Engine Mounts: Righting a Wrong

When I purchased my Cabriolet, it came with an impressive folder of receipts. The previous owner had conscientiously taken his vehicle for regular servicing at the local Mercedes dealer in New Jersey, often at great expense. Take the $3,998.38 bill for a new head gasket, engine mounts, and differential bushings, for example.

Four years and 18,000 miles later, the work has held up, but it's also clear the engine mounts were never changed, despite $535 on that hefty invoice indicating otherwise.

This isn't right, and it bothered me that this had happened. I expect more from a Mercedes dealer, so I did what I would hope many enthusiasts would do—I called the Service Manager from the invoice and explained the situation. Nicely.

I asked if we could meet so I could show him the car and straighten this out. In response, he asked how I knew the engine mounts were unchanged, so I replied you could tell they were original. Moreover, even if they had been changed, they should last longer than 18,000 miles. Silence. He knew I was right, of course. This is not a 500-horsepower monster that eats engine mounts for breakfast. 

At that point, he said he would check with his supervisor and call me back the following day. The next day, however, no call. Mind you, I asked for nothing more than a meeting.

The situation continued to bother me, so I waited a week, then contacted the dealership using an online chat feature on their website. I explained the issue and they reassured me the Service Manager I'd spoken with would call me back. Later that day, he did and proposed a day and time for me to come in. I told him I would ring him back to confirm.

This time, it was my turn not to call. I had gotten what I wanted. He had conceded to a meeting. In my mind, that was enough of a victory for this owner who lives a good two hours away from that dealership. And why would I drive a total of four hours to have minor work performed by a dealership that I don't trust?

A small, but necessary, victory.

(NOTE: I plan to update this blog with detailed photos of the engine mounts once they're removed later this summer.)