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Mercedes-Benz C-Class Maintenance and Repair



  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,367
    And I'm not sure that your symptoms have anything to do with the oil change. You need to get the car to [gasp?] an MB specialist and get a diagnosis. The problem you describe could literally have a dozen possible causes, and this medium isn't an ideal one to do a diagnosis.

    I always suspect electronics whenever a car refuses to run smoothly - the drivetrain computer comes to mind given your symptoms - but who knows without hooking it up to the diagnostic system in the shop?
  • Thanks for your response Re: Extended warranty. I was wondering if you or anyone have heard of a faulty emission coil being a common problem. My C230 is at the dealer for the 3rd time. It only has 3000 miles. The problem was fixed the first two times, but that lasted about 1 to 2 weeks each time. What happens is the car begins to ride rough and the engine light goes on. First trip to the dealer they replaced a faulty emission coil and removed and cleaned a spark plug. Second visit the replaced a faulty emission coil and replaced a spark plug. Any ideas?
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,367
    Nope, that's a new one. Aside from the relatively rare possibility of multiple failures of the same part, my next focus in your case would be the rest of the electrical system, and what might be causing the coils to fail. Check voltages and amps being fed to the ignition system.
  • lakepoplakepop Posts: 221
    Need some help resolving a headlight problem on a 98 C230.
    The problem is with the low beams...they are inordinately dim. High beams appear normal. The headlight problem light on the dash comes on momentarily after turning the lights on.

    I am suspecting a faulty switch BUT have not checked any voltage drops at the headlights because the high beams are normal. I also do not see any difference in the low beam intensity when I pull the switch to the out (up) position although the internal switch light does illuminate.

    Any inputs would be deeply appreciated.

  • I am looking at purchasing a 2002 C320 Wagon with approx. 85K miles on it for $19K. All scheduled maintanance has been performed, records show no major problems. Cutting to the chase, the mileage scares me. What is the long term reliability potential of this drivetrain? I don't mind having a few minor problems here and there, but generally like them contained to things that don't stop me in my tracks.

    Other cars in the running are a 2001 Volvo V70 T5 58K miles, 2002 Outback Wagon 39K miles, 2001 Saab 9-5 Wagon 45K miles, and a new Mazda6 wagon. All are around $17-19K, Suburu a little less, the Mazda more, of course.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,367
    ...I'd probably take the Mazda. All of the others, including the Subaru, have their own set of issues, both big and small. Absent an extended, comprehensive warranty, I would never touch any used MB with over 50k miles on it, unless you are a skilled mechanic or closely allied with one. We love our '02 C240 sedan, but the financial risk of all of the things that can go wrong with a higher mileage MB seems pretty steep to me.
  • I have a 2001 C320 with 58K miles. Yesterday I received the above malfunction message. Does this mean that my battery is dieing or is it something more complicated?
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,367
    It could mean that, but the question is why? What component is draining the system? The only way to know that is to get it to a service dept and find out.
  • Help, my 98 C230 with only 78,000 miles has been a wonderful car since we bought it new but lately has been having serious window problems. A year ago we were told by our dealer that the rear windows were "out of synch" and a free service (thank you very much Fletcher Jones MB!) solved the problem. Lately, and I must point out we hardly ever have anyone in the back seat so these windows sit dormant 99.5% of the time, the windows go down in one push of the button but must be tricked into coming back up. This means pushing the button twenty or more times and usually grabbing the window between your palms and lifting while someone works the button.

    Not exactly a pretty sight for such a fine automobile.

    I am told the motors are worn out (as a person with over 25 years of electro-mechanical and electronics experience lack of use will NOT wear out a motor!) and they need to be replaced. I think this is a latent design defect related to the pinch sensor as I understand this same problem abounds on other MB models of the 97-2000 vintage just by looking around my own neighborhood.

    If this is a sensor related issue a trim-pot adjustment to the control board or the addition of an external resistor in parallel can recalibrate the circuit and save me a $1000 repair bill for an item that in now way should be worn out. As a quick reference, the front driver's window must go up and down 10 times a day and has never had any issues.

    Any suggestions? Anyone have experience with MB USA supporting a repair/replacement? My call to MB USA was not handled well at all.

    Thank you.
  • amohraamohra Posts: 7
    Would like to know your experienced opinion on changing the oil at 13K miles. I have heard some MB owners changed it at mid point (around 5 - 6 K miles).

    All opinions are very much appreciated.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,367
    Well, I want to emphasize first that Mobil One is not the only synthetic oil out there - they just have the biggest marketing budget...


    Now, to answer the question: I changed the oil in our FSS-equipped '02 C240 at 5k miles, without resetting the system. Here's the timeline on our first 2+ years of ownership:


    -Jan 02 - Car rolls off the assembly line in Bremen [FSS computer active and starts counting the months and miles]


    -Sep 02 - We buy the car new in Sacramento [35 miles on it]


    -Jun 03 - 5k miles - Oil change without resetting the FSS


    -Jan 04 - FSS calls for the A service. Miles just short of 9.5k, but timeline is 24 months since the crankcase was first filled [the FSS is unaware of the interim change]


    -Oct 04 - Oil changed again without resetting the FSS, at 14.5k miles


    -???- Expect the FSS to call for the next service at 20k or Jan of '06, whichever comes first [48 months since production].


    -After that, no oil changes except as called for by the computer.


    In Europe, it is COMMON for all manner of ordinary cars [Renault, Ford, Peugeot, Opel, Fiat], never mind the MBs and BMWs, to go AT LEAST 10k between oil changes - usually longer. Only in this country is the common wisdom that more frequent oil changes are necessary in modern engines. There are cases where failure to use synthetic oils [VW is the prime example, but Toyota is another] have resulted in premature engine failures when oil change intervals are extended past 5k miles.


    I think MB's current recommendations for the '05s are quite adequate as guidelines to use for oil change frequency. The FSS-equipped cars are going to go a maximum of 24 months for low mileage situations, and I happen to believe that's reasonable for an engine with synthetic oil and over 8 quarts in the crankcase [virtually all MBs hold at least 6 quarts, and some have as much as 10 quarts of capacity] to go that long, or 10-15k miles, depending on use.


    This is a minority view - most owners believe that the engineers in Stuttgart are insane, and that this is all a conspiracy to make service requirements appear lower than they actually are. This debate rages in the MB Club even as we speak. My view is that in these days of super-low-emissions engines [it is in fact combustion by-products that are the chief source of crud in the oil], it is just a waste of time, money, and resources to dump the oil at the intervals we think are common in this country. I expect much counter-argument on this, and in fact, on every board I subscribe to here at Edmunds, this topic comes up at least every two weeks.


    You should do whatever makes you feel right - I feel just fine in following the manufacturer's recommendations for my car; I wasn't sure at the beginning how the FSS would calculate intervals in a situation like ours, where the car only accumulates 6k-8k miles a year - but now that I know, I intend to just do what the computer calls for.
  • 78k miles on my 98 C230 and have been following the FSS recommendations and Mobil 1 synthetic all the way. No issues, no problems, and the motor does not use a drop of oil over the 10-11k change interval.

    I can pull the dipstick out today and the oil looks, feels, and smells like it just came out of the can.

    The new low emission motors are so efficient that there is little internal contamination that gets into the oil. You will see little time-dependent breakdown either in a synthetic over a 1-2 year window. So rest assured the new FSS schedules combined with a good synthetic oil will work just fine.

    My car still pulls to redline just fine.
  • After replacing the battery in my 2001 C320 the wipers, turn signals, flashers, door locks and gas gauge don't work. The only error message is "Display Faulty". Everything else works and the car starts and runs fine. The nearest dealer is 100 miles away and the warrantee expired 2 months ago. Any advice would be appreciated.
  • A little late to find out now but for anyone else nearing a battery replacement you can consider this scenario. Let the battery DIE. I mean completely dead. Then dial the 1-800-FOR-MERCEDES (1-800-367-6372) number on the driver visor, you should program this in your cell phone as once the battery dies you can not unlock the doors. Anyway, call them and they will send a technician out to replace your battery FREE OF CHARGE under the Sign-n-Drive program.


    Trust me, I know about this from first hand experience. It took a little while for them to get to me but wow, what service, and everything was programed back to the original settings.


    No - I don't recommend avoiding regular service and inspections at your dealer but if you do have a battery failure MB USA will come to the rescue!
  • madsenmadsen Posts: 3
    I have a '03 C320. Recently my rainsensing wipers have become hyper-active! Once switched on, they will take a few swipes with pauses in between, but after 2 or 3 swipes they will just continue to go continuously at full speed, even if there is just the slightest of mists, a single rain drop from time to time. They will continue to go long time after I drive into a covered parking structure. I took the car to service, and they replaced the whole rain sensing module, but the problem persists. From time to time the rain sensor works as intended, but it's rare.


    Anybody has a similar problem? Any idea what I can do about it? Could it have something to do with the windshield or wipers rather than the rainsensor itself? Could it just be a problem of adjustment of sensitivity of the rain sensor?


    I will take it back to service, but it's a problem that's difficult to document unless it rains. Meanwhile, it's very anoying. The only way I can get intermittend wiper function is by manually pressing the button from time to time.
  • z71billz71bill Posts: 2,000
    I also let the computer tell me when to change the oil - but if the computer does not indicate I need an oil change after 1 year I normally change it anyway.


    I think the main point of more frequent oil changes is - with a dealer coupon it costs about $20.00 - an engine overhaul will be $3,000 +.


    IMO if you pay more than $30K for a vehicle paying $20.00 a year for an oil change is no big deal - I normally have the car in the dealership for something else anyway.


    As far as environmental impact - it gets recycled - and then re sold as new oil.
  • I just purchased a 1998 Mercedes C230 and I love it. However, today I noticed that the display, which shows the heating temp., is not always working properly. For instance, you know how it is when a calculator is about to die, and only half the numbers show up? Well, that is what it looks like..... When I adjust the heat up and down, it barely shows what the temp is, then after a few min., it is clear and I'm able to read the numbers again. Any ideas? Is this an expensive electrical problem? The heat works great, but the number display looks funky at time!

    Thank you! :)
  • If the LCD unit sits in direct sunlight too long it goes over-temp and will be eratic. Once it cools down it should be fine.

    Do not push hard on the display as this can break the internal crystal connections and then you are SOL.

    Cost, probably 400+ if you dealer is like any other MB outfit. They wont try to repair by only replacing the LCD, they will swap out the entire assembly.

    You may find an independent mechanic that has access to used parts who can do a real repair, fix the LCD only, for under $100.
  • Thank you, I will keep an eye on it and see what happens. I hope it's not necessary to repair. I appreciate your repsonse! :)
  • tlantlan Posts: 3
    My dash indicator light, "check engine" is on and when tested comes up with the Fuel Trim Bank 1 error. My mechanic replaced the oxygen sensor last summer and this light went off but it's back. And, it won't pass the Illinois emissions test until it is fixed. Does anyone know what is a Fuel Trim Bank 1 error and what is the cause? My mechanic is a German Master Mechanic and he said it was nothing to worry about but that was when I lived in Virginia. Now, I need to get it fixed. Any ideas?
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