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Mercedes-Benz CLK (2005 and earlier)



  • jjpeterjjpeter Posts: 230
    Has anyone test driven the new V6 coupe yet? I saw one at the dealer yesterday and the base price was $27+K.

    I left my C230 at the dealer for an oil change and some detective work to see what is causing the dash clicking noise in the dash, and I got another C230 loaner. It has the mechanical adjustable seats, + sun roof and I am soooo glad I got the electric adjustable ones. Don't regret not getting the sun roof either. It was raining hard on the way to work this morning and even with the privacy shade closed, it was much louder then on my solid roofed unit.

    Has anyone tried running something other then premium gas in their coupe? What are the ramification of running 87 or 89 octane instead. Any thoughts?

  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    I just noticed my previous link was not working. So, let's try that again:

    Host/Hatchbacks & Wagons
  • Just picked up my wife's new Alabaster Whiter/Oyster Leather C230K last night. Got the C5 package, automatic and CD player. From the moment we drove it home the sky roof squeaks "constantly" from the back edge. Sounds like the rubber gasket is rubbing up against glass. When I say constant, it is constant and sounds like an old baby buggy going down the road. I can't believe Mercedes delivered a vehicle like this since it starts squeaking when only going several miles per hour and should have been obvious to anyone driving the car from the prep area to the delivery area. Dealer says they will fix, but my impression is that Mercedes quality is slipping. How is everyone else's sky roofs out there? This one I can't live with!!!
  • We purchased a C320 when the new 2002s came out. Over the next year and a half we had so many problems with the car that we finally traded it. Problems included: Noise, memory functions not working, sensor malfunctions, brakes, and worst of all the transmission.

    Dealer "could not detect" most problems we requested fixed, so we finally threw in the towel. For the money we spent, it was a REAL disappointment.

    We traded for a 2003 Lexus GS-300 and we have had no problems with this car. Much nicer, luxurious, quiet, comfortable and quality.

    Goodbye Mercedes...... Hello Lexus.
  • In this day and age, I do not believe that Mercedes has learned what customer satisfaction really is!!! From the manufacturer to the dealer experience (ughh!!!) they really have a lot to learn. If anyone in this world needs to lay off old stagnant and unresponsible people, this company needs to start from bottom to top. Not only do they have problems, but they fail to address their problems and need to start by being aggressive with working with their customers. I cannot even get a response from my dealership when they tell me a responsible individuals name that will help me to get service when I have a need! The only thing they have to sell is their "brand" anything else is gone. The quality and longevity that we purchased Mercedes automobiles for is "gone." Now you only purchase them for the "brand." No quality, service or customer satisfaction. If they will survive in this industry, they need to step up to the plate and provide customer service in line with the Japanese brands or even the South Korean's who are ready to eat their lunch. Although the Hyundai brand name is questioned by many, I believe they will be the next Toyota in automotive leadership. Even Mercedes now has purchased 20% ownership in this brand.
  • I couldn't disagree more, my MB dealer is fantastic, from sales to service they are top notch. I think Mercedes cheapened their cars a bit with the last generation but the newest generation Mercedes are back to traditional MB values - cutting edge technology and leading edge fit, finish and material quality. I've dealt with Mercedes dealers in 3 states and have never had a bad experience. Actually my parents have owned Mercedes since I was a little kid, I've been around them all my life and I know for a fact that there is no differece in the Mercedes experience in the last 20 years I've been around them. I think it's great that MB is making more affordable cars.

    You mentioned in an earlier post that your sunroof has a squeak - in this post you mention you don't know where to go to get service - or the "responsible" person to contact - try the service department! If they can't get to it right away they'll give you a loaner while it's fixed, no problem. You sound totally unreasonable over a little sunroof squeak, try just taking it in and getting fixed - no big deal. If your C230 coupe wasn't perfect when you picked it up - get it fixed and get over it.
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    "In the Town Hall, my username is bobeberhardt.
    And the car I own now is a 2000 Mercedes-Benz M-Class."

    Well, that right there explains everything. My condolences.
  • Yes, I also own a 2000 ML320 which now has 33,000 trouble-free miles. Only thing that I have needed to replace were two headlamp bulbs and a brakelamp bulb. Original brakes and tires (tires look like they will last to 50,000 miles). Unlike most, who complain about ML quality mine is near perfect. The 1998's and 1999's have had their issues but I would say that since the 2000 models, these are great vehicles and would have one over any other SUV out their.

    Also, own a 1995 C280 with 77,000 miles which is also trouble free with the exception of having to replace the engine wiring harness at 70,000 miles for which Mercedes offered a "good-will" warranty repair paying half of the labor and parts.

    Don't get me wrong ... I love Mercedes vehicles!!! I just question why the want to tarnish their brand by delivering a brand new vehicle with obvious defects that should have been corrected before delivery. Experiencing the squeaking skyroof I have learned now that the C-Coupe has had this problem since its introduction last July. Mercedes is aware of the problem (its in the sunroof cartridge), and knows how to fix it. Whoever prepped this car had to have heard the squeak since it is continuous when only driving a few miles per hour. So given the Mercedes brand name and their heritage, why do they not make sure the car is "right" upon delivery? I can get this treatment when I buy lesser brands.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...I've been buying MBs for 35 years, 14 cars in total. Some have been better than others, and the worst was a '76 300D that many people hold up today as an example of the "good old days" of MB quality.

    Without getting into a protracted debate about the state of the MB franchise in North America, it is fair to say that all dealers are not created equal, and that a good dealership can make all the difference in the ownership experience. Luckily, in those 35 years, all in the SF Bay Area and Sacramento, I've been treated well and generally with competence in the service dept.

    One other observation: I NEVER take delivery of ANY new car under ANY circumstance without giving THAT particular car a thorough "acceptance" test drive. If the roof was squeaking so badly, and so early in the game, it should have been apparent before taking delivery. Then you have the more pleasant choice of picking another car, or making sure that a commitment to fix is part of the transaction, or simply walking away. Roof noises from the pano roof have been endemic - I would never buy a Coupe with this feature. Some problems are easy to fix, others have been more persistent - I won't argue that this makes MB or the dealer less culpable, but like COMAND, another trouble-prone option, I wouldn't tempt fate by ordering this feature.

    When we picked our '02 C240 sedan from inventory, I noted on our acceptance test that the car had wheel alignment problems, and made sure this was noted before signing anything. But I was also confident [ a confidence that was justified by the outcome ] that this was a problem that could be remedied by the dealership in short order; if the car had had any significant interior noises on our test [squeaks, rattles, mysterious noises of any kind] I would have immediately rejected the car. My experience is that dealer service depts [ALL makes, not just MB] have an extremely hard time fixing these kinds of problems. There are a couple of other symptoms [wheel shakes, electrical gremlins] that are grounds for rejecting a car out of hand and looking for another example - or another make.

    Having taken delivery of the car with the squeaky roof, you now have to hope that the dealer can indeed fix it; this board and the one at MB suggest that the chances are about 50-50.

    But I reject the notion that what MB is producing and selling now is inferior in any significant respect to what they were selling 20 years ago - my 1976 300D was structurally as solid as a rock, and a miserable car that spent half of its very short life with me in the shop. It's the only one of the 14 that I would have gladly dropped from a very high place....
  • As an update.....

    The dealer called this morning and set up an appointment to fix the squeak in the sunroof. They indicated that this would involve replacement of the sunroof cartridge (basically the entire sunroof, operating mechanism and guide rails). They indicated that they have done this on previous C-Coupes with the panoramic roof which has solved this problem. It appears that Mercedes has solved this problem which has been endemic since its introduction in July, 2002 but my car which was produced in October, 2002 still has the original design which has now been updated to correct this problem. The sunroof cartridge has been ordered and should be delivered by Tuesday @ 3:00 PM. They will check it out first to make sure it is the updated design and will install on Wednesday. They indicate that this will take the entire day. Can't imagine what this warranty repair will cost!!! Eight hours labor plus the cost of an entire sunroof assembly. I have spoken with others in the Mercedes field and they also indicate that this solves the problem. It makes you wonder that if they know that the roof will be bad based upon production date, why they don't go ahead and do the update before delivery. Sure would help the customer satisfaction scores the Mercedes does internally, Consumer Reports ratings and J. D. Powers ratings not to mention all this stuff we talk about on web sites such as this. Hopefully this will fix this problem since I can live with an occasional squeak but not the continuous persistent squeak I now have when driving down the road even at low speeds. Why did I bother to get the upgraded Bose system when all you hear is an irritating rubber/glass squeaking noise?
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    Sounds like you have a responsive and knowledgeable dealer - let's hope they're equally competent on the shop floor.

    I too have puzzled over the years about the reluctance to fix known problems that are likely to affect cars in inventory, but no one I know in the business does it unless there is a safety related campaign. Not Honda, not Toyota [nor their lux-nameplates], not BMW, not Porsche, not MB...I've even asked about this curiosity, and been told, in so many words, that it is easier to wait for the customer to complain, and bill it as a warranty item, than to try to get the factory to pay in advance for correcting the known weakness. Translated, I deduce that what this really means is that experience suggests that some number of customers will simply not complain - and no one wants to spend the money on cars that might not generate any complaints.

    This doesn't make it right, but it does seem to be a universal practice. I once joked with my local MB salesman that I would gladly take minimum wage [I'm retired] to take every one of their new cars in inventory on a shakedown test to turn up exactly the kinds of things that drive new owners nuts. This kind of thing seems to be a speciality of mine - no one is more tuned to listen for noises, feel vibrations, and generally be aware of anomalies than I am - I've had a lot of practice [50+ cars in 40+ years]. Needless to say, no dealer seems to think this is a cost-effective practice. There are at least a couple of us here who obviously disagree with that assessment.
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    That's because fixing problems in a finished product, post-assembly and distribution, is much more expensive than identifying said problems.
  • Personally, I think it comes down to reimbursement for repair from the manufacturer. It is probably much easier to get reimbursement for a warranty repair for a documented item from the customer than it is for a dealer who collects on the repair to indicate that an item needs correction. The manufacturer would probably want some "third party" to document that the repair was really required. Just my "two cents" worth.
  • gave me $3K off the MSRP as of 1/31/03. I just went to and they are giving over $4k off until 3/3/03. My neighbor just got an 02 that was left over fully loaded for $25k and he loves it.
  • I contacted Claridges Fleet Mgr and he told me the MSRP less $3K was a promo done in Jan. Cars Direct put me in touch with Downtown LA Motors and their agent wanted Cost plus $500. All local CA dealerships will go Cost plus $200. So that's what I'll do.
  • You're all right in saying that known problems SHOULD be fixed b4 selling the car, but economics rules on this issue. Not ALL sunroofs squeek (mine is an early model - second sold in my area - and I've not heard a sound from the roof.

    Manufacturers fix things that are wrong (generally), but if it ain't broke don't fix it. Obviously this is not a problem with all coupes w/sunroofs, I haven't recieved a recall notice. Only recall I have is an incorrect emmission label in the engine bay, and when I get the time I'll get it fixed (again, it ain't broke).
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    Their prices are legit - they're buying from local dealers, just like you. In the case of the Bay Area, I think their cars come from Smythe primarily.

    Notwithstanding their rhetoric, Claridges is rarely the low-price leader in the SF area. Keep in mind that CD itself is making about $150-200 on the transaction, which means CD's price from the dealer is actually closer to $4k off.

    Given the incentives that are still on the coupe, I wouldn't be surprised if this is in the ballpark.
  • Is anyone getting a great deal on the sedan? Anywhere on the west coast?
  • Took my C230K into the dealer tonight for repair of the squeaking skyroof. As usual, the sunroof squeaked constantly all the way into the dealer. I have never seen anything like it. My 8 year old C280 Benz is still solid as a rock with no squeaks or rattles and this one from the very first drive home squeaks so much it drives you up the wall. You would think the whole chassis is bending and twisting to set up this kind of racket.

    Anyway, they let me have a brand new 2003 ML350 to drive which is wonderful. A few changes from my 2000 ML320 but not enough to consider trading. In deference to my 2003 C230K, my 2000 ML320 has been flawless after 33,000 miles. I find it very interesting how many posts complain about the quality of the ML, but mine has been perfect with the exception of several burned out light bulbs. The loaner they gave me also has no problems.

    Stay tuned, they said the car would be ready tomorrow evening. Hopefully the squeaks will be quieted and I will be happy again.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Hurry back, you've got a lot of Benz fans awaiting the outcome.

  • MB has cheapened up the cars C class to get into another customer base. AS far as service I never had a problem with either dealers. They treat my 1998 C class as if it was a 100K S class and me like a king. Know your dealers before you buy. MB is still a great machine. Japanese cars are great,, but when you go to trade it in they do not hold there value as much as the German and Swedish cars. I also own a BMW M and I have to say the BM dealer is much better.
    I believe that anyone can get a lemon are a car with some problem in any auto. The service men in Europe are bay far better then her in the States. Much Much more training and less job hopping. I'm looking to replace my MB and the only other choice is AUDI and VOLVO. I checked out the Japanese car, I like Lexus but I like to fell my cars handling. I don't want a Car with 4 ft of suspension to cover up its lack of handling.
  • Well, for those of you who are following the story, the Mercedes dealership called me this evening to tell me that the part the ordered (the sunroof "cartridge" which is essentially the entire sunroof assembly) is the wrong part number. Since '02' the sunroof part number has changed, and the part they kept on ordering to fix this problem is not the part for my MB. Kind of sounds like the blood type matching problem at Duke Hospital. Not only that, it does not appear that they even tried to look at my car to late today even though I gave it to them last night at their request so that they had time to have a full day to work on it! Tomorrow, they are going to remove the headliner to see if it is something that is repairable, like a broken track, otherwise they will need to order new parts from Germany that will take "days" to arrive. Sorry, but I do not need this on a new car and I would be better off keeping my old "starship" which doesn't cause the problems this one does. Granted, "starship" is a 1995 model but I do not have the problems with it that this new one is giving me. Blame it on my wife who just needs a new car for no reason!

    Will keep you posted.
  • The Mercedes dealership called this afternoon to indicate that they feel they have effected a complete repair of the panaromic sky roof. Once they removed the headliner they were able to identify an obvious feature (they did detail) that was causing the squeak. They did indicate that it was a rubber to rubber issue. My salesman drove the car over smooth roads, railroad tracks and speed bumps and indicated that he did not hear a peep out of it ... alls quiet from above. They indicated that they wanted to keep it overnight so that their QC Manager could give it a "complete" going over in the morning before giving it another complete detail comparable to the one they gave it upon delivery. The car should be ready to pick up after 10:00 AM tomorrow complete with a full tank of gas. As you can tell, they have made me happy man. Service after the sale is a big issue and one the Mercedes Benz has proved to me that they want their customers to be loyal to the brand.
  • paul_ppaul_p Posts: 271
    Good luck - I'll keep my fingers crossed for you! Good to hear they are treating you right.
  • valonvalon Posts: 22
    after almost 3weeks of shopping and making a decision betwen c class and bmw325i I made my decision for the c class 230 sport sedan with cd changer bosse system and options c2 and c4,total was $31.000 my question is did anyone bought the car and how is the driving (I test driven the car twice and I liked handling and engine )but I like to here from a owner also how much they pay for it, im waiting cause the car has to be build and hopefully should be in my hands end of march or first week of April dealer was good no pressure at all and I configure the car the way I wanted ,but now reading all the messages in this bord im getting scared maybe bmw was better choice also message#1356 from jrct9454 was very helpful what I should do before I drive the car of the lot.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    I agree with your choice, and can assure you that BMW 3ers have their own long list of issues; no German make can compete with the Japanese for initial quality and long-term costs. However, there are unique qualities to the Germans that have me coming back for any case, the quality differences between BMW and MB are too small to make the difference in selecting a car. This decision should be based on how the two cars' various strengths and weaknesses meet your needs. On that basis, we too picked the C240 over a 325.
  • I too ordered an '03 C230 Kompressor Sport Sedan with C2, Bose, CD Changer, & heated seats. My order went in on 1/29/03 and I am expecting the car at the end of March. The MSRP was 31,985 and I paid 31,000. Sounds like you got about the same deal. I also drove the car twice and picked it over the 325i and Audi A4. I have not heard from anyone who actually owns the car yet, but you are the 3rd or 4th person on this board that has ordered one. As soon as I take possession (the WAIT IS DRIVING ME CRAZY) I will give you guys the full detail on my initial ownership experience. This is the first MB that I have bought; I've owned three other German cars in the past and yes, you have to get used to some of the little "quirks and inconveniences" that come along with the best handling/driving vehicles on the planet. Congrats on your order!

    Also, what color combo did you get? Mine was white/charcoal.
  • Today, I picked up my new C230K from the dealer after they called to indicate that they had effectively fixed the problem. Just wanted to say that Mercedes is on top of the problem (which should no longer be a problem) since the construction of the sunroof cartridge has been modified since its introduction in 2002. Mercedes has a technical service bulletin (TSB) out to the dealers advising them how to fix the sunroof squeak in vehicles not fitted with the new design.

    So far, no squeaks, just pure quiet. Now I can really enjoy driving this car ... it is going to be a fun one!
  • Anyone knows when the c320 sport sedan is coming out? I know the c230K sport sedan is out already. Anyone have any news on the c320?
This discussion has been closed.