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Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedans



  • Have been reading adverse comments on MB quality and read the recent WS Journal article on MB quality reputation. Took delivery of a 2001 C240 in late June 2001 and have well over 14,000 miles on it already. One of the little bumper buttons on the passenger side vanity mirror fell off when the car was new; other than that little item, the car has been totally trouble free and a delight to drive. Tried most competitive models before purchasing & made selection primarily on basis of handling, ride and quietness. Slightly preferred the 3-series BMW for handling, but found the C240 to be nearly as good and superior in ride and quietness. The car has been too troublefree to permit an evaluation of support from the selling dealer.
  • Exactly one year old C240 MT with 8 k miles. No problems whatsoever. Lots of paint chipping though. The car drives great.
    This my first posting. Happy to join in.
  • djasonw: I have to agree about the boring dash. The one aspect about the new C dash that I had a hard time overcoming was the tiny tachometer they have in the upper left corner. Since I was wanting the 6 speed, that would be an issue for me.
    The exterior styling is another big yawn for me. Nothing distinctive: in fact down right generic.
    The Acura is no MB, but that is both a good and bad thing.

    John W.
  • Please let me know if anyone has experienced this problem. I brought my 2001 C320 in for service again (6th warranty repair, 10,000 miles on odometer). The keys were intermittently failing (not able to lock or unlock doors). The dealer reprogrammed one key and replaced the second key. The car was in the shop for 3 days this week.

    After I left the dealer, the transmission did not appear to shift out of high gear when coming to a stop (intermittent problem). This was a new problem. The dash display lit up red, and a fatal error resulted (visit workshop - alternator). The car almost stalled twice.

    I called Mercedes to schedule another appointment for this weekend. The service tech thinks it is a key problem again, manifesting itself as a transmission problem. They claim this is a common problem with the C-Class. Exactly how many problems do these keys cause!

    The owner's manual states the alternator error is most likely caused by a V-belt failure, but I checked and the belt is fine. I can hardly wait to get rid of this heap. I've never experienced this much trouble with a new vehicle, let alone one that cost 47K with sales tax. What a mistake.

    Any suggestions or words of encouragement?
  • 404c404c Posts: 146
    Good luck with the warranty problems.

    These "smartkeys" are looking pretty pathetic. I fail to see what advantage they offer, when at the same time they are destroying M-B's reliability records, thereby driving off return customers in droves.

    My advice would be to do a lemon law claim on this car and buy something Japanese. I don't like Japanese cars, but they ARE the most reliable cars made. I think BMW 3ers are more reliable than C-Class cars, if you can't accept a Toyota.
  • I've owned my C class now for 13 months and 15k miles and it's had now ten trips into the shop spending about 4-5 days per visit - some visits as long as 10 days.

    jwacura made some very good points about the TL - it does seem to be loaded all for a MUCH better price than the C Class. Now I realize it's based somewhat on the Honda Accord, but it has to be a better car than my C class. Although, at this point I'd probably be in the market for a RL instead of the TL.

    djasonw: have you looked at the leather in the C class? well it's not.... leather that is. unless you get the $$$$ full leather package there's only a slight patch of leather on each seat. The acura's covered in leather. now the wood's a different story.
  • michhalamichhala Posts: 375
    I would still buy a C320. I purchased a C320 2001 on December 2000 and was unhappy with a small spot on the exterior paint. It's a very long story, but with persistence, tenacity and the help of the area MB Operations Manager who wanted me to be happy, a new C320 2001 was ordered from Germany for me in early March 2001....I took delivery June 1, 2001. I loved the first C320 from the moment I drove it --I just wanted it to be perfect -- so far the replacement is just that!
  • After reading many of the posts and purchasing a C320 in December, I thought I'd throw in my two cents. I paid only a few hundred dollars over invoice for a black/charcoal 2002 C320 with C2 and CD changer. The car was on the lot - no ordering necessary. (There seem to be tons of C's on SoCal dealership lots.)

    This car is such a pleasure to drive that I actually look forward to my 45 mile commute each way/each day in this car.

    So far no problems after 3500 miles with the exception of the need to re-sync a rear window for tunnel mode right after delivery (did it myself). Knock on wood I have not had key problems, brake squeeling, or seat memory problems (exit mode enabled). I have a hunch that they fixed the valve-clicking problem - since I have not noticed any such sound. Seems like by the time my car was built in 9/01 they must have started to work out some of the early bugs.

    My dealership experience has been excellent. It is close to my house and they will provide a free car wash as long as I own the car (daily if I wanted). Loaners are all E's M's and C's. On my initial survey, I warned them that they had set the bar so high that they will need to work hard to live up to the expectations created by the experience so far.

    One odd thing I noted. There is no vent in the armrest storage compartment to provide climate controlled storage. Rather, there is a fan for the rear air-vents that does not show in the encyclopia (manual!). Does anyone know the story behind this change?

    Two more questions

    Does anyone know where service bulletins are posted?

    Has anyone been able to negotiate a reasonable deal on the built in phone? I have to think at some point the price will come down -- with the cell phone companies offering free phones these days.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,328
    a deal on an MB in SoCal? A deal on any luxury marquee in SoCal? What is this world coming to? I didn;t think the economy was THAT bad! HA HA!

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Infiniti G37x Q40 AWD

  • I think most people who have earned new money for themselves have decent business sense, and just because you're buying a luxury item doesn't mean you should pay more than market value for it. I bought two Mercedes from Beverly Hills Ltd. and received them at invoice plus a comission of a few hundred dollars. I don't think I'm being cheap, I can either pay less or more for the same thing, what would you choose? I've directed many friends to this dealer because I was treated/am treated so well. I have nothing but good things to say about MB products and would be so bold as to say to those who speak of choosing a competing make (having owned them myself), you will come to a point when you will wish you had choosen the Benz.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    A major newspaper is looking to interview folks who learned how to drive stick in their adulthood, and either fell in love or hated it. Also welcome is any input on why people love to drive stick, and any unusual anecdotes about how you learned etc.

    Hope to hear from you before Feb 22 via the Talk to the Press discussion or at with your thoughts and contact information.

    Thanks as always,

    Jeannine Fallon
    PR Director,
  • My 2001 C320 is back in the shop. That makes it twice this week. A new computer is on order to repair the hesitation and stumbling problem. Will it work? My opinion is... no.
    This is the lastest problem, occurring just after the dealer replaced one SmartKey, and reprogrammed another. The car didn't even make it out of the dealer's driveway before the next problem showed up! The dealer first thought it was a key problem manifestation, then they thought it could be the oxygen sensor, now they think it's the computer, but they are "not sure."
    I'm keeping track on my days needed to qualify for the lemon law. For all of you "optimists" out there who still like their C's... heed this warning. Most of my troubles occurred after the 10,000 mile mark. If you only have a few thousand on the odometer, you are not out of the woods yet. I guess my only two options are the lemon law, or holding on for 2-3 more years. The first year depreciation is so high, I can't even think of turning the car in as I purchased the car outright. I hope my C's troubles eventually resolve, or they continue so I can qualify for the lemon law.
  • Which patroleum do most c class owners use? 90 or 92
  • I got my my C240 in Dec2000 and almost have 11K miles on it. I leased the vehicle from a Silicon Valley dealer who also boasts the largest service center in the U.S. I had heard good feedback regarding their customer dealings, and they had a cancelled black C240 at the right time. Shortly after picking up the car, I noticed my front seats were harder than the ones in the demo that I test drove. Given that seat hardness is subjective and unquantifiable, I decided to keep the car and see if it got more comfortable or if I was overly sensitive to the seats. It never got more comfortable and 70% of my passengers in the front passenger seat mention how uncomfortable the seat is within 15 to 20 minutes. My elderly father's legs go numb when he sits in the car. The suspension is not the problem because I can distinguish firm suspension from firm seats, and discomfort starts from the second people sit in the seats, not when the car is moving. Back in last summer when my car began crapping out on me (more on that later), and I was waiting at my dealer's showroom, I sat in another C240 and noticed it had plumper filling. I mentioned this to my service rep and he and another rep evaluated some C240s and confirmed they had noticeably varying degrees of firmness even though they are all suppose to be the same seat. Enough about the seats. After 5500 miles, sensors started failing in my car. This happened twice and one time, the car failed while I was in transit. I was lucky to roll to a stop. Tele-aid took 90 mins to send a tow truck. I also had a cracked reservoir that they suckered me into believing was due to road hazard but they conviently misplaced the damaged shield. Each service vist took 3 to 5 days, with daily phone calls to me promising part availability within hours. I was not provided loaners when the work was scheduled for 2 hrs (it took longer than 2 hrs every time, and the 2nd time they overbooked customers and sent me home) and for loaners, they gave me Volvos, and Honda Accords.
    One time they left a foot long dirt stain across the inside of the driver's door. Their complimentary car wash is at a nearby automated car wash that dulls the finish (the service mgr claims that's where she washes her car), and sometimes they pass out rain checks since the car wash breaks down regularly. I have had to schedule a repair visit 30 days ahead of time because they "are the biggest service center in the U.S. and are backed up". This was immediately after my first sensor repair and my leaking reservoir was dismissed as a/c condensation. Tele-aid was useless early on in the beginning as they could not answer questions about the C240. They have improved since. During the Xmas holidays, my key started to fail. All my door locks open at times while I am driving. I have spoken with dealer mgmt and the Western regional service mgr but while they sympathize, they are not responsive. I guess I expected too much from MB, I'm going to return to Japanese (even American) cars after this experience...sigh.
  • We bought a car seat today and are trying to figure out how it works in our C240. It seems like there isn't a way of hooking it in the middle seat in the back without getting an additional strap or something. Do I need to get something else, and does it work with the little metal hooks I see in the backseat?

  • is preferred in the C.
  • I met with the Mercedes regional rep last week to talk about what he and Mercedes will do about our C 320 that has been having so many serious problems over the past 15 months. He promised to get back to us this week . We're discussing the possibility of getting an E Class to replace the C Class, but considering all the aggravation we have had with the C Class (as I outlined two weeks ago on this chat room) they had better make us a good offer. Frankly, after all the trouble we've had with the C Class I don't know that I would ever buy another Mercedes again. Too expensive, not reliable (at least that's my experience with this car and from other comments in this chat room ), and too many extra costs for add ons that Acura and Lexus include in their base price.
  • nycanyca Posts: 232
    autoweek has just added a C320 wagon, with all options, to their long term test fleet. It will be interesting to see what their comments and problems are.
  • The E class has an excellent quality record and also a strong following, but keep in mind that it's completely redone for the next model year. In fact, I hear it will be available in Germany in April. The current E class will be selling at huge discounts in Aug/Sept. If you really like the current E class that they will offer you, make sure you get as many options as possible and don't let them choose the car.
  • I too, have a 2001 C240 that has been a full-time job to own. It was in the shop over 40 days in the first 10 months of ownership, and has had approximately $14,000+ worths of parts and labor put into it. I can accept the fact that any car can have problems, I can't accept that the dealers and the regional service rep are essentially worthless, I won't even go into the MB-USA customer "do you want fries with that" reps. I can easily afford owning an MB, what I can't afford is the amount of time I've wasted with this vehicle's service, maintenance and ownership. I have an Infiniti G35 coming in a month--I never thought I'd be thrilled to have a Japanese car--but it's statistically reliable.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,328
    keep complaining until you get to the top. Don't just call, write. Address it to S. Paul Halata, President & CEO of Mercedes Benz USA, LLC. If you all write letters, they will be read.

    Peter: Is the guy going to Lemon Law your car and buy it back from you at full price and then offer you an E-Class? T least someone is getting somewhere!

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Infiniti G37x Q40 AWD

  • I have C320 for 18 month and got ~18K on it.
    It drives (and stops!) great, but service (taking into account initial quality) is awful.

    Yes, keys were replaced.
    Yes, window motors were replaced (almost all owner that I know had problems with power windows).
    Yes, seats are far from being the best.

    This can be expected from new model - but their dealership is far from being polite, and time that it takes to fix problems unjustified.
    Another big fault - I need to wait for 7-10 days to make an appointment. These folks in MBUSA would loose customers to Audi and BMW pretty fast (or to top Japanese models).
    I think that main advantage of MB over others was reliability, but looks like that it's not an important thing for them any more, since knowing about a new model problems, they made no effort to make driver's life easy. I went through some comments and looks like that it's not only my particular dealership problem (Autohaus Pompano, Florida). Or is it any car dealership like this?

    I'm not sure that next time I'll go for MB.
    Sadly enough, most Japanese cars are not tall enough. I didn't find TL comfortable because of headroom. So, some European (that means - German in US) will be a next try.
    Anyone tried A6?
  • Try sitting in the new Infinifi G35 (due out 4/02) if you are looking for head room. (260HP, rear wheel drive, 50-50 wt. distribution,based on the Skyline, and 28-33K! Nothing from Germany will be able to match its performance,price and most important reliability)
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...I also would recommend waiting to try the G35 for anyone who is looking for quality and room in this class for the same or less money. The early reviews are very, very positive...
  • I'm going to keep asking this question until someone answers they have, and are satisfied with their after market pads.....anyone try any non-metalic,
    rotor friendly,high operating temperature ,after market brake pads that they like yet? Kevlar,
    ceramic, or whatever is being used now. 20K miles on C320 in 12 months and pads aren't even half worn yet. I want to be ready when they become too thin.
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 11,328
    I don't know about aftermarket brake pads for MB, but I do know that when you get them replaced by the delaer, they're like they were when the car rolled off the assembly line. Its really amazing! Also be prepared to fork over a month's mortgage to pay for a complete brake job including pads and rotors.

    2001 Prelude Type SH, 2011 Pilot EX-L 4WD, 2015 Infiniti G37x Q40 AWD

  • i just got my new 2002 mercedes c-240 i will change the oil at 5,000 miles, does anyone know how to change the oil? and is it safe to use the mobil-1 5W-30 tri synthetic. i was under the car last week and it looks like they have plastic panels under the car that need to be unbolted to gain access underneath. what about the oil filter just unscrew the top piece and drop a new one in?? thanks for any help.
  • Yes, for filter unscrew top piece and replace paper element...don't forget to replace O-rings. Oil is removed via tube that used to be where the dip stick was located. Need a 'topsider' to suck oil up (cost about $70). Check oil level before and after and be careful not to put too much back in or it will smoke a bunch and possibly damage seals.
  • I already got a letter about renewing Teleaid for $240 - year will be up March 27. Did use it once when a light came on but seems expensive. Also, you now have to pay phone charges. Has anyone used plain old road service - Teleaid people say you will be at back of queue but I do have AAA. Someone a while back said you get malfunctions and the lights stay on if you cancel - true? What are some of you doing.
    Overall, have had key problems (who hasn't) - bad fittings in trunk etc but not too bad. Do wish I had gotten another Lexus GS300 though - nothing ever went wrong. I never got new brake pads on my Lexus's (2 of them.) They both had about 30000 miles when the leases were up. Guess I cannot expect this on the C320. I am not a car nut and reliablity means most to me - your posts about what happens after 10,000 scare me - just about there.
  • How many miles before replacement? Were front and back both done at same time? Were all rotors machined or replaced? How much in $$?
This discussion has been closed.