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The $210 Oil Change

written by John Chow on March 13, 2014

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Yesterday, I took the Mercedes SL550 in for its first scheduled service. This is basically an oil change.

Mercedes-Benz require their cars to be serviced every 5,000 miles or one year, whichever comes first. In my case, the year came first. In the 12 months since getting the car, I have put only 4,600 miles on it. Yes, I need to do more Driving with John Chow.

The oil change came to $210, which, quite frankly, is the most expensive oil change I have ever seen. The car takes nine quarts of high-grade synthetic oil which cost $52. There was also a filter that cost $23. The rest of the bill was all labour. I was able to reduce the bill to $170 by using a $40 coupon. Still, $170 for an oil change is a record for me. You do get some amazing service when you pay $170 for an oil change. The customer lounge is beautifully appointed. They have free Starbucks coffee, free WiFi, and even free shoe shine!

One thing I can say. Fletcher Jones Motorcars is making a killing off their employees. The service couldn’t have taken more than 30 minutes to perform, yet the bill for labor came to $124. I doubt Mr. Jones pays his service people $248 an hour, or even $24.80 an hour. I wonder if the employees feel they’re being taken advantage of? All I know if is, I wouldn’t be very happy if someone was billing me out at ten or more times what they pay me. This is one of the reasons I’m my own boss. I control what I get paid.

If you want to control what you get paid, download my new ebook, the Ultimate Online Profit Model, and find out how you too can afford a $130,000 Mercedes-Benz, and $210 oil changes. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go for a drive.

mobemerc

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{ 24 comments }

ClickBait March 13, 2014 at 8:37 am

Hi John, when Mercedes-Benz changed schedule on oil change? It was 20,000 km or one year in Vancouver last year :)

Brad Waller March 13, 2014 at 8:38 am

I agree it’s way expensive. But I also bet they pay their mechanics every well. Dealers make more money from service than car sales. They have a book that tells them how many hours a given task will take. Mechanics are rewarded for doing the job under book value so both they and the dealer make more. I could teach you how to change your oil in five minutes if you wanted to get your own hands dirty and save the cash. Or, enjoy the luxury and pay the dealer.

John Chow March 13, 2014 at 8:44 am

I worked it out that even at $210, it’s still cheaper to let the dealer do it instead of doing it myself. Time is money. :)

Ann Roberts March 16, 2014 at 6:59 am

Hey John,

I love your post and your blog. But I’m almost certain you would void the warranty if you did it yourself. The dealer costs are beyond outrageous but that’s the price to pay for a prestige vehicle. It will also last for 30 years if you want to keep it that long.

Also agree on the mechanics wages.. i be they get $70 / hour, but of course they wont always have a full 40 hour work week. Its billable hours just like attorneys. If its a super busy dealership, they might and if so, they could be making a very nice living.

benzw205 March 13, 2014 at 8:51 am

Hello,

Are you sure that all servicing must be done at Benz to keep the warranty ?

Even oil changing ?

Anyway Benz are cheap in US, so you got a good deal already :-)

Thanks for post.

John Chow March 13, 2014 at 9:13 am

I’m pretty sure you can do the service anywhere you want.

Jon March 13, 2014 at 9:23 am

How long did it take you to drive to the car dealer?
There is a special reason for asking, I’ll get back to that later.

John Chow March 13, 2014 at 10:16 am

Not long.

I. C. Daniel March 13, 2014 at 10:41 am

That’s outrageous J. C.! More driving with John Chow episodes is a must! I’m #1 fan!

Tony March 13, 2014 at 8:25 pm

Wow, that is a lot for an oil change!

Jason March 14, 2014 at 7:13 am

Even if I was a billionaire I wouldn’t pay that much.
I would simply do it myself since I don’t like the feeling of being
ripped off. Or perhaps get it done at a local gas station for half the price.
That’s just my point of view:-)

Jason

benzw205 March 16, 2014 at 10:45 am

You will never be millionaire for sure :-)

John Chow March 16, 2014 at 3:53 pm

Don’t be so sure. It’s never about how much you make. It’s always about how much you keep.

Gandall March 16, 2014 at 6:50 pm

LOL. This really shows you are not ready to even earn hundred of thousands.

faisal March 14, 2014 at 8:09 am

You pay for the Merc brand, not for the oil.

Wess Stewart March 14, 2014 at 9:02 am

I used to have an Infiniti that cost a lot for an oil change…at the dealership…so I would just take it to one of the quick lube places (but not Wal-Mart, because those guys do dumb things like forget to tighten the oil pan plug…).

Shari March 14, 2014 at 12:12 pm

I had a piece of crap Mercedes I inherited from my father that I owned in the nineties. He had bought it in the sixties & had stored it for 10 years while he lived in Alaska on a medical ship. Everything was expensive on that vehicle, not just the oil change (which btw, I never went to a dealer to have done!). Someone stole the hood ornament & it was $70 to replace it–an outrageous price back then. Needless to say I went without a hood ornament. But kids would still chase my car down the subdivision just because it was a Mercedes. I laughed hysterically the first time it happened. Status, isn’t it all really in the mind? That dumb car leaked oil & ended up starting my house on fire in 1999 (three weeks before Y2K). After $160K of damage to my house (attached garage) that State Farm paid (thank the Lord for insurance!), I was very glad to be done with my first and last Mercedes! LOL.

Ann Roberts March 16, 2014 at 7:05 am

Mercedes are a brand that need to be driven regularly; they dont do well sitting parked in a garage for months on end.

All the posts on the warranties and getting the dealer to service… sometimes they will accept the work done from other places but you can be absolutely certain that if a major problem comes up, the company will blame it on unauthorized technicians.

if you want a benz… just get one that’s five years old and looks brand new and drives perfectly. then you can get it done anywhere you want. go to benzworld forum and find a former dealer mechanic who knows those cars inside out. they’ll charge you half or less and will do a great job. they have huge pride in their work and you will save a ton of money.

just my five cents

benzw205 March 16, 2014 at 10:48 am

Why getting a second hand when brand new ones are so cheap in US ?

Amazing that people always look for cheaper and more problems !

You are right about warranty and it seems that JonShow :-) does not know that he could look warranty if he had his car serviced somewhere else.

Property Marbella March 15, 2014 at 4:13 am

You can afford the oil change, the cost of maintaining expensive new cars today. My porsche and camaro cost a fortune every time they are at the garage for sevice.

Carolyn March 15, 2014 at 4:18 pm

You are relatively new to our area so you don’t know the old joke, “Nobody’s cheaper than Fletcher Jones”. It referred to the elder Jones, a notorious skinflint.

Dave Starr March 16, 2014 at 8:33 pm

Your numbers here are a great illustration of why I have been an “Anti-Job” guy for years. (yes, I am old and I was caught in the trap of “job security” for too many years … afriad to do the real numbers and sprad my own wings.

In general, no matter if you make $10 an hour or $100 an hour, your employer is netting about triple whatever you pay is .. or it would be cheap to eliminate your job and pay overtime to fill the gap … or contract your job out.

Why on earth work for 1/3 of your proven, true value … even if you happen to have a “good paying” job? It’s a scam guys and gals, pure and simple … and American business depends upon you following the rest of the herd. Last century thinking, says the oldest guy in the room with the youngest mind … me.

Andrew March 16, 2014 at 11:10 pm

wow, that’s really expensive.

SURAJ SINGH March 17, 2014 at 6:56 am

Hi John You explained it beutifully, i agree yes its a record $210 oil change :P