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Mercedes-Benz C-Class Maintenance and Repair



  • My 1 month old C230K can only be locked/unlocked by pointing the smartkey directly and close to the driver side sensor. The dealer tried to blame the tint put on rear glass window. After the tint was removed and problem still persisted, they replaced the so called SAM control module. To my disappointment, the glass and part of the headliner had to be removed to do this.
    Anyone has running into this problem? I knew there was another C230 that had same problem.
  • fellyfelly Posts: 16
    I have a 2004 C230K with only 1,514 miles on it and while driving on a hwy this weekend I got two small rock chips on the right rear door. I'm not even counting the already replaced windshield chipped on the 3rd day of ownership. Am I better off leaving the chips as they are or apply touch up paint?
  • does anyone have this issue? my 2005 C320's sunroof is not level. Dealer is looking into the problem. however, I noticed several others brand new C-class have the same issue that one side of sunroof is slightly UP and not fully flat when closed.

    on mine, the right side is slight up and is so easily noticeable.

  • gobigobi Posts: 2
    Thanks for reply. The transmission specialist fixed it , solution - per specialist the transmission computer was reset to default to its original setting from MB factory. Cost $150 for diagnosis, $75 for eletrical disagnosis/reset PC TOTAL $232 with taxs. What a deal - Luck me !
  • - Different lamps over the car went out more than 10 times,
    - Gas tank was empty, but the gauge showed I still have half tank of gas, which caused the car stopped in the middle of the high way. A couple of days ago, after I refill the gas, the gauge showed I have only 1/4 gas.
    - If I open the driver side door by pulling the handle from inside, sometimes, it opens one door, sometimes it opens all four doors.
    The above are the existing problem. Anyone have the same experience?
  • My 1 month old C230K can only be locked/unlocked by pointing the smartkey directly and close to the driver side sensor.

    On my 02 C230K Coupe, my smartkey range is usually over 100ft when approaching from the "way down the row" (10 o'clock position).

    When I have to park in the remote lot, I walk up on the car from behind, but don't typically bother to trigger it nearly as early. But it still easily has 30-50ft of range.

    The dealer tried to blame the tint put on rear glass window. After the tint was removed and problem still persisted...

    If the tint aftermarket, it was a convenient excuse for a lazy dealership to try to welch out on. I hope you're pressing them to pay to have the window re-tinted since its removal didn't solve the problem as they had claimed.

  • justinjustin Posts: 1,918
    hi everyone. have an Accord right now that i need to get rid of.

    would a 99 C280 Sport with 49k miles be a bad decision? can get an extended warranty though my credit union. price is $16k.

    i will post in Maint and Repair forum too.

    looking to get a solid car that won't nickel and dime me, with a little style and tank-like build quality built in :)

    looking at Saab 9-5's too.

  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...I'd wager, than anyone on this board [14 since 1968], so I obviously think they make a good car. However, if you want something that won't "nickel and dime you to death", you are looking on the wrong continent by looking at ANY European brand....most definitely including Saab.

    Buy a used MB because you like the way the car behaves on the road compared to the competition, but never under the illusion that it will be a car that is low-cost to own. If you want low-maintenance, you must buy Japanese.

    Personal recommendation from experience? Look for a good used Acura RL or TL, or Lexus ES if you want something in this neck of the woods that will be less expensive to maintain. Or stick with the obvious, like a 2-year-old Accord. [I'm assuming FWD is OK since a Saab is apparently OK].

    Understand, there is nothing inherently wrong with a '99 C280 at the price and miles you mention....just keep your expectations realistic about maintenance costs down the line, warranty or no warranty.
  • justinjustin Posts: 1,918
    i have a 2003 Accord EX-V6. have experience with late model VW's as well. basically, got the Accord so i wouldn't have the Euro reliability problems.

    but, the Accord has its own set of reliability problems. i have now decided that if whatever i own is going to be in the shop, might as well enjoy what i have :)

    that said, i wouldn't want a 99 C280 if there are huge known issues. is the engine/transmission in the 99 C280 good and sturdy? what should one look at on a used model? anything out of the ordinary, or just basic car stuff? anything C280 specific?

    thanks for the reply!
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    This was the 3rd year for the transmission, and the second year for the engine, both of which have proven to be good and solid. Just make sure you can find the maintenance records -NEVER BUY A USED MB /BMW /AUDI /FILL-IN-THE-BLANK WITHOUT COMPLETE SERVICE RECORDS. If you're buying from an MB dealer, you can call the records up from their computer system. If a private party, the seller should have these records in his possession. Absent these records, I would never touch one of these cars whose history is unknown.

    Otherwise, electronic gremlins are always the prime suspects in these cars, but the '99s were pretty well sorted in this respect - this is the 6th [and next-to-last] year of the W202 body, so there shouldn't be any big issues.

    I've owned 4 Accords and they've all been trouble-free [absent the usual wear and tear as the miles pile up]...same with all but one of our 10+ Toyota products.
  • [I'm] looking to get a solid car that won't nickel and dime me, with a little style and tank-like build quality built in :)

    In general, European cars tend to need more "care and feeding", which you very well may consider to be being nickeled and dimed.

    I think that its just a different design philosophy: many old USA and contemporary Japanese cars are built with the idea that you could abuse them for a long time with nothing bad happening...but they then would need a lot of work to be pulled back.

    The difference seems to me to be in the 3-7 year time period since it was new. For a Euro car, you very well might need a "major" system here or there worked on which would be a rarity on a Japanese car. The difference is that you're not going to have the "Toyota Phenominon" where after many months of zero costs, you're suddenly hit with 3 failures in a row that sum to $4K within two credit card billing cycles.

    looking at Saab 9-5's too.

    My car prior to my MB was a Saab. It was a disaster, and the first car that I've ever gotten rid of with less than 50K miles. It was a great car...when it ran. Between that and a heavy dose of Dealer Service Department Bullhockey over why the failures were occurring, I'll never recommend that car brand to anyone.

    If you're nevertheless still thinking about a 9-5, recommend that you go find out which reskinned Opel (GM Europe) it is, and check on the Opel's reliability in conjunction with the 9-5. Just remember that a lot of the JD Power quality junk is just that: junk: the things that they measure such as "Initial Quality" are generally meaningless after the vehicle's a year old. What you really want to know is the vehicle's reliability at 4-6 years after it was built.

  • justinjustin Posts: 1,918
    those were good posts. appreciate the feedback. decisions, decisions....;)
  • mezecamezeca Posts: 66
    I agree with most of what you say, however I don't think that a Merc is 2x as expensive to maintain. Case in point of the cost of a "B" service when compared to fixed intervals at Honda or Toyota. Not only that, basic things like driveshaft boots that crack very early, and are quite expensive to replace are always things that seem to be overlooked when people mention Japanese cost of ownership.
  • I just purchased a new C230 sedan. So far, so good. What is the experience on the extended warranty and the cost. I didn't purchase it originally but I may in the future. Any thoughts
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    Two thoughts:

    -It's almost an essential purchase if you plan to keep the car beyond the original warranty. Any significant failure can run up repair bills that can exceed $1000 at the drop of a hat.

    -Absolutely DO NOT just buy the warranty from your selling dealer without shopping around and getting competitive bids. The warranty is like anything else in this business: there is a suggested MSRP, a dealer cost, and a markup. Many dealers will settle for less profit to build a business in the warranties. Call or e-mail every dealer in the MBUSA website until you get the price you want. [In our case, our selling dealer agreed to match the lowest price I could find, which came from the dealer in Chico CA - the F & I mgr there has made a career of discounting the extended warranty and selling a gazillion of them to savvy internet buyers.]

    Understand, I'm only referring to the official MBUSA factory-backed extended warranty, not the dozens of third-party warranties sold by brokers and others.

    Our 7/100 extension for the '02 C240 was discounted at least 20% from the going price at the time.
  • I just purchased a C230. Really love to drive it, but not even 3000 miles yet and had to have it serviced for malfunctioning emission coil. Not once, but twice. Do you know if I can purchase an extended warranty towards the end of the manufacturers warranty. (Next 4.5 years?)
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    You can buy the factory extended warranty from any dealer [as noted in my post above] any time during the FIRST YEAR after a new car purchase.

    If you wait until 366 days after the car goes into service, then you have to look for one of the many 3rd party warranties out there that are not sponsored by MBUSA - dealers generally sell them, too, and the internet is teaming with them. But the factory extension has to be purchased within 12 months of the original new-car can't wait until the end of the new-car warranty, as you can with some other makes.
  • Hi, can anyone tell me if they have the same problem and if they have found a solution yet? I have a 1998 C230 Kompressor. Thanks.
  • I was shocked when I checked the pressure for the first time since I bought the car a few months ago. The front tires had 35 psi and 45 psi for the rear. Way over the recommended pressures.

    Word of advice to all new owners. Check your tires pressure!!!
  • after getting the oil changed saturday, the car stalls when going from R to D. it seems to drop idle and shut off. it did it to me once sat., and twice to my wife yesterday. Is this an oil pressure issue? I had an independant (chain tire store) change it. they have been doing all my oil changes for the last ten years, and did this car the last time. I took them an OEM filter and watched the whole process. Not sure what to think. Car is a 95 with 39800 original miles.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    And I'm not sure that your symptoms have anything to do with the oil change. You need to get the car to [gasp?] an MB specialist and get a diagnosis. The problem you describe could literally have a dozen possible causes, and this medium isn't an ideal one to do a diagnosis.

    I always suspect electronics whenever a car refuses to run smoothly - the drivetrain computer comes to mind given your symptoms - but who knows without hooking it up to the diagnostic system in the shop?
  • Thanks for your response Re: Extended warranty. I was wondering if you or anyone have heard of a faulty emission coil being a common problem. My C230 is at the dealer for the 3rd time. It only has 3000 miles. The problem was fixed the first two times, but that lasted about 1 to 2 weeks each time. What happens is the car begins to ride rough and the engine light goes on. First trip to the dealer they replaced a faulty emission coil and removed and cleaned a spark plug. Second visit the replaced a faulty emission coil and replaced a spark plug. Any ideas?
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    Nope, that's a new one. Aside from the relatively rare possibility of multiple failures of the same part, my next focus in your case would be the rest of the electrical system, and what might be causing the coils to fail. Check voltages and amps being fed to the ignition system.
  • lakepoplakepop Posts: 221
    Need some help resolving a headlight problem on a 98 C230.
    The problem is with the low beams...they are inordinately dim. High beams appear normal. The headlight problem light on the dash comes on momentarily after turning the lights on.

    I am suspecting a faulty switch BUT have not checked any voltage drops at the headlights because the high beams are normal. I also do not see any difference in the low beam intensity when I pull the switch to the out (up) position although the internal switch light does illuminate.

    Any inputs would be deeply appreciated.

  • I am looking at purchasing a 2002 C320 Wagon with approx. 85K miles on it for $19K. All scheduled maintanance has been performed, records show no major problems. Cutting to the chase, the mileage scares me. What is the long term reliability potential of this drivetrain? I don't mind having a few minor problems here and there, but generally like them contained to things that don't stop me in my tracks.

    Other cars in the running are a 2001 Volvo V70 T5 58K miles, 2002 Outback Wagon 39K miles, 2001 Saab 9-5 Wagon 45K miles, and a new Mazda6 wagon. All are around $17-19K, Suburu a little less, the Mazda more, of course.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...I'd probably take the Mazda. All of the others, including the Subaru, have their own set of issues, both big and small. Absent an extended, comprehensive warranty, I would never touch any used MB with over 50k miles on it, unless you are a skilled mechanic or closely allied with one. We love our '02 C240 sedan, but the financial risk of all of the things that can go wrong with a higher mileage MB seems pretty steep to me.
  • I have a 2001 C320 with 58K miles. Yesterday I received the above malfunction message. Does this mean that my battery is dieing or is it something more complicated?
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    It could mean that, but the question is why? What component is draining the system? The only way to know that is to get it to a service dept and find out.
  • Help, my 98 C230 with only 78,000 miles has been a wonderful car since we bought it new but lately has been having serious window problems. A year ago we were told by our dealer that the rear windows were "out of synch" and a free service (thank you very much Fletcher Jones MB!) solved the problem. Lately, and I must point out we hardly ever have anyone in the back seat so these windows sit dormant 99.5% of the time, the windows go down in one push of the button but must be tricked into coming back up. This means pushing the button twenty or more times and usually grabbing the window between your palms and lifting while someone works the button.

    Not exactly a pretty sight for such a fine automobile.

    I am told the motors are worn out (as a person with over 25 years of electro-mechanical and electronics experience lack of use will NOT wear out a motor!) and they need to be replaced. I think this is a latent design defect related to the pinch sensor as I understand this same problem abounds on other MB models of the 97-2000 vintage just by looking around my own neighborhood.

    If this is a sensor related issue a trim-pot adjustment to the control board or the addition of an external resistor in parallel can recalibrate the circuit and save me a $1000 repair bill for an item that in now way should be worn out. As a quick reference, the front driver's window must go up and down 10 times a day and has never had any issues.

    Any suggestions? Anyone have experience with MB USA supporting a repair/replacement? My call to MB USA was not handled well at all.

    Thank you.
  • amohraamohra Posts: 7
    Would like to know your experienced opinion on changing the oil at 13K miles. I have heard some MB owners changed it at mid point (around 5 - 6 K miles).

    All opinions are very much appreciated.
This discussion has been closed.