THE BEST OR NOTH­ING

New Zealand Classic Car - - Techical Feature -

Own­ing a clas­sic that you can touch, ad­mire, and drive on a daily ba­sis is to­tal joy for many en­thu­si­asts. For most mod­ern-day clas­sics, such as our fea­tured Mercedes-benz SL600, they were ex­tremely ex­pen­sive when they were new, and the ser­vic­ing costs weren’t for the faint of heart. If you’re in the mar­ket today for such a ve­hi­cle it’s ad­vis­able not to rush out to pur­chase any car — buy­ing a qual­ity ex­am­ple at the right price and with full ser­vice his­tory is now a spe­cial­ist area, and you’d be well ad­vised to have an ex­pert at your side to min­i­mize the risk of any nasty sur­prises down the track.

With this in mind, we asked the ser­vice and tech­ni­cal man­ager for Mercedes-benz, Jon Mcil­wain, a few ques­tions about how to get the best out of your Mercedes-benz. New Zealand Clas­sic Car — Mercedes-benz’ slo­gan is “The best or noth­ing”. How do own­ers en­sure their car stays in tip-top shape through­out its life?

Jon Mcil­wain — Ser­vic­ing is al­ways a key part of keep­ing your Mercedes-benz in pris­tine con­di­tion, and en­sur­ing your Mercedes-benz al­ways op­er­ates at its best. Whether it’s a clas­sic car or one of our lat­est mod­els, keep­ing your Mercedes prop­erly ser­viced and main­tained will mean your ve­hi­cle will give you years of loyal ser­vice.

What should you look for when sourc­ing a ser­vice cen­tre and parts for your MercedesBenz?

Firstly, we would al­ways rec­om­mend that your ve­hi­cle only be en­trusted to an Au­tho­rised Mercedes-benz Ser­vice Cen­tre, to tap the re­quired knowl­edge of the ve­hi­cle and brand, and get ac­cess to the lat­est avail­able fac­tory in­for­ma­tion to en­sure your ve­hi­cle is in the safest hands, all while be­ing ser­viced with only Gen­uine Mercedes-benz re­place­ment parts.

All Au­tho­rised Mercedes-benz Ser­vice Cen­tres have the lat­est fac­tory di­ag­nos­tic equip­ment, fac­tory trained tech­ni­cians, and the special tools re­quired to com­plete the re­pair or ser­vice. The other ben­e­fit of us­ing an au­tho­rized ser­vice cen­tre is that we are able to use the lat­est fac­tory di­ag­nos­tic testers on even some of the ear­li­est Mercedes ve­hi­cles.

Train­ing — Mercedes-benz runs a com­pre­hen­sive train­ing pro­gramme that is glob­ally rec­og­nized. The train­ing pro­gramme cov­ers all as­pects of the deal­er­ship, from the depart­ment man­agers to sales con­sul­tants, ser­vice ad­vi­sors, tech­ni­cians, and parts staff. Tech­ni­cians are fac­tory trained to the very high­est stan­dards, and this has never been as im­por­tant as now, given the level of tech­nol­ogy in our cur­rent range of ve­hi­cles. Parts — What a lot of peo­ple don’t re­al­ize is that Mercedes-benz still man­u­fac­tures a large num­ber of new gen­uine re­place­ment parts and fac­tory re­man­u­fac­tured parts for older mod­els, not just new ve­hi­cles. This is so no mat­ter how old your Mercedes-benz is, chances are you can still pur­chase a gen­uine part to keep your ve­hi­cle in the best pos­si­ble con­di­tion. Au­tho­rized deal­ers only use gen­uine parts, so you can keep your Mercedes-benz all Mercedes. Ser­vice com­mit­ment — Au­tho­rised MercedesBenz deal­ers are com­mit­ted to pro­vid­ing the very best cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence. All ser­vice cus­tomers, ir­re­spec­tive of ve­hi­cle age, are in­vited to com­plete a global Daim­ler AG CSI sur­vey de­tail­ing their ser­vice ex­pe­ri­ence, from the mo­ment the ser­vice book­ing is made to when they col­lect their car. This is to en­sure we con­tinue to main­tain the in­dus­try-lead­ing ser­vice pro­vided when your ve­hi­cle is in our ca­pa­ble hands. QR Code Res­cue Sticker — At Mercedes-benz we put you and your safety first. MercedesBenz is now able to pro­vide spe­cific dig­i­tal res­cue sup­port for your ve­hi­cle by means of QR code res­cue sticker. In the un­for­tu­nate event of an ac­ci­dent, emer­gency ser­vices can al­most in­stantly ac­cess the con­struc­tion de­tails spe­cific to your ve­hi­cle by scan­ning the QR code sticker.

Since late 2013, Mercedes-benz ve­hi­cles have been pro­gres­sively fit­ted with QR code res­cue stick­ers dur­ing pro­duc­tion. Ve­hi­cles pro­duced from 1990 that do not have res­cue stick­ers in­stalled can be retro­fit­ted at your au­tho­rized Mercedes-benz deal­er­ship.

Are Mercedes-benz clas­sics an im­por­tant part of the fu­ture for the com­pany in terms of de­sign and her­itage?

Mercedes-benz in­vented the car more than 100 years ago, over this time we have pro­duced some of the most iconic ve­hi­cles and in­tro­duced a num­ber of new tech­nolo­gies that we all take for granted, such as the safety cell and ABS brak­ing, to men­tion two. The his­tory of the com­pany is very im­por­tant, and tells the story of how we have got to where we are now. Many of our ve­hi­cles can be viewed in the Mercedes-benz Mu­seum in Stuttgart, and if you are lucky enough to visit, a trip to the Clas­sic cen­tre in Fell­bach is also well worth the time: mercedes-benz.com/clas­sic.

In your opin­ion, what is the best MercedesBenz ever built?

That’s a re­ally hard ques­tion, as there are so many iconic cars that have been pro­duced over the years, all of which are special in their own right, from the iconic Gull­wing to the awe­some AMG range. My per­sonal favourite is the 300 SL Gull­wing coupé. The 300SL was in­tro­duced in 1954 as the first it­er­a­tion of the Sl-class (Sport Light), and at the time was the fastest pro­duc­tion car in the world. The dis­tinc­tive gull­wing doors and beau­ti­ful de­sign make it a time­less clas­sic, and a cov­eted col­lec­tor’s car. This is such an iconic and unique ve­hi­cle, and I was lucky enough to see three of them be­ing fully re­stored at the Mercedes-benz Clas­sic cen­tre in Fell­bach when I vis­ited a cou­ple of years ago.

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