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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi. I've been viewing this forum for a couple months now but I'm 23 and new to the mercedes club. My questions are this; I live 150miles to the nearest benz dealer and I wanted to go with this CLA for a few reasons:
1. only a few drive mercedes in my city of 100k so thats my main reason for getting it.
2. Last car my parent will help me buy.

now there are a few questions I have about problems that might go with this.
1. Will I be screwed when there is a problem with the car since I live so far away from a dealer? or will a local shop like tires plus fix it as well? I'm really good friends with the tires plus guys because I own a pos ford.

2. this kind of goes with question 1... how reliable is this brand usually? I mean will the repair cost kill me? I'm not worried about my insurance because I already have 3 speeding tickets this year and I'm positive I couldn't be paying more me being a 23year old male.
 

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Driving distance from the MB dealership is certainly a valid concern. It's very unlikely that your local tire shop will be able to assist with warranty repairs. Those will need to be handled at the MB dealership. Even if the tire shop could handle the repairs, there is no way I would ever let any tire store do anything more than tire and possibly alignment service to my Mercedes. The good news is that Mercedes builds a high quality, reliable product so your visits to the dealership *should* be rare, But, we are talking about a first year new model being built at a new assembly plant, so there is an element of repair uncertainty. Personally, I prefer to drive fresh new models rather than ones that have been in production for a few years and are more common on the streets. Given that the Mercedes brand has an overall good quality reputation, I'm willing to roll the dice a little bit on reliability over playing it safe with a proven model.
 

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You probably have to decide on two things...

Do you plan to keep the car after the warranty expires? Repairs only get expensive after the warranty expires. Repairs under warranty are usually free.

Are you prepared to take your car to the Mercedes dealership for repairs? Even when the car is under warranty it still is possible to get a lemon and make constant visits to the dealership. You might not pay for the repairs, but that whole driving and experience will take a toll on your life nonetheless. That's a chance you take, even when the car is under warranty. FYI if you care about maintaining your warranty then all repairs will likely have to be done by an authorized Mercedes dealership.
 

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A few answers ( based on my own opinion - so take it as such ):

1. For a stretch of 6-7 years starting the early 2000s, Mercedes Benz, in my and many people's opinion built some cars that are not of the old Mercedes quality.
They have, in the past couple of three years, made substantial improvement in the quality of their products.
2. Overall reliability during their 4 years, 50000 miles warranty period is quite good. Not Honda good but good.
3. Tire plus for repair - don't let them even get close to the car. Not even close. All new cars have brand specific diagnostic computer software that all reputable mechanics
can download from Mercedes and they have computers that can plug directly into the car's computer for diagnostic codes. I doublt Tire Plus would have them.
4. Mercedes gives out free loaner cars for overnight repairs ( they are all new Mercedes, most likely C-class ) so you can leave your car for repair and drive home with the loaner.
5. After warranty expires, yes, the repair cost can be high but no major issue should show up in the first 5-6 years. Basic wear and tear items can be scary if you are used to typical American cars.
For example, four corner brake replacement runs $1200 to $1400. German cars makers do not believe in re-surfacing of their rotors. You replace them each time. The generic after market rotors
and brake pads do not fit well. Trust me. You have to use OEM products. Your buddies at Tire Plus will say differently but use OEM parts.
6. If you have three speeding tickets, that means cops probably already know you. Driving the only CLA in town is not going to help you in that department.
If you live in Los Angeles ( I know you are not,) your insurance premium would be $6000 a year with basic coverage and a collision deductible of $3000. They would force you to drive a 1977 Mercedes 240D
that smokes and goes 0-60 in 17 seconds if at all :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you all for the comments. I do have friends that live by the benz dealer, so I can stay over night and visit them so I guess it wont be too bad if I do need service. 50k warranty is pretty damn good IMO, I think dodge only has 36k or something, so thats good. I was Just hoping that since tires plus has certified mechanics they would be able to go under the benz warranty (Ha. I know. Stupid thinking.) I probably will hold onto it till at least 70k so crossing my fingers they built this little guy well:)

oh yea... I have been driving like a granny for awhile now because one more ticket and I lose my license for a year... I have a escort radar detector for anyone wondering why I have so many tickets. its not the radars fault. I forgot to turn it on twice and the third time I was trying to explain to the officer, I was going 90mph for a short time because I was passing someone and hadn't slowed down yet. He laughed at me and said there wasn't a vehicle for at least a mile...
 

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I do not want to crush any dreams, or be mean here; just frank:

What kinds of vehicles have you owned and maintenanced?

I ask this because owning a German auto or any turbocharged / highly tuned engine is going to have an inherent cost associated with it. Oil changes not covered under any "Maintenance Deal" you work out with the dealer will be expensive. (I know that some dealerships offer this, and some manuf. are slinging the "Maintenance Free" deals) I have a Subaru that requires about $70-$100 for oil changes, and that is at my local shop that I trust, and it would be $60 at the Lube and Go.

Like it was mentioned earlier, parts are expensive. Brake jobs are pricey! Saw the bill for one of our Full Size Range Rovers once, and we got "Buddy / Dealer" pricing from our shop and it was $1500. Your potential new car is of the same caliber as Land Rover. Might not be as expensive as the big Rover, but it will definitely be at the ballgame.
You will have a new car, so you don't have to worry about that right off, but it is a concern.

GET YOU SERVICE DONE AT THE DEALERSHIP!!! You have a new car, and if you do not want to loose more of your ass on the trade once you are done, you will want all of the records to have the MB stamp.

As for your tickets, you have 5 years to pay for those tickets buddy. Sorry, but the insurance companies go back through your driving history 5 years. I am the proud holder of 2 accidents involving wild animals in the road (Long / funny story if you want to hear it). I have to pay out my nose for those accidents until they fall off my driving record.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
oil changes at my local tires plus cost 17 dollars and free at xmas time. I can't imagine a 4 banger will take that much oil. I will always go to the benz dealer durning the warranty period but the way I look at it is this. Oil is oil and it sure beats dirty oil.
 

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That is true so long they have the correct filter and gasket. Some of our local oil change places carry basic items for the Mercedes ( they do charge you extra ) since they see so many of them,
but in your locale, that may not be the case. Many years ago, I had an oil change done on my Mustang GT at Walmart near work for $9.95. When I got home, there was oil all over the engine compartmet
because they forgot the recap after they filled up the car with new oil. Good thing I didn't ruin my engine because of that. Remember, oil change is their loss leader. They make money not from oil change but
other work you give them. For $17 on an oil change, you are paying $8 of labor and that's $8 of quality you get out of them however much that is...
 

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My guess is that that you won't have a problem finding someone local who is willing to work on it. Will they have the right diagnostic tools to do the job? Depends. Are they certified Mercedes mechanics? Depends. Just because you buy a car from a dealer doesn't mean you have to have it serviced by one. Please do keep in mind, however, if something does go wrong with your car during the warranty period there is a possibility that a Mercedes dealer will give you a harder time covering a warranty claim if you can't show that the car was properly maintained up to Mercedes standards. Just something to keep in mind.

I wouldn't want to be in your shoes if, for example, your turbo crapped out and you've be putting 'SpeedyLube' oil in your car every 10K miles (instead of as recommended). Oil is NOT oil...especially when we're talking about cars with turbos. If you're going to maintain your car like it's a "POS" then you're going to run into trouble in short order. If you live in a town with 100k people you don't live in a small village in Podunk. I have to believe you live within driving distance of a decent shop (even if its not a Mercedes dealer) that is staffed with mechanics who are certified to work on Mercedes. If not, I would plan on a 150 mile drive each year (or however often is required) to take your car in for service.

While I have not owned a Mercedes, based on what I've read and know from friends and relatives who do (or have) owned them, they tend to be relatively reliable cars...as German cars go. They aren't, however, Hondas and Toyotas and they do cost more to maintain over the long haul. Call your closest dealership and ask them about the costs of the recommended Services for, let's say, a C250 sedan. Also ask them what it a set of brake pads and rotors cost (including service). That should give you an idea of what the routine maintenance items will cost you during the warranty period. I don't know what your "POS Ford" is but it's probably going to be a hell of a lot more than your "POS Ford."

As for insurance, don't kid yourself. It can and will get a lot more expensive because you're going to be putting your name on a car that is a lot more expensive. The fact that you've got a number of speeding tickets only compounds the issue. Call your insurance company (or check online) and ask them for a quote on a C250 sedan...again, just as a comparison.

If you're talking about a CLA45...lol...you're in for a whole heap of trouble. Call your Mercedes dealer and insurance company back and ask them for prices for a C63.

If you can't afford to take care of a car then you're better off buying something else. Save your money and buy the Benz later when you can afford it. Best of luck with whatever you decide to do.

Just my $.02,
-Eric
 

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Great stuff folks and sound advice for BeNice ... one additional, albeit minor, point of clarification to an early post. The CLA is a new model in the US, but it truly isn't a new model. Anyone please correct me to get me straight but it is my understanding the foundation of the CLA is the A Class, which has been on sale in Europe for over 2-3 years. Thus, we are getting a new "body" on the underpinnings of the MB-A Class. What this means is that the reliability of its main mechanical parts are truly proven by the test of [some] time.
 

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If you are not going to maintain a turbo charged motor as a turbo charged motor requires, please be ready to have healthy repair bills down the road. It sounds to me like you are going to have the car for a while, or maybe no, but if you do, you will absolutely need to keep it maintained properly.

What model are you planning on buying? As soon as you tell the insurance company "turbo" they will immediately take notice. I know. I have owned a turbo charged car in one form or another since 2005, and am in that prime age group that gets boned. 18 - 35, male, unmarried.

Oil is oil
I dont mean to come off as harsh here, but this is ignorant. Fresh oil is better than dirty oil, yes, but at what interval? You will want to put full synthetic in your OIL COOLED turbo to keep it running correctly. Sure, there is a lot of marketing dollars that go into making the Mobil 1 (and oils of the sort) more expensive, but there is a lot of technology in there too. You will get longer life out of the synthetic, and thus a longer interval between changes to offset the price of the oil. You will also get longer life out of the motor, and turbo as well. It does not make sense to ladle ketchup on a delicious classic Steak au Poivre, so it doesn't make sense to put crap oil in a good engine.

And don't tell me that you are going to put anything but at least 91 octane in it. Don't say that "Gas is Gas man."
 
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