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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone, im new on here *waves*

I am looking at getting a C220 CDI next year at some point, so I have joined up to research more about the car and the common issues I might have.

I have been going through quite a few pages on this W203 section and am getting there with whats good and whats not.

It seems that the earlier C classes had issues with electricals but they seem to have been sorted, so its only glow plugs and other intermittant electrical issues that are cropping up.

Can you guys help me out with a few questions I have, I was originally thinking of getting a W202 C250 Turbo Diesel, but I am going to go for a W203 C220 CDI but wait a bit to save up a bit more to get a good car.

Here are a few questions I have:

1. When I go and see a car, what should I check for?
2. What sort of MPG should I be expecting out of it
3. I have seen a few C200 CDIs, but are less common than C220s, should I have a look at the C200 CDIs as well? Or are there more problems with those?
4. What are the most common things to go wrong with the CDI engines?
5. What problems can easily be fixed and which ones cost £££s to sort?

Thank you in advance for everyone help :)
 

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Hi,

I have the C220CDI Avantgarde estate MY 2001. When I bought the car in January 2008 it had covered 49,000 miles. Since then I have done another
70,000 miles in the car.

This is a car that really grows on you, I liked the car when I first bought it but now I absolutely love it!

Well here goes with some information that should be of interest to you.


1. I looked at a large number of cars before buying my current car and did a lot of research first. There is plenty of free information about what to look for on this model which can be found on honestjohn.co.uk, usedcarexpert.co.uk and parkers.co.uk
2. In summer I get around 50mpg and winter around 46mpg. My driving is around 70% motorway at 70mph and the rest around town.
3. The C200 CDIs are based on the older C220CDI set up with the older style turbo charger that relies on a wastegate actuator (not as economical or powerful as the C220CDI). My car has the better variable vane turbocharger which gives a better power spread and helps at lower revs too.
4. The 220CDI engine is very reliable but must be serviced properly to keep it that way. Like all Mercedes cars it has a timing chain which should last the life of the vehicle (proper engineering unlike the dangerous cambelts that some manufacturers still insist on using)
5. As far as problems go I will list all that has needed work on my car in the 70,000 miles that I have owned it.
* The dash computer lets you know when either the A(small) or B(large) service is due, mine does about 13,000 miles between services. I use an excellent independent garage that does exactly the same work as required as Mercedes do. The A service costs £135 and the
B service £180. The oil specification is very important NEVER use substandard
oil under any circumstances. Due to length of time between services the cost is reasonable.
* The front suspension geometry tends to wear the antiroll bar droplinks (£140 per pair) and the main front suspension arms (£150 each). Coil springs cost £125. All of these prices include garage labour to fit and VAT. I have had all this replaced since I got the car
* I damaged the intercooler when I went down a pothole and this cost £275 to replace including garage labour
* The price of discs and pads vary greatly but I tend to go for the better makes for the sake of safety
* The service for the automatic climate control including a re-gas for the aircon unit cost £45
* The car has an ERG that clogged with soot and tar after a time. When this happens fuel economy goes down and you will see some smoke from the exhaust. This is a job that you can tackle yourself at no cost. A couple of hours work in total.
>>> when the car had a split intercooler and clogged ERG valve the car went into 'safe' mode which means that it restricts the revs you do to prevent engine damage - clever feature
Other that that no real problems which makes it the cheapest car that I have ever owned in terms of mileage and maintenance.
> The model I have is a 5 speed automatic which makes driving an absolute pleasure. No messing around with a clutch and gearstick in heavy traffic. Relaxing instead of frustrating. The automatic box on this car puts all the myths to bed regarding autos. It is very quick and smooth through the gear changes with good, strong acceleration.Even behaves well on ice and snow as it has a winter mode at the push of a button. Although you might lose around 2 miles per gallon in economy it is still very economical for the size of car and the small difference is worth the automatic gearbox advantages.
.....would I recommend this model? ABSOLUTELY but do your research first, be prepared to walk away from cars even if they look pristine if they have faults and always get the car properly serviced when required. It is an absolute joy to own.

Hope this helps,

Regards,

Martin.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi blue0506, thank you SO much for that post, that has really helped a huge amount with the issues that I might face with the car, it seems that if I can find a decent car with full service history and thats been well looked after in onto a winner it seems.

Do you have any issues with the paintwork? How often do you think the suspension needs sorting? Should I get some aftermarket drop links that might be uprated, or go for merc OEM?
 

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Glad to be of help.

The paintwork on my car is showing some small signs of rust on the lips of the wheel arches and a small patch near the rear numberplate but you would have to look for it. I am having this rectified when we get a spell of better weather.

I agree that full service history is important. One of the reasons why I bought my car is that it came with a full service history from new, all docs and a bill for repair to the headlamp washer. A very straight and honest one owner car with full service history is very hard to come by but well worth the wait.

My car suspension has had the droplinks replaced twice and suspension arms once in 70,000 miles. I have investigated as to whether there are any upgraded aftermarket droplinks for my vehicle but they do not appear to exist.

One point of interest though is that the suspension was redesigned in 2005 and this helped with the problem but apparently did not eliminate it entirely.

Regards,

Martin.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thats great :) ok I will have a look around for a FSH car and then just class some of the suspension parts as 'perishable' and get them changed as and when needed I guess.

Did you have any electrical issues such as central locking, seats or display/audios?
 

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No, I have had no electrical or electronic problems at all and have the SE version which has a high specification so there is a lot on board.

I seem to remember that the previous W202 range had a reputation for problems with the dash display. The W203 range does not seem to generally have frequent problems with the electrical/electronic systems although there will always be exceptions of course.I do not think that Mercedes in general have a large number of electrical problems, unlike the French and Italian car ranges which are notorious for their faults.

Any further questions I will try to help.

Regards,

Martin.
 
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