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Mercedes-Benz C-Class Care and Maintenance



  • 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 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 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 Posts: 2
    I suggest you go to e bay and bid on the mercedes they have for bid.
  • loftusloftus 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 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 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 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 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 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.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 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.
  • 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 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 ?
  • 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 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.
  • 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 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 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.)
  • 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 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 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 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 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 Posts: 56
    Fortunately, my StarMark extended warranty paid for the repair. Thanks for following up--
  • assameseassamese 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
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