Mercedes-Benz C-Class Care and Maintenance



  • postoakpostoak Member Posts: 537
    wouldn't let them touch my car. Places like that screw up even simpler jobs than *this*. Besides, for $350 I'll bet you are getting more than just an oil change. I would price this out at a Mercedes-only independent garage. (Or consider buying the equipment to do oil changes myself.)
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Member Posts: 2,363
    Yeah, my reaction is the same. Do not turn any modern MB [or BMW or Audi or Lexus, or...] over to one of these places. It's better to find a reasonable independent MB mechanic. And also as noted above, $350 for a B service is not crazy at all...if you're not a do-it-yourself person, you must allow some $ every year to keep these kinds of cars going. Low cost of upkeep is not one of their virtues.
  • tizertizer Member Posts: 23
    Thanks for the very true advise that I will heed. I do know a good independent MB Mechanic, the only inconvenience is droping off the car for the day, but I think it will be worth it. Certainly an MB does not run on a Civic Budget!
  • drbrianhenrydrbrianhenry Member Posts: 1
  • rrrroverrrrrover Member Posts: 1
    Did you ever get any good information on whether one can use anything less than premium gasoline? I just bought a 1998 C230 and am wondering if I could use something less than premium.
  • floridastevefloridasteve Member Posts: 13
    has anyone purchased an extended warranty from their dealer. Dealer has recommended one and the literature it appears very comprehensive.
    Thanks in advance for any help.
  • melomelo Member Posts: 2
    I am also thinking of getting an extended warranty. I just purchased my first benz (C240-2001) and the 4 year warranty is expiring in 3 weeks. I don't know what to do. Any recommendations? The car was inspected by a benz dealer and does not have any problem at all. I just find Cn$2,300 for an extra 3 year a little too much. Please send your opinion.
  • melomelo Member Posts: 2
    The info I got from a benz dealer in Toronto is that this car uses an european syntetic oil good for 15,000 Km. I am facing the same situation: My C240 2001 also requires a B service but I don't trust a regular shop to do that. Don't forget that this car takes 7 to 8 litres every oil change.
  • c2801996c2801996 Member Posts: 2
    I bought a 1996 C280 sport last year. It had about 70K then and close to 90K now. It's my first MB and I love it. I have brought it into the shop a few times. Only big expsenses were far. Although, I did purchase the starmark warranty so I didn't incur any charges when the engine light came on (twice over a little more than a year)
  • c2801996c2801996 Member Posts: 2
    My 1996 C280 has a Starmark warranty that will be up in 10K. I'm thinking about having the car looked over for any potential problems, then bring it to the dealer and ask them to fix them while it's covered under the warranty.

    Does this make any sense? Does anyone have any suggestions regarding where I should bring it to be inspected (e.g. another dealer, some MB specialist?)

    Or, should I be looking to tade in or sell the car?
  • ruckenrucken Member Posts: 2
    Hi melo my name is george,i also have a 2001 c-240 and my warranty is up in 3 wks i know the price is around 2300.00 can. But think if we have a problem later on it will be heavy, think a b-service it costs $500.00,well let me know about it.Thanks
  • billp8billp8 Member Posts: 56
    ...regarding tail lamp bulbs. My 2000 C is due for servicing next month. In nearly five years, I have only had 1 bulb burn out (bottom right tail light on passenger side). I am on my third bulb (less than one year). The light is out for a few moments when the car is started (and the "light out" lamp glows on the dash). After a few miles, the bulb comes on. The outage seems to be random. Perhaps a bad connection?
  • stroudmanstroudman Member Posts: 192
    definitely take the car in to an authorized MB service center B4 your coverage expires! The worst that can happen is there will be nothing wrong with your car, and you'll get it back clean. If nothing's obviously wrong, tell them you had a sporadic engine light or something so they can look for a code under warranty. That way, if anything IS wrong, fix it while it's still free, and if it isn't covered, take the non-covered repairs to the indie on the cheap, but make sure they know what they're doing. Ask around.

    As far as a B-service, that covers almost everything prior to an actual tune-up at 100k miles, so it's worth it. If your car is on the flex-service system ('98 or newer) it won't need a B-service again until after its next A service, which is less than half the cost of the B. Take good care of these cars, and they'll last you a long, long time.
  • kpotter3kpotter3 Member Posts: 1
    The small wrench symbol that counts down miles to service, does anybody know how to reset it, without going to an MB dealer?
  • stroudmanstroudman Member Posts: 192
    If it was't reset by a mercedes tech, that means you probably haven't taken it to one...BE CAREFUL letting any else around a flex-serve mercedes! You should be able to use the menu buttons on the steering wheel (arrows) to get to the wrench screen. Once there, press the reset button to the left of your instrument cluster and hold it until the #'s reset.
  • dcsaabdcsaab Member Posts: 13
    First of all, thanks so much for all your honest insight and information. I have a question - in the next month or so, I will be trading my Saab 9-5 in for either C240 or C230. In your opinion which is a better car? I split my driving 50-50 city and hwy. I like both cars, but I like the idea of a V6, but I love the looks of the C230 and the idea of more horses. Thanks!
  • stroudmanstroudman Member Posts: 192
    If you plan to buy new, the 230 is, IMO a better value. But be aware of something - the 230 will cost you less at point of sale, get you much better gas mileage, and be as fun to drive as a 3-series, but much smoother. What you have to take into account is tire wear. "16 all-seasons on the 240, quiet, durable, rotatable. The 230 comes with staggered-width "17, Z-rated tires that you will get a maximum of 15k miles out of. You can replace them with a harder tire, but the cost of ownership will slowly catch up with the 240 over time b/c of the tire issue.

    -Otherwise, one's definatley set up aesthetically to please the lux-minded folks, the other the sporty, youthful crowd, so whichever suits your wants and needs...they have 95% same DNA.
  • dcsaabdcsaab Member Posts: 13
    That makes sense - thanks. BTW, what state are you in?
  • stroudmanstroudman Member Posts: 192
    Georgia...glad if I could help.
  • benzingbenzing Member Posts: 2
    Does anyone know what the B service consist of? I have called MB 3 times, and I get 3 different answers. The only thing that is consistent, is it includes and oil change that I can do myself for $50.
    Does anyone know where the fuel filter is and how to get to it; while I have your attention?
    Is getting a Platinum Extended Warrenty (bumper to bumper more or less) worth it ($2500)?
  • benzingbenzing Member Posts: 2
    Don't use anything less than premium. The higher the octane, the more stable and the more it can be compressed . So your car is set up to compress premium to a certain point before it ignites. A lesser octane would cause a premature ignition, before your car is ready for it, causing damage inside the cylinder.
  • black280black280 Member Posts: 5
    I use mobil 1 in my c-class because it is recommended by mercedes and is factory fill in
    all AMG vehicles. No problems, I use 10W-30 and it works just fine for most of the year. Then maybe 10W-40 later.
  • black280black280 Member Posts: 5
  • ehanekomehanekom Member Posts: 1
    I wonder if anyone could help me with the reset procedure of the wrench light on C180 1999 model as it does not have the controls on the steering wheel as mentioned with the C230.
  • jcolbyjcolby Member Posts: 5
    I will own a 1995 C220 tomorrow. Has anyone used an OBD diagnostics tool with this or other Mercedes? Any recommendations on a particular one? The price ranges are from $130 to $1,695. I don't want the most expensive nor do I want to get one that is inadequate. Are any of them adequate for a Mercedes or does Mercedes have numerous codes that can't be diagnosed by a third party diagnostic tool?

    I don't want to be a rocket scientist, just be able to tell, for example, when it's the mass air flow sensor that's causing the "check engine" light (which it is right now, by the way, according to a mechanic). Does something like that require special calibration that has to be done at a shop? :confuse:
  • jcolbyjcolby Member Posts: 5
    I figured this out by getting a subscription to, which is a good deal. They're the only ones who carry model-specific manuals (on-line) for Mercedes.

    The 1995 Mercedes C220 is OBD-II compliant so I just have to decide on which OBD-II scanner now. They all will read the "generic" codes, I'm trying to find one that will read proprietary Mercedes codes at a reasonable price (max $300). :D
  • stroudmanstroudman Member Posts: 192
    if you look at the left side of the gauge bezel on your dash instruments, you will see three tiny buttons. Two of them adjust light and dark on the dimmer of your instruments, and the other resets your trip odo. Push it twice to reveal the mileage reading, then hold it down till it resets.
  • gurekiangurekian Member Posts: 3
    Being the A-type perfectionist that I am, I am becoming really frustrated by my 2000 C-Class Kompressor's Engine Warning Light coming on due to the "Low Fuel Indicator light" flashing (despite lots of fuel in the tank).

    The Manual says that this is either due to a) me not putting my gas cap on properly (unlikely - see reference to A-type personality) or b) there is a leak in the gas line.

    I have taken it to the MB dealer now 3 times for this issue (2wice under warranty). The first two times they stated that it was just a glitch and they "reset" the system. Then it happens again in a few weeks. The third time they made me replace the gas cap as it was "faulty" at a cost of $125. Still the light intermittently flashes, which then leads to the Engine Light, which I of course cannot reset manually.

    Does anyone else have this problem? I don't have a fuel line leak and my gas cap is ALWAYS on tight. I'm also beginning to wonder if MB knows what they're talking about.


  • jrct9454jrct9454 Member Posts: 2,363
    I think that the prime suspect is the fuel sending unit, a well-known and common problem with German cars in the last 4-5 years. The supplier [Siemens? Bosch?] seems to have produced the same unit that gets used in several German makes, and they have a habit of failing because [allegedly] of the higher sulfur content in American fuel.

    However, it is precisely because this is such a well-known problem that I have some doubts - surely your dealer has thought about this possibility? If not, put the thought into their collective heads. The most common symptom of the sending unit problem is pretending the tank is empty or nearly so, when in fact it can be completely full - sound familiar?
  • gurekiangurekian Member Posts: 3
    Thanks for the quick feedback. I'll have to bring it up with them and ask if that might be the issue. The only thing though is that the fuel light does not just light up, but flashes until I turn the car off and restart again. Along with the amber "Check Engine" light it becomes quite the light show when driving at night.

    My understanding is that when the car comes to a stop, engine running, it performs a quick "pressure check" on the fuel line to make sure that there is no leaks, either through the improperly tighted gas cap or through an actual leak in the fuel line. MB has said that they performed a pressure check on the system and found nothing. So is the sensor faulty?

    The car's operation has not suffered at all - just my mental aggravation!

    Can I reset the "Check Engine" light myself?
  • kravchenkokravchenko Member Posts: 5
    My C230K with only 24,000 miles has developed a strange problem.... when cold (meaning "in the morning" no matter how warm it is outside), it just cranks without starting; the second attempt to start makes it run rough at first, then eventually it levels off. After this, drives okay till next morning. No fault has been detected by dealership... any idea what it can be? Many thanks!
  • riannkiriannki Member Posts: 2
    I am curious if anyone can give me any advice on repair costs on Mercedes? I have a 2002 that is off warranty in Feb 2006, and wonder if they "see us coming" so to speak and charge a lot for repairs. I know when the dealership changed the oil, which was part of the Service A visit, on paper it showed $90 in charges. Is that something an owner can do themselves? I am debating about selling the car prior to the warranty expiring, if it will be expensive to work on. Any advice would be most appreciated.
  • jcolbyjcolby Member Posts: 5
    Has anyone had any experience with this? I just bought a 1995 C220.

    The previous owner was experiencing shutdown while driving. One
    mechanic said there was a Mass Air Flow Sensor diagnostic code and
    several oxygen sensor codes. Another mechanic said there was only a
    Mass Air Flow Sensor diagnostic code. I bought the car and figured
    out what kind of scan tool I needed, etc. Prior to getting the scan
    tool I started the car just to run it a while so it would be easier
    to start later. While idling there was significant vibration which
    seemed to come from the right rear and the engine shut off. Wouldn't
    start again.

    I got the scan tool and when I ran it the Mass Air Flow Sensor
    diagnostic code came up and this came up on the "freeze data": Fuel
    System 1: CLSD.

    I got a new Mass Air Flow Sensor and installed it. I erased the MAF
    code and now everything checks out OK, no codes. When I go through
    the "view data" feature I now get: Fuel System 1: OPEN.

    It still won't start. I put a full charge on the battery to make
    sure that wasn't the problem.

    My question is this: I'm assuming that the fuel pump is programmed
    to shut off if the Mass Air Flow Sensor problem isn't fixed within a
    certain period of time and that this is what happened when I was
    idling. Is that correct? Second part of question: is there something
    I have to do in regard to the fuel pump once the Mass Air Flow
    Sensor problem is taken care of? If no answer I'll probably have to
    tow it in to a mechanic- I don't think I want to mess around with
    measuring fuel pressure, etc.
  • cornellpinoycornellpinoy Member Posts: 196
    A family member is considering an '05 C230 Sedan. This would be the first MB to be added to our "fleet". I'm aware that free maintenance is no longer part of the program. That means the routine maintenance will end up being done by me.

    Have any of you done your own oil changes on your C-class? What type of oil and filter do you use? How many quarts does the 1.8 engine use? Is there an easy way to reset the service reminder after the oil change is done, or will I need a tool similar to BMW? Is there a factory service manual available?

    I've reviewed what the dealer will do and charge for the "A" and "B" services and unless I'm missing something, I'd rather peform the routine service myself.

    Thanks in advance for your feedback! :)
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Member Posts: 2,363
    You're right about the relative simplicity of the "work" done on most of the services up to 60k miles - with some exceptions, most of it is inspect and report [besides the oil changes].

    No, there is no factory service manual available to the public. There is a relatively expensive subscription service for professionals, and as time passes, a service manual for a particular model is usually available on CD. MB is not making it easy for do-it-yourselfers.

    Join MBCA without delay if your family buys this car. The answers to all your questions are easily available from fellow club members, some of whom are in the service business.

    Oil changes are best accomplished using one of the widely available pump devices [e.g. TopSider] to suck it out from up top. Buy only MB oil filters, no matter what the cost. Use only approved synthetic oils - the list varies from one year to the next, but is in the manuals with a new car - it includes all of the usual suspects, such as MobilOne and Castrol Syntec. MB likes to have a big sump [good!] - our V6 holds 8 quarts - the 4 cyl is 6+, I think, but that's documented in the owner's manual.

    I've rarely indulged in this kind of mechanical work, because I haven't the facilities to do it [condo garage] and because our '02 C240 has prepaid mtc. Also remember that there are things to be done that are time dependent, like the brake fluid every 2 years and the coolant every 3 years, but mostly it is a lot of inspections and top-ups that anyone with good lighting and some mechanical savvy would have no trouble with.

    A final warning - during the warranty period, be prepared to meticulously document all mtc work on the car . If you give them an excuse to void the warranty, this can be a disastrously expensive way to try to save a few bucks. At least for the first four years, I would probably pay to have it done at the dealer - but then I don't think it's as expensive as people think. If you can't set aside $400-500 a year for the first four years [a very liberal figure, by the way], maybe this isn't the right car.
  • cornellpinoycornellpinoy Member Posts: 196
    I appreciate your reply - very good points and although I'm a big MB fan, this is the first time I've heard of MBCA.

    Thanks again!
  • charltoncharlton Member Posts: 21
    Hello all,
    I'm looking to buy a car in near future (4wks). i'd like to hav a sporty coupe. naturally mb c230 and bmw 3-series come to mind. i would like to hav ur opinion on what should i go for (other options definitely welcome). my budget is under $20k so definitely used cars i guess. i would like to know if c230 is worth it and what would b its monthly running costs? i hear c-class has a poor reputation when it comes to reliability and maintenance. also with most of the 2002 kompressor models running outta warranty soon, how would the maintenance charges work out after that?

    also i hear mb is no longer producing c230 coupes? should i go 4 soon 2 b extinct model?

    Thanks in advance.
  • mike1971mike1971 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2005 C230 K Sedan

    I am will do the A & B service myself and keep the records for the maintenance and warranty
    5.8 liters of Mobile 1 0W-40 and NO OTHER oil. available online or from your MB parts, MB Fleece oil Filter and nothing else - not too xpnesive
    Get a Fluid Extractor - about $300.00 to $500.00 available on line suck out the oil through the oil dipstick tube or jack up the car remove the underside plastic panel and drain it like any other car

    Turn on the key but do not start the engine. Select the Service A due display on the dash computer and press the reset button (on left of instrument cluster) for 10-15 sec

    No factory service manual for MBUSA until the warranty has run out - 5 years. Make friends with your registered MB mechanic or dealer parts manager and have him order you one
  • cornellpinoycornellpinoy Member Posts: 196
    Thanks for your reply. Exactly the info I was looking for.
  • robwaltrobwalt Member Posts: 1
    New to this board--looking for educated advice. We own one of the last in-line 6 MB's--a 1996 C280--which we enjoy and much prefer over the newer V6s that we have also owned. I've heard that it is entirely possible to use regular gas with this engine without damage or diminished performance. Is this correct information? Must we continue to use premium gas with this engine? Many thanks for your advice.
  • aj1861aj1861 Member Posts: 1
    Hi I just purchased an 04 M/B C240 4Matic Wagon w/16K miles. I did not buy the car from a M/B dealer but a used car dealer that sells high end imports and many M/Bs. I was going to be turning in a lease within the year so I began looking around at other vehicles and this M/B caught my eye. After a test drive I received the normal salesman's pressure and ended up buying the car. Not 100% certain I did the right thing by buying a used M/B from other than a M/B dealer I'm now faced with trying to figure out what is what in the car. I've looked through the owner's manual and can't seem to find out why one of the buttons on the radio panel flashes red when I remove the key. I'm assuming it is the alarm system but I don't know why the red light would be put on the radio and not on the dash board where people would see it. Also, when I press the panic button on the key nothing happens. According to the manual, the lights are supposed to flash and the alarm is supposed to go off. Do all these wagons come standard with an alarm system? I'm totally lost with all the information in this manual and I really don't know what to do.
    Thanks for any help.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Member Posts: 2,363
    Well, firstly, the red light on the radio is just for show - designed to show a potential thief that there is an alarm system installed [yes, it should be standard] and that it is a coded radio - a stolen radio won't work without the proper digital code to get it started.

    Secondly, yes, the panic button should work as described - you probably have either a defective key or another electrical defect. The car should still be under factory warranty, so why not visit a dealer and let them have a go at it? Our panic system works with a vengeance - woe betide you if you hit it accidently - loud enough to wake the dead.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Member Posts: 2,363
    Our car is the W203 body - yours is the W202. So, I don't have a definitive answer, but I can tell you that ours is hiding underneath one of the plastic panels snugged up against the firewall in the engine compartment. In the W203, the cabin filter is accessed from the same cavity in the engine bay where the battery is - both covered by a plastic modesty panel that is easily removed. I simply can't recall the same detail for a W202 car, but you know, I'll bet a dealer just might answer the question if you put it to them properly, without revealing up front that you want to do the work yourself. It's been 10 years since we owned our W202, and this detail is now out of my memory bank...
  • loftusloftus Member Posts: 2
    I suggest you go to e bay and bid on the mercedes they have for bid.
  • loftusloftus Member Posts: 2
    l need to get a cd owners manual for a 1995 C220 M.B.
    Anyone can give me a source would be appreciated. The main guys want a $150.00
  • xernstxernst Member Posts: 1
    Hi, I just got at 1999 C280, 2.8liter....The manual says use high test or 91 Octane, is this right, any advise, will lower octane suffice?

  • jrct9454jrct9454 Member Posts: 2,363
    Yes, and no.

    Yes, they require premium fuel, no, you may not use lower octane except when nothing else is available, and then the manual tells you to put premium in it as soon as possible.

    The ECM computer will compensate for lower octane by dialing back the ignition timing - lower power, higher fuel consumption, and hotter running. Not good in the long run.

    At higher altitudes, often premium is 89 octane - this is fine as long as the car is driven in the thinner air. Once you head back to sea level, you need to put 91 or better in it at the first opportunity.
  • jeanjjeanj Member Posts: 1
    :mad: I bought a 2002 Mercedes-Benz 320 new from a dealer. The paint is peeling and rust is setting in. So far the dealer has replaced the hood and the roof. Now there is more paint peeling on the right rear panel and the gas tank flap. When I inquired about trading the car in, the dealer gave me an estimate of $16,500 -- because the appraiser saw new paint on the car, he presumed it had been in an accident and had hidden damaged. The car has never been hit. I paid about $50,000 for it, with all the ups and extras including an onboard navigation system. The car only has 14,475 miles on it and is just now qualifying for service B. My friends tell me Mercedes isn't what it used to be. It is now definitely Daimler Chrysler. Including this car,I have purchased six new Mercedes since 1985. I will not ever buy another one.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Member Posts: 2,363
    Well, that's a new one on me. Never, never, ever heard of problems with paint or rust on any late-model MB that wasn't damaged or flooded. Sounds like the car might have been damaged in shipment and badly repaired, although that too is a long shot because the VPCs repair cars to a standard like none other in the industry. Just can't expain it at all.

    You need to work with the General Manager of your dealership, and get his/her help in dealing with MBUSA to see what kind of fair settlement can be arranged.

    The D-C merger has nothing to do with your problem. Focus on getting MBUSA to step up to the plate. Depending on where you live, state law may give you some rights above and beyond the corrosion warranty.
  • sonerosonero Member Posts: 7
    I just bought an used 2003 2-dr coupe C230 kompressor two months ago (not from a MB dealer) with 45+ miles and the check engine light just came on last week, i had two malfunctions indications: "oil level too high" and "gas cap is loose", the first indication came on while i was driving up a hill and the second indication came on while waiting at a red light, i already checked the oil and the gas cap and i didint see anything wrong.
    does anybody ever had this indications before? what was the problem and how much did you pay at the dealer to fix it? all your comments will be greatly appreciated, this is my first MB and i dont want to be dissapointed. The car is very nice and rides so smooth. Thank you.
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