What is the maintenance cost of the Mercedes Benz S550?

This blog will answer the following questions: what is the maintenance cost of the Mercedes Benz S550? What are the additional jobs that add to the maintenance cost of the S550? What are the common problems with the Mercedes Benz S550?

What is the maintenance cost of the Mercedes Benz S 550?

The maintenance cost of the Mercedes Benz S550 in the first years of ownership can be between 600-800 USD. Mercedes Benz paid maintenance is scheduled at 15000 km or once every year. During aid maintenance, engine oil and engine oil filters are replaced and the vehicle is checked according to the vehicle-specific check sheet.

The cost of maintenance increases as the age and mileage of the S 550 increase. This is because the first service is categorised as service A and is followed by service B. service A is a minor service as the mileage is less but service B is major. The scope of work is decided with the help of workshop code saved in the service computer in the S550.

The S 550 is powered by a 4.7-litre V8 M278 engine and the engine oil capacity is 8- 8.5 litres. Therefore, it is slightly expensive to maintain compared to other models with smaller engines. As the engine is an eight-cylinder with two turbochargers for each bank, it has separate air filters. The cost of maintenance in the second year can be from 800 to 1000 USD. 

The most expensive paid service is the fourth year at the end of 60,000 km. The Mercedes Benz S 550 has 7 Gtronic transmissions and the automatic transmission fluid must be replaced at the fourth service. Mercedes Benz is one of the few manufacturers that does not use sealed-for-life transmission and differentials.

The automatic transmission fluid is replaced to keep the electrohydraulic valve body functional and reliable. As the automatic transmission oil filter is located inside the transmission, the oil pan must be removed to replace the oil filter. Additional parts like oil pan gasket and oil pan screws must be replaced as per standard work instructions.

Mercedes Benz S 550 is an expensive car to maintain as the engine oil required is fully synthetic. But the components like airmatic suspension struts, suspension bushes and steering rack are very durable which helps to keep the cost of maintenance low by reducing the possibility of unexpected repairs. 

What are the additional jobs that add to the maintenance cost of the Mercedes Benz S 550?

The additional jobs are the general repairs jobs identified during the vehicle inspection. A vehicle inspection is performed according to the service check sheet. Following are the most common additional jobs on the Mercedes Benz S 550:

  • Brake pads and brake discs

The brake components like brake pads and the disc on the S500 have specified wear limits. If the brake disc thickness is less than the specified value then they must be replaced. Similarly, the brake pads have a wear limit of 1.5-2 mm. There is a brake wear sensor installed on the brake pad, when the thickness of the pad reaches the minimum value then a warning is displayed on the instrument cluster.

The S 550 has a turbocharged V8 engine that produces 450 horsepower so the stopping power should be adequate to stop the vehicle within a minimum distance. The cost of brake pads and discs can add an additional 500-1000 USD to the services bill. 

  • Electrical batteries 

The Mercedes Benz S550 has two electrical batteries onboard. There is a Main battery tasked with starting the engine and providing the power supply to all the control units. The other battery is a small additional battery, it is used to engage the park gear in the automatic transmission if the main battery is discharged or disconnected. 

The additional battery is also used to support the vehicle’s onboard electrical network during the ECO start-stop function. Hence, if there is an auxiliary battery malfunction message on the instrument cluster then it must be replaced.

The main battery is connected to the auxiliary or additional battery through a relay. If the vehicle is driven continuously without rectifying the auxiliary battery fault then the main battery can also get damaged.

The cost of the main and additional battery is 300-500 USD. If the vehicle is under a standard warranty then Mercedes Benz will renew the batteries free of charge. However, due to the life and nature of the battery, they are not covered in 4 years or any extended warranty plans.

  • Engine mounts

The engine and the transmission are connected to the front axle carried via engine and transmission mounts. The mounts get weaker over time and must be replaced at least once as the vehicle age and mileage increases.

A weaker or bad engine and transmission can cause increased noise and vibrations in the S550 and in some cases it can even lead to abnormal jerks. Replacing the engine and transmission mount is a major job and requires the removal of the powertrain from the vehicle. The complete job can cost approximately 2000 USD

What are the common problems with the Mercedes Benz S550?

Mercedes Benz S550 is a reliable car but the following are the known issues with the S 550:

  • Loud fan noise

Loud fan noise occurs in the S550 as the radiator fan is continuously running at full speed. The fan runs at high speeds due to low or no coolant in the secondary coolant circuit. The secondary coolant circuit is used for cooling the charge air in the intercooler. There is a separate coolant reservoir for the secondary coolant circuit.

If the charge air intercooler has a coolant leak then the secondary reservoir coolant level goes down. The compressed air is also not being cooled fast enough due to the lack of coolant. This causes the temperature of the internal combustion engine to rise and the radiator fan runs at full speed to reduce the temperature.

The remedy is expensive as the complete intercooler must be replaced to rectify the concern, in some cases the auxiliary coolant pump also needs replacement.

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The Mercedes Benz S 550 is a reliable car but the overall maintenance cost is high compared to some of the other models. The S 550 is also replaced by the S580 in the newer models with updated components. Mercedes Benz also has prepaid service packages that can reduce the cost of maintenance by locking in the service price at the time of purchase.