If your answer to the above questions is YES, You’ll be looking at mostly 3 brands- Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi. However in recent years Jaguar, Land Rover and Volvo have also made their presence felt in the market. The topic most reviews and articles don’t comment on or are unwilling to touch are the maintenance costs and hassles associated with owning these cars. And trust us that once you get to know how much it costs to keep those shining metal vaults running on the road, you’ll be shocked and might be willing to reconsider your purchase. Not that we would want to discourage anyone from buying one of these cars, but as an independent car servicing platform we want to inform potential luxury car owners about what they are getting into.
The Good Times – 1st 4 years of ownership
Mostly the first 4 years/60000 kms are trouble free for all cars, it is only after this duration the car service costs and issues start mounting up. Nowadays, all the cars on sale are loaded with complicated and expensive electro-mechanic systems. Owing to the rough conditions in our country, these systems are bound to fail even more often. In our experience of doorstep car service of luxury cars, we have seen a specific pattern of failures in cars under each brand and have tried to highlight them below.
Mercedes-Benz cars are known for their reliability and toughness. The new age models launched in the last few years look attractive but come with their own set of issues. The common issues that we have seen on cars from the Benz stable are as follows :
- Oil Cooler Malfunction: In a lot of recent models we have seen a very peculiar problem which is the engine coolant mixing with engine oil. This is because the oil cooler malfunctions and mixes the oil with the coolant. This specific part has to be replaced and cannot be repaired.
- Automatic Transmission Failures: The automatic transmission on the recent models have showed a lot of faults. We have seen issues like jerky gear shift, noisy gear shifts. And repairs of these transmission is not only expensive but time taking also.
- Airmatic Suspensions Failures: The Air suspension installed on these cars is another very common issue we keep seeing on a day to day basis. There are rubber bellows installed on each of the struts which because of the air pressure in them suspend the car from uneven road surfaces. These rubber bellows develop leaks either due to punctures from bad roads or the rubber getting hard due to aging. Leaking suspension causes the car to sag from one side. These are one of the most expensive parts to replace.
- Engine noises: A lot of models develop weird engine noises which are due to a lot different reasons.
Audi is one of the best selling luxury car brand in India. Their cars have a distinct sharp and futuristic design, and are loaded to the gills with technology and features but they are also one of the most troublesome to own. The common issues in Audi’s across all models are:
- Engine Mounts: The engine mounts on all Audi vehicles go bad really fast, as compared to other brands. This causes a lot of vibrations across the body, which in turn could also cause a host of other components like suspensions going bad well before their life.
- Suspension: Suspension parts of Audi’s are not that long lasting against the rough conditions of indian roads. We have seen a lot of cars which have got worn out suspension with not many kilometres done on them. Also the cars with air suspension also have a high rate of failures owing to leaks in the system.
- Coolant pumps/ Water Pump: We have also repaired and replaced a fair deal of coolant pumps on multiple models in the Audi lineup. This could be due to a lot of different reasons such as faulty part design or incorrect type of coolant being used.
- Timing Belt: The rubber compound timing belt which drives the camshaft also is a part which is not as long lasting on Audi’s. When the belt starts malfunctioning it could cause a lot of issues in the functioning of the engine.
BMW has been the choice for enthusiasts from a very long time, it has undoubtedly the best driving dynamics amongst all german brands. We haven’t really seen any pattern in the repair jobs that we have been doing on bmws. Moreover we haven’t seen any specific set of issues across the entire fleet of its vehicles on sale. Though there are some minor niggles that we have seen:
- In some cases we have seen that the suspension parts on BMW’s wear out a little early but this could be due to specific driving patterns and the conditions in which the car is driven..
- Some leather upholstery parts wither away quite fast due to the extreme heat in india.
Jaguar has also made its presence felt in the indian market, although sold in lesser numbers there have a lot of fans in india for their unique and sharp designs. For us Jaguar is the least reliable and the most expensive to maintain out of all brands. We have seen a host of issues which have been common throughout:
- Airmatic suspension: Airmatic suspension in jaguars have high chances of failing, also cars which have had faulty parts replaced develop similar problems in the future, they are highly susceptible to dusty conditions.
- Sticky Control Buttons: All the interior control switches in all Jaguars, loose their upper coating and develop a certain type of stickiness on them. This is because of the button material not been able to cope up with India’s heat. We have not seen even one car without this problem.
- Lug nuts: The wheel lug nuts on all jaguars develop heavy rusting over time. They also shear off and break in a lot of cases. We have seen multiple cases with the same issue.
- Reverse camera: The rear reverse camera on a lot of jaguars keep failing. There have been different reasons for this fault.
We have made a comparison amongst all the common brands, for a couple of regular services and parts that any car would be requiring in their lifetime.
|Car Brand||Mercedes Benz||Audi||BMW||Jaguar|
|Model||C220 Diesel||A4 2.0 TDI||320 D||XE 2.0 D|
|Doorstep Car Service||16,500-20,500||15,700-19,500||15,900-19,700||16,700-20,700|
|Automatic Transmission Service||18,000-23,000||16,000-22,000||20,000-26,000||20,000-26,000|
|Brake Pads Front||13,000||13,000||13,000||15,000|
|Brake Pads Rear||11,000||11,000||11,000||13,000|
As you can see from the above chart, these cars are vulnerable to breakdowns and can cost you a bomb. These cars are not specifically designed for Indian roads and owners should expect a host of issues.
Automen Verdict: Never skip a service or procrastinate recommended critical part changes. Delaying such repair/replacement jobs could seriously hamper your car’s reliability and mount to even more expensive jobs in the future. For any concerns feel free to speak with Team Automen at 8010696969 or reach to us at www.automen.in.