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Mercedes A160 Pre MOT & Service - Problem with Garage

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I took my old car for a service and pre-MOT check in March this year.  Well it failed the MOT on something stupid so I took it back to the garage and they corrected the minor issue and then I got my MOT.

I specifically asked did they do all the oil changes and filters and they said yes.

The car sat mainly on the drive from March to June due to lockdown.

Yesterday a warning came on the dash for the first time ever - refill oil when you next put in petrol (or something similar).


Obviously the garage cant have done the oil change and probably not the filter change either.  Its a local one off garage not a brand name.


Can I do anything about it or just put it down to I was robbed and never go there again?
Not even sure what oil to buy or where to put it - can do most things except when it comes to a car.

Have to pay to have it all done again I think to be on the safe side for winter.

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Hi and welcome to CAG


Please see the PM I've sent you and respond.


Did the car sit unused for 3 months ? If not, how often per week/month did you run it ?


Personally, I would trust a small local garage far more than a larger network company. However, I would always ask friends or relatives for someone they recommend, based on their experiences.


I would go back to the garage and ask them why the oil (or other warning) light would come on when the oil and filter were recently changed.


Let us know how they respond but don't pay to have work done again by this garage.


Start asking around for recommendations.



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How much did you pay for this service from them? 

I agree with my colleague that maybe the best thing to do is to go and talk to them

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I agree with Ethel Street.  It's a massive conclusion to jump to that it was "obvious" the garage hadn't done the oil change.  It's just as likely that it's a faulty* oil warning light or sensor, or you've got some other engine problem.


As suggested, go back to the garage and ask (non-confrontationally) if they have any idea why the warning light would come on if the oil had been changed so recently.  I also agree that I'd trust an independent garage more than a big chain.  (Didn't you think it was odd that you didn't get a receipt or invoice though?  Didn't you point this out at the time and ask for a record of what they'd done to maintain your service history?).


I know next to nothing about cars too, but I do know a couple of things:  (1) Always get an invoice detailing what has been done when you get the car serviced.  (2) Some people say it makes more sense to do the MOT first rather than have a pre-MOT check - the MOT may turn up something any pre-check missed.  (3) Check your manual to see what engine oil you need.  If that's too complicated (I can't tell from my manual precisely which oil is required) search on Youtube for something like "Quentin Wilson Castrol oil-check".  You get a link to the Castrol website and you can find out what engine oil you need there.


(4) And perhaps most important of all - learn yourself how to check regularly (say monthly) engine oil level, engine coolant level and tyre pressures and tyre tread.  You can do all of these in three minutes and Youtube will show you how.


*NB -  WARNING - It's called an oil warning light for a reason.  If it isn't faulty and the engine oil is so low that the light has come on, the engine may already be bu99ered.  You should immediately check the engine oil level your self and top it up if you can.  If you can't do that yourself call the garage for advice (or AA or RAC).  If you drive it you risk irreversible damage to the engine.


This is the Youtube link I referred to above.  Others are available.  in this video the oil dipstick is red for some reason, but on most cars they are yellow.  Your manual will tell you.



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  • honeybee13 changed the title to Mercedes A160 Pre MOT & Service - Problem with Garage

If the oil level really is low (ie it's not a faulty warning light or sensor) and it's low enough to turn the warning light on, then it potentially is really serious.  It needs topping up immediately and/or speak to the garage for advice.

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I have now checked the oil level and it is at the max. mark so definitely not low on oil.


The message was in the dashboard and said something like "Next time up top up with petrol put in oil as well".

It only came on the once and havent seen it since, its not the red alarm light on the dash.

Could it just be a faulty message and should I ignore it till it comes back?

I have driven over 200 miles since it first happened and not seen it again.

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If you saw it only once and since then you've driven several hundred miles and (presumably) turned off the engine when parked and re-started it later several times and it's never happened again then I would ignore it. As long as everything else is normal. Temperature gauge reading normal? Oil not dripping onto the road when you leave it parked? Engine sounds normal when you drive, no funny noises or smells? I'd just assume the car was cross that I didn't want to drive it for 3 months 😀 (As you'll gather from that last comment I don't know much about cars so best not to rely on my advice ... )


Just keep an eye on the oil level.

Edited by Ethel Street
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Does the manual give any indication what this message actually means?  Seems odd if almost at max.  Do you know of any Mercedes owner's forums where you could ask the question?


Some modern cars have the "oil" light come on automatically after so many miles since last service.  Maybe the garage didn't reset this properly after last service and the car "thinks" it needs attention?


Ask the garage.  (The only reservation I have about the garage is that they didn't automatically give you a receipt or invoice.  They really should and seems a bit off to me).

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Cross posted with Ethel Street.  Those comments are sensible - keep an eye on the oil level and look out for leaks.  No harm asking the garage though.


(NB - some manuals advise you to check the oil level every time you fill up with petrol.  Maybe the engine's computer is trying to tell you to do that.  I don't see the point as you need to let the engine cool down before checking oil.  If I were you I'd check it at least weekly or twice weekly for a while.)

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