MB C200 estate - Cost of an oil change... - Stephen Morey

So...I have a 2016 MB C200 petrol estate and in common with HJ's review I have to say that I think the car is absolutely superb. The ride quality is sublime, the handling excellent and the fuel economy from the 2.0 turbo petrol is really good. So I want to keep the car and given that it has 15500 mile service intervals and given that I do a bit of caravan towing I thought I'd have the oil and oil filter changed half way through the service interval at 7750 miles - Honest John recommends this too.

First call to MB (Sytner) of MIlton Keynes. I get the car booked in before the helpful girl tells me the cost. Wait for it. £277 for an oil change and oil filter!!! I don't know if that includes VAT as I didn't hang around long enough to find out.

Second thought is to buy the genuine MB oil and filter myself and then get a mobile mechanic to do the job. I google genuine MB 229.5 oil and all that flashes up are ebay ads. Initially I am a little sceptical as I don't want to purchase counterfeit oil but when I find an offer from MB (Sytner) Newcastle for 20 litres of genuine MB 229.5 for £55 with free p&p, I am reassured.

Thinking I would prefer to pick up the oil locally and crack on with the job I ring MB Aylesbury (Hughes) to purchase 20 litres of genuine MB 229.5 oil. "No probs Sir, that'll be £140 plus VAT" Are you kidding? How did the price of oil triple between Newcastle and Aylesbury? Thanks but no thanks.

So I call MB (Sytner) Newcastle and speak to the very helpful Michael in parts (he placed the ad on ebay). I confirmed the price for the 20 litres of oil at £55 with free p&p, I added a genuine MB oil filter for an extra tenner (free p&P) the whole lot will be with me tomorrow - the filter being sent separately by Royal Mail so that the bulky oil can doesn't damage it. That works out at just under £30 for the 7 litres of oil that my engine will need and that includes the cost of the new filter.

Then I went to my local non-franchised workshop/garage and they will do the work for £40 (I supply oil and filter). Price down from £277 to just under £70.

Two things:

1. most main dealers and rip-off merchants,

and

2. MB Sytner in Newcastle are not rip off merchants and Michael there is absolutely superb.

So the moral of my story is that if you have a MB and dodn't want to be ripped off, try MB Sytner Newcastle!

MB C200 estate - Cost of an oil change... - oldroverboy.

But sadly, you won't get him any brownie points with MB uk.. they don't like that sort of thing...

MB C200 estate - Cost of an oil change... - RobJP

Just bear in mind that any manufacturer recalls (rather than VOSA-mandated recalls), updates, TSBs and the suchlike will not be being done, with you going outside the dealer network.

But the price does seem ridiculously steep. I'd be asking for a breakdown on that price, personally. BMW are quite reasonable for their intermediate oil/filter change on my 325d, it used to cost £180, now the car is over 4 years old the price drops to £140 (including VAT).

MB C200 estate - Cost of an oil change... - Stephen Morey

Hi Rob,

I fully accept the point you make but don't forget this is an unscheduled, extra, oil change. I shall still go to MB for services to maintain the FMBSH and to benefit from the TSB's etc. but for a drop of unscheduled work like this then £70 versus £277 is simply off the scale!

No wonder their showrooms are so luxurious and there are limitless supplies of blueberry muffins, croissants and coffee for the folk with money to burn!

MB C200 estate - Cost of an oil change... - barney100

Very interesting, I've had 4 Mercs and getting them serviced at a good indie has saved magabucks...not to mention the MB club who know most things about most models.

MB C200 estate - Cost of an oil change... - gordonbennet

Well done, sensible service regime and beat the system too with a bit of digging.

MB C200 estate - Cost of an oil change... - Wackyracer

Here is a list of all 229.5 oils that are approved by MB.

bevo.mercedes-benz.com/bevolisten/229.5_en.html

Edited by Wackyracer on 02/08/2017 at 20:11

MB C200 estate - Cost of an oil change... - RickyBoy
I did three years of part-time vehicle deliveries from 2005 for the initial M-B dealership that you mention.

Servicing costs used to be quoted in telephone numbers back then so I'm not at all surprised by the current figures for quite basic work!

It is one of the glassiest glass palaces in the group mind so somebody has to pay for all that window-cleaning...



MB C200 estate - Cost of an oil change... - RickyBoy
...oh, and inbetween jobs I invariably used the customer's cafe to sample those fancy-dan but tasty Italian biscuits and cappuccino's on tap!

The staff canteen wasn't exactly spit & sawdust but you got a far better quality news-rag upstairs :-)
MB C200 estate - Cost of an oil change... - Andrew-T

Just bear in mind that any manufacturer recalls (rather than VOSA-mandated recalls), updates, TSBs and the suchlike will not be being done, with you going outside the dealer network.

When my local indie serviced my Pug while still inside maker's warranty, I asked him to check with local Pug dealer first, which he did, and was reassured. Of course I didn't need to call on the warranty, so that may not prove anything important, but I thought it was permitted if correct intervals and materials are used? What about owners who live mega-miles from a dealer?

MB C200 estate - Cost of an oil change... - RT

Just bear in mind that any manufacturer recalls (rather than VOSA-mandated recalls), updates, TSBs and the suchlike will not be being done, with you going outside the dealer network.

When my local indie serviced my Pug while still inside maker's warranty, I asked him to check with local Pug dealer first, which he did, and was reassured. Of course I didn't need to call on the warranty, so that may not prove anything important, but I thought it was permitted if correct intervals and materials are used? What about owners who live mega-miles from a dealer?

The warranty can't be voided if you adhere to the maker's schedule, use approved parts (effectively theirs) and done at a VAT-registered worksop - what's potentially lost is any goodwill just after the end of the warranty - and maybe prospective buyers would prefer to see franchised dealer stamps in the history.

MB C200 estate - Cost of an oil change... - RobJP

Just bear in mind that any manufacturer recalls (rather than VOSA-mandated recalls), updates, TSBs and the suchlike will not be being done, with you going outside the dealer network.

When my local indie serviced my Pug while still inside maker's warranty, I asked him to check with local Pug dealer first, which he did, and was reassured. Of course I didn't need to call on the warranty, so that may not prove anything important, but I thought it was permitted if correct intervals and materials are used? What about owners who live mega-miles from a dealer?

Sorry. Maybe I could have explained better. If you are getting service work done at an indie, they will not have access to TSBs, manufacturer recalls, etc, and will not have the parts to hand. Even if they did, they would be charging you for the parts and for fitting, unlike a main agent dealer.

I had this with my 3 series. A drain well was known to block up, so a revised grommet was designed and installed on a TSB. Also, a battery safety unit was installed. Those jobs were automatically carried out by the dealer when the car was in for a service. However, an independent would not know about those (unless they were up on iStar), and even if they did they'd have to order and pay for the parts.

MB C200 estate - Cost of an oil change... - Andrew-T

<< Sorry. Maybe I could have explained better. >>

No need to apologise, Rob - after reading the posts again I thought about scrubbing my answer, but left it anyway.

MB C200 estate - Cost of an oil change... - Steveieb
We are very fortunate that in Northampton we have a superb Mercedes Specialist who is MB trained and has all the Star software diagnostics.
Every time I visit he has a long line of MB taxis in for service .
But he has been able to diagnose and put right issues which my normal Indie was unable to sort.
What a find, and only heard about him from a local taxi driver.
MB C200 estate - Cost of an oil change... - carl233

That kind of money for an oil change makes no sense, what is the labour rate at the dealer I would question? Oil and filter changes with 'non-premium' makes such as Ford tend to be set menu prices, £50 tends to cover all costs at a Ford dealer using high quality fully synthetic 5w-30 oil.

MB C200 estate - Cost of an oil change... - TedCrilly

Its all down to what's known as ramp time and the minimum they can charge for it

Why should they charge you say £40 an hour to tie up a ramp and a techie to change the oil and a filter when other customers will pay say £100+ an hour for full services and repairs?

They are there to make money, not lose it and if you won't hand it over others will.

Their business model is obviously working, don't blame them, blame the people who are actually paying £100+ an hour, creating the demand and and in doing so setting the market rates.

MB C200 estate - Cost of an oil change... - gordonbennet
They are there to make money, not lose it and if you won't hand it over others will.

Their business model is obviously working, don't blame them, blame the people who are actually paying £100+ an hour, creating the demand and and in doing so setting the market rates.

Indeed, i dropped a load of new basic courtesy cars and collected their probably 12 month old used courtesy cars from a non-Merc East Anglian dealership (in a particular district rather full of its own importance), probably around 2001.

Signing the paperwork in their workshop i was impressed at the spotlessly clean almost surgical premises and asked the works manager what sort of labour charges this place priced at, it was well over £100 an hour plus VAT then, my parting comment 'i suppose if they're daft enough to pay it you'll charge it' went down like a lead balloon.

MB C200 estate - Cost of an oil change... - Avant

But you were quite right of course. The only law of economics that matters is 'the right price is what some other poor sap will pay'.

Edited by Avant on 05/08/2017 at 00:44

MB C200 estate - Cost of an oil change... - John F

It's the cost of the expertise, not the procedure. In a pricy restaurant a fried egg on toast will cost much the same as eggs benedict. The huge extra cost of new car ownership is being tied to such garages which charge the same hourly rate whether it's to grease the door hinges and check the coolant level or to repair a faulty autobox.

MB C200 estate - Cost of an oil change... - RT

It's the cost of the expertise, not the procedure. In a pricy restaurant a fried egg on toast will cost much the same as eggs benedict. The huge extra cost of new car ownership is being tied to such garages which charge the same hourly rate whether it's to grease the door hinges and check the coolant level or to repair a faulty autobox.

But is it?

A premium brand workshop will charge 2-3 times the hourly rate of my local trusted independent - the premium brand workshop will use apprentices or junior technians for simple routine jobs, probably earning less than the big brand-trained mechanics at my indy.

Now every business has overheads, I know that well, but in those proportions - no, it just the supply/demand economic equation.

I guess we must remember that most premium cars under warranty are business funded, probably paying a fraction of the retail rate charged.

MB C200 estate - Cost of an oil change... - Doc
the premium brand workshop will use apprentices or junior technicians for simple routine jobs, probably earning less than the big brand-trained mechanics at my indy.

That is why I use my trusted indy. Here I can speak to the mechanic (in the workshop) who will actually do the work and they let me supply my own genuine parts.

But I don't get free coffee, TV or posh chairs!

 

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