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Most the time when I start my car (2003 C230 Sedan) for the first time that day, it sounds like a car that has no oil - sputtering, knocking, etc. When I stop at a light and have the window down I can feel heat coming from under the car and a bad burning smell. I have been told by the dealer that this is normal for a new car (it only has 600 miles on it) and that if anything was truley wrong, the car would tell me. Any thoughts?
 

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The sputtering and knocking shouldn't be normal for any car (new or otherwise). Mine has done it a couple of times, but rarely. I assumed that it got loaded up from too much idling before the last shutoff or something.

As for the smell, it could be undercoating or similar materials burning off (packing oils in the exhaust system for example) which IS normal for new cars. Just proves that the INSIDE new car smell is much better than the OUTSIDE new car smell, right!

If the knocking continues you should let the service dept. know. It should not be doing that.
 
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