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Old 07-20-2002, 09:35 PM
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Is The Kompressor Reliable?


My better half and I have been looking at a 2000 C230 Kompressor. The car has only 20 K miles on it, so there is plenty of warranty and free service left for us. My question is simple;
how reliable is the Kompressor motor? Are there any issues with this car that we should know about before putting down hard earned cash?

As usual, all feedback and advise is greatly appreciated.

Best Regards,

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Old 07-20-2002, 09:51 PM
blackmercedes's Avatar
Just a guy
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: St. Albert, Alberta, Canada
Posts: 3,492
The M111 DOHC four is proving to be really tough and reliable, and the Kompressor version is beefed up even further to handle the additional ponies.

One potential long haul weak point may be the Eaton M62 superchager. (62 refers to displacement of the unit)

Similar units have been used by Ford and GM for some time. They are deadly reliable during their service life, but have a short expected life in terms of MB engine components. Most seem to give up the ghost sometime around 200,000-250,000 kilometers.

Not a problem for your Ford that's ready for the "yard" anyway, but an MB is going strong.

The main concern is cost when it's time to replace it. The price may be coming down as the Eaton units are used on many MB models, but last time someone I know checked it was about $4000 plus R&R. Of course, the supe seems to slowly give it's notice, so you could just sell the car when it starts to go...
John Shellenberg
1998 C230 "Black Betty" 240K

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Old 07-21-2002, 12:18 AM
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Old Lyme, Connecticut
Posts: 3,596
To answer your question someone with a car that has over 150,000 miles or so needs to pipe up. We had a 1999 C230 Kompressor Sport and leased it for three years and 45,000 miles. Actually drove it 46,000 and change. It was solid as a rock, with not a single rattle, shake, gadget or mechanical device failure the whole time. We did have an incident where my daughter ran over a writhing tire tread from a truck that came off directly in front of her while on the highway. This resulted in the outside air temp sensor being knocked out of commision, the cover below the engine getting damaged and, as it turns out later, the insulation over the transmission housing coming loose. The first two items were repaired under insurance and the last one was done as a warranty item as is appeared later.

Anyway, the car was a pleasure to own and operate for the three years. If it was a manual transmission, and got better gas mileage we would have kept it. I am not a fan of automatics and we gave this one a try to see how they were. I was not impressed. The gas mileage is most likely a result of the responsiveness of the engine - both of us enjoyed pressing the accelerator so much we ended up averaging about 21 mpg, which is not much for a car of that size. We get better with the 5-speed 300E, a much bigger car with similar performance.

So, the car was very solid for the first 45,000 miles and it seemed like it would go for quite a while. It never needed any oil between 5,000 mile change intervals (Mobil 1) and always started and ran flawlessly. Hope this helps, and that someone with a high mileage car pipes up. Jim
1986 Euro 190E 2.3-16 (291,000 miles),
1998 E300D TurboDiesel, 231,000 miles -purchased with 45,000,
1988 300E 5-speed 252,000 miles,
1983 240D 4-speed, purchased w/136,000, now with 222,000 miles.
2009 ML320CDI Bluetec, 89,000 miles

1971 220D (250,000 miles plus, sold to father-in-law),
1975 240D (245,000 miles - died of body rot),
1991 350SD (176,560 miles, weakest Benz I have owned),
1999 C230 Sport (45,400 miles),
1982 240D (321,000 miles, put to sleep)
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Old 07-21-2002, 01:15 AM
JCE's Avatar
JCE JCE is offline
Down to the Wear Bars
Join Date: May 1999
Location: So Kalifornia
Posts: 2,189
I have a non supercharged C230. My tech doesn't like this particular supercharger - says in his experience it wears lots faster than the rest of the components under the hood and isn't up to the tolerances and materials of the rest of the engine. He estimates about 100 - 150,000 mile life span for the unit for my driving conditions.

Our C230 lacks about 50 hp compared to the Kompressor version, and the lack can be felt in the gas pedal. Acceleration is adequate, actually fairly quick off the line or at freeway speeds. In between those 2 conditions, however, it is a tad slow for our tastes. On the other hand, Even though it weighs a bit more than our 87 300E (3320 on the C, 3195 for the E!!!), it averages about 22-25 around town, and at 75mph on long freeway trips, we routinely pull 33-35mpg. The 300E is larger, but lighter. It is a lot faster, but 17-18 around town, and 22-24 freeway.

Your kompressor life may vary. I have read that the kompressor works the most on city street/acceleration conditions, so if you do a lot of freeway driving and very little in town, it may never be a problem. Our friends have a 2000 kompressor, and love it (her freeway commute is about 150 miles a day), and she has passed 100k miles with no problems.

2003 Firemist Red/grey leather SL 500
2015 Palladium Silver/black mbtex GLK 350
1987 Smoke Silver/burgundy mbtex 300E Sportline (SOLD)

Click to see 87 300E
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Old 07-21-2002, 10:41 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Monroeville, NJ
Posts: 93
My 1989 Ford T-Bird Super Coupe has an Eaton supercharger which, after 150,000 miles, is still going strong. The front oil seal is leaking a little, but not nearly enough to take it apart and repair it. The rebuilt front "nose" unit is available from Eaton for about $ 450 exchange. Can't speak for the M-B units.
M. Sandler

1986 560SEC: 150,000 miles, runs great, but I've got to sell it (too many cars for one man)
1987 560SL: 122,000 miles, used to run poorly, now (thanks to forum), runs great!
1997 GMC Jimmy: Turned out to be a turkey.
1989 T-Bird Super Coupe: 150,000 miles, still runs great. Ford got it right.
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Old 07-22-2002, 09:15 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Location: Berthoud, Co. USA
Posts: 75
Is The Kompressor Reliable?

We have a 2000 C230K Sport and love it. We only have 25K on it at this time but have not experienced any problems beyond a failed gas gage. It gets 23-26 around town and 33 on the highway. My wife has dubbed it the Silver Bullet and drives it accordingly. It's Automatic with the touch shift and is extreamly fun to drive. We only got 16K mi out of the original tires but that may be due to a little spirited driving. We have an older (88) 300E that has been very reliable and solid but not as fun as the C. I highly recommend it.
88 300E 225K Sold
2000 C230K Totaled @103K
2003 ML320 140K Granddaughters Limo
2009 E350 4Matic Sport 37K Sold
2011 ML350 44K
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Old 07-22-2002, 09:51 AM
3 MB's and counting!
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 1,825
I LOOOOOVVVVVVEEEEE the Kompressor engine. My uncle always let me borrow it from him for a day as long as I bring it back clean!! It is very fun to drive and I dont think it would have any problems.
99 C43
98 S420
99 C230K
01 C240
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Old 07-29-2002, 12:35 AM
Posts: n/a
A New Arrival

Hello Everyone,

Well, after much hand-wringing, gnashing of teeth and consternation, we have settled on a new C240 which is now sitting in the driveway. It's a real beauty, black with charcoal full leather, sunroof, etc. After driving a lot of Kompressors including the new C230, we decided on the refinement of the V-6. I was surprised at how quick this car is. Maybe that is because I did not expect it to move off with such vigor. Anyway, my better half is now very happy. The Maxima is gone and she's dirving a Benz. But what a stable! I drive a 300e and and M3, son drives a 318i and better half now has the C240. I guess things could be worse!

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Old 07-30-2002, 01:18 AM
Benzwood's Avatar
Registered User
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 300
Congrats on your new baby... so update your signature already!!

1990 300e
2002 M3
1994 318i
1997 Maxima (soon to be gone and replaced by something German)
1992 300E
1995 E320
1999 E320 Wagon
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Old 08-01-2002, 10:05 AM
Posts: n/a
Of course if you get bored with the power on a C230K you can get a pulley kit for as little as $350 from and add 35 ft-lb of torque and 29 hp.
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