Keep it or shop around

MB ml350 went kerplunk on Houston fwy–cost $5000. am afraid to keep it for fear of more expensive boo-boo and MB washes their hands of it. Or expect nothing more to happen. Or trade in for Honda. Toyota. whaddaya think?

Define “kerplunk”. Year, miles, maintenance history would help too.

Ed B.

2006 ml with slightly over 60,000 miles. Vehicle shuddered, faultered, had to rev it to keep it going; arrived at hospital parking lot and brakes went totally out! tow truck took to mb/bmw mechanic so mb says they won’t help since it wasn’t authorized dealer. I think the cylinder head fell into the gasket or valve intake–whatever, but all parts replaced were certified mb parts. I am not liking Mercedes at this point but would it be foolish to just throw away $5000 and switch brands? (car not pd. for, also)

found invoice: “diagnosed and found that rocker arm inside head was damaged due to a broken valve spring. performed compression test and found low compression on cylinder #2. Remmoved valve cover and found rocker arm jammed into cylinder head. removed cylinder head and rplaced bent valves at that cylinder and replaced all valve springs. assembled engine and sat timing. cleared all codes”

Was the Powertrain Warranty still in effect at the time of the “kerplunk” incident?

If so, then you really erred by taking the car to anyone other then the MB dealer for repair.

If your car breaks down in a very remote area with no dealerships available, most car mfrs will allow repairs to be made by a non-dealer shop, but when you are in an area where there are dealers within a fairly close radius, car mfrs will deny warranty claims for repairs done by shops other than the dealership–as well they should.

If the car has been maintained strictly according to MB’s maintenance schedule, then it should have many more years of good service left in it, since this breakdown was really a “freak” incident. Just be sure that you understand that maintaining and repairing an MB is never cheap, especially as they age. If you can afford the upkeep on this vehicle, then I would suggest that you keep it.

However, whatever make of car(s) you drive in the future, bear in mind that warranty-related repairs must be done by the dealership unless you are VERY far from civilizaton. Going to an indy mechanic for repairs on a waranteed car essentially means that you are screwing yourself out of repairs that could have been done without cost, if only you had exercised better judgment.

The failure you describe is very rare on ANY brand.

You can test the waters on trading your vehicle but personally I think it will cost way more than repairs ever will in depreciation.

Depreciation is the most expensive part of new car ownership. If you bought this vehicle used then dump it as you won’t lose much and buy what leaves you a comfy feeling.

I don’t quite understand your good advice: You do know I still owe on the Mercedes; I already paid $5000 to fix it; I am probably a little upside down price-wise. Are you saying dump it anyway, because chances are these freaky things will probably continue and I will be out more money? (Y’all don’t realize how I really am letting you car people of the world determine this car’s fate). btw, the best thing I can say about this car is the lack of wind noise.

Mizzred, did you buy this car new? If so, it has lost about $14,000 due to depreciation. Plus that, you just put $5,000 into it. If you go on craigslist and look at 2006 ml350s you can get an idea of how much you could sell it for.
if you are upside down on your loan, you should probably keep it although things will break and need fixing as the car ages. I think it is not uncommon for luxury cars like MB and BMW to cost 2 to 3 thousand a year in maintenence costs.

You already paid the $5000. Keep it at least until it is paid off.