If you want to own a car from a luxury brand like Mercedes-Benz, make sure you’re ready for the recurring expenses. One of its recurring expenses is maintenance. So, are Mercedes expensive to maintain?
Compared to cars from other brands, the regular maintenance costs for Mercedes-Benz cars are quite expensive. A study by YourMechanic.com has shown that it came in second, just behind BMW, in terms of maintenance costs. People who own a Mercedes-Benz usually pay around $908 annually for maintenance and repair, according to RepairPal.com.
Read on to learn more about the costs of maintaining and repairing Mercedes-Benz cars.
Are Mercedes Cars Reliable?
Average Starting Price
Mercedes-Benz cars are not cheap, with an average starting price of $54,050 SRP. So, if you’re going to spend that money, it’s only natural to ask, “Are Mercedes cars reliable?”
Mercedes-Benz has a reliability rating of 3 out of 5, according to RepairPal. This means it’s just average.
Disclaimer: RepairPal reviewed data, including average repair costs and repair frequency and severity, from hundreds of cars of different make, models, and brands.
Slightly More Expensive to Own and Maintain
Thus, while Mercedes-Benz cars are slightly more expensive to own and maintain, they’re on the same level as similar luxury brands (e.g., Audi and BMW).
Equipped with Many New Technologies
One of the major reasons Mercedes-Benz and other luxury car brands have poor reliability scores is because they use many new technologies. This increases the chances of some parts or systems becoming faulty or damaged.
Mercedes-Benz’s Most Reliable Series of Executive Cars
But like other car manufacturers, Mercedes-Benz has been historically reliable. The E-Class and C-Class are two of their most reliable series of executive cars. Cars in the C-Class category have received an impressive Quality and Reliability rating of 81 out of 100 from J.D. Power.
Consumer Reports also gave it a predicted reliability score of 4 out of 5.
Overall, Mercedes-Benz is a good car manufacturer. If you take care of your car, it can easily reach 100,000 miles and beyond. And that means it needs regular service and maintenance from a qualified and certified Mercedes-Benz mechanic.
So now, let me answer the following questions in the following sections of this article:
- Is it going to be hard to maintain?
- How much will repair and maintenance cost?
- Do Mercedes cars have too many issues?
- Is insurance higher on a Mercedes-Benz?
Which Is Better, BMW, Audi, or Mercedes in Handling, Safety, and Performance?
Is Mercedes Difficult to Maintain?
Mercedes cars can be relatively expensive to maintain. The annual cost of owning this car is $908, including unscheduled maintenance and unplanned repairs.
The rule of thumb is to have your Mercedes serviced every 10,000 miles or 12 months, whichever comes first. Mercedes-Benz backs its passenger cars with a two-year warranty on materials and workmanship.
This warranty covers free replacement of defective parts and repair of your car. But if it appears that you don’t maintain your car well, there’s a possibility they’ll deny your warranty claim.
Are Mercedes Cars Reliable? [Mercedes-Benz Car Reliability Guide]
More About Mercedes’ Flexible Service System
Fortunately, knowing when you should get your car serviced won’t be hard. For the past years, Mercedes-Benz has had a “Flexible Service System” that determines a car’s maintenance schedule. It has three service levels, which I’ll briefly go through below:
1. Service A
Every 10,000 Miles or One Year
You will receive the Service A notification when your car reaches 10,000 miles or one year, whichever comes first.
Single Wrench Icon on Dashboard
This appears as a single wrench icon on your dashboard or as a text (“Service A due in X Miles”).
The price tag for Service A will depend on the service provider you choose. The usual range could be anywhere from $210 to $315. The amount includes labor and parts.
The Service A maintenance plan consists of the following services:
- Replacement of oil filter
- Synthetic oil change
- Inspection and correction of all fluid levels and tire air pressure
- Brakes inspection
- Maintenance counter resetting
- Inspection of your car’s other vital systems
2. Service B
Every 20,000 Miles
After Service A, the next routine maintenance for your car is Service B. You should have this done every 20,000 miles to ensure you avoid costly repairs in the long run and keep your car running the best way possible.
Two-wrench Icon Symbol
Knowing if it’s time for the Service B maintenance plan is easy because a two-wrench icon will show on your dashboard. But for the newer models, there could be a text saying “Service B due in X Miles” or “Service B in X Days.”
How much is it? You can expect to pay for the Service B anywhere from $380 to $933. The cost for this maintenance plan ranges more widely than Service A, mainly depending on your car’s model and year model. You could probably spend more if replacing some parts is necessary.
The Service B maintenance plan involves a full inspection of your car and the usual services you’ll get from the first level, such as:
- Oil change,
- Maintenance counter resetting,
- Tire pressure check, etc.).
In addition, they’ll replace the climate control dust filters and wiper blades.
An ASE Certified technician will check the following components using equipment that’s designed explicitly for Mercedes-Benz cars:
- Brake lines and hoses
- Computer and electronic components
- Exhaust and mufflers
- Suspension system
Schedule Interval for the Next Maintenance Service
The schedule interval for the next maintenance service will be 5,000 miles after Service B. During this time; you’ll alternate between the inspection and Service A or Service B.
The maintenance schedule after Service B consists of a synthetic oil change and a tire rotation. Mercedes-Benz’s oil change costs around $180 to $450.
Meanwhile, the average tire rotation cost is between $44 and $56. This price range doesn’t consider taxes and fees, as well as your car’s specific model or where you will avail of these services.
3. Service C
Happens at Around 36,000 Miles
The schedule of the Service C maintenance plan happens at around 36,000 miles.
The Service C consists of some of the usual maintenance services included in the Service A and the Service B and other additional services, which include the following:
- Draining of old fluid from the differentials then replaced with a manufacturer-recommended fluid
- Computer diagnostic inspection for areas that require immediate attention
- Replacement of spark plugs and fuel filter
- Transmission service
- Coolant flush
The cost of this third service level is around $249.95. However, this base price could still change because of multiple factors: warranty validity, services performed, model of your car, the current condition of your car, and so on.
It’s important to get in touch with a licensed technician at a Mercedes-Benz dealership to get an exact price quote for your specific needs.
Cost and Ease of Maintaining Used Mercedes Cars
Huge Risk to Buy Used Luxury Cars
“Are old Mercedes expensive to maintain?” This is probably one of the questions you’ll ask yourself if you’re considering buying a pre-owned Mercedes.
The truth is buying used luxury cars, especially if it’s older than four years or has more than 50,000 miles on them, is a huge risk. Mercedes-Benz will never be in the same category as a Honda or a Mazda regarding maintenance and repair costs.
Costly Major Repairs
You could probably perform the basic repairs or maintenance yourself. However, major repairs and complete maintenance services will cost you.
There are plenty of reasons why Mercedes repair costs are expensive. For instance, the parts can be pricey because they’re usually imported from a different country. And, you’ll need the services of a certified technician who specializes in Mercedes-Benz cars.
Older models also need more maintenance to make sure they age gracefully. Add all of them together, and you’ve got an expensive maintenance cost you might not be willing to pay.
Still, this shouldn’t be a major reason to avoid buying a pre-owned Mercedes-Benz. Some of them are well-maintained, so you might not encounter any serious issues.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Buying a Pre-owned Mercedes
When buying a pre-owned Mercedes, keep these things in mind:
- Buying from a private seller might not be a good idea because there might be no remaining manufacturer’s warranty.
- Don’t be scared to ask for more information about the car, including its full-service history.
- Don’t forget to test drive it.
- If you’re buying it from a Mercedes main dealer, read the warranty’s fine print to know what’s covered and for how long.
Mercedes-Benz Certified Pre-Owned (MBCPO) Program
Fortunately, the “Mercedes-Benz Certified Pre-Owned” (MBCPO) program can help you get the best deal possible.
When you come across this term, it means the unit has undergone a stringent inspection by a Mercedes-Benz Certified technician. Plus, it has a pre-owned warranty to give you extra peace of mind.
Again, are Mercedes expensive to maintain? Mercedes-Benz cars are relatively more costly to maintain than other brands. According to RepairPal.com, on average, Mercedes vehicles’ maintenance cost is $908. It ranked 2nd on maintenance costs, with BMW in the first place.
Motor Vehicle Service Notification – Is It a Scam?
What to Do If You Want to Sell Your Mercedes
Take Your Car to the Dealership for Appraisal
Or, if you have a Mercedes that you want to sell, you can take it to a dealership for appraisal. If it meets their requirements, your car can receive the MBCPO certification.
However, not all cars can qualify for this certification program. For a dealer to consider a pre-owned Mercedes-Benz, it should meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Not older than six years
- It has 75,000 miles or less on it
- Has a Carfax Vehicle History Report
- Has been serviced according to the “Flexible Service System” maintenance levels
Best “Certified Pre-Owned Mercedes-Benz” Models
Some of the best “Certified Pre-Owned Mercedes-Benz” models include:
- 2013 Mercedes-Benz G550
- 2014 Mercedes-Benz CLA250
- 2014 Mercedes-Benz S550
- 2015 Mercedes-Benz C300
- 2015 Mercedes-AMG CLS63
- 2016 Mercedes-Benz GLC300
- 2016 Mercedes-Benz SL400
Perks of Owning a “Certified Pre-Owned” Mercedes Car
Here are the other perks of owning a “Certified Pre-Owned” Mercedes car:
1. Passed a Rigorous 165-point Inspection
Cars that qualify for the “Mercedes-Benz Certified Pre-Owned” program will undergo a 165-point inspection. Technicians at a dealership will start by ensuring the exterior of a car is up to the standards.
Next, they’ll check everything inside a car—the flooring, finishes, seat belts, etc. They’ll also thoroughly check the engine, electrical components, filters, and transmission.
Before it’s ready for the road, technicians will evaluate a unit’s overall ride quality. They’re also going to check on the brakes, drive shaft, steering system, and suspension system. They’ll even perform a noise and vibration analysis to ensure a smooth and quiet driving experience.
3. MBCPO Limited Warranty
After completing the multi-point inspection and road test, each “Mercedes-Benz Certified Pre-Owned” car is usually covered by any remaining portion of the 4-year/50,000-mile new vehicle limited warranty.
Once that expires, Mercedes-Benz may also provide an extra 12 months of coverage with unlimited miles. And when that “Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) Limited Warranty” expires, the manufacturer will also provide a one-year or two-year extended limited warranty with unlimited miles.
The coverage of the CPO limited warranty includes but is not limited to the following components:
- Audio system
- Climate control system
- Electrical door locking mechanism
- Electrical Systems
- Navigation system
- Parts of the engine
- Retractable hardtop system
- Suspension system
- And more.
4. Reimbursement Guarantee
Here’s another good news for you. If your car has broken down over 100 miles from your home, Mercedes-Benz offers a three-day travel expenses reimbursement of up to $300.
5. One Week to Exchange
If you’re dissatisfied with your Mercedes, don’t worry. You have seven days or 500 miles to swap it for a different one, whichever comes first.
6. 24/7 Support Services
Mercedes-Benz provides complimentary emergency roadside assistance as part of your CPO warranty coverage. If you need help—you’re out of fuel, your tire needs changing, or your car needs a jump-start—call them to get help.
Mercedes Repair Costs: How Much Will You Pay?
Average Annual Mercedes-Benz Repair Cost
Are Mercedes expensive to repair? The average annual Mercedes-Benz repair cost is lower than most luxury car brands, such as Audi and BMW. You should budget around $600 to $1,200 (or even up to $3,000) every year for the maintenance and repair costs of a Mercedes.
Get a “Mercedes-Benz Extended Limited Warranty”
To lower your out-of-pocket ownership expenses, try getting the “Mercedes-Benz Extended Limited Warranty” when purchasing any Mercedes car. This bumper-to-bumper warranty can last up to 7 years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first.
Note: Although buying coverage from Mercedes has its benefits, there are a few downsides that you need to consider. For instance, it’s only honored at authorized dealerships. There are only around 383 of them in the United States.
Are Mercedes Cars Expensive to Insure?
Getting insurance could also help lower ownership costs. According to the personal finance website ValuePenguin, in 2019, the average cost to insure a Mercedes is around $2,349 per year. However, some owners pay only around $1,105 per year.
3 Common Mercedes-Benz Car Problems
As with most cars, Mercedes-Benz cars have their common problems. These are just three of them:
1. Air Suspension Issues
Mercedes-Benz first used air suspension in some models in the year 2000. If maintained well, one of the benefits of air suspension is it can greatly reduce noise, harshness, and vibration on the road. This improves driver and passenger comfort, making it great for daily driving.
While the air suspension system has several advantages, it’s not without problems. You’ll know if it fails, especially if the problem involves the struts because one part of your Mercedes is slightly lower than the other.
Other noticeable symptoms include:
- Bumpier and noisier ride
- Malfunctioning ride settings
- Misaligned wheels
- Problems in controlling the steering wheel
- Unstable driving
The average cost of fixing the air suspension system will completely vary, depending on your Mercedes car’s specific model year or location.
For the Mercedes-Benz GL450, you might spend $701 to $746 for the active suspension air spring and $174 to $219 for labor. This price range doesn’t include taxes and fees.
Rusting is a common problem among Mercedes-Benz’s older models, specifically those from the ’90s and 2000s. However, it doesn’t mean newer models won’t have this problem.
Once rust develops, repairs will cost you a lot of money. This could mean around $650 to $3,000 on surface rust repairs.
If you don’t want to pay that amount, make sure you constantly check your car for rust. Check behind the license plate, bumpers, front fenders, bottom of the doors, wheel wheels, and other high-wear areas for rust.
3. Thrust Link and Control Arm Bushings Issues
Without going into too many technical details, bushings, control arms, and ball joints are essential components of a car’s suspension system. If they don’t work properly, your tires won’t be able to go up and down smoothly and in a controlled fashion.
On average, the cost of replacing the suspension control arm bushings of the Mercedes-Benz E320 is between $391 and $578. For the Mercedes-Benz S430, the control arm assembly replacement costs around $223, with labor estimated at $95 and parts at $128.
Conclusion – Are Mercedes Expensive to Maintain?
Mercedes-Benz cars can be costly to maintain and repair compared to other brands in its category, but only second to BMW. Based on the estimate of RepairPal.com, people can expect to spend $908 on average annually to maintain and repair a Mercedes car.
So, if you’re looking for an economical car, Mercedes-Benz cars aren’t your top choices.