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2004 Mercedes CLK 320 questions/tire recommendations

Friend has a 2004 CLK 320 with 50k miles. She took the car to her dealer today and needs the following:
Engine and transmission mounts replaced - quoted at $950 for replacement
She also needs 4 new tires. She was quoted on four Michelin tires (pilot performance touring) and Continental auto high performance. The quotes were around 925 for 4 tires, mounting, and two-year hazard warranty. Is the repair quite reasonable? The noticeable issue was shaking of the car. As for the tires, is there a preference between these brands? Thanks for your expertise.

Do you realize that tires have personal preference and biased opinions . Also if you convince her to buy a certain brand and she does not like it you will never hear the end of it. If she thinks the price is too high she can go online and compare prices just like the rest of us do.

You don’t take a fifteen-year-old car to the dealer unless it’s for a recall issue.

Get a second opinion from an independent shop.

Tester

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I would recommend her to follow the Tire Decision Guide at tirerack.com. That way her criteria and preferences are being considered, so she is more likely to be happy with the tires. She can buy them locally or from tirerack.

The most recent November Consumer Reports is another worthy guide to tires.

She lives in a small town with no European motor shop. The dealer is probably her preferred choice.

I Would look for an independent Preferably with Mercedes experience for the repair.
As for the tires, I am a Michelin fan boy so I would go with that brand.
I’ve had good luck with Tire Rack and Simpletire. Good prices no tax and they usually have free two or three day shipping to your house or a to shop where you want to have the tires mounted.

Thank you all for the responses. I will share with her.

Michelins are generally quieter with a smoother ride. Conti’s have better dry handling and sharper steering response. Both are good tires. I’d go with Michelins. Merc spec tires from each are going to be $900 plus most anywhere.

Thank you. Shared this information. :+1:

any competent shop can replace those mounts. The motor mounts are liquid-filled, so they tend to be somewhat pricey

Is the dealer sure the mounts are the only reason for the shaking . . . ?

I’ve seem the shaking also caused by degraded ignition wires . . . 12 on this car, by the way . . . in spite of the fact that there are no misfire codes. The factory scan tool has a functional test which will expose weak wires, if you’re smart enough to interpret the results

for what it’s worth, I have seen the motor mounts go at low mileage like this. If the hydraulic fluid has leaked out, that will actually leave a sort of stain. If you wait too long on this, I’ve seen them completely break in two, causing the motor to sag so badly, that the engine ground strap will break, resulting in not being able to restart the engine.

On these particular cars, Michelin trumps Continental. Continental is cheaper, but they’re lower quality, in my opinion

Thank you!

About 4 hours labor plus parts cost for the mounts, so $950 seems reasonable. An inde shop could probably save a few dollars on that job as mentioned above. Suggest to visit a tire specialty shop and get a second quote to make sure those tire prices are competitive. But they seem more or less what I’d expect for high performance tires. I’d prefer the Michelin’s myself. I presume that price includes balancing. What sort of shaking are they noticing? Do you mean the car shakes at idle? And is worse when more accessories are turned on, like the AC? If so that could indeed be caused by an engine mount problem. Might also notice a knock or thump sound when starting out from a stop, or aggressively shifting gears, or when using engine-compression-decelerating.

In Europe for example, we have a label on each set of new tires. It has a letter from A to G for fuel consumption, A to G for grip on wet surfaces and also the dB rating. everything below 71dB is considered quiet. If you guys do not have this in America, just check on some European sites and compare tire specs and then decide which one you want to order. Also, $925 for 4 tires is very expensive in my opinion. And as was recommended, try to find an independent Mercedes shop, these people often have worked at Mercedes and then decided to open their own shop, they charge way less than dealers

A set of Michelin Pilot Sport MX MXM4 tires on Tire Rack is $764, the price quoted is reasonable. The labor to mount and balance the tires will be a few dollars less at a tire shop than the dealer but don’t expect a 2019 loan vehicle for the day from Discount Tire.