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Hello you experts.

I bought my 2002, W203, C-Class Diesel station wagon, 141000 miles (227000 km) in 2009 and paid about 22k$ for it.

Now 3 years later its mileage are about 180K miles (290000 km) and the maintenance bills are just pouring inn! Up till now I have paid about 21K$ in repairs and parts! Now it's in the shop again for exchanging the air inlet-regulating-flap, i don't know the exact English name, but I know it will be expensive!
-about 4K$ and that will tip the repair costs beyond that I gave for it 3 years ago! And there are other repairs waiting to be fixed (park-brake wire, camber & caster support-arms, motor heater and more) The worst part is that corrosion bubbles are surfacing along the sides and must be attended to soon.

I asked the guys at the workshop, at the dealer here in Norway, if it's normal to have such expenses. They just concluded, after a long discussion, that I have been quite unlucky with my car.
But how unlucky could I be with:
  • the electrical heater drained the battery
  • defective horn
  • high-pressure fuel pump leaking
  • several fuel-nozzles outside their tolerances
  • various suspension arms always needs replacement
  • air-mass sensor failing
  • brake tubes corroding
  • heater stops in the start-up sequence and fills the cabin with smoke
  • tires getting uneven worn out
  • back windshield wiper failing
  • erratic transmission (automatic) that at least needs new oil
I regard me as a normal driver at 40 years, I do not stress the car or take it to the off-road track as you could suspect with all those problems. I try to drive economic and always follow the service intervals using the MB-workshop.

I can not believe that I'm that unlucky with my car.
Is the years and mileage solely responsible for it falling apart?
I don't think 180K miles (290000 km) is much for this car, but I might be biased having own a -84, 300TD that took 310000 miles (500000 km) with ease.
What are your experiences?
Do you guys have any advice on that to do further? -keep it and hope that the problems will decline or should I get rid of it as soon as possible?


Best regards
Knut A.B
 

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I would get rid of that car. It is not worth fixing the rust. That is a lot of miles and the rust is probably due to using salt on the roads in winter. I'm sure the prices are different in Norway but $22k for an 8 year old car with 141k miles is crazy; in the US it would be about one third that price.
 

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CURRENT: 2011 SL550, 2011 C300 FORMER: ML350, CLK550 Cabriolet, C240, ML320, 300TD
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I don't know much about prices in Norway, but that still doesn't sound good. To have spent that as much in repairs over the next three years as the car cost in 2009 would not be normal. In fact, to have spent even 20% of that would not be normal. It sounds like you either have a really bad example, or your mechanic is taking advantage of you. My advice to anyone considering buying an older MBZ (i.e. one out of warranty) is either be prepared to pay for expensive repairs, or be prepared to DIY. If this isn't what you need in a vehicle, then you might want something else.
 
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