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Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedans

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  • marsha7marsha7 Posts: 3,676
    for a 2001 C320, assuming under 30K miles???... were they available with Sport package and Xenon lights, and, if yes, about how much more should that raise the price???...are most MB dealers negotiable on used car prices, or do they stick to their guns on asking price "because it's an MB"???...thanks for any thoughts...
  • paul_ppaul_p Posts: 271
    Well thought out, John. I went through a similar process when I decided to lease my first MB eight years ago. I found that all vehicles cost to run, and MB is higher than most - though not by an extreme amount, as most of the general public seems to believe. Personally I have to love what I drive.

    Some people such as myself are willing to deal with the fact our cars are not as up-tp-date and full of safety and convenience options as they could be. I drew the line at Y2K, which had enough features for me. Hopefully my C230 will serve me until it's time to replace the air bags (15 years).

    I am encouraged to hear from you that remedial maintenance will probably not exceed $1,500. per year after the extended warranty expires, I would think it especially so if the car is not a daily driver. Thanks very much for that info.

    I paid $32,000. cash (including trade) for the car, so on my financial spreadsheet I deduct $300. per month from its value for depreciation. Next year I will change that to $250. per month., and in two more years, $200. per month. Eventually, that amount will become a remedial maintenance expense instead of a depreciation one.

    Btw, at 39 months and 11,100 miles my C230's battery just died. All covered under warranty, though. Guess I don't drive the car often enough, something I'll need to start doing.

     - Paul
  • Has anyone heard any additional information about the changes Mercedes is planning for the 2005 C-Class? I saw some information from a link in a previous post, but wanted to know if anyone knows any additional information. Sometime next year I was thinking about getting a C230 Kompressor Sport Sedan, but if the car is going to be redesigned, I would rather wait till I know more about the changes.

    Any information would be appreciated.

    Thanks.

    Tony
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,904
    I test drove a C240 Sedan about 2 years ago at a Mercedes-Benz "Power-Trip" event. I always liked the C's Shape and interior (don't care for the small tach), thought it handled well (even w/o the sport package. I felt the 168hp V6 was underpowered. But after Saturday (yes I work on Saturday) morning's commute to work, I can say that the C240 is a certified Autobahn Burner. Saturday at about a little after 7AM I passed a seemingly harmless Silver C240 on the northbound Westside highway at about 80mph. About 30 seconds later I saw him pull up in the left lane and moved over (like you're supposed to). He blew by me traveling well in excess of 90mph and didn't look like he was running out of steam.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Subaru Legacy 2.5i Premium

  • We're considering a '99 C230K one owner, private party (all service records) with 66K or a 97 BMW 528 or 540 with 97K (dealer car). I would appreciate feedback regarding either car.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    The 2005 C-Class won't be redesigned, only facelifted. The usual, lights, wheels, bumpers, seats, equipment (standard in-dash CD) etc, nothing major, but might be worth waiting for, as Mercedes are usually best after a facelift for many reasons. The new all-new C will debut for the 2007 model year.

    M
  • s852s852 Posts: 1,051
    I remember the facelift on the last generation C-class. They hardly did anything at all. The only thing I noticed was that they "smoked" the rear tail lights.
    Does anyone remember if they did anything else last time?
    Apparently, the rumor is that this C class will get a more substantial facelift than that.
  • billp8billp8 Posts: 56
    ...was for the 1998 model year. The taillight lenses did receive a "smoked finish." Also, wider wheels and tires were added. (IIIRC, the size went from 195/70 R 14 to 205/60 R 15). The wheels were given a polished or bright finish as opposed to the flat grey finish of 1994-1997. The formerly black-painted lower body received color keyed sill and bumper extensions. The front and rear fascias were redone. I also believe the headlights may have been made a bit more powerful. The smart key and flexible service system were also added that year. Doesn't sound like much, but I think the changes made the 1998 version better-looking (I ended up buying a 2000).
  • I have a '99 230 that has a problem with squealing brakes. The dealer stated that the pads still had enough life left in them, but if I replaced them, the squealing would go away. After replacing them, the squealing subsided for a day. The squealing then returned. In checking back with the dealer, he stated that they do not guarantee that the squeal would go away and that this is typical with this car.

    Any suggestions on how to get rid of the noise?
  • lxgmblxgmb Posts: 41
    The long bar along the side (below the 2 doors, not the one on the doors)on C320 is damaged. Anybody has an idea how much if I have it replaced?
  • eoseos Posts: 27
    Are these your original pads/rotors? Squealing brakes usually indicate a pad issue, in my experience -- did the problem just start up?

    Your dealer sounds a bit sketchy. Is there another one in your area you could consult?
  • I'm not sure if the pads/rotors were original. I bought the car with 20K miles (certified used car). The dealer checks the brakes with each service appointment. The noise started about 3K miles ago (at 30K miles).

    With new pads, I would have expected this problem to go away.
  • The 1994-1995 C-Class cars were pretty much the same. They had the "multiple button" ACC control panel.

    In 1996, the DIN sized LCD panel of ACC was added, and drivelines remained the same, though the dreaded main engine wiring harness was updated making 1996- cars more desirable.

    In 1997, the engine in the four cylinder was enlarged slightly, and the five speed automatic (722.6 electronic unit) became standard model line wide. Torque went up a bit and peak power came down the rev range slightly. 1997 brought different headlamps with the highbeams in the middle and fogs under the low beams.

    In 1998, the drivelines were the same for the four banger, but the M104 2.8L DOHC inline six was gone, and the M112 2.8L V-6 was added to the C280. The interior was freshened, mostly with new door panels. Side airbags were added to all C-Class cars. BAS (Brake Assist) was also added for 1998, and ESP became optional for the C280. Xenon lights were also optional on the C280, though VERY expensive. The exterior saw new front valance, slightly revised grille, new rocker panel extensions, and new rear valance. All were now body coloured. 1998 also saw the introduction of the SmartKey anti-theft and keyless remote system, and the "smart-start" system with drive-by-wire for both the C230 and C280. For 1998, the standard tire size increased from 195/65-15 (no 14" wheels on a Benz since about 1984) to 205/60-15. (All this is US, different in Canada) FSS was added in 1998, with the "light" system installed in the C230 and the "full" system in the C280.

    1999 had the M111.974 engine gone, replaced with the M111.975 "Kompressor" engine, sporting 185hp and an Eaton M62 Supercharger. The interior and exterior were unchanged except the ACC system was replaced with dual zone manual HVAC control system with rotary dials.

    1999 and 2000 C230 and C280 cars didn't change much.

    The most desirable W202 cars are the 1996- cars since the wiring harnesses are not "biodegradable" and failure prone. The 1997 cars suffer from some tranmission problems thanks to it being the intro year for the 722.6, and this also effects 1998 cars, though not as bad. 06/98 (1999MY production) brought updates to the 722.6. If you're shopping a 1997 or 1998 and the tranny has been replaced, that is a good thing, since the new unit is much improved.

    The W202 has very few issues. On OBD-II cars with "ME" injection systems, the Air Mass Meter is failure prone, though this is not unusual for any OBD-II car regardless of make. The evaporator temp sensor can fail, disabling the AC system. That's a <$100 repair. All the W202 cars have front lower ball joints that can wear when the car is used on bad roads, and I understand fitting huge wheels to non-AMG cars has the same effect, but I have no evidence of that being true other than my own experience (my C230 runs 17x8's with 225/45-17).

    Some W202 cars have final drive seals that sweat, though few ever really leak.

    One big issue with 1998- W202 C280's is the failure prone harmonic balancer. It can break and cause THOUSANDS of dollars of collateral damage. If you're buying one, find out if it's been updated, if not, budget $400 or so. It MUST be done. This is true of ALL M112 and M113 engines.

    As to brake noise, the W202 cars have noisy brakes, especially in the rear. They make lots of pad dust, and this leads to noise. Ignore it. Typical MB.

    My 1998 C230 has 155,000km's on the odo now, and has had the tranny updated. Other than that, the car has been flawless. The dealer did an early oil change where they severly overfilled the crankcase and wrecked both main crank seals. Replaced at no charge. The engine is tight and strong, has never used a drop of oil, and basically runs like the day I took delivery in the fall of 1997.

    My "pick of the litter list"

    1. 1996 C220. Excellent used car buy. Cheap, reliable, and no major issues. Reliable four speed hydraulic tranny, no head gasket issues (like M104 94-97 C280's) and basically solid all around. 1996 was also the year the variable pressure AC system was used, and it's very reliable.

    2. 1998 C230 with "new" tranny. The "new" body, Smart-Key, side bags, etc and the super reliable M111.974 engine. Terrific fuel economy and really low operating costs.

    3. 1999-2000 C230. Few tranny issues, same features as the 1998 C230, but the potential issue of the Eaton M62 Supercharger. Also, some people find the NVH characteristics of the M111.975 driveline unpleasant. Probably should be a tie between the 1998 C230 and the 1999-2000 C230.

    4. 1998-2000 C280. The M112 is a great engine with no head gasket issues, but the engine bay is crowded for DIY guys like me. Also, the harmonic balancer has been redesigned MANY times and I'd still be leery of that issue as MB is NOT standing behind the problem.

    5. 1994-1997 C280 and 1994-1995 C220 cars. The 94-97 C280 cars have the dreaded head gasket problems, which some think is solved by an updated gasket, but I'm not convinced after talking to many owners on their second or third gasket. All the 1994-1995 cars have the main engine wiring harness issues and should be avoided unless the harness has been replaced.

    Overall, the W202 is a terrific used car buy and later nmodles can be found for 1/2 of new cost and have years and years of service life left.
  • profvhprofvh Posts: 31
    As an owner of my second C Class, I appreciated
    johngenx critique of the C models. I bought a
    new C220 in 1996 and drove it 4 years/50,000 miles
    with NO warranty work. Traded it in for a new
    E 320 in 2000. Have since picked up a low mileage
    2000 C 280 with 25,000 miles, now up to 30,000.
    I have a dumb question: explain the harmonic
    balancer. Is there something special to watch for
    her to avoid problems? Would appreciate a lesson.
    Thanks.
  • Is the pulley at the end of the crankshaft. The V-6 engine is not balanced, and they often use the harmonic balancer in conjuction with balance shafts to quell vibrations.

    The M112 V-6 and M113 V-8 engines use a new balancer design with a rubber interior that can degrade, come loose, and then get "flung" around in the engine bay. I have met owners that had the balancer parts tear into their engines, including damaging oil pans, blocks, rads, etc. In many cases the total bill was several thousand dollars. Mercedes-Benz refuses to acknowledge the problem, and if it happens outsode the warranty period, you're on your own.

    The only way to tell if you're in danger is to visit the dealer. They can check the part # on the balancer and tell you where it is in the "sequence." Have them run a Vehicle Master Inquiry (VMI) on the car to see if has been done under warranty.

    Before driving the car anymore, get under the hood and visually inspect the balancer. If the rubber interior "doughnut" looks cracked in the slightest, get thee to thy dealer, asap.

    This problem effects ALL M112 cars including the 2.8L C280 W202, the CLK cars, ML and E-Class cars from 1998. The M113 is effected as well, but I haven't heard the horror stories that M112 woners have relayed.

    Here's link that might help with info...

    http://www.mercedesshop.com/shopforum/showthread.php3?s=fc471663b- 9ee74ca3e43de747965217a&threadid=63512
  • microrepairmicrorepair Eastern MassachusettsPosts: 508
    A couple of notes ago you talked about the C280 and C220 engines as having head gasket problems. I have an 96 E320 that just needed a head gasket and am wondering if you have an estimated repair cost for the same work on the C-class engines. I realize that the 220 is a four and the 280 is a V6, where my 320 is a straight 6, but I'm just looking for a ballpark number so I can determine if I got hosed or got a reasonable deal..
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...were not with the new V6 engines, but with the last generation of the inline six - both 2.8 and 3.2. The problem was a machined hole in the back of the head that could develop a leak around the surrounding gasket material and cause a failure. To my knowledge, this is the only significant issue with the last-gen of the straight sixes [in our market, everything prior to 1998], but it is a significant one...lots of cars develop this problem at mid-high mileages.

    Your '96 E is indeed a prime candidate for this kind of failure. How much? Well, whatever it cost on your E...but it has nothing to do with the C vs the E - it's about the older inline 6 vs the newer V6. As noted above, the issues with the new-gen modular V family ['98 on for us] are different.
  • tomjavatomjava Posts: 136
    Thanks for the great info on W202. Would you know the new 2003 model C230K engine? Is it reliable?

    TIA
  • paul_ppaul_p Posts: 271
    Awesome, John!

    Thanks for the extensive details on the W202 models. Did not know I had an Eaton brand supercharger, nor that the engine designation was M111.975. Good info for a Google search too.

     - Paul
  • profvhprofvh Posts: 31
    Thanks for your time and response on V6 harmonic
    balancers. I will check this out soon even tho
    I have a certified car. So far, I have been very
    pleased with the performance of the v6 2.8 liter
    engine and want to stay that way. Vern
  • Head gasket problems with MB inline engines are common on the M104 engine in 2.8 and 3.2L forms.

    This includes the W124 1993 300E with the DOHC 3.2L engine, the W124 1994-1995 E320, the W210 1996-1997 E320, the W202 1994-1997 C280 and the W140 1992-1999 300SE/S320 cars.

    Anyone thinking of those cars as a used buy should examine the car's history carefully. As to the cost of a headgasket replacement, usually any M104 will eat about $1200-1500USD for the job, and more for a full top end job. Depending on mileage, you should think strongly about doing the top end when doing the head gasket.

    The "new" Evo 1.8 engine in the CL230 (should be CL180...?) is a new engine in many respects (designation M111.981) and is not a proven quantity here.

    However, since it's cousins, the M111.961/M111.974/M111.975 are very durable, it's not a stretch to think it will be as well. Mercedes has lots of experience in building alloy engines. That is one main difference between the 111.981 and the previous versions. The .961/.974/.975 engines were all iron block mills.

    It is funny that the M104 head gasket problems seem to evaded the M111 as the M111 is, in many ways, a sawed off M104. Oh well, since we don't have an M104 in the family, I don't dwell on it...
  • microrepairmicrorepair Eastern MassachusettsPosts: 508
    Thanks for the info.. I thought the 2.8 was a small V6 and stand corrected.. Sounds like the cost for either head gasket should be within a few dollars.

    I'm glad to hear my cost was in the range quoted by johngenx; $1340. I was quoted $1640 by another dealer but went with the lower quote at my selling dealer and am very happy with the repair. And now satisfied that it was cost competitive as well. Since I bought the car from them I was entitled to a loaner and they gave me a fairly new C230K which was a blast to drive. If that engine were available in a C wagon, I would be very tempted to trade my wife's Matrix for it.. Anyone aware of plans to stuff that engine into the sedan/wagon anytime soon?
  • I think that MB has missed the boat a little lately. They should drop the 168hp 2.6L M112 from the C-Class line, and make the C320 it's direct replacement. That means the C320 at the current C240 price points.

    Then, the C230 four bangers would be the entry level cars, with the 320 the step into the six.

    Here's the line I would want to see in Canada:

    1. C270CDI diesel wagon and sedan, available in RWD and 4-matic. Should be the least expensive C-Class in the line, with a Classic trim available with manual HVAC, no traction control, no COMAND, etc.

    2. C230-K sedan (not sure about trim level or wagon availability) But I do know the C230 Sports sedan should continue (dropped in Canada) with standard 17" wheels, special trim, sports suspension, black-out grille and leather at a price that is WAY less than the options individually.

    3. C320 sedan and wagon, available in RWD and 4-matic.

    4. C55-K sedan, a fire breathing M3/M5 killer compact sedan with the 469hp V-8 from the E55-K. If it doesn't fit, make it. They did it with the M117 into the original "Hammer." If not, then ensure the V-8 fits into the W204 iteration.

    A C270 Classic wagon with 4-matic and the old-style heavy MB-Tex, manual tranmission, manual HVAC, manual seats, a radio with nice big knobs, and no traction control or drive-by-wire would have me trading tomorrow. (No traction control means no throttle actuators, a constant expensive problem with ASR/ESP equipped cars)
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    My wish-list for the US market is similar, but I don't plan on seeing it fulfilled anytime soon. To me, the best engine in the line is the new diesel, but the crap that substitutes for diesel fuel in North America has made everyone but VW hesitant about giving us the latest diesels [yes, I know about MB's plans for the E next year, but that doesn't help anyone with no more than $30k-$35k US to spend].

    Your "ideal" would work for me, as well, except I would prefer an automatic - I too wish we could deselect many of the things that make the car more expensive [and prone to failure]...choices most other markets in the world get to make, but we don't.
  • microrepairmicrorepair Eastern MassachusettsPosts: 508
    I like that line-up, except that in checking the MB website they apparently have already added the C230K Sedan in the 2004 model year. I would like to see a wagon with that engine.

    I'm not sure that a C55 makes much sense, since you would have to have fulltime AWD to handle that much power. How about a C500 instead? And then you wouldn't have to worry about turbo failure either..
  • mac320mac320 Posts: 147
    I think the 320 delivers all the power the C-class will ever need but I'd still test drive a C350 if it was available before buying a second C320. The 500 engine is obviously way more than needed but who could be negative about being given the option to own it in a C-class sedan, e.g., a C50--or maybe new C43.
  • The 5.0L M113 V-8 has less power than the 3.2L supercharged (No turbos expect on the V-12...) V-6. The current C32 makes 349hp and the "500" cars (SL500, E500, CLK500 and S500) only make 302hp. A C32 can walk away from any of the aspro V-8 cars.

    A C55-K 4-matic? Perhaps, but might spoil all the fun. Lurid power oversteer and smoking tire launches sounds EXACTLY what the AMG C-Class needs. The C32 is there, but with the near-future M3 probably going to bring 400hp or more to the table, AMG better be ready if they want to remain the king of the HP wars.
  • mac320mac320 Posts: 147
    Check out the CLK500: 339 ft. lbs. of torque at at just 2700 rpm. I don't think a C32's skinnier horses could compete with a 5.0L "C" when it comes to sales, even if it was a little faster 0-60: a 500 offering is a natural for those who would appreciate it as a premium model, as it is for both the E- and S- Classes.
  • microrepairmicrorepair Eastern MassachusettsPosts: 508
    mac320: when you say a "C50", are you implying a supercharged 5.0 L engine? Otherwise, I agree with you 100%. I think that the 339 lb-ft give the C more than enough muscle and it also becomes the "premier" version of the C class.
    I just have an aversion to superchargers and turbochargers. They may be fine under warranty, but since MB's last "forever" and the warranty doesn't, there is a much greater chance of megabuck repairs down the road. Give me the cubes, please, without the oxygen.. KISS principle.. Keep it simple, simon..
    I had the pleasure of driving an SL500 last year and was bowled over by the standing start kick in the butt. I made the tires ripple without smoking them.. Awesome.. A C500 would be an exciting car to drive..
  • paul_ppaul_p Posts: 271
    Microrepair, you have me thinking - does anyone have a guess as to how long an MB supercharger will last?

    I remember the turbos of the 1980s were especially prone to failure due to issues with cooling the turbo. I drove a 1982 Nissan 280ZX and was told to always idle it for 30 seconds before turning it off. I know there's no need to do that with the supercharger, but am curious as to how long SC bearings are usually good for. Also, how are they oiled - oil passage from/to the engine?
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