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Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedans



  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...I just went to CarsDirect's website, plugged in my [NorCal] zip code, and got a $2600 off quote for an '03 C240 sedan with automatic, metallic, C3, and CD changer. This is in a market that is considerably less competitive than Southern Calif.
  • All,

    I'm looking for a dealer/parts department that discounts MB OEM parts. A particularly onerous pot hole damaged two of my rims on a recent trip to NY. So now my barely broken-in 2002 C320 (with only 9,000 miles) has a vibration that I cannot live with.

    I'm trying to avoid paying full dealer price for replacement wheels. If anyone knows of a dealer (in the DC area or who will ship) that sells parts at cost-plus, I'd appreciate the referral.

  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...some will be new wheels, some will be takeoffs - all will be less expensive than the dealer:

    These will involve shipping, of course, but will still save you money over new stock. AAA last month had an "overstock" special on W203 sedan wheels - check the overstock sale part of the website to see if they are still available - the price was under $200 a wheel, including shipping. [I'll try for the direct link here:...]

    Also, if you are an MBCA member, there are other discounts available from various MB dealers.

  • rainersrainers Posts: 50
    #5767 of 5768 replacement OEM wheels for 2002 C by plinton Oct 28, 2002 (01:33 pm)

    I know where you get some for 150.00 each. Email me for help.
  • Hello fellow MBers:
    I asked earlier about buying a factory-warrantied lemon from Ebay. All responses were negative. I took your advice and did not buy it. However, I still think it is a good buy if you want to keep it for a while (since selling a lemon is a bit difficult than selling $0.10 lemonades ;-)

    Anyway, instead, I ended up with a clear title 1999 C 230 Kompressor. I like it so far (the first month), but have some questions not seemed to be discussed here before:

    1. Previous discussions show that to hang the front license plate, one needs to get 4 holes drilled in the front bumper. My questions (a): what do I expect to pay at the dealership for drilling and mounting bracket? (b) would any universal size plate bought from autozone do?

    2. The dreaded snow tire question, which is debated to death, but I would appreciate a simple answer: (a) for Omaha, where about 3-4 storms of 4 inches plus in Winter are expected, does a reasonably cautious driver need snow tires on this rear wheel drive vehicle? (b) do you put any stock in putting sand bags in trunk as a secondary option to mounting snow tires? (No, snow chains are out of question for their hassel).
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    I answered the first part of your question on the other board...
  • Does anyone have experience with and their C class or any MB? I want to buy a set of four (4) snow tires mounted on steel (non-alloy) wheels supplied by them. I am concerned about proper offset,bolt pattern, fit and balance. Their wheels are considerably cheaper than MB's but it could be a waste of money and much hassle. Any input will be greatly appreciated.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...they take great care on all of those issues, but of course steel wheels have a little more risk of vibrations [mostly due to runout] than alloys, but not much.

    If they say a given set of wheels will fit, they will. We have used them [wheel/tire packages] on Hondas and Toyotas, with only one wheel/tire needing to be rebalanced on a road-force machine to get runout corrected. And TireRack paid for the rebalance...
  • I bought alloy wheels and snow tires from them last January.
    They know their stuff. I ordered it through the web and latter on the day, a sales guy called me to confirm that is what I wanted to ordered and if I had any questions. It came mounted and balanced, OEM M-B center cap and bolts for these wheels. All I had to do was take off the M-B wheels/tires, put these new ones on and torque the bolts (very important). I recommend you get the alloy wheels. They look better than steel wheels, with or without wheel covers. The winter tires work great in the snow. I live in Minnesota.

    This is what I ordered.
    Wheels: Mille Miglia Bello 16x7.5
    Tires: Dunlop Winter Sport M2 in 205/55-16 (OEM Size).
    Total cost: $1,000
  • nedzelnedzel Posts: 787
    with Tirerack was not good. I ordered a new set of summer tires and four wheels. They did not properly balance them and did not include the wheel locks that I paid for. Cross shop with your local tire/wheel store. The difference in price might not be all that great. And my local tire store will balance the wheels once a year for free.
  • On my c320 there is a wire frame inside the gas filler lid that is meant to hold the gas cap while you are filling up. Our 2001 e320 has a similar frame, and the cap is a snug fit in it. But on the C the frame is too large, so the gas cap just balances there, and usually falls out.

    I am wondering if my C has a "non-USA" frame in it. Can anyone comment on how their gas cap fits in its filler lid frame??

  • Mine works the same as yours e320wagon. It looks like a little bending by hand would fix it though.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363 fine on our '02 C240.
  • mbgambga Posts: 11
    Any words of wisdom, things to look out for when having this done? For example, a friend has it done recently and was initially told tire rotation was not included, but did throw it in. I will be using a different dealer, so maybe I won't have that problem.

    I have some minor problems: front center cup holder won't fold down and loud noise when retracting the rear shade (sounds like the motor isn't cutting off until well after it is seated). My gas cap frame is okay, by the way.

    I assume they will take care of these things, but wondered what others experiences have been. Thanks.
  • mac320mac320 Posts: 147
    It was news to me. A German car enthusiast told me you cannot tell except for the VIN number: if your "C" was assembled in Germany, there will be a letter "A" or "F" followed by six more numbers at the very end of the VIN number, whereas the Brazilian-assembled "C"s will have one of three different letters

    Apparently, even though some "C"s are assembled in So. America, they're considered 100% "Made in Germany" because every part comes from Germany (I don't know where the Brazilian "C"s are painted). By comparison, in the production facility in Alabama where MLs are assembled, only the most expensive elements for the ML come from Germany, like the engine, drive train, electronics, &etc., whereas the body parts are made in the U.S.

    I read recently that German workers cost 50% more and are less productive compared to U.S. workers. Using Brazilian labor probably offers an even greater economic value than US workers.

    Once "C" body parts are made in Brazil instead of just being assembled like a Heathkit radio, MB will have a competitive product to offer West Coast buyers, i.e., a better made "C" at a lower price. I hear the Brazilian-assembled "C"s are actually better than from Germany . . . but, I'd want a discount.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    We've had this discussion many times in the past - scroll back a few hundred posts for more details.

    Yes, the Brazilian Cs are made from knock-down kits, which means no parts are fabricated on-site. Don't know about painting, but I do know that assembly standards are the same worldwide. Why a "discount"? Good thing Honda, Toyota, Mitsu, Subaru, Nissan, and yes, M-Class owners don't feel the same way...

    All right-hand drive Cs are made in South Africa - I rather doubt UK buyers have much bargaining power derived from that fact.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    If you have waited 10,000 miles to have the tires rotated the first time, you've probably already gone too long. Now they have a "set" to the belts, and you run the risk of vibrations and noise. Could be OK, depending on which tires the car has [Michelins are less prone to these problems than Pirellis or Continentals], or not...

    Just be prepared: make sure the car feels right before driving too far from the dealership. This is also a discussion we've had before, most recently on one of the other C-Class boards. Tires that go much beyond 5k-7.5k miles are at risk for problems if you try to rotate them; this is one reason MB no longer wants to pay for it...BMW has dropped it from their service recommendations altogether, because they know that waiting for the first service is too long.

    I do all our tire rotations myself in the garage at 3000 mile intervals...many tire stores will do it for you for a minimal or even no charge, but make sure they use the correct bolt torque and use a real hand torque wrench, not a gun, to tighten the bolts.
  • Hi all - Been away for a while...but back.

    "Otto" (99 C280) has been reasonably reliable lately. Needed tyres at 36K, replaced OEM Goodyear RS/A's with Michelin MXV4+, very nice ride. My windscreen wiper shuddering had me stumped for a while. Tried Rainx, Bon Ami, etc etc but nothing. It was finally cured by using a Bosch Microedge blade bought from local discount parts store -- no more skip! Elec sunroof still occasionally sticky after a rain - but usually clears up.

    Ok, question for you guys out there; been daydreaming about the perfect car -- you know Mini Cooper S, new E class, Diablo, etc, when I stumbled on the fact that the '03 C 320 comes with -- drum roll -- a standard 6 speed transmission!

    This would make it (for me) the perfect car. I knew the C240 came with a six speed but was ever hoping for bigger engine with a standard shift...

    Is there anyone on the board with a standard shift, either 240 or 320, that would care to comment on it?

    Would be curious about:

    - clutch uptake
    - shift feel
    - throttle response (not, strictly speaking, subject to auto vs. standard but sometimes I notice the throttle is a little too slow sometimes on the slushbox)

    Thanks in advance all!

  • mac320mac320 Posts: 147
    As long as you're talking about the "perfect car" an also about a "C," and also about responsive shifting, you may want to consider also the C32 which has the more active automatic shifting system that switches gears faster and won't upshift when slowing on curves.

    And, for the most "perfect car," that probably would be the upcoming E-Class Kompressor-AMG (nearly 500 hp) with the same active shifting and also with semi-active suspension.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    The main complaint about the manual is a real notchiness between gates. There have been a few problems with synchros in the lower gears, but statistically, no more than automatic trans problems.

    I found the notchiness to be noticeable on the car I drove, but not a show-stopper. It is certainly not in BMW's class, never mind Honda's, but still OK.

    Keep in mind that in this car [as opposed to a 3er], the manual will make the car a harder sell at resale time. How much this matters, as usual, depends entirely on how long you plan to keep the car.
  • John - Hello, nice to hear from you again. As always, sage advice.

    Car before Otto was a 92 Accord EX 5 Spd, driven 98K. Before that was an 89 Accord LX 5 Spd, driven 103K. And before that was a 85 Civic Lx, driven get the idea(!). After moving back to the states in 98, and finally having the wherewithal to buy one of these Silver Arrows, the only real thing I had to swallow was the automatic in the W201 C. Great car, and even the autobox was not so bad after all. But now with the manual in the C320, plus all the other bits etc its starting to look better and better. I drove a C180 (?) last year in Germany from Avis on a business trip for 600+ km. I personally did not notice the notchiness (frankly, my first time on the Autobahn kept my attention I can tell you:) just a reasonably smooth shifting 6 speed.

    Mac - Yes, please, would not have any problem driving the C32 (I suppose!) its just that I'd have to separate from north of $50K of my hard-earned bucks to get one...just a little out of my league. The E class will remain out of reach for a long period of time.

    Current outlook from she-who-must-be-obeyed is that I need a car to go 10 years; hence the interest in a 6 speed for an Otto replacement. So resale value is less of a concern for the 6 speed. The reason for thinking about replacing Otto is (strangely enough) driving a new Mini Cooper S (we have an old Mini) in the summer; what a hoot. Woke me up to how much fun it is to "drive" the car vs. letting the autobox do it for you.

    Thanks Guys, really appreciate the comments...

  • mbnut1mbnut1 Posts: 403
    I doubt that one would ever be available to test drive for me given it's low market appeal, however I would expect that if it were geared properly it would be much more satifying to drive than the C240. The principle reason being the C320's increased torque. The C240 with the 6 speed felt too much like an economy car in that it required a lot of revs to get anything out of it and then the engine seemed to run out of breath at the upper end. IMHO the C240 is much better matched with the 5 speed automatic where the power is delivered much more smoothly. I would expect / hope the the C320 could be lugged more effectively than the C240 like my past 190E 2.6 and current 1.8T A4 and the BMW 325.
  • ek01ek01 Posts: 37
    Hi folks. Any thoughts on the C240 4Matic wagon's power for highway driving and merging. I am comparison shopping for a wagon and found out that this is in my budget. There are none in the Toronto area for a test drive. Thanks.
  • Fred - Yes, I agree, it is going to be hard to find one to drive. Was at the dealership here in Orlando this afternoon wandering around (as you do) and did not find a single standard shift C240 from the dozen or so that were on the lot:(

  • 404c404c Posts: 146
    For me, a C 240 station wagin with 4MATIC would be just fine. I don't expect a car like that to be fast or even quick, so I would not be disappointed by the >10 seconds it would take to accelerate from 0-100 km/h. If you'e expecting an Audi Quattro stage rally winner, forget it, but if you want a good-looking all weather vehicle with adequate performance it should be fine.
  • I have a manual C-240 and I know where you can test drive one as well. There is a dealership in Burlington, Vermont named "The Automaster". Because of Vermonter's general preference for manual transmissons, they routinely stock C-classes with 6-speeds. They are a Porsche, BMW, Mercedes, Honda dealer. A great place to cross shop cars like the BMW 3 series and MB C-class. I was happy with buying my car there. The sales persons name was Aaron Root.

    I have owned my 6-speed C-240 for over 1 year, and before that I drove a Porsche 944 maunal. My commentary would be this.

    The C-240 does have a noticeable notchiness between 1st and 2nd, but it is nothing that a good driver can't handle. Otherwise the gearbox is incredibly precise. You can very quickly and easily feel where the next gear is and there is no sloppiness like japanese gearboxes. The clutch is firm and provides some feedback... not even close to the amount the old Porsche gave though. Spend some time in Germany and you will quickly realize that almost every car sold there is a manual, the engineers know what they are doing.

    The most interesting thing is the interaction between the ESP, Traction control and the 6-speed. They don't seem to interfere... one could imagine the traction control applying the brakes on ice thus causing the engine to stall because of the manual. This has never happened to me and I have tried to confuse it many times. Another wonder of German engineering I suppose.

    I really like the 6-speed. Sitting in 6th gear at 3000rpm and 80mph is quite nice. Fuel economy on the highway is 29.6 mpg over 380 miles at 72 mph average. Of course a quick jaunt through the twisty back roads is equally appealing. I can say that stop and go traffic sucks more than a 35 gallon shopvac, although I did commute through Boston for a year.

    As for the people who are worried about resale value, I say that is bunk. The 6-speed is $1200 less than the auto initially... and if you invest that money for your 4 years of ownership even conservatively (8%) you can "afford" over $1600 of lost resale price... or somewhere close to %10 of the resale value. Do you really think the difference is that big? And remember that if you find the right buyer, they may view it as more desirable to have a stick...

    I wish the 6-speed was available in the C-320 when I bought. I think that car is a huge value at 34K.

    On another subject. I always try to find a way to check up on the honesty of a dealers service department. For instance if they are suppose to rotate the tires, mark one of them with some chalk on the inside wall. After the appointment see if the tire has moved. You can also do some other things like check the levels of all the fluids immediately before you take the car in and then repeat it afterwards. Keeping service departments honest is very difficult... it helps if they know that there is a chance that they have an educated consumer on their hands.
  • mbnut1mbnut1 Posts: 403
    Please share with us the conservative 8% investments that you speak of.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,041
    A journalist from a wire service is looking for comments about heated seats - do you really love them, or really hate them, or really hate having to pay for them in an option package? Please send your thoughts and daytime contact info to by Tuesday, November 12 at 2pm Eastern.


    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Share your vehicle reviews

  • mac320mac320 Posts: 147
    They're not needed until it's cold, of course, but on those occasions, when I've used them, they're quicker acting than the car's heater and largely eliminate the need for the car's heater. I'm sure the family cat would enjoy spending 8-10 hours a day in the heated seats, but surprisingly, my wife doesn't care to use them at all.
  • My wife and I bought our first car with heated seats, a 2001 Mercedes C240, off the lot with the heated seat/headlamp washer package. Wow, what a joy. A warm seat bottom and back even on a cool day feels great. My father always claimed that leather seats were too cold in the winter. Not anymore. I was so thrilled with heated seats that when I recently bought a new pre owned car for myself I only looked for inexpensive used luxury cars, like my 1999 Saab 9-3 SE, that featured heated front and rear seats. It seams that while leather has gone as far down market as the 2002 Mazda Protégé 5, 2003 Toyota Corolla LE and the Hyundai Elantra GT, heated seats still haven't followed.
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