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2002 C230K - LEMON OR WHAT??!! A little long

15424 Views 31 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  Lorhutton
Newbie here (just registered about 3 minutes ago). My wife ordered and took ownership of her new Black on Black 02 C230K about 8-9 months ago. Since then, the car has been in and out of the shop a good number of times - guessing 30+ days. She loves the NAV system but missed the changer she had in her Lexus.

This is what I've seen so far:

day 2 - car starts smoking, she calls Benz roadside assistance and the oncall person comes out - says the shop might have left "stickers" on the mufflers....ok, I can live with that for now. Over the next dozen days or so - I keep getting the burning smell (clutch) until it starts to slip and I had the car towed to the dealership. Diag - replace clutch, flywheel, etc....

Numerious Check Engine light error, each time the shop clears the codes yet doesn't know what they mean (whats up with that!).

Do these car burn oil or what? Seems like she is getting Check Oil warning pretty often (BTW - these cars take Mobil 1 which the owners manual doesn't state).

Clutch still smells even after being replaced from time to time but doesnt slip anymore. does have a hard shift from 1st to 2nd. Various mechanics have looked at this and say all say the same - it does seem a little tight but thats the way its supposed to be. BS - I test drove a 6 sp before ordering this and it was flawless. Do others have a hard shift from 1-2? 3rd thru 6 are smooth as glass.

Also, has anyone fried the fush for the power outlet besides me? Whats with having the coin holder so close to that power outlet if they know a penny can easily fall in there and short the darn thing out? I know keep an extra supply in the glove box for my wife.

So far, she has clocked up 24,000 miles on the beast and for the last 4 months, its been running fine except for the oil burning issue (its in the shop today actually). Before anyone says anything - I taught the wife to drive stick (in a Honda) and she shifts fine and doesn't ride the clutch.

Sorry for all the ranting....just had to see if any others see these sort of issues with their C230K's? My attorney is involved at this point.
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Actually I have had a lot of trouble with my car

but nothing as serious as you have

firs tof all I have an auto
so I don't have to worry about clutch and other things like that

the problems I've had so far

Is the noise the engine makes
It's very harsh sounding and I don't like it
My enigne tends to choke a little before it starts
sometimes even dies out on me
sunroof works whenevr it please
and sometimes the windows malfunction


My car is alright
so I have nothing else to say
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Electrical system - thats something that I forgot to mention - sometimes the "one touch" windows are actually 2 or 3 touches including the sunroof. I've also seen the radio shutoff on its own for no special reason and there was something about the sunroof too but I don't recall that situation at the moment.
From reading other forums and my own experience, the 1st - 2nd shift is notchy. This appears to be a very common complaint. Unfortunately, MB isn't known for their manual transmissions. The good news is that it is supposed to ease up with time. Although, at 24,000 miles, I'd say you're overdue.

Some owners have noted excessive oil consumption. This seems to be a sporadic problem. Again, this too seems to disappear with time.

Keep the faith. 8)
Welcome to the forum RonG. I'm sorry to hear about your problems. The first to second shift should have freed up after three to four thousand miles. Try re-synching the windows. The procedure is in the manual. One touch will only open the roof halfway the first touch. One touch doesn't work at all for closing the roof.

I purchased a C230K in April 2002. I chose the "Brilliant Silver" with the charcoal interior. I truly adore my vehicle!!! I have had no problems whatsoever. It gets excellent gas mileage, it's sporty and cool. I have taken one road trip in and it was extremely comfortable. I believe occasionally that anything manufactured runs the risk of having some defective products. I wish you all luck in resolving those issues discussed.
Lemon or what?

I too have had a number of problems with my C230k coupe. Most seem to be electrical in nature. I have the same difficulty with starting and the dealership had me move to regular gas which seems to help (and is much easier than their initial suggestion of 5 tanks mid-range to 1 tank super). Also have had the door remote control unit, SAM unit (x2), Air flow sensor and engine wiring harness replaced. The power windows go back down when you release the switch. I have an automatic, but it shifts very rough, especially when I am slowing down. :cry:

At least I don't burn a lot of oil :)

Well, my C230 is my 2nd benz. I ordered it 1 year ago and I took delevery on Sept. 11th... WHat a day.

Anyway, Mine (one year later) has 3900 miles on it and has been in the shop 8 times. ALL FOR THE SAME PROBLEM! The damb sunscreen on the panarama sunroof. They have replaced it 5-6 times and whenever I go to pick it up, I go to open it and the coil doesnt retract. The fabric just folds down on my head... ANNOYING!!! Other than that, I LOVE THE CAR!!!
Re: tempers

pccarter said:
ALL FOR THE SAME PROBLEM! The damb sunscreen on the panarama sunroof. They have replaced it 5-6 times and whenever I go to pick it up, I go to open it and the coil doesnt retract. The fabric just folds down on my head... ANNOYING!!!
Well, it's not that big of a problem :) Yeah, it's annoying and all but I would rather have this kind of problem than something major :roll:
As much as I use the panorama roof, I would consider that to be a major problem. I would have lemoned the car by now.
Well, I just spoke to my service advisor... Its going back in on Wed with the regional rep to look at it. THIS IS THE LAST CHANCE!!!
LEMON LAW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

i live on long island and ghot a c230 about a year ago after it was in the shop 45days out of the 365 a owned it mb finally took it back i only had to pay for the miles used 14k times 0.15$ not that bad. well anyway there giving me a 2003 and three now. am i gonna be able to do any engine mods? i also went the six speed instead of the was harsh anyway. am i gonna be disappointed in the engine after having the 02?
Welcome to the board, MY MOCEDES. There aren't any engine mods yet. The engine has only been in cars since May. I would guess it will be at least a year before anything is available. I don't think you will be disappointed with the new engine. It will be smoother than the 2.3.
My problems with my C230

So far the Pedal Position Sensor was changed, the accelerator will not respond when you smash it and it will recognize it 3 seconds later. The power window switch is starting to act up: the auto up on the drivers side is malfunctioning. The ESP and Brake distribution is malfunctioning, the LCD display advises to go to shop on this.
C230K Problems..

OK..let's see..we've had ours since 8-01. We love the car (black, oyster leather, power, bose, etc) ...however, we are truly dissapointed in the obvious lack of quality control during the manufacturing process.
First problem noticed within the first few weeks was a rear chassis squeak..somewhat weather dependent. Brought it in, they removed some sort of padding that was left somehwere that was rubbing on something...however. here it is a year later..and it still squeaks..but not it's hard to pinpoint.
Second..brought it in for it's 10,000 mile service in April. At this time, we too had sunroof problems..but intermitent. Sometimes it opens properly..other times it opens in one inch increments...then it fixes itself. Also..the tunnel feature does not work (where the roof and the windows should all close when you hit the recirc button) Also..the right side mirror was not always angling down when in reverse, the gas gauge would not always go to full when would sometimes take a half hour...or, if you shut the car off..then started it again, it would move to full right away. We also have the one touch window buttons requiring two or three touches...and the seatbelts do not always fully detract once removed (the old hanging out ogf the car door syndrome).
So...I tell them all of this when I bring the car in. They call me later in the day to tell me that I need a head gasket. I was floored. I've owned a couple of junkers in my time..and I have never needed a head gasket. Anyway, they had to keep the car for a while, waiting for the part.
I finally pick the car up...they claim all is fixed..nothing was..except the head gasket...I assume. By the way, the poster above who is burning oil...that could indded be a head gasket issue. Anyway, all of the other problems remain..intermitently. My husband seems to have noticed that when we have an electrical storm, the sun roof will definetly act up..then somehow fix itself if it's "Christine".
Last but not least...when I picked the car up, and accelerated out onto the busy road that the dealershoip is on, I floored it..but the car took a few seconds to move. Guess what? When they reconnected the super charger after apparently disconnecting it to replace the head gasket, they did not clip it on tightly enough...and my acceleration blew it that heavy little car was operating on only 4 cylinders..with no boost. They did reconnect that..and so far so good...except..the other day, we noticed the car pulling to the right..and the right tire is showing signs of alignment probems. I've had Toyotas & Hondas before this..and did not have to align for years...and that was on rough NYC roads.
Here we are, one year later..with a MERCEDES no less..on rural, smooth as glass roads...and we need an alignment?
As much as we do love the car...we are extremely dissapointed in the quality...of the car..and the ability of Mercedes to rectify problems.
I'm taking it in tommorrow..and if they think I'm going to pay for thiis alignment, they are indeed mistakne. I'm glad we leased. last of those plastic engine cover things was left in my windshield wiper well. :(
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C230 problems...

I just picked my 2003 C230 on September 6th. The car is alot of fun to drive, but...

Out of 25 days of ownership, it's been in the shop for 8 days. By the time it gets fixed this time, the score will be Me-18 days, Shop-11 days.

What are the problems? 1st break: Lateral Accerleration Sensor for ESP. 2nd break: Ignition unit(which they call the Engine Ignition Control Unit, or something wordy like that). The EICU is a vital element of the security system...if it's not working, the doors won't lock/unlock, the steering wheel won't turn, the key won't turn in the ignition, the fuel pump won't turn on(etc, etc.), and most importantly, the car alarm won't disengage. We finally had to tow it to the dealer on the Sunday morning when it broke, after a few hours of the alarm going off while the Mercedes tech was trying to fix it.

And all of this happened while I was visiting my family in Chicago...which is a mere 350 miles from where I live. Ultimately, I had to make the trip back home in my old old Honda Civic...ole faithful.

I thought it would be cool to own a Mercedes, especially one that's alot of fun to drive. But, needless to say, I'm not too pleased with the car right now. These first few weeks are really making me want to sell this car as soon as I get it out of the shop. I know growing pains may be a b**ch, but I wouldn't expect this much hassle from a Mercedes. Maybe I need to stop looking at this car through my rose-colored glasses.
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Hello People,
Thought I'd add a little to the discussion. To say my Benz is a lemon is far form the truth, however I have had some glitches. I have a silver on charcoal cloth (love the pattern!) '02 C230 6-speed C2, C4, Bose w/changer.
The first problem was that I kept getting an "ESP/BAS" fault on long trips. It turned out to be a faulty ABS sensor. It was replaced...problem solved.
Then one day, I sort of jumped into the drivers seat and the side bolster broke. They replaced it.
Then about 800 miles or so, just before my first service "A", the low oil light came on. I brought it in slightly before the 10,000 miles had lapsed just to make sure nothing bad happened. Yesterday I checked the oil level and the computer said it was 1.5 quarts low. I checked it manually and the oil level was only about 1/3 of the way up to the "full" line. The car has about 11,500 miles on it. Maybe mine is burning oil too.
On one occasion the one touch switch on the driver’s door for the passenger window didn't work. It hasn't happened since.
On my last long trip I was going through the Holland tunnel and the "tunnel feature" didn't work. I just figured I was doing something wrong.
The last, an by far the funkiest thing that happened was as I was traveling along doing about 80 mph (I had just driven through a rain storm), for a split second, every light on the dash came on and the engine power tanked. I had just enough time to mutter one, short, four-letter word before everything went back to normal. Woo...weird!
Everything else is perfect. The engine pulls strong, the supercharger wail makes me giggle like a little kid, the shifter and clutch are smooth like butter, and no matter where I go someone always compliments me on my choice of automobile.
We have to keep in mind that we drive one of the finest, most technologically advanced, superbly styled cars on the road.
I guess I should mention my last car was an '87 Ford Mustang!
Oh and on the 2.3 vs.1.8 thing...if I wanted a Honda...I would have bought one.
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A thought to the tunnel feature..


the tunnel feature will work only when you press the "tunnel" switch for approx. 2 sec. It will open/close only the windows - not the glas roof.

I had the same problem with the ESP/BAS light. The dealer changed the ABS sensor and after a short time he changed the black box/module for the ESP/BAS system. Problem is now fixed.
Tunnel Mode

I have a vehicle spec sheet from Mercedes...and, I quote "Tunnel mode offer touch closing of all windows (and sunroof, if equipped) via climate-control air recirculation button".
My windows close as well...but if you think about it, if the roof is allowed to stay wide open...why bother closing the windows at all? It defeats the purpose.
According to well as the IS supposed to close all three. You may want to bring your car in so they can adjust this for you as well.
The tunnel feature does not close the roof on the coupe. Taking it to the shop will do no good. The roof on a sedan will close because it has one touch close. Since the coupe does not have one touch close, it cannot be made to close use the tunnel feature.
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