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Discussion Starter #1
I am going to get a 1998 C43 and I have done some research in this forum and other sources but I still need more reviews and information from C43 owners [:)]. What I need to know more is about the common transmission problem that some people in this forum mention about http://www.benzworld.org/forums/messages.asp?messno=2109&id=9&view=t
Can you really fix this problem by reuploading the transmission software or it is one of the major flaw of C43?

Another question is what major difference between 1998 and 1999 C43? I heard that 1999 get optical Cd-changer and has phone integrated. Are those the only difference or there are others?

any help and information are really appreciated, thanks!! [:)]
 

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C320
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18 views and no one can reply?
come on guys.. help my friend.. [:)][:D]...


18 views and no one can reply?
come on guys.. help my friend.. [:)][:D]
 

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c43 and 190E-2.6
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I have a 1999 C43. I really love the car. I am not the first owner, but the transmission d...

I have a 1999 C43. I really love the car. I am not the first owner, but the transmission does not seem to have any problems, unless the previous owner took care of it. The car has 81k miles on it and it runs smooth... except for the stiff shocks which allows you to feel each and every bump on the road. The radio and phone are as you mentioned, but as far as any other differences, I am not aware of...
 

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Thanks for the review Echiu[:)]
I'm guessing that not all C43 have the transmission pro...


Thanks for the review Echiu[:)]
I'm guessing that not all C43 have the transmission problem can anybody else confirm this matter?
as for the difference if it's only radio and phone then I can set for 98 one [|)]
 

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Almost 41k miles and no transmission problems here, but my car has been well taken care of...

Almost 41k miles and no transmission problems here, but my car has been well taken care of (the secret to it all). In fact, the dealership here, which is Brumos of Porsche racing fame, said they have never worked on the internals of that transmission and are confident in the reliability. Pretty good endorsement...
 

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c43 and 190E-2.6
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If the price between a 1999 and 1998 isn't much, it may be better to get a 1999 because ...

If the price between a 1999 and 1998 isn't much, it may be better to get a 1999 because they would have solved any minor quality issues that they may have encountered. This is just my two cents cuz I work for the Toyota/General Motors Manufacturing Plant, which we see problems everytime a new model launches. A rule of thumb, never buy the cars especially within the first six months. There are always problems with quality. After the six months passes, most problems are usually taken care of. Since the 1998 C43 was the first model and only about 500/year were ever made. Hopefully, the car you buy will not be the first ones off the Manufacturing Line.
 

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C43
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C43 tranny & shifting

I recently was shopping for a '99 C43 and found BIG differences in the way one sample shifts over the other. The first one I drove (51K miles in MB dealer lot) shifted very harshly - seemed to hesitate badly before downshifting on full throttle - as if it hit the rev limiter (did NOT buy it). Second one I drove (44K private seller) shifted like silk right at the red line. Even my wife noticed the difference in the shifting. So my words of advice are "try before you buy!" If the seller comments on you thrashing on the car tell them you are checking the tranny for issues. And get the transferrable extended warranty if you can.
 

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1997 C36 AMG
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Re: C43 tranny & shifting

I recently was shopping for a '99 C43 and found BIG differences in the way one sample shifts over the other. The first one I drove (51K miles in MB dealer lot) shifted very harshly - seemed to hesitate badly before downshifting on full throttle - as if it hit the rev limiter (did NOT buy it). Second one I drove (44K private seller) shifted like silk right at the red line. Even my wife noticed the difference in the shifting. So my words of advice are "try before you buy!" If the seller comments on you thrashing on the car tell them you are checking the tranny for issues. And get the transferrable extended warranty if you can.


Tero,

Mercedes Tranny control module can learn the driving habit (ADAPTIVE Control unit).
So if they previous driver never drive aggressively on the throttle then the car would feel a little sluggish, and vice versa.

I am not implying that there is nothing wrong with the first car you test drove, but just keep in mind that Mercedes tranny is adaptive to driver's driving habit.

I don't know when they start putting adaptive tranny on MB, but my 97 C36 tranny is adaptive as well.



Regardz,


J Irwan
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I guess you're right echiu I might as well get the 1999 one hopefully they fix problems fr...

I guess you're right echiu I might as well get the 1999 one hopefully they fix problems from the 1998 c43.

As for the tranny system I think test drive is the best way to find out, thanks tero [:D]

I never thought that the tranny system might be from adaptive system. I think you are right J Irwan thanks!
 

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99 C43 AMG
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Any Help???

I adore the car. The tranny has issues, as you can see from mine and other postings on the site. The test drive will tell you much--if the prior owners had no business in this car, the adaptive tranny will shift like a truck. It can however, be reset by the dealer and re-trained by you. A smooth shifter with high milage should be thoroughly checked over for signs of abuse. Great and unique car--only made over 3 model years for USA mkt, '98; '99; & '00. Lots of pleasure in the driving, glued to the road with the right tires (hard to overdrive this car!!), and miles of smiles. Heed my warning about fluid changes, though: Mobil 1 5w-50 in warm climates; 0w-40 in temperate during winter months--change it religiously EVERY 5K miles. Tranny fluid and filter change every 50-60K miles--don't listen to ANY BS about this, insist at gunpoint if necessary!!! Now get out there and DRIVE!
Your text here
 

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CL500, E430, SLK, Subaru...
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That shifting thing

I agree - the adaptive transmission can get confused. Maybe three or four times in two years I've sat thinking "hey, shift down, dummy" when the box very clearly gets confused by what I have been doing. I can also imagine that some people would get all worried by that behaviour, and unscrupulous garages would take their money.

The original poster wanted a review: OK, here it is. In comparison, I have driven a Volvo T60, a Citroen Xantia V6 Auto, and a BMW 740i, all of which had adaptive trannys. If I look at these together, then the C43 comes dead last when it comes to degree of 'adaptability'. The 740 (not a Steptronic - 95 model year) is in third, then the S60 and the Xantia is first. I didn't have a chance to really work the S60 - hire car - but the Xantia in S mode was an absolute revelation: that car knows how hard you turn the wheel, it locks the torque coupler in every gear, and it will downshift in part-throttle mid-corner so you get precisely the right hole shot coming out to the straight. More to the point, you can hear it playing games in the V6 exhaust note. If Citroen had made a 250BHP supercharged V6 Xantia, I wouldn't be in this forum!

Of course, the 43 gets back at all these cars with a wall of torque; none of the aforementioned vehicles will thrust you up to 100mph like the 43, and none of them will keep doing it to 200,000 miles (though the guy who bought my Xantia is having a good go at that too)

(by the way, my 43 is now on 73,000 miles)
 

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c43 reviews

i bought my 98 c43 late production(6/98) w/ 45k miles. the car pulls like a locomotive! the tranny is strong and smooth up shifts. gears down on hills. drive by wire throttle response sluggish at low speeds but fine on highway. this car is amazing! family muscle car on steroids!
 

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CL500, E430, SLK, Subaru...
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Sluggish...

That's how I would have characterised the car, until I took it away from MB main dealers and gave it to a specialist. Just a set of (sixteen!) plugs and a decent air filter makes a hell of a difference to low speed step-off.
 

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Difference bwtn 98 and 99

As you mentioned the radio is differnet and the cd uses fiber optics, also a very small differnce is that 99 have a woodend shift gate frame, 98 have just the plane black piece. Also 99 have a cargo next in the front passanger foot well. My 98 doesnt have this but I'n not sure if any other 98 do. Its the button by the heated seats, it to prevent your car from being towed. (pic of car being jacked, LOL)
 

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c43 tranny

I noticed differences when test driving c43's also but now as an owner I can notice differences due to the adaptive transmission in the way I drive. Personally I think the adaptive transmission is the root of their tranny problems on this model.
 

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W202 1998 AMG C43
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Hello from Australia, I have had my 1998 C43 for about two years now and although it only does about 5,000Km a year every time i get in it the transmission has a bit of a think the first two time it changes, then it must remember the way i drive and awaaaaay we go. I might add that what was said regarding temperature is correct, only when the temp gets above 80C does the car work at it's peak. There is no other growl like a C43 at full bellow. My car has done only 62500Km from new and is babied. Lives under a cover most of the time. Here in australia only 59 came out over a two and a half year period. There exisits only TWO C43 T wagons in Aust!! both are silver 1999 models. The C43 are already here a collectors item with some selling for over $100K with super low Km on them. The 2000 model is clearly the best as it had the tip shift, the later five spoke wheels, the revised ECU, better adaptive program on the transmission etc. Enjoy the car, there is also a rumour that Benz will be releasing the W203 with a C55 in the range next year and dropping the puffed out C32. Could be an animal worth buying. Over here the new price of my car was $170K and five years on it's still worth $90K. Not bad really. Even the higher mileage units with 90,000 Km are still selling for $70K and some are the really bad colours like white and aquamarine etc.
Cheers,
Ben
 

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Hi I have a 1998 C43 and I live in Australia. So far the car is great but in australia its quite warm during summer. This engine doesnt perform very well on a hot day, needs to be reved.

Regarding to the transmission, I have my serviced every 40,000km with new oil, filter and cap.

I think its important to have the software reprogrammed. The standard software arent very userfriendly in my opinion. I find it hard to control taking off from green light.
 
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