Date registered: Feb 2008
Vehicle: 2004 W220 (S430) ; 2001 R129 (SL500) Sport
Location: Alabama Gulf Coast--formerly Charlottesville, VA
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
The car you are considering is a W203 chassis. If you go back to the forum page and scroll down, you will see a forum for owners of the W203 chassis. That is the place you should ask your questions, since those good folks actually own and have experience with the car you are considering. If your particular version ('02 C240) has known faults, they will know.
Mercedes repairs are generally more expensive than repairs on the cars you listed. Parts range from more to much more expensive, and repair shops that specialize in MRZ and dealerships generally charge more per labor hour than shops that work on that list you offered.
Mercedes products are sensitive to the recommended maintenance schedule, but are generally very long-lived if that schedule is followed. Many repairs can be avoided with routine maintenance. The fluids recommended for Mercedes brands are very specific, so you should NEVER use a bulk oil change company like Jiffy Lube or repair places like Sears, Mr. Brake, or anyone else that uses untrained repair people who are not certified techs.
A Mercedes, even the "entry level" C-class is not your cousin's Ford. You ignore maintenance at your peril, and if you turn it over to a ham-fisted "mechanic" you'll get back the mess you have coming.
A handy owner can do routine maintenance maintenance themselves; the labor isn't particularly complicated. It's making sure you use the right fluids and do the job properly that is important.
If the car has a 100k warranty, I wouldn't necessarily extend it. There are warranty companies that will warrant beyond that, but I expect they are very costly. I bought an extended warranty on my W220 (S-class) while it was still under factory warranty, and I have not had a single repair in 22k miles. The W220 is a much more complex vehicle than a W203. Maybe I'm just lucky.
"Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you."--John Steinbeck