2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Roadster Long-Term Road Test

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS: 20,000-Mile Service Estimate

March 11, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS

We dropped our 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS off at W.I. Simonson Mercedes-Benz. On the agenda was satisfying its 20,000-mile request for routine service. At 20k the SLS requires an extensive list of maintenance items, known here as "Service B."

Required Service (per the manual):

  • Engine - oil and filter change
  • Check catch, safety catch and hinges on engine hood for proper operation
  • Check condition of poly-V-belt
  • Clean visible area of water deflector
  • Reset maintenance service indicator in instrument cluster
  • Replace brake fluid
  • Replace combination filter
  • Check thickness of brake pads, front and rear
  • Correct tire inflation pressure
  • Check underbody protection. In the event of damage, refinish underbody protection with separate work order.
  • Leakage - Major Components: Check for unsafe marks, line routing, damaged components. In the event of leakage, determine cause and perform repair with separate work order
  • Visually inspect condition of front ball joints, rubber boots
  • Visually inspect condition of rear axle ball joints, rubber boots
  • Visually inspect condition of steering mechanical components, rubber boots
  • Check coolant level
  • Check brake fluid level
  • Check power steering fluid level
  • Check windshield washer fluid level
  • Check parking brake (function test only)

Recommended Service (per the manual):

  • Replace wiper blades
  • Check horn, high beam flasher, hazard warning lamps, turn signals
  • Check warning indicator lamps, illumination and interior/exterior lighting
  • Check trunk lighting
  • Check and correct headlamp setting
  • Check battery condition (starter battery) using Midtronics EXP 717 tester
  • Check seatbelts and buckles for signs of external damage and proper function
  • Check windshield washer and headlamp cleaning system
  • Clean and lubricate soft top seals
  • Check bodywork for paint damage
  • Tire rotation (where applicable)
  • Inspect tires for damage, measure tread depth
  • Check TIREFIT sealant for expiration date
  • Activate tire pressure monitoring system
  • Visually check brake system components, lines, hoses, calipers
  • Check thickness of brake pads and disks, front and rear wheels removed
  • Check chassis and load-bearing body components for damage and corrosion

"Are you ready to sign your life away?" That's what our advisor asked me before passing the $800 estimate across the table. I initialed the page with the understanding that he'd call me before anything major was performed so I could okay the cost. Our first SLS service experience was under way.

Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager @ 20,170 miles


  • bankerdanny bankerdanny Posts:

    Replace brake fluid, at 20k? Activate tire pressure monitoring system? Isn't that active all the time? $800 freaking dollars. If you can afford a car this expensive you can obviously afford the maintenance. But I have a hard time finding $800 worth of work here even at dealer theft labor rates.

  • throwback throwback Posts:

    I worked in the automotive aftermakrket for a time (with dealers) and I recall a Ferrari Testarossa had a 7-8K major service price. If I recall correctly it was due to having to drop the engine cradle to do the work.

  • mfennell mfennell Posts:

    7-8k is just getting started for a needy Testarossa. Was looking over a local guys just-purchased 12k mile Testarossa a couple weeks ago. Quote he: "Man, I'm getting sick to my stomach just imagining what could go wrong on this car."

  • quadricycle quadricycle Posts:

    My Recommended Service: All of this stuff is actually pretty easy, so do it yourself. I don't mean that in an insulting way. You have an awesome car there, so grab a friend, a beer, basic tools and lets have a look at what this $230K car consists of. Take your time, and enjoy yourself. I know that its actually a lease and you guys probably don't have a choice about taking it in, but you should still do it.

  • stovt001_ stovt001_ Posts:

    So oil change, basic inspection, and brake fluid change for $800, expanded out to one line per item to make it seem like more. Wow.

  • sodaguy sodaguy Posts:

    Wow, they must be charging the full $160 (or whatever)/hr for maintenance. That's the only way I can see it getting close to $800!

  • mercedesfan mercedesfan Posts:

    I'm actually surprised the service was this cheap! My S550's B-Service is right around $450 so I figured it would be at least tripled. $800 is ridiculously cheap for a vehicle in this price bracket. Heck, the 911 is going to cost more than that to service and it requires service more often.

  • penboy penboy Posts:

    Yeah, like mercedesfan mentioned that really isn't that bad for that class of car; last time I took my GLK to a dealer the B-service was $350, and the 3.5L isn't anything that special. I have a friend that's a certified Mercedes mechanic, so I don't go back to the dealership besides to pick up parts/supplies. When you actually start looking at the total costs and service intervals, though, the amounts involved aren't really that bad. My friend told me what some of the costs were for the more "Normal" AMG cars (S63, E63, etc) and they can blow your mind even when you're expecting it. The performance that comes with that money is unreal, though.

  • bassracerx bassracerx Posts:

    so you wait untill after you pick the car up to tell them you have a fleet account with them? or do you just pay with a fleet credit card? or a edmunds card and they reinburse you? do you just go to pick up the car and then tell them you have a wheels fleet account and make the poor guy(probably different person) have to re-write the work oder? THE WORLD WANTS TO KNOW! 800 bucks 3k in tires. you must hate your job!

  • bassracerx bassracerx Posts:

    200 is probably just the oil change just a regular benz s class is like 12 quarts of oil @13 bucks a quart im sure the AMG has a huge oil pump/pan so add at least 2 or 3 more quarts. the filters are $25 (even at walmart) the brake fluid exchange is probably the rest of the money racing brake fluid is EXPENSIVE very, very expensive. like liquid gold expensive and it is probably a [non-permissible content removed] to exchange and then you have to get the pedal feel to an amg level of performance. the people who [non-permissible content removed] about the 20k exchange interval need to take a 2nd look at the SIZE of those calipers and what part of the ceramic rotors being a 20thousand dollar option did you not understand? reminds me of when my dad complained that the 20" tires on his ram was over a thousand dallars and i told him "remember when you ordered the truck and you checked the 20inch wheel option? whell you already checked this box too"

  • stovt001_ stovt001_ Posts:

    I agree $800 is less than what I would expect for this class of car, but only because so much more is usually required at 20,000 miles in an exotic. But read the list carefully, it is really nothing more than an oil change and 20-something point inspection. There's no valve adjustment. There's no dropping of the engine cradle. There's nothing exotic about what's being done here. Exotic cars usually have exotic maintenance costs because of exotic maintenance requirements. This car has no such crazy requirements.

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