Mercedes Expensive To Maintain? Not if you know this


Mercedes are premium models that attract premium prices. They combine a high level of precision engineering, luxury, and performance. But what about its cost of maintenance?

Mercedes car maintenance is expensive. According to a study done by Your Mechanic, its maintenance cost was only second to that of BMW. Further, research shows Mercedes owners spent an average of $908 on car repairs and maintenance costs, well above the industry average of $652.

In this post, you’ll get a flavor of what it’s like to maintain a Mercedes vehicle and you’ll learn a smart way to control Mercedes repair costs.

Why Mercedes Maintenance Is Expensive?

Mercedes SUV

Mercedes is known for its innovativeness and the use of cutting-edge technology in production. The result is quality cars. Also, many Mercedes cars and components are manufactured abroad. Shipping and import taxes add to costs. 

It is also not uncommon for big brands to charge higher prices for parts and services because they are renowned brands. In many instances, their customers expect to pay higher prices for maintenance. Years of clever Mercedes marketing positions Mercedes as a luxury brand and after all, we know if we want the best, we got to pay for it.

And so yes extra costs are passed on to Mercedes owners through pricier parts and services. But there are ways to lower your Mercedes maintenance costs – The manufacturer’s prepaid plan.   

How Mercedes Prepaid Plan Works

This plan covers your car maintenance cost up to 10,000miles or one year, whichever comes first. The prepaid plan provider’s claim is one of the best warranty deals for its Mercedes car owners. You can save up to 30% on the maintenance cost in this plan. 

But don’t take their word for it. You might want to compare with other providers. Most auto dealers have been known to hike their charges on claims of high-quality maintenance services, which is not always true. 

What Does General Mercedes Maintenance Cost?

Mercedes are engineered for durability. But like all cars, ensuring a strict maintenance routine is important. This will keep your machine in top-notch condition and lower the cost of repairs in the long run. Plus, who wouldn’t want to keep their investment in pristine condition?

Your Mercedes will require its first service once it clocks 20,000 miles or one year, whichever comes first. This is called service A. Here you can expect standard service, which may include the following:

  • Oil change
  • Filter changes
  • Brake component inspections
  • Fluid level checks
  • Tire inflation checks
  • Reset maintenance counter

The next type of service is service B. Your car will require this service once it hits 40,000miles. The service includes all those checks in service A and others such as the following.

  • Brake fluid exchange
  • Cabin dust/combination filter replacement
  • Select models, like the CLA and GLA AMG® models, will require an engine air filter replacement as well

These maintenance checks are by no means exhaustive. Your car will need more demanding maintenance as it ages. For example, it may need new spark plugs every 30,000 miles and coolant changing once every 30,000 miles or two years.

Keep in mind the cost of the maintenance cost depends on your car model, too. In general, you should expect the cost of the “C” model to be lower than the “S” model. 

Below are typical Mercedes services and their costs.

Maintenance Service Mercedes C300 (2018) Mercedes S560 (2018)
Oil and filter change (Cabin & Air)$380$481
Tire rotation$130$130
Air filter replacement$176$176
Cabin air filter replacement$157$284
Brake fluid replacement$149$149
Cooling System Flush$263$263
Source: Yourmechanic.com

What Are Common Mercedes Repairs?

As your car ages, parts will gradually wear out. You should expect that to happen even to your superbly designed Mercedes. That is the time you will need to book an appointment with your repair shop professional. Below are the common Mercedes repairs and their estimated costs.

Common RepairEstimated repair cost
Heater Blower Motor Replacement for SLK55AMG$1118
Air Conditioning not working E63AMG (inspection)$158
Radiator hose replacement for S550E$693
AC Compressor Replacement for SL550$2391
Prices are for Dealership Only Source: Caredge.com

Mercedes Models Maintenance Costs

Keep in mind that different Mercedes models have different maintenance schedules. Be sure to read your owner’s manual or inquire from your nearest Mercedes to plan accordingly. Remember failure to follow these schedules may nullify your warranty. But also, it is in the best interest of your car’s durability to service it regularly. 

Mercedes ModelAnnual repair cost (average over 10 years)
C350$578
E350$627
GLC$1440
GLS$1572
S550$735
Source: Caredge.com

The data above shows that the cost of repairs increases with the cost of the model. Models on the lower end of the price spectrum, such as C350, average $578 in annual repair costs. On the upper end is GLC, whose cost is $1440.

As you’d expect, the pricier models have higher maintenance and repair requirements. Not only are the parts are more costly, but the labor is too. Performance models are more complex and complexity means higher technicians need more time to effect repairs. 

Is Mercedes Reliable?

Mercedes repairs

Mercedes has a reliability rating of 3.0 to 5.0. And that placed it at number 27 out of 32 car makers in the study. Among the factors used in the observation were cost, frequency, and severity of the repairs. That data shows Mercedes maintenance needs are on the steep end when compared with other car models. You can use this to plan your budget accordingly.

Mercedes Benz Maintenance Cost Compared To Other Brands

BrandAnnual repair cost (averaged across all models)
Lexus$778
Chrysler$1136
Infiniti$1180
Mercedes$1598
BMW$1931
Audi$1322
Source: Caredge.com

So how is the Mercedes car’s annual repair bills when compared to other brands? The data shows the cost is only lower than that from BMW. However, the repair bill tips the scale when compared with brands such as Lexus from Toyota. 

There are other intervening factors to the lower maintenance cost of these models. But Toyota models have a higher backup of parts and labor availability than Mercedes. That may partly explain the much lower cost of maintenance.

Check out the Amazon link below, which gives you a feel for the current prices of standard Mercedes parts and accessories.

Amazon Mercedes Parts

Buying a Warranty – Smart Way To Control Mercedes Repair Costs

Your Mercedes will eventually exhaust its original manufacturer’s warranty. Now you’re on your own if you like. This is a point in your Mercedes life where heavier maintenance lies ahead and possibly expensive breakdowns too. Depending on the particular model you drive, some repair costs will make your eyes water.

That’s not to say you should get rid of your Mercedes as soon as the warranty is up. No, not at all. Here is the solution. Mercedes offer extended warranties, granted, extended warranties won’t help with routine maintenance bills, but they will save you a ton when a major mechanical breakdown happens. Plus, you can maintain a more predictable budget.

Mercedes extended warranty

With a Mercedes warranty, your vehicle gets an extended bumper-to-bumper coverage of up to 3 years and 100,000 miles. Keep in mind you have to buy this warranty before the expiry of the New Vehicle Limited Warranty to maintain its validity. However, this type of warranty is usually more expensive.

Benefits include:

  • Roadside assistance
  • Trip interruption reimbursement
  • Rental car service

Third-party extended warranty

Many third-party companies offer breakdown warranty covers. Their benefits include flexibility to buy at any time, compared to the dealer one where you must buy before the expiry of the original factory warranty. Some companies even offer zero deductible meaning your contribution to the repair can reduce significantly.

Benefits are

  • Cheaper than factory warranties
  • Flexible payment period
  • Longer-term duration 

Conclusion

Buying a Mercedes is an investment and it will cost you more than the sticker price. Maintaining and repairing will account for a significant amount in the course of your car’s lifetime. And these maintenance and repairs costs are expensive when compared to less luxurious car makers. That’s not to say the extra costs aren’t worth your money.

And after all, your car has a star.

Before buying any vehicle, it’s always worth investing just a few dollars to check the VIN number against the vehicle database. An audit with a company like VinAudit (links to VinAudit) will guard against Mileage fraud, Salvage rebuilds, Title washing, Vin cloning, and lots of other pitfalls.

You may find these articles useful:

Are Mercedes good cars?

Worth buying a 10-year-old Mercedes?

Are old Mercedes reliable?

Are Mercedes worth it?

John Cunningham

John Cunningham is an Automotive Technician and writer on Rustyautos.com. I've been a mechanic for over twenty-five years, and I've worked for GM, Volvo, Volkswagen, Landrover, and Jaguar dealerships. My passion is cars. I use my knowledge and experience to write articles that help fellow gear-heads with all aspects of car ownership, including buying advice, maintenance, and troubleshooting.

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