Much is made of the fact millennials are thrifty, at least more so than the previous generation or two. However, this doesn’t mean they don’t like nice things. Those in this age bracket able to do so will happily invest in quality, which many see as a thrifty approach to luxury living. Enter the luxury used automobile, a source of pride for a growing number of young gentlemen out there with the means to afford one. Owning a Mercedes or BMW shows the world a status and displays an ability to combine economic responsibility with an appreciation for world class engineering.
Of course, there are clear reasons why a pre-owned luxury automobile like a Mercedes Benz is thousands less than buying brand new. Mainly, higher mileage means the increased likelihood of having to repair premium Mercedes parts sooner. When it comes to these higher-end makes, it usually means higher costs for their replacement parts and labor. It’s a situation that puts the modern luxury car owner in a tight spot. Faced with the prospect of having to pay for new HVAC parts on a 2010 CL63 AMG such as an evaporator core, the frugal millennial should try to find ways to reduce the cost.
Do the repairs yourself. Even find a reputable mom and pop service shop willing to charge less to fix your Benz if paid in cash. But we highly suggest not using anything other than genuine Mercedes parts for significant repairs. The reasons this is important are outlined below:
Limited Supply of Genuine Parts
Top of the line vehicles like Mercedes Benz are inherently less common than economy alternatives. It’s therefore no surprise that Mercedes’ genuine parts are not as readily available as those for average cars and trucks. Many people will opt for whatever is sold down the road, genuine or not. Uneducated owners may very well end up paying as much for repairs using shoddy parts made by unknown manufacturers as they would for repairs using genuine Mercedes parts. It seriously pays to know the difference going into a service garage. Queue the internet. There are a ton of online retailers out there stocking a solid variety of genuine Mercedes Benz parts at competitive prices, and places like eEuroparts.com also offer free DIY guides and walk-throughs on how to repair a number of common issues for various kinds of Mercedes models and years.
No Shortage of Inferior Mercedes Alternatives
Frugal-minded owners of pre-owned high-end automobiles such as Mercedes could even attempt to repair the broken parts themselves, as most service centers for luxury cars will charge over $100 an hour for labor. Not to mention, it’s an added source of pride and self-sufficiency. However, this path often leads to owners buying inferior quality parts simply for the cheaper cost. When comparing prices side-by-side, since you’re doing the work to save money in the first place, naturally instinct is to go with the lowest price. Don’t fall trap to this so easily. Don’t forget there is a reason the price is so much lower; the manufacturer is merely copying the originals, usually with lower quality materials and/or less precise cuts.
Okay, what’s the difference is between genuine parts and those made by unlicensed third-parties you might ask. Simply put, it’s the durability and tolerance limits imposed at the point of manufacturing. What this means is, the parts that go into Mercedes’ vehicles at the factory are scrutinized closely for consistency. The tolerance for inconsistency in size and shape of genuine Mercedes parts is very, very low. So low that a difference half the width of a human hair is grounds for rejection. Such rejection is time-consuming and costly, and such precision demands unparalleled expertise, which all leads to a higher price for the parts and the car itself. For premium carmakers such as Mercedes Benz, known for automobiles that run forever, this manufacturing precision is crucial to maintaining that brand image and reputation for premium quality and durability. While some aftermarket parts companies have worked closely with the OEM to provide near-identical consistency, many have not and are free to sell their inferior options alongside legitimately made replacement Mercedes parts.
In conclusion, using low quality parts in a Mercedes Benz will often mean the car is slowly drifting away from its factory harmony. The original Mercedes parts are so finely scrutinized to fit perfectly together, and assembled to form a fine automobile. Take out a worn or broken original part and replace it with one less precisely cut, and this creates an imbalance. Repeat the cycle over several repairs and the vehicle slowly loses the integrity of its harmonious mechanics, no longer performing as it should. This leads to extra parts failures, which over time, cost more to fix than opting for genuine Mercedes parts from the get-go.