more thing: Clarify if your Mobilo status stays valid if you go to an independent garage.

Official dealer will ensure your car stays up to date with the latest manufacturer’s software updates, preventive repairs, recalls, etc. Also if you’ve always maintained your car within the official network, they will generally (as a commercial gesture) apply the warranty even after expiration.

1 Like

I own a now 7 year old, very complex, German luxury car.

My strategy for scheduled maintenance is to use the “free” service which is included up to 100k km / 10 yrs by the official dealer network, although the only free thing is the labor, you still pay for fluids and all other wear and tear parts, which they obviously mark up 200-300% or so.

As my car is out of warranty, any unplanned repairs I usually order replacement parts myself directly from Germany (for BWM e.g. from https://www.hubauer-shop.de/). They ship to Switzerland and charge you Swiss VAT (7.7%). This is significantly cheaper than ordering parts trough the Swiss dealer network (30-40% last time I checked). For the labor, I ask either a friend who’s a trained mechanic or I go to an independent repair shop which I trust - be selective there.

I know that some people like to go to a repair shop across the border, e.g. Germany/France to do labor intensive repairs there, as it’s also significantly cheaper. For me, that to much hassle.

If you go to your brand dealer with out of warranty repairs, they’ll charge you obscene amounts for minor things. There is no guarantee that they work any better than an independent worth his salt, and they will mark up any replacement parts.

2 Likes

Hi all,

Just get feedback from the MB garage: 760 CHF for the B-Service.
I checked online, and the B service should include the following:

  • Mercedes-Benz Synthetic Motor Oil Replacement^ → OK
  • Oil Filter Replacement^ → OK
  • Tire inflation check and correction → DIY
  • Fluid levels check and correction → Not sure. If it’s about water re-fill for the windscreen, of course DIY. But not sure if there are other liquids to check (e.g. brake-fluids?)
  • Brake component inspection → DIY
  • Maintenance counter reset → DIY
    Service B: Every 20K Miles or 2 Years
  • All Service A repairs
  • Cabin filter replacement → OK
  • Tire pressure checks and corrections → DIY
  • Tire pressure monitoring system reset → DIY
  • Maintenance counter reset → DIY

When I was covered by the MSI warranty, I only paid fluids and I recall an average of 250-280 CHF for the service.

2 Likes

You only get dirty hands for the change of motor oil and filter.
The rest can probably be done pretty easy.

The fluids you have in your car:

  • motor oil
  • Gearbox oil (although very often lifetime filling and check not so easy possible. Most garages dont bother to check anyway)
  • break fluid
  • cooling water for your engine
  • maybe water in your starter battery
  • water for window cleaning

IMHO it is worth to check your manual an learn how to do these things on your own. You will safe a lot over lifetime. For many cars you can also find some repair manuals from third parties. Also a good investment if you like to do some work on your own and keep the car for some years

Also AdBlue; had not filled it up last time i had the car serviced, was ridiculously expensive

1 Like

Do you have a CAN bus adapter and software to do that?

Hopefully they didn‘t top up Diesel as well. Would be hard for me to accept when they overcharge for „commodities“ like AdBlue.

1 Like

No, they didn’t, but their AdBlue was around CHF 20 p. l.

1 Like

I understood this is posssible via key combination on the steering wheel, found some material on youtube showing how to reset the service message

I’m quite familiar doing the service on a motorbike. But never tried for a car.
oil/fluids themselfes plus filters would cost not more than 150-200 CHF. So it’s about 500 CHF is labor.

I think it’s worth to ask to other garage how much they would charge.

1 Like

Does anyone have any experience regards response of garages when buying spare parts yourself via the internet? I am doubtful since you eliminate part of the profit they would make on a “normal” job.

A friend just got quoted a 5 figure sum from the dealership for mechanical repairs on a 5 year old car :frowning:

If I were mechanic, I wouldn‘t like to work with spareparts bought by customers. No because of the money but:

  • potential hassle with client if something goes wrong with the repair and it is potentially caused by a sparepart with bad quality

If you could provide the quote I can give a feedback on prices.

1 Like

They don’t this because because of the quality of the sparepart as mentioned by @newhere . Maybe some hillybilly garage will do it but 99.9% don’t. They also lose quite some profit margin if you compare spareparts prices from an official dealership to the ones you find online.

Depends if the damage was made by his/her car usage or if it’s after normal usage. If it’s latter normally the dealership or the car manufacturer pays for at least 50% of such repairs with younger cars out of warranty (4-6 years old). You have to go to an official dealership of the manufacturer though.

Take it with a grain of salt but unless still in warranty I always service my cars by myself since I’ve had bad experiences with official and unofficial garages. I’m really looking forward to more and more almost serviceless electric vehicles in the future.

On the odd chance, can anyone recommend a repair garage in the Zurich area? Some issues were found during the last service and the offers I have are rather expensive, so I’d like to have a trustworthy alternative opinion.