May 20

2015 Mercedes C300, A Service



Mark: Hi, it's Mark Bossert. I'm here with Bernie Pawlik, Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver. Vancouver's best auto service experience. 25 times they've won best in Vancouver, best auto repair in Vancouver as voted by their customers. And we're talking cars. How are you doing Bernie? 

Bernie: Doing very well. 

Mark: So today's victim is a 2015 Mercedes C300. You don't see a ton of these newer Mercedes, but what was happening with this vehicle? 

Bernie: Yeah, the vehicle just came to us for a basic A service. So that's what we did. 

Mark: So can you outline what an A service sort of roughly entails? 

Bernie: Yeah. So an A service is an oil and filter change along with a basic maintenance inspection. And our basic maintenance inspection would include a visual inspection of your tires, under hood, a look under the car for fluid leaks and things like that. We look at fluid levels, we adjust the tire pressures, check your lights. Those are basically the things we do. Look at, look at the air filter, if it's simple to access, some air filters are difficult to access. So there's an additional charge to do that. But if it's a straightforward filter, we look at that at the same time. 

Mark: So with new cars, how important is it to be servicing it? 

Bernie: It's very important. And a lot of newer cars, the oil change intervals, which, the A Service is part of, are much longer than they used to be back in the good old days where you'd change your oil about every 3,000 miles or 5,000 kilometres. Now we're up at 10, 15, some are even 20 or more which I'd never recommend on any car going that far.

But, you know, in somewhere in the 8 to 10 range is good It was a good time to change oil on a car like this. You know, cars are very complicated. Why don't we have a look at a couple of pictures. 

Mark: All right, let's start with the car. 

Bernie: There's our car. Looks new, but it's now, at this point in time, actually nine years old. So it's aged well. 

2015 Mercedes C300, A Service

And here's the engine. So this is a two litre turbocharged four cylinder engine. Economical, turbocharging getting the maximum amount of power per cylinder that you can get out of the engine, short of going for a full race motor.

2015 Mercedes C300, A Service

But these things have variable valve timing, which requires clean oil to perform that function, direct fuel injection, turbocharging. Some of the pieces we're looking at, if you can maybe move your mouse pointer around, on the right side of the engine that we're looking, that's the intercooler for keeping the intake air cool for better power.

The turbocharger is buried underneath where you're moving your mouse pointer, actually on your left. On your left, the black pieces, the air filter box and then in the centre, you've got the engine. It's almost hard to see the engine sometimes because there's so many other bits and pieces involved.

But, the bottom line is, it's important to change your oil regularly on a car like this, on any car, because there's so many things to go wrong and it's so expensive to fix. It's not like your 40 year old Ford where the engine was clearly visible and it was very easy to pull in and pull out and there's not too many pieces.

So this is part of our A service. We do a digital inspection. You can see from this inspection, there are 39 items that we marked okay. A couple of items that had some suggested services and one item that was definitely required. The air filter is very dirty, which you can see. And there's a couple of photographs of the dirty air filter.

2015 Mercedes C300, A Service

This is a photograph I took, which shows a clean air filter on the left, a dirty air filter on the right and I mean it can get a lot dirtier but this one's already quite dirty. And any dirt will impede the flow of air into your engine. So it's important to keep it clean.

2015 Mercedes C300, A Service

Mark: So ultimately that dirt starts to end up inside the oil and then that can wear your engine out quicker. 

Bernie: Well, actually that dirt, if it were to actually escape past the air filter, say you didn't have an air filter, it would actually get sucked right into the engine cylinders and start kind of gently grinding away on your engine cylinders, which, you know, are very precise items or stick on your valves or anywhere in your intakes.

There's a lot of damage that it could do. It would be a slow, long process, but, you know, something that could be really bad. Normally the air filter, as long as it stays in place, and normally they do, you know, it would just get thicker and thicker with dirt till eventually the air couldn't be sucked into the engine properly. It'd be like putting a mask over your face and try or hand over your mouth and trying to breathe. It doesn't work too well.

Mark: Yeah. We won't wander into mask territory. This doesn't look that dirty, honestly. Is the cumulative effect of maybe stretching your oil changes out by two, three, 5,000 kilometres beyond what the manufacturer says is basically, you're asking for trouble because these engines are so fine tuned. 

Bernie: Absolutely. And I would strongly suggest not going to the manufacturer's recommended time. Especially for some cars, certain BMW models for years, they had a oil change interval of 24,000 kilometres. But when you change oil, it's that old, it smells like some kind of horrible toxic chemical because it's got so many combustion gases and things mixed in with the oil. So, you know, it can't be doing any good. 

Even though these are synthetic oils and the change is, you know, a little more labour intensive Even though it's a little more expensive than a cheap oil change used to be, It's still cheap compared to replacing an engine in a car like this.

So yeah, don't go longer. Get it changed. You know the manufacturers interval should be the very farthest you ever go, but it should be changed much sooner on many cars. For this car, I'd recommend 8,000 to 10,000 Ks. 

Mark: So there you go. If you're looking for service for your Mercedes in Vancouver, BC, Canada, the guys to see are Pawlik Automotive. You can reach them on their website at You can book right there. Or you can call them at (604) 327-7112 to book your appointment. You have to book ahead. They're always busy. Pawlik Automotive in Vancouver, BC. Thanks so much for watching and listening. Thanks Bernie. 

Bernie: Thanks Mark. Thanks for watching.

About the author 

Bernie Pawlik

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