Like an ominous warning light, “Service A9 Due” makes its appearance in your Mercedes’ dash, sparking worries of your bank account diminishing. But don’t let the unknown rattle your nerves.
This article goes over exactly what specific maintenance tasks are part of a Mercedes A9 service. You’ll learn when it’s due, what’s included, how much it will cost (it’s not so bad), and how long it will take.
See Also: Mercedes A1 Service
What Is a Mercedes A9 Service?
A9 service is a scheduled maintenance routine for your Mercedes-Benz in its later years. Occurring about 10,000 miles or 12 months after a B8 service, it’s the 9th minor visit if you’ve stayed diligent with upkeep.
During an A9 service, a certified technician thoroughly inspects your vehicle’s systems like the engine, transmission, brakes. Whether you plan on keeping your Mercedes as long as possible or trading it in at some point, factory recommended service like A9 will keep your ride running at its best and keeping its value as high as possible.
When Should an A9 Service Be Done?
For Mercedes-Benz owners, the A9 service is one of the later maintenance appointments to keep your car in tip-top shape. This service is typically needed around 170,000 miles or about 1 year after your last B8 service, assuming you’ve been keeping up with the recommended maintenance schedule.
A9 is essentially a comprehensive tune-up, inspecting and replacing parts that may be worn out after well over 100k miles of driving. If you’ve hit this mileage mark, great job keeping your Benz well-maintained! All that diligent upkeep is certainly paying off.
No need to stress about tracking when A9 service is due – your Mercedes will remind you itself. The onboard computer system monitors your mileage and service history. When you’re nearing the specified mileage or 1 year mark since B8 service, the car will automatically alert you it’s time to schedule the A9 service.
What Does an A9 Service Include?
The A9 is what’s considered a “minor” schedule service. At this appointment, Mercedes technicians thoroughly inspect, replace, and service parts and fluids to keep your vehicle in peak condition.
In addition to the specific tasks below, virtually every system of the car will be inspected including components like the suspension, hoses, belts, lights, wipers, and more. If any issues are found, repairs will be suggested but otherwise, you’ll have peace of mind until the next scheduled appointment, B9 service, which takes place in about 12 months.
Automatic Transmission Fluid Replacement (A9 Specific)
When you bring your Mercedes in for an A9 service appointment, one very important task the technicians will perform is an automatic transmission fluid change.
The reason this ATF replacement is so important is that transmission fluid can degrade over time. After thousands of miles of driving, the fluid can become contaminated with particulates from normal wear and tear. Dirt, debris, moisture buildup and other impurities in the old fluid can begin to negatively impact the performance of your transmission.
Replacing the dirty fluid with fresh, clean ATF helps ensure all the complex components in your transmission, like valves, pumps, and clutches continue operating smoothly. The new fluid also helps extend the life of your transmission by preventing premature wear.
Automatic Transmission Filter Replacement (A9 Specific)
When you get a A9 service on your Mercedes, the technicians will swap out the old transmission fluid filter for a new one, in addition to changing the fluid. Just like your engine oil filter, the transmission filter plays an important role in trapping particulates and contaminants that can accumulate in the fluid after thousands of miles of driving.
Things like metal shavings from gear wear, dirt buildup, etc. Without the filter, all that gunk could freely circulate through the transmission causing premature wear and tear on its components.
Over time, the old transmission filter can get clogged up with debris. This restricts the flow of clean transmission fluid in the system, leading to potential overheating and even failure of the transmission. The small upfront cost of a new filter protects against very pricey transmission repairs down the road!
Replace Brake Fluid (A9 Specific)
Brake fluid replacement is one of the most important maintenance tasks performed during an A9 service. Over thousands of miles, brake fluid can become contaminated and cause braking problems if left unchanged.
The technicians will completely flush the old fluid and replace it with new, clean fluid that’s needed to maintain the proper operation of your brake system. Dirty brake fluid with moisture or particulates can cause degraded braking performance and possibly even lead to brake failure.
Replace Synthetic Motor Oil (Standard A-Service)
When you bring your Mercedes in for a A9 service visit, one of the normal tasks the technicians will perform is an engine oil change. They’ll drain out the old motor oil and replace it with fresh, new synthetic oil.
Mercedes only uses full synthetic oils in their engines from the factory. Compared to conventional oil, synthetic holds up better over time and doesn’t break down as quickly, resulting in longer oil change intervals (about 10,000 miles).
Over thousands of miles, even synthetic oil starts to degrade and become less effective at protecting your engine. The old oil can oxidize and lose its lubricating properties. Replacing it with new oil coats and cushions components like bearings, pistons, valves, etc. This minimizes friction and wear, preventing damage.
Replace Oil Filter (Standard A-Service)
Anytime you get an oil change on your Mercedes at the dealer, the technicians don’t just drain and refill the old oil. They’ll also swap out the oil filter for a new one.
And not just any filter. Mercedes uses original equipment (OEM) filters made by top brands like Mann. You won’t find the cheaper, lower-quality filters that some quick lube shops use.
The OEM Mercedes oil filter helps ensure contaminants and dirt are kept out of your engine. This small part replacement is just one example of the care and attention to detail the Mercedes techs provide.
Check Fluid Levels (Standard A-Service)
One important part of the A9 service is having the Mercedes techs verify all your car’s fluid levels are where they need to be. They’ll check coolant, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, brake fluid, and windshield washer fluid levels, topping them off with the proper type as needed.
Keeping these fluids filled to the correct levels is one of the easiest things to do yet so many car owners fail to do so. So you’ll have peace of mind knowing the pros will do that for you. Fluids lubricate, cool, and allow smooth operation of components. Running low could lead to overheating or wear.
Check Tire Pressure (Standard A-Service)
Toward the end of an A6 service appointment, a Mercedes tech will be sure to check and adjust tire pressures, including your spare if so equipped. Having properly inflated tires is important for several reasons.
First, correct inflation helps your tires last longer before needing replacement. Under- or over-inflated tires wear unevenly and break down faster. This saves you money since new tires often cost $200-$300 EACH.
Next, proper tire pressures improve handling performance and braking. The tires can grip and respond better when inflated as recommended.
Finally, correct pressures reduce rolling resistance between the tires and road. This allows you to maximize fuel economy. Less drag = better MPG.
Check Brake Components (Standard A-Service)
The brake system is put under close scrutiny during a Mercedes A9 service. Technicians will thoroughly examine the various components to verify proper operation and condition.
First, brake calipers are opened up so pistons can be inspected for leaks, cracks or damage. With the calipers open, brake pads are also checked for wear, damage and thickness using a gauge.
Brake rotors are checked as well as their thickness and wear patterns are analyzed to identify warping or uneven wear issues. Additionally, brake lines, hoses and fittings undergo visual inspection. Technicians hunt for any signs of leakage, chafing or cracks.
By thoroughly inspecting the entire brake system, any problems can be identified and addressed before they lead to safety issues.
Mercedes A9 Service Checklist (At-a-Glance)
|Service||Standard A Service||A9-Specific Service|
|Automatic Transmission Fluid Replacement||X|
|Transmission Filter Replacement||X|
|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 A9 Service Cost
Plan on spending about $300 to $600 for an A9 service appointment at your local dealership. Mercedes maintenance doesn’t come cheap, but you’re paying for factory techs and parts. For many, it’s worth it for the peace of mind on a luxury vehicle.
You may be able to save some money by using an independent shop, IF you find one experienced with Mercedes models. They usually have lower labor rates than the dealer but finding a good shop that uses genuine Mercedes parts and has qualified techs isn’t always easy.
Do your homework reading reviews and get recommendations if possible. While independent maintenance may cost less, the dealer’s adherence to strict Mercedes standards is hard to beat.
Read Also: Mercedes A8 Service Cost
Why Is an A9 Service So Expensive?
The main factors that contribute to the pricing for Mercedes service are:
- Mercedes uses top-tier parts, fluids, and filters built specifically to their strict specifications. This ensures optimal performance and longevity, but these premium-grade components come at a higher cost.
- Extensive and continuing training is required for Mercedes techs to be able to properly service these complex, high-tech vehicles. Their specialized expertise warrants the higher labor rates.
- Mercedes dealers invest substantially in the specialized diagnostic scanners and tools required by Mercedes. This specialized tech equipment is very expensive.
- As a high-end luxury brand, Mercedes can demand premium prices for maintenance, in line with other top marques. Mercedes owners expect a service experience fitting the brand’s esteemed reputation. The coffee will taste better in their waiting room and the dealership’s bathroom will be cleaner.
So in short, you’re paying for premium parts, expertly-trained technicians with top-of-the-line tools, and an elevated service experience overall.
How Long Does an A9 Service Take?
The actual service time for an A9 is around 1-2 hours in most cases. However, the total time your car is in the shop can be more depending on several factors:
- Shop/Location – Larger dealers and shops with more techs and service bays tend to be more efficient than smaller, understaffed shops. Dedicated technicians focused only on routine services can also work faster.
- Seasonality – Spring and the months right before winter are extremely busy times at repair shops. This can impact turnaround time.
- Additional problems found – If additional maintenance issues are uncovered during the A9 service, it will add more time, as long as those issues can be taken care of in the same appointment. With a high mileage vehicle, more repairs are more likely.
So while the A9 itself may take just 1-2 hours, any or all of the factors above can stretch the total visit to 3 or more hours on occasion. If your time is limited, call the shop first to check their current wait times.
Can I Do an A9 Service Myself?
Those with some car repair and maintenance experience may be tempted to service their own Mercedes, and it’s doable. But for most owners, the intricate A9 maintenance generally makes using a professional shop the better choice.
The complexity involved requires technical know-how and possibly specialized tools to properly meet factory specifications. Incorrect DIY maintenance can risk mechanical issues, safety problems, even voiding warranties in some cases.
But, knowledgeable home mechanics who fully understand the procedures and accept the risks could save some money by servicing their Mercedes themselves, even though the savings may not end up being as great as expected.
It’s worth noting that the more times you service a Mercedes yourself, the more potential cost savings over time as you acquire the right tools, find part deals, and get maximum use from large fluid containers.
But for most owners, the peace of mind of having factory-trained technicians perform this intricate maintenance at a dealership or reputable shop is worth the extra cost. DIY servicing is best left to experienced Mercedes owners.
How to Reset an A9 Service Notification On a Mercedes
No need to go out of your way to reset a Mercedes service notification. DIYers and shops alike may forget this important final step after maintenance is complete.
This helpful video demonstrates how to clear the maintenance service reminder light on your Mercedes-Benz. While the exact steps may differ based on year and model, the general process remains the same.
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