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1998 Mercedes C230 needs service

Below is a list of Services I am told I need to my 1998 Mercedes C230. I know nothing about vehicles but it seems to me some of these are interrelated repairs. If you get a fuel system flush would a new fuel filter be included? If you put on front brake pads and rotor, wouldn’t the brake fluid flush be included? You get the idea. Please explain the repairs. What is Flex Service A? I want have service but don’t want to do them twice.

Air Filter $135.00

Fuel Filter $139.00

Fuel System Flush $189.00

Flex Service A $305.00

Brake Fluid Flush $153.00

Coolant Flush $165.00

Front Brakes Pads & Rotor $489.00

Intake Cam Adjuster Leaking $416.00

Engine Belt SI Cracked $180.00

Front Lower Ball Joints Loose $503.00

Steering Linkage Boots are Torn $825.00

Lower Control Arm Bushing Torn $745.00

Steering Shock is Loose $148.00

Front Shifter Bushing is Missingb $72.00

Rear Flex Disc Cracking $268.00

Transmission Electrical Connector Leaking $160.00

Rear Axle Side Seals Leaking $1,073.00

Front Shocks Leaking $166.00


Wow! I knew Mercedes cars were expensive to maintain, but this is ridiculous. Nearly $6,000 in service and repair. Ouch.

Air filters cost about $20 at Pep Boys. Mercedes wants $135.
Fuel filters: dittto
Fuel system flush is unnecessary - save $189
Flex service A is a profit generator. There’s no way to know what it means @ $305.
Brake fluid flush is legitimate.
Cooling system flush is legit, too, but $165 is highway robbery. 1/3 that much is OK.
Front pads and rotors? I’d want to know the thickness before I said Yes.
Intake Cam adjuster leaking? I wonder how they can tell.
Engine Belt is cracked. So, a new belt is less than $50. Are they that hard to reach?
Front lower ball joints loose. If so it’s legitimate.
Steering linkage boots torn. They must be very difficult to replace. I’m assuming the price is mostly labor.
Lower Control Arm bushing torn. Price seems very high unless this is labor-intensive.
Steering shock is loose. $148 to tighten a bolt? Yikes!
Front shifter bushing is missing. Ok, replace it.
Rear Flex Disc Cracking. Not sure what a flex disc is. Can’t comment on price.
Transmission electrical connection leaking.
Rear Axle seals leaking
Front shocks leaking. See a pattern here? If they see the least little bit of lubricant they say it’s leaking and charge money.

Without knowing how many miles are on this vehicle it’s really hard to say what’s normal wear and what’s not.

A few of these things are not needed. Others may or may not be as bad as they sound. I’m assuming this was a Mercedes dealer. You could probably save a lot of money by finding an independent mechanic to maintain the car for you.

This is a lot of money to spend all at once, and it’s hard to imagine all of this is going wrong at the same time. Get a second opinion.

I take it this is a dealer - don’t use them if you have a choice. Check out the car talk mechanic finder here:
Find a mechanic you can trust. Much of these either aren’t needed, or could be done over time.

Ouch is right! Without knowing mileage and driving habits/conditions, it’s hard to make sense of this repair list. It’s almost as if the owner had done next to nothing to keep the vehicle in proper repair on an ongoing basis. The prices are high even by Mercedes standards (to wit $135 air filter). I own a 10-year older M-Bz than this one and have never had a repair list remotely this long and expensive. The OP needs to find a reliable independent Mercedes shop for starters, and maybe do a bit more regular maintenance on an ongoing basis.

BTW, a flex disc (full name = flexible joint disc) is a hard rubber donut installed at a segment of the driveshaft to absorb the torquing flex put on the drive line by the transfer of power during operation. There are 2 of them, and the r&r of the rear flex disc (the less expensive of the two) should cost no more than about $200. These are a regular maintenance item, to be replaced about every 5-6 years or 50,000-60,000 miles. Once again, this depends on driving habits and conditions.

A lot of that stuff is so high due to labor costs, though it must be about $200/hr to change the air/fuel filter.