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  #1  
Old 05-27-2006, 12:05 PM
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W202 C230k vs C280

I currently own a 1985 190E 2.3-16v and i am going off to college and looking for a newer and more reliable car. I know that all the W202s are very reliable, but I just don't really see much of a difference between the C230k and a C280. My father drove them both a while ago (we leased a 1999 C230K) and said that the C230K had more pickup and generally felt more sporty (they were both sport models). Is there any real difference between these cars other than one is a supercharged 4 cyl and the other is a 6 cyl with almost identical performance?

Thanks,
Jim

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Old 05-27-2006, 02:07 PM
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i would stay away from the supercharger... not near the expense working on the regular fuel injection when something goes wrong with the supercharger you will pay.
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  #3  
Old 05-27-2006, 08:14 PM
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I would not necessarily agree. A highly reputable MB tech known well to this forum shared with me that if you keep your oil changes at regular intervals (between 5.5 and 6.5k), there is no reason why the supercharger wouldn't provide 150k+ miles of trouble-free operation. I posted awhile back on a rebuilt kompressor unit, and there are alternatives out there starting at around $400 - not so pricey IMO.

I have a 2000 C230K, and absolutely love it. Very reliable, no problems, and runs like a charm. I myself looked at the C280, but decided to go with the C230 because it seemed, in my opinion, that there were lots of head gasket issues. It sounds like you'll have to do this job at least once, and it's not cheap by any means unless you can DIY.

Also - keep in mind that Mercedes continues to manufacture the kompressor engine. I personally think we'll see more of these in the future.

Do a search on this question - there are many such topics with some really good responses.

My 2 cents,
Michael
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Old 05-27-2006, 08:28 PM
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auctorEcclesiae, see as you have a 2000, do you use the touch shifting much at all? Does it ever come in handy when trying to pass on the highway, or is the automatic tranny able to adjust fast enough?

Thanks for the replies, both points are very good. I did not know that they had head gasket issues, ill have to look into that but i don't think that 150k is high millage, ill have to look into when they generally start to fail. It probably depends on how you drive it, the compressor is probably off most of the time on the highway, so a city car where some one is just stomping down all the time would die faster.

Jim
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Old 05-27-2006, 08:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AuctorEcclesiae
I would not necessarily agree. A highly reputable MB tech known well to this forum shared with me that if you keep your oil changes at regular intervals (between 5.5 and 6.5k), there is no reason why the supercharger wouldn't provide 150k+ miles of trouble-free operation.
Is the supercharged using engine oil? I didn't think it did.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AuctorEcclesiae
...I myself looked at the C280, but decided to go with the C230 because it seemed, in my opinion, that there were lots of head gasket issues.
M112 V-6 equipped (1998-) C280 cars have no head gasket issues. You're confusing that engine with the earlier M104 I-6 engine. M112 engines have crank-posistion sensor issues (easy and not terribly expensive, but don't throw codes so can be an issue to diagnose) and harmonic balance problems (hopefully all solved with a campaign by now).
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  #6  
Old 05-27-2006, 09:03 PM
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The tiptronic works quite nicely when I want to do something else other than driving! The transmission is quite responsive though, and it downshifts nicely for passing without using the tiptronic feature.

You're right Jim - 150k is not high mileage for a Mercedes. LOTS of 300k + models out there.

I'm not sure what year the kompressor engines started being put into the C-class, but I know it was recent (within the last 5-7 years). These cars, on average, have between 75k - 105k on them. It will be interesting to see how these engines hold up as the miles go on.

I wish I knew what an actual cost would be to R/R a kompressor unit. Haven't found a forum member that this has happend to yet! I posted about this a long time ago, and a forum member referred me to this web site: http://www.canadiansupercharger.com/mercedes_supercharger.html

This company has superchargers available for $490.00 plus $200.00 core. Now, I don't know what it would cost to install one ... if it's like a W124 evaperator job, then YIKES! I wouldn't think it would be all that bad ... maybe like doing a water pump or something to the equivalent.

Jim - you're absolutely right in stating that a kompressor engine with mostly highway miles would be much more stable than one that's done mainly city-driven miles. It engages and is used much more in the city than on the highway.

From what I understand, it's the TURBO supercharged engines that you have to be careful of because once the engine is switched off, the turbo will spin for awhile, causing much more wear and tear than a plain kompressor engine. The kompressor units are not all that robust, and would seem fairly easy to rebuild.

The M111 is a 4-banger, but with a lot of pep, and incredibly good fuel mileage. A recent trip to Kentucky brought me almost 34MPG! A real pleasure when gas prices are what they are these days.

-Michael
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Old 05-27-2006, 09:11 PM
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Thanks John - I forgot to put that in there. I was looking at pre-98 models at the time, and forgot to mention that post-98 had the M112/V6.

Mea culpa,
Michael
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  #8  
Old 05-27-2006, 09:21 PM
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From a performance standpoint, the W202 C230 Komporessor's have virtually identical performance numbers as the C280, either in 0-60 mph or 1/4 mile. I think the C280 has only a 0.10 second advantage.

Both the V6 and I-4 engines have proven to be very reliable.

My former neighbor, who was a salesman at a Mercedes dealer, explained to me that MB sold significantly more C230 Kompressors as they were a lot cheaper than a C280.

If I had to make a decision, I'd choose the C280. The engine is very quiet and smooth. The superchargers on the C230 K's are noisey. They make a helluva racket, especially at idle.
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  #9  
Old 05-27-2006, 09:57 PM
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Thanks for all the replies! I am at a loss for which i would want. I have a 16v, so i know how peppy mercedes can make a 4 cyl. This is going to be a difficult decision to make because they are so similar. I guess ill just have to go out and test drive them both, its just hard to find two sport models and someone willing to let a college student test drive it...

Thanks for the help, by all means don't stop, I still have no idea what is best, if one has an edge somewhere ill probably take it.
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Old 09-30-2008, 04:16 PM
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I was in a situation like yours. Im older with a family and a wife and did look to go back to the local community college to finish up. At the time I had a 2002 E320, 1987 420SEL my wifes 1995 GMC Suv(80k) or my 2004 Dodge work truck. I decided to for the 30miles on way commute that I needed somethig. I wanted a C Class W203. My wife suggested the W202 and I decided to test drive the C280 and C230. I didnt like either of them because the seats are hard as a rock, very small, NO CD changer, no heated seats and no back seat room. I also though they were very cheaply made compaired to the W203. So when our wedding Anaversery came she bought me the 2000 C280 Sport edition. I dont like it to this day, but it was the thought that counts and love her for it. Personally I would buy a W203 C320. forget the 202.
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  #11  
Old 09-30-2008, 09:49 PM
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Two year old thread.

I bought a 85 2.3-16 and a 99 C280 . . . the sixteen valve is a grin maker, while the V6 has more HP and is turbine smooth. The kompressor seems to be a reasonably reliable powerplant.
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  #12  
Old 10-03-2008, 12:19 AM
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Well quite a bit has changed for me since this posting...

I think the deal killer for the W202s was the lack of a manual transmission. At the time W203s were not in the question as they cost too much and I don't really like the styling, and they had more reliability problems than the W202.

Because of this, I just kept going with my 16v. Ended up ripping the engine apart last year (well documented in the Performance Paddock) and will be updating the engine management system (VEMS). At this point there is no turning back, and I am fairly happy with that choice. A nice reliable curser would be nice, but hey, I am still a kid and I have come to sort of enjoy working on the 16v, in a sadistic sort of way...

Jim

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