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Mercedes-Benz C-Class Care and Maintenance



  • jrct9454jrct9454 Member Posts: 2,363
    You can probably ignore the oil level warning, if it occurred on a steep hill. The oil level thingee is only good for measurements on the straight and level, though it sounds like it might be marginally overfull. I wouldn't worry about it unless it happens when the car is first fired up on level ground.

    The gas cap thing is reasonably common - even after you correct it, the light won't go out until the engine has been started and stopped ["cycled"] some number of times. It's possible the cap needs to be replaced, but not likely. Simply taking it off, and reseating it properly, should do the job, assuming the gasket is good, but the CEL won't go out immediately. It's not a huge expense to replace it, assuming it is not actually something else in the fuel system that is the real culprit.
  • benzc1999benzc1999 Member Posts: 1
    i have 1999 c230 kompressor , and it started doing the same thing, while driving the fuel indicator light starts flashing and after couple of minutes the engine check light comes on, been to the mechanic, and he said might be the gas cap or a leak....after diagnostic...he recommended the sensor to be replaced....i wasnt quite sure the estimate was quite alot.......any help..??????
  • tbnztbnz Member Posts: 1
    "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."

    Never, ever, hm ?

    In Germany MB is replacing complete doors and liftgates because of their insufficient rustproffing. This is on C- and E- Class cars of production years 1998-
    But they only do this if your had all inspections and oil changes with THEM :-)

    Thanks to Mr Schrempp MB saved way more than they could afford on the once stellar corosion protection and now they rust like Italian cars used to. People in Europe are reporting holes rusted from the inside out near their rear license plates etc.

    When I look at my 02 C320 Wagon I see that the hatch must have gotten some water in it, as there are water traces on the inside through the latch and already some small amount of rust on the clamp and metal protector.
    Ths is in Southern California !

    PS: Any bets on whether MBUSA will replace the backdoor when a hole rusted through it ?
  • pheasantpheasant Member Posts: 1
    JRCT, what planet are you living on ?

    In Europe, the press has been full of reports and complaints from angry M-B owners with disintegrating Cs and Es. From what I hear, my experience with a 2000 model Mercedes Benz E Class 320 Elegance is pretty typical.

    My car has major surface rust on its bonnet (hood !), rear wings + wheelarches, all four doors, and the rear tailgate. In addition, the roof and bonnet are peppered with small blisters under the paint, all of which are heading towards eruptions of one kind or another. MB assure me these are 'stone chips' - utter nonsense of course, but that's MB for you.

    Recent model Mercedes cars (particularly Cs, Es, CLs and CLKs) corrode like a 1972 Fiat.

    A switch to water-based paint around 2000 and an insane attempt to improve falling profit margins by reducing paint specs to just 100 microns (250 would be appropriate for a decent car) has caused enormous problems for MB - or more accurately, for owners of its poorly built cars.

    Initially, the firm quietly undertook to replace entire panels, but during 2004, there was a switch of policy to a quick shot-blast and 'blow-over' with paint. Dealers are allowed just a couple of hours labour + materials for each panel, so MB's spend per rusty panel is probably around £50.00 ($90). Nice savings for MB, and a guarantee of further rot in future for the hapless owner.

    Of course, many of us have 30 year perforation warranties on our cars. Sadly, this is of little help. For starters, most MB rust is due to the appalling paint quality - rust rarely starts from the inside, so there is often no 'perforation' at all, just a spreading eyesore of flaking, disintegrating paint. This allows MB to duck its responsibilities at any time it chooses. Most rust repairs being conducted by MB at present are 'goodwill' repairs.

    In any event, miss just one dealer service and your 30 year warranty is void.

    The result, of course, is that residuals on MB cars are now very poor. I was offered just £8,500 ($15k) by an MB dealer for my July 2000 E-class estate - original list around £48k ($90k). This is the worst depreciation figure I have ever seen for any car, regardless of make or model.

    How sad it is to see a 'quality' carmaker lose its way so quickly.

    Smart Car anyone?
  • dfc3dfc3 Member Posts: 87
    Has this issue been fixed? I've been looking at the 2006 line, and wouldn't want to buy a car in that price range if the paint is still an issue.
  • lawman1967lawman1967 Member Posts: 314
    Can't have even been an issue on all of the older ones. My 2001 C240 has electrical issues, but the paint is absolutely gorgeous.
  • shankyshanky Member Posts: 36
    I read somewhere that from 2004 onwards MB is using some kind of cutting-edge nanotechnology coating on the base paint which makes it last longer and remain shinier...I have not heard of any other manufacturer using nanoparticle coating...
  • trubintrubin Member Posts: 3
    I had my 2005 C230 in for the "B" service last month. I was informed that I had 85% wear on my brake pads, but that I shouldn't worry about it. The service agent told me that the computer in my car would tell me when to come in for replacement. I brought my car in with in one week of the computer advising me to replace the brake pads and the service agent advised me that the front rotors were bad and need to be replaced.

    Am I wrong for being upset about having to replace the rotors? Couldn't I have avoided this if I replaced the brake pads when there was 15% wear remaining on them?

    I am confused why MB would not consider the rotor damage in determining when to advise the owner to come in for service. Any thoughts?
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Member Posts: 2,363
    Sorry, but the rotors on all Mercedes have to replaced when worn past the acceptable tolerance level - no "turning" or refinishing allowed. This has been true for years. And no, replacing the pads sooner would have likely made no difference.

    It would help if you specified the miles on the car, when judging if there is anything amiss here. If you have anything between 25k and 40k miles, you're well within the envelope. I expect to go 50k on our '02 C240, but our miles are almost all freeway, with most of it long trips.

    Everything about brakes involves how the car is used; I can assure you from my experience with our car, I see no sign that the brakes are wearing at anything but a normal pace, even a bit better than average when put up against our recent Honda products.
  • assameseassamese Member Posts: 15
    Hi, I am negotiating a lease on C280 4matic. I asked the salesperson if regular scheduled maintenance is included in the monthly lease payments, this was his response (see below), is this typical ? Thanks in advance, Mike.

    Mercedes includes your first service visit @ between 1,000 & 3,000 miles (Safety Check), and you will get a tire rotation @ 6,000 miles. Your car will tell you when to come in for your next visit, usually @ 14,000 miles. And it will be for your service "A", 'B", or "C". Since the car adapts to your driving style, and habits, I can't tell you for sure when that would be exactly. You will be responsible for those service visits. Mercedes-Benz took great pains to ensure that your service visits will be as few as possible, and the costs are reasonable.
  • trubintrubin Member Posts: 3
    Thanks for the response.

    My car had approximately 25K miles, mostly highway. The wear seemed normal, just wasn't used to having to replace the rotors under normal conditions. This is my first Eurpean auto.

    I love the car, but the maintenance is costly.
  • trubintrubin Member Posts: 3
    I am not familiar with the lease plan, but I have had my C230 since March 2005. I have 29K miles on it and I have been through the A and B services. Mine notified me every 13K miles. Each service has cost me around $500, at the dealer. You will also need to replace tires, brakes and rotors around 18K to 25K miles which will run around $2,000 - $2,500. The computer did notify me when the brake pads required replacement. Everything else should be based on mileage.

    Also, I am not familiar with your model, but mine has different tires in the front and rear and, thus, I was not able to rotate my tires.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Member Posts: 2,363
    The above covers it well, but a C280 won't go through tires like the C230, assuming they're rotated regularly. Our brakes, at 24k miles, are less than half worn, and the frankly-not-so-hot Conti OEM tires are likely to go to at least 45k miles. I rotate every 3-4k miles, and include my spare [which is on an alloy wheel], so a current C would probably go 35-45k miles with the OEM tires on a C280, with only the 4 tires on the ground being in the rotation.

    I agree that $500 a year is a reasonable guess for the routine stuff, with wear items over and above. This is not a cheap car to maintain, but that is true of all the Germans, period. Ours came with the maintenance prepaid for 4/50, a program they dropped in 2005. (Only BMW now plans to continue to offer included maintenance - all the others have either dropped it or have announced plans to do so.)
  • dietcoke9dietcoke9 Member Posts: 1
    After 1200 miles a driving lamp has burned out. Dealer will not cover under warranty. Is this a customer replaceable item? Any advice on how to? And, since my manual is at home, what size bulb will it need? Thanks!
  • design786design786 Member Posts: 14

    I have a 1998 C280 with 106,000 miles. Yesterday while driving, the turn signals completely stopped working (moving the stalk doesn't turn them on). I tried the hazard switch and that is also non-operational. I checked the fuses (#1 & #10) and they are fine (Voltmeter). Does anybody have any suggestions?

  • assameseassamese Member Posts: 15
    I leased a new 2006 c280. Can I hook up my regular Motorola Verizon phone to the car & use the phone settings from the dash ? Do I need to buy some additional equipment ?
    Thanks in advance - Mike
  • billp8billp8 Member Posts: 56
    I noticed a puddle under the rear axle of my 2000 C230 yesterday. Substance is very light in color, with a very faint smell, and consistency of light cooking oil. I remember reading a while back that some w202s have final drive seals that sweat and sometimes leak. I am guessing this is differential oil?
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Member Posts: 1,134
    By now you've probably had the problem diagnosed and sorted out. But on the off chance someone else has noticed the same problem, I'll add my two farthings. Short of something you carry in your trunk that might have leaked, there're only three fluids associated with that area: Gasoline, differential gear oil, and hydraulic brake fluid. Gasoline can be logically ruled out since it's not oily at all, and has anything but "a very faint smell". The first thing I would do would be to check the level of the brake fluid. If it's quite low, I'd be suspicious of a line leak. If all is well there, then check around the input and output shaft openings of the differential case. Any wetness in those areas confirms seepage at one or more final drive seals.
  • billp8billp8 Member Posts: 56
    Fortunately, my StarMark extended warranty paid for the repair. Thanks for following up--
  • assameseassamese Member Posts: 15
    I leased a new 2006 c280. Can I hook up my regular Motorola Verizon phone to the car & use the phone settings from the dash ? Do I need to buy some additional equipment ?
    Thanks in advance - Mike
  • paul_ppaul_p Member Posts: 271
    My imperial red 1995 C220 had two minor paint issues, inside the gas door and under the license plate on the trunk. Both were repaired by MB under warranty (goodwill?) in 1999.

    The 2000 silver C230 I traded for had no paint issues in the 6 years I owned it.

    - Paul
  • paul_ppaul_p Member Posts: 271
    You may want to have your dealer check you rear wheel bearings. My right rear bearing died violently right before I sold the car. Fortunately the car was under extended warranty, MB said the cost of the repair would have been $1,500. Paid for the warranty. My wife said something had been making noise, but I never heard it.

    We sold the C-Class because we have too many cars, now down to 2 Toyotas, a '93 pickup with 227,000+ miles and a 2005 Avalon (near-Lexus, more power than the C230 with better gas mileage). Maintenance on the MB was out of sight, $287.00 for an A service where the only two things *done* were an oil and filter change and replacement of cabin air filter - scheduled by MB at every maintenance interval, believe it or not!!! Oh, and lots of "checks": tire pressure, ww fluid, coolant, etc. Nothing I couldn't do in our garage. Oh, and 200 miles later the rear wheel bearing breaks on the turnpike in Boston rush hour traffic, the $287.00 checks did not catch that!!

    I can change the oil and filters in my Toyotas for less than $15.00 each, and if the mileage of the truck is any indication, these may very well be the last autos my wife and I will ever need before we're dead and buried. I need to write the truck and Avalon into our will, was hoping it would be our MB but that's not how it turned out.

    I realize MB is an expensive car to maintain - I am not complaining. Just wish MB could be more reasonable about the services they actually perform. I have no problem spending a large sum of money when a large amount of *work* is actually done. Oh, and the last two times they did not update my warranty book, I had to bring the car back to them in order to get the book stamped. I don't mean any disrespect, but for $287.00, isn't that the least they could do?

    I know, only an MB is an MB, and I will be missing out on that. For this, I am sad. They are beautiful machines, so solid. Sure wish I could have my red 1995 C220 back. It's old enough that I could have it serviced independently, which would make all the difference.

    Thanks jrct9454, billp8, and Pat for your help while I owned the car. Going forward I'll be in the Toyota Avalon and Pickup forums.

    - Paul
  • billp8billp8 Member Posts: 56
    ...which were replaced under my StarMark extended warranty (hooray!) Sorry to see you giving up the car. Sadly, I don't think my next new vehicle will be an MB. My C has been fairly reliable over the past 6 years, but all of the concerns over the current C give me pause. Don't really know what the next purchase will be--my current list includes Mustang GT convert, Toyota RAV4, Ford Escape Hybrid, VW GTI, and Acura TL (nothing like consistency!) I plan to keep the Benz for 12 years, at any rate. So, the next purchase would be a 2nd vehicle. I grew up wanting an MB, and am happy I have one--but I will not likely buy another (except perhaps for a W124 E-Class coupe or convert). I wonder if MB listens to/is aware of/cares about customers like me...those who feel the star is currently a bit tarnished. At any rate, best of luck to you, and thanks for your reply.
  • gurekiangurekian Member Posts: 3
    Have not checked this site in a while... sorry to leave you hanging there.

    I FINALLY got this problem fixed by MB dealer after bringing it in 4 times. I was so furious because the "Check Engine" light comes on each time this happens, and the overly-bright flashing amber fuel light was getting annoying at night.

    In any case, it is most probably the fuel pressure sensor leaking. I cannot remember the exact piece, but I'll check for you. For some reason they did a systems check, the computer reported that it failed and they gave it back to me on my 3rd visit. They also forgot the computer report in my back seat. So armed with this, I forced them to replace the piece on their dime during my 4th visit.

    Good luck.

  • ycamp5ycamp5 Member Posts: 15
    Trying to figure out what to buy, the IS 350 or the C350 sports, thank you!
  • hihihi123hihihi123 Member Posts: 2
    Maintenance is definitely costly for the C-class models. On top of that, the service quality, especially at the Manhattan Mercedes dealership, which is factory owned, is as bad as it gets. I am an extremely frustrated C-Class owner and am giving up and buying a Lexus. I can't tolerate the high expenses at 10k mi servicings. Plus, they are fantastic at charging (and overcharging) you for service that is not necessary. The arrogance of the employees at the local level is simply amazing. Whether there is a direct correlation, I'm not surprised that Benz's quality/satisfaction levels have fallen off a cliff in recent years. It's well deserved.
  • jjpeterjjpeter Member Posts: 230
    I have a "Schedule A service due in x days" showing up on my dash when I start the car.

    Does anyone know what this service entails, and what I can expect to pay?

    I have an 02 C230 sport coupe with around 24K miles.

  • scscarsscscars Member Posts: 92
    You might not need to pay anything. '02 models had a 4-year, 50,000 mile warranty that included free maintenance. If the car is still under warranty, your Schedule A service may be a freebie.

    Schedule A service includes checks of exterior and interior lighting, windshield wiper and washer fluids and system, brake pads inspection, correction of tire inflation and tire damage checks, oil and filter change, fluid level check and correction, engine cooling system and brake system inspection, battery condition check, and engine hood and latch inspection.

    In Suburban Chicago, Schedule A service runs about $150.00. It may be less where you live.

    Hope this helps.
  • rmgtx01rmgtx01 Member Posts: 3
    I have an 02 c240 that just went out of warranty and needs a schedule B service. Does anyone have an opinion on using and independent repair shop instead of the dealer. It appears that the dealer does very little for the price.
  • fruitsnacksfruitsnacks Member Posts: 2
    I brought my car (2004 C230K) in to a local dealer because the SRS "system restraint service" light kept coming on. Also, I am planning a road trip so I wanted a check up on the tires and fluid levels, etc. My service technician was extremely rude at first when I dropped my car off in the morning. In the afternoon when he called to tell me that I needed $$$ service, he sounded a bit nicer.

    My car is barely 2 years old w/ a 25k mileage. Early last year, I got both rear tires replaced because there were nails found in them. This time around, just 1.5 years later, I was told that all 4 tires needed to be replaced, plus the front brake pads and rotors.

    The following day, I was scheduled to pick up my car in the afternoon. At noon-ish, the service technician called to say that the camber screws also need replacing. I expressed my conern in having to replace all these parts so soon and he kinda quickly told me that all these wear items were worn out in a short amount of time due to the way I was driving... I'm still not sure whether I buy it, but in the end, the damage was a whopping $2,000.

    Anyone share a similar bad experience? Can I get these services done outside of a MB dealer?
  • sphere99sphere99 Member Posts: 36
    is this normal to go out so fast? any idea how much these cost? thanks!
  • jackgjackg Member Posts: 2
    I have followed all the advice given in the forum and nothing works.I have a 2004 c230 supercharged sedan and it flashes a message that my A maintenance is overdue by 630 miles.I have no owner manual but I THINK THAT IT MEANS THAT THE OIL NEEDS TO BE CHANGED.It has no dipstick but you can read out oil level on the multifunction display. It says oil level is ok what ever that means but I don't know if it takes 5 or six quarts. Anybody please help!
  • boomchekboomchek Member Posts: 5,516
    The oil level will always be ok, but you still need to change it if it's old. You need to go to MB and do an oil change and they can reset your computer.

    And unfortunately if you do the oil change yourself, the computer will still show that you're overdue for service, becaquse only MB can reset the computer.

    2016 Audi A7 3.0T S Line, 2021 Subaru WRX

  • jackgjackg Member Posts: 2
    Thanks for the info, but there is someone out there that knows how to reset the maintenance A required message.I used to do it on my 99 SLK 230 all the time. Its got to be simple, its just MB's big secret to get you to pay for there service.
  • ray_h1ray_h1 Member Posts: 1,134
    Resetting the "maintenance required" messages probably is simple - if you have access to the specific Mercedes scan/programming tool that plugs into the OBD-II port. (It would be a guess whether you'd be able to buy your own make-specific scan/programmer...) Didn't take automakers long to realize they could milk self-diagnostic features for far more than the cost of installing 'em! ;)
  • carchic101carchic101 Member Posts: 3
    I recently purchased my C36 AMG 1995, awesomely kept! But the radio doesn't seem to want to come on. I have the code and all. but still will not come on. Help please if anyone has a clue, I'd like to keep the stock radio, but if no avail I will have to purchase a new. "Soundless" ">
  • carchic101carchic101 Member Posts: 3
    :) Does anyone think that a mercedes dealership would charge me an arm and a leg to take a looksy at the radio? Is there some sort of component that you need to reset the radio? And how might one get ahold this?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    I'm sure they'll nick you for one hour flat rate to diagnose. Many radios have their own in-line fuse, but getting at it might be tough.

    I'd suggest you go to a specialty audio shop and have them slip the radio out (they have the tools to do it quickly) and see if there is a fuse behind it). If they say the radio is no good, then you are in the right place for a quick replacement without paying double labor for buttoning up the console again.

    Probably they can sell you a radio that will sound better anyway.
  • carchic101carchic101 Member Posts: 3
    1995 AMG C36 factory cd changer in the trunk, Does anyone know how to obtain the sleeve or cartridge for the cd changer? I'm soundless, and would like to have tunes. Thanks :(
  • boomchekboomchek Member Posts: 5,516
    Mercedes will stock parts like cartridges for your MB. However you should check out junkyards, or online parts retailers to see if you can get one cheaper.

    2016 Audi A7 3.0T S Line, 2021 Subaru WRX

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    I'd find out who made the CD changer for AMG and write to them. That's what I did one time. They don't make their own CD players, that's for sure.
  • harryoharryo Member Posts: 3
    When i start the car it runs about 5min,Then it shut off and when you give it gas it only revs up to 4 grand and won't pass that :sick: .Can anyone HELP.
  • boomchekboomchek Member Posts: 5,516
    I'm guessing it might be a problem with the engine management system. It's all computer controlled.

    2016 Audi A7 3.0T S Line, 2021 Subaru WRX

  • harryoharryo Member Posts: 3
    dose any one no where i can take my car .im in pasadena CA
  • boomchekboomchek Member Posts: 5,516
    Take for what?

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  • bullwinkle5bullwinkle5 Member Posts: 1
    I’m looking for instructions about how to replace my front marker light. Looking at the car, it looks like the headlight assembly has to be removed or a panel in the front wheel well. I’m not sure the best approach. If you have replaced a front marker light, please let me know the best approach.

  • fsmmcsifsmmcsi Member Posts: 792
    The warrantly expired on our 2002 C230K, so today was the firtst time that I (rather than a dealership) changed the oil and filter. How does one reset the maintenance reminder counter?
  • nihalnihal Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2005 C230 with 46,000 miles ... close to running out of warranty. Should I buy extended warranty? If yes, what coverage should I be looking for and what would it cost? I plan on keeping the car for 3 years more. I know that some of these warranty plans are pretty pricey and not sure if I'm being overcharged. Can anyone help?
  • shannconshanncon Member Posts: 2
    How do you get this trim off? I need to do a minor paint job and don't want to just mask over the trim.
  • shannconshanncon Member Posts: 2
    The instructions can be found on page 154 of the owners manual.
    The details are:-
    Turn ignition key to position 1 on the starter switch
    Push buttons on left hand side of steering wheel (the ones showing 2 rectangles overlapping) until trip meter showing miles and total miles appear.
    Then press arrows until service indicator appears.
    Then press reset button (located at left hand side of instrument cluster) for about 2 seconds.
    Then follow instructions, depending on which service interval was done.

    I hope it helps. I did it once. It took a few attempts to make it work.
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