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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all, jumping from the 190E forums here. I recently lost my 190E due to a trophy buck, thus putting me on the hunt for a new car. I found a 2005 C230k sport sedan with 93k on the clock for 11k at a dealership. There's 2 small paint chips and the interior is pretty much mint other than normal wear. I'm very much a DIY guy but I'm having a hard time finding the answer I'm looking for here on the forums. How DIY friendly are these cars? I'm not just talking about oil changes and the like, but basically if anything goes wrong other than major transmission or internal engine issues, the work will be done by me. This has become the deciding factor on whether or not I get a newer benz as my next car. I really like the car but if it requires dealer service then to me it's not worth owning. Thank you for any input.
 

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Like most all MBZ's, the W203 is very service friendly from a mechanical standpoint. Personally, I'd prefer to work on and MBZ rather than any other car - the engineering just seems to make sense. One thing you might want to do is get yourself a copy of SDS (Star Diagnosis). You can get a "Chinese clone" version for around $500. it will pay for itself by saving just a few trips to the dealer for diagnosis. Probably my biggest concern with that car is the supercharger - anything beyond 100K miles on a supercharger is borrowed time. Although replacement is expensive, it's fairly easy.
 

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on the 2005 c230 their is a supercharger and the entire car is a sport edition just like an amg...sometimes online parts are out of stock

the thing is at 90k miles u dont know when the oil changes were done, and trans flushes were done

i wouldnt approve buying this car...unless their is a maintence log and repairs
 

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and trans flushes were done
As you probably know, according to MB, that is not even needed. ;) Anyway, at 93K it is just about getting to the mileage when it should be done, so either way, there probably won't be any records of it.

To the OP: As long as the car looks well taken care of, I'd say it's worth considering. However, I'd say the price needs to be somewhat lower, though. I paid less than that for my 05 w/90K miles about three months ago. And that came with ALL maintenance records and LOTS of upgrades.

What comes to the DIYability of these cars, I'd say they are a bit different than W201's, of course, but I don't think there's anything too difficult when it comes to general maintenance and repairs. Especially if you are at least a little bit mechanically inclined. Just a bit more electronic stuff, though.
 

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As you probably know, according to MB, that is not even needed. ;) Anyway, at 93K it is just about getting to the mileage when it should be done, so either way, there probably won't be any records of it.

To the OP: As long as the car looks well taken care of, I'd say it's worth considering. However, I'd say the price needs to be somewhat lower, though. I paid less than that for my 05 w/90K miles about three months ago. And that came with ALL maintenance records and LOTS of upgrades.

What comes to the DIYability of these cars, I'd say they are a bit different than W201's, of course, but I don't think there's anything too difficult when it comes to general maintenance and repairs. Especially if you are at least a little bit mechanically inclined. Just a bit more electronic stuff, though.
mercedes owners have experienced their trans going dead at 60k miles cause of mercedes lifetime fill up

now they say 39k drain/filter change
 

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mercedes owners have experienced their trans going dead at 60k miles cause of mercedes lifetime fill up
They probably have, but I'd be willing to bet a couple of bucks that those are quite a small minority.

Don't get me wrong, I don't believe that lifetime stuff either, though. Definitely not.
 

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mercedes owners have experienced their trans going dead at 60k miles cause of mercedes lifetime fill up

now they say 39k drain/filter change

39K is a one-time service for the 722.9 "7Gtronic". The 722.6 has now been TSB'ed to need a filter and fluid change (partial, as much as you get with a filter change) every 60K.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
As long as a fluid and filter change is about as simple as it was on the 190 that's not a problem at all. The not having an oil dipstick seems kinda dumb to me but I saw where one out of an slk with the same engine works so that's not that big of a deal. Thanks for the info guy it's exactly what I was looking for. Unfortunately the dealership it's at has a "this is the lowest price we'll go" policy so there's no bargaining. I also checked the vehicle history report and it reports that there was damage in 2008. Doesn't say what it was or anything and that the car has had 5 owners. It also spent most of it's life in Texas and Missouri. I'm gonna check to see what the financing is and take it for a test drive. I'm hoping it was just a case of people buying it and not being able to afford the service and not a case of the car being a lemon.
 

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i went from a 87 W201 to a 05 W203.... my mother has a '02 c240 since new so was familar with the car. I am so glad, the 190 is cool. and the size is the best. but i will never own another W201....

its a good move!
 

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Turns out that C230 had so many problems the dealership couln't justify fixing it to be able to sell it to the public so they auctioned it off whole sale. Thank god I didn't buy it, I don't know if I'll even bother looking at newer Mercedes they just seem to have way too many problems and build quality issues.
 

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I dunno. I just bought my 2005 C230K SC four months ago with 72,700 mi. on the clock. It needed a lower control arm, a coil spring and park brake adjustment. It now has 80,000 miles and havent had a problem with it.
 

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In my opinion the W201 was one of the last over-engineered cars built by Mercedes. I had two of them and found them very easy to service. In fact, I've been driving Benzes since my first in 1969 -- a 1957 190SL (total rust bucket). In the 80s Mercedes started to get serious about rust prevention; my 82 240D was a great car that my brother-in-law is still driving. My 98 C230 was a disappointment in many respects. But, all things considered, I have to say my current 04 W203 4Matic wagon has been my best Mercedes so far -- only one minor $100 repair in 8 yrs. (the famous transmission seal), great on tire wear, super in snow, outstanding paint quality, and still running on original battery.
 

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Probably if I went with a C240 or 320 and not the more high strung sport kompressor it'd be a better choice in general. Just looking around these forums all I see is problem after problem, whether it's minor or major it just doesn't seem right. And yeah a lot of it is isolated incidents but finding a well maintained car around here with documents is hard enough. I'd like to stay loyal to the brand but at the same time I don't want it to leave a tainted taste in my mouth.
 

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Probably if I went with a C240 or 320 and not the more high strung sport kompressor it'd be a better choice in general.
Yes, you are always better off going with a normally aspirated engine, and the M112 used in the C240/C320 is very solid. If you must have the sportier looks, then you might see if you can find a C320 Sport, but it will come at a premium as they are somewhat rare.

Just looking around these forums all I see is problem after problem, whether it's minor or major it just doesn't seem right.
That's the nature of an Internet forum. People come here to seek solutions to problems. We generally don't sit around and talk about how wonderful our cars are. If we did that, then this would be a Toyota forum :p

And yeah a lot of it is isolated incidents but finding a well maintained car around here with documents is hard enough. I'd like to stay loyal to the brand but at the same time I don't want it to leave a tainted taste in my mouth.
Yes, isolated incidents. The good thing about the W203 is that it's been around long enough that most of the chronic problems have been identified. You should know what to look for when shopping for one.
 

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Turns out that C230 had so many problems the dealership couln't justify fixing it to be able to sell it to the public so they auctioned it off whole sale.
Just out of curiosity, what were all those problems? :confused:

Sure, these things are not 100% problem-free, but I really wouldn't call them unreliable, either.
 

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In my opinion I don't think the later W203s (04 and on) have many issues, and certainly no serious issues. When they first came out in 1999, they got some very bad press -- somewhat over-hyped at times -- for unreliable electrics/electronics (mostly a supplier problem). Mercedes hated the idea then that CR and Powers were trashing them and responded with great effort to reduce problems related to quality and reliability. And, I believe they succeeded.

Also, as Rodney said, the M112 V6 is a fine engine. It's a refined, smoothly running engine, albeit not a winner in the fuel economy category. It won a spot on the Ward’s Automotive Ten Best engines four years in a row, 1998-2001 -- more than any other Mercedes' engine. I bought my 04 4Matic wagon new, but I would not hesitate to buy an 04 or later used W203 provided it was properly maintained.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
No idea what the problems were, I did notice a massive oil leak out of the rear of the engine the first time I looked at it. Ofcourse at the time they said they didn't know anything about it.
 

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That's the nature of an Internet forum. People come here to seek solutions to problems. We generally don't sit around and talk about how wonderful our cars are. If we did that, then this would be a Toyota forum :p
That is too funny :yelrotflmao:
 
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