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Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedans

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  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    We've had multiple tail lights burn out on my wife's 2002 C240. Without our prompting, the dealer said they would replace part of the wire harness. I'm guessing that there is a TSB on this, so you might want to speak with your service advisor.
  • cticctic Posts: 291
    Just went to the dealer today. I was going to Parts to buy a tail light, but they just changed it for free. Took less than a minute and had 3 people running around holding my hand.

    The service dept at Barrier in Bellevue, WA has changed a lot in the last 2 years. They've hired two people just to walk around to make sure you're being helped.
  • husky11husky11 Posts: 53
    I have been away from this board for quite some time. Glad to see that you are still posting here.
    Do you have a new or later model M-B? I switched to a 2003 C240 with 4Matic on Sept. 22nd this year. So far so good. I absolutely hated to do it but traded in my '99 C280 It was as good a car as I have ever had. Five years old and only 38K miles. I feel that there have been numerous improvements in the last five years (since I bought our '99 C280 in Sept.'98. Don't know yet whether the 4Matic is worth it. Will see this winter. Plan to buy the extended warranty from Lisa at Courtesy Motors in Chico, CA this coming January. Do you have such a warranty on your car. If so, what is your impression? Look forward to hearing from you once again.
  • k914k914 Posts: 1
    The October issue of Motor Trend and the MSN Autos 2004 Model Year Preview mention that the 2004 C class with 4MATIC all-wheel drive package is offered for $1,250 less than the price of 2003 models. I approached two dealers for clarification. Both said they have no knowledge about it. Can any one confirm this please?

    Thanks.
  • cticctic Posts: 291
    Hi: Actually haven't been here for a few months. My old C280 is still going strong. The only 2 reasons why I wouldn't be keeping it are 1) Don't have an extended warranty 2) Need a bigger car for the kids.

    I'm sure I won't be going with the new C-class because it's even smaller. I looked at the outgoing E-class last year but it drove like a boat. I'm not in that much of a hurry to change cars because I have another one, so I'll probably wait until something big breaks on this one. Even though it's only got 31K on it, the resale is pretty low, so I'm not looking forward to trading it in. This C-class is the perfect driver's car for me if I didn't have kids, and if I had gotten an extended warranty I'd probably keep it for much longer.
  • husky11husky11 Posts: 53
    Same thing here. We didn't really want to trade in the '99 C280 either. But, we wanted a new car after five years and it made a lot of sense to stay with the M-B. It is nice to have a four year warranty and will be even better to get the 3 year extended warranty in January. There are only the two of us, so, the small C240 is perfect for us.

    You're so right. The resale price is so low. The dealer discounted (from MSRP) $3,500 and gave us $18,500 in trade. Not good - but, it's good to get it over with. Anxious to see what the 4Matic does in situations where it is needed. Do not plan to drive it in the snow or on icy roads however. But,I understand it is good in rainy weather. Later.
  • cticctic Posts: 291
    How do you like your new C?
  • Henry, that's a good question.

    We like the 2003 C240 very much. There are several improvements that are worth noting. (1) very smooth and quiet ride (2) we think that the 4Matic will be great (3) the functions that are shown in the speedometer area are both numerous and effective - very easy to see while driving. However, it will take time to learn how to use this new additional information (4) the separate seat warmers are great (5)we really like the charcoal interior - it has the "leather inserts" but we can't tell the difference from full leather (which we had on the '99 C280.In fact it is better than the '99 we had. (6) the CD player is in the glove box - very convenient (6)the full four year maintenance service is a plus (7) the shift lever is better (8)separate temp. controls are good and, (9) the blinker for left/right turns on the side mirros are very nice. We have 1100 miles on the car.

    It was hard to give up the '99 C280 - it is a great car. We took our last long trip to Yellowstone and our best mileage was 33.11 mpg - terrific! The overall trip average was 30.86 mpg. Would be a bonus if the new car gets even close to that. I wish that the new car had the same side rear view mirrors as the '99 - which are bigger and easier to see back. I liked the xenon headlights too. Also, the standard Bose speaker system. The new car sound system is good, but not quite as good.

    Over all, both cars are winners. We will get the additional three year warranty in January - for peace of mind. Thanks for your posts.
  • cticctic Posts: 291
    Hi: Remember to get the warranty at Courtesy Motors for a discount! H
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,367
    I got the max extended warranty at the same price as was being quoted in Chico simply by asking for it from my selling dealer in Sacramento. The F & I guy who wrapped up our deal in Sept 2002 offered to match any price I brought him on the warranty, so he got the business when we closed that part of the deal this past August.

    Not all dealers, of course, will do this, but the fact is that they are making money on it at the prices Courtesy is quoting, and most would rather have the business than lose it. Doesn't hurt to ask.

    Our '02 C240 is now living in Vancouver, WA, with 9500 miles on it. We just finished a quick roundtrip to the SF area and the car continues to fulfill its initial promise as a great tourer. I can drive it all day and still not feel beaten up - all of our MBs have been great long-distance cars, and this one is no exception. Overall fuel consumption almost exactly matches the EPA range of 20-26, though we occasionally see as high as 28 mpg on trips if everything is favorable.

    I had the oil changed once on my nickel at 3500 miles; FSS is predicting the first service at 12000 miles. The only significant repairs have been the wheel alignment [it was off at delivery and was part of my pre-delivery checklist of things to be done], and a leak in the diff that turned out to be a plugged vent tube. Nothing else of significance has surfaced, but it is still relatively early in the game, of course. I would describe us as very satisfied at this point.
  • mbnut1mbnut1 Posts: 403
    10) It's provides better crash protection 4 vs 2 stars in euro crash test plus head protection air bags
  • mac320mac320 Posts: 147
    11) Rack and pinion steering.
  • Thanks for your comments on items (10) and (11). I am still not familiar with everything that is on our 2003 C240.

    jrct9454, if you are in Vancouver, WA you are just across the river from me. I have always appreciated your posts in the past and look forward to them in the future. I have some (dumb) questions on your extended 3 year warranty.
        (1) is it a "factory" warranty? (2) how does it differ, if it does, from the four year factory warranty? Thanks for the tip on getting a better price from (your selling) dealer. I will call my dealer in January.

    Why did you change the oil at 3500 miles?
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,367
    Yes, we moved to Vancouver in August from Sacramento. We are downtown at the Heritage Place condo complex, next to our best friends for the past 35 years. Very happy so far with our decision - first time my wife has ever lived outside of California. [I had lived everywhere as an Army kid before settling in the Bay Area in 1961 - my grandfather, though, worked at the Kaiser shipyard in Vancouver, and settled in Wemme (out US26 toward Hood) after the war.]

    The factory extended warranty does have some exclusions that I don't find bothersome, but one should be aware of - a lot of the really complicated electronics [e.g. COMAND] are not covered, but everything that matters to me is on the list. They used to offer this extension for 4 years [a total of 8 years / 100k miles], but the recent decline in quality of a lot of vendor-supplied subsystems obviously has given MBUSA pause. In our case, it is unlikely that we would exceed 65k miles in 7 years, so I'm not getting much more than the original warranty as it would apply to most people. Still, we have never kept a car longer than 4.5 years, so this will make me feel better as we try to make this car the exception.

    Any comments on the service from the Portland / Wilsonville dealerships? I have to admit I don't like giving up the relationship I had with the dealer in Sacto - we knew each other and I felt mostly good about the work they did. Always a little trepidation when starting over with somebody else...

    On the oil change: our car was actually produced in late January '02 at the Bremen plant; we didn't take delivery until Sept. of '02. If I had left the original oil in the car, it would have been two years [or more] since the original fill before the first oil change [I'm projecting probably Feb of '04]. I have a lot of faith in both the oil technology and MB's engineers, but perhaps not quite THAT much...plus I had 10 quarts of Syntec in the garage that were not getting any younger, so I took 8 of them to the dealer and told them to have at it. I paid for only the filter and 30 minutes of labor.
  • paul_ppaul_p Posts: 271
    John and All,

    We almost made it to Vancouver from SFO for our honeymoon last month, were it not for a detour to visit Oregon's Mt. Hood. It was a beautiful drive, however. Granted I had to drive a rental car (Olds Alero), and it would have been much nicer in a C230. The drive vs. flight from Boston to SFO and return would have been quite long though!

    I need to run the car, it's been almost 3 weeks since I drove it. The '00 2.3 liter seems to take a little more effort to get back into running smoothly after it has been sitting than the '95 2.2 liter did.
  • I dealt with the Portland MB dealer on our '99 C280 for five years. There are no problems to report. The service has always been both courteous and very good, the staff is quite friendly and they always delivered what they promised. I had absolutely no extra service problems to worry about because the car always performed beautifuly. I feel that if you have a need to go there for service on your MB, you will be satisfied. No sales taxes either. As an aside, they provide good free coffee latte's while you wait - if indeed you must wait - which is rarely. The dealer here in town also owns the dealership in Wilsonville. Thanks again.
  • There is lots of discussion of W202 owners that are trading or selling their cars to buy a new MB, sometimes a C-Class, or whatever. The main reason seems to be to have a car that is under warranty.

    I have a 1998 C230 with just shy of 160,000 km's (100K-miles)on the odo. If I were to trade the car in, I would probably be at a trade value of about $18,000. I paid $42,000cdn for the car six years ago. So, my depreciation expense for the six years I've owned the car is $24,000. With 1994 examples selling for $14-15K it seems that my depreciation curve is levelling out. Does it make financial sense to sell it? What about out-of-warranty repairs? Hhhmmm.

    Suppose I buy a new 2004 C240. I'm looking at $45K again, and in five or six years the car will be worth $20K. It's going to cost me (in REAL money) $25,000 over the next five years for depreciation on the new car, plus the costs of operating. New or old, they need fluids, filters, etc. Plus, the new car will be more expensive to insure.

    What is I take that $25,000 depreciation expense and put half of it in a fund for repairing the C230? Think I'll spend $12,500 over the next five years in non-maintenance repairs? Not a chance. This is my sixth MB, and I've driven several to over 300K. Not even the worst one required more $2000 a year. $1500 a year was a pretty good budget. For five years that's $7500.

    What about the cost of money? Even if you're paying cash, you have the opportunity cost of tying up your dollars in the car. The cost of carrying that $45K for 5 years at 7.5% is ~$9000. The cost of carrying the $18,000 "investment" in my existing car is $3,600.

    The total cost for buying the new car is $25,000+$9,060=$34,060

    The total cost for keeping my existing car is
    $7,500 (repairs) + $3,000 (deprciation) + $3,600 (interest charge) = $14,100.

    That leaves me $20K in the bank in case something really goes wrong with the car. It NEVER makes finaincial sense to buy a new car. Warranty coverage is not a money saver. So, why on earth, in December of 1997 did I buy a new Mercedes? Not to save money! Just because I wanted a brand new car. I knew it was going to cost buckets of money, but went ahead anyway. Not every decision in your lives has to be the "right" one.

    But, don't try to justify a new car with the 'ol "warranty coverage will save me money" argument.
  • I am probably one of the folks you are referring to in your post #6668 . (but, maybe not???) I do not question your calculations and reasoning.

    Clearly, you have given this a great deal of thought. I don't know about others but, I thought very carefully about what you have said BEFORE my wife and I decided to buy the new car. As stingy as I consider myself, I am now seeing this whole thing in a totally different light.

    We realize that we are getting old. Our kids were all for it - that made it so easy. Besides, we will have a warranty for 7 more years - the thought does ease our minds.

    However, thanks for your well considered and excellent reasoning and calculations as well as your very wise comments. I feel that you are absolutey correct. We like our new car a lot however.
  • mac320mac320 Posts: 147
    Is the lowest cost the biggest factor for most auto enthusiasts? If so, you could try to pick a pre-classic and watch it appreciate over the years.

    But, none of the older cars would offer the safety features. Not even a well-maintained 4-5 year old MB will have side head air bag protection.

    I think everyone knows that better than keeping a new car longer to keep the cost per mile down, you'll save even more buying used.

    You could base decisions only on the money if the mfg's would cooperate and not build in so many improvements and attractive features into successive models. One of the reasons older cars are worth less is because newer cars of the same model are so much nicer to drive.

    Rather than simply cost per mile, I think you would also have to compare the value that is offered. Buying bicycles is an example: a $1K bike probably is twice as good as a five hundred dollar bike, but a $2K bike may only be 50% better than $1K bike, and a $5K bike might be only 5% better. But, the more expensive (or the newer) bike is still the "better" bike, right? And, "better" has value!

    Of course, many of the above factors are subjective--in the minds of buyers, e.g., factors like "better" and "value"--and, to mfgs, only the opinions of potential buyers are relevant. In most instances, not even the opinions of professional reviewers mean much. The reviews of the latest "Matrix" for instance were not too bad but it was one of the worst ever movies I've seen. And, I've seen many movies that were roundly panned by expert reviewers but to me were great.

    I think that sometimes, the cost is the least relevant factor. For instance, based on cost alone, who would ever "go the movies" if simply waiting a year and renting the DVD saves more than half?
  • by keeping your VCR (don't buy a DVD player!) and rent the VHS tape..! And save yet more when you realize that your old TV doesn't match the capabilities of the DVD player and you run out to spend another $1000 or more on a high end flat screen TV..
This discussion has been closed.