Mercedes-Benz dealers heavily marking up service products? You don't say.

Drivers of Benz's turbodiesel-powered ML350 BlueTEC 4Matic are obliged to periodically refill the vehicle's supply of diesel emissions fluid, which is made up of urea crystals in mineralized water and which is required to turn some of the SUV's exhaust from nitrogen oxides to nitrogen and water, according to The New York Times. Once those fluids run out, the SUV shuts down.

With that prospect in mind, some dealers are charging as much as $32 for a gallon for the fluid that's good for about 1,500 miles, according to the Times. So, with the SUV getting a combined 22 miles per gallon, that equates to an additional 47 cents for each gallon of diesel used. Most Benz buyers won't lose sleep over that, but it certainly offsets much of the $450 a year the EPA says diesel buyers save in refueling costs relative to the gas-powered version of the SUV.

The good news, according to the newspaper, is that stores such as Napa Auto Parts and AutoZone sell jugs of the fluid for about $5.20 a gallon, though a Mercedes-Benz spokeswoman said D.I.Y.-ers lose out on the dealers' flushing out of the system and risk the fluid crystallizing if it sits for two long. Whether that's worth the sixfold mark-up depends on the driver and his or her income-tax bracket.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 37 Comments
      bently776
      • 2 Years Ago
      To quote the article you linked.. "Engineers have designed the urea tanks to be large enough to last about 15,000 miles."
      Tom Slater
      • 2 Years Ago
      Chevrolet's Duramax line of diesels uses the same fluid at roughly similar cost. Anecdotally, a Chevrolet technicain I know said that the tank of fluid on a brand-new pickup was near empty when the vehicle came in for an oil change at 7,500 miles. Customer was upset - the supposed savings in fuel cost just went out the window. Caveat Emptor, I suppose.
        Nick
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Tom Slater
        A fill up every 7500 miles is about once every 9 months........so when you consider you've saved about $500 on fuel costs during the same timeframe, then $3 or $32 / gallon refill isn't much.
          HollywoodF1
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Nick
          EvNerd— you have not offered any kind of conclusion. All you've done is thrown out factors that might be addressed in the process of arriving at a conclusion. Don't act like you've made some point because you think the answers to your postulates are so egregious that they don't require rigorous calculation. Prove it— you brought it up, so the burden's on you.
          EVnerdGene
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Nick
          but you also pay more for the fuel and more for the heavy, expensive diesel in the first place haul around a heavier engine then, regularly add pig piss economy ? now factor in the environmental costs
      DarylMc
      • 2 Years Ago
      "Mercedes-Benz diesel emissions fluid can cost up to $32 a gallon" Sort of reminds me of Dr Stangelove
      DRstrangelove
      • 2 Years Ago
      HAHA! diesel tards
      PR
      • 2 Years Ago
      Winter windshield washer fluid at the Mercedes dealership comes in a 2-part concentrate. It's about 9 bucks for the antifreeze part, and 3 bucks for the cleaner part. So 12 bucks for enough concentrate to make about a gallon of cold-weather rated windshield wiper fluid. Or you can buy some cheap winter windshield wiper fluid for 2-3 bucks at a parts store that does the same thing. Saying stuff costs a ton of money at the MB dealership is an understatement. spake plugs, oil filters, etc are all exactly the same.
        Spiffster
        • 2 Years Ago
        @PR
        Amazing how there are actually people out there that insist on paying more for the same thing, and some that are even proud and brag about such feats of stupidity.
        Nick
        • 2 Years Ago
        @PR
        OR just buy a 1-gallon of distilled water for $0.99, and it leaves no spots when it dries.
          PR
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Nick
          Oh yea, I forgot the 99 cents you would need to spend on the distilled water to mix with the 2-part concentrate. Yet another reason why I use the cheap pre-mixed stuff instead of what MB dealers sell. I don't know where you live, but here in the mid-west, just distilled water would freeze up instantly on your windshield in the winter. Not an option.
      EZEE
      • 2 Years Ago
      Can't I just pee in it?
      Ford Future
      • 2 Years Ago
      MB parts, 8X the price of standard parts. Nothing surprising here. You bought a premium brand.
      EVnerdGene
      • 2 Years Ago
      what does your urea drinking diesel do when it runs out of urea ? can you fool the system by filling with water ? (if so, it is a waste of f'ing time - cause people won't give a shiet about their exhaust, whoever is following, or the emissions/environment)
        wxman
        • 2 Years Ago
        @EVnerdGene
        "what does your urea drinking diesel do when it runs out of urea ?" Won't start. "can you fool the system by filling with water ?" No.
      Chechnya
      • 2 Years Ago
      We definitely need a better system to replace the DEF.
      Jim McL
      • 2 Years Ago
      Diesel Exhaust Fluid is urea in DISTILLED water, not "mineralized" water. The specification is ISO 22241, they call it "Ad Blue" on the other side of the pond. And yes, you can get it for less than $3 per gallon at most truck stops these days. But even at $32 per gallon, it does last for 15,000 miles (not 1500), which is about 0.2 cents per mile. Even if these cars get 50 mpg (doubtful) then that is still only 10 cents extra per gallon of diesel. If you get it at a truck stop for less than $3/g, it adds less than the equivalent of 1 cents per gallon of fuel.
        Nick
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Jim McL
        15,000 miles vs. 1500 miles sur makes a big difference :D
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm curious.. what ends up in that fluid, and where does the fluid go? IMHO - just another piece of life support equipment on the internal combustion engine to keep it clean and efficient. I love efficiency but engine controls and emissions controls are getting insane. I'm happy to wrench on the engine bay of a car up until the 2000's when it just started getting ludicrous and you wonder if there's an engine underneath all those cables and cords..
      Evan James Wojtanek
      • 2 Years Ago
      two long?
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