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Old 05-21-2001, 02:54 PM
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As a first time Mercedes ownwer, I notice that the interior trims in my 2001 C240 tend to rattle when the car is driven over broken pavement or sharp broken uneven surface. The rattles do not occur consistently, as they occur only intermittently.

My question is it normal for this to occur? Or is it that the rattling problems tend to occur less in Benzes that built in the 80s and early 90s due to better quality interior trims Mercedes put in their cars in the past (good old days)?

I have heard many stories about faltering Mercedes quality, particularly the interior trims which the quality of the materials used are very "un-Mercedes".

For instance, the wood trim on the center console in my car would make creaking noises once in a while. The rear panel shelf would rattle. Also, the dashboard would creak once in a while. The seats would make squeaking noises for no reasons. Also, the door trims would also squeak sometimes. All these are minor, but they could be annoying sometimes. I have learnt to live with it, but they are not something that I would expect from a car mufacturer like Mercedes-Benz.

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Old 05-21-2001, 03:27 PM
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yal yal is offline
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: New York, Long Island
Posts: 2,704
Can of worms Johf, can of worms!! Do a search, its an on going debate second only to the oil debate on this forum. No one seems to be able to explain why a 12 year old benz has less rattles than a one year old one. Instead we tend to end up bickering and snapping at each other over the issue I think the bottom line is we are dealing with a two different eras and hence two very different companies.
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Old 05-21-2001, 03:30 PM
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Welcome to the club

Welcome to the NEW Mercedes. Is it normal for a new car to produce all the noises that you mention. I would say, it shouldn't be normal and in a lot of less expensive cars these problems do not exist. But, in my $100,000 CL, I have experienced the same noises as you and frankly, I am not happy about it. Thankfully most of the roads I drive on are smooth, so I don't notice it as much, but when I do, it sends a shiver down my spine. This will DEFINITELY be my last Mercedes. Even if they built the cars like they used to, you still have to deal with the crappy dealer service departments who screw your car up even more.

Just a word of advice. Do not take your car in to complain about the rattles and noises. Wait at least through the first year. At most all they do is put some insulation tape in the squeek areas and if that involves removing some piece of interior, you can guarantee it won't be put back together correctly.

Mercedes is starting to suck big time and the dealers are running about 1000% ahead on the suck-o-meter.
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Old 05-21-2001, 05:25 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Northumberland, UK
Posts: 1,294
Normal? seems to be. Acceptable? no.

is4b2rd (a new Star Wars droid perhaps?) obviously has a lot to be choked about, which is fair if he has just bought a CL and gets crappy service from his dealer.

Here in the UK, the dealers for too long have regarded servicing your car as some kind of favour which they may or may not deign to do, with or without a sneer. Anyway, long story cut short, Mercedes has sacked the lot of them and is going to take over the operation itself. Couldn't make a worse job of it, that is for sure. Good service makes a brand for me; the product is secondary.

My MB (a humble W202) has two rattles. It is having a service tomorrow. I wonder how they'll do.
JJ Rodger
1999 SL 500
1993 320 TE
1986 500 SEC
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Old 05-21-2001, 07:31 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: the Netherlands
Posts: 1,417
New Benzes rattle and fail a lot! In our region we have several MB dealers and independent shops that sell and service MB's only and there are several shops that think they will not make it to 2005...MB warranty issues will kill them. The average MB dealer has had more warranty repairs in the last 5 years as in the 25 years before; don't blame the mechanics for lousy service...they can't help that the MB product goes downhill and that their time is too short to help everyone as good as they should.

1990 300SL-24
1993 C250D
with a minor 600+k kilometer
(the Netherlands)
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Old 05-21-2001, 08:18 PM
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Definitely i will buy a BMW 3 series instead of C class.

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Old 05-21-2001, 08:42 PM
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740 vs S-Class

To give you an example of quality issues. I have heard for sometime now from "non-BMW" folks that BMW's don't last, that they are garbage. Well, I've had my 98 740 since purchasing new and it has about 55k miles on it now. The car is rock solid, not to mention handles like a dream with a standard suspension. There are a couple "rattle" type sounds when going over really rough pavement, but not that bad for a daily commuter car.

On the other hand, my brand new CL with 2800 miles on it, makes the same noises and probably more going over rough pavement. When I took delivery of my car, they were already building the CL for almost a year in Europe, so I thought they would have worked out any bugs.

Anyway, to make a long story short, I agree with you about purchasing a 3-series. As much as I love the 3-pointed star on the hood, and really like the style of the new C-Class, I just don't know if I could trust MB anymore.
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Old 05-21-2001, 10:43 PM
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Thanks for you advise! I am very sympathetic of what you had to go through. For me, it is not because of the money that I spent buying the car which I expect everything to be perfect. It is because that I have such high expectation from Mercedes, I do not expect simple things like interior trims would rattle like a ten year old car.

Aside from the interior trims rattling problem, my car would make a howling noise from the rear end when the car is travelling between 64 mph and 70 mph. It sounded like the noise is coming from the differential? I had sent the car back to the dealer in hoping that they could fix the problem. So far, no luck! Oh well, I guess I just have to live with it.

The engineering of Mercedes is definitely top-notch, but the quality and reliability are definitely not impressive. I could not believe how they could make car that is so quiet at 75 mph; yet, they could not make a car with sound quality and reliability.

I guess what you pay is what you get. If you look at their prices, Mercedes have pretty much remained stagnant in their pricing over the last 6 years. I believe that if the my new C 240 was priced at mid to high US$30k, I may experienced less quality and reliability problems. And if your CL was priced between US $130k and US $150k, I am sure you would experience less problems as well. Oh well, these are just my humble opinion!

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Old 05-21-2001, 11:16 PM
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The stable prices of Mercedes are deceptive. The new W203 C is actually a considerably more expensive car. My 98 C230 had a sticker of $33,000 and change. If you compare the price a comparably equipped C230 and C280 to the the C240 and the C320, you'll find the W203 is much more expensive. This started in 99 with the C230 Kompressor. To keep the sticker price down they striped down the car. My 98 230 had auto climate control, power seats, leather, sunroof and the Bose system. Go to and build a C240 with those options. For a C240 with leather, auto, sunroof, Bose system and power everything; the price Is over $36,500. Now the the C240 does have a standard V6, my C230 has a 4 banger. The power output isn't much different, but I'm sure the V6 is a smoother and quieter engine. The $30,000 C240 is stripped. The same can be said for the W202 C280. $38,000 got you a 97 or 98 280 that was loaded. The new C320 with similar options will be $3000 or $4000 more. That's not to say the new w203 isn't worth it, but they have attempted to hide the additional cost. For the price, there isn't any excuse for rattles and noises in a new C. For the new CL to have rattles, MB should be ashamed. $100,000 should buy a car built like a Swiss watch.
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Old 05-21-2001, 11:36 PM
Johnson Chan
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I am with you. I am not a big fan of MB anymore. Luckily one of the two MB dealers in st.louis treats me like a customer. The other one has some serious problems.

1) refused to give me a loaner car when I brought my MB in for service because I was only 16 at the time.

2) salesmen dont want to talk to you

3) fix your car and then cause more damage to it. They forgot to add antifreeze/coolant to my car, and it overheated up the road.

4) scratched/dented my rims on the curb.

5) doesnt return phone calls for making appts to bring in car

Now the other dealership I have been going to exclusively is great, they are totally opposite. People are great. If I do buy another benz, they are a large factor for it.

Now as far as the "new" benz's are concern, I dont care for them. Look at the car reviews and test drive them and you will know why. And look at there marketing strategy of selling in volume vs. quality. They are so cheap now that ALMOST everybody can afford a benz. In my neighborhood, you see more mercedes than jaguar, bmw, lexus, etc. combined!

These are just my opinions so I am sure some people will disagree, but before you do, read the car reviews (all of them) and test drive one yourself.
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Old 05-21-2001, 11:55 PM
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Posts: 610
Any company that wanted to buy Crysler (ha) just ain't right in the head. I have a 1995 140 chassis that does not rattle at all - 141,000 miles. If Mercedes quality is truly slipping, they will pay for it later. Unfortunately the customers that buy the cars will suffer also. To answer your question - it might be normal for the new Mercedes to rattle, but is totally UNACCEPTABLE!!
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Old 05-21-2001, 11:59 PM
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I think people put too much of an emphasis on dealers when it comes to Mercedes. MB doesn't have any way of controlling the attitudes of the sales/service staff at any given dealer. I've been treated terribly at several dealerships for other auto makers. A major factor when I purchased my C230 was how I was treated by the dealer. I was leaning towards buying an Audi A4 aquatro. But the Audi dealer was a sleazy moron. I was 22 at the time (I do look younger though) and had to fight just to get the Audi salesmen to answer my questions. Once he knew I was serious, he wouldn't give me strait answers and all but refused to work out a price on a model without a host of useless options (including a $800 100% leather steering wheel that replaced the standard steering wheel which was only 25% leather). When I arrived at the Mercedes dealer I was approached instantly and offered a test drive within a minute or two. No pressure, no BS. They gave me all the info I needed, I didn't have to ask for it. I was so impressed with how I was treated (and with the car) that I put a deposit down on the spot. There are numerous complaints that can be made about the new Mercedes models, but how you're treated by the dealer depends 100% on that particular dealership. I just can't hold it against Mercedes in general.
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Old 05-22-2001, 12:44 AM
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Join Date: May 1999
Posts: 34

In all fairness, I don't think a Kia dealer would offer you a loaner at 16. Liability issues with drivers under 18 keep even rental car companies from renting to younger age drivers.

I totally agree with TradeGeek. I have a few options for dealers fairly near where I live and each of them will treat me different. And considering all different manufacturers offered at various dealers, I find it comedic that I can get better customer service when "shopping" for $40k+ european cars vs. trying to get a salesman to even approach me at most, if not ALL American dealerships.

The most recent independent repair shop I took my car to took longer to finish because they refused to get parts from the closest dealer because of their service (lack thereof). They go to a further dealer that had to order the part.

People make the dealership, and ultiately it's the people in management that are responsible because they choose who stays and who they let go.

just my $0.02
krahe :~)
85 300E euro-spec., twin-turbo AMG aero kit
89 300CE AMG aero kit
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Old 05-22-2001, 01:56 AM
Johnson Chan
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Well, I went to the dealership that I am going to now at 17 or 18 they gave me a loaner car. So I guess it is up to individual dealerships.

When I talked to them on the phone, they said sure, come up here we will give u a loaner, then they see my license and say, opps sorry we cant give u a loaner. They suggested I call someone to pick me up or call a taxi cab, etc. I mean whats the big deal? It is a mercedes and I am paying you top dollar to get it fixed. Its not like I want to steal your 1991 toyota corolla!

I was like, give me my car, BYE!

In reguards to the dealerships, doesnt MB or can MB have a rep sent out to get surveys or be one of those secret shoppers at the dealer?

One of the DJ's in a big st. louis radio station was talking about how he gets bad service, etc. at the dealer, when that happens, thats bad! I have witnesses that heard the DJ say it too, so I wasnt imagining things.
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Old 08-09-2001, 04:48 PM
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I too have a C240 2001 model and have exactly the same squeak and rattle problems as yourself. The Centre console is the worst. The frnt seat headrests also rattled in my car an MB replaced the "tubes" that they slide into. Surfice it to say that they still rattle.

I hope you get your problem fixed as I am about to send mine in (I live in the UK by the way!!).

I don't suppose you have the Auto box do you? I am also pretty unhappy with this w.r.t. its tardiness when I need a quick gear shift (see my post 9th August).

Good luck!

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