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Mercedes-Benz C-Class Maintenance and Repair



  • vivid1vivid1 Posts: 24
    I don't own any coveralls either. But with a little reading on the internet, this car is easy. Also, you work as a salesman for Toyota, but you have to BUY a CAR??? They dont let you use a car??? You are getting screwed. 6 day work weeks and you have to buy a car? Wow...
  • Hi,the rear lights inc. licence plate lamps come on and remain on while the ignition is switched on. It was only when bulbs kept blowing repeatedly that I discovered the problem. Any ideas as to what is causing the this to happen ?
  • Go Figure! I have been in the car biz for 5 months and they won't even give me a demo. Actually, now that I think of it my manager doesn't even have a demo. In reality the car business isn't the same as it was a few years back. Now that consumers have access to dealer costs and pricing huge profits have vanished. The car business has a bad rep. that is hopefully getting better. Maybe in the future I will get that demo but probably not.
  • bevbranbevbran Posts: 40
    Count me among the folks who LOVE my '04 C240. Very reliable. Minor issues only--(yes, had to have my PhD cousin figure out how to get the console lid back on on...:-). 4 Matic outstanding performance. I'll be buying another MB shortly.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,025
    A reporter from a large daily newspaper is looking to speak to Mercedes-Benz owners in the Washington DC area about the expectations you have with the car when you purchase it and any problems you’ve had to deal with. Please provide your daytime contact info to no later than Monday, October 16, 2006.


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    Share your vehicle reviews

  • vivid1vivid1 Posts: 24
    Sure, you can contact me. I have had no issues at all. I had a Nissan before this and it was in the shop more than I drove it.
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Posts: 1,134
    )) " C240 doesn't even have a dipstick. And changing oil is a real chore. Have you noticed that it uses 8.5 quarts of synthetic oil? Also, the filter element costs $20. And you can't just drain the oil through the plug like a sensible car, unless you happen to own a hoist or other means of getting it off the ground while still keeping it level..." ((

    Permit a non-Mercedes owner a couple routine service observations. Whoever at Daimler-Benz made the decision to delete dipsticks on Mercedes automobile engines should be incarcerated as a criminally insane felon. I understand there's an oil level dash display. In reading several pages of these posts, I also understand Mercedes electronics have been known to behave less than reliably... Like Ronald Reagan said during negotiations over nuclear disarmament, "Trust, but verify." (I'm also aware that the average motorist these days wouldn't be caught dead pulling a dipstick to measure the level of oil in the sump - and that includes Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, and Yugo owners, too... Still, that's no excuse to justify deleting a proven device to check on the health of a fine motor.) 8.5 quarts of 229.5 full synthetic motor oil and a $20.00 oil filter is a pricey proposition, alright, but remember the oil change intervals on these engines is 13,000 miles (10,000 miles for AMG hotties). That $20.00 synthetic polyester fleece media oil filter is designed to trap particulates down to five microns. Most commercial automotive oil filters do good to filter some particulates down to the 15 micron level - and at that are only expected to remain in service for 7,500 miles under normal operating conditions. The new Hyundai lambda V6 motors have that interval and their new top-mounted, conventional paper media oil filter cartridges are often sold by dealership parts departments for $15.00 - $18.00 each. $20.00 for a filter that can filter smaller abrasives, and for nearly twice as long, suddenly doesn't seem too far out of line, does it? True - Hyundai's motor doesn't take 8.5 quarts. It merely takes a miserly 7 quarts give or take a couple of tenths. Finally, I'm not aware of a car made that changing the oil isn't made an easy job of with a $30.00 set of drive-up "Rhino Ramps" from WalMart. For those who would rather not crawl under their Mercedes cars to drain motor oil, do a search of oil "extractors" - essentially a cigarette lighter powered pump that has a long, thin tube inserted wherever dealership personnel insert their own extractor-like equipment to draw the crankcase oil out with. These home versions often sell for under $30.00 and virtually elliminate mess. (about the same cost as a set of Rhino Ramps - which won't be needed when an extractor is used) Once powered, they'll empty the sump in about a minute and a half - and at that better than gravity draining through the oil pan's drain plug hole. Using a common 3-gallon plastic gasoline container will safely hold all the old oil for delivery to any autoparts store that sells motor oil. (They have to accept used motor oil by federal law. The cost of unit motor oil already includes the disposal fee.) Top-mounted oil filters are also mess-free compared to screw-on/screw-off/screw-up oil filters - just have an empty can ready to catch the drips as you lift the old cartridge free of its housing. Doing your own oil and oil filter service is not rocket science, and it carries with it the satisfaction of knowing it was done right and what went into your engine's sump. (Do any of you think Mercedes dealership service department managers put their best techs on the mundane stuff such as oil changes? Really?)
  • As you say, you're a non-owner. One can't drain the oil through the plug on a C-240 by putting it up on ramps. It has to be level in order for it to drain properly. Putting it on ramps creates valleys in the oil pan. I had the idea of jacking it up with a floor jack, pulling the plug and draining what I could then letting it back down to drain the rest and jacking it up again to replace the plug. Of course one has to remove two "plastic" panels under the engine compartment to even get at the plug. However I couldn't budge the plug even after spraying it with WD-40, squirting it with Liquid Wrench and putting an 18 inch extension on my wrench handle. So I bough a Topsider... a syphon used for marine engines. This works but it takes about an hour to get the whole 8.5 quarts out and one has to measure the used oil to make sure one gets it all. As you say, one gets the satisfaction of knowing it was done REASONABLY right because the last oil change I had at a dealership under the free service period they shorted me a quart of oil. It was hard to determine that they'd done this as the electronic oil-readout was undecided between "Oil OK" and "Add 1 Quart." MB electronics are famously inaccurate so I couldn't be sure if I really should add one quart and didn't want to put in too much. I had to go to another dealership which probably used a generic dipstick to determine that I was short one quart. They generously provided the missing quart for free but it took me half a day to deal with the situation and I had to drive around for over 1000 miles before I could get to a dealership wondering if I had too little oil.

    By the way, my service manager (who is privately as disgusted with the current crop of c-Classes as I am) tells me that the C-Classes sold in Europe have dipsticks but MB has decided that Americans prefer bells and whistles. As I said in one of my (unanswered) letters to the president of MB-USA "If my $12,000 Nissan Sentra can have a dipstick why can't my $30,000 C-240 have one? A dipstick never breaks down and never gives a false reading." If I'd known that there was no dipstick before I bought this car I wouldn't have bought it. And you can believe me that changing the oil is only the tip of the iceburg when it comes to C-240 problems.
  • Yes, I know about the electronic oil check in the instrument cluster. If you've owned your MB very long you'll know that the electronic read-outs are notoriously unreliable. And yes, I know about the plug. Please read my post #622 for my adventures in that area.

    But you're completely wrong about Nissans. The oil plug is right at the bottom of the pan where it belongs. I owned 1987 and 1989 Nissans that I could do the whole oil change without even putting them on ramps. Newer Nissans have the fuel injectors over the oil filter one has to put the car on ramps to get at the filter but the plug is easy to get at.
  • mezecamezeca Posts: 66
    Actually, the electronic oil level sensor is very reliable.
    And yes, I have 132k + on my 97 c280, and 25k on my 04 c230. When the I change the oil on my c230, it is as simple as my c280. But, one must remember, that synthetic oil expands when it heats up, unlike conventional oil, so to properly and accurately check the oil level, the engine must be hot.

    So are you trying to imply that MB purposely tightened the drain plug so tight so you couldn't service it. Has the car ever been to Jiffy Lube(or similar)? Those guys are famous for overtightening drain plugs. Also, I don't what "valleys" you're referring to but they don't exist in the oil pan to stop oil from leaving it.

    Also, it's not the drain plug on the Japanese cars that is hard to get to, it's the filter. The 89 Accord had it buried under the intake manifold, as do many other cars.
  • vivid1vivid1 Posts: 24
    The oil on my c240 is sooo easy to change. I jack up the car and dump the oil. Make sure the engine is warm and all of the oil will come out. The filter is so easy to change. You dont have to take apart everything under the hood to get to it.

    The reason for no dipstick is because your fellow americans were a focus group for MB and said they they like bells and whistles more than having a dip stick. So MB listened to them and used an electronic way of measuring the oil. It is reliable but don't blame MB. They were listening to their American customers and gave them what they wanted.
  • Are you the same person as on ebay? If so contact me at about the rims.
  • Is it possible to adjust the steering to be a little bit looser? I have driven the 2005 C230 Kompressor for over 1 year and still don't feel comfortable with the tight steering.

  • vivid1vivid1 Posts: 24
    You can not make it looser. It is a supercharged sport sedan, not a station wagon.
  • No, the car has never been to jiffy lube. Then plug was just too tight right from the factory, or maybe it had corroded. I doubt that MB did that on purpose as they more or less assume that one will bring it to a dealership for an oil change.

    As for the valleys, my sympathetic service manager told about them when I first talked about changing the oil myself. When I put the car up on ramps and removed the shrouding under the engine compartment I could see what he meant. The center of the oil pan is lower than the edges of the oil reservoir. When the car is at an angle some of the oil would be trapped in a "valley" and not drain completely. Have you actually measured how much oil you get out when you drain yours? There's supposed to be 8.5 quarts in there and it doesn't all fit in that little pan. That's where the reservoir comes in.

    Back to the original question of whether the C240 is worth it, mine just spent 9 days in the dealership while they tracked down a problem with the fuel pump. They replaced the pump and a practically new fuel filter that they'd installed only a few months ago. The car drove fine... for 41 miles. Then it stopped dead and had to be towed back to the dealership. Shows all the symptoms of fuel pump failure, but it's Friday night and I won't know till Monday.

    I've spent almost $5000 on repairs for this car since it came out of warranty and there was plenty of repair work done under the warranty. That's to say nothing of the time I've spent in the waiting rooms of six dealerships in five states. Is it worth it? Not bloody likely!
  • lakepoplakepop Posts: 221
    Kinda a cross post but does anyone know if a Fault code PO170 is strictly related to the Air Mass Flow Sensor OR could it also be a gas cap issue?

    Thanks for any response.
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 4,055
    Thanks for yet another message that puts the C230 even farther down on my list of desireable next vehicles.

  • I'm thinking about purchasing a 2003 C230 Kompressor but I know nothing about Mercedes. My last car was a Pontiac so there's your clue. I've never owned anything as "high class" as that. I need some advice about if this is a good investment or not. The vehicle I'm looking at had 69,000 miles. I know it's probably going to be expensive to take care of, but how often will I be repairing this vehicle compared to a GM car. My parents drive nothing but Toyota and they hardly ever have mechancial/engine problems. Would this be a good investment? Please help.
  • i have a 2006 C350 with standard radio & sirius. Does anyone know if there is a way to scroll the radio information (song title, singer name) so it can all be seen after pressing the INFO button? The letters are so huge that not all the information is shown & I can't find a way to scroll it over. Basically a useless feature if it can't be done. :confuse:
  • There are some pretty deals on the C class right now. MB says their relaibilty has improved but has it. How are the 06s holding up?
  • Pity indeed since the car is a real pleasure to drive, but all roads seem to lead to the service department.

    At the time of my last post, when the car had been towed back to the service department that it had left 41 miles earlier, I was just leaving on a 4-week road trip. I had to go in my 1996 Nissan Sentra XE, which hadn't even been prepped for the trip and had 130,000 miles on it. It ran like a trouper for the whole 5,000 mile trip.

    Meanwhile, what was wrong with the Mercedes? It was out of gas! But the gauge said I had 1/3 tank! Part of the work they'd done on the previous trip to the service department was to replace the fuel sensor because (while diagnosing the fuel pump problem) they had discovered it was slightly faulty. They replaced it with a new one that was TOTALLY faulty! That's the second time that a new Mercedes part installed by a dealership turned out to be faulty.

    It is indeed a pity that Mercedes seems determined to ruin an excellent 100-year reputation.
  • Don't do it! See my posts over the last few months for details. Toyotas are great cars, so are Nissans. If you really want a luxury car try a Lexus they're made by Toyota. That's what I'm going to look at next time. Infinities (made by Nissan) don't impress me as being worth the luxury price.
  • Interesting. I am experiencing similar issues with my 2001 C 320 with only 42k miles. Replaced the battery and the problem undervoltage came back. Have been getting intermittent check engine but no one can find a problem. Frustrating for an expensive car with little mileage.
  • ksandyksandy Posts: 1
    Hello I know it has been a while , did you ever figure what this problem is and how serious it is ,I am havign the exact same problem , in my 2002 c230 K with 34,000 miles,
    So far the weird noice comes only on startup if it is not used for more than a day or 2 ,

    please advice , should I get rid of it ?

    Thanks in advance
  • Although this posting is aimed @ the C Class, friends with E's and other newer MB's confirm similar issues. In short, I've owned a 240D for 26 years with little or no maintenance issues. However, my C Class has been a nightmare. After spending >$4000 in repairs in 2006, in Jan 2007 the dealer informed me that $3000 would be required because the engine wiring harness needed to be replaced. In short, the plastic insulation was cracking off at just 110,000 miles. Independent service groups told me that they have seen this many times as well. In a previous life, I made wiring harnesses for US & European car companies & the insulation should last forever (>30 years).

    MB USA was TOTALLY impossible to talk to & arogant. They would NOT return phone calls that requested warranty coverage for the harness & eventually I received a curt "FOAD" letter from a person @ MB USA that didn't even include a last name!

    In short, I "traded" (i.e. gave away) the C Class for a great Lexus I250 last week. When my old 240D eventually is replaced, it will be a Lexus, or Acura, or (possibly) a BMW; but NOT another MB!

    Avoid the three pointed star (it is a disguised Chrysler!).

  • dc518dc518 Posts: 1
    Does anyone know the answer to this I am having the same problem right now..No wipers, directionals, hazards, gas gauge etc.. please help before the mercedes vultures suck me
  • vivid1vivid1 Posts: 24
    Did you check the fuse box? That is the first place to check if those things dont work.

    The manual says to disconnect the ground wire first and then the positive wire. Did you do that. Connect it visa versa.
  • Hello fellow MB drivers. This site was great when I purchased this auto a few years ago and now I'm back.
    I'm hoping you can help me out since I'm not sure whats going on with my 2001 C240. I have not drove my car in the past 6 weeks and was planning on taking it out this weekend. I jumped in, turned the key and nothing ... car would not crank over. The lights on the dash lite up but the engine would not turn over. I was thinking I might have a bad battery from sitting, so I place a battery charger on the car overnight. Came back the next day and the same thing, lights on the dash but engine will not turn over. I placed the charger on the battery for another 24 hours. Still nothing. Now I'm thinking it might not be the battery but something else. I noticed that I cannot put the car in Neutral or just get it out of Park. Is there something that I might be overlooking? I've tried both of my key fobs. Let me know your thoughts. Someone had mentioned a faulty brake switch, could that be right? Thanks!
  • boomchekboomchek Vancouver, BC, CanadaPosts: 5,314
    Unless your battery is really dead and not chargeable. It is 6 years old.

    See if you can get a direct jump start from someone or a battery booster thing-a-majig and if that doesn't work, then start looking at the complicated stuff.

    2007 BMW 328i Sports Pkg

  • shampshamp Posts: 1
    I know my reply is a little late. However, I hope it can be of some use. I have a '01 C320 and I the same experience during the fall 2005. Every morning I'd need a jump; the battery was replaced and afterwards it read good but the car wouldn't start. Finally, the tech came out one morning and said let me try something. He unplugged the computer from under my driver seat and the problem went away just like that. It's an inconvenience but unless you have the time to allow for computer replacement. Set your driver seat and unplug it and your problem should go away. GOOD LUCK!
This discussion has been closed.