Mercedes Repair Service Santa Barbara Haik’s German Autohaus
Haik's German Autohaus
310 E. Cota Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
(805) 965-0975

Mercedes-Benz Repair and Service Santa Barbara

Mercedes BMW Porsche Audi Volkswagen Mini

Specializing in the Maintenance of all Mercedes Classes
Mercedes Repair | Mercedes Service | Mercedes Care

C Class | CLK Class | CLS Class | E Class | S/CL Class | SL Class | SLK Class | M Class | R Class | G Class | GL Class | GLK Class | G Wagon | AMG | Brabus


All maintenance performed to the highest level of automotive excellence.

View Mercedes Santa Barbara Auto Center

Choose Your Mechanic Carefully

Today’s Mercedes-Benz are very sophisticated machines. Their highly advanced electronic systems require expert specialized training, knowledge, skills and equipment in order to diagnose and repair a problem without costly guess-work. Every system in the car from engine and transmission to power windows and climate control has its own computer (control unit). When a problem occurs, it can be a daunting task to repair the problem. There is no magic wand or magic bullet. It is hard work.

A shop scan tool (shop computer) is used first to read stored trouble codes in the control unit which has recorded the fault. Once the trouble code is read, we can determine in which system the fault has occurred. Each system is complicated. Most often, further testing is required in order to pinpoint the source of the failure. The scan tool is then used to test the values of each component within that system. Still, there may be more work to be done. Sometimes it is necessary to disconnect a control unit from the car and manually test the electrical wires for continuity and breaks. It can be a very involved process even for an expert Mercedes mechanic.

Choose a Specialist for Your Mercedes

An auto mechanic who is a specialist in your type of vehicle has seen many of the problems before. This repetition makes him familiar with the weakness and strengths of your car. At Haik’s, we are familiar with common problems and failures of Mercedes-Benz automobiles, and are equipped to tackle the most difficult and unusual repairs. The result is quicker diagnosis, more thorough repair and overall savings for you, the customer. Let the professionals at Haik's show you how your Mercedes should run.

Master technicians perform every repair and service.

View Mercedes Santa Barbara Auto Center

Auto Maintenance = Service + Repair

Complete Maintenance for Your Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes Auto Services We Provide

Car Check and Inspection Services

Car Check | Service Engine Soon | Vehicle Inspection | Check Engine Light Diagnosis | Trouble-Shooting | Diagnostics | Pre-Purchase Check | Safety Check |

Mercedes Services

Air-Conditioning Service | Air Filter | Battery Service | Belts | Brake Fluid Flush | Cabin Filter | Coolant Change | Diesel Service | Differential Service | Engine Service | Fuel Filter | Car Noises | Oil Change | Power Steering Flush | Spark Plugs | Transfer Case Service | Transmission Service | Tune-Up | And More…

Haik completing Mercedes repair

Mercedes Repair By Symptom

Running Problems | Starting Problems | Warning Lights | Check Engine Light | ABS Light On | Brake Warning Light | Tire Monitor On | Service Light On | SRS | Dead Battery | Overheating | Air-Conditioning Not Cold | Shifting Problems | Car Noises | Oil Leaks | Shaking | Windows Not Operating | And More...

Mercedes Repairs

Air Bags | Air-Conditioning | Alternator | Battery Replacement | Body Repair | Brakes | Catalytic Converter | Computer Controls | Cooling System | Diesel Repair | Door Locks | Engine Repair | Electrical Repairs | Electronic Computer Repairs | Exhaust System | Key Ignition Lock | Leaks | Light Bulbs | Lighting | Mirror Replacement | Muffler | Noises | Oxygen Sensors | Power Steering | Radiator Replacement | Seat Belts | Shock Absorbers | Starter | Thermostat | Tire Replacement | Transmission Repair | Transmission Replacement | Water Pump | Window Lifters | And More...

Mercedes Factory Service Schedules see below

See Haik’s Custom Service Schedules

Please contact us with any questions or concerns about your Mercedes-Benz.

View Mercedes Santa Barbara Auto Center

Porsche Audi Volkswagen Mercedes BMW Mini

Mercedes Factory Services

For Mercedes Factory Service Schedules, see below.

Mercedes-Benz Factory Service Schedules

Flexible Service System (FSS) and Flexible Service System Plus (FSS+)

Flexible Service System (FSS)

(beginning 1998 for some Mercedes models)

Mercedes-Benz recommended a two-tier service system for its vehicles. The “A” service was a smaller and more basic service. The “B” service was more extensive. The two services alternate approximately every 10K to 12K miles. However, they were also time and driving habit related. If the driver routinely put the vehicle under excessive conditions, the service interval would be shortened. On the other hand, if the car were driven within normal parameters but with less than average miles, the service interval would be extended. In this manner the system was flexible for a particular driver’s driving habits.

The basis for determining time intervals for service was oil-condition related. Mercedes used an oil condition sensor to determine the dirtiness of the oil.

However, although oil-condition was the basis for illuminating the service indicator and reminding customers that a service was due, the FSS did not warn of other service items which were due. For these other service items such as brake fluid change, transmission service, spark plugs, etc., the mechanic servicing the vehicle would need to make the recommendations.

Flexible Service System Plus (FSS+)

(beginning 2003 for some Mercedes models)

The FSS+ also uses the A and B service system. However, after the initial A and B services, the system computer calls for: C, D, E, F, G and H Service. Every other service is still the same A and B service with the exception of additional service items to be performed at given intervals according to mileage, passage of time, and customer’s driving habits. These various additional service items are analyzed by the computer and recommended at the necessary intervals.

Normal Service Items
  • engine oil and filter change
Additional Service Items
  • air filter
  • cabin filter
  • fuel filter
  • spark plug replacement
  • coolant change
  • brake fluid change
  • automatic transmission fluid and filter change, etc.

This maintenance service information is analyzed by the ECM (engine control module) computer and sent to the instrument cluster where it is stored. Each particular service item which the computer is calling for can be pulled up and read in the service item menu of the instrument cluster. The items are registered in numerical form such as 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, etc., and must be looked-up in a chart according to model and year.


*Each model MBZ has a slightly different service schedule. The following service list is compiled from a 2006 E Class.

Passenger Compartment

    Function Check:

  • Horn, headlamp flasher, hazard flasher, turn signals
  • Warning/indicator lamps, illumination and interior lighting
  • Exterior lighting and headlamps
  • Windshield wipers, windshield washer system
  • Headlamp cleaning system
  • Reset Flexible Service System (FSS) counter in instrument cluster

Wheels and Brakes

  • Check brake pads for lining thickness (1 front wheel; 1 rear wheel)
  • Check tires for damage and condition
  • Correct tire inflation pressure

Engine Compartment

  • Engine oil and filter change
  • Lubricate hood catch, safety catch and hinges on engine hood
  • Check and correct fluid levels: engine cooling system, antifreeze and corrosion protection
  • Brake system
  • Windshield washer system


  • Correct tire inflation pressure in spare tire
  • Check battery condition using test meter

Free MBZ Service Maintenance Manuals Online (View specific service requirements for your particular MB model and year.)


*Each model MBZ has a slightly different service schedule. The following service list is compiled from a 2006 E Class.

Service Items

Passenger Compartment

    Function Check:

  • Horn, headlamp flasher, hazard flasher, turn signals
  • Warning/indicator lamps, illumination and interior lighting
  • Exterior lighting and headlamps
  • Windshield wipers, windshield washer system
  • Headlamp cleaning system
  • Reset Flexible Service System (FSS) counter in instrument cluster
  • Check seat belts for damage and proper function
  • Replace dust/pollen/cabin filter

Wheels and Brakes

  • Remove and reinstall wheels, rotate if necessary (does not apply for vehicles with different tire size front/rear)
  • Check brake pads for lining thickness front and rear
  • Check condition of brake discs front and rear
  • Check tires for damage and condition
  • Correct tire inflation pressure
  • Check parking brake function
  • Test drive vehicle and check brake function


    Check for:

  • Leakage of major components
  • Chafe marks, line routing, components
  • Condition of front axle ball joints and rubber boots
  • Condition of steering mechanical components and rubber boots

Engine Compartment

  • Engine oil and filter change
  • Check for leakage of major components
  • Check for chafe marks, line routing, components


  • Correct tire inflation pressure in spare tire
  • Check battery condition using test meter

Free MBZ Service Maintenance Manuals Online (View specific service requirements for your particular MB model and year.)

Mercedes Repairs & Services

See our Services page.

See our Repairs page.

*Or give us a call at 965-0975 for a free personal consultation.*

Pre-Purchase Check

Bumper to bumper check.

*For a complete list of inspection items, see Inspection (Car Check) on our Services page.

Mercedes Diagnostics

Diagnostics is a process. Before a repair is performed, it is essential to determine the source of the failure, otherwise parts may be replaced unnecessarily. Confirmation of the customer complaint is the first step. The next step is to determine the system which is failing. And the final step is to pinpoint the exact source of the failure within the system. Sometimes this process is simple. Quite often however, it quite complex requiring a lot of testing. Proper diagnosis is an art and should be respected as part of the repair process. If a mechanic spends two hours locating the problem, that time is work time. I am sometimes asked whether I charge for diagnosis. How can I not charge for time spent to repair a customer’s car? Of course if the diagnosis time is short, the cost is less.

Mercedes Innovation


Luxury Comfort



  • ABS (Anti-Lock Braking System)

    Anti-lock braking is designed to help the driver keep control of steering during heavy braking by preventing the wheels from locking up and skidding. To accomplish this, the system releases braking pressure to individual wheels when it senses destabilizing stress forces. Single wheel braking can also correct vehicle rotation during spin out. The pulsating brake pedal of past ABS systems is mostly eliminated on today’s cars. ABS today is a highly sophisticated system which decelerates the vehicle as quickly as possible while retaining steering control. The ABS also serves as the basis for other safety stability programs integrating with electronic traction control (ETC), acceleration skid control (ASR), electronic stability control (ESC) by serving as a pulse generator for the systems. In addition, ABS integrates with Mercedes programs such as Brake Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist and Active Blind Spot Assist.

    ABS braking system for automobiles was first solved by Daimler-Benz working together jointly with TELDIX BmbH to develop contact-less inductive speed pickups (today called wheel speed sensors) in 1967. The signals from the sensors would be interpreted by an electronic control unit which would adjust brake pressure through solenoid valves.

    Daimler-Benz introduced anti-lock braking for cars, trucks and buses on a test track in December of 1970. Eight years of development passed before Mercedes-Benz, partnering with Bosch, (builder of the electronic digital control units), became the first car manufacturer to launch the anti-lock braking system for production cars in August 1978 on the S class, initially charging a surcharge.

  • Attention Assist

    The Mercedes Attention Assist program measures over 70 parameters of a driver’s first minutes behind the steering wheel. It helps detect signs of drowsiness and will audibly alert the driver of the danger. The system tracks inputs from other systems, and compiles information on steering behavior and lack of interaction with dashboard warnings.

  • BAS (Brake Assist System)

    Mercedes-Benz was the first automaker to to use an electronic brake-assist program. It introduced the BAS system in 1998. The system recognizes emergency braking and can automatically apply full braking force if needed in order to stop the vehicle in a shorter distance.

  • Blue Tec
  • Clean Diesel

  • ESP (Electronic Stability Program)

    ESP is Mercedes’ traction control program which incorporates the aid of steering in order to control lateral slippage (sliding sideways). Robert Bosch GmbH and Mercedes-Benz co-developed this program from 1987 to 1992. Today most car manufacturers call it (ESC) Electronic Stability Control. When the earliest innovators of Traction Control Systems (Mercedes-Benz and BMW) first introduced their traction control systems in 1987, the systems worked by applying individual wheel braking through ABS braking system and throttle control to keep traction while accelerating. Mercedes-Benz was the first to add steering as an aid to traction control.

    Related Systems: ABC, ABS, ADS, ASO, ASR, BAS, ESC, ETS.

  • Pre-Safe MBZ Pre-Safe program responds to situations when active safety systems such as ESP are not restoring control of the vehicle. If Pre-Safe senses a severe sideways skid, it has the capability of closing the windows and sunroof to protect the vehicle’s occupants should an accident occur.

Some Unique Mercedes Problems and Symptoms

  • Engine cranks, but will not start after driving to a destination and stopping for ten minutes.
  • Engine dies while driving.
  • Engine loses power and misses, hesitates; has a rough idle; engine may even stall while driving.
  • Transmission will not shift; remains in a high gear.
  • Engine has misfires and sets a variety of trouble codes. This could be a damaged wiring harness with old, brittle and cracked insulation.
  • Engine misfires.
  • Transmission not shifting properly. It could be the fluid has become contaminated and turned black or dark gray from not being serviced at regular intervals.
  • Suspension sags; one or more corners of the body are sagging down several inches.
  • Chassis knocks or creaks over bumps and dips.
  • Check Engine Light: See our Repairs page.

MBZ Specific Terminology

  • ABC (Active Body Control) suspension
  • ABS (Anti-Lock Braking System)
  • Active Blind Spot Assist
  • ADS (Active Dampening System) suspension
  • Airmatic suspension
  • ASO (automatic locking differential)
  • ASR (anti-slip regulation)
  • Attention Assist
  • BAS (Brake Assist System)
  • Conductor Plate: This is an electronic plate inside the 722.6 Mercedes automatic transmission which often goes bad and causes shifting problems.
  • Distronic Plus with steering assist (cruise control, automatic distance control, targeted emergency steering intervention)
  • is Mercedes’ name for what is today called ESC (Electronic Stability Control) by the automobile industry. Mercedes is the co-inventor with Robert BOSCH GmbH — See “Electronic Stability Control” on our Repairs page)
  • ETS (Electronic Traction System)
  • 4MATIC Mercedes AWD (four wheel drive)
  • FSS (Flexible Service System)
  • FSS+ (Flexible Service System Plus)
  • Lane Keeping Assist
  • Parktronic: This is Mercedes’ parking assist program.
  • Pre-Safe
  • 7G-Tronic (coded 722.9) seven speed transmission (first 7 speed transmission ever used on a production passenger car)

MBZ Historical Note

Did you know?…

The Benz Corporation and the Daimler Corporation (today Daimler-Benz) were rival car manufacturers in Germany in the 1890s? Karl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler never met in person, although their companies merged on June 28,1926.

Did you know?…

Karl Benz is credited with building the world’s first automobile in 1885. It was on January 29, 1886 when Mannheim, Germany granted him the patent for his automobile. The car looked like a giant tricycle.

Gottlieb Daimler, Benz’s competitor in Southern German, patented the first modern engine on April 3, 1885. The engine had been designed by Gottlieb Daimler and his lifelong partner, Wilhelm Maybach. The Daimler corporation built the first car with four wheels and sold their first car in 1892.