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Mercedes-Benz C350 & C280



  • greenteagreentea Member Posts: 14
    My understanding is that you will not damage the car--especially driving around at sea level with a single occupant and not putting the engine under exceptional loads. The car has a sophisticated electronic engine management system that is smart enough to retard the spark.

    However, by changing the timing, you will not enjoy the same performance. And, you probably would not want to use a lesser grade if the car will be under a load, e.g., although you're not towing, how about if it is very hot--so you have the air on full blast--and, the car is full of occupants, and/or if you were driving at a high altitude or climbing a lot of mountains?

    Then, you probably will want to use the recommended fuel and I believe the manual will tell you that if it is not available, you should mix the lesser grade of fuel in the tank with a higher grade when the tank is down rather than waiting for until empty for a complete fill-up.
  • modern54modern54 Member Posts: 5
    What do you mean by 'ping"???
  • dbranddbrand Member Posts: 21
    You say you're "150 mph club", but you don't know what ping means? Lordy I hope you have lots of money, a second car AND a reliable mechanic. Pinging is not just a sound--though that's kind of how an engine sounds when it pings. It's kind of a tapping, chattering sound, under acceleration. It's more than a minor irritation--it means your engine is in trouble. At best it's robbing your car of fuel economy and power. At its worst its the beginning of the end of your engine. Pinging is also sometimes called "pre-ignition" or "spark-knock" or "dieseling". It happens when the fuel/air mist is injected down into the cylinder on top of the piston and it ignites too quickly. This means when the piston is coming up on its compression stroke, there is a mini-explosion too soon that tries to force the piston back down. As the piston fights its way to the top of its stroke it literally knocks on the side of the cylinder wall--also the valves can chatter with the out-of-sync pressure. In today's engines, controlled by sensors and computers, pre-ignition usually occurs when the interior of the combustion chamber (the cylinder) is just too darn hot. It occurs for lots of reasons: engine is too hot, fuel mixture is too lean, a coked-up engine (carbon deposits) or the sensors in the engine aren't functioning to standard. However one of the more common causes is when an after market air filter is used, and it's over-oiled--this throws off the air/fuel mixture. Sometimes there's a vacuum leak. Sometimes coolant levels are too low, or you have the wrong spark plugs (rated too hot for your engine specifications) or even a failed thermost causing the coolant to get too hot and therefore the engine can't stay within acceptable temperature range. It also occurs when a high compression engine tries to operate with a fuel with an octane too low. It especially gets serious when the engine is under heavy load...or when it has to idle for a long time or creep along in heavy traffic on a hot summer day. Whatever the cause, if any engine pings, it means something is wrong. Failure to remedy a pinging engine means it's just a matter of time before the engine will fail.
  • dbranddbrand Member Posts: 21
    Just realized that it was "modern54" who asked what ping meant, not "150mph club".

    Please excuse.


    speed readin' idiot sayin' "sorry"
  • pgsmithpgsmith Member Posts: 24
    If I remember correctly from Thermodynamics "ping" actually occurs when the fuel explodes rather than burning in a controlled rapid rate. The explosion of the fuel mixture occurs at a rate faster than the speed of sound. The chatter or ping that you hear is the sound of the explosion bouncing off the cylinder walls.

    All right professors - time to correct me if I'm wrong.

    For the record, it is a real problem when it occurs. I've seen it acually melt pistons.
  • modern54modern54 Member Posts: 5
    Thank you for the information....but not everyone is up to par on car lingo. I will have to ask twice before I ask a question on this board. I believe there are no stupid questions.
  • dbranddbrand Member Posts: 21
    You're right,there are no stupid questions. Only stupid people. And I'm at the top of the list. Again, sorry--really didn't mean to offend.

    Forgive me.

    I'm old enough to know better--like really old.

  • 150mphclub150mphclub Member Posts: 316
    I am not offended, just amused.
  • dp78dp78 Member Posts: 2
    Hi. I just fell in love with a 2000 C280. It was relatively low in miles for its age (48k) and very very clean so I had to buy it. After the purchase, however, I have heard many horror stories about certain MB's but not necessarily about my model, though. In fact, I haven't found much bad or good about my model out there. I was wondering if any of you had any anecdotes,advice or suggestions for a neophyte of the MB order. Thanks!!!
  • dfc3dfc3 Member Posts: 87
    Despite the heading of this thread, you'd probably do better on another board.

    This thread is under "future vehicles" and was set up for the new 2006 C280, which debuted several months after the board was established.

    It can be annoying that MB has named a totally new car with the same name as a previous car - that isn't very much alike.
  • dp78dp78 Member Posts: 2
  • pgsmithpgsmith Member Posts: 24
    I took delivery on my C280 4matic last week. I had ordered it with the entertainment package but fin no indication of the Harmon Kardon sound on the radio or speakers other than the L rear shelf speaker. How can I verify the correct system was installed? :confuse:

    The sound isn't that great, but that may be because the rear speakers are not working. I'll have to get it into the dealer for repair ASAP. I'm not very impressed that something so easy to check wasn't caught before they delivered the car. :mad:
  • dbranddbrand Member Posts: 21
    I just took delivery of my 06 C280 4Matic 3 weeks ago. I also have the HK sound system. I was puzzled too because there is no badging indicating this was installed, until I turned it on. I had been driving my ex's SLK320 with the standard sound, so the comparison is easy. I think the HK sound system is faboo. Perhaps you just need to adjust yours--see the manual and make the adjustments through the digital screen in front of the driving position. You can adjust balance of speakers, treble, bass, etc., very easily. I just completed a 1,500 mile road trip and the 7 CDs I brought along (6 in the CDC pack and 1 in the single slot) never sounded better. I am very impressed with the system. My best friend has a new 740 BMW with the premium sound system (I think it's Bose) and it doesn't sound any better than mine. So perhaps some adjustments will make the difference for you.
  • shankyshanky Member Posts: 36
    I have the 2006 C350 RWD Luxury for about 3120 miles now, no quality issues, great mpg, great ride, great looks, great performance, great acceleration (& great price!)

    Does anyone have any similar/difefrent feedback on their ownership? I have not seen C350s on the road yet, except mine!
  • dfc3dfc3 Member Posts: 87
    Great to hear! I don't have one - but will test drive one once the tax return comes in. I'm not sure if I want to spring for the C350 - or go for the C280 - I'll try 'em both. Right now, though, its Christmas bills, and the waiting in knowing I'll get my year-end commission check in Feb - and tax return as well. That'll give me some cash to use. I'm hoping the C350 works out reliably.
    Very few of the car mags say much about it - which could be good - a hidden gem!
  • tbelchertbelcher Member Posts: 1
    I just purchased a 2006 C350 sport, I like it a lot, but one question, have you notice that sometimes when you hit your bakes it makes a sound?
  • pgsmithpgsmith Member Posts: 24
    I hear a hollow "popping" sound on my 2006 that seems to come from inside the vehicle. I'm guessing it is a vacuum build-up or sticking in the brake switch which activates the brake lights and cancels the cruise. It is on my list of "items to be looked at" this Friday for my 1k-3k check-up. (I'm right at 2k).

    My biggest concern would be if they find a "sticking switch" which could potentially fail to cancel the cruise or notify the driver behind me that I'm slowing down.

    I'll try to post what they find.
  • pgsmithpgsmith Member Posts: 24
    By the way. Mine is a C280 4matic so it is probably not limited to the C350.
  • shankyshanky Member Posts: 36
    After your feedback, I checked my C350 brakes several times..there is no such sound upon braking...

    The only thing I "may" have concern is about a faint whining sound from the front when gliding over smooth roads...the dealer technician informed me that that was the fan revving up/down, and perfectly normal...

    By the way, I achieved my lifetime milestone having zipped to 115 mph last weekend! I do not believe 130 is far behind the way the car accelerates...! I have nothing but admiration at the braking smoothness and power, that is driving up my confidence in speeding...the car has never swerved even when braking at high speeds :)
  • mac320mac320 Member Posts: 147
    Great to hear that about your "350" luxury sedan. We'll probably trade our '02 C320 for one but we decided to wait when we discovered that they were practically rare exotics at the local MB lot compared to all of the C280s. When at least half of the C's on the lot are 350s and we can go in and see the exact color and interior we want and can offer to buy--while pretending that we don't really want it--we're there! :)
  • pgsmithpgsmith Member Posts: 24
    The dealer claims the sound is "normal". They said they checked another '06 on the lot and it had the same sound. I commented that did'nt make it "normal" as there could be a bad lot of parts. However, I dropped it as an issue and will continue to monitor it on my car.

    I have a revised theory as to the source. Rather than a "sticking switch", I now beleive it is simply a noisy solenoid / relay.
  • 06c28006c280 Member Posts: 1
    Hello and Congratulations on your new C280. I was the owner of a '04 C230 Kompressor until a crash that wrecked the car, thank God for the safety of mercedes.

    I am currently looking at getting the '06 C280 as a replacement, hoe do you like yours? Are you getting the gas mileage you anticipated? (19/26) Also, I am tempted to hold out until the dealer can get me the "rear side airbags", did you get the feature?

    Thank You for your help.

    Good Luck with the new car,

  • 280cruiser280cruiser Member Posts: 2
    I just got my C280 December 23rd and love it. In Minnesota we get frequent snowfall and the 4 matic works amazingly well. The mileage is not as good as I had anticipated and the gas tank itself could be larger. I am always adding gas to it.
  • dbranddbrand Member Posts: 21
    After 3,000 miles traveled, my C2804Matic is all I had hoped it would be. I look forward to a month-long road trip in May across the US--it's a great road car. For you MPG folks, I have kept track of my mileage and even keeping the transmission in the "S" mode, I am averaging 27 on highway and 24 city. Fit and finish are perfect--I wash and detail my car myself and from every angle--it's flawless. I have had no problems, nothing has failed--all components function perfectly. It has lots of "poop", shifts smoothly, brakes strongly and the 4Matic is faboo in our heavy rains (I don't take it out when roads are icy). I wrote a letter to MBUSA suggesting future models have a rubber tread pad fitted to the drivers' left footrest so a/r types like me won't worry about soiling the carpeting on this natural place to brace the left foot. Also suggested the rear deck lid hand hold (for closing the lid) is awkwardly located. Was surprised one morning to receive a call from the C model product manager who said they would consider these suggestions in next model. This is my third Mercedes (not counting the ones my ex husband owned that I drove), and I can't see ever buying another marque. Sign me "Happy Mercedes owner/driver".
  • shankyshanky Member Posts: 36
    Great to hear such feedback. My 2006 C-350 Lux too is going fabulous guns at 8800 miles...It is absolute perfection, silken smooth and no issues at all. Mileage averages to 27 in city, and one road test on freeway at a constant 60mph for about 2 hrs got me 34mpg! I am also very frequently clocking 120 mphs...and the car is amazingly stable and quiet.
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    Good to see that you guys are not having any problems!

  • dfc3dfc3 Member Posts: 87
    Ditto! I've been "saving" for a C350 or C280 for a while (since about October) to minimize payments. I'm impressed with the car from what I know. I'm hoping the reliability issues are a thing of the past for these models - as despite what all the auto mags say, for me these are really new cars with the 2006 model year.
  • 280cruiser280cruiser Member Posts: 2
    I highly, I mean highly, recommend NOT getting the tan leather interior. I am constantly cleaning it. Also, dont ever wear a black leather jacket if you have tan leather. It needs to be cleaned on a regular basis. Just wanted everyone to be aware of that. Thanks!---Brian in Minneapolis!
  • emoralesemorales Member Posts: 1
    I am in the market for a 2006 C280 but would rather wait if the 2007 models are around the corner. Does anyone know?

    When did the 2006 models become available?

    - EM
  • billp8billp8 Member Posts: 56
    --I don't know the release date for the U.S. yet, but one other thing to keep in mind is that there will likely be "Special Edition" versions of the C-Class, as this is the last year for the current body style. For the last SE version in 2000, the cars were silver metallic, with the Sport package and two-toned leather interior. The C280 also got a standard CD changer and phone. I can't remember if the C230 had any additional options as standard. The SE versions typically give you a savings "over all options if purchased separately."
  • lenflenf Member Posts: 5
    I just got the same car. Rids well but I noticed a slight whine coming from the rear. I could be tire noise, or the 4 matic. Do you hear the same? Also, is the fuel economy better in c or s mode? Thanks.

  • dfc3dfc3 Member Posts: 87
    Not sure how many people are still paying attention to this board; in that there's not much activity any more. But... I just bought the C280 4Matic after 8 months of reading this board. Its the comments here that helped me make this decision. Thanks, if anyone's noticing.

    To lenf; I haven't heard the whine, but I only have 110 miles on it.

    I'm really impressed with the C280. There's an earlier post several months back - one from Shanky, one from Ikramerica both that explain it well. Merc1 has a good perspective here.
  • pgsmithpgsmith Member Posts: 24
    I have to concur. W/ approx 7k I have not heard any whine. I have still got intermittent electrical annoyances.

    Occasionally the stereo still fails to work right (haven't ha d a chance to take it back in AGAIN for this problem). Turning the ignition off and back on "fixes" the problem.

    The button that is supposed to drop the rear headrests has stopped working. I dont know if something got disconnected the last time they were back there working on something.
  • lenflenf Member Posts: 5
    Thanks for the responses. We have about 400 miles on the C280, but my wife drives it and she doesn't complaine about anything. I will be driving the Benz this weekend and I will take another listen for the whine. Will advise.

  • pgsmithpgsmith Member Posts: 24
    It seems the C280 is a little hard to control. I lost control of mine only a shor time after buying it. (I lost control to my wife once she drove it a couple times. ;)

    Like you, most of my access to mine is on the weekend or when the wife needs the other vehicle for other reasons.
  • dfc3dfc3 Member Posts: 87
    Ah, well, see... I haven't let my wife drive mine yet - since she did her part of the test drive. Of course, I've only had mine a week (240 miles) so we'll see how long THAT lasts.
  • lenflenf Member Posts: 5
    Took the car last night. Whine is still there. Sounds like an electric motor or tire noise. Goes up and down as the car accelerates and decelerates. Don't hear it above 40. Will call the dealer this week.

  • dbranddbrand Member Posts: 21
    I just completed a three week roadtrip--18 states and 5,400 miles. Best mileage was 31 mpg and worst was when caught in rush hour in a hailstorm in Kansas City, Missouri--19 mpg. Gas prices are nuts. $2.49/gallon in KC at a Shell station was lowest and highest was in Long Beach, CA also at a Shell station and I paid $3.79/gallon. Prices are cheapest in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, Iowa and Missouri. Highest are in the SW and the west. Here in Oregon premium grade is in the $3.29 to $3.39 range--for name brands. My first experience in snow was going across the Continental Divide in Montana a couple of weeks ago and the 4 Matic made a big difference--really held good traction even in high winds and very slick highway. It was 118 in Needles, California and only a few degrees cooler going across the Mojave desert and the temp gauge stayed right in the center--perfect operating temperature. The a/c on automatic kept the cabin perfectly comfortable. Loved the rear blind feature--kept the hot sun off my dog who was on the back seat. This is a great little car, and now I'm very happy I selected this model. Took it in for an oil change and tire rotation and the dealership gave me a C230 (not the Kompressor) with 500 miles on the clock as a driver for the day. Boy am I glad I didn't get this model--compared to the 280 it feels very pokey. Amazing what a half litre of engine capacity makes in difference in power.
  • ycamp5ycamp5 Member Posts: 15
    Asking for advise if price is the same and options are similar.

    thank you!!!
  • dbranddbrand Member Posts: 21
    A quick look at and the Lexus web site will quickly inform regarding similarities and prices between the two. The two cars are close in price, size and displacement, but miles apart in driving experience. As cushy and smooth and reliable as Lexus is, in my opinion, the marque has no soul. Mercedes builds a car for people who enjoy the getting there, perhaps more than the being there. Lexus builds a car for those who are more interested in the destination.
  • shankyshanky Member Posts: 36
    I am due now to purchase extended warranty for my 2006 C350-luxury (purchased Nov '05, and currently doing great at 14k miles).

    The MB warranty costs about $3500 for 5 years, and the other one that the dealer is pushing, is about $2500.

    I will love to hear comments/experiences/advice from MB-owners regarding extended warranty
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    How has your car been? Any problems?

  • shankyshanky Member Posts: 36
    Sure, there has been problems!

    1. The car "died" on the freeway, and had to be towed-in to the dealership. Diagnosis was a bad fuel level sensor - there was no gas in the tank while the indicator showed half-full. Right & left level-sensors had to be imported from Germany and replaced. Something to do with higher sulfur-content in US fuel perhaps?

    2. The MB dealer screwed the front license plates off-center. Needs to go back in for fixing holes in the front bumper.

    Despite these scares, THE CAR'S NEVER CEASES TO AMAZE ME! Each time I accelerate it - the solidity, quietness and the smoothness leave me quite impressed ! Of course I am aware that it is overpriced compared to the competition (maybe by about 5k). But I did not get such polished feel in the 3-series, nor in the IS - so I am surely much satisfied :)

    The only sad thing is the dealership - MB needs to do something to improve their responsiveness and quality of work.
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    Yeah that fuel problem is most unfortunate. That should have been ironed out by now.

    Yeah all brands have some less than perfect dealers, and unfortunately unless you start a brand from scratch MB is pretty much stuck with their dealer body for the most part.

  • nedzelnedzel Member Posts: 787
    We got the MB 5 year extended warranty when we purchased my wife's 2002 C240. The warranty was much cheaper back then and it has certainly paid for itself.

    $3500 seems a bit high -- you might try negotiating on that.
  • michhalamichhala Member Posts: 375
    This is cross-posted -- I posted on another Edmunds Forum and it was suggested I post here.

    It has been a long time since I last posted on Edmunds. I bought a C320 in 2001 and because the paint was defective, Mercedes after much ado gave me another one. I loved that car......and also the help I received from this forum

    Sunday at 1:00 AM, I was in a major accident on the 405N fwy, and the car was totaled. Lucky for me, I was not injured, other than some bruising from the airbags deploying on the driver side. Everyone who has seen the car told me I was blessed to have escaped injury.....the 320 and a guardian angel kept me safe

    I was hit twice in the rear and it was hit and run. The first hit sent me spinning and careening across the fwy where I was hit again and headed for the cement wall. I ended up facing the oncoming traffic. The Highway Patrol found the original car that hit me within 15 minutes. I had also purchased a four-year extended warranty when I bought the car expecting to keep my car until 2008. I had a little under 31K

    In the 320 2001, the E-class engine was used and the power and acceleration speed was one of the features I really enjoyed. I understand they no longer use the E-class engine.

    My questions:
    Which 2006 C-class would be comparable to my C-320's power?
    Is there a Lexus that would be comparable?

    My thanks.
  • sammya_mdsammya_md Member Posts: 69

    Sorry to hear about the accident. If you are looking for something with the C320's power, you basically have 2 options. The C350 might have a little bigger engine than the C320, and then the C280 (less sporty, more luxury appearance) would have a little less. I think there might be a C280 w/more hp, but not sure of it's name. For example how the C350 is basically a C230, but with a more powerful engine.

    I'm not sure about Lexus' as I haven't been looking to purchase one, but those are my thoughts.
  • merc1merc1 Member Posts: 6,081
    Wow, sounds like quite an accidente, glad you're ok. MB's safety likely had a hand in that.

    Right now the two C-Classes that would fit the bill are the C280 (228hp) and the C350 (268hp). The C350 used the same engine as the E350, which was the case with the C320/E320 back in 2001. The C350 is available in either Luxury or Sport trim. The C280 is only available in Luxury trim. Both cars have more power than your C320 so I'd suggest a test drive to determine what works best for you.

This discussion has been closed.