I forwarded your link to our resident M/B expert. He will be with you shortly.
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February, 5, 2009 AT 9:46 PM
First do you know exactly what the part name is that they want to replace? This vehicle is known to have evaporator leaks and if you need this replaced dash removal and replacement is necessary as well as removal of the heater case. This is a very labor intensive job but 40 hours sounds steep. We used to do this job for around 30 hours sometime back at the dealer, if memory serves me correctly. I would recommend getting a price breakdown of exactly where all this labor is going before you do anything. Next I would recommend calling your local benz dealer and seeing if they can give you a quote based on the diagnosis from this other shop (sometimes the dealer can be cheaper on big repairs on older cars because of access to MB special tools necessary to make the jobs faster and easier). A final note, dash R& R labor times are unusually high for this model due to the vacuum elements and electronics present behind the dash. These are very extensive and numerous and the labor time reflects this. Also keep in mind that late 90's Acura's and Honda's are generally easy to work on, whereas this particular Benz is loaded with equipment and is quite difficult to both diagnose and repair. Please let me know if I can assist you any further.
February, 6, 2009 AT 6:31 AM
The part is the evaporator. The mechanic insists on a new Behr evaporator ($600) rather that an aftermarket evaporator ($225). What would you buy?
February, 6, 2009 AT 9:46 AM
I would definately go with the OEM evaporator. An aftermarket evaporator may work but the quality of the parts are usually not as good. With a repair like this you want to be assured this will get fixed the first time and not have to be re-repaired due to a cheap part failing early. Usually aftermarket parts are okay but in this case I would go for the Behr part.