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Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedans



  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    If you insist, you can go to Daimler-Benz's worldwide website, and see what they say.

    Here's what I know :

    -Cs for the American market [both North and South American] are made in Germany [principally Rastatt and Bremen, but some in Sindelfingen] and Brazil. There are no Mexican plants assembling passenger cars for Mercedes.

    -The Brazilian plant assembles so-called knock-down kits, which means that most of the parts and assemblies are not manufactured on site, but come from overseas sources - again principally Germany, but also South Africa.

    -RHD Cs are currently made for all right-hand-drive markets [UK, Japan, Australia, etc] in South Africa.

    For all practical purposes, the US market is served almost exclusively by the German plants; the Brazilian cars are out there, but they make up a very small proportion of cars on US dealer lots.

    I have no idea where the assertion that these cars are made in Mexico came from - another urban legend, I suppose...or confusion because VW, Honda, Nissan, and many others have plants in Mexico. DCX [the big parent] has Mexican factories, but no MB cars are produced there - examples do include the PT Cruiser and some models of heavy-duty Class 8 trucks.
  • nycanyca Posts: 232
    These days, I wonder if problems in the German economy and society aren't affecting the workers dedication to build quality. I can see less and less MBs being made in Germany as time goes on.

    What MB should do is have some kind of lifetime subscription to teleaid, $1000 for life, transferable to every new MB you own. That would be a fair deal, and help with followup buyers who had the subscription and had an incentive to buy another MB to continue using it.
  • mac320mac320 Posts: 147
    German workers cost about 50% more and are less productive than their US counterparts, according to a recent WSJ article, so US production of MB's SUVs, for instance, made sense. Now that the US plant makes all it can produce, mostly for export, MB's ML has been a success story for US workers.

    As for German workers, they made out in our case because we were impressed with our ML so much, we opted for MB's C-Class when it came time to replace the Honda.

    As for where our C-Class was made, this issue came up recently in an earlier post, which you may be interested to read, as follows:

    #6045 of 6276 Heard of Brazilian-assembled "C"s?
    by mac320 Nov 09, 2002 (1:40 pm)
    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.
  • michhalamichhala Posts: 375
    Jeeesh! I hope I am in the right place! Lotsa changes in just a few weeks to the forum.

    Some will recall that my car was keyed and required painting of the entire passenger side. It was in the shop for ten days (this included a weekend), and methinks it looks good. There are a few places (inside frame of door, near small window, on bumper) where there are slight overruns of paint. It can only be seen in certain lights and I am taking the car to the shop tomorrow for them to rectify. I brought the car to Lasky Coachworks in West Los Angeles. They are extremely nice and the owner, who is a car collector and car enthusiast -- IOW a car nut :) -- is on the premises at all times.

  • acco20acco20 Posts: 211
    and how things were going with the paint job. Glad it seems to be working out.
  • In late 2001 I purchased a 2002 C320 for my wife and the car was assembled in Brazil. We have had it for about 16 months and have had no problems to date.
  • Good to hear your car is finished Miki...I was wondering how it turned out. I hope they complete it to your satisfaction
  • ciracira Posts: 37
    Anyone have an opinion on this situation.

    I purchased by C230 on April 3, 2002. For the first few weeks the car was wonderful. Then the trouble began. In the course of the next 10 months, the following defects occurred:

    1) The rear seat cushion was defective and had a large bump in it. This was replaced.
    2) The parking brake stopped working and had to be tightened.
    3) The car pulled to the right. Three alignments were done to no avail. The dealer now blames the problem on the snow tires (even though the problem existed before the snows were installed, and despite the fact that Mercedes expressly advises customers to install snow tires).
    4) The headlights did a fine job of illuminating the house numbers along the right side of the road but did little to light the road. They had to be aligned twice.
    5) The rear shock bolts came loose (not in connection with any driving hazard) and had to be replaced.
    6) The stick shift and pedals vibrated so much that the dealer changed the engine mounts. Problem is no much better.
    7) Floating mirror problem that others have had. Dealer changed the controller and the problem was corrected.
    8) The bumper fascia behind the left rear wheel came loose and had to be reattached.
    9) Endless creaks, pops, rattles and squeaks. The sunshades on the panoramic roof had to be replaced because they were rattling around like loose bolts. The trunk lid has been “lubricated” several times to stop it from creaking like an old door hinge when driving. The dash and the glove box had to be tightened down as they were giving off loud “pops” when driving. Felt tape has been installed on the combar (I don’t know what that is but it’s what they said was the problem) to stop a rear rattle, and around the rear seat trim to stop squeaking. The tail gate panel trim had to be adjusted to stop a rattle and the tailgate shocks had to be replaced for the same reason.

    All of this has not stopped the problems. The alignment still pulls to the right. When I close the center blue air vent the air diffuser lets out a loud high pitched whistle. The dealer says this is normal but not a single loaner car I was given made this noise. The trim on the “B” pillar has come loose and constantly makes a cracking and popping sound. The tail rattle still comes and goes (sounds like a loose tailpipe). Lastly, the driver’s headrest intermittently fails to lower when the seat is pulled up in the entry/exit position. When this happens I have to remove the headrest and reinstall it to reset it.

    In 10 months of ownership the car has been in the shop for 44 working days.

    Have others had these kinds of problems? Is this a lemon or do I do as others and sell it and cut my loses. I actually love the C230 but I hate this car. Every week it’s a new problem. Any suggestions?
  • michhalamichhala Posts: 375
    Thank you for your good thoughts.

  • Anyone know what the lowest price for a C240 in the DC area? Seems like the dealers around the area are pretty stuffy and salesman generally unfriendly. Any recommendations before I venture out to buy my new MB?
  • After reading your post in # 6282 I am planning to go down to the morgue tomorrow morning to cheer up. The string of the problems thatyou discuss in your message are truely amazing.

    Here is a site that you might look at. It covers the lemon laws in all states in the U.S.: state.html
    This may be of some help to you.

    Good luck, hope all works well in your search
    for correct solutions for all of these things.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    One suggestion, that applies in just about any market:

    Go to and configure the car the way you want it. Then you have a good firm idea of the price the region is currently supporting. In our area, 3000 miles away from you in CA, CD is always within a couple of hundred dollars of the floor that is there in the marketplace; they are not always the low bidder, but always close.

    And, if all else fails, you can let them go get the car for you - which is after all, why they are in business; at worst, you've got a place to start.
  • I have heard that HBL is pretty good. I would try them or maybe EuroMotorcars. I bought my C at ASC in Arlington, but would not buy from them again.
  • eddiemaceddiemac Posts: 141
    I just helped a good friend purchase a c240 on Jan. 31. She purchased a bordeaux red c240 4matic. The sticker price was $38,225, and she purchased it for $36,500. The car has memory seats heated seats, sunroof, headlight washers, and a cd changer. She bought is at ASC in Arlington, after about a 2.5 week search. Another place to try would be Select Auto Imports in Alexandria. They sell pre-owned cars,BUT they also sell NEW Mercedes at a discount! We went there but they had sold the car she was interested in the night before. For comparison, they had a c240 with 10 miles on it, sticker price $35,300(the original sticker from the Benz dealer). Their starting price for the car was $34,950, which dropped to $33,950 without any real negotiation. They offered her a c240 with 300 miles for $32,900 and was willing to go lower, but she did not want the car. Their website is If you need to know any specifics, e-mail me directly.
  • rc928rc928 Posts: 1
    My C240 4Matic drivers great in winter, except for the wipers. The dealer had replaced the blades 3 weeks after I took possession of the car, but they are still not cleaning very well. Will appreciate on any suggestions for after market M-B qualified winter wiper ?
  • mtroymtroy Posts: 45
    My 2001 C320 has 33k miles and needed new tires. I got the Michelin MXV4plus, and all appears well. $609 out the door. I figure I'll get an alignment at the next FSS service. After reading the past few month's posts here, I'm going to go back to tire place and question their lug nut tightening practices. (Never would have thought of that one.) Tires guys told me that getting 33K on the original Conti's was great. Hm, thoughts? I would have liked 45K. Tire guy told me I need new front brake pads and front rotors and rear pads. I figure 33K is about right for that. First MB dealer price: $619 YIKES! Second MB Dealer price: $711 DOUBLE YIKES! Tire guy (Big O Tires) says he can get the parts from the MB dealer and do the whole job for $337. But he's not a MB specialist, so I called two indep. MB repair places and they can do it for about $375. Now I expected the dealers to be more but DOUBLE the price is outrageous.
  • mac320mac320 Posts: 147
    We have a another 20K to go on the original Conti tires then, but when the time comes for new tires, I've wondered about replacing the stock 205\55\16s with a wider 225\50\16 size. The two sizes have the same overall tire diameter and apparently fit on 7" rims, although 7.5" rims came on the sport model with that size. Has anyone put the wider tire on the standard rims yet?
  • nankynanky Posts: 75
    Just had my front rotors and pads replaced at Penske for about $450. Where in CA are you? Has anyone had to replace a rain sensing windshield with one that's non MB yet supposed to have been built to MB specs?

    Have been gone for a while. Hope most of you are enjoying your cars.
  • My Contis have 42K miles and are about 2/3 worn. I like them because they are quiet. Not many people like the 'handling' of Contis but they suite me fine and can go around a corner faster than I am willing to take them. The standard rotors and pads wear too quickly and are too dirty for my liking. Why not turn your rotors? Or even buy after market rotors...slotted or drilled go for about $100 each. After market pads are cheaper and cleaner as well. Nothing is as smooth as the MB rotor and pad combination but the aftermarket offerings sometimes stop better and usually last longer (and cleaner). I have Porterfield pads on the front and the only difference I notice is the first couple of stops before the pads warm up are not as smooth as with the stock concern, just noticeable. My wife doesn't notice any difference at all.
  • valonvalon Posts: 22
    after almost 3weeks of shopping and making a decision betwen c class and bmw325i I made my decision for the c class 230 sport sedan with cd changer and options c2 and c4, my question is did anyone bought the car and how is the driving also how much they pay for it mine total cost was $31500
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    Just a reminder that MB specifies that OEM rotors should not be "turned" or cut for reuse. They only authorize new parts as replacements when rotors are diagnosed as worn or warped.
  • MB recommending not to turn rotors is a myth. Even their tech bulletins remind the dealers to first turn rotors before replacement in warranty situations. That being said....every dealer I've heard of replaces the rotors instead of turning them. There's minimal labor cost and wasted repair bay space when you don't remove/turn/wait/reinstall rotors. Also...they get the parts mark up $. The only factors limiting the turning of rotors are rotor thickness and condition (cracks).
  • Anyone know any good MB service dealers around Los Angeles.I been to Penske and Rusnak, the service is not so good. They always tell me that i need to change my brakes every 6 months. Anyone have similar problems? Brakes don't go out that fast, i think. Anyone been to Calstar?
  • Hi all - Board been pretty quiet lately. Has anyone got any info on C230K Sport Sedan with manual transmission?

    In particular I'm wondering what 0-60 time is for comparison; for reference C320 I've seen as 6.9s. The MB USA site lists C230K manual as TBD...Also, am looking for any good pictures of this particular model; might save me a drive down to the dealer for a bit of snooping...

    Also, (John?) where does this four cylinder K engine come from? I though MB had eliminated the 4 banger with the W201? Or is this one of the "new" 4 cyl engines I heard about available in Europe (i.e. does it have 4 valve heads or unobtanium alloy passages) or what?

    Most recent W202 C experience I had was when I rented a C200 Classic in the UK, week before last, with the new C autobox; interesting drive, never did use the autobox though. I read the manual in the hotel and decided it was basically the same mechanism as in my W201 C, albeit via software vs. a mechanical lever.

    This particular model (from Avis -- threw myself on the mercy of the counter man for an upgrade) had 12K miles on it and still felt pretty tight. Good throttle response (much better than W201) and tracked pretty flat through the corners. Good steering, light but direct. I felt the build quality for this right hand drive model was not the same as the one I'd test driven in Orlando last fall. Perhaps its due to the different trim lines in the UK (Is it still Classic, Avant Garde, Elegance?) vs the States. Seemed a bit noiser too. Certainly the "feel" of the shift lever was different -- more floppy and less direct than the state-side version - but this is small cheese.

    Drove it from Bristol airport to Worcestershire then down the M40 to Gatwick, so had a pretty good haul in it. Felt very stable at 70+ (ahem) in the intermittent rain/mist. It was nice to drive in the UK again where they will move over out of lane 3 on the Motorway for you vs. here in the States where folks seem not to know much about efficient passing on interstates.(!)

    Thanks all...stay warm...Rich in Orlando where with the wind chill it was 79F today...:)
  • paul_ppaul_p Posts: 271
    My personal preference is I would not want to cut or turn an OEM rotor when new ones are available.

    Years ago when I was more cost-conscious, it seemed like most of the time the warped, scored rotors were too worn overall to turn anyway - and bringing them to a shop to have them turned was usually just a waste of my time. Out of about a dozen brake jobs I did on various autos over the years, I think I was only able to have the rotors turned once.

    I would pay the extra $ for safety, anyway. There are too many dollars, not to mention my life and other peoples', dependent on the performance of the brakes.

    Just my 2cents...

      - Paul
  • mbnut1mbnut1 Posts: 403
    I never turned them. They would never warp before the just plain wore out. They were good for about two sets of pads. And pretty cheap too about $35 from a west coast Mercedes dealer who sold them wholesale.
  • My 2001 C240 has 20k of mostly highway miles on it. The front of the car seems to be very sensitive to "stone chipping". It must have at least a hundred little paint chips anywhere from 1/32 to about 1/8 inch large. I noticed that the actual top coat of paint (desert silver in my case) is extremely thin. I wonder if that's why.
    I'd like to know whether anybody else has a similar problem and/or had any success convincing the dealer / Daimler USA to properly repaint the front (bumper and the hood)under warranty. The Service Manager of my dealer basically refused to even discuss the issue. My next step is to contact the regional rep.
  • Hello all, I am looking at a 2001 C240 with 9k on it. Consumer reports rates that car below average in reliability, can some of you all tell me about your experiences with the car? Thanks
  • Welcome to eco friendly water based car paint. Say goodbye to the legendary Mercedes paint that lasted forever and didn't chip down to the undercoat every time it was hit. Same with the other German autos. Supposedly all car manufacturers will be going to this type of paint going forward. You'll be wasting your time trying to convince the dealer to repaint.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    The 4 cyl in the W203 Cs all derive from a new design that is indeed all-aluminum [no more iron block]. At the moment, there are multiple derivatives of one basic design, all 1.8 liters in displacement. They are sold as the 180K, 200K, or 230K, with one version that is direct injection [not available in the US yet]. The various designations refer to the state of tuning, not to any difference in displacement [marketing again - no, I have no idea what they think this accomplishes]. Thus there are three different hp and torque ratings from the supercharged engines, plus one that is direct injection.

    We get the highest-rated engine for the US market's W203 Cs. Go here for a complete explanation:
This discussion has been closed.