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

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

March 12, 2013

2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS

We picked up our 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLS from its 20,000-mile service appointment at W.I. Simonson Mercedes-Benz this morning. In all honesty, we half-expected the SLS to promote us to some sort of priority status. It didn't. Our overall experience was quite normal, including some hits and some misses.

First off, let's cover the hits. I doubt that our advisor, Stan, could have been a nicer guy. He was extremely polite and up-front with explanations for all of the service performed. And if you recall, that was a long list. Even though they were clearly outlined as required during this maintenance interval, Stan called for our blessing prior to starting work on some of the higher-ticket items. We appreciated this extra consideration.

Second, it felt nice to come in below the knee-buckling $800 estimate. It wasn't much cheaper, but the $660 we paid was somehow an easier pill to swallow. The invoice broke down into three major categories: Brake fluid exchange ($190); Combination air filter ($100); and, the oil change ($350). Ten quarts of synthetic alone was nearly $100.

As for the misses, there were two. One pertained to the delivery itself, which we omitted from the last update. We arrived early for our appointment and Stan was at lunch. No big deal there, except nobody seemed to know how to handle us. Porter after porter looked us in the eye and then walked on. Other advisors came out to help new customers in the service drive and didn't give us a second look. Finally, after a solid 10 minutes of looking lost, an advisor asked if we'd been helped. He apologized profusely for the wait, processed our car in about 2 minutes and sent us on our way.

The second miss? No car wash. There's a chance I'd have let this slide if "complimentary courtesy wash" wasn't listed on the invoice. I asked the porter about the grime on our car and his response was something to the effect of, "Nobody told me it needed a wash." To his credit, he offered to wash it if I had another 10 minutes to spare. I said, "No, thanks."

On the whole, I'd have to say that the brief interaction with our advisor was the highlight of this visit. The porter staff didn't seem to be quite on its game, at least when we were there. So would I recommend this dealer? Yes, with footnotes. Ask for Stan. And don't be afraid to ask for help. It may not come to you.

Total Cost: $668.29

Total Days Out of Service: 1

Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager @ 20,174 miles


  • fordson1 fordson1 Posts:

    $350 to change oil. Come on. 10 quarts of oil, and you probably have 2 drain points instead of 1 due to the dry sump system. So what? I"ll give them the $100 worth of oil, given the markup they pay, but...please - no remarks about how that is commensurate with a car that costs this much...just tell me how a qualified tech in a fully-equipped shop kills almost 2 hours of shop time changing the car's oil.

  • duck87 duck87 Posts:

    It's the same thing for Porsche dealers. For a 911 they charge you obscene amounts for the multipoint inspection and the oil change... but they neglect to mention that since the engine is in the back, changing it and the filter takes a whopping 10 minutes max! $600 please.

  • zcalvert zcalvert Posts:

    wow... $250 beyond the cost of oil for the oil change! that borders on criminal. i'm guessing your maintenance costs on the old ferrari are starting to seem a bit more reasonable now...

  • mfennell mfennell Posts:

    If it were my car, the LAST person I'd want washing it would be the lot boy at the dealer.

  • mfennell mfennell Posts:

    I suspect the $350 was for the "A" service, which includes all the checks highlighted on the previous entry. If they were actually done, it's easy to imagine burning an extra hour or so. Labor must be $150/hr out there too. FWIW, the "V8 service special" at my nearby Ferrari dealer is $749 for oil & brake fluid.

  • mfennell mfennell Posts:

    Hmm...just noticed no line feeds permitted in the comments. More lame.

  • lmacmil lmacmil Posts:

    Brake fluid exchange at 20,000 miles? For $190? You've got to be kidding.

  • sodaguy sodaguy Posts:

    So ultimately, the pricing wasn't that outrageous at all. $350 for the oil change means they probably charged 1.5-2hr labor at the full shop rate for all of the inspections, which is somewhat justifiable for a car of this caliber.

  • prndlol prndlol Posts:

    Hopefully Stan gets a pat on the back, and the porters a lump of coal.

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