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  #1  
Old 10-18-2001, 03:35 PM
Brian K
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Another electrical problem. '01 C240. Anyone heard of this?

Darn, went almost 4 months without an electrical problem in my '01 C240/6.

Here's the newest one.

Turn the key, the car starts. But, all the interior electrical is dead (except the radio!). None of the dash lights up, the HVAC stays dead, the windows dead. But, the engine runs fine. The other odd thing: The electrical auxillary fan is going at full blast, even though the car is cold.

Turn the car off, restart, and everything is fine.

Its done it twice now.

Will call the dealer, but like a lot of electrical problems, its not predictable and is hard to duplicate. So, I am not hopeful.

Has anyone else heard of or had this problem?

(P.S. my car has already been given the "updated" keys).

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 10-19-2001, 06:40 PM
Brian K
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Well, after 20 years of owning BMWs and Porsches exclusively, I think this MB, which is my first, will also be my last.

A $37K car should not need to be taken to the dealer as much as this car has. And, even more frustrating, the dealership should be trained to be able to actually fix the car. They are pretty much damn useless.
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  #3  
Old 10-19-2001, 06:49 PM
sixto's Avatar
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: SF Bay Area
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Brian,

Have you looked into CA's lemon law? Here's some info: http://autopedia.com/html/LemonLaw/CA_lemonlaw.html

Sixto
91 300SE
81 300SD
... no electrical problems new fuses can't fix
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  #4  
Old 10-19-2001, 07:09 PM
Brian K
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It hasn't been bad enough to justify a lemon law claim, but it has been enough to be annoying.

What I am really concerned about is this: I paid cash for the car, on the idea that I would keep it for at least 15 years. That's the only way a car makes financial sense to me. I have no interest in driving it for 4 years and then taking a bath on the depreciation.

But I am starting to have concerns about keeping it after the warranty expires.
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  #5  
Old 10-19-2001, 07:58 PM
ItalianBenz's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: SouthBay area, So Cal
Posts: 811
C240 BLUES

Hey Brian K. Sounds to me you could have a few different problems going on. 1. you could have a intermittent Eis which is the electronic igntion switch. 2 a possible CAN communcation problem, 3. the rear fusebox which is called the rear sam. where are you located what dealership are you visting. they should be able to pull codes and come up with something. are you in the southbay west side or the valleys.
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  #6  
Old 10-19-2001, 08:28 PM
Brian K
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Hey, thanks for the thoughts!

I am actually in Orange County. I have used Fletcher Jones and MB Laguna Niguel for service. I only live a few minutes from Fletcher Jones, but have started travelling to MBLN because their service seems much better.

Those are 3 things I will keep in mind and have the dealer consider.

Thanks again,
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  #7  
Old 10-20-2001, 04:37 PM
LarryBible
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Brian,

I'm sorry to hear that you're having such problems. I guess I've been lucky with mine.

If you'll give the dealer a chance to work through it and make sure that you get the regional MBUSA service representative involved, I feel quite certain that you can get past this and have a reliable car for the fifteen years that you're looking for.

We bought these cars very early in the production cycle, which sometimes produces problems such as this. Once you get past the problem, you'll be past it.

Hang in there,
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  #8  
Old 10-21-2001, 10:02 AM
LarryBible
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blackmercedes,

I agree with ALMOST everything you said. I don't believe, however, that MB or any other car maker would intentionally "experiment" on their cars or buyers in the first year of a new model. This would be a suicidal approach for any company introducing a new product.

I do see how it could be seen that way. It is very common for a newly introduced product, particularly something as complex as an automobile, to have a few kinks.

Actually in the case of the new C Class it appears to me that they aren't doing too bad. I went through EXACTLY the scenario that Brian is going through with my early W210 car which was only about 6 months into the new production when I bought it. This is a frustrating thing to go through and I understand as much as anyone can what Brian feels right now.

The sad reality is that you have to actively stay after these people until the find the problem. It is probably a failing electronic subassembly somewhere. In my case it wouldn't misbehave for the people at the shop. I finally left the car with them and they drove it with computers hooked to it and the regional service rep in the car. They drove it around for quite some time to get it to fail. They put almost 300 miles on it, but it finally failed for them and they fixed the problem permanently.

Brian,

Stay after MBUSA. They will find the problem, fix it, and in six months you will have forgotten the frustration you went through. This sort of thing happens to every car brand, and you're just unlucky enough to get that car with the problem.

Best of luck,
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  #9  
Old 10-22-2001, 04:30 PM
Brian K
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Thanks, guys.

I just hope they can fix it. The ignition switch seems like a good culprit. Obviously, something is telling the car to start the engine, but is not giving the signal to start the dashboard!

It only does it very intermittently.

It has 6500 miles on it now, I think I will wait until the 10K service, and just have them look at it at that time. I just want to have all the "bugs" worked out well in advance of the warranty period expiring.

Its been a good car, overall, but it has not been as reliable as the new BMWs that I (and my family) have owned over the years, starting with an E21, several E30s, E28 and E36. We won't even talk about my Dad's Lexus, with 80,000 miles on it now and has not had one single problem. I mean, absolutely zero. Pretty amazing, how dead reliable that thing is. (Not saying I'd want one, but its reliability is great).

Thanks again.
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  #10  
Old 10-22-2001, 04:35 PM
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smoke gets in your eyes
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: SF Bay Area
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The Lexus we're not talking about had an an early start. It spent something like two years as the Toyota Celsior before it wound up in the US as a Lexus. And in general, cars shed options and accessories on the trip from the Japan to the US. Hard to imagine there's room for more.

Sixto
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  #11  
Old 11-24-2001, 10:44 AM
intheway
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Now You're Scaring Me. I Just Bought...

a "factory exec" 240 6 speed. This is my first post. It has 9k miles on it. I love it (hey why else would I have bought it ?) for it's more relaxed presentation than an equivalent BMW.

They didn't offer me an extended warranty (yet). The electrical/digital giz-mos of the car cause me some reliability concerns, though I've yet to have my first problem (I've owned it a day).

I'd like to buy an extended warranty to cover things, if possible.

I do think/hope that these bugs probably will be worked out within the first 10k miles. After all, it looks like MB did their homework on most aspects of the car.

Just thought I'd drop in.

BTW, the other cars mentioned probably are reliable as rain, but, again, why drive them ?
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  #12  
Old 11-24-2001, 03:02 PM
sixto's Avatar
smoke gets in your eyes
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: SF Bay Area
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Re: Now You're Scaring Me. I Just Bought...

Quote:
BTW, the other cars mentioned probably are reliable as rain, but, again, why drive them ?
Search the archives for owners' experiences with W140 AC systems. A $3000 evaporator twice in 5 years? In such cases your question is the answer.

Sixto
91 300SE
81 300SD
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  #13  
Old 11-24-2001, 03:23 PM
intheway
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Well you know I knew the general opinion that the C class were not quite up to the other classes (at least in the past) walking into the dealership...that the E series was better, particularly the old E320 (can't remember the W... yet, remember I'm new) were considered the most reliable of the Benz's (this being my first Mercedes. I've owned Saabs and BMWs).

I initially tried to get a very nice Starmarked 94 E320 for quite a lot less money, but my wife and I, too, went for the manual shift, "sporty" type car.

So...so I just got one anyway, knowing the past of the C class. BTW, this is a new C class, isn't it ? Or are these still considered W140s...?

Anyway I still have time to get that extended warranty. I don't put a lot of miles on a car, maybe 10k per year, so it would pay to buy all 4 years of warranty.

Next time around I'll talk my wife out of the manual shift /sport thing. But I don't regret the purchase. This car handles and rides like a dream. I'll just have to pony up for the extended warranty I guess. I've heard you can "shop around" for it at any dealer and get a discount off the list price.

Nothing's broken yet....

2001 C240 6 speed
97 Saab 9000




--Dave
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  #14  
Old 11-24-2001, 05:34 PM
LarryBible
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intheway,

I wouldn't worry about your car. Things happen with all makes and models. Brian was just unlucky. I haven't seen a response from him since he first started this thread, so I hope he has worked out his problems with the car.

My car now has 16k miles on it and doing fine. I may be the unlucky one and have massive problems tomorrow, but I doubt that either one of us will.

Doesn't your car have the normal 50,000 mile warranty?

BTW, you're married to a smart woman. I wish my wife shared my love of manual transmissions.

Have a great day,
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