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Old 09-04-2014, 01:39 PM   #1
kgvickers
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Flame Suit On . . . Thinking about Mercedes C Class

After owning/maintaining/repairing seven BMWs over the last seven years I've had my share of working on them. I love my ZHp and I'm not planning to part with it, but I sure like the looks of the Mercedes C Class.

Anyone here have opinions on them (preferably someone that has owned and mantained)?

BMWs have a reputation for high maintenance and repair costs (non-DIY community, of course) and that helps drive the price down for guys like me. I'm betting that's not the case for Mercedes.

Thanks!
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Old 09-04-2014, 01:52 PM   #2
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Gonna put in my two cents even though i never owned one.

I shopped around Mercedes a few different times over the years, did a ton of research, and what kept stopping me is all the horror stories about the quality. I test drove about a dozen C230s and ML class 2003-2006 range, with right at or less then 100K on the clock, and every one felt like a loose sloppy rattle trap POS (And my DD was a 200,000 mi Cavalier at the time!). The interior is cheap and brittle, and they don't have a good reliability record. Most of this is all due to Crysler owning them during those years.

So my advice having never owned one, but having done a ton of research and driven a bunch is if you have the money, avoid them during the years that Crysler owned them, and get ready to replace brakes, suspension, interior parts and chase electrical gremlins (those are the worst parts on them). And also there are some years, i don't remember which so do your research, that the 4 cyl Kompressor engine had issues with the superchargers crapping out (bad snout bearings, not a horribly hard fix, but still a PITA).

My 2 cents. I think nice ones can be had, but not as easily as others due to just being poorly made out of the box.

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Old 09-04-2014, 01:57 PM   #3
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Ah, thanks, exactly the kind of advice I'm looking for.
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Old 09-04-2014, 01:58 PM   #4
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Old 09-04-2014, 02:04 PM   #5
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Ah, thanks, exactly the kind of advice I'm looking for.
Thanks! Don't go solely only my advice though, hopefully someone who has owned one will chime in.
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Old 09-04-2014, 02:12 PM   #6
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I had one, bought brand spankin' new. I gave it to my wife after her '07 328i lease expired in 2010. She loves it, and still drives it today with 92k miles. Understand my opinion is based on a sample on one:

- Solid chassis. No creaks or rattles even after all those miles.

- Not much to work on. In 6 years and 92k miles the "biggest" issues were rear shock absorbers (replaced under warranty) and the COMAND navigation control knob which I replaced myself.

- Enthusiast community is not as robust as BMW. This is the part that frustrates me the most. Discussions online are more "which dealership/indie has the best deal for Service B" instead of here which is more "man up dude here's the DIY". Even after 7 years on the chassis there's still not much out there other than the basics. Still no Bentley manual the last I checked. I had to wing it with the DIYs based on common sense and whatever they do have out there.

Damn thing has been trouble free, far cry from the W203 of the early 2000s. It doesn't have the driving dynamics of a BMW even with the sport suspension and 18" wheels. I have to say that while boring for me, it's perfect for my wife who just wants reliable and drama-free transportation. She'll probably get into a W205 or GLK when this one gives up the ghost. I don't see that happening in the next 5 years.

6 years and 4 months. We've really had a good experience, incredible since this was a first-year production of the new chassis.

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Old 09-04-2014, 02:32 PM   #7
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Are you looking a new or used?

I was looking at a new C300 4matic. Don't get me wrong, the car is pretty nice, but the question I kept asking myself was whether it was worth the extra $20k. I also hated the stupid stuck-on screen on the dash.

And lol if you're thinking Mercedes doesn't have a reputation for high cost maintenance and repairs.
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Old 09-04-2014, 03:00 PM   #8
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Are you looking a new or used?

And lol if you're thinking Mercedes doesn't have a reputation for high cost maintenance and repairs.
I only buy used and pay cash. My personally imposed limit is $8K so for a luxury car that definitely means higher mileage and a typical age of at least 10 years. So for now I'd be stuck in the Chrysler disgraceful period.

Based on what I'm reading so far it sounds like I'd be bored with Mercedes. I'm a DIY tweaker so if the Mercedes enthusiast community is lacking then it's probably not for me.
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Old 09-04-2014, 03:05 PM   #9
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I only buy used and pay cash. My personally imposed limit is $8K so for a luxury car that definitely means higher mileage and a typical age of at least 10 years. So for now I'd be stuck in the Chrysler disgraceful period.



Based on what I'm reading so far it sounds like I'd be bored with Mercedes. I'm a DIY tweaker so if the Mercedes enthusiast community is lacking then it's probably not for me.

Well then, you can do a lot better with that $8k than tying it up in an old Mercedes.


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Old 09-04-2014, 03:06 PM   #10
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Based on what I'm reading so far it sounds like I'd be bored with Mercedes. I'm a DIY tweaker so if the Mercedes enthusiast community is lacking then it's probably not for me.
If you get one with the Supercharger, there's some pretty fun mods you can do to it from what i remember with decent gains without hurting anything internal. (Especially if you get the red top engine, it's a little more tweakable from what i remember) But that assumes everything around it hasn't fallen apart yet.

I know this isn't in your area, here is a good example of the red top 4 cyl, not sure if you like the hatchback . And it's a stick!

http://richmond.craigslist.org/cto/4547254778.html

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Old 09-04-2014, 03:09 PM   #11
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The older gen C-Class had rust problems on the lower door sills i think. Careful.
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Old 09-04-2014, 03:31 PM   #12
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I know this isn't in your area, here is a good example of the red top 4 cyl, not sure if you like the hatchback . And it's a stick!

http://richmond.craigslist.org/cto/4547254778.html
Wow, that's actually a cool looking car. I'll keep my eyes open for one of those in my area (north Tx).

Thanks.
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Old 09-04-2014, 03:42 PM   #13
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MB resolved many of there issues after they parted ways with Chrysler. Any MB from 07' up is much better then prior generations. I have an 08' e-class that has been very good to me.
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Old 09-04-2014, 03:48 PM   #14
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Avoid W203 AT ALL COSTS. Worst car I have EVER owned. Not a joke in any way shape or form. This means 2001-2007. Major balance shaft issues, engine issues, sludge issues, transmission issues, cam timing issues, fuel pump issues, power steering issues, stereo issues, weather issues. That car still gives me the chills. If you must, go W204 of 2009+ model year, but even then, the 3 series is a better car, across the board, in every way. Prior to buying, search "balance shaft". God I do not use the word hate often, but I sincerely hated that car in every way.

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1048345
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Old 09-04-2014, 03:50 PM   #15
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The older gen C-Class had rust problems on the lower door sills i think. Careful.
They do. Half the W203 C-Class in Canada look like they are 20+ years old.
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Old 09-04-2014, 03:54 PM   #16
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Avoid W203 AT ALL COSTS. Worst car I have EVER owned. Not a joke in any way shape or form. This means 2001-2007. Major balance shaft issues, engine issues, sludge issues, transmission issues, cam timing issues, fuel pump issues, power steering issues, stereo issues, weather issues. That car still gives me the chills. If you must, go W204 of 2009+ model year, but even then, the 3 series is a better car, across the board, in every way. Prior to buying, search "balance shaft". God I do not use the word hate often, but I sincerely hated that car in every way.

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1048345
can you even get a decent W204 on OP's $8k budget?
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Old 09-04-2014, 03:55 PM   #17
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Back in 08, I've moved to MB C300 w204 brand new.
I heard some horror stories with MB, but with this one, it's been trouble free.
During my ownership, never had major break down, just doing maintenance, bushings, etc...

Now my wife drives it majority of time, and the car does feel soft compare to e46, but not too soft either.
I agree with cvx5832 on every single statement he made. MB forum community sucks compare to BMW.

Another thing with owning MB is that since you cannot get cheap diagnostic tool (like BMW Scanner), DIYers are very limited on DIYing their car.
It would be very nice if the ebay Romania seller comes up with STAR diagnostic at the price of DIS. lol
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Old 09-04-2014, 03:58 PM   #18
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can you even get a decent W204 on OP's $8k budget?
Ah, I missed that. Definitely not haha. OP, please listen to this when I say scrap the idea at least if the W203 is on the list. I am sure there are others with okay experiences, but in that price range, you need to just say no and be smart with your money and choice. W204 which is reasonably nice, is out of the price range, W203 gives me the chills to even say, it really was that bad, and then prior to that they are just too old, I dont think it is a good path. I don't know too much about W202 and earlier though.
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Old 09-04-2014, 03:59 PM   #19
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....sludge issues.......
HA HA i forgot about that too!
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Old 09-04-2014, 04:03 PM   #20
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