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Discussion Starter #1
I am interested in picking one up but not sure of the usual gremlins and stay away items surrounding this car.

I have driven many of the krompressor and later V6 models, but for some reason I preferred that supercharged 4 cylinder motor - am I crazy to do so?

Which year and drive train are the most desirable throughout the entire production range?

Thanks!
 

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I have driven many of the krompressor and later V6 models, but for some reason I preferred that supercharged 4 cylinder motor - am I crazy to do so?
Well, I for one don't think you're crazy... been really happy with my Kompressor since I got it 3 years / 54,000 miles ago... it now has 92,000 miles. I preferred the Kompressor when I was shopping because I was looking for a 30+mpg sedan with decent power, handling, and aesthetics.

Were the V6 cars you tested Sport models? If not, perhaps your preference is for the sport package, not necessarily the 4cyl motor.

Sorry I can't help much with any really bad gremlins/pitfalls that should steer you away from any particular car you might be considering... Mine has been pretty reliable, except that I had to fix a tranny leak as well as an oil leak from the vacuum booster last year at about 75K miles. I'd advise to do the usual due diligence - look for a lower-mileage example with a pristine, well-maintained interior/exterior a clean carfax, and no fluid leaks. Oh, and I'd make sure all the power accessories work - some folks seem to have issues with the rear sunshade, mirrors, CD changer, and sunroof.
 

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hi,
when the car is standing and engine running:
1. check the engine for smoke
2. change gears slowly (with your foot on the brakes) and hear for any abromal sound
3. turn the wheel from one end to another and hear for the steering box or suspension noise
4. check paint

the above are the 4 key areas that must be ok as their repairs are the most expensive.

i have a c320 w203 and i'll go for a c350 if given the choice to go for a w203 again.

good luck
 

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Keep in mind that blowers (superchargers and turbochargers) are typically living on borrowed time after 100K miles. Also, because of the supercharger, there are some additional challenges in service, mainly because the supercharger is in the way for repairs such as the tensioning pulley.

If you are looking for engine longevity and reliability, the C240 is definitely the way to go. It's the same M112 engine used for the 3.2l V6 in the 320 models, but it has shorter strokes delivering only 2.6l. If you can't deal with it's lack of performance, then I'd look at a C320.

There are a few common failures on the W209 series. The major problem was the defective Valeo radiator used in the early years (I think it was fixed by model year 2004). It allowed coolant and transmission fluid to mix and could destroy the transmission. Another common expensive problem is failure of the rear antenna amplifier that will result in reduced range for the keyless entry and/or poor FM radio reception. Also, the seal on the transmission electrical connector can fail causing a leak and for fluid to wick into the TCU and damage it. There are other niggling problems, like broken door pulls and window regulators, but those tend to be easy and fairly inexpensive DIY fixes.

Finally, if you start looking at 2006+ models, stay away from the M272 engine - it's the V6 engine used in the C230 (non-Kompressor), C280 and C320.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all the replies.

After doing some research last night, I learned about the Kompressor's ability to jump a tooth on the timing chain/sprocket and that doesn't sound so good.

Is there a list out there showing the different engine's used and their associated production year for the W209?

Why should I stay away from the M272 engine?

Do these cars have issues prematurely wearing out their ball joints and control arm bushings?
 

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The M272 engines built before early 2008 have problems with the timing gear wearing prematurely. Do a search for "balance shaft" for all the details.
 

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My family's had our 2001 C240 6 speed since 6 years/ 75,000 miles ago. One of the most reliable cars that my family has ever seen. I'm a bit of a grease monkey so I've been doing all the maintenance myself for the past 3 years but here are a few things that are almost guaranteed to go wrong.

1. Power seat controllers (Easy fix)
2. Window regulators (Only happened once)
3. Camshaft position sensor (Only happened once)

As already stated the M112 engine is incredibly reliable, as long as you make sure to take good care of it. Performance isn't awful, I've beaten a couple of riced up Scion's in the past. My clutch still engages pretty far down, not bad considering I learned how to drive a manual on this car. As for late models I think the 240 keeps the same engine until late MY2005?
 

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I'd go with a v6 over kompressor but that is my opinion. My previous car was a 4 cyl turbo so I wanted something N/A
 
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