Stephens Service Center - Poor Mercedes Service

Woodland, California 2 comments
Not resolved

AVOID - Stevens Service Center - AVOID

Home of the $3368 Repair that lasts 1 Day!

Mercedes owners - Avoid this repair shop, you can get burned!

Monday - I stopped in for a "second opinion" on my need to replace a leaking head gasket. The quote was for $2631 which was $300 less than my original quote. I was told that if Stevens did the work the car would be back in good running shape. I thought that I was dealing with the owner (Tom), but I later learned that it was Scott, the lead mechanic.

Tuesday afternoon – I received a call from the owner, Tom, who now informs me that there is more wrong than quoted and that I may want to not repair the car … and that I owe him approximately $990 for this information. He raises the estimate to $3000 and indicates that the dealerships that have serviced the car over the years could have prevented this by recommending changing the engine coolant. He also say's that the head gasket is not an original Mercedes part. This is interesting since I have owned the car since it had 500 miles on it. The car will be repaired by Friday.

Friday afternoon – Tom says that they want to drive it over the weekend to assure that the repair has fixed the problems to their satisfaction.

Monday afternoon – I pick up the car … the repair has risen to $3368. Tom proceeds to tell me that there are other things that I get to worry about … of course that is after he takes my money. One is a "noisy" supercharger. NOTE: No mention of this on the estimate. I drive the car home and it seems to be running well.

Tuesday, on the way to work, the "Check Engine" light comes on. I call Tom and he says to bring it in immediately. After hooking it up to his testing computer he says that the supercharger (what a coincidence) is causing this and that the light will stay on. He has No Fix for this … I say "Tom, the repair only lasted for 1 Day!?" he just shrugged and walked away.

Poorest service experience that I have ever had with a car.

Tom Stevens offered nothing to make it right.

Mark M.

Review about: Mercedes Slk.



I'm sorry you got the impression that I wasn't concerned about your car's problem.If you'll recall, you brought us your car to repair a blown Head Gasket.

The engine crankcase was full of water. You ask for a estimate to replace a Cylinder Head Gasket, which was $2631 as you stated. (If you've misplaced your original estimate, I can send you a copy.) You didn't mention anything about the Super Charger; since the engine barely ran on 2 cylinders, we didn't notice it had a problem until we repaired the Head Gasket leak. If you had ask us to check it, we would have gladly put it on the original estimate.

I admit being confused. You and I spoke about the noisy Super Charger after the engine was reassembled. You declined to repair the Super Charger because, "it had been noisy for a long time". After I test drove your car over the weekend, I agreed with your reasoning.

The Super Charger still worked, it was just noisy. If you've changed your mind about the repair, we can give you another estimate, but it's not any different then the one I gave you when you picked up your car. It was good of Don to independently reach the same conclusion. The Clutch is the problem, but Mercedes doesn't have the part.

You can only get it as a new or rebuilt Super Charger. Don was also right about the ECU. Fault Code "P1236" I gave you, means the ECU "driver" was burnt out by the Super Charger. I'm sure you now see why I tried to talk you out of repairing the Head Gasket on a car with 200000 miles.

As soon as we got the Cylinder Head off, we could see that the engine block was beyond repair. The Engine Block repair alone would have far exceeded the value of the car. I agree, we exceeded the original estimate by $300. At the time, you thought that was pretty fair considering it would normally cost $5000 or $6000 to repair the block properly.

Even though the Head Gasket leak remains fixed, it is small consolation when you need to spend thousands more to repair the Super Charger & ECU. We take no pleasure telling a customer their car is no longer worth the repair cost. However, we know from past experience that when a customer insist on making an expensive repair, they'll often assume their car will be like new again. We can tell someone not to repair a car 200000 miles, but only they access what the car means to them.

Rest assured there is no benefit to us when I tell a customer not to make a repair. I wish we didn't need to repair the defective "low coolant" warning light. I understood we were on a tight budget, so we stuck to repairing only the blown Head Gasket.

I'm sorry you feel I ignored you.

The phone was ringing and we had discussed the Super Charger/ECU problem on 3 separate occasions. You had declined to make the repair and I didn't want it to seem like I was forcing it on you. There is really no disagreement here; I would have made the same decision you did.

Your car has been a good and loyal friend.There comes a time when a car is not worth the cost of repairs.


You need a second opinion. You need to know what codes are stored in the ECU. ( Engine Computer.)

get the tech' to pull the codes and write them down.

You can search for their meanings on Google.

Those superchargers are nosy with the hood open !

Fortunately there is a place in Olahoma City that will rebuild then for under $900.00. The drive buffer between the pulley and the compressor breaks up and causes this loose sounding noise.


Google : Supercharger Re-builder.

If you need to find another shop to use go to 'iATN shop finder' page and put in your location.

All good competent shops are members of iATN.

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