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Mercedes-Benz C-Class Maintenance and Repair

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Comments

  • marfmarf Posts: 1
    Paul, i have a c230 and i am looking to change the sparkplugs,
    where can i get a manual on how to do that?
  • ccnhmanccnhman Posts: 1
    I have an '01 C320. On startup it makes a click sound from under/inside the dashboard (driver's side) about every 3-5 seconds for the first 20 seconds or so after start. Dealer said something about an "a/c actuator" and $1300 repair job. Anyone know what this is about?
  • paul_ppaul_p Posts: 271
    marf,

    I have not tried to change the plugs myself. For all maintenance I go to the MB dealer. Wish I could be more helpful.

    - Paul
  • lmadenlmaden Posts: 2
    I have a 96 C280 MB, only had it 2 weeks and on Sunday I dropped in to pickup golf balls and my wife sat in the car, she was getting hot and unlocked the door from the inside and then tried to start the car from passenger side, the car would not start for about 5 minutes. I was wondering if the car has a security system that cuts gas while starting in these cases.
  • kravchenkokravchenko Posts: 5
    My C230K with only 24,000 miles has developed a strange problem.... when cold (meaning "in the morning" no matter how warm it is outside), it just cranks without starting; the second attempt to start makes it run rough at first, then eventually it levels off. After this, drives okay till next morning. No fault has been detected by dealership... any idea what it can be? Many thanks!
  • dknoxdknox Posts: 1
    :confuse: My '99 C230 is having suspected air flow meter problems at 77K and this is the second time I've had problems with it (the first was at about 65K. The first replacement cost me about $450. So far, I haven't had to replace the current one. Around town it's doing OK, but at highway speeds (and especially uphill) the car is hesitating. Temporary solution may be to clean the chip inside with a high pressure spray on solvent (like a carburater cleaner) It takes only about 15 minutes from taking the meter off to putting it back on. The meter failure is only symptomatic though, I think, of a fine mist of oil that is contaminating the chip. The mechanic that first replaced the meter told we his thoughts on where the oil was coming from and why, but I forget. ANYBODY??
  • jcolbyjcolby Posts: 5
    Hope you're not using one of those air filters that require soaking with an oil compound. If so, that would be the first suspect. I just replaced an air flow meter on my 1995 C220 myself, at 106,000 miles. All you need is a screwdriver. I got the new part online for $307. The air filter should be replaced at the same time, checking for a good seal all around. Dust and dirt particles will wear out the air flow meter, also.
  • jcolbyjcolby Posts: 5
    I posted this in the care and maintenance discussion, also, but no answer there:

    Has anyone had any experience with this? I just bought a 1995 C220.

    The previous owner was experiencing shutdown while driving. One
    mechanic said there was a Mass Air Flow Sensor diagnostic code and
    several oxygen sensor codes. Another mechanic said there was only a
    Mass Air Flow Sensor diagnostic code. I bought the car and figured
    out what kind of scan tool I needed, etc. Prior to getting the scan
    tool I started the car just to run it a while so it would be easier
    to start later. While idling there was significant vibration which
    seemed to come from the right rear and the engine shut off. Wouldn't
    start again.

    I got the scan tool and when I ran it the Mass Air Flow Sensor
    diagnostic code came up and this came up on the "freeze data": Fuel
    System 1: CLSD.

    I got a new Mass Air Flow Sensor and installed it. I erased the MAF
    code and now everything checks out OK, no codes. When I go through
    the "view data" feature I now get: Fuel System 1: OPEN.

    It still won't start. I put a full charge on the battery to make
    sure that wasn't the problem.

    My question is this: I'm assuming that the fuel pump is programmed
    to shut off if the Mass Air Flow Sensor problem isn't fixed within a
    certain period of time and that this is what happened when I was
    idling. Is that correct? Second part of question: is there something
    I have to do in regard to the fuel pump once the Mass Air Flow
    Sensor problem is taken care of? If no answer I'll probably have to
    tow it in to a mechanic- I don't think I want to mess around with
    measuring fuel pressure, etc.
  • charlespcharlesp Posts: 10
    Morning all,

    Just to let you know of our first service reaction.

    We bought the car new 11 months ago and May 19 2005 picked it up after completion of "A" service some minor trim warranty things. Primarily, my wife drives this particular car to support her Real Estate work and in the 11 months we've owned it, we accumulated 12,292 miles and took the car in for its first service 700 miles before the FSS computer said it was due. I had made my appointment 3 weeks in advance to guarantee a loaner since work in addition to the A service was contemplated, and was kind of concerned I might be told I had shown up too soon (because of some of the horror stories I've read elsewhere.)

    Not one problem from the dealer regarding the fact that we hadn't reached the FSS magic number. Net cost to get out of the dealer after they had the car for threee days to investigate some concerns about minor squeeks and noises my wife had (loaning us a 2004 MBZ C240 "Sport" Wagon), $0.00.

    Looking on the Edmunds site, before we went for service, I was able to find out exactly what an "A" service included, and that's exactly what was done to the car. Not once did they try to sell me other things.

    But also, one thing surprises me. We didn't make one single complaint about the A/C, and they changed out a group of seals and did a recharge and evac. There aren't too many dealerships that throw around free maintenance. Is there any A/C related recall or tech notice out there that MBZ is working quietly?

    Next I have a question: Checking through my receipts, I see that the dealer provided an oil change using Mobil One 0-50., while my book says MBZ recommends Mobile One 0-40 European Car Formula. I can't even find in any of the Auto Parts stores Mobile One 0-50. Did they use the right oil? I want to keep a quart in my garage just in case.

    Lastly, the reset FSS computer calls for a B service in 10,000 miles. Kind of interesting since the same computer had us looking at nearly 13,000 miles before calling for the first service since the car was made.

    Chuck
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    Well, you've covered a lot of ground here, but let me throw out a couple of comments:

    -Oil - no problem with what they used; the official MB recommended list changes so often that owners never receive updates as the list moves on - dealers do. Nothing to be concerned about.

    -I know of no widespread service bulletin on the AC - obviously they found something of concern during the inspection, and took care of it. [Yes, that is the way it is supposed to happen, and yes, it's OK to tell us who this virtuous dealer is and where located. Lord knows the dealer body gets enough slams in this forum that a little positive feedback is good to hear.] Remember, if you have ANY questions at all about what they did to the car, and why, the time to ask is on the spot before you leave the dealership. A phone call later works, too, but if you speak up before you leave, you can usually talk to the Tech who actually did the work.

    -The FSS defaults to 10k miles when the system is reset. After that, it will vary up or down depending on conditions and how the car is driven. Your initial service interval makes it sound as if the car gets optimum use, i.e. more miles on the freeway and not a lot of short trips or stop-go.

    -Dealers rarely balk at an FSS-driven service once you get within 1k miles of the magic number. Much earlier than that, and they have to explain to MBUSA why, though lately, the dealers have been given a LOT of leeway to make the customer happy, in the wake of all the negative publicity that is sweeping over the company.

    In case you're wondering, the FSS is programmed to chase you in for service at the 2 year mark, regardless of mileage. Our '02 C240 was purchased in Sept of 2002, a full 8 months after it had rolled off the assembly line in Bremen. It called for the first service in January of '04, even though we had covered less than 10k miles, and even though it had been [up to that point] predicting the service would come up at 12k or so.

    In our case, I had to gently remind the Service Advisor that there were things that were called for at the 2 year mark [like brake fluid replacement] that should be done, notwithstanding the fact that the car had been "in service" less than 16 months. No problem, no arguments, cheerful compliance.

    There are indeed horror stories out there about the dealers; our experiences at MB Sacramento and MB Portland [OR] and MB Reno have been quite positive for the most part. Knock on wood...
  • charlespcharlesp Posts: 10
    Thanks tons for bringing me up to speed.

    Dealer here in Las Vegas is Fletcher Jones, with a captive audience. Interestingly enough his operations includes the huge dealership on the West side of Las Vegas, way, way out on Sahara and a maintenance/parts only operation on the East side of the valley out in Henderson, NV. That East side location doesn't even have his name on it, and I have found them to provide rip-off service.

    In comparison, at the dealership operation I have always felt fairly treated.

    Was kind of interesting also last thursday while waiting for my wife's car to be washed and brought down to us, to wander around looking in Maybachs and drooling over a Silver McLaren SLR. Enough to keep your mind off the fact you were waiting for delivery of a car that probably cost less than a front clip for either of them.

    Chuck
  • mezecamezeca Posts: 66
    I too was reluctant to reply, and I completely agree with you. I bought my Mercedes because I have always heard how safe they are. And over the years that I've been through the service department, I've either overheard or talked to numerous customers who stated that their Mercedes "saved" their life when they were involved in a serious crash.

    I was actually at the dealership picking up my car when I saw a 211 sedan coming in on a flatbead that had been T-boned. Their was major impact damage, but not very much intrusion to the cabin. I spoke to the driver of the car after she got out of the tow truck, and she said a Dodge Ram pick-up had blown a stop light and hit her as she was going through the intersection. Side air bags deployed, Tele aid made the emergency call, and the driver was shaken but completely uninjured. This tells me alot about the safety about a Mercedes.

    After I was hit in a similar type of accident( Ford bronco blowing a red light into my Honda Accord), the outcome was not so sweet. The driver's door, seat, instrument panel, and me were literally sitting in the middle of the vehicle. I know this from pictures taken at the accident site, and my personal viewing of the vehicle at the impound yard. My collar bone was broken, my ribs on the left side were broken at my sternum, half the teeth on my left side were either broken or shattered, and my spine was described by the physical therapist to have a question mark shape. Two weeks in I.C.U, and a year of physical therapy, in which time I could not sleep in a bed, only on the floor.

    Sorry to ramble, but unless you know what thresholds and limits are built into a vehicle, don't going making assumptions about how a brand of vehicle is of poor quality just because you didn't receive what you "think" should have been the outcome. I am sorry to hear about your injuries, but I don't think that blaming a manufacturer without concrete evidence of defect is just.
  • stramstram Posts: 3
    Good Morning ALL,
    My 2004 C230 Kompressor Sport Sedan is OEM equipped with staggered wheels and directional low profile tires. The car tracks straight, although it would drift to left or right depending on the curve of road's surface. In the first 5K miles from delivery, I noticed feather like wear on the outside edge of both front tires. As time goes by, both front tires have worn excessively on the outside edge. At 21,000 miles, the treads on outside edge are gone.
    A four wheel alignment was performed by MB dealer at 14,000 miles; but, the problem did not go away. The service manager at the same MB dealer stated that the way these front tires wear is normal, and the normal wear life is around 18,000 miles. He suggests to dismount the front tires from wheels, and swap them left and right, so that the good tread is now on the outside to take the wear.
    During parking, I have noticed that the right front tire leans into the turn when the steering wheel is turned to the right. The left front tire does the same, leaning into the turn, when turned to the left.
    The rear tires have worn evenly across the width of each tire and still have good tread left.
    I'd appreciate other owners' inputs if they have similar experiences with front tire wear issue, and any suggestion to cure the problem.
    Thanks.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    This area of the car business [tires, wheels, alignment] is a particular obsession of mine. Let me take a crack at answering some of your questions.

    -First, the observation about how the suspension geometry seems to make the wheel assembly "lean" when turned - yep, that's the way it is designed. Most cars have some of this dialed in, but it varies a great deal by make and model.

    -Assuming the alignment was done correctly, I would throw away the front tires and put new ones on the car. The dealer is right about what constitutes reasonable expectations for wear on these ultra low profile Z-rated tires - 20k is a high number. Many people get less. The fact that your rears are still in good shape is a minor miracle.

    -It is precisely because these tires wear faster, and are difficult-to-impossible to rotate, that I avoid staggered sizes and unidirectional tires at all costs. This is also why I tell potential buyers to think twice about the "sporty" C230 over the C240. The ongoing costs of replacing the tires is just part of the price of owning this kind of car. An alternative is to go with standard 16" wheels and 205/55x16 tires all around - wheels can be had for $160-$200 each online - a total switch would be a $1200-$1400 investment, but you would be done with the whole exercise [except rotations, of course] for 40-60k miles. A similar strategy with 17" wheels would be more expensive, with the equivalent tire all around being 215/50x17s or 225/45x17s - there are now some reasonable all-season alternatives out there in the latter size - you don't have to go with a Z-rating or a unidirectional tread. Even if you stick with the staggered sizes, try to find a tread design that is NOT unidirectional, so you can swap them side to side every 5k miles or so.

    -I rotate all 5 tires on our C sedan [I have an alloy spare] every 3500 miles or so. After a careful alignment just after the car was delivered [it had a pull that had to be corrected], the tires are wearing perfectly evenly and are still absolutely smooth and balanced at 17k miles. I estimate total life [these are the Contis - I prefer Michelins] to be at LEAST 60k miles, though for safety reasons I expect to replace them before that [we only put about 7k miles a year on the car]. Your results will vary, as they say, but even with perfect care and conservative driving, the OEM tires on a C230 Sport are likely to be long gone at 20k miles. Think about the alternatives I've outlined above.

    -Again, assuming the alignment was done correctly, and you are not getting any other untoward symptoms [pulling to either side on a flat, unbiased surface], I would ascribe the outside edge wear on the fronts first to the possibility that the toe-in was slightly off when the car was delivered, and secondarily to the fact that some tread designs are going to feather a little no matter what you do - this is why rotation is so important, and why I am so down on staggered, unidirectional tires.

    Let us know what you decide, and how it seems to affect the car - I personally don't think the extra handling margin that the staggered setup gives you is worth anywhere near the price that has to be paid, but to each their own. If you want to go with 4 equal width wheels all around, many dealers have takeoffs that can be had for a reasonable price, or there are numerous online sources.
  • I notice a knocking noise during idle time from start up to switch off always. I have only had my 98 C230 for 5 mos. This has been on going for a while, but the car just had an oil change and wiper replacement at an MB dealer wouldn't they have made recommendations? Is this sound normal or am I headed for something big? Help nervous new owner.
  • Good day
    I own a MBZ 320/01 i have the same problem, could you tell me if you find a solution?
  • diazaldiazal Posts: 1
    hi all...can anyone aide me with the 2 following issues i am having....sometimes my turn signals will not work, and the wiper also is affected ..the first wiper setting will fail but the other settings will work...when i turn the signal..nothing flashes on the dash and the lights do not flash outside either.....this does not happen all the time ...sometimes it goes away quickly and sometimes it lingers and sometimes it just works perfectly...any clues as to what it could be ?
    second issue..recently had a strange humming and vibration that i could feel on the driver side and it seems from the front...left obviously...sometimes it lingers and goes away quick or sometimes not....it does not affect pickup, gears etc...it does seem to stop totally if i put the car in neutral..but the transmission does not jerk or slip otherwise when i am driving....i can feel the vibration of the humming....any clues ? thanks !
  • I have the same problem with my C320 could you tell me how much it does cost replce the SAM control module
  • My C320 has the same problem I replced the airflow meter and still the same so the dealer change for a new one and now is fine, the problem was a defective spare part. Check again with another flowmeter
  • suryasurya Posts: 1
    i have the same problem.. if you find anything please let me know

    thnks!!
  • amohraamohra Posts: 7
    It was covered under warranty.
    Good Luck,
  • trumpnjtrumpnj Posts: 2
    im having a similar problem with my battery. I went away for 6 days and came back to a completey dead battery. I recharged it and it was fine for a month but today the car wouldnt start. Has anybody been able to fix this battery problem or knows whats causing the drain?
  • My 2002 C230 Kompressor Sport Coupe with 8080 miles made what sounded like a ventilation flap opening/closing during startup. There were 8 repetitions every time the car was started and it didn't matter whether the A/C was on or off nor what position the air vents were set to. The sound emanated from under the dash, behind the center console. The A/C system seemed to work fine during that time. The problem sounded almost similar to what you have experienced.

    The malfunction was fixed under warranty where a stepper motor was replaced and linkages adjusted.
  • stramstram Posts: 3
    Hi jrct9454,
    Thanks so much for your detailed explanation and suggestions.
    I am contemplating the option of replacing the staggered configuration and low profile uni-directional tires with same size of wheels and regular tires all around.
    Your information on wheel size and tire size helps me a lot what to look for as I go shopping (on-line).
    Thanks again.
  • mbz66mbz66 Posts: 9
    There is a persistent buzzing noise somewhere in front of driver side, at speed range 20 to 35 MPH, on coarse surface road, but not bumpy road. The similar buzzing noise becomes louder when the car goes over those white cup lane markers on freeway, during lane change at 60 to 65 MPH.

    The dealer has worked on it several times - replaced the stepper motor (in first visit), open and inspected the airbag in steering wheel (2nd visit), pulled the instrument cluster and inspected (3rd visit), tightened the steering lock device to steering column with plastic tie wrap (4th visit). The noise issue did not go away, as confirmed by test drive with dealer rep.

    A second issue is strong odor coming from the front air vents. It is an intermiten one, which usually occurs after shutting off the A/C. However, with A/C being ON, there have been no odor problem.

    The dealer stated that they had cleaned the system, but we are not sure what they really did. The same odor occurred again the next day after the issue had been supposedly worked on.

    Both issues will be looked at again, next time the car is in for FSS appointment.

    We'd appreciate feedback from readers who may have similar experience. Thanks.
  • lmadenlmaden Posts: 2
    My wife was driving our C280 when the Air-Condition just stopped blowing Cold Air, Could please give me some possible causes.

    Thanks
  • Our '01 C320 is currently into the dealer for a Service B plus "clicking under the dash upon startup," just as you have. They said it was a stepper motor in the HVAC (air conditioning ducting); they are fixing it under warranty.

    The second problem is that the up/down motor to position the steering wheel has become disconnected somehow. The motor whirs; the wheel she no move. They say it's a broken coupling, which is NOT covered by warranty! It's something like a $3 part, but it takes 3.5 hours to get to it! The estimate is over $300 to fix this! My copy of the warranty is in the car (in the shop) so I haven't tried to argue about it yet.

    Incidentally, this is our first service out of the 50,000 mile "free service & warranty" period, although we did purchase the M-B warranty extension to 100,000. At 61,000 miles, we have spent exactly $0.00 total so far, plus gas and tires. We can't really complain.
  • psb1psb1 Posts: 1
    I have never researched an MB or ever considered one to be in my price range but this model is. I am thinking about an '02 and I'd like to have opinions about the cost of maintenance and any specific problems that anyone knows about. Would you recommend or not? Pros and cons? Also, I typically wouldn't want to buy a car with over 30k miles, but would it be OK to push that higher with this MB?

    I am mostly looking for comfort and safety with as much luxery as I can get in the low $20's price range. However, I hate dealing with car problems and don't want to buy something that will have alot of them and at a high price. Any feedback would be appreciated!

    Thanks!
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    We own an '02 C240 sedan that was built in Jan of 2002, first sold in September, and now has about 17k miles. The car had a wheel alignment issue that I noticed on the initial test drive, and was corrected a couple of days after delivery; it had been stored for awhile on a dirt lot, and the differential vent had become plugged, which resulted in a minor leak that was easily taken care of. Knocking on wood, that has been the sum of it so far. This car is our 14th Mercedes, and 53rd car overall since 1962, so I have a lot of experience with everything from Japan and Germany.

    There are simply no generalizations that work right now with the W203 Cs - some cars, like ours, have been no problem, and others have been disasters. I will say this: I went out of my way to avoid the options I knew were causing problems - memory seats, CD changers, the Nav system [MB calls theirs COMAND].

    A lot of people like to dis the C240 as not being powerful enough - I think this is utter nonsense, but then I grew up with diesels and econo cars, so 0-60 in the 8 second range seems more than quick enough to me. We absolutely love this car on long trips - smooth, quiet, 26-29 mpg, great ride, and extremely competent brakes. And yes, our car is probably worth no more than about $19-20k wholesale right now, in pristine condition, which translates to $21-$24k at retail, depending. All of the cars through the '04 model year include the prepaid maintenance; if you can find a car with the factory extended warranty [ours goes to 7 years or 100k miles], that is a big bonus.

    As for miles, look for the lowest mileage car you can find - always. Pay a little more if necessary.

    Things to watch out for - make sure the maintenance records are complete and timely; avoid the doo-dad electronic add-ons, especially the memory seats/ steering column option. Carefully inspect the condition of the wheels and tires - people neglect these wheels for mysterious reasons, and they are extremely expensive to replace. [All the usual German brake dust tempts people to let the wheels get and stay cruddy - a very bad decision.]

    I don't know what else to say, except make sure any car gets a thorough inspection from somebody familiar with the various W203 models and their problem history - someone who knows what to look for and can satisfy you that you're not taking on a problem child.

    I would be remiss by not mentioning that an equivalent year BMW 3er is also a car you should look at, allowing for the fact that they will generally be more expensive. That car is smaller in the cabin and much tighter in the trunk, and doesn't ride as well, and is a bit noisier; generally, though, with a couple of famous exceptions [the cooling fan fiasco comes to mind], they've been slightly more reliable than the C - not nearly as much as BMW dealers would like you to believe [ I belong to both owner clubs, so I get all the dirt from both sides] - they too have their share of electrical problems and other famous or infamous annoyances. In general, these cars will never be Toyota reliable, but they ride and handle in a way that no Toyota [except the LS, in my opinion] can quite match.
  • After five visits to a local MB dealership, same problem. They replaced fuel filter, cleaned everything that could be cleaned, did not help. Have you had any luck?

    Thanks!
This discussion has been closed.