Last post on Apr 04, 2011 at 2:02 PM
You are in the Mercedes-Benz C-Class
What is this discussion about?
Mercedes-Benz C-Class, Hatchback, Sedan, Wagon
#429 of 886 For what it's worth, here's my MB experience...
Oct 29, 2005 (1:52 pm)
I currently drive a 2000 C230. Just passed 32,000 miles. Car is 5 and one-half years old. Other than routine maintenance, here are all the repairs:
(1) fuel tank sensor replaced (under warranty--apparently a common problem in ALL German cars)
(2) both rear taillamp clusters replaced after smae bulb bulb went out 3 times (under warranty)
(3) CD changer swapped with remanufactured unit (just under $350 installed--part not covered under Starmark extended warranty)
Now, I realize my mileage is low, but I for one think this is a good track record. This is my first Mercedes, after 13 years of driving Honda products (3 Accords and an Acura Legend). So far, I'd rate the Benz's reliability equal to the Legend's, and at least as good or better than the Accords'.
Believe me, I still like Hondas quite a bit. I could very well buy another one. There is just something satisfying about driving an M-B--especially on the open road (and I have the "economy" model).
If someone is wavering over what to buy, I tell them to consider what I call the "wow factor." Make a list of every single car you are interested in. Drive all of them, preferably over a long weekend so each is fresh in your memory. Finally, when you walk away from each "candidate," ask yourself "which one is the toughest to part with?" Or, when you see each vehicle on the road, ask yourself which one you would REALLY like to own--in other words, which one "wows" you the most. Not the most scientific or "Consumer Reports" method, but it worked for me.
Needless to say, if you are contemplating buying a pre-owned M-B, make sure you can check ALL service records. Also keep in mind that EVERY manufacturer--particularly of luxury cars--is expected to provide more and more electronic gadgetry while keeping prices steady. More complication obviously results in more potential for repair. I believe the Japanese still have an edge over the Europeans in reliability of electronics. However, I think M-B still (with a few exceptions) has an edge in body structure, drivetrains, suspensions, brakes and steering. These "hard" parts have a stoutness that I just don't think you find elsewhere, lending to a feeling of security, whether you are a driver or a passenger.
The nice problem for enthusiasts is that there are a lot of really good vehicles out there today, so choosing one is never easy. I hope this helps.
Best of luck--
#430 of 886 Brake Light failures
Nov 17, 2005 (9:09 am)
I have repeat brake light bulb failures on my 1998 C230 sedan. Have replaced the left side brake light bulb 4 times. Recently replaced the light holder/bulb ......bulb failed again!
Any ideas would be appreciated. I will look at the brake light switch soonest opportunity......is there any other component that could cause this repeat problem?
#431 of 886 rear lamp failures
Nov 18, 2005 (9:41 am)
we've had the same problem on our 2002 C240. Dunno if there is a permanent fix.
#432 of 886 ESP Malfunction - 2001 C240
Nov 18, 2005 (9:58 pm)
First off, I am very new to Mercedes Benz, having purchased my first one earlier this evening. It is a 2001 C240 with 66,700 miles, and with one exception, looks and feels like a brand-new car.
The one problem (which at the price I paid, I cannot really complain about), is the ESP malfunction indicator on the multifunction display came on, and won't go off. When I evaluated and selected the car everything showed normal, but 20 miles after taking delivery (this is a 5-year-old car with no warranty) the ESP malfunction indicator came on, telling me to go to the dealer (expensive).
Honestly, I don't care much about fancy traction control systems here in sunny Southern California, is there a way to either just disable the system or at least turn off the malfunction warning so it isn't in my face every time I turn on the car? I have the complete service history of the car and it had electrical repairs three times prior to 25,000 miles, but none after.
#433 of 886 Re: ESP Malfunction - 2001 C240 [lawman1967]
Nov 19, 2005 (5:46 am)
Well, I would have counseled you to never buy this car without some kind of warranty, even for a period as short as 30 days. This is an example of why.
There is a well known problem that results in bogus ESP messages. It involves replacing a wiring harness and adding some new gold connectors, the old versions of which were subject to corrosion. I just had this work done on our '02 C240; there is a Tech Bulletin out that covers this.
Look to the specifics of the "electrical repairs" and see if any attempt was made to update your car.
ESP malfunctions will not necessarily disable traction control. TC is a lower level function than ESP, which is designed to help get you out of extreme road situations where the car is about to go out of control due to excessive steering or throttle inputs [oversteer in a turn, combined with loss of traction, for example]. It is a safety feature that MB helped invent, and which is widely sought after these days in lesser makes. I wouldn't exactly describe it as a "frill", and it could save your bacon just as easily in SoCal as in Minnesota.
You have to do what you have to do, but I caution people against buying these cars used if you're not prepared to spend money on maintenance - and this advice applies to EVERY "upscale" make, including Lexus and Acura and Infiniti, all of which are allegedly less troublesome than the Germans. Once you get out of the warranty, things will go wrong and they have to be fixed, and it's expensive. In this case, I think there is a known solution, but you say you're reluctant to spend the money - that's legit, but this won't be the last time....be prepared.
#434 of 886 double wrench indicator
Nov 21, 2005 (9:31 am)
I bought a used 2000 C230 from a Landrover dealer in southern CA. When I turn my car on I see a double wrench icon with a -424. I assume this means that I am due for service. The Landrover dealer I bought the car from said it did a complete service check (with oil change) before I drove it off the lot and the reason for the indicator is because they are not a MB dealer and can not reset. Is there a way to reset the wrenches or does a double wrench mean something more serious than an oil change? Thanks!
#435 of 886 Re: ESP Malfunction - 2001 C240 [lawman1967]
Nov 21, 2005 (11:45 am)
Hi: Although I would not recommend that you drive with a faulty ESP, it could be dangerous, even in sunny Cal. It may not be the problem. I just got a MB trouble code reader and reset tool. You can get them on ebay for about $50. It will give you a diagnostic of what is wrong. And you'll be able to reset the warning..Then take it to someone who can fix it.. Everything for a Merc is expensive unfortunately... but its worth it.. I'm looking for a service light reset tool now. Merc want 400 Euro here for an A service (plus parts)..
#436 of 886 Re: double wrench indicator [bacchus]
Nov 22, 2005 (2:22 pm)
Yes, the symbol is counting down to the required service. To reset it, you need the proper instructions, and any good MB shop knows how to do it. You presumably plan to have the car serviced somewhere, whether at a dealer or an independent - take it to them, tell them you need it reset, and promise to be back when the car needs its next service. The charge will be zero or minimal, and you can judge if this is a place that should get your business.
#437 of 886 Re: ESP Malfunction - 2001 C240 [jrct9454]
Nov 23, 2005 (11:53 am)
Stragely, the warning went off after another day of driving, and has not returned after 1,100 miles. I've since had a warning to check the right front marker lamp, which went away when I restarted the car, and a check engine light that went off after I refueled.
The check engine light I am not worried about, as the fuel tank was low and the light came on after a panic stop from 85MPH on a 6% downgrade. The freeway in front of me was closed suddenly due to a fatality accident and after coming to a screaching halt (extremely smooth and undramatic, by the way), the car sat for two hours on the downgrade waiting for the freeway to reopen, at whcih time I had the check engine light (car was shut off until the freeway opened). I tried openeing and closing the gas cap but to no avail, called the roadside assistance and they suggested adding fuel.
So far I love the car, it is the most comfortable and quiet cruiser I've ever driven, just nervous about electrical gremlins that these are famous for.
I do have one gremlin that the selling dealer (not MB) will cover repair of and that is that the sunshade in the back window doesn't work about 60% of the time. Sometimes I push the dash button and it works perfectly, sometimes it does absolutely nothing. I'll have this checked in 3,000 miles when I take the car to MB for my A service. Hopefully they can explain the ESP warning and other messages at that time.
My car's service history shows two electrical system services at 18,000 and 25,000 miles, so obviously this has occured before.
#438 of 886 Re: ESP Malfunction - 2001 C240 [lawman1967]
Nov 23, 2005 (1:47 pm)
I would not be surprised to learn that the wiring harness upgrade has not been accomplished on this car....these kind of seemingly random electronic "events" can be a symptom of this problem.
I've owned dozens of cars in my time, and our '02 C240 is our 14th MB - and there is nothing else out there at anything like the price that I would want more. Ours has been reasonably trouble-free - the wiring fix was the only thing that smelled like the ubiquitous electronic problems that so many people have had. In our case, the ESP messages could always be reset by shutting the engine off and restarting, and it only happened a few times, but twice in the last year so I told them to get out the Service Bulletin and apply the standard fix. No problems since.