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  #1  
Old 01-14-2010, 06:23 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Ocala Florida
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BuyingHelp C230 1998

Looking at a C230 that has 86K on it. Will look at it today. It has teh 4 cyl in it. Need a commutercar wit hgood gas milage as my new commute is 200 miles total each day. Have 3 other MB. Has new tires and sat for a while but has been used last year. What systemic issues have these cars had and what would it be worth. Kid asking 5K or BO. Car has always been in FL. Will carfax and see if any maint records.

Thanks

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1988 300E 124K
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1992 300 CE 95 K
1986 300 SL Euro 96K
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  #2  
Old 01-14-2010, 08:09 AM
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The 1997-98 C230 were good solid cars that needed LESS than any of the other MB's of that era!

The auto trans DOES need servicing!
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  #3  
Old 01-14-2010, 12:58 PM
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If you like working on cars you will like it pretty well. Lots of room in the engine compartment. It is a pretty good car. Breaks a lot less than my Toyota did... The car has lots of nice features. It can have some electrical troubles sometimes, annoying things like AC display or window motors. You can get parts pretty easily, since lots of these were made.
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1998 C230 330,000 miles (currently dead of second failed EIS, yours will fail too, turning you into the dealer's personal human cash machine)
1988 F150 144,000 miles (leaks all the colors of the rainbow)
Previous stars: 1981 Brava 210,000 miles, 1978 128 150,000 miles, 1977 B200 Van 175,000 miles, 1972 Vega (great, if rusty, car), 1972 Celica, 1986.5 Supra
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  #4  
Old 01-14-2010, 02:24 PM
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The 1998 W202 benefits from being the last major version of the chassis line, so many of the niggles of the W202 chassis had been worked out. These later models seem to suffer from mostly from cosmetic issues due to the amount of plastic in the body panels and trim; saggy headliners and rattles.

On the mechanical side, yes the "sealed for life" transmission seems to suffer over time, being noisy and can be somewhat "clunky" in shifting; the multi-link suspension in the rear and the front tie rod assembly probably needs refreshing if it hasn't been already.
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Old 01-14-2010, 03:48 PM
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Location: Washington, DC
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The W202 C230 is a great commuter. Pretty darn comfortable for a small car and gives excellent fuel economy.
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1988 300 SL (5 Speed)
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  #6  
Old 01-14-2010, 07:14 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 133
I purchased a c230 in November with 112,000 miles. It's super clean and nice, drives perfectly and is a solid, quiet car even today. I'm always paranoid for a while after buying a car, wondering what surprises it has in store for me, but I'm finally settling in and feel completely confident with it.

I plan to service the transmission soon, but beyond an alignment and oil change, it appears to need nothing. I find the 'winter' setting for the trans to be a little smoother. There is some oil seepage from somewhere from the engine, but it's not dripping on the ground at all.

The car may not have the character or 'soul' of the old W123 or W126 cars, but it's a really nice, modern, solid, reliable everyday joy to drive. Make sure it's in good shape and clean, I have seen some dogs out there, but your instinct can tell you alot if you look carefully at it. If it's stinky or weird, follow your gut!

Also, you might notice that there are very few posts on here relating to serious issues with the c230's. There seem to be more with the larger, more elite (and more solid?) models. Always a good sign!

Good luck!



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  #7  
Old 01-15-2010, 10:29 AM
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Moohampshire, have a PPI (pre-purchase inspection) done by a MB-trained tech so you know what, if any, major repairs may be pending on that 1998 C230. It will be money well spent if everything else about the car appeals to you. Keep in mind that very few owners are selling cars that are in pristine condition, but by now you probably already know why the owner is selling it.

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