Seeing a “B3 service” reminder illuminate on your Mercedes-Benz instrument cluster can be confusing if you’re not familiar with the scheduled maintenance requirements.
In this article, I hope to clarify what this particular service entails and why it’s important to have this maintenance performed on schedule. You’ll learn what specific service items are included, how much you can expect it to cost, and whether it’s possible to complete a B3 service on your own to save some money.
See Also: Mercedes B4 Service
What Is a Mercedes B3 Service?
When you own a Mercedes-Benz vehicle, you want to make sure that it performs at its best for years to come. The B3 service is part of Mercedes-Benz’s Flexible Service System (FSS), which divides maintenance into separate intervals based on time and usage.
Mercedes’ service schedule consists of A (minor) and B (major) services. These services alternate every 10,000 miles (or 12 months) but the FSS determines the exact schedule for you.
A B3 service essentially means that this is the 3rd major service of the vehicle’s life and it follows an A1, B1, A2, B2, and A3 service.
While all B services include the same standard service items, a B3 service adds a couple specific service items that not all other scheduled services include.
When Should a B3 Service Be Done?
Typically, a B3 service for your Mercedes should be done after hitting 60,000 miles (or the vehicle’s 6th year). The EXACT time will be determined by the car’s Flexible Service System.
Don’t worry if you can’t remember exactly when that is, because your car will display a message similar to “B3 Service Due“, “Service B3 in X Days“, “Service B3 Exceeded by X Days“, “Service Code: B3“, or “Service B” when it’s time.
What Does a B3 Service Include?
Mercedes B3 Service is a comprehensive maintenance package designed to keep your car running smoothly and efficiently for years to come. This service includes a mix of standard B services and specific B3 services.
Replace Air Filter (B3 Specific)
During a B3 service, your car’s air filter is replaced. Swapping out a dirty air filter for a clean one is one of the best things you can do to improve airflow and engine performance, ensuring optimum fuel consumption. A clogged air filter decreases the engine’s efficiency and power.
Replace Spark Plugs (B3 Specific)
Spark plugs play a vital role in igniting the fuel-air mixture in the engine. Checking and replacing spark plugs during B3 service helps prevent misfires, rough idling, and overall loss of power, resulting in a smoother ride and better fuel economy.
Replace Synthetic Motor Oil (Standard B-Service)
Engine oil is replaced during a B3 service (as is the case of any routine maintenance service). With Mercedes-Benz vehicles, full synthetic oil is always used as it breaks down slower than conventional oil and allows for a 10k mile oil change interval.
Over time, motor oil loses its effectiveness in lubricating moving parts, leading to increased friction and potential damage. Fresh synthetic oil helps make sure that your engine continues to run under ideal lubrication.
Replace Oil Filter (Standard B-Service)
Just as with the engine oil, the oil filter is also replaced during the B3 service. The oil filter catches any debris and contaminants that may have made their way into the engine oil.
Changing the oil filter allows your new, clean oil to remain free of contaminates for a longer period of time.
Replace Cabin Air Filter (Standard B-Service)
Your car’s cabin air filter (A/C filter) has the job of filtering out dust, pollen, and pollutants the air before they enter the the cabin. Over time, cabin air filters can become clogged, negatively affecting the air quality in your car and the performance of the HVAC system.
B3 service includes a cabin filter replacement to maintain a clean and comfortable environment for you and your passengers.
Check Fluid Levels (Standard B-Service)
All fluid levels are checked and corrected as necessary during a B3 service. This includes transmission fluid, coolant, power steering fluid, brake fluid, and windshield washer fluid.
Keeping these fluids at the optimal levels is crucial for the overall health and performance of your Mercedes.
Check Tire Pressure (Standard B-Service)
Tire pressure is another important aspect of car maintenance covered in a B3 service. Making sure your tires (including your spare) are properly inflated extends their lifespan and maintains fuel efficiency.
Improper tire pressure can lead to all sorts of problems including uneven tire wear and reduced handling capabilities.
Check Brake Components (Standard B-Service)
During B3 service, a thorough brake component inspection is conducted to verify the condition and functionality of your brakes. This includes checking the brake pads, rotors, calipers, and the overall braking system for wear and potential issues.
Mercedes B3 Service Checklist (At-a-Glance)
|Service||Standard B-Service||B3-Specific Service|
|Air Filter Replacement||X|
|Spark Plug Replacement||X|
|Synthetic Oil Change||X|
|Oil Filter Replacement||X|
|Cabin Air Filter Replacement||X|
|Check Tire Pressure||X|
|Check Brake Components||X|
|Maintenance Service Counter Reset||X|
Mercedes B3 Service Cost
When it comes to the cost of a Mercedes B3 Service, there are a few factors to consider – such as whether you take it to a Mercedes-Benz dealership, an independent mechanic, or the guy your cousin knows.
At a Mercedes-Benz dealership, you can typically expect to pay somewhere in the range of $900 to $1,800 a B3 service. However, prices may vary depending on the dealership, your specific vehicle model, and your location. Even the dealership on the other end of town may be a couple hundred dollars cheaper than the nearest one so it pays to get quotes from a couple places.
Independent mechanics will almost always provide a more affordable alternative to attract Mercedes-Benz owners. However, it’s important to make sure that your chosen mechanic is well-versed in Mercedes-Benz maintenance and has a good reputation. Shops that specialize in Mercedes-Benz or German vehicles are usually going to be your best bet.
You might be tempted to take your used E-Class to a local mechanic to save money, but doing so may put your vehicle’s warranty in jeopardy. Some warranties, including Mercedes-Benz’s Prepaid Maintenance and Extended Limited Warranty, require services to be performed only by authorized dealers or technicians. Be sure to review your warranty terms before making any decisions.
To sum up, you have options when it comes to B3 service costs. Depending on your preferences, warranty policies, and budget, you can explore either the dealership or an independent mechanic for the maintenance of your beloved Mercedes-Benz.
See Also: Mercedes B2 Service Cost
Why Is a B3 Service So Expensive?
You might be wondering why the B3 service for your Mercedes-Benz seems to be quite costly. What exactly is responsible for the hefty price tag?
As already mentioned, B-services (ie: B1, B2, B3, etc.) are more comprehensive when compared to the more minor A-services (A1, A2, A3, etc.). So if you remember paying quite a bit less for A3 service last year, that’s the main reason why.
Moreover, Mercedes-Benz vehicles are engineered with state-of-the-art technology, high-quality parts, and complex systems, which require specialized diagnostic tools and trained technicians to handle them. When you pay for a B3 service, you’re also investing in their expertise, making sure that your ride stays in tip-top condition.
On top of that, the exclusivity of Mercedes-Benz ownership plays a role in determining the cost of service. As a luxury brand, Mercedes-Benz has a reputation for delivering unparalleled performance, comfort, and innovation.
The high standard of service and maintenance that comes with such a brand (like Audi, BMW, and others), matches the premium experience their cars deliver. With that, the cost of maintenance also comes at a premium.
In a nutshell, a B3 service for your Mercedes-Benz might seem expensive, but it’s ultimately the cost of owning a luxury brand. Your best bet is to find a trusted mechanic in your area who is experienced with Mercedes. Not only will you save money, you’ll often get more personal service.
Can I Do a B3 Service Myself?
Yes, it is possible for you to perform a B3 service on your Mercedes yourself. However, there are a few things to consider before taking on this task.
First, make sure that you have the right tools, knowledge, and skills to perform the required tasks. While some parts of the service are novice friendly (ie: oil change, air filter replacement), others may require more knowledge and tools (ie: spark plug replacement, brake fluid change).
It’s important to have a good understanding of your car’s components and functions to successfully carry out the service. You can learn about these aspects from various sources, including model-specific service manuals, content submitted by users on online forums, YouTube, or even your vehicle’s owner’s manual.
Secondly, be aware of the risks involved in doing a B3 service yourself. There’s a potential for making mistakes or even causing damage to your car if you’re not careful or experienced in the required tasks.
Finally, performing a B3 service yourself might affect the warranty on your vehicle. You should carefully read the terms and conditions in your car’s warranty to fully understand the implications of conducting the service yourself. Some warranties might void if the service is not carried out by an authorized professional.
How to Reset a B3 Service Notification On a Mercedes
If you’ve successfully completed all the service items of a B3 service yourself, you’re still going to be left with that pesky B3 service notification on your dashboard. But don’t worry; resetting it is a simple process in most cases.
- Before you start, make sure your vehicle is parked in a safe spot and the engine is switched off.
- Switch the ignition to the ON position (one position before starting the engine) and make sure the vehicle’s gear is in Park (automatic transmission) or Neutral (manual transmission).
- Look for the left arrow button located on the left side of your steering wheel. Press it repeatedly until you see the B3 service message displayed on the instrument cluster.
- Once the B3 service message is visible, press and hold the phone button (the one that looks like a telephone receiver) and the OK button simultaneously for about five seconds. The message should disappear, and your service indicator will be reset.
If this reset procedure does not work on your specific vehicle, you will likely need a diagnostic tool to complete the reset.
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