Minor Mercedes Benz repairs like oil changes, brakes, filter changes even alternator repairs are easy to do. There’s no need to go break the bank at the dealership or otherwise known as the steelership by some who figure how much they can save on labor cost for minor repairs that can be done in a few hours for hundreds of dollars less.
Take my car for example. Recently it stranded me. I was having a nice Saturday, out with my wife and three year old daughter when it just wouldn’t start. No warning, no light flicking, nothing! I called road side assistance and they said it was the battery. They helped me get it started and I went directly home. Once there it wouldn’t start, again.
I did some research and figured out that it wasn’t the battery. It was the voltage regulator which is inside the alternator. I’m not a mechanic. So you can imagine that Mercedes Benz repairs were a little intimidating to me. I’ve rebuilt engines, simple ones with a very small number of electrical components. This was beyond my comfort level so I called the dealer. “Wow!” I wasn’t prepared for the $1,200 estimate I was given.
I was about 90% certain that the voltage regulator was the problem. I searched online and found it selling for less than sixty dollars, so the 1,200 dollar estimate really scared me.
The Mercedes Benz repair guys told me that I was probably going to need the whole unit replaced. What I found online was that this car tends to have problems with that piece only. Not the whole unit. I ordered the piece online and got to work.
I didn’t know how to approach breaking down the area of the engine where I needed to work. I had to remove the belt. Take off the passenger tire and remove the liner to be able to access the alternator. It sounds more complicated than it is. I’ve owned many cars and to be honest. This Mercedes Benz repair was simpler than others I’ve had to do on a Ford family van we had or a Toyota. Ford was by far the worst. It’s like those guys try to figure out how to make it extra hard for you to fix your own car.
I was most concerned with the removal of the belt. Just by looking at it I couldn’t figure out where to release the tension to the belt. I checked online but all I could find, explained how to do it as if I already knew how. That wasn’t helping. I finally found a picture of a different model Mercedes that gave me more to go on. It happened to be the same type of tensioner and presto it was off. Way easier than all the other tensioners I’ve ever had to deal with. It looked so different to what I was used to, I could’nt figure it out.
To make the story short, the repair ended up costing me less than three hundred dollars and that’s with a new battery. I opted to replace it because it was leaking. Apparently when the voltage regulator goes out it over loads the battery and they leak.