Owning a Mercedes is a dream for many, but maintaining it can be costly. When that “Service A1 Due” message pops up in your dash, you’re probably wondering what exactly does this service entail and what’s it going to cost?
In this article, I’ll break down everything you need to know about this specific maintenance routine including which tasks are involved in a Mercedes A1 service, how much it typically costs, how long it will take, and whether or not it’s worth doing it yourself in your garage.
See Also: Mercedes A2 Service
What Is a Mercedes A1 Service?
Much like other maintenance from Mercedes-Benz, the A1 service plays a key role in the automaker’s comprehensive program. It’s the very first scheduled service to keep your new Mercedes performing flawlessly.
The A1 service is part of the Flexible Service System that customizes maintenance based on driving and time. You can think of the A1 as a core service aimed to keep your Mercedes in pristine condition. While less robust than a B-service, the A1 optimizes performance through fluid checks, replacements, and component inspections.
When Should an A1 Service Be Done?
The A1 service is the very first scheduled routine service in the life of a Mercedes-Benz vehicle. It should be done at approximately 10,000 miles or 12 months of the vehicle’s life. The actual timing is determined by the FSS so it may be due at different times for two different vehicles.
Don’t worry if you can’t remember exactly when your A1 service is due. Your Mercedes will display notifications like “A1 Service Due,” “Service A1 in X Days,” “Service A1 Exceeded by X Days,” “Service Code: A1,” or just “Service A” when it’s time. So no need to track it on your own.
What Does an A1 Service Include?
The Mercedes A1 Service consists of standard “A” service tasks with an additional A1 specific service item. Here are those service items along with why there’s a need for them.
Replace Brake Fluid (A1 Specific)
One of the key components of the A1 service is replacing the brake fluid. Over time, brake fluid absorbs moisture and contaminants that can degrade performance. Not changing the brake fluid regularly can lead to poor braking, unpredictable pedal feel, and even complete brake failure in extreme cases.
That’s why fluid replacement is built into the comprehensive A1 service schedule for your Mercedes.
Replace Synthetic Motor Oil (Standard A-Service)
As with every “A” or “B” service, replacing the engine oil with full synthetic oil is a given. Premium synthetics resist breakdown far longer than conventional oil and allow you to safely go 10,000 miles, or until B1 service is due, without compromising lubrication.
Sticking to Mercedes’ specified oil change intervals is important because even high quality oils gradually lose their lubricating properties over time and use. So while synthetic oil remains effective much longer than conventional oils, it still needs to be refreshed periodically as part of routine maintenance.
Replace Oil Filter (Standard A-Service)
In addition to the engine oil change, the Mercedes technician will install a new OEM oil filter during the A1 service. The oil filter plays a critical role in trapping contaminants and debris that can build up in the oil over time.
A fresh oil filter allows the cleaned oil to circulate through the engine unimpeded. This helps the synthetic oil maintain its lubricating properties longer between changes.
Check Fluid Levels (Standard A-Service)
A1 service includes carefully checking and topping off vital fluids like transmission, coolant, power steering, brake, and washer fluid. Maintaining proper fluid levels is important for safe, efficient operation and to help make sure critical components under the hood stay properly lubricated and cooled.
Check Tire Pressure (Standard A-Service)
As part of the A1 service, the tires, including the spare, are checked and inflated to the proper pressures recommended by Mercedes. Having the correct tire pressure is important as underinflated or overinflated tires wear out faster, hurt fuel efficiency, reduce handling and traction, and are more prone to failure.
While tire pressure monitoring systems help alert drivers of issues, manual inspections using an accurate tire gauge are still important. Besides the yearly service, make sure to check all your tire pressures yourself every month if possible.
Check Brake Components (Standard A-Service)
This service includes a thorough brake inspection by a Mercedes technician. They will carefully examine the brake pads, rotors, calipers and other components that make up your vehicle’s high performance brake system.
During this brake check, they’ll look for abnormal wear, damage or any issues that could potentially compromise braking power.
Mercedes A1 Service Checklist (At-a-Glance)
|Service||Standard A Service||A1-Specific Service|
|Brake Fluid Replacement||X|
|Synthetic Oil Change||X|
|Oil Filter Replacement||X|
|Check Tire Pressure||X|
|Check Brake Components||X|
|Maintenance Service Counter Reset||X|
Mercedes A1 Service Cost
You may be wondering what an A1 service costs for your Mercedes. Prices can vary depending on where you take it. Your options are the official Mercedes dealership, an independent shop, or a mechanic recommended by friends/family.
At a Mercedes dealership, expect to pay $300-$600 for an A1 service on average. The exact cost depends on your location and specific Mercedes model. It’s a good idea to get quotes from multiple shops to find the best price.
Independent mechanics typically charge less than the dealer. But make sure to pick one knowledgeable about Mercedes maintenance with a solid reputation, ideally specializing in Mercedes or German cars. While a local shop may save money, it could void a warranty requiring dealer service.
Read Also: Mercedes A9 Service Cost
Why Is an A1 Service So Expensive?
The high cost of Mercedes service often surprises owners, despite “A” services being around half the price of “B” services.
But the cost reflects the sophistication of these vehicles. Mercedes are complex machines built with advanced engineering and high-end parts. They require expert technicians with specialized tools to maintain properly.
The A1 goes beyond basics to comprehensively inspect and service critical systems. This expertise and care ensures your Mercedes delivers optimal performance and longevity.
The premium pricing also reflects the Mercedes brand. As a luxury automaker, Mercedes is synonymous with unmatched quality, innovation and prestige. This exclusive ownership experience carries over into service costs.
So while not inexpensive, an A1 service is the price of protecting your investment and maintaining the Mercedes driving experience and is in line with other luxury brands like Audi and BMW. Just keep in mind, it could always be worse. Just ask someone who owns a Porsche.
How Long Does an A1 Service Take?
An A1 service is one of the quicker ones as an appointment typically takes around one hour at a Mercedes dealership or independent shop. However, the total time can vary quite a bit depending on several factors:
- Location – Dealers may be faster due to high service volume, while independent shops charge lower rates.
- Season – Spring and fall are busy seasons, leading to longer wait times.
- Additional repairs needed – Any extra work adds time. Since you should only have around 10k miles at this point, additional work is very unlikely.
- Shop efficiency – Larger, well-staffed shops can complete jobs quicker.
While the A1 service itself only requires about 1 hour of labor, delays at the shop, busy seasons, and any extra repairs needed could easily extend the total time to 2 hours or more. The time of year, staffing levels, and your luck with no additional needs all impact the total time at the service center.
Can I Do an A1 Service Myself?
Tackling an A1 service on your Mercedes-Benz can seem like an attractive DIY project if you’ve done simple car maintenance before. Out of any scheduled service, this would be one of the easiest. But before rolling up your sleeves, carefully weigh the pros and cons.
While some A1 service items like oil and filters are straightforward, others like brake fluid require special tools and expertise. Do thorough research to realistically assess if you have the skills and equipment for the full job.
Making mistakes could prove very costly on such a complex vehicle. Arm yourself a good repair manual and some specific YouTube videos so you thoroughly understand each service task.
Also check that DIY servicing won’t void your warranty as some require authorized mechanics only. Ignoring the fine print could make you pay for future repairs.
Even buying genuine Mercedes parts on your own won’t greatly lower costs, so view potential savings in perspective. And remember your time has value too.
With care, confidence and realistic self-assessment, an A1 service is feasible DIY. But think twice before tackling extensive maintenance on a high-performance vehicle if you lack experience since botching the basics is an expensive rookie mistake. Know your limits.
How to Reset an A1 Service Notification On a Mercedes
Still have an annoying “A1 Service Exceeded by XX Days” message on your dash? Whether you DIY’ed the service or the shop forgot to reset it, a few simple steps can get rid of it.
- First, park securely, turn off the engine, and put the car in Park (auto) or Neutral (manual).
- With the ignition switched on but engine off, locate the left arrow button by the steering wheel. Tap at it until the A1 notice appears.
- With the alert up, press and hold the phone button while hitting OK for about 5 seconds.
- The A1 message should then disappear, reset to factory specs.
If that doesn’t work, you’ll likely need a scan tool. But for most vehicles, this little routine resets the system and gets rid of the old A1 notice until the next service interval.
- Mercedes A9 Service (What’s Included and Average Cost) - Nov 17, 2023
- Mercedes A8 Service (What’s Included and Average Cost) - Nov 17, 2023
- Mercedes A7 Service (What’s Included and Average Cost) - Nov 17, 2023