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Old 01-18-2002, 12:00 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Colleyville, TX
Posts: 225
Advise on C280s and C220s

Howdy Folks,
I am fixing to buy a 94 or 95 C280. I would like to know from the C280 owners if this model is reliable and also if there is anything particular that I should be careful about these cars. Our 92 190e 2.6 got totaled last week and I would like to replace it with C280 or C220. I really liked the 103 engines but I don't know too much about the 104's. Thanks in advance for any suggestions and advise.

86 BMW 325e 142k
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Old 01-18-2002, 09:02 AM
Ali Al-Chalabi's Avatar
Senior Member
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Knoxville, TN
Posts: 1,837
I love the M104, I have a 97 C280 and it is very reliable.

Just two possibilities to look out for, which have been discussed numerous times here: the possibility of an oil leak at the headgasket and the wiring harness.

I would definitely recommend the C280.
Ali Al-Chalabi

2001 CLK55
1999 Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins Diesel
2002 Harley-Davidson Fatboy
Merlin Extralight w/ Campy Record
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Old 01-18-2002, 11:40 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: NW Arkansas
Posts: 179
1994 C280

I drive a 1994 C280 with 128k miles and it drives as good today as the day I got it. Engine is very strong (it's the straight six).

I currently have a problem with the sunroof not pulling back and the oil leak already mentioned.

The only thing is that it can be a little snug with four adults on long trips.

I average about 26 MPG and that's a 60/40 highway/city mix.
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Old 01-19-2002, 12:01 AM
blackmercedes's Avatar
Just a guy
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: St. Albert, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,492
M104 engines have a fairly high failure rate for the head gasket.

The pre 1996 models may have a wiring harness issue. Look for one that's replaced, and if not, carefully inspect it.

Otherwise, the C280 is very reliable car.

The M111 2.2 and 2.3 engines seem pretty bulletproof. I've got a few friends with tons of miles on 220/230 cars, and they have held up very well.

I get about 9.5L/100km (about 26USmpg) city driving and 6.7L/100km (36US mpg) highway in the C230. I think the 97+ C230's do a bit better on the highway thanks to the taller .83 fifth gear, absent in the -96 cars equipped with four speeds. But it's marginal.

My C230 has 104,000 kilometers, and still has yet to use a drop of oil. Not a drop.
John Shellenberg
1998 C230 "Black Betty" 240K

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Old 01-19-2002, 12:23 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Posts: 236
Have driven my 97 C280 (bought new) 100K miles and never had any problem except a small oil leak at front of engine. Sprayed a sealer in this area and stopped the leak. Will not sevice engine for another 50K miles. This car is as good as a Honda any day.
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Old 01-20-2002, 07:13 AM
David C Klasse's Avatar
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Mission Hills in the City of San Diego
Posts: 2,352
I've got a 95 C280 and I love it! It is such a nice cross between and sports car and a luxury car... you'd be suprised with it's superb handling characteristics, and great ability to hug the road (with some good tires). My engine has performed incredibly well with 120k miles on it... the car has only needed a few small repairs here and there (plug wires, flex disc, lwr control arm bushings) on top of regular oil changes and all other maintenance. I have driven my car pretty dAmn hard and it still feels bulletproof! Very tight and taut. Similar to your 190, I'd imagine... just a bit better in each category.
2006 E350 w/ 155k miles (Daily Driver)

1993 300E 3.2L Sedan w/ close to about 300k miles
2003 E500 Brilliant Silver (Had 217k miles when totalled!)
1989 300E with 289,000 miles (had for <1 yr while in HI)
03 CLK 500 cabrio (Mom's)
2006 C230k (Dad's)
1999 S420 (Mom's/Dad's)
2000 C230k Sport sedans
2001 CLK320 Cabrio (Mom's)
1995 C280 My First Mercedes-Benz... (155k miles. EXCEPTIONAL AUTOMOBILE. Was Very hard to let go of!)
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Old 01-20-2002, 11:32 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Colleyville, TX
Posts: 225
Thanks very much for the advise. I will be test driving a 95 C280 (67K- white) )and 94 C280(red- 102K) sometime this week. I will post my findings.

86 325E 142 K
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