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Mercedes-Benz CLK (2005 and earlier)

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Comments

  • c230jeffc230jeff Posts: 5
    Has anyone performed an ECU chip upgrade on a C230K? Who did you use? Problems? Praises?

    I've been thinking of Upsolute, any comments, pro or con?

    Warranty woes? (Yes, I know, implicit voiding, but REALLY?)
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...can start from any size damage, from a pinhead right up to something the size of a quarter.
  • huntzingerhuntzinger Posts: 350
    chowchow3 ...

    A windshield crack is usually the result of some sort of stone impact, PLUS residual stresses that were within the windshield since its installation that then causes the tiny flaw to propagate into a big crack.

    Currently, my C230 has a rock "ding" in it, and it has not cracked. My Porsche has 2 or 3 of them, as does also my wife's Audi. None of them have propagated cracks.

    And I find this typical with German cars I've owned: they've generally been able to take a good rock hit and NOT propagate into a crack.

    I'd attribute this to a good windshield design coupled with quality assembly, to prevent the introduction of residual stresses, as I've generally only experienced the problem with American cars we've owned.

    I'd suggest going back to the Dealer and asking them to reconsider, suggesting that a windshield that does not have a manufacturing flaw should be able to take a "TINY" rock hit without a catastrophic crack forming.

    But I'd suggest a little bit of self-examinination first. First, do you recall any rock hit occurring? (Probably the day of). Next, take a very careful look at the alleged start point, as well as the entire track of the crack and look for any signs of "pulverized" material on the plastic outer coating on the windshield. Rock hits always abrade and tear up the plastic outer coating on the windshield, so if there's no absolutely no pulverizing present anywhere, then it couldn't have been a rock hit. In my experience, any rock hit that's strong enough to cause any real damage will usually leave obvious damage on the windshield's outermost layer (don't forget that the windshield is a multi-layered laminate).

    c230jeff ...

    Before bothering to perform any performance mod's on your car, I hope you've invested twice as much money in performance driver training for yourself, as this represents a "bigger bang for the buck". Most of us believe that we're great drivers, but the truth is that most of us will benefit far more from a good training course than any modification we can add to our car, down to and including snow tires.

    -hh
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,661
    I totally agree with you that the best modification you can make is to your driving skills. We were actually talking about this on the 3 Series board yesterday.

    Remember our friend Jeremy that had a newish (2000 or 2001) Jetta and was looking to upgrade to a c230 Coupe, but has debt and horrible credit? I guess he took our advice in that we told him not to buy a Mercedes, and to rebuild his credit. He ended up buying an Audi TT Coupe and was inquiring on the TT Board about chipping his car. Some people just never learn. They are also the ones who are always asking...why me?

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH, 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L 4WD

  • wallace11wallace11 Posts: 1
    Trying to decide whether this upgrade is worthwhile or not. I live on a country road with a fairly steep, twisty drive (with a few bumps and holes). 2000 BMW 328 makes it up fine with RWD, though the traction does kick in on the uphill.

    I test-drove the car with 17" rims and liked the handling, but the car I will likely purchase is currently equipped with 16" rims and 205 tires. Dealer says he can easily swap them out if I want them.

    Thanks for your input.
  • c230jeffc230jeff Posts: 5
    I do agree with and appreciate your adice, HH, as I'm in my late thirties, I've been driving over 20 years, and have had many cars, both RWD and FWD.

    I also recall 400hp+ Chevy's with horrible suspensions and no intrinsic safety features.

    I love my C230K, and for today's cars, for that price range, you do get a tremendous "kick in the pants" and a safe one at that. However, I do feel the Kompressor could EASILY do with the additional 30-40HP and ft-lbs torque touted by the chip vendors, and I was hoping to get some feedback from any of those who may have done such a mod.

    That said, I solidly agree those doing 50mph in the fast lane, those applying eyeliner on the beltway, and those leaning so far back as to be in the back seat pose among the greatest threats the rest of us face on the roadways today.

    Cheers,

    Jeff
  • tommyp13tommyp13 Posts: 146
    I know that some people have gotten the Upsolute chip. It basically advances your timing. I saw the install on someone's c230. One problem: our ecus are crimped together (like a frozen lasagna), and even with a crimping tool, it's hard to make it look like it's not been tampered with, if you're concerned about the warranty and making it look stock to the service dept. Though they really won't know that it's been done, unless they drive the car and know what a stock c230 feels like.

    GIAC is also supposed to be developing a chip as well, and don't forget all of the pulleys that have been developed that increase hp as well. Choose wisely, young Skywalker.
  • c230jeffc230jeff Posts: 5
    Thanks for your feedback, Tommy, I also posed this question in a forum at MBNZ,


    http://forums.mbnz.org/forums/W203/list.asp


    Some comments there as well.


    It seems to me Wetterauer has a nice design allowing for easily returning the chip to the stock setup, but their chip is four times the cost of the Upsolute chip. Sometimes maybe you do get what you pay for?


    Your point about the crimping is well taken, that is definitely to be weighed.


    I hope to get more comments, opinion, and most assuredly some chiding, on the subject, including more info re pulleys, and any other reasonably cost-effective mods.


    Thanks again to all,


    Jeff

  • huntzingerhuntzinger Posts: 350
    ...I do feel the Kompressor could EASILY do with the additional 30-40HP and ft-lbs torque touted by the chip vendors, and I was hoping to get some feedback from any of those who may have done such a mod.

    Personally, I'd look to change the supercharger's amount of compression by a pulley wheel change as being the likely easier and definitely more effective way towards more power; you should be able to find a lot of historical information on enthusiasts which had done this on the old VW G60 Corrado, if info on the C230K engine isn't forthcoming. IMO, this would be more effective than a chip change.

    In terms of how much the C-Coupe specifically would benefit from more power, I've done some experimental driving in the rain with the Traction Control turned off, and I found that the car has a greater propensity for rear wheel spin than I would have otherwise suspected.

    I hope it doesn't end up reminding me of that old '68 Caprice with the HP 327: plenty of power up front, and an all-too-light rear end :-)

    -hh
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,661
    Have you taken your C to the track or do you just run the 911?

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH, 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L 4WD

  • huntzingerhuntzinger Posts: 350
    Have you taken your C to the track or do you just run the 911?

    I'd like to, but unfortunately, I've not gotten out to the track yet at all this season. And at the rate that my weekends are getting booked up with other commitments, I'm afraid that I'm not going to get out at all this season. In looking towards next season, I know that I'm going to have to drop for a new helmet (Snell-2000 rating). So if anyone's interested in a Snell-90 rated helmet in excellent condition, please let me know.

    -hh
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    The MBSpy site has reposted the info on the new engine, and made it much easier to understand via a new comparison table. Bottom line: the new engine makes 192 DIN vs 197 DIN hp [subtract a couple of horses for SAE]; 0-62 mph times go up by 1/10th [ 0.1 ] of a second; fuel consumption drops by 7-8%; overall operation should be smoother and quieter.

    And from MBWorld, a dealer insider says that C230 prices for the '03 model year will be flat, and C240 and C320 prices are down $600 and $1700 respectively, but the latter has to be taken in the context of some std equipment being made optional...e.g. the 6spd manual will become standard on the 320. Deliveries on '03s should begin next month.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,661
    A 6 speed on the C320...now we're gettin' somewhere;)

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH, 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L 4WD

  • timjacktimjack Posts: 7
    Anyone have trouble with the 2 sending units for the gas gauge? My gauge went from reserve with 40 miles left to 0 and empty on the gauge within a couple of feet of driving. Both sending units were changed, the gauge read 1/2 and I ran out of gas three days later with the gauge moving down 1/4. It's going back tomorrow (7/22) to see if they can get it right this time.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...are an extremely common problem right now, not only with MB, but with all the German makes. They're all buying from the same source which continues to have problems with some of the additives in North American gasoline.
  • timjacktimjack Posts: 7
    I just picked up my C-230 coupe after having my 2nd set of sending units replaced. jrct9454, you're right. One of the technicians told me the sending units are designed to work on gas in Europe. I don't want to know the difference in gas but wonder how many others have had this problem.
  • whothemanwhotheman Posts: 169
    What a SLED! LOL!! LOL!!!
  • huntzingerhuntzinger Posts: 350
    Looks like someone is playing a prank with Chris's Edmunds Account :-)


    The Lexus SC430 was selected because it's listed as the "dream car" in our troll's profile. All info is from Edmunds reviews, (namely, here and here):


      SC430 Slalom (mph): 62.9

      C230K Slalom (mph): 64.2


      SC430 1/4 mile: 15.1 @ 95.0 mph

      C230K 1/4 mile: 15.8 @ 87.8 mph

      (considering it has 108HP less, not bad)


      SC430 Braking Rating: Excellent (121')

      C230K Braking Rating: Excellent (124')


      SC430 Handling Rating: Average

      C230K Handling Rating: Excellent


      SC430 Db @ 70 mph Cruise: 80

      C230K Db @ 70 mph Cruise: 77


      SC430 Price as Tested: $61,590

      C230K Price as Tested: $26,235


    -hh

  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,661
    for the 1/4 mile times you forgot to mention the car has 4 less cylinders too;)

    Other than that, excellent post as usual my friend!

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH, 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L 4WD

  • huntzingerhuntzinger Posts: 350
    BTW, take a look at the 0-30mph times - they were identical.

    -hh
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,661
    Maybe you could offer some insight over on the BMW 3 series board. One of the posters said that BMW needs to bump up the horsepower on the 325i to at least 200 because Camrys & Accords have 200hp and the Nissan Altima has 240hp:)

    It is a topic that is right up your alley.

    Thanks!

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH, 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L 4WD

  • whothemanwhotheman Posts: 169
    You should work for Pontiac, and compare Bonnevilles to A6's!

    MB new slogan: Pandering for cheap sales. Like no other!
  • huntzingerhuntzinger Posts: 350
    Maybe you could offer some insight over on the BMW 3 series board. One of the posters said that BMW needs to bump up the horsepower on the 325i to at least 200 because Camrys & Accords have 200hp and the Nissan Altima has 240hp:)

    IMO, they're probably right: BMW will need the ponies boost in order to maintain parity in the eyes of the consumer (informed & uninformed). The same has happened over time with Porsche, too (a coworker's new minivan has more HP than my old 911).

    In general, the problem lies with those consumers who are prone to oversimplify comparisons to the easily tangible things, such as 0-60 times, etc, often because they're driving hacks.

    What they are missing are the harder elements that we can call semi-intangibles. Examples include that feeling that the car is carved out of single block of steel (something that GM has never been able to do on any product, IMO). Others are the vehicle's overall balance and elements of design elegance and finesse.

    When it comes to my posted performance times, they really don't mean all that much because they're the simplest form of comparison on a highly complicated machine. It doesn't help things that any idiot can drop a big motor into a car (and many idiots have done just that), but the real art (and technical challenge) is to integrate its constituent pieces smoothly and in a well balanced fashion. These elements rarely, if ever, show up in "McMagazine Road Test", and its why some people simply don't get it when it comes to fundamental differences in various marquees, which is why some comparisons are doomed to be "Apples to Oranges" not even worthy of comment.

    Which is pretty much why I glanced over the C230's spec's, said "good enough" and then took it for a test drive to get a handle on its subjective feel. FWIW, it wasn't until (several years ago) that I took a BMW 318ti for a second test drive - - with a passenger - - that I fully recognized that its square motor that seemed okay with the car empty really lacked enough torque for practical purposes. Perhaps with the C230 selling here in the USA now, BMW will reconsider bringing back in the 3er Compact ... and Audi will more seriously consider importing the A3 & S3. Saw all of these in Germany earlier this month and they all look to be sharp cars (that would also be in this quality & price segment).

    -hh
  • paul_ppaul_p Posts: 271
    Great post!

    ! couldn't agree more. There's more to life than 0 to 60 times - although that can give an indication of a car's potential to fit the bill overall.

    I went through several US automaker's vehicles before driving a C220 in 1995. The car did indeed feel as if it were carved from a "single block of steel," and I decided not to look back. When I do, nothing else compares. The "good old days" were fine, but I'm glad I'm around today! :-)

    - Paul
  • huntzingerhuntzinger Posts: 350
    I went through several US automaker's vehicles before driving a C220 in 1995.

    I did a literature search (ie, Edmunds) last year, before finally getting the C230K. Since I wanted a sporty yet still practical hatchback, the search was pretty quick - ie, there simply were no US contenders. The last time that we literally did "a day on the ground" going to all of the local dealerships to eyeball products was in 1990.

    The car did indeed feel as if it were carved from a "single block of steel,"

    Agreed. I can recall having a virtually brand new (4000 miles) Dodge Neon in 1995, and finding in very short order that it had significantly more irritating squeaks and rattles than my (at that time, 11 years old & 100+K miles) VW Scirocco. Absolutely eye-opening.

    Since then, I've used the rental car as an easy way to monitor how well the manufacturers are doing. It helps that they come with some mileage, because that means that if a car's going get dashboard rattles and squeaks, they'll usually be already present, if it was a US model. For non-domestic rentals, I had a nice, quiet Toyota Echo last fall, and the Mercedes A-Class rental car I drove earlier this month in Germany didn't have a single rattle or squeak anywhere. Go figure.

    -hh
  • scscarsscscars Posts: 92
    A question for timjack (#1127)who said and jrct9454 (#1126) who said

    Is there a specific part of the US where MB owners are having the problem? In Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin, fuel distributors are required to use gasohol in order to meet EPA clean air standards instead of MTBE which is used elsewhere, particularly the east and west coasts. Do these sending units react negatively to gasohol or MTBE or both? Living in metro Chicago, should I be looking for this problem to emerge as I'm now on my second month with an '02 C230K, or cross my fingers and hope that European gas is somewhat similar to the blend that they sell in Chicago? I'd appreciate anyone's informed thoughts on this. Thanks much.
  • paul_ppaul_p Posts: 271
    Cool - I am totally with you on the rental car concept. I rented and drove an A-Class in London last spring (Easy Rent-a-car in Chelsea, by far the best deal) and it was a solid unit. Little, but spacious. Only strange thing was right hand drive - though the order of the pedals stays the same, and key is still on the right of the column. Also rented a Peugeot 306 (not my choice) from Avis at Heathrow on the trip and it was, imho, very sloppy all around.

    I was pleasantly surprised to find automatic temperature climate control in the A-Class - though blower speed and direction were manual. Same as in my y2k C230 except that is dual-zoned.

    Didn't run it very fast because I was paranoid about the speed cameras on the M4 and M25. The 5-speed was nice, tight, and fun to drive! It seemed to hold its own on our trip to the English channel and back - a couple of hours each way.

    I think it averaged in the high 30's MPG highway, and at $4.60 per gallon that was a good thing! I would definitely consider buying one in the US, should I ever have a small family.

    - Paul
  • huntzingerhuntzinger Posts: 350
    I was pleasantly surprised to find automatic temperature climate control in the A-Class - though blower speed and direction were manual. Same as in my y2k C230 except that is dual-zoned.

    I don't recall messing around with the climate control settings, so it probably was fairly automatic.

    What I do recall was seeing a CD player in the dashboard as STD equipment on the A140. Just piqued me a bit about how MB didn't do at least this for the "twice the price" C230K in the US Market, but instead was expecting us to drop nearly a grand for a glovebox changer.

    - - - -

    In regards to right-hand drives, all of the ones I've ever driven always had the "standard" pedal layout. Biggest difference I've noticed was that the stalks for the turn signals & windshield wipers are transposed. Its always fun to pull up to an intersection, try to signal to turn left and turn your wipers on instead!

    -hh
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    I have heard that it is some substance in North American fuel supplies that is the alleged culprit, but to be honest, I don't know WHICH additive, component, or compound is the guilty party. I don't think they know either, which is why the same faulty parts keep getting replaced over and over.

    My point was: go to the Japanese, who appear to be having no problems, and source the part from one of their suppliers [Denso or Nippon Electric or whomever], instead of insisting that Siemens or Bosch or whomever solve the problem quickly. It's pretty clear they are clueless, so why keep beating the horse?

    Here in CA, we too are going to be treated to the dreaded Ethanol mix down the road a couple of years, notwithstanding the fact that the oil companies have proven they can make a better clear air blend without EITHER alcohol or MTBE...thank you very much, Midwest farm lobby.
  • scscarsscscars Posts: 92
    To jcrt9454:

    I could not agree with you more. Mercedes could source the fuel sending units out from the Japanese, even from Chrysler or Mitsubishi and still solve the problem. Having lived with gasohol fuels for the last 7 years or so, I can definetly tell you that corn should be used for syrup or whiskey, but not for motor fuel.

    Thanks to the "corn lobby" on Capitol Hill, and the state legislatures of the midwest, my cars have gotten lower fuel mileage than with non-gasohol blends, and gas prices are a lot higher than in other parts of the country. Prices here in Illinois are even higher than California at times, due to gasohol and other mysterious additives needed to meet EPA mandates.
This discussion has been closed.