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Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedans



  • mleskovarmleskovar Posts: 171
    Yes, I received the letter as well. I read it to say it only applied to damage caused by using non synthetic "oil sludging and realated engine damage" and "related piston ring repairs".
  • michhalamichhala Posts: 375
    I read it as you did -- damage from using non-synthetic oil.

    I am getting close to my "A" service for my 2001 C320 --I am at 9725 now. The service is due in 2000 miles, and I estimate the car will be a little over 1 1/2 years old when it goes in for service. I have checked with the District Manager several times whether or not I should have an early oil change, and his answer was always the same -- to let the FSS do its work and wait until the indicator light appears on the dashboard. (My car was delivered with Mobil synthetic.)

  • mleskovarmleskovar Posts: 171
    You're OK waiting for the FSS and shouldn't worry about it. Still keeping that Obsidian Black 320 sparkling? We just passed 35K miles. Car seems to drive better or we're just use to it now. Little nagging problems happen but are fixed, sometimes afer several visits. We're happy with the C320 and would buy another.
  • michhalamichhala Posts: 375
    HI mleskovar,

    It's nice to know you are still out there. I, too, have no regrets (so far :) about buying the C320.

    Am I still keeping that Obsidian Black sparkling, you ask? -- It puts other cars to shame! :) I follow the same procedure every eight to nine months (if I wanted, I bet I could do once a year)-- one coat Klasse All-In-One and two coats of Klasse Sealer Protectant. I use the California Duster before driving out of the garage and the Clear Pearl once a week. I do not wash the car myself, but bring it to the handwash carwash about every six weeks. I avoid parking under trees -- when that is impossible, it gets washed as soon thereafter as possible. Proper Auto Care has been tempting me with other products through their newsletters -- Souveran paste wax on top of Klasse, instead of Klasse Sealer Protectant and Sonus instead of Clear Pearl. The latter is tempting; whereas Clear Pearl contains #1 finest Brazilian Carnauba wax, Sonus contains the same acrylic protectant that is contained in the Klasse products.

    However, that said, I don't know a thing about how and what and when to do under the hood!

  • linardlinard Posts: 59
    I personally would like to reassure you on your Benzes, while my family has not had any C classes, our previous E320, 500SL, and 420SEL had their share of niggling issues, but honestly, no other car on earth would have been as durable, provided us with the amount of safety inherent in a Mercedes (our 87 SEL had a driver's side airbag, ABS, and seltbelt pretensioners), been as wonderful to look at after so many years, and offer us such great resale (our 87 SEL with 140,000 miles and an auto tranny with only 1st and 2nd gear due to neglect and various other issues was traded in for 9,000 two years ago. Aand in case any of you were wondering, all of the problems were due to neglect, my parents just didn't care, the oil was changed when it got chunky on the dipstick, I'm not kidding).

    Michhala, isn't Klasse such a wonderful product, I use it on my car about once every three months along with Souveran Pinnacle glaze and I must admit, the car looks amazing. I can't refrain from waxing at least once every three months because my car is my baby and I'm absolutely anal. The Pinnacle brings out the depth of the paint really well and should work extremely well with the Obsidian Black. I'm not sure if Mercedes paint is the same as it used to be but our 1981 gray market 500SL in Lapis Blue stayed shiny w/o waxing for 13 years before the paint bubbled during an exceptionally rainy winter in SoCal.

    Good luck on your C classes, I'm trying to get my mom into an E class.
  • michhalamichhala Posts: 375
    <<Michhala, isn't Klasse such a wonderful product, I use it on my car about once every three months along with Souveran Pinnacle glaze and I must admit, the car looks amazing. I can't refrain from waxing at least once every three months because my car is my baby and I'm absolutely anal>>

    hi linard -- As addicted as I am (anal, too :), I do not need to give the C320 a beauty treatment that often. Using the Eimann Clear Pearl once a week to clean and protect gives me my fix :). Does the Souveran Pinnacle Glaze have the same good qualities as the Klasse Sealer Protectant?

    <<I'm not sure if Mercedes paint is the same as it used to be but our 1981 gray market 500SL in Lapis Blue stayed shiny w/o waxing for 13 years before the paint bubbled during an exceptionally rainy winter in SoCal. <snip> And in case any of you were wondering, all of the problems were due to neglect, my parents just didn't care, the oil was changed when it got chunky on the dipstick>>

    I believe the paint for the 1981 SL was oil based and more durable than the current water-based paint.

    I guess your parents saved their TLC for you, rather than their Mercedes :). I personally thank you for your post -- it is upbeat and reassuring.

  • ciracira Posts: 37
    <<I'm trying to get the one predelivery defect fixed, which is a tendency to wander off to the right at speed - the wheel alignment needs the tender mercies of the very competent tech who handles this for MB Sacto. Fingers crossed... >>

    jrct9454, how did the alignment turn out? Mine has had a right bias from day one and it has been aligned twice - without any change.

    404c wrote: I would take a guess that your car's engine mounts may be faulty and are therefore allowing additional vibration to penetrate the interior. This is a known problem - with a service bulletin - ask about it at the MB dealer and they'll probably change the engine mounts for you. That should solve the problem.

    My dealer acknowledges the problem but said that they checked for service bulletins and found nothing - there's no fix. 404c, if you have any further information I can point them to I would appreciate it. The vibration is starting to get so bad that you can feel it in the seats as well.
  • 404c404c Posts: 146
    I saw the info on engine mount changeovers at on the W 203 message board. Go there and do a search on engine mounts, that should do it.
  • linardlinard Posts: 59
    I'm as avid a Mercedes fan as they and hearing about the problems with the mid 90's to present Mercedes has been disappointing, that hasn't, however, changed my view on Mercedes building some of the finest cars and consistently out-innovating others out there. I also believe 2003 will be a great year for Mercedes with the new E, SL, CLK, and upgraded S class ushering in a return to tradional Mercedes values such as quality w/o such a stoic take on luxury and driving experience.

    My parents really did not take care of their Benzes as they should but now I can handle that for my mom so no need to worry anymore when you're buying a used car fom us!

    I have not used the Klasse Glaze, just the All-In-One, but I have to admit, the Pinnacle's price is hard to justify. Once I applied it to my car though, I was sold, the paint (a 99 Honda Prelude, so the paint isn't as glossy and deep as other makes) looked "wet" enough to swim in. I was deeply impressed.

    BTW, have you seen the 03 C Classes headlights? I am a big fan, they're quite beautiful. The dealership also told me a single disk CD player is now 400 dollars which I don't think Mercedes should charge in this day and age.
  • mac320mac320 Posts: 147
    The host bounced my Car & Driver critique because it contained a "disguised profanity," so I've been gone for a while and you'all missed my review of the reviewer.

    We have over 6,000 mi. on the '02 C320 and it is the best car we've ever driven. I still find interesting features I didn't know about, e.g., all the windows go up automatically when you hit the recirc button, the sun visors extend out on their swivel arms.

    I agree that 2003 will be MB's best year, ever. Their car line is so well integrated, from "C" to shiny "CL," and unit sales are spread widely across the group-- they truly have something for anyone who can appreciate MB's value. And, the company's quiet and persistence really has yielded something special, despite some spiteful reviews and reviewers who don't seem to be firing on all their cylinders.

    The new E-Class surely must be the best engineered car available today. If I was a little older and didn't find ML's utility of greater value for our purposes, I'd love to have an "S," and the new SL probably is the most comfortable sports car you could hope to drive.

    Excepting Porche's upcoming Cayenne sport ute, I don't see anything in the auto world that is as interesting and inspiring right now as what MB is putting out there.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    The tech's first reaction was that it was "within spec"; however, we both agreed it could be better, and accordingly, he cranked in a bit of extra caster on the right side [less than one degree of difference between left and right]. If you are not technically inclined, caster is the angle by which the front strut deviates away from a straight vertical line - most cars with struts have a small amount of positive caster, i.e. the bottom of the strut is angled to the front relative to the top of the strut. More caster helps straight line stability; less caster makes the car more responsive to changes in direction.

    So, by slightly increasing the right side caster over the left, the right side now "resists" changes in direction a bit more than the left. Bottom line: it now tracks straight with no wandering, without any changes in toe-in either front or rear, which were all within spec.

    I believe the left side is carrying about 9.5 degrees of caster, and the right about 10.2 or thereabouts - the difference may actually be smaller, as my memory of what the machine said when we were done is not crystal clear.

    Sorry if this is a bit hyperbolic, but the point is that there are things a good tech can do even when the usual suspects [toe-in, or tires, or tire pressures] are all otherwise OK. [Tires are often to blame when a car wants to pull to one side, but I had taken the precaution of trying all 4 tires on the front in various combinations before I brought the car in, and none of the combinations made any difference in the way it wanted to fall off to the right].
  • I am looking into a new car with my wife. Of course it's the same comparo...the c24o or the 325i. I haven't driven neither but both look great. I'm agraid that the 168 hp on the c240 won't be enough when I drive it. Does it actually feel slow? Or is it just me thinking that 168 hp is sol little? Does anyone know when will MB get a more powerful engone in the C240? Maybe one with around 180-190 hp? All answers would help. Thanks
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...and took the C240, and it wasn't that difficult a decision.

    Yes, the 325 will feel a bit quicker around town, but once on the road, most of the difference disappears. For us, the tie-breakers were ride quality and quiet, which both favored the C, as well as the slightly larger trunk. We want a comfortable, safe touring car - if you want a sports sedan, get the BMW.

    If performance is a concern, you should get the BMW and be happy; if comfort and general refinement for long trips is the point, get the Mercedes. I've owned many examples of both since 1967, and these distinctions have been there pretty much for those entire 35 years. In fact, we traded our '67 1600-2 for a '69 220 over exactly these same issues - I wanted a good long-distance car, and the BMW wasn't refined enough compared with the MB. These days, the differences are less dramatic, but still there.
  • bpmbbpmb Posts: 2
    I am interested in installing an aftermarket navigation system in a 2000 C230 sport. Has anyone had any such experience? I would appreciate recommendations on navigation systems and mounting options.
  • mac320mac320 Posts: 147
    The C240's engine has more torque, so it has a lot "fatter" horses and that's what counts. I was amazed at what torque does for a car's performance yesterday, while driving our C320.

    The C320 climbs like a goat. Overall, we were doing about 40 mph on average in a line of cars to about 4000 ft. and the 320 engine was never over 2K rpm and I never felt a shift.

    Coming down, I didn't have to wear out the brakes on the S-turns like the three cars in front of me that slowed over and over on 30 mph curves. Engine braking was all I needed.

    I love the 320 but it is an opulence, e.g., the same engine that is in the 1,000 pound heavier ML, e.g., it would tow a 5,000 lb boat up the same mountain. The 240 is the same engine, but with a shorter stroke, so it's only 2.6L, and has a higher compression-- and it probably is all the C needs in most situations.

    I've noticed in reading various rave reviews that owners who give 9s and 10s are pretty constant from among C230 and C320 owners whereas C240 owners seem to either love'm or merely just like'm at about a 50-50 ratio. That makes me think some of the C240 buyers probably would have appreciated more power.
  • saifusaifu Posts: 23
    I am being offered a 2001 C320, silver with black interior, for $30,000. The guy really needs the money so thats why he is selling.....the car has 14K miles and has everything but the has the Sports Package(nice wheels)..heated seats...premium sound + 6 disc changer..
    I am undecided between this the Jaguar S-type...i love the S-type gets alot more attention....but then i really enjoyed driving this car....what should i go for if they are around the same price?? Thanksss..
  • Well, I have never driven an S-type, but I do really admire its looks. If I could get either one for the same price and that price was "only" $30k I would likely opt for the Jag unless after driving it I really hated it.
  • mleskovarmleskovar Posts: 171
    $30K for a loaded 2001 C320 is a deal! That's almost a $45K car. Low miles, plenty of warranty remaining. My choice would be the C. Let us know what you decide on and why.
  • I am looking to buy or lease either a 2002 or 2003 C240.

    Any of you that have leased or bought one can you tell me what kind of prices you have gotten including the down payment, length of lease, mileage limits, gap insurance, etc.

    Do you think one can get a better deal on a lease or on a purchase?

    Any other info would be helpful. I am in Southern California.


    Tito Aguirre
  • 404c404c Posts: 146
    I wondered at your statement that the C 240 has more torque than the BMW 325i - well, yes it does:

    325i: 175 lbs-ft @ 3500 rpm
    C 240: 177 lbs-ft @ 4700 rpm

    Considering that the BMW develops its peak torque 1200 rpm lower in the rev range and that it is slightly lighter than the C 240, I doubt that there is any advantage whatsoever with respect to torque in the C 240. In fact, the converse may be true - you don't have to wind the nuts off the BMW's engine to be in the peak torque zone. The C 240 engine gets rather loud as it approaches 5000 rpm.
  • mac320mac320 Posts: 147
    I've heard the C240's engine described as electric motor smooth.
  • 404c404c Posts: 146
    Don't get me wrong - I've driven 6 speed C 240s before and I like them a lot more than the 325i. However, the notion that its torque is superior to that of the 325i is what I was questioning. The 90 degree V6 is inherently unbalanced (60 degrees would be the correct angle) since it is a partially-amputated V8. It's relative smoothness is due to its internal balance shaft. It's certainly not as smooth as an electric motor though, and for good reason. I'd still rather own the C 240 than a BMW 3.

    Our C 230 K with the 2.3 pulls like a steam engine, and since I've always driven 4 cylinder engines, I like its feel and sound. They're appropriate for a sporty car like this.

    The new 1.8 sold in North America is not direct injection; it is good old indirect injection.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    For the few of you who have asked, I made a followup visit to our dealer in Sacramento today to finish the saga of dealing with the wheel alignment. To reiterate, our '02 C240 was delivered last month with a tendency to want to slowly roll to the right at highway speeds; tires and pressures are fine, and the alignment was originally classified as "in spec". However, a combination of caster and toe-in adjustments have cured the problem, though it took two visits to finish the job.

    The actual difference between the caster on the right vs left was only about 0.25 deg, but there is some small toe-in difference, as well. So, "within spec" has been manipulated to cure the problem, and the car now tracks straight, will follow road crown to either side, and is completely neutral [you can take your hand off the wheel and it will track right on, as long as the crown is neutral] at any speed up to 80 mph, which was all I was willing to risk on our heavily patrolled freeway.

    The bulk of the cure was to have a bit more caster on the right side, so the car doesn't want to "wander" that way. But I was surprised at how small the difference was - I also took a complete printout of the final alignment spec for my records, should the issue come up in the future.

    Otherwise, the car, at 1000 miles or so, has been a delight in every important respect. I am especially impressed with the quiet and general refinement at speed, with longer trips no longer being the endurance tests that seemed to characterize our Toyotas and Hondas. And it is a noticeable step forward over our '94 W202 C [a C220] in just about every respect, notwithstanding the fact that the deal we got meant we actually paid less than we did for the '94.

    To sum up, I too tested a pretty basic 325 before making the final decision, and the price for the 3er we tried [an automatic with only the sunroof as an option] would have been very close to what we paid for our more generously equipped C [about $30k]. But the BMW just didn't feel as quiet and comfortable, especially on less than perfect surfaces, as the C, so the handling advantage that the 3er enjoys just didn't cut much mustard compared with the space and general refinement of the C.

    Anyone who takes the decision the other way would get no serious argument from me - it really depends on what you want, and we just don't care about the "sporty" advantage that the BMW has. For those who do, a lightly optioned 325 can actually be a mild bargain, if you can find one at your typical dealership. The car we saw was literally one in a thousand, and had been in stock a long time [for that matter, this was also true of the C we eventually bought].

    Anyway, so far, so good...
  • avro2avro2 Posts: 6
    I have a 2002 C240 and have been using premium gas/ petrol 91 octane. That&#146;s what the dealership said I should be using. Now, I was wondering if I could step a notch down to 89 octane &#150; the cost of gas is crazy up here in Canada and with the onset of a war (hope not), things are not going to get better.

    I truly believe that what the dealership is telling me is a bit of a crock! Would they be a detrimental affect on the engine &#150; I do not think there would be a considerable drop in performance or reduction in mileage.

    Your comments would be appreciated!
  • Please continue to use premium gas. If you want to save a few bucks each week, try brown bagging your lunch to work. In addition to the reduction in performance, the mid-grade fuel will not give as clean a burn as premium. Over the long haul, with the cost of these vehicles, you will be happy you spent the extra on gas in years to come. Good luck with the upcoming Canadian winter!
  • 404c404c Posts: 146
    With a 10.5:1 compression ratio, you had better keep using 91 octane gas! If you don't, the timing will be retarded by the ECU to the point where the power and fuel efficiency drop will be noticeable.

    Hey, you bought a Benz, why skimp on gas? If 85 Canadian cents per litre is too much for you to pay, maybe a 1989 Hyundai would have been a better choice...just kidding ;-)
  • mbnut1mbnut1 Posts: 403
    Thanks for keeping us posted on the allignment and C240.
  • 404c404c Posts: 146
    Yes, maybe my "amputated" comment was unduly cruel. But there is some truth to it...

    Mercedes-Benz apparently did not want to invest in the extra tooling that would have been necessary to make a 60 degree V6, so they made a technical compromise by using the same boring equipment to do the V8 as the 90 degree V6. For a 90 degree V6 engine, it is quite smooth thanks to the counter-rotating balance shaft, but it's not as smooth as a 60 degree V6 typically found beneath the hood of a FWD car like a Honda Accord or Toyota Camry. Too bad, but no big deal.

    But Mercedes-Benz makes a V12 too, which does have a 60 degree cylinder bank spacing. So why could the V-6 blocks could not be done on the V12 line? Probably because there is precious little production capacity for the V12 and it was cheaper to invest in new equipment common to the V8 and V6, higher volume engines.
  • mac320mac320 Posts: 147
    I'd have to agree about the comment, "partially amputated," as having a derogatory connotation that I think is inapplicable to MB's component engine concept.

    As I understand it, as part of the "planned from the beginning" design, as noted, the V6's cylinders are not simply lined up on-center, and this, combined with a weighted crankshaft, produces as fine an engine as the more traditional 60 degree "V" design. Wards thought the E's 320 was among the top ten best for about three years running.

    Having oversized exhaust valves instead of two smaller exhaust valves to make room for the twin-spark design wasn't traditional either but I give MB credit for their pioneering new ideas and bringing them to reality, usually with results that demand to be copied by MB's competitors, e.g., the new E's brake by wire that all cars will have someday.

    Regarding the comparatively higher torque of the two engines, we'd need the torque curves of both engines to show what is happening there. The engine that reaches a high torque quickly and maintains it over a broad range has the most usable torque, i.e., the fattest horses.

    A good example of that is the C320's engine which reaches a high torque at about 3000 rpms and maintains over a long flat plateau. However, I'm only assuming the same applies to the 240, based on the 320's example and driving cars with both 240 and 325 engines. Additionally, the 240 does have 4% more cubes and that always has been a good indicator of better torque, and I would think that would especially hold true when comparing engines with the same compression.
  • 404c404c Posts: 146
    Without having a torque curve for both the C 240 and 325i, we'll just have to guess about which car has the broader torque plateau.

    My guess is the BMW - here's why - engine architecture:

    BMW bore x stroke: 84.0 x 75.0 mm
    M-B bore x stroke: 89.9 x 68.2 mm

    The BMW engine design is, all other things being equal, more likely to have good torque caracteristics than the Mercedes-Benz one due to its more "square" bore:stroke ratio. On the other hand, the M-B design might, theoretically, be more easy to rev.

    Regarding your other point, I would not cite the Mercedes V engine head design as being anything that gave rise to copies from competitors, as it is not efficient.

    When they chose the three valve design with the single exhaust port and two sparkies, the idea was to get a quick warm up in order to heat the catalyst(s) up as soon as possible. Mercedes engineers were on record at the time as stating that upcoming emission control standards in Europe and the USA could only be met with such a design. BMW and the Japanese manufacturers proved them wrong, and the restricted breathing caused by the single exhaust port proved to be detrimental to high-rev output and fuel efficiency.

    BMW's equivalent engines are not only more powerful than the C Class' V6 engines, but they are around 20% more fuel efficient too. The upcoming Valvetronic versions will be even moreso. This efficiency penalty is tough for me to accept, and it's why I would not buy a present generation Mercedes V6. But I don't like the other aspects of the BMW much.

    The revised head design for the Mercedes V engines will be coming out late in 2003 (according to MB Spy). It will include....4 valves per cylinder....and one spark plug per cylinder. Just like the old C 230 K four cylinder engine, and the new 1.8. The new V engines will undoubtedly meet upcoming emission control standards, be more powerful and significantly more fuel-efficient than the present version.

    The three valve heads were an interesting experiment, but a dead end evolutionarily speaking, and not influential on other engine designs.

    Of course Mercedes-Benz has pioneered many other technologies that were major advances, so I am not disputing that, but just pointing out that your example of design leadership was not particularly à propos.

    Actually, two of these advances are causing problems on our 2002 C 230 K - we've had two ESP error messages and a BAS error message too in the past 4 days. We hope to get the car into the dealer later this week for a diagnosis and cure.
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