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Thursday 6th October 2011


PH FLEET: C63 AMG ESTATE

A bit of warranty work and fresh oil for our high-speed hauler

Our C63 Estate is nice and shiny for once - thanks to Mercedes-Benz Lincoln
Our C63 Estate is nice and shiny for once - thanks to Mercedes-Benz Lincoln
Having been amused at being charged 15 at a BMW dealer last year for a litre of oil that came with surgical gloves and a paper hanky for mopping-up afterwards, it was with unalloyed delight that I discovered the treat in store for AMG owners taking on DIY top-up duties between services.

All this for 15 - free litre of oil included...
All this for 15 - free litre of oil included...
If you want an extra litre of oil for a C63 it comes (from the main dealer in Lincoln at least) in its own zip-up 'wash-bag' containing what - at first sight - looks like a pair of party hats and a couple of condoms. Sadly, these turned out to be a pair of Shell liveried paper funnels and some wet-wipes but still, it was a pretty good haul considering I only wanted a small bottle of the, er brown-ish stuff. So does anyone want an empty zippy bag with Shell on it? It's got fuzzy-felt strips so you can even stick it to your jumper, although I can't think why you'd want to...

I like the Mercedes main dealer at Lincoln more than the last one I tried in Nottingham, as the staff seemed a little less 'customer service manual' and a bit more 'human'. And when Richard the service chap said somebody was washing our car as a freebie, said person actually did a decent job. The Nottingham lot left dirt up the sides and the car full of annoying bits of scrap paper with inspection 'ticks' proudly boasting they'd washed it.

61K for a C63 Coupe anyone?
61K for a C63 Coupe anyone?
Which is why I went to Mercedes-Benz Lincoln in the first place when a 'check oil when next refuelling' message started flashing on the instrument panel. It's the third litre we've put in between official oil changes in 22k-ish miles, and it's a shame the car couldn't have held out a little longer because there's another message showing 'service due in 1,200 miles'. Still it was an opportunity to get the parking lamp bulb sorted too, except I forgot to mention it in all the excitement over my 15 Shell Helix 'party pack'.

Fortunately, a couple of days after that visit, the C63's steering column started making strange groaning noises and feeding back 'something's loose and rattly on the end of this' messages, instead of the engaging 'feel' that's typically transmitted through the suede (effect?) AMG wheel.

Phone-cam doesn't do justice to cabin
Phone-cam doesn't do justice to cabin
M-B Lincoln sorted out a next day appointment and while they couldn't offer a courtesy car at a late afternoon's notice, they did offer to give me a lift home - a good 15 miles - if the fault wasn't something that could be fixed while I waited.

It could, because it turned out to be a bit of hidden plastic cabin trim getting on the wrong side of a bit of hidden carpet trim (quite possibly the result of my giant loafers dancing in the footwell), but it was something Richard said he'd come across before. He also got the parking light bulb changed without me having to mention it.

Anyway, I didn't mind waiting because Mercedes-Benz showrooms are quite good places to lurk at the moment. They've got a very nice C63 Coupe up for 61k in Lincoln which looks tempting in white with red leather, although personally I find that driving an estate is a good part of the fun of the C63 experience.

Mmm... a lovely leggy diesel E Class!
Mmm... a lovely leggy diesel E Class!
Amongst more obvious delights like the SLS and E and CL coupes, the diesel powered E Class wagons don't look bad, either. Sacrilegious as it may seem, it would sometimes be nice to go twice as far between fill-ups as our monstrous machine allows.

But only sometimes...

Author: Chris-R