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About Gordon

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    CHOCULA's owner.
  • Birthday 06/29/1960

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  • Location
    East York, Ontario

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  1. Thanks smart142 and Huronlad -- I will be sure to mention that to my mechanic. I've already put hundreds into it in the last year. About $500 to replace the driver's side window motor. Brake job last spring. Recent repairs to the exhaust system. I also can't be driving two cars back and forth to Mississauga every time something looks pricey. If this job goes much north of $1000, I'm walking away. I'm totally defeated by this.
  2. So here's the update. Benz called me and offered to absorb $1500 of the cost of the work. Remember, $4500 was the estimate without actually tearing the car apart. I declined. In my note to them, I had proposed they buy it off me, so the assistant manager asked me what I wanted for it. I just decided I wasn't having any more to do with them. I declined again, told them I'd be there within the hour to get the car and their estimate. My wife drove me up there, and we waited while they looked for my key and billed me $286 for the diagnostics. I was fuming at the cost, especially when I saw how little detail there was -- no parts numbers or hours. Seems to me when the numbers are that high, and I'm paying for diagnostics, I should get some deets. Well, I get home, and see a reply email on my phone cc'd to me. It's the GM to one of his assistants, asking how they're coming along with my complaint. I 'reply all' that I was none too chuffed about forking over $300 for the diagnostics. Minutes later, I receive a text from the service advisor, who is a really nice guy, who tells me they weren't informed of the asst manager's decision not to bill me for diagnostics. Can I give him my credit card number, and he'll reimburse. The alternative was to drive back to collect it on my debit. I'm not a nasty person, but this episode has made me angrier than I've ever been. But I got that money back, so something went right. My wife and I talked about it. The closest service provider recommended on this forum is Mississauga, which means the two of us driving out there in two cars from East York outside of work hours. So I called my local Speedy mechanic -- they'll look at the car and report on Monday and tell me what they think they can do. Having trouble uploading captures of the invoice because the files are too large. Got back to it later... Typed out the report below: And on the next page... I expect to see more description: parts numbers, shop hours, to get to $4500. Especially if you're charging $300 for a so-called report.
  3. I'll get the car back and take it elsewhere.
  4. No direct correlation to the ABS light that I can see.
  5. Holy smokes! Is this ever bad news. Here's the text of an email sent to me by the service rep: Obviously I can justify putting $4500 into a seven-year-old car that I purchased for about $23,000, if I recall -- it had been employee-driven for three months. At the same time, it has less than 80,000 km on the clock; has been serviced regularly; has had no collisions; and has been driven safely in the city. I can't see how I have any trade-in value with these expensive repairs. Benz only does trade-ins. After this experience, and the trouble I had three years ago (fortunately under warranty), I can't put faith in another smart. So I've written to management asking them to buy back the car for a few hundred with the extra winter rims and tires. I'm investigating places that pay cash for clunkers. Once I get the formal estimate from them, is it even worthwhile going back to my other mechanic to look at after-market parts? Everything above makes me think there's a ton of labour in this job even with possibly cheaper parts. And what breaks next? I've driven cars for ten years without this kind of escalating repair costs. Any recommendations on what I should do? Besides lay down and cry?
  6. Aaargh, I had sworn off dealer service after I was told I would have to wait two weeks for an appointment the last three times I needed work done. Found a mechanic near where I live and work who took care of an exhaust system problem lickety split. Turns out, it was the flex pipe that needed replacing. Late August, the ABS and traction control lights start coming on intermittently. Suddenly the power steering was gone. My new mechanic did their best, and didn't charge me for their efforts. They even sent the car over to their electronics shop. They tried to troubleshoot an ABS node but said that it was a guessing game. They couldn't just put in a Benz part and send it back if it didn't fix the problem. The owner was very apologetic and said, "I'm sorry, but you're going to have to bring it back to Benz." Three years ago, Benz had my 451 in for twenty days over January and February. It was lurching violently in gear. On visit# 1. They replaced the clutch actuator -- it started lurching again within a couple days. 2. They replaced the clutch actuator and the clutch, thinking they might be binding. Again, I'm back in a day or two. 3. After many days of testing, including having one of the mechanics bring it to his home at might, they deduce it's a faulty wire harness -- about a $100. All of this was under warranty -- not my dime while they fiddle around with expensive parts. Just last week, however, the power steering works again for a few days -- right after I roll out of a car wash. So this has got my spidy sense tingling. I want them to check connections, wire harnesses, before they do anything else. If they're going to experiment with expensive parts, they're gonna keep the car until we know it works. Below are the codes my local Speedy printed out for me. Any thoughts?
  7. I still love my car after seven years, but I am done with Benz service. Last December, a little cable snapped as I was rolling down my window. The piece popped right out of the window and landed in my lap. Seemed like an easy fix, and they tell me they have to replace the motor which drives the window. The motor still works. I wait weeks with my window taped up in the dead of winter just to get an appointment. I then wait for the part from Europe. I give them hundreds of dollars. Early spring, I get a funny feeling when I use the brake pedal. They tell me it's a two week wait for service. I tell them I'm not driving around for a couple weeks unsure if my brakes are safe and say they're going to have to look at it. They determine the matter is serious and make the repairs. I shell out hundreds of dollars. Now, the car is starting to sound like a Formula One. Exhaust system, no doubt. I ask for an appointment -- they tell me two weeks. I'm going to Speedy. Done with Benz.
  8. I'm late to this party, but here goes. This was the morning after... The car was pretty-well coated, so I let it warm up a spell. When I got in and rolled down the window, this happened. I have a video of this somewhere. Getting the ice of the side windows turned out to be pretty easy.
  9. Alex,It's all beyond me. If the car is (1) out of gas, (2) low on tire pressure, (3) short of windshield washer fluid, I know how to fix it. I can top up oil too. I suspect the industry as a whole places a greater value on diagnostics. My gut tells me the diagnostics were dead wrong on this more than once. It was warranty, so the clutch actuator and clutch were all on their dime. Again though, I shudder to think how much money they poured into these faulty repairs because those are invariably passed back to the consumer. I does suggest to me, while MB folks have generally been nice to deal with, that I should be looking elsewhere once I'm past the warranty.Thanks for your feedback!
  10. I think I was a bit over the top yesterday when I raged about 'walking away from it,' but four visits to the dealer in just over a month will send many of us over the top. When I left it with them second time, that meant returning to school from break in -20C + windchill without my wheels. I'm not terribly far from work but situated such that a half-hour walk made more sense than waiting 10-15 minutes for a bus to take me to the subway to ride one stop. So for a couple of days, I had to bundle up from head to toe and walk for 30 mins, including my morning coffee run.Today my little jaunt to work was -10C -- not so bad. In the spring, I'll be back to my bike, but for now -- being in my fifties -- I'm kinda' into my creature comforts.I really have loved the car, which I've had four years this April. Bought it as a turning-50 present to myself, and I do not regret that.
  11. They fixed it. They feel that the car must have ridden over some snow which collected and forced the pan open. For the $53. repair bill, I didn't have the energy to fight them. I'm going to write to the dealership to cover my towing. My rationale is that I used up my smart move tows bringing the car back because it wasn't fixed right in the first place. $160 kinda' sticks in my craw.The car really has been pretty worry-free until recently. Regular service. Had to have the interior blower replaced last year and the hatch latch actuator in the first year. The little light on the door broke off, and they fixed it on the spot. This diagnostic process to determine why the car was slipping gears was pretty crazy though.
  12. That would be my guess, John. The car has spent weeks in the dealer over the course of these repairs. I understand that nowadays they are dependent upon diagnostics, but it's kinda' bizarre to consider they've replaced the clutch actuator twice and the clutch, only find out they needed to swap out a wire harness. They kept the car for several days after swapping the harness to make sure I wouldn't have to return it again. After my third visit in three weeks, there was some risk that I might burst a blood vessel right there in the shop.When I brought it back the third time, they asked me to hang around, so they could tell me what the diagnostics showed. I said to the guy, "I don't want to be a jerk about this, but what do I care what the diagnostics say? They've been wrong three times now."I just emailed them the scan of the towing bill -- $167. No way I'm paying it.
  13. Which part are you referring to? The panel hanging down? I don't know. It's pretty snug under there -- I don't know how I would tie it up, and I don't want to do anything that might run afoul of my warranty. I guess we'll find out tomorrow.
  14. Hi all, I haven't posted in ages. I was really enjoying my 2010 451 highstyle until Friday, December 27th, 2013, when I began having problems with the car lurching violently and apparently slipping gears. It would be the first of three consecutive Fridays I would bring the car in for this problem. Since I don't have the energy to chronicle this again, here is the text of a letter I sent to the service manager at my dealership on the third visit -- Friday, January 10, 2014. The service manager readily agreed to comping my 15K service. They kept the car until Wednesday, January 22nd, finally determining that a faulty wire harness was the culprit. By this time, they had replaced the clutch actuator (twice) and the clutch. They got my permission to have the shop foreman drive the car home at night for overnight testing. The harness was actually replaced Friday, January 17th, but they kept the car thru the following Wednesday to continue road testing and diagnostics.That should have been the end of it. Today, Sunday, February 2nd, thanks to a stranger on the street who alerted me, I found a plastic panel hanging down from the undercarriage. I called smartmove, but my coverage is used up from two tows I used to send the car to the dealer. smartmove informed the me the tower would require cash. I strike out on foot, only to discover out-of-order cash machines at two nearby stores, so I walk several blocks over ice and snow to get the money for the tower. An email has been sent to the service manager and service representative. I'm thinking maybe the panel was removed when they did all the other work. I've indicated to the dealer I expect them to cover the cost of the tow, as I never should have had to tow it a second time (let alone bring it in three times) for the same fault. If I could walk away from this car, I would.
  15. Sign-Up Sheet1. Bill2. Glenn & Liz3. Sophie & Trevor4. Ron & Dot5. Ianjay?6. John (jwight)7. William8. Gordon driving CHOCULA (+ one banjo)910.