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Mercedes-Benz CLK (2005 and earlier)



  • jpnwdcjpnwdc Posts: 42
    I drove the new C230 last week. I need to replace my Saab 9-3SE which is coming off lease in a few months.

    I love the looks of the C230. When I saw the black on black leather coupe, I thought "I can definitely see myself in this!"

    However, after a test drive, I was disappointed. The acceleration, handling, and braking were fine. I liked the new engine and thought it had a pleasing sound. What left me cold was the level of Noise, Vibration, and Harshness (NVH) of this car. It even had a weird accoustical effect that was very displeasing to the ears. It's hard to describe, almost like the effect you might get on an older car with the sunroof open. However, the sunroof was closed in the C230.

    Anyone else notice this? Does Mercedes have a design flaw with this car?
  • huntzingerhuntzinger Posts: 356
    Did it have the 17" wheels option?

    Reason I ask is that it seems that MB might have done a bit more than an "exhaust tip change" with this options package - - there's now four C230's where I work, and two have 16's and two have 17's. The exhaust note on both the 17's is a lot louder, rougher & raspier than on both the 16's.

    But the note is definitely exhaust, nothing at all like the popping you can get from an open sunroof.

  • I have that same experienced test driving the 2.3L engine. The noise level was loud and I was not impressed with it. But I went to another dealer and test drove the same 2.3L 230 kompressor and it was quieter than the one before. So my guess, there is something wrong with the first car that I test drove. I am still debating myself if I should get this 230 kompressor?
  • verozahlverozahl Posts: 574
    What tomcat is saying is that Realness is gender-independent. Whoa. There goes a whole section of gender studies right there. You just put hundreds of academics out of work. Maybe thousands!
  • My C230 that is 6 months old and has about 8300 miles on it died inexplicably while driving on I-80 near Fairfield CA on Sunday. I was in heavy, slow traffic, with my foot off the accelerator, going about 25mph. When I started to accelerate slowly with traffic, nothing happened, the engine had stopped running! I put on the emergency flasher, and tried to restart the engine, it turned over several times, but didn't start. I put on my turn signal and started to coast over to the right, got off the highway and onto the truck exit lane for the weigh station. I tried to restart the car again, this time it fired up and I was able to rejoin traffic. I had plenty of gasoline and no malfunction message came up on the dash readout. I estimate it was off for 20 to 30 seconds. I drove another 100 miles that day with no reoccurence of any engine problem. The dealer said to bring it in to see if a fault code can be found. Has anyone else experienced this problem? Mine is a white exterior grey interior 2002 Kompressor Coupe, 6 speed with no C7 option. The only options I have are the Bose stereo and the 6 CD changer in the glovebox. Thanks for any input.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...both in Edmunds and MBWorld, the discussion forums have lots of examples of this kind of failure. It seems to have something to do with the electronic throttle/drivetrain computer software. Even Autoweek has had this happen with their long-term C320 wagon [more than once, apparently].
  • It's not that common. Usually it's caused by a keychain that is too heavy. If this is the case, the key will lose contact with the driver authorisation system and it won't let you restart or will cause the car to shutdown. Don't put more than a couple of keys on it to be on the safe side.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...the sudden stalling, with inability to immediately restart, but restarting eventually, has absolutely nothing to do with the key not being seated properly in the hole. You can disagree if you wish, but I have been following these discussions on three separate websites, and there is a known problem with the engine management software that is causing these sudden power-loss symptoms.

    I do urge people not to put a lot of junk on the master key; for our cars, I never USE the master key in the ignition, only the other one [assuming they still give you the other one - we got one with our '98 MB]. The master is kept separate and used only to open and close the car and secure the alarm. I got in this habit long before any problems like this were known...
  • My key has nothing attached to it. I have it seperated from my key ring because it is so bulky,
    so there is no possibility that's the problem. The key is very secure in the dash inlet.
    I don't have a master key that I'm aware of. We were given two keys with the car, and they are identical. They both have a mechanical key inserted into the body of the electronic key that has the eyelet for attaching to the ring. If you give your car to a valet, you detach the electronic key from the metal mechanical key, leaving the mehanical key on the ring. The mechanical key can be used to lock the glove box.
    JRCT9454, do you know how this engine going off problem can be diagnosed or repeated by the dealer? Does any fault code show up?
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    No, I don't know any of the details, only the substance of the rumors and general scuttlebutt. I gather from the frustration level of those who have had your problem that it is NOT being captured by the on-board diagnostic trap, so naturally the "high-tech technicians" at the dealerships tend to throw up their hands. There are also a lot of negative vibes about the fuel systems in these cars [that ground has been covered here and at MBWorld], with fuel sending units, pumps, etc being replaced, but the symptoms there have more to do with wildly inaccurate gauge readings than fuel starvation per se. I don't know what to tell you - except that every time I get close to buying one of these cars, another problem crops up and I pull back.
  • My Camry engine shut down many times while on the freeway over a six month to 1 year period several years ago. It would last for a few seconds, then it would restart spontaneously. I didn't figure it out until one night coming home from work, I hit the threshold speed (about 110 - 120 mph) for the protective speed limiter to activate. That activation was identical to what was happening at normal highway speeds. After that intentional shut down, the problem disappeared and has not reoccured over the past few years. It was like I rebooted my computer at work to take care of a software or hardware glitch of some sort, and when I turn the computer back on the problem is gone.
  • shiphroshiphro Posts: 62
    The options listed at have changed. The C230 options list now contains a Lighting Package (C4) which includes the healamp washing system and Xenon headlamps.
  • ciracira Posts: 37
    I have a c230 with automatic and I notice that at highway speeds, the gear shift will vibrate, so much so that it is uncomfortable to rest my hand on it. You can't see it vibrating, but you certainly can feel it. Has anyone else had this problem?
  • jjpeterjjpeter Posts: 230
    that the rear wheel wells of the C230 are lined with some kind of coarse felt material? What happens to this stuff when one runs into muddy conditions? The front wheel wells have industry standard plastic linings, much easier to hose off and keep clean.

    Are the rear wells lined with the different material for sound deadening?

    Any thoughts?
  • tariktarik Posts: 344
    I didn't know the Coupé had that, but it looks to me that the described lining will help to reduce spray from the rear wheel wells significantly. Years ago, a German institute ran tests with such linings on 18-wheelers, and the (positive) effect in rainy conditions (obviously) was astounding. Dirt shouldn't be an issue, it will be washed off next time it's wet.

  • tommyp13tommyp13 Posts: 146
    Unless you are using the manumatic part of it (and I have no idea why anyone would), you shouldn't have it there anyway.

    HH is right about the C7 pkg - the exhaust setup is slightly different; it's not just the tip, as mbusa would have you believe.

    Xenons aren't available yet for the '03s; should be Nov/Dec.

    I do agree about the sound level - if you want a silent car, I'd pass on the ccoupe.
  • I am considering buying the C230 as my first car but I a bit concerned with the fact that it is a rear-wheel drive car. I know that rear-wheel drive cannot compare to a front-wheel drive car when driving in snow or sleet but what I really need to know is it acceptable or will I be spinning all over creation just trying to get to work? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated as this is the only thing that is holding me back from the MB.

    Thank you!
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...means you won't be spinning anywhere. How much traction you'll have, and how much forward progress you can make safely, is determined strictly by tires - you need to plan on being ready to spend the money for a tire/wheel package with winter tires that you can swap every year. TireRack and others offer them at reasonable prices. For lookalike alloys and good winter tires, figure $800-$1000 for four ready to mount on the car, delivered to your house or a tire shop of your choice.
  • jmessjmess Posts: 677
    I am sure you also meant weight distribution also. That is why FWD is effective in the snow, because there is more weight on the drive wheels. I raced FWD cars for years and we would kill the higher HP RWD cars whenever it rained. The tires are also huge. I have had performance tires on FWD street cars that we horrible when it snowed.

    Snow tires mounted on extra rims are the way to go with any car. You very seldom ever have too much traction on winter roads.
  • Thank you both very much for responding to my post, however I am hearing two different things. One seems to be saying that the winter tires will ensure that I am going to be able to get up a slick hill without spinning and the other seems to be saying that no matter what tire I put on I will be in trouble in the rain since the weighting of the car is different. I have no problem paying for the extra tires, if they really will make winter driving possible. Any clarification would be greatly apprecitated!

    Thanks again!
This discussion has been closed.