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Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedans



  • htma1htma1 Posts: 10
    I have a C240 with about 23k on it now - hate to hear about suspension part wear-out at under 50k.

    What bushings had to be replaced on your car? Did you notice some symptoms (squeaks, non-uniform tire wear, rattles) or did the dealer just see something our of sorts during a service inspection. Covered under warranty? What sorts of roads do you travel?
  • rghesselrghessel Posts: 122
    I've been frantically investigating getting a new car (to replace my Lexus RX300). Been looking at:
    MB C320
    MB CLK 320 (2003)
    BMW 330
    Infiniti G35
    amongst others...

    I'm heavily leaning toward one of the mercedes. But reading the boards on the C-class cars has mee getting a bit paranoid. How bad has the reliability been for these cars (at least as far as it can be extrapolated to the 2002/2003s)? Are the people with problems just more vocal about making posts?

    My Lexus has been completely, totally flawless...but Lexus cars are SOOO I'm looking for something new.

    Any thoughts?
  • michhalamichhala Posts: 375
    >>My Lexus has been completely, totally >>flawless...but Lexus cars are SOOO >>I'm looking for something new

    I drive a beautiful Obsidian Black C320 2001, built in April 2001 and delivered June 01, 2001. It is now at 8700 miles. I originally was going for the CLK but it sat too deep for me, and the car had some blind spots with which I was not happy. I love my car and do not YET regret its purchase. The ride is smooth and luxurious; the acceleration fast and powerful. The trunk is larger than most of its class (ie BMW330). It is an "exciting" and fun car to drive. OTOH I have not yet heard a Mercedes owner use the word "flawless" in describing their MB, as do many Lexus owners. Nor have I heard a Lexus owner use the word "exciting". That said, not every C has major problems -- mine have so far been small. I have had two, so far:

    #1--The first time I used the valet key for the trunk, I could not get the key to unlock it. With TeleAid service, a tech was at my location within 15 minutes of my 1:00 AM weekend call to get the trunk open. The remote will not open trunk when locked by key. I brought the car in for service thereafter and the lock was replaced.

    #2--Gas level sensors needed replacement.

    I do not know what the future brings -- only time will tell -- I have the original four-year warranty, along with the additional Premium four-year/100,000K warranty. Hopefully, that gives me seven years of peace of mind.

  • michhalamichhala Posts: 375
    ADDENDUM to my above post -- waited too long to edit:
    >>OTOH I have not yet heard a Mercedes owner use the word "flawless" in describing their MB, as do many Lexus owners. Nor have I heard a Lexus owner use the word "exciting".
    Rewrite: OTOH I have not heard Mercedes owners use the word "flawless" as often in describing their MB as do Lexus owners. Nor have I heard Lexus owners use the word "exciting" as often as Mercedes owners to describe their vehicle.

  • mbnut1mbnut1 Posts: 403
    Edmunds has the C320's TMV at 1750 below invoice. Does anyone know what part of the country this might be? For my zip code TMV is over invoice. Thanks..
  • 4murphy4murphy Posts: 20
    It also has been a long time since I have written anything on this site. But after seeing that others have had the front bushings replaced, I needed to respond. I had the bushings replaced at 22,450 miles. It appears that there are some serious part problems with the C240.
  • 96benz96benz Posts: 6
    I own a 96 C280--I drove a Lexus RX300 recently and came away with the same--BORING. My C-Class now has 54K and I still love it. You know-still look back after parking it way out in the parking lot. This black beauty still drives like new, looks like new and is a pleasure to own. Check out maintenance costs--I found Lexus to be higher than MB. Yes I've dealt with the gas tank sensors but I still love driving this car after nearly 7 yrs!
  • paul_ppaul_p Posts: 271
    Yes, I still miss my Imperial Red '95 C220. I'm still trying to convince myself that the special edition options I got in my silver y2k C230 Sport were reason enough to trade. The Kompressor and its 40 or so extra HP help too :-), but I still miss my C220!!!

    - Paul
  • vpkingvpking Posts: 6
    I live in Las Vegas where there is only one MB
    dealer, Fletcher Jones Imports. I bought a used
    2001 C320 from another car dealer, still have
    36,000 and 37 months on original warranty. Now
    I find out that loaner cars are only provided
    to original owners who bought from Fletcher Jones.
    My car came from Fletcher Jones though I am second
    owner. My question is this the policy of other
    MB dealers. If I bought it in another state and
    moved to Las Vegas I would be out of luck. This
    dealer's service dept is very busy as he is exclusive dealer for 200 mile radius. You have
    to wait several days for an appointment.

    If my car breaks down and I can't get them to look
    at it for 5 days I'm suppose to pay for a rental
    car. Why should a MB owner get penalized if MB
    gives one dealer exclusive franchise rights and
    their service department can't handle all the cars
    that need service.

    Are loaner cars a courtesy that is extended on a
    dealer by dealer basis and not required by MBUSA.
    Obviously if they keep your car overnight then a
    loaner must be provided but the escape clause there is we are too busy to even allow you to
    bring your car in for service. I sure would like
    some answers on MBUSA policy.
  • sddlwsddlw Posts: 361
    Hohen MB in North Co San Diego does not discriminate. We've bought from them, and from private parties and they were happy to service all of the cars and give us loaners. Sounds like FJ is really taking advantage of being the only dealer in LV.

    After a while, we got tired of paying the inflated dealer prices for service and found us a reliable MB authorized independent who does not have a loaner fleet, but will drop us off and pick us up, and charges significantly less than what Hohen was charging us. I started off taking a few jobs to him, but still using the dealer too. Then one time his bid was literally 50% of Hohen's for struts and shocks on my old 300E. It was that time he became our primary mechanic.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363 to leave it up to the dealer, and you can see for yourself what that means. Here in Sacramento, loaners are for all service customers - the service dept is its own profit center, as it is at most dealerships, and they don't need to drive business to the independents by discriminating. In LV, the dealer obviously thinks there is insufficient local service competition to worry about. In most large urban markets, the opposite is the case.
  • ahostahost Posts: 36
    Are you sure about that? I thought MBUSA paid the dealers to provide loaners, and that it is therefore a MBUSA policy to provide loaners. However, what cars they provide is up to the dealer. Here, in Honolulu, there is also just one dealer, and they never give Mercedes as loaners.
  • hinkdoghinkdog Posts: 10
    Is there a hp increase that is scheduled for the C230 and the C320 and if so when are they going to be implemented, thanks in advance for any info or source where I can locate it.
  • rbrooks3rbrooks3 Posts: 174
    I have spent a few months looking for a nice early 90s 300E but each of them I ahve found have had the usual head gasket problems. I was looking at the 300E because the engines will live a very long time if properly maintained. But, the price I was willing to pay also puts me into a 95 C280. Unfortunately, I know nothing about them. So, if there is a site for basic pre-purchase info or specific concerns please let me know. i found 2 posts in this forum for pre-purchase info but neither was ever repsonded to.


    Ron B.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    Go to the pre-2001 MB C-Class forum - check it out in the index - and post your question there.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    I don't know the financial arrangements between the dealers and MBUSA concerning the service loaner program; I DO know that policies vary way too widely from one dealer to another for there to be any uniform, do-it-this-way-or-else approach. And I don't think it is mandatory for a dealer to participate at all, for that matter.
    In Sacto, there is a wide selection of current year MBs in the loaner fleet, which are then turned around and resold as Starmark cars at the end of the model year. How much MB subsidizes this, I have no idea, but my guess is that the dealer makes out like a bandit, as usual...
  • rbrooks3rbrooks3 Posts: 174
    I have spent a few months looking for a nice early 90s 300E but each of them I ahve found have had the usual head gasket problems. I was looking at the 300E because the engines will live a very long time if properly maintained. But, the price I was willing to pay also puts me into a 95 C280. Unfortunately, I know nothing about them. So, if there is a site for basic pre-purchase info or specific concerns please let me know. i found 2 posts in this forum for pre-purchase info but neither was ever repsonded to.


    Ron B.
  • tomotomotomotomo Posts: 57
    I purchased a 95 C280 new in late 1994 and drove it for approximately 45000 miles. I only recall two problems: the first was new front brake pads & rotors (replaced under warranty) at about 25000 miles. The other was a fuel pump that failed at about 40000 miles. I really loved driving the car. In late 1999 I traded it for a 2001 E320 and currently have about 22000 almost trouble free miles. A couple of weeks my dealer replaced the driver's seat frame (known E320 problem) as well as front brake pads. In late 2001 my wife purchased a 2002 C320 and currently has only about 3000 trouble free miles. Good luck with your search.
  • fedssocrfedssocr Posts: 90
    Last week I had my wallet and keys stolen. As a result the key to my car and the emergency key needed replacement. Then I went to the dealer the next day to order a couple of new keys and got robbed again. Anyone care to guess how much a key for your C class costs? Try $128 for a regular key and $154 for the emergency key! Needless to say I was pretty shocked. How can they charge that much money for an item that probably costs less than $10 to make? It's stuff like this that makes me think I will not buy another MB when the time comes. They also told me it had to be flown in from Germany and each key is specially made to be linked to your car's VIN. This doesn't seem to be a very smart way to do this. Why don't they have "blank" keys that they can just program at the dealer with the right codes for your car?
  • khenderkhender Posts: 3
    How much is a regular oil change at the MB dealership? I'm looking into buying a 2001 C240, and was wondering what maintenance issues and cost especially I may run into. Typical maintenance such as an oil change, and scheduled mileage marks.

    Any ideas on cost would be appreciated.


  • newmbfannewmbfan Posts: 59
    While I agree that the cost of replacing the keys is ridiculous, (It won't be long and you will be able to buy all the computer chips in a MB for $128.00) I really do not have a problem with having the keys made in Germany.

    This makes it extremely difficult for thieves to steal your car by showing up at the dealership with the VIN (that was copied through the windshield) and picking up a "replacement" key.

    Now the thief would have to conspire with the parts guy to get a key.
  • vchengvcheng Posts: 1,284
    For key replacements, try:
  • rs64rs64 Posts: 64
    The maintenance is covered by the dealer for 4 years/50,000 miles in the US, so the oil changes are free at the scheduled intervals.
  • Hi, I have been monitoring this forum for more than a year now and it has been very informative and useful. i bought a white 2001 c320 and so far so good no major mechanical problems except for the sun shade with had to be replaced under warranty. My problem has been the dealer. It is Carlton Motorcars in Greenville SC. They service the car well except for one major problem. They are the only Mercedes dealership within 75 miles and they don't provide any loaners except when the car is "inoperable" I find this a major disappointment. Can anyone give advise since for routine maintainance I have to find someone to pick me up or have to take a day off from work or pay for a rental. Then they have the nerve to ask me for an excellent review of their service
  • 96benz96benz Posts: 6
    I own a 96 C280 bought new--still get loaner cars from MB of Devon-Pa( formally Carson-Pettit)-and my car is 7 yrs old! Not an MB-an Enterprise Rental car--had a Jeep Grand Cherokee--a Nissan Maxima,etc. They also offer pick-up( leave you with a car) and delivery of your car. Can't ask for than this eh?
  • khenderkhender Posts: 3
    Are dealers starting to offer year end incentives on the 2002 C's? What kinds of prices can we expect for 2002 C240s? What are people paying this time of year?

    Also, when do the 2003's arrive on the dealer lots?


  • 96benz96benz Posts: 6
    Here are the latest costs from MB of Devon-Pa:
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    I have a lot of the same questions; as a clue to some of the answers, I use CarsDirect as a proxy for more solid info. Right now, if I plug my Northern Calif [Sacto] zip code, or a Bay Area zip, into their system, they are offering $3700-$4000 off C240s and C320 sedans, and the wagon goes even steeper - $5000 off. Coupes are around $2500 off or more.

    Since these prices take the car well below nominal invoice, and even below cost [counting holdback] in some cases, I have to presume that at least one dealer in the Bay Area is spending dealer incentive money to move 'em out. Ironically, in a brief reversal of the usual deal, a SoCal zip code yields prices that are higher by $1000 or more, so it is one dealer somewhere in the SF area who is settling for just moving them, without making much profit.

    The '03s are already starting to trickle in, and have been at the VPCs for weeks. Look for a good deal between now and the end of the month on an '02 - if you are seriously interested, and have a dealer nearby with a good inventory, then it's time to press him about trunk money on the Cs. Something is clearly happening, though MB is managing to keep it low profile enough that the exact amount remains a secret - I'm guessing an average of $1000, depending on model.
  • nhtoccnhtocc Posts: 6
    I am new to this portion of the site and absolutely love it. I bought a C320 in April. Basically happy with the car, but some of the little idiosyncrasies bug me. I don't think the seat memory is really true. Never really seem to end up in the same spot. Forever re-adjusting. And the floating mirrors...I thought I was losing my mind until I read it on this site. Then there's the A/C. What is up with that smell coming from the vents first thing in the morning after the car has sat all night. It smells like wet dog and I don't have pets. I also don't find the A/C very powerful. It doesn't get THAT hot here on the Cape and I just can't get cool. I feel sorry for anyone that lives in a really hot spot. Any suggestions anyone?
  • tomotomotomotomo Posts: 57
    Andrea, My wife has an 02 C320 and we seemed to have memory problems until I took time and studied the manual, following the directions on all of the relevant settings using one key and then the other. I marked the keys so that my wife and I would not get them mixed up. Since then (approximately 11 months) the settings have not deviated. I think in our case the problem was we (mostly me) didn't fully understand how to make the proper settings. My 01 E320 is not as complicated; however, it only has memory for the front seats and does not know the difference in the keys. I hope you get to the bottom of your problem.
This discussion has been closed.