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Mercedes-Benz C-Class Sedans



  • michhalamichhala Posts: 375
    >Thus, Mikki, although you have tried to contact >MB regional reps the issue could be solved with >your sales person, his or her manager first. I >am sure they have no other choice but to solve >the issue especially if you mention to them in >writing that it is becoming a road hazard.

    Johnny -- My thanks for your post, I did speak to my sales person, but it was after the unpleasant encounter with the sales manager. She was of no help, although a very sweet person. I had serious problems once before with dealership and finally contacted the MB rep and he really got things done.

    Two things I have learned:

    1. It is very important to the dealership that you give them a good rating, because, as the owner of my dealership told me, it is their report card from Mercedes.

    2. Mercedes needs to be informed when problems exist as a result of a dealership's poor performance.

    My first major problem was brought about by very poor detailing and covering up of exterior damage and the customer service manager picking of some paint that could not be touched up. I also had problems with the computer -- I was not happy. The MB rep felt if the car had been detailed properly and I had not seen all the scratches, defects and marks, I would have felt better about the car and dealt with the computer problems in an easier manner.

    This chrome problem is only a problem because of how I was treated by customer relations. It has become more of one because no one has replied to my written words or voice mail messages -- and even more of a problem because I am being ignored.

    Checking out the rim that is the worst, I noticed that the cracked area has progressed. I was going to drive to San Franciso from LA tomorrow, but now I am flying because I can see it has become a hazard and I am afraid to drive it. Even though the customer relations person told me there was no danger to the tires when I brought the car in to show, I can see there is now.

    When I return from SF, I will take the car over to West Coast Tires -- they will help me with all this -- they are nice folks. :)

  • tclawtclaw Posts: 23
    The dealer with the Ford Escort/Enterprise loaners, and that claimed as late as two weeks ago to have never heard anything about the problem with remote unlocking, is HBL in Vienna, VA.
  • fuzzofuzzo Posts: 88
    HBL is not known for it's good service. I have heard several complaints about them and I too haven't had really great service from them. that's why i cancelled my order from them and got it from a dealer in b'more. AMerican service in Arlington VA has a much better reputation for service than HBL.
  • dawindawin Posts: 15
    Did you get it fixed? If so what did the dealer do?
    It happened to me once. I had to try unlock it several times to get it opened.
  • benz747benz747 Posts: 91
    I spoke with my sales person and he asked me to bring car to service department; when I took my C there he tried to open himself with smartkey as well as metal key and he could not open, he told me he has never seen this problem before, and he schedules me for Wednesday 10 and he told me he will give me loaner as he will keep a CAR for a DAY, interestingly my metal key not even work on FRONT door, my C is just 1700 miles on it and I took delivery in July 2001. I still have feedback form with me which I think I will send after the problem get fixed

  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    I've been away for a few days, and thus took awhile to get caught up on the posts since the weekend. Sorry about the taste police remark - it actually came from a friend who runs chromes on his E-Class, so I thought it was a harmless enough observation - guess not. Should have realized your sense of humor might have been tested a bit by all of this.

    Now, having said that, I will reiterate [as have several other posts in the last couple of days] that chroming of Mercedes alloys carries risks. The technical reasons were well laid out by 404 in his post. It is a fact that real MB veterans have looked askance at this recent trend toward chroming on this class of car, precisely because everyone in the business knows of at least one instance of a chromed wheel failing in service - it is what happens. My buddy with the chromes on his E has already had to replace two of them for leaks and cracks.

    Hey, gang, do what you want for whatever reasons you want. To the extent this forum is about information exchange, however, be warned: this business of chroming wheels is risky. Mostly, the risks are in slow leaks and expensive replacements; occasionally, the consequences are considerably worse. Miki gets points for refusing to drive the car until this thing gets fixed - others might have lived to regret ignoring it.
  • I have ordered a C240 and it will be arriving in November. Other than the trunk and the key problems, is there any other problems that I should be aware ? I am hoping that I have made the right decision. Can somebody help ?
  • Hi All,

    I'm in the process of buying my VERY VERY first MB. It's exciting as I have been an admirer for a long time. It's a silver, 98'CLK320. All suggestions and advice are welcomed. It doesn't come with a CD changer, where can I get a after market changer? I know people talk about Zaino, is this a good choice & where can I get it? Does anyone know where I can get the extended warranty for a reasonble price? As you all can tell, I have a lot of questions. Thanks everyone.

  • We had a similar discussion about chrome wheels on the Porsche 928 RennList. A metallurgist added his take on the process. He stated that the trouble with chrome is that hydrogen is added to the base metal during the plating process. This causes "hydrogen enbrittlement". There is a process that can be used after plating to "bake" the parts to force out most of the hydrogen.

    There is a Porsche service bulletin discouraging the process, which I'm sure is as much as a CYA move as anything else.

    But there are many cars out there with chrome wheels.

    John W.
  • rs64rs64 Posts: 64
    Welcome. All of your questions can be answered if you read back through the old posts and there are a few other forums on the internet with good info. Off the top of me head, zaino can be found at Lisa at Courtsey Motors in Chico, CA seems to be the place to buy a factory extended warranty, but I think that it is for a car less than 1 year old.
  • Rwoo662 - I also share your concerns. I am in the Atlanta area. Which dealer did you place your order with? Were you happy with the price they quoted you?
  • I'm having trouble with the driver's window not raising properly (only in 1 inch steps). The dealership says it is losing its synchronization but can not explain why. Also, my passenger side mirror does not return to the proper position after reversing. Has anyone else experienced similar problems? On Thursday I am going back to the dealership for the third time in four weeks for them to try and figure this out.
  • I've had my C240 for about a year. I've had a key problem that was easily rectified, and no trunk problems. The only other thing I can warn you about is squeaking brakes, a topic that got a fair amount of play last fall, so there were quite a few of us. It gets cold here in NH, and when it's cold, the brakes squeak. Insignificant? To performance, yes. To your feelings about your new Mercedes, no. I didn't expect this type of quality problem, and while it seemed to get fixed last February, it also came back in the first 40 degree days of September. I didn't pay $35K to sound like a Hyundai every time I pull up to a red light. If it keeps up this winter, I may take a loss and take a look at an X-Type. Rational? Who knows...but I'm going to be paying for this car for a while, so I need to be happy with it.
  • 404c404c Posts: 146
    Don't buy the Ford X-Type, er I mean Jaguar Mondeo. There is zero nobility in its parentage. Its father was an Escort and its mother a Crown Victoria. Seriously, the car is a half-baked 4WD, rebodied Mondeo. Ecch. It's ugly too. Really a poor styling effort, especially the rear end. My Dad used to love the Jags of the 1950s and 1960s, and when he saw an X the other day, he made a point of saying how unwholesome it looked. X adequately describes it actually. And do you really want to discover the joys of British workmanship? You'd likely be pining for the Benz after a couple of months ;-)

    About the squealing brakes, there are at least two things that could be done. Firstly, put anti-squeal compound on the backs of the pads. That would stop the noise if it's being caused by the pads oscillating harmonically. The second thing that can be done is replacing the standard pads with less powdery ones (i.e. a harder compound). I suspect that the US market pads are dumbed down for US driving conditions and the EU pads may be harder (and thus better suited to heat dissapation during 235 km/h to zero braking). Harder pads tend to squeal less, as they produce less dust, which itself is another source of noise. Ask your dealer to look into this for you.

  • mbnut1mbnut1 Posts: 403
    What are the advantages of "dumbed down" pads that would cause Mercedes to use them in the US?

    Also I don't think the X-type is so bad. The base X car certainly has more power than the C240 plus the advantage of AWD. It drives very well. The main things that C class has got going for it over the X-type is that it is noticably quieter, it may be safer (haven't seen X-type crash tests yet), obviously some prefer the styling of the C and some of the X-type fitments are sourced from Ford which remind one that the car is based on the Mondeo.
  • nycanyca Posts: 232
    the "dumbed" pads don't require as much heat in them before their stopping efficiency come up to spec. Americans don't get the car up to speed, and don't stop as hard as their Euro counterparts, so the thinking is that they would prefer a different compound.

    I find there is such poor headroom in the X-type, and when I sat in one (I'm not tall, 5'10"), I found I was looking down to look out the windshield, even with the seat as low as it could go. I think the cars ergonomics were setup for a woman, I would bet most X owners will be women.
  • 404c404c Posts: 146
    Well, the ability of a brake pad to take heavy-duty use, such as the Autobahn panic braking I referred to above, requires characteristics that are at odds with comfortable, normal driving. For example, racing brake pads only operate really efficiently at high temperatures and are so-so at normal street temperatures. It manifests itself in initial pedal response - a more heat resistant brake pad will not give the initial bite upon application that a street pad will. Most drivers would find the "feel" of a high-performance pad to not be reassuring, despite the fact that such pads are a lot more capable under extreme conditions, long after a regular pad would be badly fading.

    So a company such as M-B that sells very fast cars (even a C 240 will do 147 MPH in Europe - 152 for a C320) may well fit more heat resistant pads to these cars, in countries where the typical highway speeds are high.

    Many aspects of German cars are altered for the North American market. For example, with the C-Class (and the non-sport BMW 3) the cars are "dumbed down" by putting 205-210 km/h (127-130 MPH) speed limiters and crappy HR "all-season" tires on them (most North Americans apparently don't like the rough ride of VR or WR tires, or the fact that they don't last as long).

    As another example of this product adaptation to our market, I'd not be surprised to discover a softer pad material on the brakes (which happens to be dustier and possibly more prone to squealing), in order to give that "reassuring" feel upon initial application for Joe or Jane Average as they drive to the local Starbucks. This thing about pads is a speculation on my part - your dealer or the importer should be able to figure it out. If M-B offers another type of pad for the C, have the dealer fit them instead.

    If you really care about the alleged safety benefits of 4WD, I'd recommend waiting a year until the 4Matic version of the C becomes available in North America. I'm sure it'll be head and shoulders better than the Jaguar X.

    I lived in an incredible snow belt for 10 years and found my RWD Peugeot 404, and later two FWD cars, more than capable of dealing with anything that winter (6 months long) could throw at them. This was a place that got 20 feet of snow per year, with snow on the ground between Halloween and Easter. In fact, it was the guys in their SUVs and 4WD Volvos etc. that always ended up in the ditch or in an accident. Even if car control doesn't come naturally to a C-Class driver, the ESP should handle most slippery winter situations perfectly well. All a 4WD vehicle does better than a 2WD one is accelerate better. They don't corner or brake any better. Safety is all about knowing the limits of the car....and the driver.

    Sorry is I was a bit harsh about the X, but it is a Ford through and through. Actually that probably makes it a better car than it would have been if it was done by British Leyland (duh!), but in the expensive small car market, I think pedigree matters. And, as you can tell, I'm not too fond of Ford-Jaguar's neo-retro look.

  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...the X-Types, as typically equipped, strike me as notably overpriced...much higher prices than the base sticker would lead you to expect.

    For alternatives, try a 3er or an IS or an A4 [the 2002 of course, not the older car].
  • htma1htma1 Posts: 10
    I dropped my C-240 (6-spd, 8800 miles) off at the dealer last Tuesday, after the engine quit three times in as many days (check engine light flashing, the whole bit). I had called Teleaid - they said to drive the car - take it to the dealer only if the CE light didn't go out in a couple days. Tuesday the dealer called to say they'd had to order parts, which would be in Thursday, so my car would not be finished till Thursday. Well, the parts they ordered turned out to include a fuel pump, which didn't arrive Thursday, or Friday. Friday pm I spoke to the service manager after my service advisor told me they now expected parts to arrive next Thursday or Friday. The SM told me that they'd ordered a replacement fuel pump, but the parts depot didn't ship, because that part has been superseded by a new design/part number. His theory was that they are sending out redesigned parts because of field failures like mine, but who knows? Apparently the new parts are just entering the pipeline from Germany - none available in USA. Looks like I'll be driving their Nissan loaner for another week. I've let MBUSA customer support know that having a six month old Mercedes out of service for warranty repairs for two weeks does not constitute an acceptable performance level to this customer. Seems to me as if they should know how by now to move parts for a disabled vehicle to a dealer in less than 10 days.
  • spndxspndx Posts: 36
    It's funny, but if you read this board long enough, you see the same stuff pop up at regular intervals....

    As for the squealing brakes, I have not had a problem in 6,000 miles. I (along with several others over the past year) believe that any squeal you may be experiencing has to do with driving style.

    When I went to Sindelfingen last March to pick up my 6spd 240, a German friend of mine picked me up at the train station in Stuttgart. He said (without being prompted) that it is pretty well accepted in Germany that if you drive in the city too much, you will start getting brake squeal on German high-performance cars (he drives an Audi A8). Anyone who has spent time on the Autobahn knows what he means - brakes on German cars are designed to do one thing extremely well: stop very quickly from very high speed. Too much city driving (i.e., low speed/light braking) allows film to develop on the discs which in turn causes a squeal when the brakes are applied lightly. Try taking your car out on a lonely stretch of highway and hitting the brakes hard a few times. Works like a charm for me.

    I disagree with the earlier post about the squeal being due to differences in German/American MB brakes. Every car I've driven in Germany stops exactly like the C240 in my carport. In fact, my explanation defines the squeal in terms of the 'sameness' of the US/German brakes - and why would MB go to the expense of using different parts in their two biggest markets if they didn't have to? (oh well, varieties in opinion are the spice of life....).

    I have had one minor key problem, where I could not set the "easy entry/exit" feature for both keys (only one or the other. Weird). I never use the feature, but, I paid for it and everything....a new set of keys fixed that.

    The only warning I would have for anyone new to the 'C' world is to watch for paint chips. Even the guy at the factory mentioned that recent German VOC regulations mean that the paint doesn't stick like it used to (I can vouch for that as a former '97 C230 owner). In fact, he told me not to wax it for at least 8 months or so.

    Finally, I want to share something I saw in this month's Consumer Reports: certain BMW 500-series cars are being recalled because they have an annoying tendency to catch fire. There is NO such thing as the perfect car!!
  • Hi All-

    Here's more information from the Porsche RennList.


    There are metallurgists who claim hydrogen enbrittlement can happen to any alloy, but it is so uncommon with anything but high-strength steel, that it's not established or accepted as a real issue in the industry. Decent platers are very aware of this issue and bake the newly plated items to eliminate it, as well as follow other steps in the preparation process to reduce hydrogen accumulation.

    The primary objection Porsche had about plating was poor cosmetics, although they do comment that pitting and weakening may occur. Here is the full text of the TSB:


    General Information: Porsche does not approve of chrome plating Porsche aluminum road wheels.

    Corrosion tests by Porsche AG on chrome plated aluminum wheels have shown heavy pitting, especially with winter use.

    The high difference in potential between the base metal of the wheel and the plating material (chrome, nickel) may cause pitting and could reduce wheel strength.

    Polishing road wheels is an acceptable alternative. When polished, the wheel's protective coating is removed. To avoid corrosion and discoloration, wheel maintenance will need to be increased.


    Warranty Information: Corrosion and/or discoloration due to a lack of maintenance are not a warranty matter.


    Important Note: Please make a copy of this bulletin and give to your dealership's Sales Manager and General Manager.

    December 14, 1990


    Ron Brown at Wheel Enhancement is fully aware of the controversy and will discuss it with anyone who is concerned.

    Hope it sheds some light.

  • I was wondering if anyone has the Sport Package. I ordered it on my car, but I wasn't able to drive a demo with it. My car is due in about 3 weeks. I was wondering how the handling changed with the thicker sway bars and wider tires. I know, it's kinda academic now.


    John W.
  • merckxmerckx Posts: 565
    My understanding is that for some time now MB has used a harder brake pad for US cars.Apparently,US customers are more sensative to brake dust build-up on their alloy wheels. MB knows we don't have the demanding Alpine conditions of Europe and has sacrificed a little braking performance to avoid the dust build-up.
  • mleskovarmleskovar Posts: 171
    Has anyone tried Porterfield brake pads?

  • spndxspndx Posts: 36 sure is hard to believe that MB actually uses a pad that creates MORE dust - I clean my front wheels almost daily....
  • rs64rs64 Posts: 64
    I have it on my 01 c240 and love it. The car corners very well, plus I like the looks as it sits a tad lower. I think you will be pleased.
  • I'm a new MB owner. Just bought a 99 C280 with the sports package. The stock tires are 205/55 R 16 on 7x16 wheels. I'm thinking of going to 225/50 R16 tires but still using the stock 7x16 wheels. Would there be any problems in using this combination?

    Thanks to all in advance.
  • I saw a 95 or 96 C280 at a car show recently. It had the AMG badging on the trunk, the AMG wheel and tire setup, but it also had the C280 badging on the trunk opposite the AMG letters. I thought it might be a fake. Don't all the AMG modified C's have the C32 badging?
    Something's fishy there.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I believe AMG badging can be purchased (or "obtained"). I have seen AMG badging applied to non-AMG "sport" model cars. Just this past weekend, I noticed at least two used car ads for SLK's and E's with the "AMG Sport Package". Neither were AMG cars. May not be illegal, but it's dishonest and tacky. Lift the hood. If it's not an AMG engine, it's not an AMG.

    By the way, the previous AMG version of the C class was either a C36 or C43, depending upon the year. (Neither of which come very close to the performance of the lighter, supercharged C32).
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