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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...

Chris-R
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Author Discussion

Itsallicanafford

Original Poster:

914 posts

47 months

[news] 
Thursday 6th October 2011 quote quote all
....its not sacrilegious at all to like a diesel, its just called driving in the real world...a world where driving and taxing a C63 AMG over a C250 Diesel or C350 Diesel would not make economic sense at all....

Itsallicanafford

Original Poster:

914 posts

47 months

[news] 
Thursday 6th October 2011 quote quote all
Itsallicanafford said:
....its not sacrilegious at all to like a diesel, its just called driving in the real world...a world where driving and taxing a C63 AMG over a C250 Diesel or C350 Diesel would not make economic sense at all....
...but on reflection i am delighted that cars like the C63AMG exist, makes the world a more interesting place...

ZesPak

14,577 posts

84 months

[news] 
Thursday 6th October 2011 quote quote all
Superb service from the sounds of it!

Honest question, is it possible that you guys get some "premium" treatment because you're, you know, automotive journalists?
Call me cynical but I wouldn't find that odd (hell, if I was a car dealer and some guys that manage one of the uk's biggest car sites, they'd get dinner and a show as well).

squeezebm

2,319 posts

93 months

[news] 
Thursday 6th October 2011 quote quote all
MB lincoln for me,are probably one of the worst dealers in the area when it comes to customer service, maybe because i'm not working for ph but the last 3 times i have visited them to look at various models to possibly purchase we have been ignored completely! Even by the receptionist last time. Hey ho they must be doing good business.

philcray

452 posts

91 months

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Thursday 6th October 2011 quote quote all
ZesPak said:
Superb service from the sounds of it!

Honest question, is it possible that you guys get some "premium" treatment because you're, you know, automotive journalists?
Call me cynical but I wouldn't find that odd (hell, if I was a car dealer and some guys that manage one of the uk's biggest car sites, they'd get dinner and a show as well).
I am sure there is an element of this - although it never ceases to amaze me how many car magazines (eg Autocar, Top Gear etc) as well as well known journalists (eg Clarkson) seem to also be given cr*p service. Surely the garages know who they are and that they will get bad press, or maybe they really just do not care......
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Chris-R

744 posts

75 months

[news] 
Thursday 6th October 2011 quote quote all
philcray said:
I am sure there is an element of this - although it never ceases to amaze me how many car magazines (eg Autocar, Top Gear etc) as well as well known journalists (eg Clarkson) seem to also be given cr*p service. Surely the garages know who they are and that they will get bad press, or maybe they really just do not care......
We do have a slightly cryptic PH 'country' sticker on the bootlid, but nobody said 'hey, are you from PistonHeads?' (To be fair, not everybody reads this stuff...) smile

Lincoln M-B were friendly and helpful from the first telephone call both times I've visited them. They definitely had no idea it was a PH car then, and everyone else seemed to be getting a similar brand of treatment when I went in. Maybe they were just having a couple of good days!

sinbaddio

432 posts

64 months

[news] 
Thursday 6th October 2011 quote quote all
Chris-R said:
We do have a slightly cryptic PH 'country' sticker on the bootlid, but nobody said 'hey, are you from PistonHeads?' (To be fair, not everybody reads this stuff...) smile

Lincoln M-B were friendly and helpful from the first telephone call both times I've visited them. They definitely had no idea it was a PH car then, and everyone else seemed to be getting a similar brand of treatment when I went in. Maybe they were just having a couple of good days!
I guess it's a bit like Michael Winner turning up at a restaurant for his dinner. If the food's not very good anyway it's never going to be brilliant is a one off. One can't as they say 'polish a t*rd'

AyBee

6,354 posts

90 months

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Thursday 6th October 2011 quote quote all
Are all mercedes group cars registered at the same place (a la BMW)? It's quite easy to spot a BMW group car and as such, may get you better service. Or they're just good to start with? tongue out Service and sales are completely different sections afterall.

Wardy76

58 posts

44 months

[news] 
Thursday 6th October 2011 quote quote all
Presumably, thes reg numbers of all these cars'll be on the Merc computer system so that when a dealer looks them up they're flagged as being a VIP or whatever..? That and the fact you're not driving in there with an clapped out old A Class would probably give the game away?
Still, good to see some decent service. I say well done to them regardless.

Chris-R

744 posts

75 months

[news] 
Thursday 6th October 2011 quote quote all
Wardy76 said:
Presumably, thes reg numbers of all these cars'll be on the Merc computer system so that when a dealer looks them up they're flagged as being a VIP or whatever..? That and the fact you're not driving in there with an clapped out old A Class would probably give the game away?
Still, good to see some decent service. I say well done to them regardless.
Little 'ol me a VIP? More likely there's a flagged message saying whatever you do, don't give this bloke the keys back... smile

thewheelman

2,194 posts

61 months

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Thursday 6th October 2011 quote quote all
The first C63 i saw....or heard in this case, was in the underground car park at the Bullring.......fook me! What a sound, & such a nice subtle, yet still agressive look. BM-Who?

ZesPak

14,577 posts

84 months

[news] 
Thursday 6th October 2011 quote quote all
thewheelman said:
The first C63 i saw....or heard in this case, was in the underground car park at the Bullring.......fook me! What a sound, & such a nice subtle, yet still agressive look. BM-Who?
Both have their place, but yes, if you're looking for that noise, the C63 is very hard to beat cloud9

nelly_h

137 posts

67 months

[news] 
Thursday 6th October 2011 quote quote all
I've always found the Mercedes and BMW dealerships I've used have given great service without exception (mostly Merc Beaconsfield and Sytner High Wycombe). It's been hit and miss with my current Audi, and my Volvo experience has been poor (although I guess they aren't "premium").

As always though I guess it's dealer dependent, and even then dealers will have good and bad days.

ZesPak

14,577 posts

84 months

[news] 
Thursday 6th October 2011 quote quote all
nelly_h said:
I've always found the Mercedes and BMW dealerships I've used have given great service without exception (mostly Merc Beaconsfield and Sytner High Wycombe). It's been hit and miss with my current Audi, and my Volvo experience has been poor (although I guess they aren't "premium").

As always though I guess it's dealer dependent, and even then dealers will have good and bad days.
Bad experiences with both BMW & Fiat/Alfa dealerships, cars all go to an indy now.

The bike is still going at the Honda dealership, they have been faultless.

alex mcguire

1 posts

38 months

[news] 
Thursday 13th October 2011 quote quote all
squeezebm said:
MB lincoln for me,are probably one of the worst dealers in the area when it comes to customer service, maybe because i'm not working for ph but the last 3 times i have visited them to look at various models to possibly purchase we have been ignored completely! Even by the receptionist last time. Hey ho they must be doing good business.
I'm so disappointed to hear of your experiences, we really strive to offer customers a great experience from the first 'hello' and I'm so sorry that you were ignored. I'm the Marketing Manager at Mercedes-Benz Lincoln so if you would like to get in touch on 01522 696016, I will personally assure you of great service from one of my Sales Executives. Kind regards, Alex McGuire.

Matt UK

9,670 posts

88 months

[news] 
Thursday 13th October 2011 quote quote all
Well this is cosy
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