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Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedans



  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    Yes, that is most certainly a warranty item, and no, it is most certainly not what one should expect. Get the dealer to do his job...
  • I am about to purchase the C240 (with C2 package and automatic transmission, just got quoted for $2,000 below MSRP) and now am having doubts due to previous messages posted. I would like to keep this car for a long time, and relatively hassle free. The other car I was looking at was the Audi A4 3.0 CVT. I really loved the MB and had decided on it until reading about people upset with getting a lemon. Is this a common occurance? And do most recommend the Bose stereo, because I tried it out and wasn't that impressed so I was just going to keep the standard.
  • 404c404c Posts: 146
    Every carmaker builds lemons.

    The head of Toyota said about 15 years ago that 2% of their cars coming off the assembly line are lemons.

    The difference between a good carmaker like Toyota and a poor one is that the latter makes perhaps 10% lemons, or even more...

    Mercedes-Benz is not as good as the Japanese at quality control, so they may make 4% lemons (just a guess). Audi, BMW and VW would probably be in the same range too.

    NEVER allow information posted on the internet to affect your opinion of ANY car. There are lots of mischievous bits of (mis)information out there. I am not accusing anyone here of doing this, just highlighting the fact that anonymous, unverifiable testimonials are not useful.

    Look instead to statistically significant sources such as ADAC Pannenstatistik (breakdown statistics), Consumer Reports (the C is still recommended) and JD Power reliability and initial quality stats.

    If you like the car, buy one.
  • mbnut1mbnut1 Posts: 403
    404c you beat me to the punch.

    Keep in mind that the C240 has been in service for nearly two years and the A4 is completely brand new including the drive train. Audi doesn't have a pristine record of introducing new technology. While it generally works well when it functions as intended Audi's often require some field experience before the reliability bugs are rung out. Having said that my guess is that the new A4 will likely be fine. To me the bottom line is there isn't a strong enough case for reliability one way or another to drive the decision. If it were me I would pick the one I liked better. They are both very nice excellent cars. I haven't driven the 3.0 CVT. How does the 3.0 CVT compare to the C240 driving wise.
  • michhalamichhala Posts: 375
    >#5309 of 5315 Lemon? by mleskovar
    >#5314 of 5315 Lemons by 404c

    For your positive approaches, good attitudes and solid information contained in your posts. Refreshing to read and much needed to balance out the posts filled with problems and anger. It is downright depressing and discouraging to read so many negative posts and they diminish the joy of ownership. My 2001 Obsidian C320 has been relatively free of problems also and a joy to drive. As far as service, the Obsidian was built for me as a replacement for a Black C320 that had some cosmetic problems with the paint -- however, it was not a lemon.

  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...for a calm and dispassionate look at what goes on in these boards, but more than that, there is nothing in the recent history of Audi that would make ME any more confident in one of their cars vs. a W203 C. As noted above, neither of these makers is in the same ballpark with the Japanese, but I sure don't see anything in Audi's record on this topic that would make me feel any more warm and toasty compared with MB.
  • paul_ppaul_p Posts: 271
    So often we hear only the bad - after 2 years my 2000 C230 has been very reliable, though only 5000 miles on the VDO. My feeling is it will continue to be so and not fall into in the "4%" category. :-)

    404c, would you happen to have a website address for ADAC Pannenstatistik that is in English?
  • 404c404c Posts: 146
    About the ADAC Pannenstatistik, I can't think of any source in English. Getting the (complete) statistics, even in German, is difficult unless you are a member of the ADAC car club. For example, if you go to their website ( you'll see that you need a membership number to see the current year's results (actually 2001).

    I have found the ADAC Pannenstatistik quoted by secondary German sources (use a Google search), but the most recent year I've been able to get the stats for is 2000 (which in Europe was the first year for the W203). I expect to be able to see the 2001 numbers in this way shortly. Maybe I'll even try tonight!

    Even if you don't read German, the stats are easy to understand - it just gives the number of vehicles per 1000 that broke down, for a certain cohort of model years (e.g. 1996 to 1999 models). For example, the best car in the 2000 stats was the Toyota Starlet, about 7 breakdowns per 1000 vehicles, if I remember rightly. It was amazing to see that the simple, small cars were far less likely to break down than the more complex, larger ones.
  • 404c404c Posts: 146
    Well, I've found the following, from another German Auto Club (Automobilclub von Deutschland). Go to the site and check out the models/numbers. In this case, the AvD lists a percentage of each model that breaks down, as opposed to the per thousand ADAC figure. Interestingly, the Toyota Starlet is the best car in this 2001 Pannenstatistik too.

  • crankstercrankster Posts: 20
    Obviously many of you have issues with us "lucky" C owners that have had the pleasure of getting a DUD Mercedes. I suggest you all go to where you can all find the positive reinforcement you seem to need. The sad thing is that I really like(d) my C, and can completely accept the fact the occaisional "bad" car comes off the assembly line. What I can't accept is the "attitude", and failure of the entire MB organization in dealing with my vehicle.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363 experiences and reading do not suggest that buying an Audi will net you a better support network [between manufacturer and dealer] than MB...probably exactly the opposite.

    You want a good buying and owning experience, you go to Lexus or Infinti. MB's rhetoric on this topic far exceeds their ability to deliver, and that applies to VW/Audi even more so. BMW is a little better, but not much.
  • sirus32sirus32 Posts: 55
    It's been a while since I've posted anything on this board. However, I feel the recent "tone" requires me to speak out.

    I've been a new 2001 C240 owner since last Easter. Yes, I've had a few minor issues that required a couple trips to the dealer. However, what new car doesn't when it rolls off the assembly line. I can't believe Lexus, which has recently been hailed the "prefect" car, doesn't have new car issues. When I drive by my local Lexus dealer on the way to and from work I don't see any of their service techs sunning themselves on lawn chairs while waiting to service new or used Lexus cars.

    Let me say this, I love my car. The bonus, it's a Mercedes. Can you say that about a Lexus? No! It's not that I feel above anyone who drives anything else, it's just Mercedes is a company that has heritage. I feel honored to drive a Mercedes. Matter of fact, I don't normally tell people I drive a Mercedes. Why? Because I get comments like, "Oooooohhhhhh, you drive a Mercedes?" Yeah, so what. It's transportation to and from point a and b. I don't make a 7 figure income, but I found additional value and quality in the new C which to me is above the competition. Anyone who has taken a ride in my car always comments on how smooth, quite and solid the car feels. They like the exterior and interior styling. Inside the look is sophisticated and well refined. From the seats to the knobs and finishes. Personally, the interiors of Japanese luxury cars look sterile, plastic and big round knobs everywhere you look.

    I could go on and on....but, I won't. If you have a question regarding your car or would like to chat about your new or used Mercedes, please post within this community. If your coming here to bash Mercedes, or the C class....GO AWAY!
  • mbnut1mbnut1 Posts: 403
    If you want to see a nice interior go sit in a new Lexus ES300. It's hardly what I would call sterile.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    I humbly suggest you need to take a breath. No one is a bigger fan of Mercedes, has owned more of them, or appreciates and understands the "heritage" more than I do - certainly not anyone who contributes regularly to this board.

    I've searched above for anything that resembles "MB bashing", and am hard-pressed to see what seems to have upset you so. The fact is that these guys [Daimler-Benz AG] have not been at the top of their game recently - I know, because I have been part of the game for 35 years. I have recommended and will continue to recommend their products to people who ask, but they have not been paying enough attention to launch quality issues in the past few years.

    I hope you have become a member of MBCA - they could use enthusiasts like yourself. If you were a member of the Club, you would note other members, MB enthusiasts all, who are very objective about where this company stands right now vs some of the competition. There is work to be done, and even Herr Schrempp agrees.

    Since the question came up originally in connection with a comparison with Audi, I will repeat: none of the Germans sets the standards these days for either quality control or total customer support - BMW comes closest. None of this changes my appreciation for what DB does or will do in the just means they need to improve to justify the lofty prices the car demands in the marketplace. [Ironically, the least expensive car, the C-Coupe, is probably the best value precisely because it delivers at a price-point that the competition simply cannot match. But once you spend $40k on a C320, you are in a different ball game.]
  • paul_ppaul_p Posts: 271

    Thanks for the link. Interesting to see actual breakdown stats online, even if only for autos delivered in Europe.

    I guess this gives me one more reason for learning German! :-)

    - Paul
  • sujasuja Posts: 1
    Just got back from having a chat with my service rep and MB factory rep about my 2002 C240 which is 6 months old and has 3500 miles on it. Since March, the car has been in the shop 3 times, with the 4th coming up this week. There have been problems with the purge valve, ABS and the climate control. To paraphrase the response I received - 'Tough!'. What they basically said is that some cars break down more than they should, and that's what the warranty is there for. The response from MB customer support has been exactly the same.

    Although time is at a premium, and I'd really rather not make trips to the dealership on a biweekly basis, it would not have been so bad if the service folks were not so unresponsive and arrogant. They don't care, and they make no bones about letting you know that they don't care. Given that these folks have no idea what customer satisfaction means, and I am more than happy to take my business elsewhere. I must say that this is by far the worst car experience I've had so far, although all my previous cars have been lower end models.
  • paul_ppaul_p Posts: 271
    I am sorry to hear of your experience with your car. It can happen - several repairs I had on my 1995 C-Class were not performed to my satisfaction (or made other things worse) and due to time constraints I could not get them taken care of fully.

    Overall I was fotunate enough that the car was relatively trouble-free to 40k - but things like having to repaint the hood and trunk deck lid under warranty actually lowered the value of the car at trade-in time. Given the alternatives though, I decided on trading for a Y2K C-Class because I enjoyed the solidness of the car and of its operation. I hope your next auto does not provide you so many problems!

    If you don't mind my suggesting so, you may want to check out Toyotas. My second vehicle, a '95 basic pickup, is approaching 150k with no mechanical problems - other than a leaking water pump at 121k. This I replaced myself in about 3 hours for $25 or so dollars. The truck has no gadgets except for basic A/C and power steering/brakes, so perhaps this contributes to its reliability record.
  • hinesehinese Posts: 2
    I've never bought a used car before...always been a little weary, thinking "why did someone else not want this car?" What should I be looking for? Advice? Opinions? I'm going to look at a 2001 SLK320 with 17,000 miles today at a dealer.

  • samuel70samuel70 Posts: 17
    Steffie2jc...your post was perfect in timing...Yesterday 4/15...I took my wife out to test drive some cars...she drove an Audi A4 3.0, and the MB C240....she fell in love the C240...I drove both also...I am leaning toward the MB...Lease price is it comes down to reliability....I am curious to find out what your decision was or if still pending...what your leaning to....We live in CT, so the Quattro, has a distinct advantage, but I have a rwd volvo and have never really had any problems....This will be a toss up...intersted to hear from others....
  • hinesehinese Posts: 2
    I've never bought a used car before...always been a little weary, thinking "why did someone else not want this car?" What should I be looking for? Advice? Opinions? I'm going to look at a 2001 SLK320 with 17,000 miles today at a dealer.

  • 404c404c Posts: 146
    You are right to be wary of used cars - there are more pitfalls in buying one than there are with buying new cars. If buying from a dealer, be sure to get a full service and warranty history, and a guarantee that the car's not been in a collision or repainted. If all these check out, get the extended factory warranty (if it's an M-B dealer you're at) and you should be fine. Otherwise, I'd tread carefully.
  • sddlwsddlw Posts: 361
    While there might be reasons for someone getting rid of a car, the majority of used cars on the lot these days are lease returns. The lease is up, the person trades it in for a new car and another 36-48 month lease. Although a 2001 car is probably not a lease return. But there could still be many legit reasons it ended up on the lot. The car might have been too small or the owner may have more money than any of us can imagine and simply tired of the car. You just never know. My father-in-law once traded a 6 week old Lincon SUV for a Caddie SUV because he just decided he liked the caddie better.

    If you are looking at it on the MB dealer lot, is it certified? If so, your risk is less. If it is not a certified car, do you have a mechanic that is competent to check out an MB and render an opinion about the car? Can you get a warranty? Having owned 3 MBs over the years and experiencing the higher cost of repairs, an extended warranty is not a bad idea.
  • flufferfluffer Posts: 2
    I purchased my 2002 C240 in February. The only complaint I have so far is a "tapping" sound that is noticeable when the radio is off and the car is idling. It cannot be heard from the outside - just the inside of the car. Anyway, I took it back to the MB dealer, and the service manager said it was the purge valve. Mine seems to be noiser than usual. I have requested that he order another one and replace it to see if it will be quieter although he says it may not. He said another new customer called that same morning with the same complaint. He says this does affect the performance of car in any way. Has anyone else had this problem and if so, was it resolved?
  • mleskovarmleskovar Posts: 171
    Yes, I had almost the same problem. It was fixed by replacing the purge valve mounting bracket pn 001-995-56-65. However, I could hear it from outside the car as well.
  • neild2neild2 Posts: 1
    I have placed an order for the year 2003 c240 model (Classic model for the Canadian market) and expected to receive it this August or September. I was wondering if there will be any changes in comparisons to the year 2002 model.

    Thanks Neil.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    Go to the C230 board - there was a discussion there within the last month that details most of the changes that can be expected.

    For the 6 cyl C sedans, probably the one thing that will reasonate most with North American buyers is that a single disc CD player will replace the cassette as standard equipment [the changer will continue to be an option, but less expensive].
  • afmbguyafmbguy Posts: 19
    Yes, I also had the same problem in my C320. It was fixed by replacing the purge valve mounting bracket. According to the MB mechanics, a screw is missing during assembly. He said I was not the first one to report it. He seemed knowing what he was doing. It might be a factory quality control issue. Since than the noise was greatly reduced. I have to really listen to it to hear the tapping noise. Besides it, my C320 is a beautiful car and so far problem free after a year. I love my C320.
  • dlockleydlockley Posts: 1
    I wish I had read these comments here before I bought my '02 C320. I must admit that I love the way the car looks and performs, but the annoying problems like Tele-Aid, ESP modules being replaced; side-view mirror "floating"; gas gauge misreading; and trouble with the leather seats. I've taken it back to the shop today and would like some advice. This is the second time I've had it in for the ESP warning and the leather seat. The leather seat is discolored, sort of white spots on the side. These spots are dry and hard. The dealer applyed some leather conditioner on it which covered the sploches. But after a month, when the conditioner drys up, the spots reappear. I do not want to keep covering up defects with conditioner, I want the seat replaced. I have the sport package, which was a $2200 option that included leather seats. Now the dealer does not want to replace the seat. Who do I talk with next about this problem? Any ideas or information will be most appreciated!
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    Start with the General Manager of the selling dealership. Set up an appointment and lay out your problems and proposed solution. If he/she refuses to satisfy you, ask to speak to the Regional Rep from MBUSA. Refer to your warranty book for instructions on bumping problems up the chain from the dealership for instructions.

    It's important to be very persistent, but also to remain rational, calm, and reasonable. You sound like you have a reasonable request [a recovered seat]...some people start by demanding a new car, and the transaction goes downhill from there...and I would be surprised if this can't be resolved to everyone's satisfaction once the right people are involved.
  • michhalamichhala Posts: 375
    >Who do I talk with next about this problem? Any >ideas or information will be most appreciated!
    I had problems with my C320 2001. After running around in frustrating and aggravating circles and getting nowhere with the dealership's customer service manager, I did not want to bother with the owner. I went directly to the MB regional Parts and Operation Manager in my area. He worked with the dealership's owner and together they came up with a very satisfactory solution.

    I E-mailed and sent a FAX to MB customer service in New Jersey, using the name and address that was on the Customer Satisfaction Survey sent to new car owners and which is also on the MB website. I recd a quick response as to when I could meet with their regional rep. You can also request to meet with an MB rep by asking your service department manager. They can tell you when he will next be at their dealership. I preferred putting things in writing for the record, and going through the main office, however, and taking some control, rather than to leave it to my local service to set it up.

This discussion has been closed.