I've been enjoying my 2004 C230 for over 6 years until this week. I had the car taken in on-schedule for an A service a month ago and it left the ship with a clean bill of health.
When I fired her up after thanksgiving, I noticed that the car's engine was running a little rough and the car was shaking a bit at idle RPM, especially when in reverse gear. Once out of the garage, it drove normally and the problems went away after the car warmed up, so I thought it was just a bit of build-up in the engine and planned to take it in if the problem persisted for more than a few days.
A few days passed and the problem suddenly became much worse. The car's check engine light came on and the car started to shake much more violently with the RPM gauge not holding steady at idle RPM. The problem would no longer go away after the car was warmed up - whenever i was at idle, especially if the car was in reverse or drive gear, the shaking would be terrible and the engine started to seize on the road when I was accelerating from a stop or maneuvering in a parking garage. The car would even jolt (not crawl) forward by a foot or so when at idle in drive gear. The problem seems to be much worse in cooler weather.
I took it into the dealer here in the Seattle area - where I've had the car regularly serviced ever since I bought it. They pulled up the following codes:
2006-001 A16 knock sensor [P0325]
2054-001 Continuous camshaft adjustment. Incorrect position of the intake camshaft [P0010]
201B-001 Misfiring of cylinder 1 [P0301]
201B-002 Misfiring of cylinder 3 [P0303]
201B-004 Misfiring of cylinder 4 [P0304]
201B-008 Misfiring of cylinder 2 [P0302]
201B-016 Misfiring of cylinder 1 Fuel deficiency
201B-032 Misfiring of cylinder 3 Fuel deficiency
201B-064 Misfiring of cylinder 4 Fuel deficiency
201B-128 Misfiring of cylinder 2 Fuel deficiency
I spoke to the technician and the service adviser who tried several steps to clear the problem with no luck. They have basically told me the engine needs a major overhaul (complete replacement of the cylinder heads, timing chain, and tensioner) which would cost almost as much as the car is worth!
I am not confident that they have really understood what the problem is and may just be throwing in the full rebuild as the only sure-fire way they know will fix the problem. They still havent been able to explain what on earth could cause the engine to have such spectacular failures since I have taken excellent care of it (no "spirited" driving - 15K mi/yr and mostly highway miles, all service done).
I'm looking for some guidance on what the root cause of the issue is and if there are steps that are likely to fix my problem short of the massive overhaul they are proposing as I was hoping to enjoy this car for at least another couple years!
In addition, if anyone knows of a good mechanic in the Seattle area who can give a second opinion, I'd appreciate a reference!