It's been my experience over the last 25+ years of being involved in the automotive repair business that most Mercedes Benz owners love and cherish their cars. With reason! Mercedes Benz vehicles are the epitome of German engineering. To fully realize the power, responsiveness and efficiency a Mercedes Benz engine was built to produce, a bit of special care is required. When it comes to the filters, oil, and fluids of your Mercedes Benz, regular maintenance helps prevent mechanical deterioration. Although it's possible to perform all the general maintenance of the fluids, filters, and oil yourself, it is best to seek a professional if you drive a modern Mercedes Benz. With the newer models it is becoming more and more difficult for even those with good mechanical knowledge to perform their own maintenance. Largely this is due to the complexity of the systems and the specialized tools and software required.
Oil and Filter: The manufacturer suggests having your engine oil and filter changed at intervals of between 8,000 to 14,000 miles. I'm using a broad range here because the intervals are vastly different from year to year and model to model. Take note...we agree with the manufacturer on all service interval recommendations EXCEPT the intervals they recommend for oil and filter changes. Years of experience with these vehicles has taught us the best interval to promote engine performance and longevity, if you're using synthetic oil, is 7,500 miles. This is what we recommend to our clients.
Why do we not agree with the manufacturer in this one area? It's simple, our goal is to maximize the longevity of your vehicle. The manufacturer's goal is to sell you a new Mercedes...again and again and again. They've engineered a very advanced engine oiling and filtering system in an attempt to stretch out oil and filter change intervals in order to make owning a Mercedes more convenient. That's a great theory, but the reality we see resulting is one of accelerated engine wear. This in turn creates more frequent and more expensive repairs. Just one example would be the crank case vent valves we see damaged, worn, clogged and restricted. This shouldn't be happening and wouldn't be happening, in our opinion, with more frequent oil changes.
Besides the above mentioned points there's another I consider of even greater importance. If you put around 12,000 miles a year on your vehicle, like most Americans, and you're following the longer oil change interval suggestions...your vehicle is only getting checked over by a trained technician once a year. That means, unless you're taking the time to do it yourself, your tire pressures, brakes, belts and hoses are getting checked only once a year. This car is hurtling you through space at high speeds. Think about it.
Air Filter: Change your air filter every 30,000 to 60,000 miles or four years, whichever comes first. Again, I'm using a broad range here because every year and model is different. Check your Owner's Manual to find out what your interval is or call us. If you live in a dusty area, for instance on a long gravel drive, be prepared to check and replace the air filter more often.
Fuel Filter: Intervals for fuel filter replacement can be as little as every 30,000 miles or as long as 60,000 miles. Again, the interval is different from model to model and year to year. Check your Owner's Manual to know for sure or contact us.
Coolant: Check coolant frequently and refill as needed. Keep in mind, Mercedes Benz vehicles use a special coolant, which is a mix of antifreeze with anti-corrosive properties and water. A list of recommended coolants are available in your Owner's Manual. Typically, we suggest a flush and renew of the coolant system every 4 years.
Brake Fluid: Brake fluid should be flushed and renewed every 2 years. Over time, brake fluid absorbs moisture, that's what it is supposed to do. However, the moisture also degrades the fluid over time and ultimately leads to reduced braking ability.
Window Washing Fluid: Refill the window washing fluid as often as needed. In colder climates, replace the window washing fluid with low temperature fluid to prevent the liquid freezing during winter months.
A special note for those of you who do not drive your Mercedes Benz often. If you're putting less than 7,500 miles a year on your car, schedule your service intervals by time and not mileage. Oil and filter changes should be performed once a year. Spark plugs, engine air filter and fuel filter should be changed every 4-5 years.
A well-maintained Mercedes Benz will last longer than you want it to. Trust me, you'll be bored to death with it, but it will still be such a nice car you won't be able to justify exchanging it for a newer one.
The absolute best thing you can do is develop a relationship with a service facility that employs trained and experienced technicians who specialize in Mercedes Benz. Most techs that specialize are passionate about what they do and know your car inside and out, backwards and forwards. They'll keep you on the straight and narrow when it comes to maintenance and you'll enjoy years of dependable and safe driving.
If you had access to a Mercedes Benz specialist, what would you ask him or her?